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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > NA Engine (non-turbo) / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > Low RPM Stumble at WOT



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      02-17-2015, 09:15 PM   #1
TheBigYahi
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Low RPM Stumble at WOT

Starting 2 days ago my 330xi started to stumble with dropping RPMs with the gas pedal pegged at low RPMs (highway passing, speeding up after an off-ramp, etc). It happens between 1500 and 2000 RPM and depending on the gear it lasts anywhere from half a second (3rd gear) or until I let up on the pedal (6th gear). I imagine this is because the RPMs are able to climb faster in lower gear. I can cruise in any gear in that RPM range without any issues.

I considered clutch or transfer case slip but the tachometer actually drops RPM while this is happening. If the clutch was slipping I would expect the RPM to spike.

I considered some airflow problem (MAF, throttle body) but even immediately after it happens I can downshift and run up to redline without problems. Also it idles like a dream, even at -14F outside.

I figure it must be the coils and I'm getting a misfire, but I just pulled codes and there was literally nothing. Plugs were supposedly done by the previous owner around 85k (112k now) along with the eccentric shaft sensor and valvetronic adjuster (95k).

I'm probably going to just do the coils and plugs anyway, but before I do, anyone have a better idea?
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      02-17-2015, 10:18 PM   #2
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Had the same problem. In a higher gear with low rpms usually under 2000, car would shake while accelerating. Also shifting before redline at WOT would cause a loud exhaust pop. Changed spark plugs and fixed the problem.
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      02-17-2015, 10:51 PM   #3
TheBigYahi
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Did you have any codes? I'm liking the idea of not buying coils right now if I don't have to.
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      02-17-2015, 11:02 PM   #4
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Same issue here. New plugs did nothing. Doing coils next.
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      02-17-2015, 11:25 PM   #5
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I have the same problem and have already replaced plugs and even the MAF sensor just recently. I suppose it could be coil packs, but from what I am seeing, there are many things that seem to be able to cause this or similar problems.

Have you taken note of your coolant temperatures through the hidden menu, it should typically be around 105 degrees Celsius, maybe it a bit above or a bit below depending on load and type of driving. Is it affected by specifically hot weather? Mine stumbles and feels very lethargic with hot weather and I have a pinging problem which is also far worse with hot weather. I do have a faulty thermostat which is over-cooling the engine, but no error codes - running at 79 to 84 degrees Celsius which is way too cold for these engines.

How often are you changing oil and filters? And have you cleaned the Vanos solenoids at any point?

The fact that you are getting misfires, I presume you are getting error codes showing which cylinder is misfiring? If so you can simply move that cylinder's coil pack to another position and put that coil pack there, this way you can see if the misfire follows that suspect coil pack. Since your 330xi is a 2006 model it will either have the older or newer coil pack type - the change took place around 04/06 according to RealOEM. If it is the newer types (as odd as this sounds), then it is the same as the types used on the older M54 motors. Annoyingly mine has the older type, so I can't even try the coil packs from my E46.
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      02-18-2015, 12:04 AM   #6
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Thanks for the reply. Coolant temps average about 95C which is on the low side of 105C for sure, but it has been that way since I got the car. Temps were 90C after my first hesitation but to be honest it was -14F outside so I'm not sure how high it should have been. Observationally the thermostat has been replaced at some point but it's not the in service records I got from the original owner which are otherwise very complete. I can tell because a 9/2005 330xi should have come with a metal bodied thermostat and this one is plastic. Not sure if this is a red herring for this particular problem.

Oil is 10k old. I was considering following the CBS but it says I have 9k and 16 months till I'm due. My thought was go on the 1 year interval.

VANOS solenoids I haven't cleaned but are on my radar after having a single code for them about 10k ago. I was waiting for it to come back.

My 330xi has the older-newer coil, that is before 4/2006. Again, if I'm going to throw parts at the problem I would probably do the ECS ignition kit for $250 (NGK plugs and Bosch coils) but that's really just a guess since it isn't throwing any codes.
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      02-18-2015, 12:30 AM   #7
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Vanos

Clean your vanos solenoids. Like a 5 minute job and doesn't hurt to try. I had the same problem where on high load the car seemed to stutter and almost feels like misfiring. Cleaned the maf while I was there and no problems since.
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      02-18-2015, 02:35 AM   #8
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I didnt have any codes. I got 6 NGK Iridium spark plugs for 55$ at autozone.
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      02-18-2015, 10:34 AM   #9
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has anyone considered that accelerating from 1500rpm in a high gear is maybe the problem? the engine doesn't generate enough torque at 1500rpm to accelerate in say, 5th gear..
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      02-18-2015, 11:04 AM   #10
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Of course, expecting these engines to accelerate at these low revs in a tall gear is not ideal, plus I personally restrict the taller gears for cruising speeds. But in my car's case, I am talking about these stumbles or hesitations at low revs but in the lower gears where you would not expect it - so driving around town can be a bit annoying with it the way it is. And I am driving this car no different to any other car, and in most cases we are talking about "lesser" cars, so definitely not expecting more than what the car is suppose to be capable of. And then again, it wasn't like this in the beginning, something has gone wrong that is causing this.

Okay, so yours then has the same older type coil pack, actually wondering if that is not generally the culprit here, it would explain the gradual progressing of my car's problems - it will probably be the last items that I will "throw parts" at my car, cannot go on with it any longer now. I would say try cleaning the Vanos solenoids in the meantime, and swap them around when replacing. Annual oil change and around 10k km is in my books ideal to prevent sludge and other possible issues. Mine still has the original aluminium thermostat, soon to be replaced with the newer plastic one...
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      02-18-2015, 12:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hassmaschine View Post
has anyone considered that accelerating from 1500rpm in a high gear is maybe the problem? the engine doesn't generate enough torque at 1500rpm to accelerate in say, 5th gear..
I figured someone might mention lugging the engine. If this was always the case then fine, that's just a characteristic of the engine. But this is different because it used to be fine and just started acting up. I find there's enough oomph to get it going from low RPMs normally.

