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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Introduction:

* I have 2004 330i and I love it. I do my research on it if something happens, maintain it regularly, and try to keep it in shape as good as financially I can. Its my daily driver.

Story:

* On 07/22/17 (yesterday) I decided to go to Angeles Crest Hwy (its close-by to me), and enjoy my car driving aggressively. Everything was really nice, sound, temps, handling, grip, I enjoyed it a lot.

After a while I decided to turn right to the view point, relax a bit, have some cigarette and drive back home.

Issue:

* As soon as I pulled over my power steering went off. Then I noticed red oil pressure indicator. Naturally, I aligned my wheels, turned of the car, opened the hood and decided to wait a bit so engine can cool down. As I recall, temp gauge was in the dead middle.

I turned my car back on, pressure indicator was still there, red, power staring was still off. There was no connection so I didn't have a chance to check the first actions I need to do in this case. I decided to start steering my wheel. After couple rotations, power steering came back, and light went off.

I started driving away and everything was pretty much normal.

Personal thoughts:

* As I returned home I did my research. I found this thread (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=930140) and according to "Rekless Rob", "I had the same problem, your idle speed is too low! The oil pump is not turning fast enough when you are at idle. What happens is your engine reaches operating temperature, the oil is hot and thins out, less oil pressure. An idle speed of 500 rpm is too low and the oil pump is not pumping as fast, oil pressure light starts to flicker."

Seems legit.

Things to consider:

* I have CCV to PCV modification.
* My last oil change was 3000 miles ago (liquid molly)
* My steering rod has a little leakage which I am aware off.
* I changed my power steering pump couple months ago.
* I was driving in sport mode, revs were relatively high for 20 min with aggressive steering.
* This morning I checked power steering liquid, it was a little lower than it should be.

Conclusion:

* My opinion is that after driving aggressively with high revs a came to rapid stop. Engine revs went down quickly and oil was hot. Oil pump didn't have enough power to keep pressure. It caused red lamp.

Regarding steering, as my rod has a bit of a leakage, aggressive steering led to more leakage as usual and liquid level went lower than it should. it caused lower pressure and power steering went off.

Why I am here:

*This forum is like family for me. You guys helped me a lot in fixing my car even if you didn't know about it (this is my first car).

Naturally, when trouble happens I feel like sharing about it so I can learn, and find the best cost effective solution.

Every opinion will be valuable for me and if someone have a better idea what happened yesterday I will be more than thankful for a healthy discussion,

Thank you
 

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Your main serpentine belt is gone! DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR, as you'll destroy the engine.


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I could see a going bad belt may cause power steering issues, but would it not also cause an alternator warning, and overheating?
How would the oil pressure warning figure into a shot main belt?

I may be missing something...

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Eyes and finger on things under the hood is the ONLY way to get good data.

My guess is the engine stalled at some point causing loss of power assist for the steering and causing the oil light to come on??

Low idle will also cause the oil light to come on as well.

Unclear as to what is going on here unless the car was driven through high water and/or an under hood leak cause the belts to slip for some reason.
 

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There are 2 belts there.
they connect to alternator, power steering etc....
Either you have a broken belt or pulleys/tensioners are toast.
 

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Judging by the fact that your red oil light came on & the power steering stopped responding, I have to agree that your engine may have just stalled.

If you have a stock exhaust & stock engine mounts, you can barely feel the M54 is running at times, especially at idle.

Did you notice the red battery light come on as well?
 

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I had a similar problem. My lower intake boot had slipped partly off, so at low rpms, the engine would stall. Perhaps your CCV modification has something to do with it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks a lot guys, will take everything in consideration.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Judging by the fact that your red oil light came on & the power steering stopped responding, I have to agree that your engine may have just stalled.

If you have a stock exhaust & stock engine mounts, you can barely feel the M54 is running at times, especially at idle.

Did you notice the red battery light come on as well?


Thank for detailed info. No, I'm pretty sure battery light wasn't there.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I discussed the situation with my father and we came to a conclusion that most probably its the belt.

I am planing to do a vanos rebuild so will be changing belt soon.

Thanks a lot one more time.


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Leave the VANOS alone, you will likely open up a can of worms if you mess with it. VANOS is not as much as a problem as everyone likes to think it is.
 

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Agree on the vanos, no codes, no rattle, no touch.

As far as the oil light, I have the same issue. Good thread about that here.
 

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..and if it really is the belt, a quick look will tell the tale. The big one does all the work, the small one runs the A/C

t
 
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