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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Limped home E90, Please HELP! Possible Valvetronic issues?



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      05-11-2021, 11:35 AM   #1
bryanwood74
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Limped home E90, Please HELP! Possible Valvetronic issues?

Hey guys,

I have been reading on this forum quite a bit and learning about my (new to me) used 2008 E90 328i N52k sedan I bought with 158k miles. I bought the car for $3k cash and the previous owner told me the battery was dead. He charged the lead-acid BMW battery up that was installed in the trunk and thought it was good so I picked it up and drove it home. He had apparently done all the recalls, replaced the battery Nov 2019, done the valve cover gasket and oil pan gasket replacement, and water pump recently. The guy was super good on maintaining the car and I got all the service history from the BMW dealership...

The next day I drove it for a few hours and noticed on idle that it would tend to start running rough and that the engine light came on but I could cut the car off and back on and it would go away and continued to drive it. At that point, it wasn't an issue but I figured something like an Idle air control or a maf needed cleaning (coming from a domestic car mindset). I also noticed the brakes needed some work. I took it by my mechanic and they gave me a quote on brakes, then started to leave and the car had the engine light on permanently.

That's when things got interesting... I could only get it to 1-1.5k RPMs, and drove maybe 5-15mph in limp mode. I got it home safely and started diagnosing and reading on this forum about similar codes and issues. I checked the ebox and the only fuse I could find 40amp was ok, and the relay I replaced with a brand new one. I traced the wires and they are definitely to the Valvetronic motor. I checked the voltage at the front terminals and it would read good voltage.

I bought a cable and got INPA installed and started pulling information - see attached screenshots. Looks like the voltage was low to Valvetronic motor and so I am wondering if the battery could be shot and just not providing enough amperage to fire it. I did hook a multimeter to the relay and when the car was started I could see a 1 second 8.6v going to the Valvetronic relay and also tested the same to see if it also related to the actual wiring harness that plugged into the Valvetronic motor and got the same reading.

I know there are some other codes showing but I am thinking they are symptoms of this issue.

I am very new to these cars and the BMW software tools but am a rapid learner...

Please let me know your input and Thank You in advance for any advice or guidance!

-Bryan
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      05-11-2021, 11:38 AM   #2
bryanwood74
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File Type: txt codes pulled.txt (240 Bytes, 8 views)
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      05-11-2021, 12:34 PM   #3
noah.s
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You will get a million codes with a bad battery/low voltage. Change the battery and see how things go. Last time I had a battery truly die on my old 330i the car literally slowly died out while I was driving. I pulled into a parking lot as all of the electronics started turning off, then the car stalled out.
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      05-12-2021, 10:53 PM   #4
bryanwood74
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So I charged the battery and put it back in the car. Cleared the codes and started it and got most of the codes back. I got frustrated and after reading others experiences I thought Iíd pull the DME out and take the harness loose and check for corrosion. Well I found if and figured the issue out. Pin 29 that is the control wire to the valvetronic relay appears to be broken off. Iíll post pictures separately. I had a 14 gauge wire terminal kit near me and I hacked the end of one off and put it into the wire harness side so it would pole out enough to create electrical connection to the broken pin on the dme side. Once it was back together I cleared codes and cranked it. To my amazement no codes came back and it ran great would rev like before. I drove it like I stole it home...

I am wondering now if I should let my temporary fix become permanent or go through the hassle of getting a company to repair the dme or swap it for another.

I bought the car to possibly drive, trade or flip and not sure I want to spend any more than necessary on it if Iím going to sell it on. It needs front rotors possibly pads, passenger door handles and otherwise seems in really good shape.

Whatís everyoneís opinion?
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      05-12-2021, 11:15 PM   #5
2one3E90
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How do these even happen on e90s? Is it rare or very common and how can wwe prevent this?
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      05-13-2021, 09:05 AM   #6
bryanwood74
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Here's the pictures...

I didn't take one of my temporary fix.

I noticed a triangle with Exclamation mark and went through control check and found what looks like a clock? Anyone have any idea what this is?
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      05-13-2021, 09:31 AM   #7
hassmaschine
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Is this car missing any of the covers under the hood? specifically the one over the DME box? water definitely shouldn't be getting to that connector. or maybe this thing was in a flood or something?
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      05-13-2021, 09:47 AM   #8
bryanwood74
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All the covers were intact, and I had to take them all off to get to the dme. I will need to research and look into if there are any common water leak areas and see if I can figure that out. I know this is probably step 1.

