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      12-29-2018, 09:38 PM   #1
gryffishhawk
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N47 Engine Surges

Drive a 2014 328d and the engine surges when stopped in traffic and in drive. If I shift to Park the surge is eliminated and the engine idles normally. Anyone else experience this sort of thing or have any ideas? BMW has checked the car and say itís within BMW specs (canít find any problems).
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      12-29-2018, 10:12 PM   #2
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What exactly do you mean by surging?


Do you know what software versions (i-level) your car is on?
It may just need a software update.
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      12-30-2018, 12:56 PM   #3
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okay, what i mean by surge is a noticeable variation in RPM--after I come to a stop the engine’s idle--the engine’s rpm at idle is not consistent and not smooth but surges above and below what is ‘normal’ (guessing the normal idle is around 700 rpm).

you can hear the surging and see it on the tach--the engine may climb by 100 or 200 rpm and then decline back 100 or 200 rpm below it’s normal idle speed--regularly and rapidly as in every second. it only happens at a stop and does not affect the driving experience in any other noticeable way. basically, my concern is that the idle is not smooth or consistent if the car is in drive at a full stop. However, if I shift the car out of drive and into park the idle smooths right out--becomes what i would consider normal. Also, when the car is in eco-pro and coasting and the engine is de-coupled from the transmission the car idles normally, which makes me wonder if the surging is somehow related to the engine being coupled with the transmission.

this abnormal surging started out of blue when the car had around 20K miles on it. it had never happened before and when the car went in for it’s next scheduled annual maintenance i explained it to the BMW service manager and he said the car was due for a new fuel filter and he thought that might sort things out (but it didn’t help much). BMW also contacted the folks at BMW of NA and they suggested checking the mass air flow component and BMW did replace this part but the car still has the surging.

seems (to me) like it might be related to the drive train since it only exhibits when the engine is coupled to the transmission at low (near idle) engine speeds and can usually be corrected by shifting from drive to park (which is a nuisance to have to do at every stop)

appreciate any thoughts or if anyone else with a similar vehicle (mine is the 2014 US version of the 328d--twin turbo, four-cylinder diesel--with the N47 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission) has experienced similar. this is a rear wheel drive only car--not the AWD version of the car.

Last edited by gryffishhawk; 12-30-2018 at 01:01 PM..
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      12-30-2018, 12:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for the heads-up on i-level/software versions. I don’t know what i-level the car is on. How would I find out more about this? Dealer? Or can the car’s computer system report this to me?
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      12-31-2018, 12:33 PM   #5
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The dealer can, yes.

Or if you have an ENET cable with Esys or ISTA-D programs, you can see and update those yourself (with caution and some experience).
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      12-31-2018, 03:25 PM   #6
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Did you see my questions to this in the other thread you posted about this issue?

Does this happen when the car is undergoing a regen? Does it happen when the car is still warming up (coolant temp not up to the 190-210 normal operating range)? Does it only happen in cold weather?

I've noticed this same behavior on two occasions when stopped at stoplights. The conditions I noticed were that it was cold outside (morning) and the car wasn't warmed up yet (coolant temps weren't near the normal operating range). Once warmed up on the same drives the idle went back to smooth and consistent.
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      01-01-2019, 07:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gryffishhawk View Post
Drive a 2014 328d and the engine surges when stopped in traffic and in drive. If I shift to Park the surge is eliminated and the engine idles normally. Anyone else experience this sort of thing or have any ideas? BMW has checked the car and say itís within BMW specs (canít find any problems).
Ha, I am so glad I am not the only one! I posted the exact same question in the main part of the forum. Seems like it may be a software issue, since it affects both of us. Let me find my original question, it went unanswered there.
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      01-01-2019, 07:28 PM   #8
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Here is my original question from 12/27. My car currently has 16,000 miles and has behaved similarly since new.

Wanted to inquire someone with a strange problem. I seem to be more sensitive to it and am noticing it once in a while. The car (2018 328d) has 16,000 miles and still covered under warranty. However, given how infrequent and intermittent it is, I am unable to capture it on video, much less likely that the dealer will replicate it.

Since new, the car exhibited vibration patterns that were variable. Most of the time, when stopped, the car would either vibrate consistently (r-r-r-r-r) or have a slight change in sound and vibration patterns (R-r-R-r-R). I was thinking - maybe some accessory comes on and car changes the pattern. Almost like goes from consistent purr to a variable purr every other second. Nothing uncomfortable and you have to listen and feel carefully. When it goes into this strange tempo, if you barely touch the throttle to move the car at lower RPMs, sometimes (not always) it also feels like the car is shaky a bit - it accelerates in a tempo-like fashion. Give a good throttle and will feel no different than normal.

