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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 > *Solved * Replaced Valve Cover, now vacuum leak



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      10-05-2020, 09:11 PM   #1
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*Solved * Replaced Valve Cover, now vacuum leak

**Solved**

I am getting codes P0171, P0174 and P00BC. I don't think I broke my crankcase hose but its hard to tell beyond where its insulated. I did the test where you open the oil cap to see if its hard to remove and it wasn't. Also my pcv nipple on the cover isn't pulling vacuum which i read was good.

What should I do at this point? Redo the entire job? Or get it smoke tested? Has any one else had this issue and figured out why it happened?
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      10-06-2020, 09:34 AM   #2
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Load up ista D or inpa

check your lambda adaptations (only visible with BMW specific readers)

Record the values for

Lambda Adaptation Additive bank 1 - [should be 0 on a perfect engine]
Lambda Adaptation Additive bank 2 - [should be 0 on a perfect engine]

Lambda Adaptation Multiplicative bank 1 - [should be 0 on a perfect engine]
Lambda Adaptation Multiplicative bank 2 - - [should be 0 on a perfect engine]

if your values are high + or - 10

Do a complete engine adaptation reset. Drive the car for minimum 30min then let the car shutoff completely (start button light OFF). Check the adaptations again.

If they are 0 or close to it, you just needed an adaptation reset. If they are greater than +10 you have a vacuum leak, if they are less than -10 you have an air restriction or fuel delivery problem.

Smoke test is good idea!
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      10-06-2020, 01:25 PM   #3
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I just went through a similar exercise chasing a randomly appearing lean code.

If you don't have a BMW specific code reader I would highly recommend getting a smoke test done. Most likely you have a cracked CCV hose - smoke test will show which one.

I have a K+DCAN cable and ISTA, and as wayman519 says above I was monitoring lambda adaptations in the freeze frame data for the codes and observed that my adaptations were close to 20% and the codes were only set at idle RPMs.

I was about to smoke test with a homemade setup but after removing the airbox I realized I needed another adapter. Instead I did a visual inspection and found a CCV hose that wasn't connected.
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      10-06-2020, 02:51 PM   #4
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I wonder if the bimmergeeks tool allows me to see the lamda adaptations. I may try to reset adaptations with that or pull the battery and see if that is it. If not, ill probably order that CCV hose that connects to the valve cover just as precaution and then get a smoke test. This has to be a vacuum leak because its only happening at idle.

I dont know what else I could have disturbed or broke other than that hose. again, it doesnt look to be damaged but it could have cracked further down where I am unable to see it.
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      10-07-2020, 09:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insane435 View Post
I wonder if the bimmergeeks tool allows me to see the lamda adaptations. I may try to reset adaptations with that or pull the battery and see if that is it. If not, ill probably order that CCV hose that connects to the valve cover just as precaution and then get a smoke test. This has to be a vacuum leak because its only happening at idle.

I dont know what else I could have disturbed or broke other than that hose. again, it doesnt look to be damaged but it could have cracked further down where I am unable to see it.
Yes bimmergeeks tool will work well and will allow you to perform a full reset. Its a port/derivative of INPA.

I did have problems with intake manifold gaskets and throttle body gaskets being dry and hard. The bolts holding these items were also kind of loose. Also the intake boot clamps were loose too. I used a 6mm socket to tighten those rather than the flat head.
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      10-07-2020, 01:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayman519 View Post
Yes bimmergeeks tool will work well and will allow you to perform a full reset. Its a port/derivative of INPA.

I did have problems with intake manifold gaskets and throttle body gaskets being dry and hard. The bolts holding these items were also kind of loose. Also the intake boot clamps were loose too. I used a 6mm socket to tighten those rather than the flat head.
I reset adaptations under the dme module. The car went haywire and into limp mode. Didnt clear after driving. I ended up pulling battery and driving it around all codes went away. When I parked idle surged once, through a code, then idled steady. Cleared the codes. I guess ill see if the codes come back. I ordered a new crankcase hose just to be safe.

What parameters do i need to choose in bimmergeeks to check for vacuum leak?
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      10-07-2020, 01:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insane435 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayman519 View Post
Yes bimmergeeks tool will work well and will allow you to perform a full reset. Its a port/derivative of INPA.

