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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 10-24-2003, 11:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I purchased a 1989 2dr 325i with 125k on it. This was about a year and a half ago. I paid $3200.00 for it.

Week later the transmission went out ($1300.00)

Exhaust was rotted out, so I replaced it ($200.00)

Replaced the original BMW battery ($80.00)

Fuel pump went out ($400.00)

At this point the car was rolled off an embankment after clipping a deer. The little BMW rolled over completely and landed right side up. The car went a total of 70 some feet, after a bit of sliding. Dents here and there, no broken glass. Amazingly, the only thing that prevented me from driving this car home was a $35.00 tie rod and the fact that one of the wheels had been bent when the car slid sideways. I had a spare, but no tie rod.

The car held up amazingly well. $3000.00 later, the dents were out, and the car got a new paint job.

Water pump goes out ($150.00)

Water leaks throughout interior, had to get replacement carpets ($300.00)

Replaced the pressure regulator ($70.00)

OK, those were only the major repairs done to the car, not including the normal matinence (brakes, etc), or things like dash lights and AC. All and all, I dumped around $8000.00 into this car, not counting the original purchasing price. I once had three flat tires in two days. All from seperate incidents. On one of them I was not in a position to safely stop, so I was forced to drive on the wheel for a distance. It ended up being three new tires (made it four so they were equal) and a wheel in two days. This car was bad luck, let me tell you. Loved it to peices dispite the problems.


The only real problem left with the car was the only one I could not figure out. It not only stumped me, but many others. While driving normally, or upon start up, it would all the sudden act like it was running out of gas. It would sort of "putt putt putt" along, and would not exceed 25MPH. Pedal to the floor or not it made no difference. When left at idol, it would appear to be dying then catch itself back up again, repeating the process.

These incidents would last between five minutes and several days. Usually they were cured by revving the engine for several minutes. Eventually you would hear something sort of "break through" or "pass through" and the car would be normal again.

Does anybody have an idea what caused this, or better yet, a solution to this? This factor alone caused me to sell the car for $3000.00, taking a drastic loss. The fuel filter was changed several times, the car was not out of gas, fuel pump was in working order, and everything appeared to be ok. However the check engine light came on while this was happening. The light turned off once the car started running normally again. It was the check engine light down by the brake sensors, not the one that flashes if you have a brake light out.

Car was sold with 147k on her, and she would still do 0 - 60 in about seven seconds. Had to be running properly though.

All help is appreciated.
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Old 10-26-2003, 12:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmm,

Runs good and intermitant issues.

If this is only after local rains?
I would suspect the shield on the o2 sensor is missing and allowing puddles to short out the o2 sensor heater circuit and that is one of those not recorded issues. Fix is replacing the shielding tin.

If you are getting a black exhaust during the bad deal?
I would suspect the BMW added coolant valve in the throttle body heater circuit.
BMW added a valve into the ECU computer temperature sensor grounding circuit.
Fix is using a 30 amp blade fuse in the valves electric connector.

If you need a positive step to cure?
Change the main relay on the L/H fender or the OBC relay under the dash.

Good luck,
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Old 10-26-2003, 01:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wasn't just after rains. Could be any random time. I did not notice any black smoke coming out of the exhaust, and I don't think there was.

Besides this, the car ran great. Passed DEQ with flying colors.

Thanks
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Old 10-26-2003, 06:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I just read the same problem at unofficialbmw.com. The solution was a new idle mixture sensor.
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Old 10-26-2003, 08:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally posted by bddog@Oct 26 2003, 08:17 PM
I just read the same problem at unofficialbmw.com. The solution was a new idle mixture sensor.
Dont suppose you have a link? How much would that sensor have cost, and where was it located?


Thanks
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Is this a joke?


I have been laughing out loud!!!!

Seriously though, that's all really too bad! You spent an incredible amount of money and effort on this car! The problem is that after a car has an "incident" like the one you describe, it is often just not a good idea to fix the dents and paint the car. This is evidenced by the various "leaks" occuring after the car was rolled. You paid $400 for the fuel pump replacement? If you ever end up with another one of these just ask how to do this, anyone who can jumpstart a car can most likely replace the fuel pump. OEM part is around $200, aftermarket is less. It can be replaced from inside the car in roughly 20 minutes. After a car gets moved around as much as yours did, it would really be anyone's guess as to why it would develop intermittent running issues. Do you know if the strainer was replaced when the fuel pump was? You indicated that the filter was replaced a few times, you might have been on the right trail there. The strainer could easily have been clogged, especially after your "incident". This doesn't really explaine the dash light coming on. You got $3000 for the car in the end, I would consider that a pretty good thing, is the new owner aware of the history?
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Old 12-09-2005, 06:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow, that is pretty awesome, your car has the same buying stats as my car did, but it was an '86 325es. I think I've spent maybe $1000 so far in maintenance and stuff like that? Not nearly the amount of problems you have had, but I work on my own car, too. My intermittent start problem had to do with a leaking plug wire.
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