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Discussion Starter #1
Since you guys were so quick to find the answer to my previous query, let's try something harder! ;-)

Ever since I have had my 2002 E39 M5, I have found the performance to vary from great to meh.

Most of the time, it is meh. It goes well, but is a bit lackluster, and the engine seems a bit reluctant, not very happy.
But every now and then, something happens, and suddenly it feels more powerful, happy revving, and sounds much more pleasant.

It is becoming very frustrating: 95% of the time it is ok, but 5% of the time it is just great. I want that to go from 5% to 100%!!

Now I have mentioned it to my local shop, who tells me it is fine, and they do not see a problem on the computer. Next step would be to start swapping stuff, but they say "we can do that, we would just be playing lottery with your money", which is a pretty honest assessment.


From my internet readings, it seems that the main suspects are:
- CPS
- front O2 sensors
- VANOS solenoids


The clues are:
- in "meh" mode, it seems to have more of a low pitched sound, more like a growl
- in "meh" mode, I find myself not revving it too high as it does not feel happy at 4k upwards. It is hard to quantify that feeling, it just feels "not right".
- sometimes it feels great. This seems unrelated to weather, fuel, temperature, humidity, time of the day, or any other factor I can think of.
- when it feels great, it feels much more like a race engine than in "meh" mode. It is not so much the extra power, more that it feels happy to rev and wants you to use the power. If that makes any sense.

Other info: got the car at 78k, now at 108k, used daily, I use Shell SP98 generally.

Any ideas?

Car is in the shop next week for service, is there anything specific I should ask them to look at?

Thanks!
 

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is the car running stock tune? Run mass air flow sensor test and see what number you pull.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I changed the MAFs a couple of years ago, after changing I was getting a reading around 140 , i.e. all good. Inconsistency was already there, that was why I changed the MAFs in the first place. It did not appear to help.
 

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First, get yourself a Peake code reader. Pull the codes, erase and see what comes back.

Not all faults will throw a code. Sometimes a CPS will be intermittent and not throw a code. By your description of change in sound (growl),and noticeable loss of power, I would guess possibly a bad exhaust CPS. Could change 1, but I would just do both. Can't be out more than a couple of hundred $$. Budget 30 minutes each side for the first time.

Regards,
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Right, that is one piece of important info I have left out! I have a Peake reader, but never got any codes. Will try to pull them again though.

How hard is it to change the CPS? My level of DIY expertise allowed me to swap MAFs and repair my sagging headlights (without baking, much fun!), but that is pretty much all I have done so far on the M5.

Do you know of any tutorial available online for this?
 

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I would lean towards CPS sensors based on your description of a different exhaust tone. As others have said, CPS's on the way out don't always throw a code. How many miles are on the car and have they ever been replaced to your knowledge?
 

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Pull the plenum, valve covers and replace gaskets along with other rubber while you there. It's very easy to replace all the sensors once it's open. Good luck.

P.s. You could be out of timing as well if your tensioner is bad. George adjusted my timing and it fixed the issue of low hp.
 

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Right, that is one piece of important info I have left out! I have a Peake reader, but never got any codes. Will try to pull them again though.

How hard is it to change the CPS? My level of DIY expertise allowed me to swap MAFs and repair my sagging headlights (without baking, much fun!), but that is pretty much all I have done so far on the M5.

Do you know of any tutorial available online for this?

I went thru' some of the symtoms you're seeing. I did MAF's 3-4 years ago and the difference was night and day for me. I just did all 4 CPS this last spring (feb 2014). I can tell you that my mid range response was much improved after they were changed. Throttle snaps into life much quicker. It will get better over the course of a tank of gas after the initial install, as the DME relearns new adaptations.

You'll need small hands and ¼" drive socket set with 5mm bits too. Passenger side is easier from above due to the headers are in the way. One tip I learned was to ty-wrap the wiring harness bracket out of the way, over to the right of the car on the passenger side to get access to the cps screw. I anchored the ty-wrap to the engine lift eye bracket. Loosening both wiring brackets on both banks may give you a little more movement.

The drivers side is easier from underneath the car due I thought, with a couple of trips to the top to reassemble brackets etc. Headers aren't as in the way on the drivers side, but coolant pipes are.

I did my pre O2's also this year. I didn't notice much difference (even though I got a code for bank 1 a year ago, once) but, it did improve the willingness of the engine to pull to redline in the upper rpm ranges it seems.

The altered exh tone leads me to think you should start with CPS. These tips combined with the threads on here should see you thru' it. It's not that hard, just fiddly due to confined space. The electrical plugs can be hard to get off, undo the sensor and pull it out from it's hole, then you can get a better grip to the release tab on the plug.


Someone recently posted a link to the Hella CPS for $37. I was trying to find it but no luck yet. I have another car I'm getting ready to do it on and wanted to try the Hella items. Hopefully they may chime in with that link again...
 
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I'm glad this thread came around. I am experiencing this at the moment. Very meh performance, torque seemingly went missing, CPS and MAF cleaning imminent.

No codes at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, time for an update!

Car was in the shop for a whole list of things, I thought I'd see what it would come back like, before updating.

Amongst other things, the shop did the valve cover gaskets, which were leaking, and changed the plugs, as these get soaked in oil as a result, apparently.

Anyway, now it is way way better! Much smoother, and so much easier to drive... I have not yet tested the top end power since I also got a new clutch, and I am taking it easy for a few days, but the lumpiness is all gone. Before it was really a beast to drive, I thought they were all like that, now it is pretty easy.

Apparently the plugs were never changed, so it looks like 108k is a bit too long for a set of these! Considering the price, I should have done it ages ago. You live and learn...
 

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Someone recently posted a link to the Hella CPS for $37. I was trying to find it but no luck yet. I have another car I'm getting ready to do it on and wanted to try the Hella items. Hopefully they may chime in with that link again...
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O2 Sensors: Amazon.com: Buying Choices: Bosch 13477 Oxygen Sensor, OE Type Fitment

Crank Sensor: BMW e31 e38 e39 e60 Crank Position RPM sender : Amazon.com : Automotive
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P.s. You could be out of timing as well if your tensioner is bad. George adjusted my timing and it fixed the issue of low hp.
is it a DYI at all procedure at all? what it involves?

I am not going to do it myself (since I ask these questions) but I am wondering which mechanic will I trust to do this job.
 
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