E87 118 Intermittently Slow to rev-up, accellarate and sluggish
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  1. #1
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    Intermittently Slow to rev-up, accellarate and sluggish

    Hello Forum,

    I'm having an intermittent problem with the car and need your expertise to try help me trouble shoot what the problem is.

    Symptoms
    - Its very subtle, but when running on flat road and just touching the accelerator, it seems to have a small lag, which you can feel also when coming off the accelerator. This doesnít happen all the time, and this symptom is separate from the below symptoms. This particular symptom can happen and the below ones do not, they donít seem to be hand in hand. In fact, this was happening about 2 months before the below problem started to happen. I thought best to advise you of this one in case they are linked in some way.
    - When pulling away at lights for example, the car doesnít want to accelerate, itís like it is being choked. The revs do go up, but slowly, it takes about 7 seconds to get the revs to about 3000 revs. When I get the revs to about 3000 then the slow revving seems to subside for a moment. This 3000+ rev scenario I only tested twice today and it seems to work, but yet to confirm if this works every time.
    - The issue seems to happen more when the engine is cold
    - The issue has never happened when Iím driving at say 2500 revs when on the motorway for example
    - The issue normally seems to start when going from a stationary position, or going around a tight corner in 2nd for example
    - The issue can hang around for about 5 minutes, but normally goes away until next time the car is driven
    - When these systptoms are heppening, when reving from idle to about 2000, it shudders at about 2000 revs
    - When these symptoms are happening, turning the engine off is not smooth, it shudders a bit
    - The idling does not seem to be afected, unless trying to pull away without hitting the accelarator, then it could stall, normally it woudl drive up a hill directly off the clutch

    What I have done so far that has not worked:
    - Service about 2 weeks ago, including changing the Air, Fuel and Oil filter, seemingly had no impact even if it was ok for about 2 days after the service
    - Had a friend of a friend of a friend plug in a machine and fiddle with it for a while. I donít know what he did but it seemed to have solved the problem for a week but today it was back to normal
    - Iíve previously had the reluctor rings cleaned and the brake sensor(s) replace because they were rusted and causing issues with the traction control
    - When the symptoms above happen I have purposely disabled the tracking control to test this was not the issue, and the issue still persists

    Apprecaite your time folks, Lee

  2. #2
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    Hi Lee,

    Firstly can you find our exactly what your friend of a friend altered when it was hooked up to his machine ?

    It could be as simple as a failing MAF sensor, also the rev range where you're suffering the hesitation is where the egr is active & the boost from the turbo is more apparent.

    With that in mind check the condition of the egr & the throttle valve if clogged up clean them thoroughly then test drive.

    If you still have access to diagnostic equipment you can scan the vehicle for any relevant error codes. If the MAF sensor lead can be disconnected do so & tie it up securely then test drive. You'll get an error light on the dash illuminate but the car with run with a default safe map, if the hesitation & slow acceleration rectifies itself I suggest you clean the MAF sensor with suitable aerosol cleaning spray.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

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  4. #3
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    Thanks for the reply Simon,

    I'll give that a go later. I got myself a AutoPhix 910 so I'll plug it in and report back. Ill also try what you suggested. Eitherway I will report back as soon as possible.

    Thanks again

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    Hello Simon,

    A small tweak to the symptons above:
    - around 1500 revs it shudders quite a bit
    - Though it takes about 5-7 seconds to rev to about 2500 revs, the increase in revs is incremental, its not consistantly raising the revs
    - Around 2500 revs the issue dissappears, which I guess is when the turbo kicks in
    - If I let the revs drop to idle and then put the gas back on, then a lot of the time the issue subsides, but it does come back after a few dips of the accelerator
    - When its warm, say 30 mins driving, the issue just seems to dissappear
    - I leave the car for the night, then we are back to square one.
    - So I plugged in my new AUTOPHIX ES910 and got the following errors:
    - 3FF0: Air-mass flow sensor (whooop, seems to be linked to what you said)
    - 40E9: Exhaust-gas recirculation controller, position control

    About your advice....
    - I remove the MAF sensor, give it a good clean, the issue did subsided but come back this morning
    - I'm going to unplug the MAF sensor tonight and leave it off for a few days, see if the issue is fixed, then I know if I need a new sensor or not :-)
    - FYI: I attempted to get the EGR valve off and failed drastically, was on solid, was scared to give it a good wack, so I guess I'll take it the local garage to remove it for me if the above fails

    Either way, I'll report back! thanks Lee

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  7. #5
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    Back again with an update!

