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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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Old 11-17-2008, 12:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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BMW e36 1993 erratic idle only in winter

Hi,

I have bmw e36 320i, m50, 1993.

My problem is:

The engine is working fine during summer.
But when it is cold outside ( lower than 5 degree celsius) it begins with erratic idle between 100 RPM and 900 RPM ( sometimes it goes to 0 and engine turns off).
When I cut off battery and wait for 5 minutes the computer erase errors and engine continues to work fine. But than the engine is already warm.
When I continues two drive without cutting of battery the erratic idle continues forever.
What error it might be?
I don't have engine test light and board computer( car from Europe ) so I can not test errors without diagnostic equipment?
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Old 11-17-2008, 03:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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hi there it sounds like the IDLE VALVE is the problem.let me no
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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OK,
but I don't understand why is working fine in summer.
This problem appeared first time last winter. I was driving car all spring,
summer and autumn and everything was fine. The first time it was colder outside the problem reapears?
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you can clean the idle valve then try it again on your car before replacing it.sometime cleaning the idle valve can fix the problem because it does get dirty inside and starts sticking.let me know anyway
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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ya its most likely your vanos!! this should explain it.
VANOS operates on the intake camshaft in accordance with engine speed and accelerator pedal position. At the lower end of the engine-speed scale, the intake valves are opened later, which improves idling quality and smoothness. At moderate engine speeds, the intake valves open much earlier, which boosts torque and permits exhaust gas re-circulation inside the combustion chambers, reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. Finally, at high engine speeds, intake valve opening is once again delayed, so that full power can be developed.
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Old 11-20-2008, 01:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, but my engine doesn't have vanos.
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Old 11-20-2008, 01:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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ok so you cleaned the idle valve and that didnt work.under the inlet manifold there is a breather valve its located directly under the inlet manifold you need a torch to see it and they get dirty and clogged up and doesnt let the engine breath properly so this could be causing your problem.Check it out
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've read some other articles about this problem ( there is more possible causes Idle control valve, O2, ...) but the most simple is vacuum leak.
Because my problem problem is specific (everything was working fine several months before problem reappeared) I decided first to try simplest solution.
So, I have sealed some old hoses and possible vacuum leaks.

I will write If the problem disappeared.

It is necessary to be very cold outside.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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By the way it is very hard to reach the ICV on m50 engine, it's even hard to see it.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I've solved the problem, one small hose was out of its place so there was a vacuum leak. The hose is going directly to the throttle body and is very tiny. After that I passed more than 500 km and everything is fine. Of course when I putted hose to the right place I had to disconnect battery and wait for 5 min in order to restart computer.

So the cause was vacuum leak.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Glad you found your answer, and thanks for keeping us posted.
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