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2005 BMW 130i
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Pretty frustrating, so potentially a stuck open thermostat could be causing this or the eccentric shaft or both at the same time.There doesnt seem to be anyway to be sure.
thermostat not going to be related to the eccentric shaft stuff.

in hindsight probably should have cut losses a long time ago. if you can fix the eccentric issue, then at least the thermostat is a simple one, so i'd not bother with the thermostat unless you sort eccentric
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
thermostat not going to be related to the eccentric shaft stuff.

in hindsight probably should have cut losses a long time ago. if you can fix the eccentric issue, then at least the thermostat is a simple one, so i'd not bother with the thermostat unless you sort eccentric
In hindsight i probably would have! Ive already got tabs open looking at GT86s! 馃槀But alas i guess i should try and try and keep a level head about it before i make any decisions and try and sort the obvious faults first.
Ill be honest ill probably leave tackling the sensor to a professional as it involves removing the cam cover and cant afford to be without the car if i stuff things up. I just need to find something who is willing to do the work who is certain that it鈥檚 causing the overall problems as it the moment ive only had ifs, buts and maybes.

I do wonder if ive bitten off more than i can chew with the N52 as most people seem to be willing to work on them themselves now.
 

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2005 BMW 130i
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Money better spent fixing this than a gt86 imo, can't believe they deliver fun on par with their price. Assuming these really are the final outstanding issues on your car, seems like you got pretty unlucky. Haven't read through all your posts but I'd want to be very confident that it's indeed the sensor at fault before paying someone to sort it. A VDO sensor isn't cheap and as you know the job is quite involved.

My 130 had almost none of the common jobs done and would have been a real bad choice if I didn't learn to DIY most of the jobs. Still spent loads but at least half than it would have getting garages to do stuff like vcg ofhg etc. I jumped on the car without too much research after all the "n52 so reliable" talk, but as with any aging BMW there is plenty to keep you busy, but the saving grace is most of it is accessible diy
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Money better spent fixing this than a gt86 imo, can't believe they deliver fun on par with their price. Assuming these really are the final outstanding issues on your car, seems like you got pretty unlucky. Haven't read through all your posts but I'd want to be very confident that it's indeed the sensor at fault before paying someone to sort it. A VDO sensor isn't cheap and as you know the job is quite involved.

My 130 had almost none of the common jobs done and would have been a real bad choice if I didn't learn to DIY most of the jobs. Still spent loads but at least half than it would have getting garages to do stuff like vcg ofhg etc. I jumped on the car without too much research after all the "n52 so reliable" talk, but as with any aging BMW there is plenty to keep you busy, but the saving grace is most of it is accessible diy
Well that will teach me. Im not overly confident with working on my own cars. I can do some jobs with some ease but when it comes to something like a cam cover and working with brittle parts then thats where i take a step back.
I find now that with these cars, most owners are happy to work on them themselves so maybe these are better suited to those more mechanically savvy.

Nonetheless i hopefully will get the sensor replaced and that will cure the roughness. If i was completely certain it was the sensor i would arrange for it to be replaced along with the valvetronic gasket but im not sure how i go about completely ruling out other things at play.
 

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I'd say using ista to provide a test plan is worth it given it can be done for free, it often gives proper diagnosis steps before just telling you to replace the part. The motors can go bad, voltage supply etc, so it's good to be sure you're not just on the parts cannon. Think you already did the motor though?

If you've got time and patience it's definitely possible to DIY, there's so much info available for these. I managed to do vcg on my 2005 with 120k miles without breaking the CCV connector at the back, and I had to disconnect it twice for some reason, really pushing my luck.. so anything is possible
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
I'd say using ista to provide a test plan is worth it given it can be done for free, it often gives proper diagnosis steps before just telling you to replace the part. The motors can go bad, voltage supply etc, so it's good to be sure you're not just on the parts cannon. Think you already did the motor though?

If you've got time and patience it's definitely possible to DIY, there's so much info available for these. I managed to do vcg on my 2005 with 120k miles without breaking the CCV connector at the back, and I had to disconnect it twice for some reason, really pushing my luck.. so anything is possible
Agreed, i think in the meantime it would be best to finally pick up a DCAN cable and a copy of ISTA instead of paying garages to just diagnose. If I could rule out o2 sensors/injectors/Disa鈥檚 etc that help keep my mind at rest and just get the Eccentric sensor replaced. As the valve cover would be coming off i wonder if it would be just a better idea to replace the whole valve cover so its over and done with. It would be very expensive but youd hope itd avoid opening the car up again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Agreed, i think in the meantime it would be best to finally pick up a DCAN cable and a copy of ISTA instead of paying garages to just diagnose. If I could rule out o2 sensors/injectors/Disa鈥檚 etc that help keep my mind at rest and just get the Eccentric sensor replaced. As the valve cover would be coming off i wonder if it would be just a better idea to replace the whole valve cover so its over and done with. It would be very expensive but youd hope itd avoid opening the car up again.
I'd say using ista to provide a test plan is worth it given it can be done for free, it often gives proper diagnosis steps before just telling you to replace the part. The motors can go bad, voltage supply etc, so it's good to be sure you're not just on the parts cannon. Think you already did the motor though?

If you've got time and patience it's definitely possible to DIY, there's so much info available for these. I managed to do vcg on my 2005 with 120k miles without breaking the CCV connector at the back, and I had to disconnect it twice for some reason, really pushing my luck.. so anything is possible

Looking to pick up a D-Can and diagnostic software cable soon. Just so I can rule out other factors at play through ISTA before i take the plunge on the Eccentric shaft sensor. Does anyone know of any guides etc that can help check these through the software as i have no experience of using it. Ive attempted through Bimmerlink but it doesn't seem overly helpful on testing for these types of things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Had an interesting chat with BMS Leatherhead who specialise in BMW and have a good reputation (I may pay them visit when I know what needs doing). They seem quite knowledgable on my engine. As regard to the ESS fault, they advised that if its showing a guide code then it may not be the sensor at fault but its parameters are not being met. I Also told them that I have mixture codes, that it may be the incorrect fuel/air ratio the is causing the sensor to throw a fault.
While they advised that its worth investigation, im a bit reluctant to pay more money for diagnostics right now - they said it should be safe to drive as it is but may wait out for further faults to rear their head.
 

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There are Youtube vids talking through how to use ISTA that explain it a lot better than a written guide could. That's where I'd go.

Spent a couple of mins googling to bring this back to a summary, and these threads might help you:

Eccentric Shaft Sensor - 2A3X codes. They aren't at all wrong about the sensor potentially not being the fault, but the sensors are known to fail causing those codes. You can view target and actual positions in INPA/ISTA etc. so that's something to check.

Fuel mixture - N52 Problem: 29E1 and 29E0 codes and Negative Fuel Trims and
29E0/29E1. These talk about those exact codes coupled with poor running being caused by a vacuum leak, so a smoke test might be a good next step as you can do that yourself.

The tstat appearing to be stuck open is a mechanical fault, that will need sorting at some point and could even be contributing to the fuel mix codes as above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
There are Youtube vids talking through how to use ISTA that explain it a lot better than a written guide could. That's where I'd go.

Spent a couple of mins googling to bring this back to a summary, and these threads might help you:

Eccentric Shaft Sensor - 2A3X codes. They aren't at all wrong about the sensor potentially not being the fault, but the sensors are known to fail causing those codes. You can view target and actual positions in INPA/ISTA etc. so that's something to check.

Fuel mixture - N52 Problem: 29E1 and 29E0 codes and Negative Fuel Trims and
29E0/29E1. These talk about those exact codes coupled with poor running being caused by a vacuum leak, so a smoke test might be a good next step as you can do that yourself.

The tstat appearing to be stuck open is a mechanical fault, that will need sorting at some point and could even be contributing to the fuel mix codes as above.
Top delving! Thank you! I think i found that thread and saved it a few weeks ago but subsequently lost it so thank you its probably the closest ive come across to what i have!
re, the vacuum leak i have had a smoke test carried out with nothing to report back However鈥.i am 90% sure the valvetronic motor gasket is leaking and the occasional burning smell im coming across is oil hitting the exhaust manifold (it stinks!!!)
I watched the below George Austers video and my ears perked when he described what he was noticing before replacing the shaft sensor as it鈥檚 exactly what i have now.


I think ill tackle the eccentric shaft fault first then pray that helps the mixture control. After reading up on how valvetronic works it is possible theyre linked but ill try and rule out as much as possible first. As regards to the valvetronic motor, if that is damaged or not performing correctly would that typically log its own code. Just wondering if worse case scenario that the gears or the shaft are worn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
There are Youtube vids talking through how to use ISTA that explain it a lot better than a written guide could. That's where I'd go.

Spent a couple of mins googling to bring this back to a summary, and these threads might help you:

Eccentric Shaft Sensor - 2A3X codes. They aren't at all wrong about the sensor potentially not being the fault, but the sensors are known to fail causing those codes. You can view target and actual positions in INPA/ISTA etc. so that's something to check.