    When the car was sluggish through the rev range I plugged in my AUTOPHIX ES910 to look at the data stream part of it. Interesting part was that at idling the EGR value was 0% open, it stayed at 0% all the way up through the range. I took it to about 4000 revs, held it there and let the revs drop back down to idling. I did this because it tends to fix the issue for a bit, low an behold the valve registered open once it started to idle, which is essentially the picture you have attached.

    So, if I understand well what I am reading, when it is struggling to get through the rev range it is due to the EGR value remaining closed, whereby the computer is expecting it to be open to some degree.

    Does that seem like its the cause then Simon? If yes, what would you recommend as an effective EGR valve cleaner, or do they all do a similar job?

    Thanks in advance for your support, its appreciated!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -egr-jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by lwillo1977uk View Post
    Back again with an update!

    When the car was sluggish through the rev range I plugged in my AUTOPHIX ES910 to look at the data stream part of it. Interesting part was that at idling the EGR value was 0% open, it stayed at 0% all the way up through the range. I took it to about 4000 revs, held it there and let the revs drop back down to idling. I did this because it tends to fix the issue for a bit, low an behold the valve registered open once it started to idle, which is essentially the picture you have attached.

    So, if I understand well what I am reading, when it is struggling to get through the rev range it is due to the EGR value remaining closed, whereby the computer is expecting it to be open to some degree.

    Does that seem like its the cause then Simon? If yes, what would you recommend as an effective EGR valve cleaner, or do they all do a similar job?

    Thanks in advance for your support, its appreciated!
    Hi Lee, my experience is with the older vacuum controlled EGRs without emissions sensor , yours is more sophisticated but the principle remains the same.

    The way I understand the EGRs operation is that at idle its shut , as you increase the revs/load it initially fully opens then progressively closes off as the load reaches , lets say, 75% maximum load.
    That being so your comment about the engine struggling to get thru the rev range as the EGR is closed would also make sense to me.

    Default position for the EGR is shut so it may well be physically sticking or IF they are still vacuum operated the vacuum pipe may be perished or the Pressure Converter failed?

    There is software out there , Rheingold & DIS to name 2 , that can check the EGRs operation by running through several open & close cycles with the engine switched off.

    Having both EGR & MAF error codes flagging up simultaneously may mean one is the cause the other a knock on effect but cleaning the EGR & checking the MAF by disconnecting it
    will not cause additional problems & as you can't inspect the innards of the EGR disconnecting the MAF should prove far simpler and hopefully bring you closer to a conclusion.

    Looks like the EGR is bolted onto the Exhaust Cooler and yes go easy , or let a garage take a look , as those Exhaust Coolers are very expensive !!!

    Keep us updated Lee ?



    Last edited by simonsays; 14-03-2018 at 11:23. Reason: Image added

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  10. #7
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    Thanks for your kind feedback Simon,

    The local garage is great, they were too busy to remove the EGR for me today but they let me park up in the garage to do the work myself and popped over now and again to help me with it. Totally free of charge, legends!

    So, I managed to get the EGR off, you can see the condition of it in the attached pictures... as you can see, its looks pretty well after 107k miles, anyway I gave it a clean and it was spotless when it went back on.

