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Thread: Want your car to run good? -Go home tonight and clean this (ICV 540i v8)

  1. #1
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    Want your car to run good? -Go home tonight and clean this (ICV 540i v8)

    Does your car have mixed performance sometimes? Is your car sluggish in the mornings? Do you have to apply too much gas for too little acceleration sometimes? Do you feel like your car is way faster sometimes and then feels flat and torque-less other times?

    Well, chances are that this is clogged.



    This is the silver canister sitting right above the throttle body. Cleaning it is very simple.

    All you need is a flat blade screwdriver and some Carb and Choke Cleaner that costs 3.19 from an autoparts store.

    Pop the plastic engine cover off to expose the intake manifold.

    Remove the hose clamp holding the rubber hose to the idle control valve.

    Then use the screw driver to push down the upper tab on the rubber mount that the idle control valve slides into. If you have a good hand, you might be able to slide the idle control valve out of the rubber mount without removing the mount from the black bracket.

    Remove the wiring connector by pushing in/squeezing on the metal locker around the plastic connector. Then just pull the connector off the valve.

    Gently pull/pry the idle control valve out of the intake manifold. Its just stuck in there with a rubber mount/gasket piece.

    After you have the valve in your hand, look inside the valve and see if it has any dirt or build up inside it. If it is not shining a bright silver, then its dirty. Spray the carb and choke cleaner in both holes untill it looks spot less. You want the inner part of the valve to spin freely inside the canister. shake it and twist it like you were using a door knob till you hear the valve inside start spinning. If you twist the canister back and forth kind of fast, you should hear the inside part spin. It will go clink (back)---clink(forth)---clink(back)----clink(forth)

    After you are certain that the inside 'door' can swing open and shut easily, Reinstall the part. The little door will be just slightly open. If its fully shut or fully open, the part is either still dirty or it is bad and needs to be replaced.

    When i checked mine, i found that the door wouldnt move freely. I could twist the little door inside and it would stick wherever i put it. This is not how it should work. It should move freely.

    After the cleaning, the door opened and shut very easy.

    I reinstalled the part and holy crap! the car runs amazing now- Ive found my lost power! The car starts up better in the morning and it isnt sluggish until it starts getting warm. It just cranks up and drives off like it should.

    This took me 10 minutes from when i popped the hood to when i finished washing my hands.



    Loosen #1
    Unplug #2
    Unhook #3
    Pull out #4
    Spray carb and choke cleaner inside both holes till its damn clean.

    Installation is the reverse of removal.
    Last edited by John 540i6; 11-07-2006 at 11:01 AM.

  2. #2
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    Nice writeup, did you clean your throttle body while you were in there?
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  3. #3
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    I didnt clean the throttle body because its a separate job. Cleaning the throttle body meant pulling off the intake piping and it was just something i didnt feel like doing. Im going to put an intake on the car soon to make it sound better so I will probably just do that when I do the intake. I will also clean the MAF.

  4. #4
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    hmm- I'll have to look into this- I have noticed my cars throttle seems very accurate on one push, then hesitant on another with similar conditions. does my 528i even have this thing?

  5. #5
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    Good info, this is something I definately need to do...



    Quote Originally Posted by smurfdawg View Post
    Live the Yuppie life, drive the Yuppie car, pay the Yuppie price.
    Don't live the Yuppie life, but like to pose as a Yuppie? Pay the Yuppie price.
    Don't live the Yuppie life, don't make the Yuppie income, but like the Yuppie car? Be quiet and learn to get your hands dirty.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by e39dream View Post
    does my 528i even have this thing?
    yes. Just look for it.


    Even if your car is running ok, it would still be a good idea to check and clean this part. Its so easy to do-

  7. #7
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    can someone add some pictures?

    FS:NEW_BF_Goodrich_245/35/17

  8. #8
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    no, i will not add any pictures

    See the metal cansiter right above the throttle body?


    Loosen #1
    Unplug #2
    Unhook #3
    Pull out #4
    Spray carb and choke cleaner inside both holes till its damn clean.

    Installation is the reverse of removal.

    easy!

  9. #9
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    Excellent info!

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the write up. I'm gonna clean mine this weekend.
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  11. #11
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    woohoo! something for me to do this weekend! thanks for the write up!

    just curious though...is this 100% safe for car? hehe, not doubting you...just want to make sure on what im about to do.
    Last edited by jonathanvictory; 08-28-2006 at 10:48 PM.

