Annoyingly Random Car Shut-downs - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 07:29 PM
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hello all.
Well, my recent car purchase has had it's ups and downs.
Right now it's kinda at it's low point because I have this lil' annoying random problem of the car giving me problems only when it wants to, and at other times running like a champ. Allow me to explain.


Today, I woke up. It is my day off so I'm excited, and ready to do some stuff to my car. So I get in and it turns over beautifully like it always does. When I hit my first red light is when things get bad. I have to come to a stop, and I have recently been dreading having to idle for more than a few moments cause the car turns off randomly. So yeah, the car shuts off on me . So ok, I turn it back on it, and a moment later it turns off again( this happens like 7 times). So I'm pissed off. I then put the car in nuetral and keep it revved up, and then when its time to move, I put it in D (only keeping it revved to 1.1rpms/not nuetral dropping) and get to my house. I am so pissed off, cause earlier in the week I had got it fixed supposedly and when the mech. finished what he had to do (he cleaned the idle speed controller, or whatever its called) and fixed something with this canister thingie in the air filter vicinity we tested it out and it idled like a champ. So anyway, I get in the car later on the same day, and it doesn't turn off not even once and I was even stuck in a traffic jam and was idling for quite a bit.

So anyway, my question is, what are the possible reasons for my car turning off while idling on some days, and not turning off while idling others???? Why the inconsistency??? Any ideas would be wonderful, cause I have to get this car fixed so I can start modding it :P thanks in advance for any suggestions and ideas.
P.S. once car is in motion, it is wonderful. It has never turned off while in motion. It only would turn off while idling. Just wanted to make sure that was clear.

Former Nissan 240sx owner...

Now BMW owner...

and not missing the 240 too much
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 07:51 PM
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what engine does it have in it

the choke on the intake could be sticking

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 12:19 AM
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Idle control valve would have to be really dirty. Could be something wrong with your injectors. See if you can find some 401k (I believe that is the name) it works great. Put it in the tank, or if you can not get the car to run, you can take it to a shop and they can direct inject it into your fuel injectors, that gets them squeaky clean. There are several other problems that it could be. I would reccomend either a) taking it back to the first mechanic and tell him he did not fix the problem, B) take it to another, or c) we can keep giving you things to check, it will take a while, but it will eventually solve the problem, tha also ofcourse depends on your mechanical skill.

Any one in New York able to adivse him as to which mechanic he should be going to?
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 08:47 AM
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well yeah, It's going back to the original mech. because its all being paid by the dealership that sold the car to me.

So, firstly, I'll have him change the idle control valve(he just cleaned it, maybe that's not enough), and then I'll have him clean the injectors.
Any other thoughts.?? This is all free for me, so the more the better, they just have to be valid, cause then he'll tell me no

Former Nissan 240sx owner...

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and not missing the 240 too much
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 09:26 AM
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When the car dies do the rpms slowly drop to the point where the engine dies, or is it idling along at 800 rpm or so and then just dies like turning of the switch? If it's the later, you could have an intermittent electrical problem like a bad battery connection unrelated to the idle circuit.
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 10:16 AM
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Sound's like the classic case of you needing a new "Air Mass/Flow meter" asap. It's 20 bucks on ebay and you may be able t install it yourself....Or you can do what I did before I learned of this forum and the secrets of ebay and bavauto.com

take it to the BMW of Manhattan dealership and pay $480 for a new meter to be installed...

BTW they will also run a full diagnosis on your car and tell you what you need to be done...then you can eiather DIY or take your car somewhere cheaper....



my advice

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#7 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BMWspeedracer@Jan 7 2005, 08:47 AM
well yeah, It's going back to the original mech. because its all being paid by the dealership that sold the car to me.

So, firstly, I'll have him change the idle control valve(he just cleaned it, maybe that's not enough), and then I'll have him clean the injectors.
Any other thoughts.?? This is all free for me, so the more the better, they just have to be valid, cause then he'll tell me no
[snapback]266204[/snapback]

oh...i didn't see this tell them you need a new air mass meter installed....

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#8 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gator@Jan 7 2005, 11:26 AM
When the car dies do the rpms slowly drop to the point where the engine dies, or is it idling along at 800 rpm or so and then just dies like turning of the switch? If it's the later, you could have an intermittent electrical problem like a bad battery connection unrelated to the idle circuit.
[snapback]266223[/snapback]
The idle doesn't bounce or anything. It's always steady. It just cuts out all of a sudden without warning. Thats the crazy part..... so I assume air mass meter then, would it more likely be a battery issue?

I'll change my battery today for a brand new one, and see if that helps...

Former Nissan 240sx owner...

Now BMW owner...

and not missing the 240 too much
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