    I reported earlier that I could not disconnect the MAF sensor, foolish me it was the MAP sensor I was trying to disconnect. :-( bit of a noob I guess. Anyway, I disconnected the MAF sensor after cleaning the EGR and this is what I can report back:
    - Engine management light came on as you said and after clearing the errors the EGR error has gone and does not come back, the MAF ones does though of course
    - Gear changes seem to be more smooth, less hesitance when shifting through the gears, up or down, it used to be more hesitant 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd was always fine though
    - Car seems smoother some how, I cant say exactly how, but seems to be more fluent, until the below happens.....
    - It was running perfect, even after starting it cold and at low revs it seemed fine, until the below happens....
    - After about an hour of driving, on and off, shopping breaks etc... the issue has come back, but it seems different
    - The newish issue is halting the revs, it wouldn't let me accelerate more, just stopped revving higher than say 2000 revs for a second or two, then boom it kicked in. Almost like it was being choked completely, rather than partially chocked compared with the previous issue
    - Coming down my road before, I couldn't accelerate past about 1700 revs when in gear, at the same time it was doing a type of pinking sound when the revs were getting stuck and I noticed some white exhaust fumes
    - also noticed the first few times it dropped off, that when dipping the clutch the revs seemed normal, it could be coincidence because as in the previous point above, then coming down my road, dipping the clutch didn't seem to do much

    I'm so hoping you can help me diagnose this tedious issue.

    Thanks again, Lee
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -car1-jpg   -car2-jpg  

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    Firstly Lee the guys at your local garage sound like real top fellas

    The EGR is indeed very clean considering it's use but it's no loss to get that ticked off as checked.

    I'd scan the car for any new error codes, reconnect the MAF & erase any error codes before you drive it again.

    Being totally honest I'm a bit flumaxed as to why the car changed its running characteristics so drastically with the MAF disconnected unless the EGR itself has failed & as a consequence the car feels like its choking? Maybe you can check the egr data with your scanner again?

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    Hello Forum,

    Thankfully the issue has been resolved. I'll explain in 2 parts because part 1 may have fixed the issue but a made a major oversight which made move to part 2:

    Part 1
    - I test the MAF by disconnecting it, I cleared any error codes but the problems seemed to continue in a slightly different way, explained in above thread
    - I took the EGR valve off and give it a good clean, but forgot to clear the error codes
    - That's where I made the mistake, I didn't clear the error codes after putting the EGR back on so the issue continued...

    Part 2
    - I decided to obtain a 2nd hand MAF sensor and EGR value
    - I paid £85 quid in total for both the parts delivered to my door
    - I replaced the both parts, and this time I cleared the error codes
    - It still didn't feel right as still some hesitation. I checked the error codes after a drive and I had a new ones related to the DPF, I'm not sure if this is because some of the cooling fluid got into one of the exhaust pipes or not when I disconnected the cooling pipes. So the next part of this process may not be relevant to the issue, but nevertheless I will explain
    - I tried deleting the DPF codes but they just kept coming back, and apparently the regen is not done if any error codes linked to PDF are displayed, bit of paradox effect, so....
    - I drove around for about 30 minutes to get the exhaust temperatures up, took her on the motorway and drove at 70 for about 20 minutes
    - During the drive on the motorway I had my AUTOPHIX plugged in and I asked the missus to delete the error codes every 10 seconds....
    - PROBLEM SOLVED, no more hesitation, no more error codes, all good!!!!!

    So the cost to fix the issue:
    £120 for the BMW reader AUTOPHIX ES910
    £85 for the replacement MAF and EGR value from 1stchoice.co.uk (*)

    I may have been able to avoid the £85 if I deleted the errors in part 1 :-/ anyway, great lesson learned here..... anyone with a BMW who is willing to do work on it, MUST obtain a BMW error reader, the one I obtained done the trick perfectly.


    (*) 1st choice is great.... Basically you put your reg in, say what part you want, and the breakers around the UK offer you the parts for various prices, you just choice the one best for you, I even managed to negotiated about £15 off :-). As its delivered to your door, next day if you want, then there is no need to drive half way across the country to your nearest BMW breakers :-)

    Thanks for your help Simon, much appreciated, and I hope the above helps others identify and resolve similar issues.... thanks again, Lee

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    Great to hear you got to the bottom of this Lee
    We very much appreciate you taking the time to update your thread with the solution

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