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      03-15-2011, 04:49 PM   #1
GenePoole
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330i hard to start.

I posted this in the general forum but I'm not getting any hits and this is probably a more appropriate place to post this. Sorry to any moderators about the double post. I'll fix it to point here when I'm done.

I've got a 2006 330i N52 that will crank and crank but won't quite catch. It sputters a little like it's trying to start, but doesn't quite make it. If I keep at it enough, like spend several session where I crank for several seconds (I think it times out after 30 seconds) several times, then let it sit, go back again and repeat, it eventually starts (took over an hour the other day at work). Once started, it runs fine and once warmed up, starts just like it did when it was new.

I took it to a local indy BMW-only shop in the area and they told me it was my manifold differential pressure sensor. It took them 3 days to get it, and they also sold me a new battery and motor mounts while waiting, then told me it was good to go. I drove it home, parked it in the garage overnight (not too terribly cold--about 50F overnight) and this morning it does the exact same thing. There is no CEL but there were some codes set that I read from BT tool before I dropped it off:

2A37 (no description)
2A47 (no description)
2A43 (no description)
2DED: power management, standby current control
2A38 (no description)

They told me that they first cleared the codes and adaptation values, then got a hard code for the manifold DP sensor, and that the codes set were a consequence of the bad DP sensor.

If I can get it started again, I guess I'll take it back as I've spent close to $1000 there already with no apparent change with my car's condition (I'm sure it probably needed a new battery as it was the original, and they showed me the old motor mounts so I don't dispute these repairs).

It's well out of warranty so I avoided the stealership and I've had good luck with these guys with my old E36, but I'm at my wits' end with this thing and all the missed work, etc.

Any clues?
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      03-15-2011, 05:01 PM   #2
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You don't mention mileage, but first I've heard of motor mounts going, and we have members%2

Last edited by AlanAZ; 03-15-2011 at 05:33 PM.
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      03-15-2011, 07:44 PM   #3
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Possible faulty IBS cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenePoole View Post
I posted this in the general forum but I'm not getting any hits and this is probably a more appropriate place to post this. Sorry to any moderators about the double post. I'll fix it to point here when I'm done.

I've got a 2006 330i N52 that will crank and crank but won't quite catch. It sputters a little like it's trying to start, but doesn't quite make it. If I keep at it enough, like spend several session where I crank for several seconds (I think it times out after 30 seconds) several times, then let it sit, go back again and repeat, it eventually starts (took over an hour the other day at work). Once started, it runs fine and once warmed up, starts just like it did when it was new.

I took it to a local indy BMW-only shop in the area and they told me it was my manifold differential pressure sensor. It took them 3 days to get it, and they also sold me a new battery and motor mounts while waiting, then told me it was good to go. I drove it home, parked it in the garage overnight (not too terribly cold--about 50F overnight) and this morning it does the exact same thing. There is no CEL but there were some codes set that I read from BT tool before I dropped it off:

2A37 (no description)
2A47 (no description)
2A43 (no description)
2DED: power management, standby current control
2A38 (no description)

They told me that they first cleared the codes and adaptation values, then got a hard code for the manifold DP sensor, and that the codes set were a consequence of the bad DP sensor.

If I can get it started again, I guess I'll take it back as I've spent close to $1000 there already with no apparent change with my car's condition (I'm sure it probably needed a new battery as it was the original, and they showed me the old motor mounts so I don't dispute these repairs).

It's well out of warranty so I avoided the stealership and I've had good luck with these guys with my old E36, but I'm at my wits' end with this thing and all the missed work, etc.

