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Old 12-31-2018, 12:21 PM   #1
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Paris, KY
Posts: 1
2011 328xi rough idle and whining after VCG change

I just changed the valve cover gasket on my N52. The car was running fine before the work. It just had an oil burning smell. I have done this recently to my other 328xi so I am not a stranger to the job. Anyway, everything went smoothly but when I went for a test drive, it started idling very rough and making a loud whining noise from under the hood. I read some forums that said it may be the valvetronic motor needed recalibrated. I figured that was it because I just put it back in and slowly tightened down alternating side to side like i did my last car. So I did the turn on the ignition, pumped the accelerator, etc. nothing. I watched a video on changing the motor and followed the process using the screw on the back of the motor. Still no luck. I thought maybe an air leak from the gasket not seating correctly so I tore it all back down an took extra precaution to make sure it was seated and double checked that all bolts were torqued to spec in case I missed one. I also took time to make sure all electrical connections were clean. No luck. Same condition. The valvetronic motor does seem like it is very hot. I do not know how it is normally. The CEL does not come on right away but did eventually. I plugged in my reader and it says that there are no faults stored. I also cannot turn off the CEL using my reader. I do not know why the eccentric shaft sensor would have gone bad but I did notice when I pulled the connector off checking for issues that one of the sockets had some greasy dirt in it. There was no oil or moisture anywhere else and the dirt was confined to just that one socket. I cleaned it out wit contact cleaner and some air. Would that be enough to fry the sensor? Can they be tested?
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:06 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 62
We had the eccentric shaft sensor go, a couple months after a valve cover gasket change too (although I don't think they were related.)

Symptoms were hard to pinpoint as the first thing to replace, as they were intermittent, and a new sensor was $$$.

No codes were set (according to the shop, and verified by me later with whatever the current PAsoft or similar was,) no CEL. The occasional rough idle was present, but minor and would change as the engine hit different temps. The scary part was the engine would stall while driving, the electronics/dash were fine, happened a couple of times - if you caught it early hitting the accel would stop it, but not fun. Ended up replacing the alternator, the shop thought that was it, but nope, swapped battery and engine ground on my own, which didn't fix.

Picked up a ecc sensor via a parts car, and about an hour later it was fixed, no more random stalls, and arguably smoother idle - at least no rough bouts. New ones were ~$600 from the dealer up here - thus the new used one.
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:27 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: can
Posts: 13
Most likely the VC cracked when you replaced the gasket. Its always best to replace the VC since there is a high chance of it cracking during the repair. My source: a well known BMW mechanic.
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Old 10-21-2019, 06:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mkong View Post
Most likely the VC cracked when you replaced the gasket. Its always best to replace the VC since there is a high chance of it cracking during the repair. My source: a well known BMW mechanic.
This. The whining sound is pretty mch a dead giveaway that the diaphragm in the PCV is torn, and/or there's a crack elsewhere.
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