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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.

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Old 06-10-2008, 02:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1988 320i wont start

1988 320i. Came home Saturday night, parked fine running car in garage. Wanted to use car sunday afternoon .......... engine turns over fine but will not start at all. Have checked plugs, timing belt, fuel pump pressure. Now what? Pse help.
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Old 06-10-2008, 03:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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what is your fuel pump pressure?
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Fuel pessure is about 2.4 bar
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Fuel pessure is about 2.4 bar
that's 34.8 psi ... barely enough for injectors to properly work. Specifications call for 3.0 bar/43psi, and at least 1 liter /min of pump operation

let's try a diagnostic trick the local mech's use. get a can of brake cleaner or carb cleaner and spray some into your intake. Then start... if your car runs momentarily... fuel filter or fuel pump will be the problem.

If after repeatedly spraying into the intake and ur engine still doesn't sputter some... then u are looking at an ignition problem ;-)

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Old 06-11-2008, 04:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok, Sprayed carb cleaner in to intake, still no joy. Engine keep on turning over, intermittanly sounding like it want to start, but not getting there. Exactly same as from the beginning of problem
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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are you sure your spark plugs are firing?

when u checked plugs, do u remember the color of the plug electrodes? black, brown, or gray? wet, or dry?
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Spark Plug are firing just fine. When turning engine strong smel of fuel. Pump obviously working. also when removing plugs they are black and wet with fuel
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Old 06-12-2008, 03:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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black & wet with fuel means u are not getting spark + u do not have air going into your combustion chambers.

check your air filter, and see to it that your Air Fow Meter is operating properly.(check also the connector to the AFM and make sure it is connected ;-)

then when u have worked that out, measure and see tht u have 12 volts into your coil; that u have spark at the coil to distributor cable. From that point, your distributor should be able to provide spark to each of ur plugs; and u can check that visually by taking out the plug and seeing that it is actually firing.

With spark at the plugs and providing ur injectors are firing right, i dnt see why ur car won't start... or at least try to.

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Old 06-18-2008, 12:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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do you have an immobiliser fitted? Mine does this intermittently
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok Guys, She's running fine now! This is what I did. I checked spark, coil, fuel pump and pressure, AFM ........ man I checked everyting!!!! All the while i noticed strong smell off fuel when turning engine with starter. I thought maybe she is flooding ...... she is a she is she not? So I took a pliers and pinched fuel line to only allow small amount of fuel to go through. Suddenly car definately tryng to start, Release pliers slowly while tryng to start and then she started. That is it, all of it. She's been going fine for four days now. Any ideas ...... fuel presure regulator maybe?
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ok Guys, She's running fine now! This is what I did. I checked spark, coil, fuel pump and pressure, AFM ........ man I checked everyting!!!! All the while i noticed strong smell off fuel when turning engine with starter. I thought maybe she is flooding ...... she is a she is she not? So I took a pliers and pinched fuel line to only allow small amount of fuel to go through. Suddenly car definately tryng to start, Release pliers slowly while tryng to start and then she started. That is it, all of it. She's been going fine for four days now. Any ideas ...... fuel presure regulator maybe?
now that she's running fine... check the plug color after you do a drive... ideal color should be brown to ash grey... if it's still dark n black, then it's either u have little or no air getting in, ot sumthin' is making ur injectors put out too much gas ;-)
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