Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia
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I called up my mechanic, who has known I've had this problem for the past 6 or so months, and gave him the OK to order new coils and coil boots. On top of that, I'm going to get all new pads and rotors, new e-brake parts to fix supposedly stuck expanders, new front struts, a new tie rod assembly and ball joint (driver side), and a new driver side door microswitch because the car thinks the door is open when its closed.
I had mentioned before that ignition coil 2 had failed previous to this, and was replaced by him, but the boot itself was not, so I've got 5 brand new coils and 6 boots on the way, to go along with the fresh plugs already in the car. If this doesn't fix it I don't know what will. Bad DME/ECU? Some sort of short somewhere?
Here's some further information for anybody with any input. There is no CEL. I took it to the BMW dealership, had them replace the o2 sensor with a new one which I supplied because I figured it might make a difference, (which it really didn't), and they said the ignition system seemed fine, but I know for a fact it is not. In regular mosey-around city driving the car performs alright. Coming off the highway today where I had been doing about 120-140km/h for about 20 minutes I noticed something. The harder I put the car under load, the lesser it performs once it calms down. I illustrated this by coming to a stop sign after coming off the highway, the car had been accelerating seemingly fine, maybe a hiccup here or there, I was in fifth gear revving at about 3.5k+.
Once I came to a full stop and tried to start moving again I had to give it much more gas before the car pulled forward. At this same time the engine had been shaking, and I could feel it a little bit. When holding the shifter during my launch from a stop you could really feel the engine struggling to output power and push the car forward. I know the clutch isn't slipping because the revs don't go up when I floor it, the car just doesn't want to push itself. I tried driving it home after this as though I was driving my normal commute from work. Every hill I encountered proved to be a struggle, I was always in the proper gear at the right time, with minivans and oldschool land yachts ahead of me speeding off, and when I floored it I just couldn't keep up, it's embarrassing. As the revs climbed higher, the car was certainly more responsive. I could accelerate with few hiccups when revving at about 4.5k+ in first or second gear.
I finally arrived home and parked the car. I opened the hood, and the engine was shuttering, shaking quite hard. There was a deep, somewhat subtle "thudthudthudthud" noise coming from the engine, and the exhaust was making the same thudthudthud noise, but when I held my hand behind the exhaust you could feel bursts of exhaust emissions coming out with every thud.
Any and all input is appreciated, I have been browsing any and every forum I can find for e36 hesitation and bogging problems with no real definitive answer.