The funny thing is - if you put the car into neutral and back to D, the purring goes to consistent. So I don't think it is engine related. Doubt would be accessory related either, since that should have nothing to do with changing car to N and back. I was thinking maybe it does it during regen and placing in Neutral cancels regen mode, but I have no reason to believe that would have such an effect. No visible shakiness of tachometer needle.

ISTA D brings up no errors. I checked injectors and they all passed smooth idle test. Since I cannot myself consistently replicate the issue, I doubt dealer would be either. Anyone have any suggestions to check, including checks with ISTA? I am considering transmission adaptation next, but I am stumped as what this could be related to. Or would that be normal? Transmission shifts perfectly every time, nothing unusual since new. Upshifts are barely noticeable, downshifts are more noticeable but still smooth.
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      01-01-2019, 11:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Did you see my questions to this in the other thread you posted about this issue?

Does this happen when the car is undergoing a regen? Does it happen when the car is still warming up (coolant temp not up to the 190-210 normal operating range)? Does it only happen in cold weather?

I've noticed this same behavior on two occasions when stopped at stoplights. The conditions I noticed were that it was cold outside (morning) and the car wasn't warmed up yet (coolant temps weren't near the normal operating range). Once warmed up on the same drives the idle went back to smooth and consistent.
No, but thanks for letting me know I need to locate and check the other thread--I reposted question here to gain more attention.

So, embarrassing but Iím not familiar with the term Ďregen'. Does this refer to the carís emissions control system (use of adblue/DEF for emissions control, etc)? If so, I found a note in the manual that the engine will run rough when the burning or cleaning of soot, etc occurs and so, Iíve hoped this was what i was experiencing, however, not sure thatís the case because the engine never surged until around 20K miles and it can happen too frequently to only assume an emissions control process, etc. Also, the surge has happened with both a cold engine and an engine at normal operating temps (say after a 15 minute highway drive). The car has never been in freezing conditions. The lowest temp its ever operated in was around 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of the time the car is operated between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit as I live in a sub-tropical region (Florida). It seems to primarily occur when the engine is coupled to the transmission at idle.
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      01-01-2019, 11:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eugene89us View Post
Here is my original question from 12/27. My car currently has 16,000 miles and has behaved similarly since new.

Wanted to inquire someone with a strange problem. I seem to be more sensitive to it and am noticing it once in a while. The car (2018 328d) has 16,000 miles and still covered under warranty. However, given how infrequent and intermittent it is, I am unable to capture it on video, much less likely that the dealer will replicate it.

Since new, the car exhibited vibration patterns that were variable. Most of the time, when stopped, the car would either vibrate consistently (r-r-r-r-r) or have a slight change in sound and vibration patterns (R-r-R-r-R). I was thinking - maybe some accessory comes on and car changes the pattern. Almost like goes from consistent purr to a variable purr every other second. Nothing uncomfortable and you have to listen and feel carefully. When it goes into this strange tempo, if you barely touch the throttle to move the car at lower RPMs, sometimes (not always) it also feels like the car is shaky a bit - it accelerates in a tempo-like fashion. Give a good throttle and will feel no different than normal.

The funny thing is - if you put the car into neutral and back to D, the purring goes to consistent. So I don't think it is engine related. Doubt would be accessory related either, since that should have nothing to do with changing car to N and back. I was thinking maybe it does it during regen and placing in Neutral cancels regen mode, but I have no reason to believe that would have such an effect. No visible shakiness of tachometer needle.

ISTA D brings up no errors. I checked injectors and they all passed smooth idle test. Since I cannot myself consistently replicate the issue, I doubt dealer would be either. Anyone have any suggestions to check, including checks with ISTA? I am considering transmission adaptation next, but I am stumped as what this could be related to. Or would that be normal? Transmission shifts perfectly every time, nothing unusual since new. Upshifts are barely noticeable, downshifts are more noticeable but still smooth.
What you describe matches my experience. It can be subtle if youíre not sensitive to it and if not paying attention (or distracted) you might miss it but since it started a couple of years ago Iím sensitive to it now. I was able to capture it on my iPhoneís video a couple of times (video of the tach + sound of the engine surging slightly) and shared it with my service center but they had no idea and so, kept the car over a long holiday weekend and drove it a lot and were finally able to replicate the condition.

