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BMW 1 series problem


Hi, I’ve got a 2010 BMW 1-Series 118 m sport that has done 53000 miles. The engine light started flashing a couple of days ago so I took it in and it was a misfire as one coil was failing (as we thought). We had all coils and spark plugs replaced yesterday as I had read it is better to get them changed at the same time. It ran fine yesterday, then this morning when I turned it on first thing and started driving the engine light started flashing again. So I pulled over, stopped and restarted and it ran fine with no engine light. What could be causing this? Could it be it just hasn’t reset or maybe a cold engine? Obviously I will take it to the garage on Monday again to see what they think but just after some suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

Too many possibilities, including but not limited to a bad injector, a bad crank sensor, the temp sensor not working, and a few others.

The place to start is, as always, see what the codes say and diagnose from there. Let us know what the garage says. We do care.

Sometimes an intermittent misfire on a coil-over-plug system is a leaking valve cover gasket getting oil on the outside of the spark plug. For reasons I have never understood, on my BMWs, those misfires tend to clear when the engine is warm. I presume, however, that the shop would have alerted you if they had seen oil on a spark plug or boot.

What the heck? I was trying to help look up technical bulletins, but BMW has more car models than the number of salad dressings at Wal-Mart.

I couldn’t even find 118, m or otherwise. The closest was 128 out of dozens of models… And what the heck is E82, E88, E90, E92, E93, E70, E71, F07, F10 and F25 vehicles with the N55 engine?

Sorry. I tried. My car name is complicated… Pontiac, Grand Prix, thank goodness.

And probably more technical bulletins than Wal-Mart salad dressing selection too… :scream:

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E82 is the type of chassis . . . for example 1-series, sedan, built from x model year to x model year

It’s sort of an internal designation, if you will

Even your Pontiac Grand Prix has such a designation, although GM uses letters, such as “A-Body”

My Grand Prix is a 'W car," but it’s got a friendly name, Grand Prix. You can’t look at a Grand Prix and know it’s a W car. You can’t look at a BMW and know if it’s an E93 or an F25, right?

I had a great big list of 2010 BMW models and 1-series, 118, and m weren’t on there. And I don’t even know if it’s fat-free!

I’d bet parts are easy to buy everywhere and most are in stock. :roll_eyes:

If somebody can give me BMW’s real designation of this car I will try and look it up. I have sources.

You are only partially correct

You CAN look at a BMW and know if it’s an E93, or what have you

Our spare car is a 1999 C280 . . . a W202. Any C-class sedan from 1994 through 2000 is a W202, no matter the engine or trim level

In other words, regardless of the badge on the trunk lid says C220 or C43 AMG, you can look at it from 50 feet away, without even seeing the interior or the trunk lid, and correctly say “That’s a W202” . . . and the successor was the W203, for example

There are instances when it’s enough to simply know what chassis you have and walk into the dealer parts room. There are some parts that are used on all of them, regardless of if it’s the strippo model, or boy racer model

I don’t see a listing for a 118m either. Perhaps OP & car are not residing in the USA. Most help here if OP could at least inform which engine it sports. L6-3L N51, n52K, etc? That info is usually printed on a sticker on the underside of the hood, along with the emissions specs.

These kinds of problems are usually figured out not by just replacing everything that could be possibly involved, but by swapping parts around, like swapping the coil positions, or the injector positions to see if the misfire follows the swap or not.

Besides the coils and injectors, intermittent misfires can often be caused by a faulty crank or cam position sensor too.

Be aware OP that running the engine for any time at all with a blinking check engine light can quickly damage the cat. That’s a problem you don’t want, so next time it blinks, best bet is probably just tow it back to the shop.

for BMW, it is usual to have a first digit to tell model and the last two digits to tell on displacement size

here: 118 is “1-serie” (the smallest one) and “18” for 1.8 engine, which is a strong indication it is NOT a USA car

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Maybe I need to move to Europe. Here in San Jose somebody driving a BMW was honking at me from behind the other day b/c my poor Corolla with its 1.6L and a few odd squirrels wasn’t accelerating fast enough from the red light …lol …

I was reading a service bulletin from some kind of 2010 BMW with similar symptoms involving cold start driving. Turns out it was caused by a fuel pressure problem.

What I’d do is find a shop where they talk, breathe, sleep, and dream BMW with German accents. A shop (BMWs and Porsches parked all over the lot) where what @db4690 said sounds like common sense…

They’d go like, "Well it’s an E93, or F25, whatever, with that N55, WD-40, whatever engine and say, “It no doubt needs the…______________!”

I actually know a guy (a real car genius) who works at such a place. That place would cut to the chase in short order. They’d take it personally.

The corner gas station isn’t going to get this thing running right.

E82,E87,E88 are all possible designations for this generation of 1 series depending on model year and from what i can find the 118 is a Euro/Uk model

Fuel pressure irregularities??? It could be many things. Take it to a shop that knows BMWs and knows how to access technical information (BMW manufacturer bulletins) for them. This car is low mileage and it’s not as likely something is worn out.

A friend of mine had a 118 years ago. I don’t know anything about the vehicle except that he got rid of it a few years after buying it.

Yeah, BMW puts out numerical designations like my hot air popper puts out popcorn.

Yes I live in England sorry I didn’t state that in my first post, so the car is an E87 with engine N43B20, a 2.0litre engine. Does that help?

That solves the mystery of why all the blokes in this discussion couldn’t recall there being any 118 models sold here in the States.

That explains why I’m having trouble coming up with any meaningful Technical Service Bulletin information. The bulletin I referred to above probably doesn’t pertain to this vehicle/engine.

Also, this problem you’re having could be a generic car problem or something specific to that particular vehicle/engine. We just don’t know.

I would like to draw your attention to the admonition posted by @GeorgeSanJose, above…

A steady “check engine” light usually indicates that the car can be driven. A flashing “check engine” light means that to operate the vehicle in that condition could cause additional expensive damage to things like the catalytic converter or in some cases actually ruin the engine. Please see your Owner’s Manual.

I wish I was more helpful. I still think a shop (BMW dealer or otherwise) that knows these cars is your best avenue to a resolution.

OP, if you’d post the engine computer OBD II diagnostic codes the experts here might be able to offer up some advice beyond just the generic “swap stuff around and see what happens”. The def’n of misfire is that the computer has determined the crankshaft isn’t being properly accelerated (pushed on by the piston’s downward movement) like it should have, after a spark plug has fired. A proper firing requires the correct amount of fuel/air mixture in the cylinder, good compression, and a good spark at the right time. So you got something wrong with one of those things. Something simple like water in the gas could cause it, or something serious like damaged engine innards could cause it. Usually the problem turns out to be something in between.

An update - garage still has it, they’re confused as no codes are showing up so I have no idea what to do really. They kept it last night to see the first start thing and it is literally just that first time it’s turned on, driven for about 2 minutes then it’s switched off and restarted and it’s absolutely fine. I’m dreading the final cost if they do find something as this doesn’t seem like a small problem.

It needs a new fuel injector, does anyone have any estimates on how much that is going to cost? :frowning: