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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all.

I'm fairly new to working on my car. Things have been going pretty well, so far, which has been encouraging. Today, however, I seem to have done something really bad. It could very well be one small thing that can be easily fixed, but this has been a super discouraging day! I'm hoping someone can help, because now my car won't go. It idles fine, lights and all electrical things seem to be working. When I put my foot on the gas pedal, however, nothing happens, and then it dies. It doesn't rev at all, just kills the engine.

Below are the details of what happened. Bear with me: I'm going to provide a lot of info so you can help troubleshoot.

I've been having some issues with the car, like sluggish starts, occasional (though rare) stalling out while idling at a stoplight, and some hiccups while traveling down the freeway. So, I decided to start small/inexpensive and work my way up. I suspected the MAF, so I picked one up at a salvage yard and replaced my old one. That helped a lot. The car had started to go into limp mode all the time, and the new (old) MAF made it drive better and it also stopped switching to third gear and staying there. I have still been getting the dreaded {!}, but at least it changed gears.

Today, I finally had the opportunity to clean the ICV and the throttle body, as well as to replace the intake boots. I worked my way down to the intake boots, wrestled with those and finally got them out. I went in to get the ICV and ran into some difficulty with the lower intake boot. It took more wrestling, but I got the boot off which allowed me to finally get the ICV out.

I then moved on to the TB. I wanted to remove it completely so that I could replace the gasket behind it and thoroughly clean it. Due to the location of the electrical harness box and the bracket that supports it, I could not get to the lower right hex bolt on the TB to save my life. I did a lot of messing around, down in there, trying to get things out of the way, and I unplugged a lot of sensors. I was careful, though, to pay attention to what I'd unplugged and plug things back in where they go, but now I'm worried I damaged something.

I cleaned the ICV - it was gunky and not moving very freely. By the time I finished cleaning, it was clacking around quite nicely! I cleaned the TB while it was still in the car. It's much cleaner now! I put the new boots on which were slightly different than my old ones. I think they're on okay. I am assuming BMW just makes them a little different (slightly bigger; not quite the same shape where the boots come together).

I was very excited about starting the car up and seeing how it did. The idle was slightly higher. It's been hovering just under 1000 RPMs, and now it's right at 1000. I actually think that's good, because I noticed it had dropped a while back after pretty much always idling at 1000. I had checked the codes before beginning work to get a baseline. Before the work, I was getting Air Mass Sensor, but I figured it was because I hadn't reset it since putting the new one on. I reset the codes. I checked again after I'd put the car back together and still got Air Mass Sensor (darn) and also got Camshaft Sensor, Intake Cam. Hmmm... Not sure why that would come up, but what the heck. Decided to start the car.

Here's where it gets sad, so grab some tissue. I start to coast along. I live at the peak of a hill, so it's all downhill from my house. I thought I would start out slowly. As soon as I started to give it some gas, however, the car died! And it didn't rev or go faster. I put it in park so I could start it again and tried to gun the engine, but nothing happened when I put my foot on the gas. So, I pulled over to the side and parked the car. Tomorrow, I've got to figure out what went wrong.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Any specific places to look first? Common issues after doing this kind of work? Could I have unplugged something and not plugged it back in?

I'm going to retrace my steps and remove the air filter housing, etc, etc.

Thanks in advance! I appreciate you reading, if you got this far. I just wanted to make sure you knew as much as I did.
 

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Double check your MAF and related connections - look to see if there is a (are) air leak(s) somewhere and the connector is on tight.
Also, try putting back your original MAF and see if you can at least drive your car without any stalls. At least you can eliminate any doubt of your new "old" MAF being faulty.

Lastly, you might want to do a "hard reset" by disconnecting your battery for 15 minutes or so and see it that resolves the issues.

Let us know if there's any changes/improvement.
Good luck.
 

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Someone a while back posted a similar issue, also happened while doing the same job. It turned out to be an unplugged Throttle Body. I don't know if it's exactly the same case because I know the older E46's such as yours has some kind of electro-mechanical setup for the throttle. I am not familiar with that setup. In any case, check that whatever is supposed to be connected to it is indeed connected.

Like the other guy that posted (I'll try to find it and edit this), the ICV was enough to keep the motor running, but died when the pedal was pressed.

Paolo
 

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You can do that in any order you wish.

Just make sure the connections are set nice and tight. Also, you should inspect for ANY cracks or tears in the intake tube/hoses. Because any air that's being sucked in behind the MAF (between it and the manifold) will cause problems.
 

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Make sure you also check the air intake elbow as well, the big rubber hose that connects the MAF to the throttle body. Sometimes, people screws around with the MAP and air filter (or, it just rots and develop a hole at the bottom from the stress) and loosen the connections and you have leaks, and the same thing would happen. Check all the connections, and look for cracks in the rubber hose. It's not expensive and it can be fixed in a jiffy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I found this:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=599666

There's no resolution to the post, but it sounds like what I'm experiencing. I've had MAF trouble, before, but at least the car would go. It just acts as though the gas pedal is totally ineffective. Not even a slight change in RPMs.