All the BMW diagnostics came back as the car is running (perfectly) in specs with the manufacturer and so, service center contacted BMW NA and they suggested the mass airflow sensor and so the service center replaced this component under warranty but the car still surges despite all these efforts. Intuitively, I think something is amiss but none of the experts or the computer diagnostics are able to pinpoint the problem. As it only happens when the engine is coupled to the transmission (idles fine in PARK just not in DRIVE), it seems like it might have something to do with how the engine and transmission come together at idle but only under certain conditions as it occurs or appears to occur randomly??
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      01-01-2019, 11:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gryffishhawk View Post
No, but thanks for letting me know I need to locate and check the other thread--I reposted question here to gain more attention.

So, embarrassing but I’m not familiar with the term ‘regen'. Does this refer to the car’s emissions control system (use of adblue/DEF for emissions control, etc)? If so, I found a note in the manual that the engine will run rough when the burning or cleaning of soot, etc occurs and so, I’ve hoped this was what i was experiencing, however, not sure that’s the case because the engine never surged until around 20K miles and it can happen too frequently to only assume an emissions control process, etc. Also, the surge has happened with both a cold engine and an engine at normal operating temps (say after a 15 minute highway drive). The car has never been in freezing conditions. The lowest temp its ever operated in was around 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of the time the car is operated between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit as I live in a sub-tropical region (Florida). It seems to primarily occur when the engine is coupled to the transmission at idle.
Yes, "regen" is when extra fuel is being burned in order to bring your diesel particulate filter (DPF) temps up to 1000-1300F (typical temps are 400-800F) in order to burn off the soot in the DPF into ash. I use an OBDII bluetooth device and the Torque Pro app on my android phone to see my DPF exhaust gas temps (EGT) so I know when the car is undergoing a regen. Shifting out of drive during a regen might cause the regen to abort.

You say it only started occurring in 20k miles, but perhaps you've just been "lucky" and not had a regen occur during idle prior to that? If you shut the car off during a regen sometimes the fan will come on and run for a while to cool things down.
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      01-02-2019, 12:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Yes, "regen" is when extra fuel is being burned in order to bring your diesel particulate filter (DPF) temps up to 1000-1300F (typical temps are 400-800F) in order to burn off the soot in the DPF into ash. I use an OBDII bluetooth device and the Torque Pro app on my android phone to see my DPF exhaust gas temps (EGT) so I know when the car is undergoing a regen. Shifting out of drive during a regen might cause the regen to abort.

You say it only started occurring in 20k miles, but perhaps you've just been "lucky" and not had a regen occur during idle prior to that? If you shut the car off during a regen sometimes the fan will come on and run for a while to cool things down.
Very helpful information FaRKle! Yes, the fan does come on now from time-to-time when I shut down the engine and always wondered what that fan was trying to do. Anyway, TY! and I hope to run some of these ideas by my service center next time Iím in. Iím surprised they never mentioned the nuances of the regen process and effects on the engine. And yes, youíve described my experience perfectly--so, a handful of times Iíve parked the car and when i got out I could hear a fan running and thinking Ďwonder what thatís about' so, this sounds like I may have turned off the engine during a regen? Iíve had the car some five plus years now and can probably count on one hand the number of times this has happened. Canít recall it ever happening in the first couple of years but it happens sometimes now. Also, would you know if BMWís N47 engine bases the regen on mileage (perform a regen periodically whether itís needed or not) or does it actually measure the pressure differential on either side of the DPF to determine when the DPF is clogged and needs cleaning? Does it inject diesel directly into the DPF to clean it (bypass the engine) or does it add the diesel as part of the exhaust stroke from the engine?
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      01-02-2019, 09:12 AM   #13
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Here is a YouTube link to the sound the engine makes when this "surging" experience happens. The tach is usually very stable or variation that is not noticeable. But you can hear that surging sound and you can feel surging vibration in the steering wheel also. And goes away immediately upon putting the car out of drive. Can you post your videos?

