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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, some general info about my car: 2001 325i sedan, 250k miles, automatic transmission, and everything is stock. The car was recently purchased at 240k miles, only repairs the owner spoke of were a very recent fuel pump and filter replacement. He also gave us maintainence records and there was nothing crazy that had been done to the car. Now on to the issue.

When I am accelerating hard, both from a stop or while moving, I get a weird shudder/vibration. It happens around 35-40 mph and beyond but not before then. It isn't a constant, steady shudder but it almost feels like it's pulsating. If you baby the gas or drive a little slower than normal, the shudder isn't there. It's worse when the car is in sport mode which leads me to believe that it could be a rear wheel bearing issue. If anybody has had an issue like this and resolved it or if anybody has any advice on what I can look for, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
 

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Start by confirming that your motor and transmission mounts are solid, and your driveshaft coupling/guibo and center support bushing are solid.

Then search for jfoj's recommended data logging, and post results.

There are many possible mechanical, sensor, or vacuum issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can't check that stuff until this weekend but I have a few more questions. Can you check the driveshaft coupling/guibo without removing the exhaust and heat shields? And I forgot to mention that when I let the car coast, it lurches a little bit, similar to if you stepped on a piece of gum and continued to walk with it on your shoe. Is it possible that this could be related to anything internally with the engine or transmission? Thanks again.
 

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You can remove a bolt and bend the heat shield to look at the guibo, but you'll need to remove everything to inspect the center support bushing. You may be able to grab the driveline and feel for movement at the center. But I have not tried that personally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
On my drive this morning, I noticed that the shudder/vibration is not present until after the car been at normal operating temperature for ~10 minutes. I floored it from a complete stop and went to 45 mph with a very, very little shudder right before I let off of the throttle (the only reason I noticed it was because I was looking for it). I did this a few more times and it wasn't terrible, but when I got off of the highway after 20 miles at ~75 mph, the shudder had returned to normal. After jfoj's reply linking the other forums with similar problems and your recommendation to log my data, I am going to buy a bluetooth OBD adapter and download the OBD Fusion app on my iPhone and hopefully have more of clue at what I could be dealing with before I jack the car up and remove the exhaust to check the driveshaft.

EDIT: I also wanted to address that my issue isn't based on a certain rpm or gear range, but rather after I get to a certain speed. Yet another thing I forgot to mention is that my car seems to drink oil like a race horse. There is no noticeable oil leak and no pooling of oil on the ground underneath the car when it is parked.
 

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2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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if it's a vibration in the car from underneath then it's likely something in the driveline like: guibo, center support bearing or driveshaft.

if it feels like an engine things then it sounds like a throttle position sensor. but could be many other things like cam position sensors and vanos. just to name a few. you look up these key words using the Search function at the top right of the forum and read threads to see if anythng matches your symptoms.

at 250,000 miles, it could be a lot of things. you can look at the maintenance history and see if any of those were replaced.

interesting how at 250,000 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand) miles the last owner recently replaced the fuel pump and filter.
 

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interesting how at 250,000 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand) miles the last owner recently replaced the fuel pump and filter.
EVERY E46 needs a fuel pump!
 

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I replied to your message but from reading your symptoms I don't thing it is the same as mine. Mine does it mostly from a dead stop or a dead stop and a right turn. I have replaced the guibo and the center support bearing as mine were coming apart. Replaced to a "T" and then it seemed like it started happening quickly there after. I don't drive the car as often as I used to but it is still there. Done a lot of researched and changed a bunch of suspension/bushing parts in the rear and I can tell you mine is not that. Also did motor and tranny mounts too. The only thing I have been researching last was a drive shaft replacement as I was seeing that the universals can go out on these yet you cant just go buy the spider gear and replace your own. There was a thread here that recommended 2 different places, one guy races his and uses this one place. Price if I recall was right around $500 (plus you need to send them your old one back) but I think for the price you got the guibo and the center bearing which makes it worth it. Mine has been going a good long time like this, but now I hardly drive the car so this is one of those back burner projects for me now. Next time I'm under there I'll give mine a look and see if the components are shot, if so then it's probably my drive shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm sorry that it has taken me a month to reply to this thread. The guibo/flex disc and CSB were toast on my car due to the previous flex disc being installed backwards. The problem isn't totally resolved as a non-OEM CSB was installed in a pinch, but tomorrow I will be installing an OEM part and hopefully it solves this issue completely. Thanks to everyone who told me to check guibo and CSB or else I would've dumped money on other things and never fixed the real problem.
 
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