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Old 09-18-2019, 08:46 PM
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Default Got a tow back from Tappahannock

Decided to take my 2001 325 CI down to the Outer Banks last week, to enjoy putting the top down and getting some air in my hair at the beach. All was good until until the trip home. Stopped in at NNBurger in Tappahannock, Va., and after a great crab & beef burger proceeded home. Not far, car lost power, like it was running on 2 cylinders. Pulled off, called AAA. Thankfully have AAA+, which provides me with 100 mile towing. Dispatcher said my distance from my position to my towing destination (home) was 99.7 miles. Score! Anyway, after the car and I got home , put the reader on it, got PO171, 174 codes, lean bank 1, lean bank 2. Car will start up, runs poorly. CEL is on, dash vacuum gauge is pegged to the left and doesn't budge. Off the top of my head I'm thinking in no particular order: vacuum leak, cam sensor, mass air sensor, disa valve. Any ideas, suggestions opt how to narrow this down to a proper diagnosis would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:18 PM
cmartin cmartin is offline
 
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First check for obvious air leaks, then smoke it if it's not clear. I had one in a few weeks ago.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:39 PM
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ah, the joys of owning an e46....if it ain't broke, it will be soon. (yes, i have one)

air leak in intake. disa valve, tb bellows, etc.
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:30 AM
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Intake boots are my first thought. CCV next. SAP vacuum lines. Fuel pump maybe? Say that only because a lot of the minor vacuum leaks that trigger P0171 and P0174 will set of the SES light, but won't make the car actually run that bad. My E46 had a broken intake air boot, broken CCV, and a bad (out of spec) MAF and it still ran pretty well. Enough for me to drive anyway.

IIRC P0171 and P0174 are fairly generic OBDII codes that basically say "mixture out of range" but don't actually tell you if its too lean or too rich. You need BMW scan tools and a reader to show you air/fuel corrections being made to figure that out. I have both. PM me.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:29 AM
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Thanks guys for the input. Sprayed some starter fluid around the engine with no noticeable effect. Symptoms vary, from car seemingly running fine to not running at all. All in a short span of time. Jazz, I'll send you a PM, thanks. I've got boxes of parts I've ordered, including DISA and Vanos repair kits. Guess it's time to get to work.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:13 PM
mlytle mlytle is offline
 
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JAZZ's fuel pump suggestion is also a good one. if it is on the way out, will cause lean condition. fuel pump on my e46 died at about 100k miles.

the intake bellows usually cracks on the bottom out of sight, and may only have big leak when the engine shifts to one side stretching the crack open. at least that is what mine did.

disa valve has similar symptoms. at least mine did.

CCV also caused leak.

vanos on mine works fine....after i replaced all the leaking oil hoses.

hmmm, there is a trend here.....
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Last edited by mlytle; 09-19-2019 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:56 PM
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Got the car 4 years ago with about 100k on the clock. I've put another 30K on it since. Other than changing the oil, have not done much other than stock piling parts. When I acquired the car I had inquired from Dorki what should I think of replacing before it fails. Universally the response was the coolant system. Purchased the parts, still sitting in my garage. I'm adding CCV system, fuel pump, vacuum lines to my items to purchase. What else should I add to my list?
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:11 PM
mlytle mlytle is offline
 
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most important thing to have spare when you have an e46 is....another car to drive when the e46 is broken again.

but seriously, some parts-

6 ignition coils. just replace them, they will fail
replace the spark plugs while doing the coils

slush box? flush the fluid and change the filter before it gets cold and the valves stick leaving you with no forward motion

fuses - the crappy electrical system will short out where the harness chafes (tourings and verts in particular)

window regulators - at 130k you are WAY beyond life expectancy

if you don't already have EVERY cooling system part, the expansion tank. i am actually on my third complete cooling system, at 150k miles. it is really amazing just how bad all the plastic parts in this system are. radiator, expansion tank, t-stat, hose connectors, all of it.

valve cover gasket set. they get hard and start leaking about every 50k miles.

I have had a 2002 E46 325it almost since it was new. as wonderful as they are to drive, the e46 platform is the single worst designed and most unreliable BMW I have ever had, by far. and i have had a LOT of different BMW's in the last 45 years. i would get rid of mine except the resale value on them is so poor it is not worth anything to sell. so....it spends a lot of time on my lift getting fixed. gives me something to do... and i have lots of extra cars...
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Last edited by mlytle; 09-19-2019 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:23 AM
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Hey John,

Things to look for:

Camshaft position sensor and a bad gasket.

Cracked air horn (the hose that goes from the intake to the manifold) it causes a vacuum leak.

Vanos seals.

Coils.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:33 AM
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Thanks everyone. Placed my order, will see the parts show up early next week. Located my Bentley manual, and downloaded a bunch of Youtube diy videos. For the fuel pump, Bentley mentions the need for a special BMW tool 16-1-022 for its removal, and I suppose its replacement. Would anyone have such a tool to loan out? Thanks again y'all.
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