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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 05-02-2006, 08:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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MAF or ECU

Hey Guys,
I've been in an ongoing battle to get my car to pass inspection. Now there've been a lot of theories from people on this and other forums but after speaking to a mechanic who seemed to know his shit and not just bullshit me, it sounds like it's either the MAF or the ECU. Unfortunately, these aren't parts that you should just replace to "check and see" if the car performs better. So, I was wondering if anyone has ever tested their MAF to see if it's working properly. There's a procedure in the Bently manual on how to do this, but i haven't read it in a while and it seemed pretty vague. Anyone have any experience with this?
Also, if it isn't the MAF, does anyone know how to check the ECU or how to replace it? I'm not sure what BMW calls it in order to look for it. Perhaps DMU? Thanks a lot guys. It's good to be back in my Bimmer after this long winter.
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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is the check engine light on...? what are the symptoms..,?
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You could try and check your MAF with some brake cleaner, but I'd think it would help if you just go and post your problem.

I know this may be just "an other forum" but some guys do know there shit over here.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I dont see how your ECU could go bad other than being friend, but then your car wont start.

If your mechanic says it's the MAF, there are procedures i've heard about by testing the voltage of the MAF or some such nonsense. It should be in the bentley manual if you have that.
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well... if that temp sensor inside the MAF meter is not sending or recieving the charge... OR if the wire heater is faulty within the MAF meter then it needs to be replaced.

If your heating element inside the MAF goes bad your ECU will go to a "limp home" mode... which could be your problem... the car can be driven... but it will have deduced power and performance.

There are procedures for testing the imputs and outputs of the MAF... as for the ECU... that is a direct electrical component... and unless it is partial operational... meaning that is has some how jumped to "limp home" mode by some reason... then that would not break. It is electrical.

Get your ECU or car hooked up to a BMW machine... they will tell you whats wrong in about 2 mins.

Good luck,

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Old 05-02-2006, 02:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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not sure whats really going on.. what are you testing for? whats the problem thats not allowing it to pass inspection?

as said above using a modec or a GT1 from the dealership will be able to pinpoint pretty much any working fault.


do you have anyone in your area that can swap out the MAF to just test? if your mechanic is a BMW mechanic im sure he must have another car around the garage to swap and check.
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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is there a cel?? i dono why it wouldnt pass inspection if it cleared off there unless your ecu is gone bonkers...
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