Bro's E30 Suddenly Died - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 10-24-2004, 09:29 AM
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Ok, my brother has a Uk spec E30 325i, 1985/6 model. Driving along and the engine suddenly cut out and will not restart.

First off, I've tried getting the error code from the ecu as suggested in the FAQ but can't get it working. Does it work for this model and if so can anyone tell me how quickly/at what interval to push the peadl down.

Secondly (biggie I know) any suggestions on things to check? We're both mechanically minded but I know nothing about BMWs and my brother doesn't do internet :P

Thanks,
Ben
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#2 (permalink) Old 10-24-2004, 03:29 PM
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If it suddenly died and didn't sputter before it died I would start with putting in a new main relay usually arround $20. If it sputtered then died it's probably fuel related, probably the pump in the tank took a dive.
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#3 (permalink) Old 10-25-2004, 01:13 PM
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Sorry, that was a terrible post. I'll try and get some more details. Thanks for the suggestions tho, the main relay has been checked as have the engine sensors and they all appear to be working. The ecu has been tested and seems ok but is being retested. The fuel pump is not working when the ignition is switched on but works when a earth is bodged on to it. This was done by a mechanic who didn't think that was the problem as he still didn't know what was going on when he left. used

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#4 (permalink) Old 10-25-2004, 05:16 PM
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First (always) - determine if the problem is fuel or spark.

Fuel - spray a healthy shot of brake cleaner in the intake, close it up and crank it - if it fires for a few seconds - its a fuel problem.

Spark - pull off a spark plug lead - stick a small phillips head screwdriver in the plug cap and lay the screwdriver so that the metal shaft is 1/4" (1cm) from the head (not touching - just close enough to see a spark - like the spark plug gap) - have someone else crank it over for a few seconds - do you see a spark? (Don't run it like this - quick test only)

Fuel problems - most likely a fuel pump problem - test for 12 volts on the 30 pin of the fuel pump relay (if no, its the fuse). Next jumper the relay (87 to 30) - does the fuel pump run constantly? if yes the car should start bad relay. No most likely a bad fuel pump (unlikely to be a broken lead to the fuel pump)

No spark? Most likely a bad speed/position sensor (also called refernce sensor). This can be tested for resistance - but this will only tell you if its fried, not if its working correctly.
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#5 (permalink) Old 10-26-2004, 11:04 AM
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EDIT: It just died straight off, no spluttering etc, no warning.


It's a spark problem then, but the fuel pump also doesn't work

I'm guessing the reference sensors are also know as the TDC and RPM sensors? If so the TDC sensor was found faulty and replaced, don't think the RPM one was. We were told that apart from that the only other causes of no spark are faulty fuel/main relays does this sound right? All of the above has been checked and works...

Also, the fuel pump doesn't work but when the mechanic put a 12v feed to it's fuse the engine ran (pump working and sparks!) But he then poked something else and now that doesn't work again.

ghead ghead ghead ghead ghead

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#6 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ben@Oct 24 2004, 08:29 AM
Ok, my brother has a Uk spec E30 325i, 1985/6 model. Driving along and the engine suddenly cut out and will not restart.

First off, I've tried getting the error code from the ecu as suggested in the FAQ but can't get it working. Does it work for this model and if so can anyone tell me how quickly/at what interval to push the peadl down.

Secondly (biggie I know) any suggestions on things to check? We're both mechanically minded but I know nothing about BMWs and my brother doesn't do internet :P

Thanks,
Ben
[snapback]217299[/snapback]
check FUEL PUMP RELAY. HAPPENED TO ME.ON THE HIGHWAY. CAR TOWED TO THE MECHANIC WHO LAUGH :nana

E30
1985/320i
german version
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#7 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 04:06 PM
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The fuel pump relay has been checked and is working. We got the ECU back yesterday and that's passed 2 simulations now so should be fine.

We're now completely stumped and have checked everything down to the inhibitor switch on the auto gearbox.

Can we get a fault code (asuming there is one) from the ecu by pressing the gas pedal 5 times after turning the ignition on? If so roughly how long between presses?

Cheers,
Ben
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#8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 04:52 PM
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Have you tried installing new plug wires? The TDC sensor is part of the #1 plug wire and has been known to crack internaly with age. You can still get spark but it wornt run because the car won't know what cylinder to fire.
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#9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ben@Oct 31 2004, 04:06 PM
The fuel pump relay has been checked and is working. We got the ECU back yesterday and that's passed 2 simulations now so should be fine.

We're now completely stumped and have checked everything down to the inhibitor switch on the auto gearbox.

Can we get a fault code (asuming there is one) from the ecu by pressing the gas pedal 5 times after turning the ignition on? If so roughly how long between presses?

Cheers,
Ben
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the same thing happened to me about 2 mounths ago, non face lift E30's fuel pumps are shit! i had a holden comodor pump put in mine get better pressure and is 3 times cheeper....
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#10 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 11:24 PM
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does it crank at all, and when it cranks, it just WONT start? no sputtering, .. and in that case, then u guys probably flooded the engine if fuel is coming in. did u check distribuator cap, or whatever that kind of BMW uses? the coils maybe
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#11 (permalink) Old 11-01-2004, 11:34 AM
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The engine cranks over but no response, no spluttering etc.
As mentioned above the fuel pump isn't running with the ignition in addition to a lack of spark so it's not flooding.

We're not getting any spark at all, could that still be the leads?

Cheers,
Ben
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#12 (permalink) Old 11-01-2004, 12:22 PM
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Is power getting to the distributer?

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#13 (permalink) Old 11-01-2004, 01:56 PM
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if u dont have a spark, thats ur problem.. lol. check ur wires, and check to see if ur spark plugs have oil on them,if they are corroded, or do they look just fine.
and the other thing is, did it idle rougth before that?
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#14 (permalink) Old 11-02-2004, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by xsperf@Nov 1 2004, 08:56 PM
if u dont have a spark, thats ur problem.. lol.
[snapback]222368[/snapback]
That's ok then. How much is a new spark from a main dealer...
Anyway... we've got no low tension feed to the coil so nothing after. There's continuity from pin 1 to the coil and the coil works fine on a donor car. Fuel is being fed when the engine cranks (my mistake!)

Idle was fine before, there were no intermittent faults or warning signs. I'm now told the engine died due to the crank position sensor failing which has been replaced.

Also does anyone know what pins 10, 28 & 29 do on the ecu?

I'm also told that it's an M3 automatic which apparently makes things more interesting! Cheers for the suggestions

Ben
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#15 (permalink) Old 11-12-2004, 10:41 AM
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I am having similar problem with my 1990 325i... It was more of a gradual problem though, would stall out from time to time and got progressively worse, thought it was fuel related so I replace fuel fileter and pressure regulator, still no fix.. Then I did the cap & rotor & plugs (needed them anyway..) still no fix.. Wires look ok visually.. Now the car is dead completely, all relays checked out ok, fuel pump runs, relay good, DME relay for the brain is good, so I am now going to put a spare coil in, if that does not fix then I am confident that it is the crank sensor.. Phew, that will be everything!!!
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