I did have problems with intake manifold gaskets and throttle body gaskets being dry and hard. The bolts holding these items were also kind of loose. Also the intake boot clamps were loose too. I used a 6mm socket to tighten those rather than the flat head.
I reset adaptations under the dme module. The car went haywire and into limp mode. Didnt clear after driving. I ended up pulling battery and driving it around all codes went away. When I parked idle surged once, through a code, then idled steady. Cleared the codes. I guess ill see if the codes come back. I ordered a new crankcase hose just to be safe.

What parameters do i need to choose in bimmergeeks to check for vacuum leak?
Ok that does sound like a huge vacuum leak.

I am not too familiar with the bimmergeeks interface. But the lingo should be similar to my first post.
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      10-07-2020, 03:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayman519 View Post
Load up ista D or inpa

check your lambda adaptations (only visible with BMW specific readers)

Record the values for

Lambda Adaptation Additive bank 1 - [should be 0 on a perfect engine]
Lambda Adaptation Additive bank 2 - [should be 0 on a perfect engine]

Lambda Adaptation Multiplicative bank 1 - [should be 0 on a perfect engine]
Lambda Adaptation Multiplicative bank 2 - - [should be 0 on a perfect engine]

if your values are high + or - 10

Do a complete engine adaptation reset. Drive the car for minimum 30min then let the car shutoff completely (start button light OFF). Check the adaptations again.

If they are 0 or close to it, you just needed an adaptation reset. If they are greater than +10 you have a vacuum leak, if they are less than -10 you have an air restriction or fuel delivery problem.

Smoke test is good idea!
wayman519 could you post how to get to these readouts once you connect to ISTA?
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      10-08-2020, 10:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf 335 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayman519 View Post
Load up ista D or inpa

check your lambda adaptations (only visible with BMW specific readers)

Record the values for

Lambda Adaptation Additive bank 1 - [should be 0 on a perfect engine]
Lambda Adaptation Additive bank 2 - [should be 0 on a perfect engine]

Lambda Adaptation Multiplicative bank 1 - [should be 0 on a perfect engine]
Lambda Adaptation Multiplicative bank 2 - - [should be 0 on a perfect engine]

if your values are high + or - 10

Do a complete engine adaptation reset. Drive the car for minimum 30min then let the car shutoff completely (start button light OFF). Check the adaptations again.

If they are 0 or close to it, you just needed an adaptation reset. If they are greater than +10 you have a vacuum leak, if they are less than -10 you have an air restriction or fuel delivery problem.

Smoke test is good idea!
wayman519 could you post how to get to these readouts once you connect to ISTA?
After a complete car scan go to:

[Vehicle information] tab

[Control unit tree] tab

[DME ]module

Then click [Call up ECU functions]

In popup window click [Diagnosis scan] tab

Selected [oxygen sensor control]

Now click all [ items ] in the list, the data will move to the right column.

Click [read state]

The right column of data will now update in real time.

This applies to all control units and reading live data.

INPA is a little nicer for reading live data as it shows it on a bar graph with limits and shows a warning if values are not normal.
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      10-08-2020, 11:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayman519 View Post
Ok that does sound like a huge vacuum leak.
Not necessarily. If you clear ALL adaptations, the throttle pedal needs to be recalibrated. There are lots of posts here about people who have cleared all adaptations and their car wouldn't run until initializing the throttle pedal. I don't know exactly what to do - seems most responses say to just press the pedal to the floor and hold it for a while before releasing and then starting the car.

By the way, I still haven't resolved my vacuum leak. I reconnected the loose hose that I found and I'm still getting codes. Time for a smoke test. This issue only started after I loosened the intake manifold to replace a broken bolt, so I suspect a cracked CCV hose or bad intake manifold gasket. Leaning towards a CCV hose issue because the freeze frame data from the stored fault code shows it's set only at idle RPMs when my fuel trims are high. Bank 1 is around 16-19% and bank 2 is over 20% when the code is set. I'm thinking a bad intake runner gasket would only show fuel trim corrections for one bank.
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      10-08-2020, 11:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrydr310 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayman519 View Post
Ok that does sound like a huge vacuum leak.
Not necessarily. If you clear ALL adaptations, the throttle pedal needs to be recalibrated. There are lots of posts here about people who have cleared all adaptations and their car wouldn't run until initializing the throttle pedal. I don't know exactly what to do - seems most responses say to just press the pedal to the floor and hold it for a while before releasing and then starting the car.

