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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everybody.
My name is Maria and I'm the new owner of a 2003 325 CI with the sport package in a gorgeous orient blue metallic. I'm really happy with the car, even though it has a problem the mechanic and dealers are clueless to.

My car stalls at slow speed, less than 5 miles an hour and very quietly. As I come to a stop or when I try to take off from a stop or breaking when turning into a driveway, the car may or may not quietly shut off. The dash will show the battery and oil lights only. It usually starts right up, sometimes it may take twice

It has never thrown a check engine light for this. It never throws a code for any of the mechanics are dealerships. I have been to four dealerships and two mechanics. Nobody has been able to get it to reproduce the problem. Doesn't anybody have a brain anymore? This group does. I ran down the list of ideas that I saw posted in the thread from 2010 about the same problem. I was told that each and everyone of those would throw a check engine light.

I have had a new fuel filter by way of getting a whole new gas tank. The car is one of those special California edition sulev tanks, whereby the tank and fuel filter are one piece. It had a new air filter. I must say this car runs like a champ. I have run excellent gas with repeated rounds of feel injector cleaner.

Any ideas? I've gotten tired of paying the dealership $200 an hour to say sorry we have no idea.
 

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Idle Control Valve? Seems like it would throw a code, but sometimes electronic parts fail in such a way that they don't. We replaced a TPS on the father-in-law's dodge last weekend, and it wasn't throwing any codes.

Vacuum leak? Might be running super lean. Does it whistle at you at certain RPM and engine loads? These cars are old enough and notorious enough for having vacuum leaks that you should probably be replacing lines and intake boots as preventative maintenance, anyway.

Yeah, a code would make this a whole lot easier, and we definitely don't want to take the shotgun approach.

You should fork out $15 or so for a bluetooth OBDII reader and get torque on your phone. You'll be able to watch sensor data in real time once you get it set up.

Camshaft position sensor? A failing CPS can cause a car to intermittently die, but it won't necessarily be limited to deceleration....

Sorry, I'm just thinking out loud here, so bear with me...

Is it an auto? I've heard of torque converters failing to disengage, causing the engine to stall out.

How's the MAF sensor? Old Ford MAFs got dirty and caused the cars to die randomly. Do you have access to a spare? If not, GENTLY clean the little probes with a q-tip and a bit of windex. Be careful to not leave any fuzzies behind. Don't want your car to get cotton fever...

When EXACTLY is it stalling? Can you pinpoint the exact conditions, or is it completely random? Like does it only do it when braking? Can you make it stall in neutral? Does the A/C being on or off have anything to do with it? Anything you can give us to run with is going to help out a LOT.

Edit: Next Question: Does it die when the engine is cold or up to operating temperature? Or does it do it under both circumstances? Maybe we can rule out an Open loop/Closed loop thing here...

But for now, definitely get the bluetooth OBD reader and start hunting vacuum leaks. You're going to end up replacing every single piece of rubber and every single hard plastic component under the hood just in maintenance, so might as well start with the ones that affect driveability.
 

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// Quandt AG (Retired) //
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IF you have PA Soft or any type of scanner - please scan for errors and post them here. After you clean the ICV remove both intake and exhaust VANOS solenoids and clean them using carb cleaner. See here for location and removal.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tec...NGINE-VANOS_Solenoid_Oil_Line_Replacement.htm

I've had 2 e90's do the exact same thing (no e46's tho) and it was down to a failed VANOS solenoid on one and dirty solenoids on the other.
 

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Does the car have an automatic or manual transmission?

How many miles are on the car?

What is the idle speed in Drive and Neutral?

Could be a leaking power brake booster, other vacuum leak or as mentioned a dirty Idle Control Valve.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1057387
 

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Let me add to this. Download the OBDFusion app for your smartphone or tablet. It comes in iOS and android flavors. Buy a communication adapter that plugs into the obd2 port under the dash. iOS uses WiFi while android uses Bluetooth. Buy the adapter from amazon. VeePeek seems to be the best brand.

While you’re waiting for the adapter search for threads on OBDFusion in which jfoj has commented. He’s the guru. His posts will tell you how to set up the app, the data to be logged and under which circumstances the data are logged. The app will collect data which are then exported as a .csv file. That can be imported into Excel. See up a Dropbox account. Paste the link to your Dropbox account. Data are needed to see what’s going on as codes aren’t being triggered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Hello and good evening.
Wow... such love coming from all over. I do not feel so alone anymore.