Step 2 - What do you think about doing DME repair or leave my temp fix in place?
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      05-13-2021, 10:24 AM   #9
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it's probably fine temporarily. I think the DME could be repaired (might even be able to just bend the pin internally to make it poke out further). But I don't think it would be good long term.

the DME box is pretty well water tight. But there are also some grommets where the harness goes through that could be missing or not put in properly. Somehow, water got in there, but it shouldn't be able to.
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      05-13-2021, 10:29 AM   #10
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There's an 07 3 series at the local junkyard I could pull a dme out of cheap, but wondering if there's anyone that could clone it identically to a used DME so I can avoid having to swap/send off CAS/key etc?

What is the most cost effective way to proceed with dme repair/replacement/cloning? I've read and seen listing with used dme/cas/key etc on ebay and that seems the way to go but I would prefer the vin match, and not to have to take half the car apart to swap components in...
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      05-13-2021, 01:57 PM   #11
hassmaschine
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People can clone it, but I'd try to repair that one pin if you can. Swapping all the keys is a pretty sucky way to do it, IMO.
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      05-17-2021, 10:02 AM   #12
bryanwood74
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So I pulled a DME from a car at my local pull-a-part. I opened the case on it to see what the guts look like. I am thinking at this point I have two options:

1. Cheap $5 option - Do some continuity testing to double check that I find the correct pin, and solder a wire with a male/femlae waterproof connector to the pin internally. Then bring the wire through the case (may need a little dremeling) and cut the wire from the harness side loose and solder it to the other end of the male/female connector. This way there's a disconnect so if the DME needs to be pulled out it can be.

The only concern I have after looking at the junkyard DME is that it used what I believe is a dielectric grease around the edge of the case to seal it? It is clear and definitely isn't a sealant that I would have expected to be on it to keep it water tight. Not sure what to seal the case with after modification?

Clean it and use silacone, or black gasket maker?


2. $150 option -- Leave the original DME as is and send it and the used one off to be cloned. I found a service on Ebay who does it located in Miami, FL. I'd ship it to him to have the cloning work done.
Please let me know your opinions.

Thanks!!!
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      05-17-2021, 10:40 AM   #13
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That white goo? I think that's actually to help conduct heat through the case from the main board. You don't need to worry about it (but it is really annoying if you get it on your fingers!). You can safely take it apart and put it back together without having to mess with that goop. There's no seal on the case.

How about pushing that pin further out from the inside so it can contact the harness properly? They're pretty long but I'm not sure how much slack is in there.

It could also probably be soldered (remove a pin from the donor DME, solder it to the original), although it's difficult to do because it's high temp solder and the board has a huge ground plane, so it soaks up a lot of heat. If you don't have the equipment/experience, you shouldn't attempt this because you can make it worse. I've soldered many DMEs and SMD components, and I'd be hesitant myself.

Probably cloning is the simplest/best choice if you can modify or replace the pin.
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      05-17-2021, 10:59 AM   #14
nsjames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hassmaschine View Post
That white goo? I think that's actually to help conduct heat through the case from the main board. You don't need to worry about it (but it is really annoying if you get it on your fingers!). You can safely take it apart and put it back together without having to mess with that goop. There's no seal on the case.

How about pushing that pin further out from the inside so it can contact the harness properly? They're pretty long but I'm not sure how much slack is in there.

It could also probably be soldered (remove a pin from the donor DME, solder it to the original), although it's difficult to do because it's high temp solder and the board has a huge ground plane, so it soaks up a lot of heat. If you don't have the equipment/experience, you shouldn't attempt this because you can make it worse. I've soldered many DMEs and SMD components, and I'd be hesitant myself.

Probably cloning is the simplest/best choice if you can modify or replace the pin.
agreed with all of this.

possible, but not for the inexperienced at PCB repair.

g coding is who I know to be able to repair that.
either by cloning to your new junkyard one or actually repairing yours.
https://www.facebook.com/GcodingBMW/
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