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      03-07-2013, 09:45 AM   #1
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Engine Malfunction, Reduced Power

I was driving to work yesterday morning and out of nowhere I heard a chime and my iDRIVE screen flashed a message stating Engine Malfunction, Reduced Power! An icon of an engine block slashed in half also showed up on my dashboard computer! I was almost at work so I was able to continue but my power band was gone! It felt like I was driving a Hybrid Prius!! It scared the crap out of me because I have never had any issues with the car other than a drivers side window regulator malfunction. The car is an 09 135i with no engine mods other than a drop in AFE oiled filter. I was worried about it all day while I was at work but when I got in it for my drive home the car showed no engine faults and it appeared that everything was back to normal??? The car was back to it's full power potential and was fine?? Anyone ever have this happen to them?? what could have caused the malfunction?? Should I spend the $110.00 to get it diagnosed or wait to see if it ever happens again?? I am due for an oil change in the next 1,300 miles and the oil level display shows a little less than halfway between maximum and minimum but I don't see any correlation between the two???? Any help would be appreciated....
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      03-07-2013, 10:00 AM   #2
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Your car went into limp mode. Its a safety feature that protects itself if it feels there is an issue with the engine functionality.

Is there a SES light on? After installing the BMS cone intake, mine went into limp mode and then was fine upon re-start but had the light on. Went to Advanced Auto (read code for free; also at Autozone, Pep Boys, etc) and found the code was based that the car was running too lean. Took it into dealer after putting stock air box back on and they replaced the MAF sensor for me. Put the BMS back on once new MAF was installed and haven't had a problem since.
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      03-07-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
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There are lots of possible causes. You will need to have the codes pulled to determine what happened. The last time I had this pop up, it was a vanos solenoid. Easy and relatively cheap to fix.

Good luck,
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      03-07-2013, 03:57 PM   #4
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Sounds like HPFP, this happened to me and it was the hpfp. Funny thing is it would go off sometimes and the car would be normal, however i never experienced any loss of power just the annoying half yellow engine light.
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      03-07-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
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Your car threw a limp mode, it happens…Could be literally a phantom misfire that never re-occurs, could be something more serious. Chances are your car is fine if it drove well after re-starting, but I’d get the codes pulled regardless if possible to see if there’s an underlying issue. You’re basically mod free, so the dealer should be able to help out without hassle.
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      03-07-2013, 04:28 PM   #6
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A 100% it is the HPFP. There is a recall about this. Dealer should replace it with the new one without any problem. I believe the upgraded one is made for BMW by Siemens.
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      03-07-2013, 04:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerE82 View Post
I was driving to work yesterday morning and out of nowhere I heard a chime and my iDRIVE screen flashed a message stating Engine Malfunction, Reduced Power! An icon of an engine block slashed in half also showed up on my dashboard computer! I was almost at work so I was able to continue but my power band was gone! It felt like I was driving a Hybrid Prius!! It scared the crap out of me because I have never had any issues with the car other than a drivers side window regulator malfunction. The car is an 09 135i with no engine mods other than a drop in AFE oiled filter. I was worried about it all day while I was at work but when I got in it for my drive home the car showed no engine faults and it appeared that everything was back to normal??? The car was back to it's full power potential and was fine?? Anyone ever have this happen to them?? what could have caused the malfunction?? Should I spend the $110.00 to get it diagnosed or wait to see if it ever happens again?? I am due for an oil change in the next 1,300 miles and the oil level display shows a little less than halfway between maximum and minimum but I don't see any correlation between the two???? Any help would be appreciated....
When mine did this it turned out to be the No.5 cyl coil pack that was faulty.

With mine, it did as yours did, and then it was all fine for a few months, then did it again, then fine etc. Eventually, it started to do it on a very regular basis, so took the car in to BMW.