Thinking back this may have been creeping up on me for a couple months. I've been blaming a bit of hesitation that seems new to the DSC killing throttle due to road conditions, but maybe it's a symptom.

I'm going to try cleaning the solenoids since I have relatively new plugs and no misfire codes (yet).
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      02-18-2015, 01:09 PM   #12
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Does it happen when car is under load? (i.e. going up hill with wot?)

Sounds like misfire. It might not be "detected" by engine to throw the code. Cure: Change coils and plugs.
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      02-18-2015, 02:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W37V View Post
Does it happen when car is under load? (i.e. going up hill with wot?)

Sounds like misfire. It might not be "detected" by engine to throw the code. Cure: Change coils and plugs.
It's annoying that there is no code, but I suppose live data when it happens might reveal something? My E46 had a failing coil pack some years back, and it of course DID store a misfire error code. With that car the misfire issue was similar, but somehow different - difficult to explain. But it would stutter badly whenever setting off from low speeds (yield stops etc) in anything higher than 2nd gear. It would also bog down/stutter sometimes on pull-off. But no definite pinging to mention (unlike my E90), at least no more than there is now with fresh coil packs. But I suppose being almost 10 years old, just from the age stand point, maybe worth replacing, just fedup of the endless replacing of good parts that don't seem to solve anything.
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      02-19-2015, 09:02 PM   #14
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Update:

I cleaned the VANOS solenoids and I think the problem has resolved. I soaked the business end of them in denatured alcohol until oil stopped coming out of them. I'm pretty sure there was some burned in there that took a while to clean out. I don't think blowing out with shop air alone would have gotten everything out that I did.

I'll update if the problems come back.
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      02-20-2015, 06:30 PM   #15
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Update 2:
It's back, but maybe a little harder to get to happen?
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      02-20-2015, 06:46 PM   #16
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In the past when I've cleaned the Vanos solenoids I also seemed to notice an improvement that was either slight or short lived. I am pretty confident that it is those Check Valves which have very fine holes to filter the oil going to the two solenoids and head. If they are blocked or dirty I would think that it would restrict oil flow preventing proper timing adjustment. In severe cases where there is lots of sludge in an engine, this can even cause what seems like a stuck Vanos solenoid issue.

Well that is the theory, but I really feel that these engines are very tricky to isolate a problem, especially without proper test equipment to run live data.
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      02-20-2015, 11:09 PM   #17
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I cleaned the MAF since it's easy and I'll give that a go. If that doesn't fix it (it probably won't) then I'll swap the intake and exhaust solenoids and see what happens (again, cheap and easy).
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      02-21-2015, 11:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBigYahi View Post
I cleaned the MAF since it's easy and I'll give that a go. If that doesn't fix it (it probably won't) then I'll swap the intake and exhaust solenoids and see what happens (again, cheap and easy).
Maybe this thread will help chase down the demons:

http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...-Surge-LOW-RPM
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      02-21-2015, 04:46 PM   #19
TheBigYahi
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Thanks for the tip, my problem is only at full throttle instead of partial like in that thread. Hope it doesn't get like that!

Last night I decided I'm going to replace the check valves, they were only $14 at ECS and I needed some other parts anyway. I spent an ungodly amount of time online trying to find where they both were on any parts diagrams other than RealOEM which only shows one and the view from the wrong side. Long story short I took my phone and shot video all the way around the exhaust side of the engine until I found the dang things. Here they are, toward the front of the engine, just behind an insulated refrigerant line, behind 3 wires.

Three_thirty_I, you were right that I'll most likely have to remove the passenger wheel liner to get to them, but that's ok because I have a brake squeal that I'm tracking down too.
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Last edited by TheBigYahi; 02-21-2015 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Image size
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      02-21-2015, 06:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBigYahi View Post
Thanks for the tip, my problem is only at full throttle instead of partial like in that thread. Hope it doesn't get like that!

Last night I decided I'm going to replace the check valves, they were only $14 at ECS and I needed some other parts anyway. I spent an ungodly amount of time online trying to find where they both were on any parts diagrams other than RealOEM which only shows one and the view from the wrong side. Long story short I took my phone and shot video all the way around the exhaust side of the engine until I found the dang things. Here they are, toward the front of the engine, just behind an insulated refrigerant line, behind 3 wires.

Three_thirty_I, you were right that I'll most likely have to remove the passenger wheel liner to get to them, but that's ok because I have a brake squeal that I'm tracking down too.
LOL, I ended up doing the same thing! Got my phone in video mode with the flash light on and located these two check valves. Taking the forward wheel liner off is quick, just a few screws and that one plastic nut cover, so 8 mm and 10 mm sockets is all you need iirc. The only thing that I have no idea about is exactly how much oil will come out when removing these check valves. So I would say have plenty old absorbent cloths handy, and jam some in the area below to catch any spillage. I am really hoping that this is a worthwhile thing to do, but looking at how fine those filter holes are, I can only imagine how easy it is for them to get blocked up.
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      02-28-2015, 04:22 PM   #21
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For those that are interested, I just posted a DIY for the check valves.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1096694

I think this fixed it (today at least). Mine were not in horrible shape to begin with.
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