By the way, I still haven't resolved my vacuum leak. I reconnected the loose hose that I found and I'm still getting codes. Time for a smoke test. This issue only started after I loosened the intake manifold to replace a broken bolt, so I suspect a cracked CCV hose or bad intake manifold gasket. Leaning towards a CCV hose issue because the freeze frame data from the stored fault code shows it's set only at idle RPMs when my fuel trims are high. Bank 1 is around 16-19% and bank 2 is over 20% when the code is set. I'm thinking a bad intake runner gasket would only show fuel trim corrections for one bank.
Yup after a full engine reset go through the adaptations.

Throttle body adaptation
Valvetronic adaptation

The may be more like pedal adaptations.

There are ways to do these without a computer. But its best just do use the software for all of these.


The smoke test is the easiest method for all this crap. I did it the hard way by complete disassembly and testing each component with an air gun. Crude and not thorough. Hell i have even seen a video where the injector gasket failed allowing a vac leak right at the port. Just do the smoke test.
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      10-09-2020, 06:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayman519 View Post
Yup after a full engine reset go through the adaptations.

Throttle body adaptation
Valvetronic adaptation

The may be more like pedal adaptations.

There are ways to do these without a computer. But its best just do use the software for all of these.


The smoke test is the easiest method for all this crap. I did it the hard way by complete disassembly and testing each component with an air gun. Crude and not thorough. Hell i have even seen a video where the injector gasket failed allowing a vac leak right at the port. Just do the smoke test.
I did the smoke test with a homemade setup which worked perfectly and quickly identified a cracked hose which I documented in another thread.

Smoke test for the win. Should have done this first.
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      11-09-2020, 01:22 PM   #13
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I ended up replacing the CCV hose just as a preventative measure. When I took the hose off and inspected it, there were no signs of cracks but I replaced it anyways. I have driven the car once and the rough/bouncy idle is still happening. There were no codes yet but I assume they will appear soon.

What could else could I have possibly screwed up with the valve cover job? Do I need to smoke test this thing just for good measure?
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      11-10-2020, 06:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf 335 View Post
Two vacuum pipes that go over the valve cover, have you checked they are not damaged?
Look at the area where the hoses from those two pipes connect, behind the oil filter housing and at the vacuum canisters.
Im not aware of 2 vacuum lines other than the small one that connects to the pcv and the one i just replaced which connects to the back.
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      11-10-2020, 11:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Im not aware of 2 vacuum lines other than the small one that connects to the pcv and the one i just replaced which connects to the back.
I apologize, I just realized yours is not an N54 engine.
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      11-14-2020, 02:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf 335 View Post
I apologize, I just realized yours is not an N54 engine.
I'm thinking maybe the cover didn't seal right. I still smell oil very strongly. I have read this leads to vacuum leak codes. I am going to just redo the job and probably use the OEM cover with the new gasket. I know I can do the entire job fairly quick as I know exactly what needs to be done. Its just odd that I may have not tightened down the bolts correctly in some spots. I will probably invest in a smaller torque wrench as well.

If this doesn't work, I am just going to take it in as I am out of options to troubleshoot.
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      01-24-2021, 10:47 PM   #17
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I have solved this issue. It was one of a few things that I noticed.

Gasket was rolled in the far back corner.
The valvetronic motor may not have been seated well on the gasket.
Lastly, itís possible the sai gasket wasn't facing the correct way.

I have a stable idle now and no more leaks.

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      01-25-2021, 07:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insane435 View Post
I have solved this issue. It was one of a few things that I noticed.

Gasket was rolled in the far back corner.
The valvetronic motor may not have been seated well on the gasket.
Lastly, itís possible the sai gasket wasn't facing the correct way.

I have a stable idle now and no more leaks.
Thank you for the update.

Glad you got it sorted out.
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