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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d. is the premier BMW Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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BMW 318i stalling problem?

Hey everyone

I inherited my mom's 2003 BMW 318i a few months ago. Awesome car, big BMW fan.
The thing is for the past few months I have only experienced problems with this car. One ofter the next. I have just spent nearly R10k ($1200 there abouts?) fixing a particular problem. Basically upon startup, a bit of smoke/steam would come out the bonnet, but such a small amount, it was barely noticeable. I was told not to worry about it. After about 4 weeks of this though, my car started losing power. It would battle to pull off at intersections, and at its worst couldn't go faster than 60km/hr. This happened every now and then. I was already planning on taking it in to my mechanic, when one day whilst idling in traffic, it cut out. Every single warning light came on (none had been on up until then) It wouldn't start. I tried again and again until eventually I managed to get it (at a very very slow pace) to petrol station. It was taken in and fixed. It felt a bit better after it came back. It didnt smoke anymore but it was alright. But only 2 days later it cut out again while idling. I did manage to start it but it was very irritating. Took it back to the mechanic. That is when I spent the R10k having it fixed. Apparently it need a special tool imported from Germany and half the engine needed to be taken apart. (so I was told). After I got it back it went beautifully, like a Beemer should. Was so impressed.

To cut a long story short, after spending all this money, and after only 5 days, my car cut out in traffic again. Twice.

My mechanic is stumped.

Does anyone have a clue what it could be?
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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318i Stalling

Your 318i 2002 is probably fitted with the n42 engine, the one with twincam. There's two major problems with that engine, the first is the camshaft position-sensors that breaks and the second fault is the overpressure oil from the engine top that goes trough a centrifuge before the overpressure air goes into the intake manifold, this centrifuge oftenly breaks the vacuum rubber-seal and that leads the leftover oil directly into the intake manifold. You should check it out if you haven't already fixed the problem.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You could also look at the Crankshaft position sensor also. it gives the same kind of problems.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Car: E46 2002 318i F/L (104.4KWs)
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Ask them to get the exhaust sensors as well.
I had this problem and apparantly what fixed it was an electronic lifting of the valves...
I also have the N42 motor and I've had the Crank Shaft sensor replaced as well.
Problem hasn't returned for months if not a year.
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