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  12. #12
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    thanks for the write up....
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  13. #13
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    Is that the cold start valve?

  14. #14
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    Part is a T-shaped idle regulating valve. Only pre-Vanos E39's have this part (8/98 production date and earlier).
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98M3_4 View Post
    Only pre-Vanos E39's have this part (8/98 production date and earlier).
    Correct. I remember going through the trouble once of trying to figure out where my ICV was only to find out I didn't have one (I have a 99).

    Cleaning out your MAF with similar cleaner also helps a lot in pretty much the same fashion.

  16. #16
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    What's the name of the part?

  17. #17
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    I believe it is the idle control valve, only on the 97 and 98's.

    I did this this weekend while changing oil. It is EXTREMELY easy. The part was stuck just as described, and immediately loosens up after a few hits of the throttle body cleaner. I would advise cleaning it thoroughly, apply cleaner, twist and shake, and do it again. Even apply cleaner as you are twisting and shaking. The amount of dirt that comes out is quite substantial.

    After the cleaning and reinstallation. Throttle response was immediate and very very smooth. It isn't sluggish at all. This is an EASY DIY which appears to have an impact on the butt dyno.

    I also took the liberty to apply some black magic engine bay cleaner. I am ALWAYS hesitant of cleaning the bay on these cars for fear of electrical ut-ohs.

    The stuff worked wonders and was used everywhere except directly on wires and belts. My engine bay is shining new. No more oil messes or power steering fluid anywhere (including motor mounts).

  18. #18
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    I have an '03 E39...so I am assuming I don't apply?

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  19. #19
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    Might go and clean mines out if it's that easy

  20. #20
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    its called an idle control valve(ICV), as mentioned before. Now you should avoid using Carb oe choke cleaner because its too harsh for the coating on your ICV. Use TB Cleaner instead. Its designed for modern intakes. Now, as for cleaning make sure you dont saturate the motor (end that plugs into harness) beacuse you'll kill it. So clean it upside down.

  21. #21
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    When I pulled the part out I looked in there and everything was black. Before I cleaned it, you could see inside that it was gummed up and barely wanting to move, and when I made an effort to get her to 'clink,' all I could get her to do was make a couple of quiet thumps. I made sure not to turn in it on its end toward the motor, to keep cleaner from possibly effecting it. After about five minutes of spraying, wiping and making her all shiny and silver inside, you could twist your wrist back and forth and she would begin to clink with no effort at all.

    This man speaks the truth! After reading this a couple of days ago I thought I'd go out and do it today. About fifteen minutes later, took her out on the road and noticed a significant improvement in throttle response and all the hesitation was gone! No more sticky throttle or rough idle, the engine is quieter, I couldn't believe it. I figured it was just the cool air causing a placebo effect but even before I did this, you'd get these 'heart' palpitations in her throttle that never went away, she'd even die on me every two weeks or so. So just to make sure it wasn't the cold air or wishful thinking, I warmed her up to the proper temps and drove her around quite a bit; for my car it's like night and day. Her idle is all buttery now. She feels like she just gained 10 horsepower. Nothing I did before made a difference in the quirky throttle response but this completely eliminated it.

    Thanks you guys!
    Kevin 1997 540i6 (sold T_T)

  22. #22
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    Is this also on the 528i?

  23. #23
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    : alarm set, cleaner next to bed, ready to go!:

    Awesome write-up and if no one has said it. thanks!

  24. #24
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    Just did mine with TB cleaner. Real EZ to do. It wasn't too dirty but dirty enough to notice it now takes less effort to rock it back and forth. 108k miles on mine.

    Took it for a ride afterward & it ran smooth. Maybe a slight improvement. I'm sure each will be a little different.

    Thought of a question while working on it.

    Why do these get so dirty? Is it normal? Probably to some extent. I stuck my finger in the hole where it connects (#4 in pict above) and that's where it's really dirty. Is this the air intake manifold? Where's the grime coming from? Burt oil? Should it be cleaned also? Definitley a bigger job. Worth doing?

    Thanks John540i6 for posting this.

  25. #25
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    Anyone have a pic of this thing on a 528i?

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