Hard Starting '91 325i - 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 03-24-2005, 07:07 PM
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Hi, I know there are at least a couple people here who have had the hard start issue. I have replaced: ignition coil, spark plugs, fuel presssure regulator, fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel pump relay, main relay, air filter and oxygen sensor.

Once started, the car runs great and it gets decent milage. I can easily restart with 15-20 minutes, but becomes hard to start after about 30 min. The really wierd thing is that it starts better when it is cold (20F and colder).

After the car starts, there is pretty heavy gas smell. My latest theory is the injectors are leaking fuel into the manifold and flooding the engine. I am begining to run out of ideas. The car really runs well when it is started, so I have ruled out distributor.

Thanks,
Andy
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by adavis@Mar 24 2005, 06:07 PM
Hi, I know there are at least a couple people here who have had the hard start issue. I have replaced: ignition coil, spark plugs, fuel presssure regulator, fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel pump relay, main relay, air filter and oxygen sensor.

Once started, the car runs great and it gets decent milage. I can easily restart with 15-20 minutes, but becomes hard to start after about 30 min. The really wierd thing is that it starts better when it is cold (20F and colder).

After the car starts, there is pretty heavy gas smell. My latest theory is the injectors are leaking fuel into the manifold and flooding the engine. I am begining to run out of ideas. The car really runs well when it is started, so I have ruled out distributor.

Thanks,
Andy
[snapback]317961[/snapback]
check your charcole canister those give off a fuel smell when they go bad, i just took mine out and bypassed it and havn't had a problem since. did you clean the icv and MAF?

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#3 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 08:46 PM
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Not sure what the MAF is, but I did clean ICV. I mentioned the fuel smell b/c I think the car is flooded. It only smells right after starting.

Why would my car start better when it is cold out?




check your charcole canister those give off a fuel smell when they go bad, i just took mine out and bypassed it and havn't had a problem since. did you clean the icv and MAF?
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#4 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 12:43 AM
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hey, it could have to do with your starter circuit.... do you live anywhere near an Auto Zone??? They do free starter testing... or if you have a volt meter, you could do a voltage drop test across your starter, b/c you could have some high resistance in the heavy gauge power wires going to the starter from the battery. Let me know how it goes...

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#5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ae.cowboy@Mar 26 2005, 10:43 PM
hey, it could have to do with your starter circuit.... do you live anywhere near an Auto Zone??? They do free starter testing... or if you have a volt meter, you could do a voltage drop test across your starter, b/c you could have some high resistance in the heavy gauge power wires going to the starter from the battery. Let me know how it goes...*
[snapback]319184[/snapback]

I have this EXACT same problem with my 89 325i as well. The starter is fine and has enough power, but I havent changed any relays yet. I was going to change the relay first, but maybe I'll shoot for changing out the canister instead. This problem is so irritating Its also not the injectors, I changed injectors and still had the problem. Also changed out the distrobutor and rotor.. i have new high perf. wires in the mail, lets see if its faulty wiring.

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#6 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nukeduster+Mar 28 2005, 09:23 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(nukeduster @ Mar 28 2005, 09:23 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-ae.cowboy@Mar 26 2005, 10:43 PM
hey, it could have to do with your starter circuit.... do you live anywhere near an Auto Zone??? They do free starter testing... or if you have a volt meter, you could do a voltage drop test across your starter, b/c you could have some high resistance in the heavy gauge power wires going to the starter from the battery. Let me know how it goes...*
[snapback]319184[/snapback]

I have this EXACT same problem with my 89 325i as well. The starter is fine and has enough power, but I havent changed any relays yet. I was going to change the relay first, but maybe I'll shoot for changing out the canister instead. This problem is so irritating Its also not the injectors, I changed injectors and still had the problem. Also changed out the distrobutor and rotor.. i have new high perf. wires in the mail, lets see if its faulty wiring.
[snapback]320014[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]


your using the bosch super plugs right? the platinums have problems with these cars, im running platinums iv got a little bit of a running problem... prolly that aswell

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#7 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 12:12 AM
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I had the Bosch plats in the car, but my mechanic said to put the old copper ones in. Something about the older engines not needing the super hot ignition of the new kind of plugs.

I have never heard of the voltage drop thing. Can they do the test while the starter is in the car?


