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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 09-21-2003, 09:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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well, my car was sputtering really bad in 1st and 2nd gear when i start off, so I thought well I never have changed the plugs in my 325i so I guess I should...Good move on my part, they were the worst looking plugs I have ever seen! Some idiot put some AC Delco el cheapo plugs in there and I replaced them with some Bosch Platinum +2 spark plugs. After I got everything back together I took a test drive and all the sputtering was completely gone! I thought no wonder it was doing so bad look at those plugs! Better acceleration, way better gas mileage etc... Well today I drove it to the NOPI nationals which is like 125 miles from my house...All did perfect till we came back...As soon as we were leaving, after the car had sat a good 5 hours, it went back to its old self again and now is doing the exact same thing...On another board someone said I my have a bad coil and that they are like $130 each, does anyone know how I can test these or know anything else that could be wrong??? Thanks!

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Old 09-21-2003, 09:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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did you have oil on any of the spark plug wires when you pulled them out, or any oil in the hole were you reach down to remove your plugs? If so you may need a new valve cover gasket....(if none of this makes any sense, it is ok.....i am retarded....) ghead
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Old 09-21-2003, 09:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We had just replaced the one on my friends car.....when we were putting on his new header, we also were putting in new plugs, and noticed oil everywhere, so we got a new valve cover gasket, cleaned out everything with brake cleaner......then put everything back....now it runs great.....dunno if this is helping any :P
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Old 09-21-2003, 10:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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what exactly was the condition of the plugs? then you can get better help. if possible take pictures of your plugs
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Old 09-21-2003, 10:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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yeah, ill take a pic of the back of my manaul tomorrow; it has pics of what causes plug issues and what it looks like.
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Old 09-22-2003, 07:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by lwebb12@Sep 21 2003, 10:18 PM
what exactly was the condition of the plugs? then you can get better help. if possible take pictures of your plugs
here are some pics, they arent very clear hope it helps!

pic #1
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Old 09-22-2003, 07:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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pic #2
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Old 09-22-2003, 07:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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pic # 3
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Old 09-22-2003, 07:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 09-22-2003, 09:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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looks to be some oil stain discoloration around the hex part of the plug. Was there any oil in the spark plug cavities? As mentioned above, this will most certainly cause major misfiring and eventually short out a coil pack. if the miss is there at idle, you can start disconnecting one coil pack at a time and sense for a change in idle quality. whichever coil you disconnect and there is no change, that could be your culprit. Sounds to me as if you do maybe have some oil that was in the plug holes. This would explain why after a long 125 mile drive, it developed the miss again. If there was any oil in the holes I'd replace the valve cover gaskets, clean the holes out really well, clean any oil out of the spark plug boots and then test drive it.
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Old 09-22-2003, 10:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by EXtech@Sep 22 2003, 09:32 AM
looks to be some oil stain discoloration around the hex part of the plug. Was there any oil in the spark plug cavities? As mentioned above, this will most certainly cause major misfiring and eventually short out a coil pack. if the miss is there at idle, you can start disconnecting one coil pack at a time and sense for a change in idle quality. whichever coil you disconnect and there is no change, that could be your culprit. Sounds to me as if you do maybe have some oil that was in the plug holes. This would explain why after a long 125 mile drive, it developed the miss again. If there was any oil in the holes I'd replace the valve cover gaskets, clean the holes out really well, clean any oil out of the spark plug boots and then test drive it.
If i do test all of this and decide to replace the valve cover gasket is it a major task that I can do myself or will I need to take it somewhere? Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-22-2003, 03:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by EXtech@Sep 22 2003, 07:32 AM
If there was any oil in the holes I'd replace the valve cover gaskets, clean the holes out really well, clean any oil out of the spark plug boots and then test drive it.
YAY....im not a retard........i suggest using brake cleaner to clean it out if you have some.....just let the oil in there drain into the cylinder.....then once you got everything put back......it may take a couple tries to start it....and when it does start you will have a lot of blue exhaust smoke from the oil that drained into the cylinder...
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Old 09-22-2003, 03:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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you can change your valve cover gasket. i can post instructions if you like
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Old 09-22-2003, 04:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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in addition to the oil on the hex part, what do the electrodes look like? (hard to tell from the pics)

if it's black and sooty you are running rich, which can be caused by intake leaks. have any fault codes come up?
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Old 09-22-2003, 05:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by DesmoBob@Sep 22 2003, 04:21 PM
in addition to the oil on the hex part, what do the electrodes look like? (hard to tell from the pics)

if it's black and sooty you are running rich, which can be caused by intake leaks. have any fault codes come up?
well, yes the electrodes are very black and sooty, and my check engine light comes off and on, and my orange check light comes on too, it seems that it comes on alot when i turn my headlights on(alternator?)...
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