3-Series (E21, E30)Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.
I have a 1985 325e, and have owned this car for almost ten years. I had her at the mechanic (best BMW guy in my area) and he checked my baby out head to toe. He was impressed with how well the car was running given that since I bought her at 16 I have only done basic matinence, replaced the alternator and part of the exhaust piping between the manifold and the muffler. He said she was due to replace/adjust (can't remember exactly) the timing belt, and that while he was in there to replace the water pump since the labor is already being done. I also know the muffler needs to be replaced for a rusty spot that will give way eventually. Before January she is due for a tune up, I'm strapped financially and I put off the oil change until then too. My new neighbor loved my car; I let him look at her one day and when I came out he had cleaned the throttle body and installed a permanent air filter (looks exactly like the ones before just black and mesh weave in the middle. Oh, when she was at the mechanic, I had the pullies being looked at because the alternator belt is slightly off, I can hear and feel it in the way she was idling. Nothing serious, a rubber gromet at the end of it's life. So I'm driving and not even half way onto the onramp to the hwy a quarter mi from my home, she clunked with a little kick, and that's it no turnover. A light flashed with an oil can with a drop coming out, but it is no longer on. Electrical is up, starter turns dry. There is no fuel coming to the engine. The lines barely smell like gas even after trying to start her. She has plenty of all her fluids. Any ideas? I can't take her to a mechanic b/c I'm broke, but I will not lose her. Any pointers of where to start? I have the Bently manual and beginner auto repair skills. Please advise! Thank you for your help!!
Thank you! I will try that first. Where do you recommend purchasing this part from? I don't want to put in just any fuel pump, I want one equivalent or better than the original if poss. I want this car as long as I live! Thanks again!
If you have limited funds, maybe start checking for sure that something has broken......a fuel pump (and you may have 2) can cost $150-$200 each!
You say the engine is turning over but its not actually firing up?
Have you checked the condition of the plugs, HT leads, distributor cap and rotor arm recently......are you getting a spark to a spark plug when you crank the car over (remove a spark plug and refit it into its lead....lay it on the engine valve cover with the tip near a solid metal area and crank the engine over looking at the plug for lots of sparks)! Dont touch is if someone else cranks the engine, its high voltage!!!
With the ignition key in the run position, check for voltage at the coil, fuel pump relay and main relay......if you don't have 12v going to at least 2 of the connections, you may have had an immobilser event for some reason? Try putting the key in position 1 and then discconnect the battery for 15 mins. Re-connect and see if you have power and try to start it?
Check if you have a fuel pump and filter under the car, drivers side, rear quater, just in front of the rear wheel. then check under the back seat (remove the base) and on the passenger side there should be a couple of hoses fitted to metal piping, a couple of electrical connectors and some vent lines).....the smaller 2 wire connector is the fuel pump supply, you need to give this 12v and see if you hear a rumbling/whirring sounds, if you do, its working!
do the same test on the other fuel pump if fitted on your car!
Im not sure if you have a crank position sensor on your car.....on ours its fitted on the front of the engine and is a wire, with a small metal lump that reads a toothed wheel on the crank pulley, some cars have them fitted on the engine to transmission bell housing? This sensor if failed will not tell the ECU to produce a spark or power the fuel pumps.
Only way to check is to follow it back to the connector in the engine bay and undo it, with a meter check it has about 500 ohms resistance.
Sounds like it could be either fuel pump as mentioned by the other member or something electrical thats holding you out.....
Seeing as you mentioned the timing belt change being due.......it may be peace of mind to just make sure that is hasn't already broken......if someone turns the engine over for you, remove the oil fill plug and check the camshaft is being turned.......
Sounds time for you to learn a bit about the car and same basic fault finding, its cost effective and satisfying to do this yourself......good luck and let us know what you find!
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