Is the canister in the gas tank? How can this effect the car starting. The gas I smell seems to come from the flooded engine.
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#8 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 12:17 AM
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nukeduster, let me know what you figure out. This starting thing is driving me crazy. I may end up taking it to a shop to have them diagnose. Every time I buy a new part, I try to convince myself this is why it's not working. This has been going on for 6 months.
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#9 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by adavis@Mar 28 2005, 10:17 PM
nukeduster, let me know what you figure out. This starting thing is driving me crazy. I may end up taking it to a shop to have them diagnose. Every time I buy a new part, I try to convince myself this is why it's not working. This has been going on for 6 months.
[snapback]320567[/snapback]
also, my computer has no fault codes stored. its maddening, and no one i know has been able to determine what is wrong yet, my professor at school who was an electrical engineer for GM for 30 years was clueless since i already had tested everything he knew to test. I also replaced the coil with a stock coil and then upgraded to a MSD blaster coil, and the coil is recieving enough voltage as we did a voltage draw test so i know its not the following things: coil, distrobutor, sparkplugs, fuel regulator, injectors.

things i have yet to check are charcoal canister if its saturated with fuel, it could concievably cause excess fuel to be dumped into the engine if the engine has sat for a while and fuel vapors have been unable to absorb into it and somehow floods the engine after sitting for 1-5 hours. just a partial explanation of a lengthy theory

the ignition wires should arrive at my house today, so thats the next thing to check.

also the relay may be faulty/corroded so that it intermittently works and also trying to figure out if there is a way to test the temperature sensors for the engine w/o simply replacing it as there is a temp sensor which directly feeds into the ecu for fuel management.

i cant think straight at this time of the morning. ghead

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#10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 11:55 AM
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Idle control valve more than likely
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#11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 12:37 PM
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Can you elaborate? How could the idle control valve affect the starting? I cleaned it and the car idles smoothly at 650-700.
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#12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by adavis@Mar 29 2005, 10:37 AM
Can you elaborate? How could the idle control valve affect the starting? I cleaned it and the car idles smoothly at 650-700.
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its not the ICV, its also not the wiring, although switching to 8mm wiring with all my other performance mods sure made a difference in what the engine runs like, i highly recommend them. but im probably only seeing a difference because i already have +4 platinum spark plugs and MSD ignition.

anyways, more on topic, im going to go for a new charcoal canister, i was going about the physics of the whole problem, and thinking that the job of the charcoal canister is to absorb gasoline vapors, etc etc, and if its saturated, it cant... they have to go somewhere, and i figure it might actually cause some sort of backpressure on the gas lines by having gas from a saturated charcoal canister vaporize and provide negative pressure on the lines. its a little bit more complicated then then, but thats just some thoughts about one complication it could cause. well, at any rate, im ordering a charcoal canister on friday.

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#13 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by adavis@Mar 28 2005, 11:12 PM
I had the Bosch plats in the car, but my mechanic said to put the old copper ones in. Something about the older engines not needing the super hot ignition of the new kind of plugs.

I have never heard of the voltage drop thing. Can they do the test while the starter is in the car?


Is the canister in the gas tank? How can this effect the car starting. The gas I smell seems to come from the flooded engine.
[snapback]320564[/snapback]
the canister is under the hood, its big black and got a line in and out, just follow a fuel rail line too it, take it out and put a joint for the 2 hoses cause you dont need the can

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#14 (permalink) Old 03-30-2005, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kowalski+Mar 30 2005, 02:48 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Kowalski @ Mar 30 2005, 02:48 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-adavis@Mar 28 2005, 11:12 PM
I had the Bosch plats in the car, but my mechanic said to put the old copper ones in.* Something about the older engines not needing the super hot ignition of the new kind of plugs.*

I have never heard of the voltage drop thing.* Can they do the test while the starter is in the car?*


Is the canister in the gas tank?* How can this effect the car starting.* The gas I smell seems to come from the flooded engine.
[snapback]320564[/snapback]
the canister is under the hood, its big black and got a line in and out, just follow a fuel rail line too it, take it out and put a joint for the 2 hoses cause you dont need the can
[snapback]321804[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]

well, by-passing the charcoal canister did nothing for the hard starting, and since it can make you fail emissions by having it bypassed (let alone its illegal and at least in AZ when you get inspected they check the fuel lines for things like that) i'll be changing it back in the morning. next to check the thermostat that connects to the fuel rail

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#15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2005, 10:54 AM
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I believe I found it.. Its the crank position sensor. When it gets hot, its resistence goes wide open and the car produces no spark, but still injects fuel. Hence the fuel smell. Its a documented problem with a number of GM cars, and talking to some techs said that 9 times out of 10 in a situation like that it was the CPS.

Figures, ask someone who has to work on shitty cars day in day out who fix things like that to find the solution.

I'll be updating when I get them swapped out just to make sure, since some of you might not want to go spend the 100$ and not have it be the true root cause.
Its P/N 12 14 1 720 852 just in case people are interested.

I'll buy it tomorrow and install it and hopefully see if it fixes it.

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