I'll try disconnecting the battery for 15 minutes and check the hoses and boots and MAF in the meantime as suggested.

cvx5832, if you come across that link, that would be great. :)
 

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To check for leaks - use a flash light, shine it around the outside of the tube/hose as you carefully squeeze/deform them and look toward the inside of the tube/hose, if you see any light coming through... there's the leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I suspect that I did not put the throttle cable back into the grommet (next to the throttle body) properly. I've found this:

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=604646

I'm having some trouble understanding the ins and outs of how it works and exactly how it's supposed to go into the grommet. Is it supposed to be seated in a very specific way? It sounds like it.
 

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I suspect that I did not put the throttle cable back into the grommet (next to the throttle body) properly. I've found this:

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=604646

I'm having some trouble understanding the ins and outs of how it works and exactly how it's supposed to go into the grommet. Is it supposed to be seated in a very specific way? It sounds like it.
Hey twin sister! Yes, the cable is supposed to be seated. The outer part of the cable is supposed to be in the grommet and then the barrel on the cable goes on the outer rt. part of the TB. I suspect when you get to it, you'll see what you did, and I suspect your instinct about not doing that right is right.

It's been a bit since I did this myself, but remember I had to stop and think about what the car wanted from me!

So...outer casing of cable in grommet; inner cable with barrel on the TB. I don't recall having needed to adjust the grommet for tightness, but maybe I did. Do you recall adjusting the cable at all? Maybe you went the wrong way and the cable was so loose it just dropped off?

Sorry you have to go back in...I know that's not fun...but it'll be the last time you need to for a while!
 

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Sounds like one of the intake boots came loose or wasn't on all the way. The new boots should have been the same size, if they were bigger than your original ones then they were wrong. Bmw hasn't updated those intake boots. Make sure you got the lower boot all the way on the throttle body. A massive leak would cause the car to stall when pressing the gas while it could still idle. I would think your CEL would have came on though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, twin bro!

I'm going to walk around the corner to where my car is and start taking things apart, right now. Wish me luck. :)

I've seen a couple of pics on the whole setup, and your description is very good, as always.

The only other bummer is it's about to rain. Dang. It's an adventure, right?

:D

Hey twin sister! Yes, the cable is supposed to be seated. The outer part of the cable is supposed to be in the grommet and then the barrel on the cable goes on the outer rt. part of the TB. I suspect when you get to it, you'll see what you did, and I suspect your instinct about not doing that right is right.

It's been a bit since I did this myself, but remember I had to stop and think about what the car wanted from me!

So...outer casing of cable in grommet; inner cable with barrel on the TB. I don't recall having needed to adjust the grommet for tightness, but maybe I did. Do you recall adjusting the cable at all? Maybe you went the wrong way and the cable was so loose it just dropped off?

Sorry you have to go back in...I know that's not fun...but it'll be the last time you need to for a while!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thanks for the confirmation on that, 330ciandr6. I just don't see how they could have gotten than part wrong! Darn. I guess I'll just put the old ones back on while I'm taking things apart to check on the throttle cable and return the new ones back to the shop. I hadn't found any cracks in the old boots, but I need to really check them. I think I still want new ones. Maybe if I look really doleful they'll offer to make up for the mistake by putting them on for me. LOL! Those boots are my least favorite part of getting down in that part of the engine, so far...

Thank you!

Oh right - and my SES light IS on. But it was on before, and I'm still getting that MAF sensor code and the one for the camshaft sensor. Could those both be due to leaks in the boots? Just curious.

Sounds like one of the intake boots came loose or wasn't on all the way. The new boots should have been the same size, if they were bigger than your original ones then they were wrong. Bmw hasn't updated those intake boots. Make sure you got the lower boot all the way on the throttle body. A massive leak would cause the car to stall when pressing the gas while it could still idle. I would think your CEL would have came on though.
 

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Also, ciand might be right about boot...torn, wrong size/pn, or placement.

I'm on phone so if I wrote something stupid, it was probably the phone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, guys!

Last thing. Seems unrelated, but not exactly. I didn't get to take the TB out completely to clean it, yesterday, because there was one stubborn bolt (lower right, of course) that had all kinds of misery in the way, particularly a bracket that was attached to the box connected to all of those sensors. Because the sensors are connected to things all over the engine, and because of the oil dipstick housing, I could barely move it around, and there is no way in Hades I could get to that :censor: last bolt! :banghead:

Does anyone have a suggestion? How much am I allowed to move, unplug, etc? Does unbolting the dipstick housing contribute anything? I figure, if I'm spelunking back down to the depths, I may as well get that TB out, clean it, and replace it with the gasket that I bought for it.

Thanks! I'll keep you all posted on my progress.
 

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You're 'allowed' to remove what you need to. Just remember to put stuff back! Disconnect bat if plugging stuff to be safe.

I'm on phone so if I wrote something stupid, it was probably the phone!
 

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i recently had to replace my lower intake boot because the part that goes to the icv was torn and when i got the new ones (i decided to replace the upper, and the "vacuum t" that connects to it as well). it was like they didnt fit right at first, but i had hassled with it for so long i was tired and put it back together sloppy and had to stretch it to get it to connect to the maf, but when i started my car again i got a CEL, code P0456 which is a very small vacuum leak. I bought a flex head ratchet wrench and went back and re-aligned it better... the lower boot has a line on the inside of it that should line up with another line on the TB... reset the codes and the car ran great with no CEL..... i know this probably doesnt help the biggest problem here but it may do something.... who knowshttp://forum.E46Fanatics.com/images/icons/icon6.gif

also, you could get some maf cleaner if u already havent and clean that baby up while its off.... be gentle with it... good luck
 
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