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If not air pump, what?

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by DAChurches, Sep 7, 2008.

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    Losing power. Help!

    Hello and thanks for any help you can provide,
    Car: E36 323is, 1999, 78,000 miles

    In a nutshell, my Check Engine light came on the other day, engine computer readout (below the radio) says everything is okay, oil and coolant are full. BMW service guy looked at it briefly (I was in a hurry) and assured me it wasn't an emergency. He thought it might be the secondary air pump based on the symptoms I described. Next day it began run rough and seriously lose power. It will still get up to 70 (or more) but it has no acceleration and no torque (going up a slight hill, I have to downshift).

    My understanding is that the secondary air pump only affects cold starts; once the engine is warm, it shouldn't be evident. I have no problem starting, even when cold. It feels starved for gas.

    Does this sound like a simple, replace-the-part job that I could do myself, like remove and replace the air pump (what I'd like to do)? Or do I need serious professional help (what I'm afraid I need)? I don't have any way to read error codes so I'd have to pay for that.

    Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide.


    Jeron guest

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    You are correct, its not the air pump. The computer readout is only good for minor things like light bulbs, coolant and washer fluid levels.

    You need a OBDII reader to pull the codes, look up the descriptions, then post them here.

    My guess is intake or vacume leak.
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    + several dozen. Get the codes. The intake boots are common, as are the idle air hoses. My idle air hose cracked and fell off the other day. It threw a mixture code (air mass) but the problem was basically too much unmetered air. It would not idle until warma nd ran like crap.

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