If you fitted a oiled filter, maybe you've also go a contaminated MAF sensor from the oiled filter, which is why oiled filters are usually not recommended for such fitments.
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      03-07-2013, 09:40 PM   #8
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I see your location is arizona. Im wondering if perhaps your engine was getting to hot so it went into limp mode to protect itself as an NA engine runs cooler than a turbo one. Thats all reduced power mode is BTW. It leaves the turbo wastegate completly open so that it cant spool. Thats the power loss you felt. Think of it as instant 128i but a tad slower lol.
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      03-07-2013, 10:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwbreed View Post
I see your location is arizona. Im wondering if perhaps your engine was getting to hot so it went into limp mode to protect itself as an NA engine runs cooler than a turbo one. Thats all reduced power mode is BTW. It leaves the turbo wastegate completly open so that it cant spool. Thats the power loss you felt. Think of it as instant 128i but a tad slower lol.
I would doubt this would happen in march. These cars should be engineered to avoid limp mode in 100 degree weather, so if overheating is an issue now there's definitely a deeper problem IMO.
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      03-07-2013, 10:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awns729 View Post
I would doubt this would happen in march. These cars should be engineered to avoid limp mode in 100 degree weather, so if overheating is an issue now there's definitely a deeper problem IMO.
Im sure they are and I agree with you. I live in europe ATM. I have no Idea what arizonas weather is like right now. It was just a stating that it can happen in excessive temps for an extended period of time. However maybe if he were having cooling problems (waterpump thermostat) that could have contributed.
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      03-08-2013, 10:15 AM   #11
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Thanks guys for all the input and possible causes. The one thing I know for sure is it wasn't the hot weather! I live in Tucson, Arizona but when I leave in the morning to go to work it's 50 degrees outside. I'll wait and see if it ever happens again before I take the car in to get it checked out. Right now the car runs fine. Thanks!
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      03-08-2013, 10:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///MonsterNtheMaking View Post
Your car went into limp mode. Its a safety feature that protects itself if it feels there is an issue with the engine functionality.

Is there a SES light on? After installing the BMS cone intake, mine went into limp mode and then was fine upon re-start but had the light on. Went to Advanced Auto (read code for free; also at Autozone, Pep Boys, etc) and found the code was based that the car was running too lean. Took it into dealer after putting stock air box back on and they replaced the MAF sensor for me. Put the BMS back on once new MAF was installed and haven't had a problem since.
What is an SES light?
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      03-08-2013, 10:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
When mine did this it turned out to be the No.5 cyl coil pack that was faulty.

With mine, it did as yours did, and then it was all fine for a few months, then did it again, then fine etc. Eventually, it started to do it on a very regular basis, so took the car in to BMW.

If you fitted a oiled filter, maybe you've also go a contaminated MAF sensor from the oiled filter, which is why oiled filters are usually not recommended for such fitments.
I did just clean an re oil the filter less than a week before this happened?.....I usually only do this once a year. Maybe my MAF sensor did get to much oil on it? I'll have to wait and see if it happens again?
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      03-08-2013, 10:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///MonsterNtheMaking View Post
Your car went into limp mode. Its a safety feature that protects itself if it feels there is an issue with the engine functionality.

