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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Thu, Aug-28-2014, 03:53:26 AM   #11
M3AN
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Default Re: M3 E36 dodgy "hopping" idle

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Originally Posted by Ignatius1 View Post
It's only seemingly after everything has been reassembled that the actual dodgy idle symptom hopping from a normal idle to 1100-1200 or so RPM has disappeared.... for now. This is why the technician hasn't (or shouldn't have) erased any fault codes from the memory.
I'd say that's exactly the conditions under which you should clear the codes. So if it happens again you have fresh data to compare to your baseline.
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Old Thu, Aug-28-2014, 04:36:49 AM   #12
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Default Re: M3 E36 dodgy "hopping" idle

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Originally Posted by M3AN View Post
I'd say that's exactly the conditions under which you should clear the codes. So if it happens again you have fresh data to compare to your baseline.
Fair point really. I guess that it's worth thinking about taking the car back to the main dealer and getting them to clear all codes ready for fresh codes to return if and when the dodgy idle returns as well.
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Old Thu, Aug-28-2014, 04:59:45 AM   #13
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Default Re: M3 E36 dodgy "hopping" idle

The suggestions of Icv etc are a good place to start. If the icv hasn't been cleaned, have it done. A smoke test would be a good idea to find leaky hoses etc.

I'm guessing they put a new valve cover gasket on? You may have had a vacuum leak there and now its solved?

What codes are you getting?

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Old Fri, Aug-29-2014, 12:58:05 AM   #14
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Default Re: M3 E36 dodgy "hopping" idle

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Originally Posted by vmbray View Post
The suggestions of Icv etc are a good place to start. If the icv hasn't been cleaned, have it done. A smoke test would be a good idea to find leaky hoses etc.

I'm guessing they put a new valve cover gasket on? You may have had a vacuum leak there and now its solved?

What codes are you getting?

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Click here to see a PDF of some scanned documents (technician's report & diagnostic fault codes from the dealer).

I don't think the ICV has been looked at even though I suggested to them whilst they were looking at the car to look at solenoids, ICV, seals etc.

I'm not sure if any parts have actually been replaced. When I went to see the car the cover to the camshafts was removed etc but the VANOS silver covers appeared to be untouched. Later that day they called with the 1300 cost to adjust the timing and if that doesn't rectify the problem then it would be 3100 which includes timing adjustment and VANOS replacement. EXTORTIONATE and I'm really not convinced that we need to do this either.

I've now been able to scan all diagnostic documents including the technician's report from the dealer and shared a link to the PDF on Dropbox here.

The carriage is still running much smoother with a constant normal idle though I haven't properly driven it so cannot comment on performance. BMW told me that the fault codes should still be in the DME, but would it be a good idea to have these erased? If errors and faults still exist, would they sort of show up straight away after a diagnostic test? I guess they would. This way, removing the codes might be a good way of starting fresh. Perhaps somehow the problems have miraculously been rectified, but I might be being a little too optimistic.

We are still looking to find time to get the car to the specialist that replaced the VANOS for us back in August/September 2008. We want second, third, eighth opinions.
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Old Fri, Aug-29-2014, 03:13:14 AM   #15
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Default Re: M3 E36 dodgy "hopping" idle

Interesting - I don't think there are many people here familiar with dual vanos e36 engines. Maybe driving the car more has improved matters? If it's been sitting maybe the vanos is sticky or something. On single vanos the seals have to be really old to cause idle issues, like 150k miles from what little I've seen.

For starters you should troubleshoot the spark plug codes because that's so easy. Get new boots and plugs on there. Clear the codes and see if you still have codes. If so swap coil packs between cylinders with and without codes and see if the error moves. Anyone with a metric socket set and code reader can do this very easily. Get a code reader they're cheap.

Also get a new temp sensor in there or have someone do it for you. Has the cooling system been thoroughly serviced? That's just a general thing you should do.

Cover the easy tune up things first because they are cheap, easy, and need to be done anyway.

Lastly, if the vanos is out of time I don't think it got that way on its own. If its like the single vanos that would mean the specialist timed it wrong when they installed the new vanos. Obviously they should fix it if that's the case.


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Discussing M3 E36 dodgy "hopping" idle in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)