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What might be the solution to just getting the car to not die on idle, again?

  • Take out, and clean the solenoids.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Replace the VANOS O-rings

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Replace the Valve Stem Seals

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Replace/rebuild the chain assembly

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I live in a Scandinavian country, wherefore a repair conducted by an authorized BMW dealership would cost around ( $ 3.000 / 2.700 / £ 2.200)

Therefore, the option of handing the car over to a professional BMW mechanic is definitely not on the table, given that the current market price of this car, of this type, of this age, is only ( $ 4.350 / 4.000 / £ 3.300)

Thus, I am stuck with the option of either getting rid of the car, or actually putting love into it (fixing the engine) and keeping this lovely piece of history, as my personal car.

HERE'S A DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM:

For the past 4 years, the engine of my car (N42) has made the well-known rattling noise, that this engine is very known to do.
It also started having a very rough idle, power surge - however; it would never shut off during the rough idle.

[Extra info: Apparently, turning off the A/C unit would significantly reduce the rattling/rough idle, but still wouldn't fully get rid of the sound]

However, because the car was not in my hands, but was being driven by my friend, he never really felt that investing in engine repair was worth it, given the market value of the car.
Thus, he ignored the problem, and kept driving the car in it's less-optimal state, because the car still started, did its job and was fairly reliable.

For the past 2 years, the car has been my car - and during this time I haven't done any maintenance on the engine (but I have done other types of repairs of less significant issues).

During these 2 years, i would rigorously browse different forums, and YouTube videos in trying to understand exactly what was causing the rattling noise, rough idle, and shaking of the car (when the gear box was in Neutral).
I even bought a simple OBD-scanner from China and scanned it 1 year ago; and the only code that came up (which is still the only code to come up) is:

P0015 - "B" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)
About 1.500 kilometers ago, during a regular oil change, i read on some forums, that switching up to an oil with a higher viscocity might fix the problem, wherefore I had a mechanic change my oil, to a bit thicker oil than usual: He used"10W-40 Semi-Synethehic Oil"

This immediately fixed the problem with the rattling, rough idle (especially after cold starts), etc., and my engine just became something else!
It was absolutely unbelieveable how this little trick worked wonders for the performance of the engine, and the rough idle issues.
It is important to note, that the rattling/rough idle/shaking of the car, only occurs when i am in neutral, and I am not revving the engine!

3 days ago:
The engine just shuts off about half the time, when I come to a stop sign (and therefore naturally put the gear in Neutral and take my foot off the gas pedal)

So that's where I am at now, I have a P0015 code, and my engine just shuts off, about half the time, provided that I am not revving the engine.
Oddly enough, the idle is more stable now - it's as if it either shuts off, or stays in a relatively normalt idle.

How do I fix this problem without rebuilding the whole engine?
  • There are a couple of videos on YouTube suggesting that I should dismount and clean the solenoids
  • Others suggest one should replace the O-rings of the VANOS.
  • Others suggest one should replace valve stem seals.
  • Others suggest one should replace the whole chain-rail assembly.
THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH FOR YOUR EXPERTISE!
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT MY CAR -JUST ASK!
<3 BMW
 

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Check the transmission, fuel pressure and pump, wiring harness, check the intake of air, ensure filter is clean etc. The vanos solenoid is also a possibility take care though with this car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Will try these things.

Not sure how to check Transmission, Fuel Pressure and Wiring harness.

I feel confident in checking Intake of air, and ensuring that the filter is clean, etc.
 

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The fault code you have relates to a timing issue,if you delete the code does it return.Which cam chain do you have these have been upgraded at least twice on the n42/46 engine.Do you have the EML light on.What happens if you disable the valvetronic system remove the plug off one of the vanos solenoids,will record a code will not put any lights on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
  • If I delete the code, the code returns shortly thereafter, Yes!
  • I am not sure which cam chain I have. I know that my car is the 2003 model, with 143 horsepower.
  • In fact, yes, the EML light comes on, for some seconds after startup, and then disappears shortly after (maybe 5 seconds).
  • If I disable the valvetronic system by removing the plug off one of the vanos solenoids, the rattling noise of the engine stops. - however; i have not checked to see, if doing this actually produces any codes, or puts any lights on.

    Here's the video of what happens when I remove a plug off one of the vanos solenoids:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjC6auUuHsw


    Here's a video of how the engine generally sounds during cold idle (no manipulation done):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_cqerg0PFA
 

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Hi sorry should have read cam chain tensioner (couldn,t get back in to alter the post)my feelings are you have a timing issue probally caused by weak tensioner or damaged guides allowing the chain to jump a tooth,possible exhaust adjustment unit worn out which ever you will need to remove the cam cover to investigate & timing tool to reset.Does it use alot of oil ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Absolutely it uses a lot a oil. Not only that; it also leaks oil to under the car (has been doing this for 3 years or so).


- What about vacuum leaks? What causes the engine to die, when I am not revving it?
 

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Hi sounds like its not worth spending alot of money on.Remove the air box check all the pipes to air flow meter,inspect the chamber which runs very close to the belt if fitted incorrectly can rub a hole through it.Inspect the ccv system,Google it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What causes the problem to not be worth spending a lot of money on?
Does this mean: "Oh, the problem is not that serious." or does it mean "The problem is so serious, that putting money into this car is not smart." ??

I will check the pipes of the airflow system, and the CCV system.

What exactly is the chamber you are talking about? Can you show it on a picture ,or perhaps name the part number, or something? So i can identify exactly what parts to check.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
How can I check, to find out, what type of Cam Tensioner i have?

Like.. should I try to screw it out, and look for a unique model code on it? Or should I just take a picture ,or perhaps try to identify it by looking at the 'height of the head' of it?
 

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They are about £30 from the main agent latest version came out about 2 years ago think its about the 3rd upgrade.
 
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