BMW E36 Blog

BMW E36 Rough Idle Problems

30th January 2008

BMW E36 Rough Idle Problems


Rough idle problems are really common on BMW E36 cars and there are a lot of problems that may cause this to appear. First I will show you a video of such a rough idle and then list the possible problems that may cause that.

Take a look:-

The possible reasons for such a problem are:

1. Oxygen Sensor is gone: You can run a diagnosis to see if this is the problem. If you find out that it’s the problem, you should replace it. Read Everything you need to know about Oxygen Sensor! for more information about oxygen sensors.

2. Idle Control Valve: Dirty idle control valve is a very common problem in BMW E36 cars that may cause rough idle. You can use this DIY (Do It Yourself) to learn about Cleaning E36 ICV (Idle Control Valve)

3. Plugs and Distributor: You may need to replace these to solve your problem. I however don’t have a way to check them before replacement.

4. The Throttle Position Sensor (TBS) and/or connections may be bad: You can simply disconnect it and see if your problem is solved or not.


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posted in Electrical, Engine, Technical Info, Tips & Tricks | 1 Comment

2nd July 2007

Everything you need to know about Oxygen Sensor!

The Oxygen Sensor is usually to blame for problems in the car performance and gas consumption. It’s stunning to discover that it’s hard to fail. I can count many of my friends who went to mechanics for car checkups and ended up changing the Oxygen Sensor. It seems that the mechanics knowing that the Oxygen Sensor is something mysterious to many people will make them believe that it’s broken and need to be changed, even with no obvious reason for that. In this article, you will find all what you need to know about Oxygen Sensor and even how to test it to determine if it’s working fine or not. So, enjoy it and please let me know what you think. Thanks Rick Kirchoff for the original post.



These procedures are only for self powered conventional sensors.


Some very new cars are using a different style sensor that is powered. *Many* Oxygen sensors are replaced that are good to excellent. *Many* people don’t know how to test them. They routinely last 50,000 or more miles, and if the engine is in good shape, can last the life of the car.


What does the O2 sensor do?


It is the primary measurement device for the fuel control computer in your car to know if the engine is too rich or too lean. The O2 sensor is active anytime it is hot enough, but the computer only uses this information in the closed loop mode. Closed loop is the operating mode where all engine control sensors including the Oxygen sensor are used to get best fuel economy, lowest emissions, and good power


Should the O2 sensor be replaced when the sensor light comes on in your car?

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posted in Engine, Technical Info | 28 Comments