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Troubleshooting Low Idle on an E46 318ti
11-08-2019, 08:29 PM
Post: #1
Troubleshooting Low Idle on an E46 318ti
Hi all.

My sister got a 318ti E46 recently and the maintenance is my problem now.

The car runs quite strong, the only problem is that it idles low (around 500- 600) which causes a bit of hesitation when pulling off and vibration at idle but other than that it runs well.

I have been trying to figure out what the issue is for the last 2 weeks to no avail. I have just replaced the CCV and I have checked the MAF and vanos sensors by unplugging them and letting the car idle but it made no difference.

I have considered the crank and cam sensors but I doubt that is the issue as there are no check engine lights and the car doesn’t miss or backfire and it starts 1st turn every time. I am starting to suspect a blocked cat, could this be the problem?

On a side note the car makes a whistling noise at low rpms and I’m not sure if it’s related.

Thanks in advance, any help would be greatly appreciated.
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11-08-2019, 09:38 PM
Post: #2
RE: Troubleshooting Low Idle on an E46 318ti
(11-08-2019 08:29 PM)Djfunky95 Wrote:  Hi all.

My sister got a 318ti E46 recently and the maintenance is my problem now.

The car runs quite strong, [Snip, Snip]

On a side note the car makes a whistling noise at low rpms and I’m not sure if it’s related.

Thanks in advance, any help would be greatly appreciated.

I think that is your problem. Not sure of the setup on the 4 cyl. but on the 6 cyl. (The idea is the same) there are two intake boots.

Your intake boot has a small hole/rip/tear, and that is causing the whistle you hear. You need to find the tear and repair it, which might help temporarily. I'm sure that replacing the boot solves your problem.

Hope this helps!
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12-08-2019, 11:51 AM
Post: #3
RE: Troubleshooting Low Idle on an E46 318ti
Thank you very much for that, I will take it off and check it some time this week and let you know if it solved the problem.
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