Idle control valve sure sounds like a potential winner, but then all of the ideas do. Resting rpm in drive vacillates a little, but starts to idle choppy when it gets to 5000 to 5050 rpm in drive while stopped. If I shift into neutral, the rpm goes to 6000 and no idle issues. The car has never stalled in neutral or driving under any road conditions with the air conditioning on.

No high pitched whistling so far, but I will be on the look out. Only have a sound that I am told is a fitting that is on the exhaust. I know somebody who used to work at a dealership to get these things worked on, but his schedule can be limiting.

The Bluetooth OBDI readers sound fabulous. I did not know they existed. Another poster mentioned how VeePeek was the best brand. I am on the look out for it.

Camshaft position sensor? Mechanic pal said that there would be a code, but I feel that we have to get outside the box here just a little.

Sorry, I'm just thinking out loud here, so bear with me... I cannot thank you and everyone enough.

Steptronic tranny.

How's the MAF sensor? Good to know, but I would have no idea where to find it. I will run it through my friend. Would it throw a code?

All stalling is at 5 mph or less. Stalling is random and does not happen all the time in each of the conditions. When it stalls, it quietly shuts off and does not put on a show. The oil and battery lights come on. The check engine light has not shown itself and it does illuminate. These are the conditions...
a. braking to a stop
b. braking as turn into a driveway
c. starting to turn left from a full stop and I am in the middle of the intersection
d. idling on the freeway or streets... yes, this is Los Angeles after all.
e. starting to move forward from a stop
f. does not stall in neutral... rpm a little higher at 6000 and not rough idle
g. stalls in drive only without air conditioning on... lowest idling rpm at 5000-5050 and slightly choppy idle
h. never stalls with air conditioning on
I. does not stall when cold. Stalls more close to operating temperature. I will try to discern more exactly.

Lately, it seems like it stalls more frequently. I was running errands around town with my father a few days ago. Then I can go for days without it happening.

Would a failed vanos solenoid throw a code?

Is the PA soft scanner the same as the OBDI scanner? I just saw the price of the pa scanner.

The car has 152,000 miles. I have had it since 146,000. Insanely clean and well kept. Nobody guesses it is 14 years old.

Thank you so much everybody!!!
 

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The engine idled at 6000 rpm. That’s a screamer. Just kidding! The engine will typically idle at 600 to 750 rpm, depending on the transmission in the car. Cars with a manual transmission will idle at a higher speed for some reason.
 

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We need data from OBDFusion.
MM is right. All the detailed descriptions of how and when it stalls is only slightly helpful, but a Diagnostic Report from the OBD Fusion app would be extremely helpful. You need to buy both the OBD Fusion app and a wireless OBD adapter ASAP.

The wireless OBD adapter you buy depends on the smartphone or tablet you’ll use it with. All Apple iPhones and iPads use the WiFi adapter, while Android uses the bluetooth adapter. Newer iPhones/iPads (iPhone 4S and up, iPad 3 and up) and newer Android devices that support bluetooth 4.0 LE can use a bluetooth LE adapter.

Veepeak has been a good brand for us. Here are ebay listings for each for example.
WiFi: https://www.ebay.com/i/292031003681
Bluetooth: https://www.ebay.com/i/222175619096
Bluetooth LE: https://www.ebay.com/i/162688578915
 

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Boy, how did they ever find anything out before bluetooth? You know, it wasn't long ago when techs ONLY had detailed descriptions to go by.

Yes, it's noice to have, but hardly necessary on a car that's throwing no codes in the first place. I mean, do we really need to get down to injector pulsewidth here? BREAK OUT THE BIG GUNS, BOYS, I NEED THE OSCILLOSCOPE!

:facepalm:

Anyway, sorry about that.

I have a few more questions for you:

1) How are your brakes? Do you have to stand on them to make them work or are they nice and easy?

2) Does it die when you press the breaks or when you release them? ...Or both?

3A) Can you put it in neutral while you're slowing down and use the brakes without it dying?

3B) If you pump on the brakes in neutral, does the idle fluctuate at all?

4) Have you given it a tune up? Plugs, wires, cap and rotor, points and condenser, air and fuel filter?

5) How about an oil change?

6) What is the level and condition of your tranny fluid?

7) Do you have any maintenance records or reciepts from the previous owner?

8) Do you hear any funny noises from under the car as you shift through the gears at a stop? Does it rock or lurch excessively as it goes into or out of gear?

9) What grade of gas are you using?

10) Does it still die in (+/-) mode?

11) You said it dies when turning left... ONLY left?

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For now, I'm suspecting that it needs a tune-up if you don't know when it got one last. At least we'll be able to rule out basic maintenance out of the gate, and it's good to do on a car you just bought, anyway.

