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Old 12-20-2007, 04:15 PM   #1
Redster
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Rough idle??



A friend of mine has a 99 540i, he bought it in 2000 with only 5000km and always did everything on time..

Since about two weeks ago whenever he starts it in the morning (it's parked indoors but the garage is not heated) it idles really rough. Once morning I was there and saw it, you can actually see car shaking, feel it if you're inside..and RPMs get low and then it dies. If you give it a bit of gas it won't die and as soon as it warms up a bit (min or two) it's fine. Same goes for the rest of the day, starts without any problems, no shaking etc.

Any ideas?
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:00 PM   #2
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The infamouse rought idle on cold starts...could be a number of reasons. VANOS failing will cause this, search on e46fanatics.com
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:11 PM   #3
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Anything specific to E39s?
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:51 AM   #4
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Not sure about the e39's maybe the pros can chime in on that...However what you described was similar to my 2003 E46 M3 and I brought it to Parkview BMW...The shop foreman advised even though my car was under cert. series reprogramming/updating the DME wasn't covered, but he did it anyway and it has cured the problem, no more rough idles. Just a possibility.
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Old 12-22-2007, 03:48 PM   #5
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An update, this morning I went over there and when he started the car same thing happened but to me it sounds like the car is not working on all 8 cylinders or it's just not getting enough of fuel so the RPMs drop VERY low (for a cold car) to about 200-300 and then the car dies. When you give it some gas there's hesitation, then the RPMs jump up (way up, 4000-5000)..all this lasts for about two minutes, once the car is warm everything runs perfectly. No lack of power or anything..

Also, when you give it some gas (while cold) there's knocking under the hood, but that lasted very shortly so by the time I got out, opened the hood it was gone..car was warm and everything was done.

So..any ideas now?

PS. He's taking it to my mechanic after new years so it can sit there overnight and he can start it in the morning.
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Redster View Post
An update, this morning I went over there and when he started the car same thing happened but to me it sounds like the car is not working on all 8 cylinders or it's just not getting enough of fuel so the RPMs drop VERY low (for a cold car) to about 200-300 and then the car dies. When you give it some gas there's hesitation, then the RPMs jump up (way up, 4000-5000)..all this lasts for about two minutes, once the car is warm everything runs perfectly. No lack of power or anything..

Also, when you give it some gas (while cold) there's knocking under the hood, but that lasted very shortly so by the time I got out, opened the hood it was gone..car was warm and everything was done.

So..any ideas now?

PS. He's taking it to my mechanic after new years so it can sit there overnight and he can start it in the morning.

I hope you aren't reving the engine right after cold starts before the engine has wamred up, over 3-4k rpm, and specially giving lots of throttle while doing that...
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:58 PM   #7
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check coils, plugs and clean idle valve
There is also a cold start system but have no clue bout it.
Take plugs out and check the colour. If you can take pics of them we can see which one is running lean or rich.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:13 PM   #8
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After talking to a few people it seems like this is manifold seals/covers issue; when the engine cools off they "retract" and let air into the engine once it's started. As soon as the metal warms up they expand and issue is solved..makes any sense?
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:06 PM   #9
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Sounds like a vacuum leak.
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Old 12-23-2007, 03:59 PM   #10
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After talking to a few people it seems like this is manifold seals/covers issue; when the engine cools off they "retract" and let air into the engine once it's started. As soon as the metal warms up they expand and issue is solved..makes any sense?

It does make sense, unmetered air in the engine can do funny things with idle and misfire under driving.

So the problem goes away when the engine warms up?
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Old 12-23-2007, 06:08 PM   #11
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It does make sense, unmetered air in the engine can do funny things with idle and misfire under driving.

So the problem goes away when the engine warms up?
Yes, after a few minutes (2-3) car runs fine. He drove my car this morning so he can compare and after a few minutes of just idling both cars run the same.
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:48 PM   #12
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prob a vacume leak had to change some gaskets on mine, however i have heard of the intake gasket cauing similar problems
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:57 PM   #13
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i had a similar prob with my car.....it ended uo being my tork convertor....just a suggestion, but you should inquire about that too
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