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      08-05-2010, 04:35 PM   #1
MX20
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Question E90 320d/163 engine stops randomly

Hello all. Is there anybody that experienced something like this or knows what may be the cause?

I am having lately some trouble with my '07 320d (163hp engine).

The engine stops at random (or at least I could not find a particular rule yet).

It stopped once while simply turning wheels in the parking lot (clutch down).
It stopped once while engine-braking to a redlight (no clutch, but still having 1100-1200 rpm).
It stopped once while doing steady 80km/h (50mph) in 4th.
It stopped once while driving hard uphill (almost 4000 rpm in 3rd).
It stopped once while pulling hard into traffic. After restart and hard pull -> stopped again.
It stopped once while simply idling while waiting for someone.
..and other similar times not worth mentioning.

When it stops, usually no lights appear and the whole experience is similar to an intentional engine stall (try to release the clutch without enough throttle).
It emits a brief high-pitched sound, almost like the longer one when intentionally stalled.
The aircon unit still runs.
If I press the start/stop button it starts again, but there is an increased chance that it will stop again after a few seconds. If left alone for a good minute it will keep running afterwards without problems.

Now the less-verifiable and crazy facts:
- Twice the "low windshield fluid" light came up (yes, this is correct). I had no other recent occurences of this warning light outside the "unexpected stop" sessions.
- Once I tried to restart and after a long crank the engine would not start again and the "stability warning" came up in yellow (both icon and light with circular arrow in triangle). Pulled out the key, reinserted it, push start and everything started OK and _kept_ running OK. Never saw that warning neither before nor after.
- It may have a relation with the car not being level OR changing level (like when braking or pulling hard). (unverifiable)
- Idle rpm may be slightly lower when "in stopping mood". (unverifiable)

The car is untouched (no mods) at 60000km (~37000mi). All service properly done, before deadline, at BMW dealer.


Any thoughts?
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Last edited by MX20; 08-05-2010 at 04:44 PM.
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      08-05-2010, 05:35 PM   #2
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Fuel filter been changed?

Dirty fuel or faulty camshaft sensor, noise could be fuel pump which cuts out on camshaft fault.

Ever run out of fuel?

Unlikely to be electrical but possible. Must take it to dealer.
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      08-06-2010, 10:04 AM   #3
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Hi briers, thank you for replying.

I suppose the fuel filter was changed during (one of) the previous scheduled service visits to the dealer. I admit I was never that curious to remember now if there was a fuel filter on the bill.

I've been using regularly almost the same petrol station when at home and the same brand when on the road. I believe they are the best pick around, but you can never know.
Anyway, how much dirt would have to accumulate in order to overwhelm the filter (presuming it _was_ on the changed items list)?

Never ran out of gas, but I've seen the yellow (or was it red?) pump a couple of times.

I suppose that camshaft sensor failure would have produced some sort of event log in the computer, wouldn't it?
I've been once to the dealer since the first symptoms, I told them about the stops and they could not find any errors logged into the computer.

I will surely visit them again, but asking around may bring some fresh ideas, too.

Thank you.
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      08-10-2010, 03:39 PM   #4
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Bump (since the original post was in the weekend).

Other ideas, anyone?
Thank you.
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      08-10-2010, 03:59 PM   #5
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If it truly stops "randomly" and you can't re-create it at will, with no fault codes stored.... it's probably going to be very difficult for anyone on the 'net to point you in the right direction, I'm afraid.

Are you still under any warranty at all?
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      08-10-2010, 05:32 PM   #6
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I had one a few years ago that did this. I think that I may have got water into the electrics whilst cleaning under the bonnet.

I traded it in rather than get a new ECU.

Jeff
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      08-11-2010, 02:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92westy View Post
If it truly stops "randomly" and you can't re-create it at will, with no fault codes stored.... it's probably going to be very difficult for anyone on the 'net to point you in the right direction, I'm afraid.

Are you still under any warranty at all?
Unfortunately not.

I am afraid too it's going to be a difficult thing to solve. That's why I am hoping for others with similar experiences who already found a cause

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff123 View Post
I had one a few years ago that did this. I think that I may have got water into the electrics whilst cleaning under the bonnet.

I traded it in rather than get a new ECU.

Jeff
ECU? Hope not... I think it's not cheap and it might even not solve the problem. (well, if it would bring me 184 hp.... - just kidding, of course).

No unexpected stops for almost for a week now. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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      11-03-2010, 04:02 PM   #8
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Hey, I was wondering if you still have this problem since I am having the same with my 320d 163bhp.
It can run for more then a week without a problem or it can stop the engine like 2-3 times within 50 miles.

I hope you fixed your problem and can point me in the right direction.
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      11-03-2010, 06:16 PM   #9
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Crankshaft sensor. Horror to fit, but 99% sure its this.
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      11-04-2010, 11:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnySi View Post
Crankshaft sensor. Horror to fit, but 99% sure its this.
thanks I'll let them have a look at it
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      11-06-2010, 03:13 AM   #11
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Haven't had the time to bring it in but I will do this tuesday.
The mechanic that is going to take a look at it told me it should have saved an error, last times it didn't show anything.
Are there other ways to confirm if the sensor is in fault?
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      11-08-2010, 04:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nore View Post
Are there other ways to confirm if the sensor is in fault?
anyone?
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      11-08-2010, 06:16 PM   #13
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Send a message via MSN to m1bjr
Swap it with a good one
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      11-09-2010, 01:20 AM   #14
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So the engine stops randomnly as you drive along???
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      11-09-2010, 03:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Dave View Post
So the engine stops randomnly as you drive along???
yes, it just quits on me. I didn't have problems from friday till yesterday afternoon. Then it decided to stop working while I was driving like 50 mph and about 15 miles later doing 80 mph. This morning I went to work and drove 50 miles without a problem.

Its a real nice car when it works but this problem is driving me crazy, you have to be alert at all times because it might just stop again.
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      11-09-2010, 12:33 PM   #16
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This then needs looking at before the car is driven again, surely? Could be very dangerous?
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      11-09-2010, 03:57 PM   #17
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We had it hooked up to the computer today and it showed a couple of errors now.
One was a positive deviation on the turbo and two others for the DPF.

It seems that the module thats attached to the turbo is in fault, since you can't get the item itself its going to be a complete turbo. Since the DPF had its best time I need to get it cleaned.

Costly but atleast this will make the car work proper again.

PS. The mechanic told me the name of the module attached to the turbo but I forgot the name.
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      12-14-2010, 04:07 PM   #18
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hello,

did you already solved the stalling problem?
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      03-21-2011, 08:43 AM   #19
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sorry that it took me so long to respond again in this threat but the problem is solved.

the lambdasensor, turbo and DPF have been replaced and the problem is gone.
the electrics on the turbo had died and the DPF had been so hot that it had melted inside.

the problem has been solved about 3 months ago and I haven't had problems since.
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      09-24-2011, 08:00 AM   #20
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I have been having this problem again since about 3 months.
Seems like the problem was way easier to fix then we thought.

The problem is caused by a defective DDE main relay, apparently it's a known issue on the earlier e90's.
Cheap to fix and it works a charm!
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      09-24-2011, 10:31 AM   #21
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BMW have had problems with their relays, I had an issue with the main fuel relay on an E30 325i, then on an E46 320d and now this seems to be cropping up again in E90s, but I guess they are just cheap mechanical switches really.
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      07-13-2012, 03:26 PM   #22
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For me it was a relay as well

Sorry all, I did not visit the forum for a very long time.
In my case it was a relay. I do not know which one but FWIW it was blue
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