Any clues?
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      03-15-2011, 10:55 PM   #4
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Further news: INPA tells me that 2A38 and 2A43 are both Valvetronic errors. 2A38 in particular is the only code that remains if I clear all the codes and try cranking it again. INPA says:

Valvetronic stellmotor: Schwergängigkeit oder leitungsunterbrechung

My German is very rusty, but I think it means the motor is stuck or the circuit is open. With that in mind, I popped off the plastic cover that covers up the valvetronic motor and tapped it a few times with a small hammer. It fired right up. I think it may be "Schwergäng" or stuck. I'll need to get a wrench that fits the bolts (some inverted torx looking thing) and see if it is gummed up with oil sludge or something. At any rate, it's a $250 part so I'll probably just buy a new one.

BTW, it has 97xxx miles on it.
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      03-15-2011, 10:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanAZ View Post
You don't mention mileage, but first I've heard of motor mounts going, and we have members%2
The mechanic even mentioned that he'd never seen anything like it. I'm clueless as to an explanation. I don't do neutral drops or anything with it (automatic) and I'm not sure it would let me if I tried.

Anyway, the motor mounts don't bother me. They were broke and they did replace them and at a rate below what the shop manual estimated for labor.
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      03-16-2011, 12:58 AM   #6
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Someone else had a similar issue with this. Check this out. http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ccentric+shaft
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      03-16-2011, 10:54 PM   #7
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Thanks for the link, it was interesting, but that doesn't sound much like my problem. Since rapping on the motor with the hammer, it has started every time just like it was new.
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      03-17-2011, 01:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenePoole View Post
Thanks for the link, it was interesting, but that doesn't sound much like my problem. Since rapping on the motor with the hammer, it has started every time just like it was new.
Are you joking? You have to understand sarcasm doesn't come across in text.

Did your car run rough when you could start it? Did it feel like you lacked power or did your gas milage suck?

These questions need answers. I believe your VANOS solenoids are going bad.
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      03-17-2011, 08:56 AM   #9
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It's not his vanos it's his valvetronic motor that is stuck. The question is why it's stuck. That's why I posted the link. A bad eccentric shaft would cause the motor to jam. I think he just needs a valvetronic motor.
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      03-17-2011, 02:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micah_675 View Post
Are you joking? You have to understand sarcasm doesn't come across in text.

Did your car run rough when you could start it? Did it feel like you lacked power or did your gas milage suck?

These questions need answers. I believe your VANOS solenoids are going bad.
No joke. As mentioned earlier, I tapped it lightly with a hammer and it fired up. twice since, I went to start it and if fired up just fine. I drove it back to the shop and they're looking at it. They're currently stumped.

There has never been any drivability problems. Once it gets past starting, it runs like new. That's why I can't see it being an issue with the eccentric shaft since everything I've read about those problems indicates a ton of other symptoms that I don't encounter.
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      03-17-2011, 02:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90pilot View Post
It's not his vanos it's his valvetronic motor that is stuck. The question is why it's stuck. That's why I posted the link. A bad eccentric shaft would cause the motor to jam. I think he just needs a valvetronic motor.
I swapped the two vanos solenoids as part of something I read elsewhere as a way to determine if one is bad. No change.

Valvetronic motor would be good news. It's not terribly expensive. But the shop tells me that it looks fine. They swapped it with a car on their lot (2007 328i) with no change in either vehicle.
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      03-18-2011, 04:04 AM   #12
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IDK man, the valvetronic motor could be it too. If your solenoids are going bad they can get stuck. Intake or exhaust side can cause starting issues. I do not see the valvetronic doing it, unless it is stuck at max height. Even then, afterward there would be no reason it would unstick after the car was started. Which would cause the car to idle like crap. As he has stated it doesnt.

IDK whatever happens let us know what they do.
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      03-18-2011, 03:31 PM   #13
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The indy shop gave up and told me to take it to a dealer. The dealer just called me back and they say that it is the eccentric shaft sensor. Part no. 6 here:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...48&hg=11&fg=25

As a shade-tree mechanic, it looks like something I could do myself since the shaft itself doesn't have to be removed (which requires a number of special tools) but they only want $1200 to do it so I'm going to let them. I'll report back after the repair is done.