Is there a SES light on? After installing the BMS cone intake, mine went into limp mode and then was fine upon re-start but had the light on. Went to Advanced Auto (read code for free; also at Autozone, Pep Boys, etc) and found the code was based that the car was running too lean. Took it into dealer after putting stock air box back on and they replaced the MAF sensor for me. Put the BMS back on once new MAF was installed and haven't had a problem since.
That's good to know that I can get the fault codes downloaded for free at those locations. I didn't know that. I thought I had to be charged $110.00+ for that! Thanks.
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      03-08-2013, 10:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublevanosrc View Post
Sounds like HPFP, this happened to me and it was the hpfp. Funny thing is it would go off sometimes and the car would be normal, however i never experienced any loss of power just the annoying half yellow engine light.
Your lucky that you didn't experience any loss of power? That's odd if the reduced power icon lit up. You don't ever want to feel that loss of power, it sucks!!! I pressed the pedal all the way to the floor and I could barely hit 80 mph!!!!
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      03-08-2013, 10:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerE82 View Post
I did just clean an re oil the filter less than a week before this happened?.....I usually only do this once a year. Maybe my MAF sensor did get to much oil on it? I'll have to wait and see if it happens again?
If you drive an '09 your N54 uses a MAP, not a MAF. The above scenario doesn't apply. Do you have any way to read codes? Frankly your car is probably fine, but you should still check it out if you can. Misfires happen, sometimes they're phantoms that never re-appear or have a clear underlying cause.
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      03-08-2013, 12:02 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 135Pats View Post
If you drive an '09 your N54 uses a MAP, not a MAF. The above scenario doesn't apply. Do you have any way to read codes? Frankly your car is probably fine, but you should still check it out if you can. Misfires happen, sometimes they're phantoms that never re-appear or have a clear underlying cause.
Thanks for the clarification. I plan on swinging by my local O'Reilly's auto to see if they can read the fault code for me, if the car still has it stored. I hope your right about it being a phantom.
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      03-08-2013, 12:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerE82 View Post
I was driving to work yesterday morning and out of nowhere I heard a chime and my iDRIVE screen flashed a message stating Engine Malfunction, Reduced Power! An icon of an engine block slashed in half also showed up on my dashboard computer! I was almost at work so I was able to continue but my power band was gone! It felt like I was driving a Hybrid Prius!! It scared the crap out of me because I have never had any issues with the car other than a drivers side window regulator malfunction. The car is an 09 135i with no engine mods other than a drop in AFE oiled filter. I was worried about it all day while I was at work but when I got in it for my drive home the car showed no engine faults and it appeared that everything was back to normal??? The car was back to it's full power potential and was fine?? Anyone ever have this happen to them?? what could have caused the malfunction?? Should I spend the $110.00 to get it diagnosed or wait to see if it ever happens again?? I am due for an oil change in the next 1,300 miles and the oil level display shows a little less than halfway between maximum and minimum but I don't see any correlation between the two???? Any help would be appreciated....
110 bucks isnt bad for a diagnostic fee. if the oil was low it will throw a code pretty much saying low oil level but wont cause the car to go into limp. or you can invest in a BMS can tool which utilizes your speedo gauge to give you a code readout. but really 110 is a good investment especially if you have a serious issue.
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      03-08-2013, 12:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerE82 View Post
Thanks for the clarification. I plan on swinging by my local O'Reilly's auto to see if they can read the fault code for me, if the car still has it stored. I hope your right about it being a phantom.
If the car threw a code it'll still be stored, I think it just has an "H" at the beginning to denote a prior/stored code. See what they can find with an OBD tool. I wouldn't stress over it too much, just be dilligent.
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      03-08-2013, 01:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
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What is an SES light?
Service Engine Soon. It's located in between your tach and speedo. Mine was on until I got it serviced even though I had full power. The half engine light (limp mode light) was only on for maybe 20s while I got off the road. shut off and restart and it was good but SES light stayed on.

Its more than likely not a big deal--get the stored code read and look up the code on here or google and you'll have a better idea of where to go or what to do next. Like people said, might have been a misfire or something random...might be another problem all together--no way to tell with the symptoms you described. Too many possibilities to narrow it down yet.
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      03-08-2013, 01:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ///MonsterNtheMaking View Post
Service Engine Soon. It's located in between your tach and speedo. Mine was on until I got it serviced even though I had full power. The half engine light (limp mode light) was only on for maybe 20s while I got off the road. shut off and restart and it was good but SES light stayed on.

Its more than likely not a big deal--get the stored code read and look up the code on here or google and you'll have a better idea of where to go or what to do next. Like people said, might have been a misfire or something random...might be another problem all together--no way to tell with the symptoms you described. Too many possibilities to narrow it down yet.
There is no SES light illuminated when I drive. I guess I dodged a bullet. I still plan on getting the fault code downloaded at my nearest auto parts store. Thanks for the info.
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      03-08-2013, 01:24 PM   #22
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If the car threw a code it'll still be stored, I think it just has an "H" at the beginning to denote a prior/stored code. See what they can find with an OBD tool. I wouldn't stress over it too much, just be dilligent.
Thanks!!
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