Fuel mixture - N52 Problem: 29E1 and 29E0 codes and Negative Fuel Trims and
29E0/29E1. These talk about those exact codes coupled with poor running being caused by a vacuum leak, so a smoke test might be a good next step as you can do that yourself.

The tstat appearing to be stuck open is a mechanical fault, that will need sorting at some point and could even be contributing to the fuel mix codes as above.

Following on from this. Like the post for that fuel mixture control fault that was linked, I managed to do the same and monitor a load of variables. Ive kept a close eye on things over a number of days in mixed conditions and nothing really stands out.

I took readings below when the car was at cruising speed and felt like its old self which funnily enough was at a cool evening. I also took readings at idle after normal use during the day as a reference point.

I understand a bit more as to what I am looking for now. I sometimes have up to about 1.5% difference in the long term fuel trim between bank 1 and 2 but generally everything looks fairly normal ( I might be wrong anyone feel free to correct me!). Im getting about 160 g/sec @ WOT on airflow rate which seems a little low but im getting correct voltage between the oxygen sensors and i unplugged the MAF to see if it runs better but it actually felt slightly worse.

I think I can rule out a vacuum leak as ive already had a smoke test, my idle is very stable on idle and I sprayed a load of carb cleaner around the intake and valve cover and it made no difference.

I don't think it would be injectors but im wondering if there's any other things I can check to rule them out - I currently don't think I have any classic symptoms and same goes for the PCV (No excessive smoke and no burning off oil.

At this stage the only other thing I can guess is one of the DISA's but again I think this would cause an uneven idle. So I am starting to think this is purely the eccentric shaft sensors causing all the commotion! Ive sent some enquiries off to get some quotes on the sensor replacement as I may just bite the bullet.

Readings @ cruise below.

Short term fuel % trim - Bank 1
-3.91 %

Long term fuel % trim - Bank 1
1.56%

Short term fuel % trim - Bank 2
-4.69 %

Long term fuel % trim - Bank 2
1.56%

Engine RPM
3900 谐褉m


@Idle after a day of driving around.....

Short term fuel % trim - Bank 1
21.09 %


Long term fuel % trim - Bank 1
-14.84 %


Short term fuel % trim - Bank 2
20.31 %


Long term fuel % trim - Bank 2
-17.19 %


Engine RPM
657 rpm
 

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2005 BMW 130i
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could try clear codes, unplug ESS and see if the mixture codes (and/or severe fuel trims at idle) come back, if so then that might suggest the ESS/valvetronic isn't the cause of the mixture issues?

DISAs should be pretty easy to rule out, if theres no obvious change in power at 3k or 4.5k, and actuating them with inpa/ista sounds OK (could try and touch them while actuating to see if you can feel them opening/closing too), and if no obvious rattle from that area then I'd reckon they're OK
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
could try clear codes, unplug ESS and see if the mixture codes (and/or severe fuel trims at idle) come back, if so then that might suggest the ESS/valvetronic isn't the cause of the mixture issues?

DISAs should be pretty easy to rule out, if theres no obvious change in power at 3k or 4.5k, and actuating them with inpa/ista sounds OK (could try and touch them while actuating to see if you can feel them opening/closing too), and if no obvious rattle from that area then I'd reckon they're OK
Yes im fairly happy that the Disas are ok. I managed to pull the bigger one recently and wasnt flapping about and theres no rattling. They dont quite provide the oomph they used to but i think thats down to the valvetronic.

As for the ESS that鈥檚 actually a good suggestion, however i was always under the impression that its needed in the starting of the car. Do the codes not register if the sensor is unplugged?

The fuel trims do seem to look excessively in the negative at idle - odd because at cruinsing speed and pottering about they seem to look fine to me.
 

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"By disconnecting the eccentric shaft sensor, the DME will put the valvetronic into emergency running mode. The valves will go to full lift via the DME activating the valvetronic motor and the accelerator will work off the throttle body. In layman's terms it will run like a conventional non valvetronic engine. "

presumably the DME can achieve a good mixture running in throttle body mode, and therefore it seems a valid test to confirm/eliminate whether valvetronic/ess is causing mixture issues (which i find hard to believe that they would).

what was your MAF reading at idle, some numbers from a quick google:
"My 3.0L 328xi MAF flow rate = 13.5 Kg/Hr = 3.75 gram/second at 660 RPM. Your 2.5 liter engine should be ~ 5/6 of that (2.5L / 3.0L), or 3.12 g/s, IF your idle speed is 660 RPM. If your idle speed is HIGHER than that, multiply "3.12 g/s" by Actual RPM/ 660 and that is a close estimate. "

maybe worth looking into MAP sensor too if MAF seems OK?
 
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