I hate to say it because I like to support indy shops, but I should have gone to the dealership in the first place. They made sure I got my car from one shop to their shop OK and gave me a no-charge loaner with unlimited mileage until my car is done. It'll be at least over the weekend, and probably Tuesday, so I get a brand-new X5 3.5i (35xx miles) to play around with over the weekend!
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      03-18-2011, 06:38 PM   #14
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If you find a dealership rate of $140ish maybe even $150 per hour in the US I'd say it's a decent price if you have something that would stump and indy shop. Plus loaners and fun.
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      03-23-2011, 03:26 PM   #15
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Repairs are done and all seems well so far. I had them go ahead and replace the spark plugs as they would be due in another 2400 miles and I saved the labor cost of tearing down the engine compartment again.
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      03-23-2011, 07:29 PM   #16
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The replaced the sensor but why the hell was it full of oil? If they didn't fix that, it might happen again. If oil leaks it it slowly, it should be cleaned every so often.
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      03-23-2011, 11:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
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The replaced the sensor but why the hell was it full of oil? If they didn't fix that, it might happen again. If oil leaks it it slowly, it should be cleaned every so often.
I assumed that the sensor is somewhat "sealed" but the seal was compromised and it filled with oil. It is internal to the valve cover and so is exposed to the crankcase environment.
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      03-25-2011, 08:34 AM   #18
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For what it is worth (maybe this will help someone who finds this thread someday in a search) I found the descriptions for the codes that were set (from my original post):

2A37 Valvetronic, eccentric shaft sensor: plausibility
2A47 Valvetronic, eccentric shaft sensor: plausibility
2A43 Valvetronic, thermic overload protection: warning threshold
2DED: power management, standby current control
2A38 Valvetronic, actuator: sluggish or open circuit
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      03-25-2011, 10:30 AM   #19
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It looks like they also replaced the valve cover gasket and a whole new set of aluminum bolts, so you don't have to worry about that either for some time because those bolts had a tendancy to break and leak oil through the gasket (my car had two broken, one was missing the head of the bolt).

Removing the valve cover is a major pain in the ass. But it's easily a DIY job with the right tools (I just needed to buy a set of reverse torx sockets, no real "special" tools required) and alot of patience. Getting the cover out from under the cowl is the biggest pain in the ass, even the techs at the local dealership lament removing valve covers on our cars.

Although, I'll have to keep an eye on that sensor, when I unplugged the connector to it while taking off the valce cover I did notice a very very little bit of oil down in the plug. Nothing alarming, but it was there. I cleaned most it up with a cotton swab.
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      04-29-2011, 11:03 AM   #20
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I will be making this repair tomorrow....

Glad I read this thread as I am going to be replacing my eccentric shaft sensor tomorrow am.

Car is throwing the codes:
2A37 Valvetronic, eccentric shaft sensor: plausibility
2A47 Valvetronic, eccentric shaft sensor: plausibility

http://http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=VB33&mospid=48523&btnr=11_3748& hg=11&fg=25&hl=6"

Besides the sensor itself and valve cover gasket are their any additional parts I am going to want to replace while the valve cover is off? aluminum bolts for valve cover?

reverse torx sockets required i take it. Any other special tools?
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      04-29-2011, 12:08 PM   #21
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You need to replace the valve cover bolts since they are aluminum. (if your valve cover is magnesium.)
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      04-29-2011, 12:20 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BennyD330i View Post
Glad I read this thread as I am going to be replacing my eccentric shaft sensor tomorrow am.

Car is throwing the codes:
2A37 Valvetronic, eccentric shaft sensor: plausibility
2A47 Valvetronic, eccentric shaft sensor: plausibility

http://http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=VB33&mospid=48523&btnr=11_3748& hg=11&fg=25&hl=6"

Besides the sensor itself and valve cover gasket are their any additional parts I am going to want to replace while the valve cover is off? aluminum bolts for valve cover?

reverse torx sockets required i take it. Any other special tools?
Please take some photos!!
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