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Old 05-20-2013, 11:29 PM   #1
tlinkletter
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E90 ECU Hell!!!!

Recently I've been having no start issues with my E90 325i. The dealer has diagnosed it as a bad ecu/valvetronic eccentric sensor after replacing my MAF and Valvetronic Motor. The dealer is telling me that the Valvetronic Eccentric sensor leaked oil, pushed it all the way up the harness into the ecu and is causing a short in the system. I called bullshit on this so I brought the car home and took it all apart. Sure enough the sensor is wet with oil (Common enough Problem according to the web) Harness looks like oil traveled it and the ecu connector was soaked with oil. So the problem is verified but where I'm having questions is that the dealer is saying that I have to replace the sensor, harness and ECU. The cost is exorbant considering the value of the car. Does anyone have experience with this? Is it just wet oil causing the short in communication or is the ecu actually fried? If it's just wet I'm thinking I can just replace the sensor and clean the ecu saving a bunch of $$. Whether the harness needs to be replaced I'm not sure. The oil in it really isn't going away but I don't know whether it will cause a problem if the leak is stopped at the sensor. Any feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:15 AM   #2
Blackedout95
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Just replaced a bad sensor on an X3 last week. In this case the sensor gets wet with oil, how it could run down the wiring and fry your ecu is beyond me, I mean HS that is a lot of oil and perfect travel.

Any ways, replace the sensor, blow away the oil best you can and try, it really is a simple job (can you remove the VC on your own) and inexpensive part $XXX. I know the dealer has the ability to scan the ecu and see what component shows improper communication, like with your shaft sensor for example or valvetronic motor. Sooooo if after replacing the sensor if the issue continues I would consider the specific wiring/harness ONLY if a dealer scan shows direct relation between bad info to it from the ecu. If you truly damaged the ecu you shouldn't have just an issue with the shaft sensor, many more issues should be present. Take it one step at a time, bad ecu's are not unheard of but because of a bad shaft sensor leaking oil, very weird but you say it was there so...

It is quite possible you have a bad ecu period and the other issue(s) are symptoms of that or other issues. There is no reason why a bmw dealer cannot scan and tell you what the real issue is, the ecu itself or the shaft sensor.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:29 PM   #3
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My only concern without replacing the harness is that somehow it's going to impede the signal or cause problems even if the ecu is good.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:51 PM   #4
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I suppose but again if the ecu was bad it wouldn't matter if the harness and sensor were good. Either way an issue would be present immediately.

Also wth they fixed your valvetronic motor before the shaft sensor and THEN decided the ecu and harness were bad, that is against logic for two reasons. Again they KNOW which was the culprit before via a scan and data (shaft sensor or Valvemotor) secondly how is it yor ecu was working fine to tell them the valvetronic motor was bad to start with LOL . I would visit another shop.

Easier to do sensor/wiring first. btw what are they charging you for the harness/wiring?
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:30 PM   #5
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Well long story short that's what the codes indicated so they up and replaced them. Said my car was fixed and I took it home. Next morning I had the same no start issues. Took it back in and all of a sudden it's this eccentric issue. On top of that the only reason they dug that up was the prior owner had had the car in and this issue was on file as something discovered. I'm in New Brunswick so they are the only deal around. They wanted 4k to do the ecu and harness.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlinkletter View Post
Well long story short that's what the codes indicated so they up and replaced them. Said my car was fixed and I took it home. Next morning I had the same no start issues. Took it back in and all of a sudden it's this eccentric issue. On top of that the only reason they dug that up was the prior owner had had the car in and this issue was on file as something discovered. I'm in New Brunswick so they are the only deal around. They wanted 4k to do the ecu and harness.

They clearly replaced or fixed the wrong thing and the shaft was always the issue based on the code. If you are not experienced enough to know that a given code could be either the shaft or motor you shouldn't be working at a dealer, that's for sure. I swear to you that mistake should not have been made by a professional.

1) Their scan tool is even superior to ours and there is no way they cannot see an issue or non issue with the valvetronic motor before fixing or replacing parts. 2) A full test procedure should have been done on the valvetronic motor as well. It was part of our diagnosis on the shaft we just did on an X3. You have to be able to eliminate, clearly they did not do that. It involves physically adjusting the motor and seeing upon turn over if the shaft sensor is doing its job and sending the proper info (valve placement).

Also how in the world did they fix the issue, send you on your way and never noticed the plug was leaking oil all the way into the ecu while under their care?

It absolutely sucks you are in this situation, not sure how confrontational you are but they would be doing something for free if it was me or they'd know how I feel.

I bet the valvetronic work wasn't cheap either and their BS excuse of they never knew it could be the shaft sensor and an old history indicated it stinks to high heaven. Someone probably knows they should have fixed it and not the motor and they are coming up with an excuse.

In saying all that your car could very well have had the shaft issue, oil and did damage the harness and ecu BUT the work on the valvetronic motor and your time was a hose job either maliciously or due to incompetence. That you may have to just accept.

Honestly, get away from that place and if you cant I feel for you.

PS the fact it played up the next day (no start) is normal. Having the shaft issue can begin as hit and miss, hard and harder starts and eventually or quickly no start on occasion which becomes daily. Before we have done this job the car would seem fine for a day the suddenly the issue. They likely played with the valve settings when touching the valvetronic motor and allowed the car to start in the right position for a while or enough to last a day.
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