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      01-02-2019, 12:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gryffishhawk View Post
Very helpful information FaRKle! Yes, the fan does come on now from time-to-time when I shut down the engine and always wondered what that fan was trying to do. Anyway, TY! and I hope to run some of these ideas by my service center next time I’m in. I’m surprised they never mentioned the nuances of the regen process and effects on the engine. And yes, you’ve described my experience perfectly--so, a handful of times I’ve parked the car and when i got out I could hear a fan running and thinking ‘wonder what that’s about' so, this sounds like I may have turned off the engine during a regen? I’ve had the car some five plus years now and can probably count on one hand the number of times this has happened. Can’t recall it ever happening in the first couple of years but it happens sometimes now.
It won't always turn on the fan if you shut down the car during a regen, only if it's hot enough. In colder weather I haven't noticed the fan come on when shutting down during a regen, but in the summer it frequently happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gryffishhawk View Post
Also, would you know if BMW’s N47 engine bases the regen on mileage (perform a regen periodically whether it’s needed or not) or does it actually measure the pressure differential on either side of the DPF to determine when the DPF is clogged and needs cleaning? Does it inject diesel directly into the DPF to clean it (bypass the engine) or does it add the diesel as part of the exhaust stroke from the engine?
I believe the car will automatically regen after a certain amount of miles (400ish?) in addition to the DPF measurement. I don't recall where the extra fuel injection is. There was a BMW diesel engine tech document (I believe on the fest forums) that explained the system in detail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eugene89us View Post
Here is a YouTube link to the sound the engine makes when this "surging" experience happens. The tach is usually very stable or variation that is not noticeable. But you can hear that surging sound and you can feel surging vibration in the steering wheel also. And goes away immediately upon putting the car out of drive. Can you post your videos?

When mine did it, it seemed the same as yours.
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      01-03-2019, 11:54 AM   #15
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Yes, appears similar to my engine surge. Thanks for posting/sharing!
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      01-03-2019, 03:45 PM   #16
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Since it seems to affect all of us in a similar fashion, do you think this is considered normal? Especially since it doesn't really affect drive-ability in any way. But you can hear in my video when I place the car in Park, the surging immediately disappears. So it's not transmission (shift just fine) and not engine (stops surging when in neutral/park).

Do any of you have ISTA to check current software version? If we have same software version, it is possible that may be the culprit. Mine says that update is available, but given I am still under warranty, I will beg my dealer to update it at my 20,000 oil change visit. I still plan to perform transmission adaptation to see if that will eliminate infrequent surging idle. Nowadays, I only notice it once a month, which makes diagnosing it so much harder. At that time, I will also check and post my current software version. I think someone with E90 had similar issue, which was resolved following DME update. At least my worry about something being wrong with transmission or engine is resolved, given this seems to be a "normal" occurrence.
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      01-04-2019, 09:54 PM   #17
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Transmission adaptation won't affect this.

Also delete and forever forget about the DPF
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      01-04-2019, 11:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbreding View Post
Transmission adaptation won't affect this.

Also delete and forever forget about the DPF
The hope is to delete EGR, DPF, and SCR but only after all warranties expire. I am in a state that has no annual inspection, and definitely no emissions inspection. So that won't be an issue. But while I have warranty in place, I'd rather keep everything stock to reduce chances of voiding coverage. Plan is to disable EGR first once warranty is out, then delete DPF and SCR once it requires service, likely around 100K miles.
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      01-05-2019, 08:24 AM   #19
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Mine is a 16, still under warranty, and already deleted. The stuff your deleting is likely the first things to fail.
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      10-24-2019, 10:12 AM   #20
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Well, the cold weather is back upon us here in Deep South and the car reminded me that it likes to surge when engine is cold. Still not sure if that is normal or not. Looks like someone with older N47 engine got the surging to stop by replacing fuel quantity control valve on HPFP, but with car now at 30,000 miles with this starting when it was new, I just cannot believe that anything is out of whack from new and happens exactly the same to other folks. Any updates on your vehicles since winter is close?
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      10-24-2019, 10:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eugene89us View Post
Well, the cold weather is back upon us here in Deep South and the car reminded me that it likes to surge when engine is cold. Still not sure if that is normal or not. Looks like someone with older N47 engine got the surging to stop by replacing fuel quantity control valve on HPFP, but with car now at 30,000 miles with this starting when it was new, I just cannot believe that anything is out of whack from new and happens exactly the same to other folks. Any updates on your vehicles since winter is close?
And what did the dealer say when you took it in? I'm sure there are codes in the system.
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      10-24-2019, 11:34 AM   #22
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Nope, zero codes in the system. Also checked consistently with ISTA/D. Just as gryffishhawk showed video to dealer, they said no codes and unable to reproduce at dealer. To be frank, our dealer is quite poor in their abilities. If they screw up oil changes, what else can you expect from them?
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