The ICV is doing what it's supposed to if the idle changes when you turn on the A/C. You also said that it doesn't die when the engine is cold. I think we can rule that one out.

Also, try this: sitting still in drive, work the steering wheel back and forth. Perhaps it's the power steering that's killing the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hello and good day to everybody.
Apologies for being off this forum. On 12/10 I fell breaking my ankle and requiring a full reconstruction. Finally I have begun to bear weight on my leg with crutches. A couple weeks for to this, I did purchase a Veepak OBD and set up the OBD fusion app on my phone. I can report that on December 8, the car stalled as been described previously at 1246 and 1419 hrs. Additionally, it***8217;s stalled on December 9 at 1415 hrs. Since 12/10, the car has sat in the garage on storage insurance. It has been started up to cycle the steering wheel, all windows, the transmission, air-conditioning and sunroof.

I have a report for each and every day I sent from the OBD device into my dropbox. With all of you care for a link from a report for each and every single day or just the days that I can report a stolen incident?

There had not been any stalling during any of the start up***8216;s while I have been laid up.

Thank you everybody very much. Happy 2018. Be well. Maria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Answers... finally

Boy, how did they ever find anything out before bluetooth? You know, it wasn't long ago when techs ONLY had detailed descriptions to go by.

Yes, it's noice to have, but hardly necessary on a car that's throwing no codes in the first place. I mean, do we really need to get down to injector pulsewidth here? BREAK OUT THE BIG GUNS, BOYS, I NEED THE OSCILLOSCOPE!

:facepalm:

Anyway, sorry about that. no worries. I enjoyed the chuckle.

I have a few more questions for you:

1) How are your brakes? Do you have to stand on them to make them work or are they nice and easy? The brakes are great. They were very smoothly different

2) Does it die when you press the breaks or when you release them? ...Or both?
about 80% of the stalls are during deceleration

3A) Can you put it in neutral while you're slowing down and use the brakes without it dying? yes. Absolutely.

3B) If you pump on the brakes in neutral, does the idle fluctuate at all? The Ibero will raise him a little I can be more consistent with the car seems to be having an off day, if you will.

4) Have you given it a tune up? Plugs, wires, cap and rotor, points and condenser, air and fuel filter? yes I have. It did it and get a new fuel filter. For this car it means a God awful new gas tank as well. I don’t know who ever thought of one piece gas tank and fuel pump would be a bright idea?

5) How about an oil change? Absolutely. I’m vigilant about oil changes

6) What is the level and condition of your tranny fluid? perfect

7) Do you have any maintenance records or reciepts from the previous owner?
no I don’t have any records or receipts from the previous owner. A dealership did verify that I was truly only the second owner now the car. In conversation over the sale I was informed that it even got a brand new wiring harness when the problem I have really been the onboard computer and number of years ago. That work was done at Valencia dealership.

8) Do you hear any funny noises from under the car as you shift through the gears at a stop? Does it rock or lurch excessively as it goes into or out of gear? no. Not per se. When first starting the car up in the day, if I ship to quickly, I can get a bit of a clunk from underside. Clearly I took that as a sign that I had shifted to quickly. No problem cents.

9) What grade of gas are you using? Hi test all the way

10) Does it still die in (+/-) mode? no sir

11) You said it dies when turning left... ONLY left? no. 90% or more of these stalling incidents are when proceeding straight.

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For now, I'm suspecting that it needs a tune-up if you don't know when it got one last. At least we'll be able to rule out basic maintenance out of the gate, and it's good to do on a car you just bought, anyway.

The ICV is doing what it's supposed to if the idle changes when you turn on the A/C. You also said that it doesn't die when the engine is cold. I think we can rule that one out.

Also, try this: sitting still in drive, work the steering wheel back and forth. Perhaps it's the power steering that's killing the car.
. no issue here. This is what I’ve been doing in the car in my garage while I’ve been laid up.
 

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This is kind of a random thought but I found this by accident. It is from an M3 forum but google brought it up. You seem to have the reverse issue as I found a lot of threads about low idle caused by the AC while your issue doesn't happen with the AC running. I believe this post is similar as the issue occurred less as the temperature increased, but I could be reading it wrong because the solution indicated otherwise.

Anyway, this is something easy to check and hasn't been mentioned. http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showpost.php?p=1066698921&postcount=1

The issue was low refrigerant.

Edit: This thread discusses the AC tensioner and alternator. https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?1541266-Rough-Idle-A-C-compressor

I'm just reading threads but it is more easy things to as about for your $200 at a dealer. I would find a good Indy mechanic that specializes in BMWs or German cars.

Hopefully those way more knowledgeable than I am will get you a solution.
 
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