Help! engine cuts out! Electrical? - 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 05-16-2007, 12:29 AM
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Exclamation Help! engine cuts out! Electrical?

I need some sugestions?

Starmavin are you out there?
Guys, Kraut? JUNKY?

87 325is
Started after lunch yesterday.
Check engine light flickeres then engine cuts out briefly?
I changed cap and rotor Sat ran fine for 3 days.
took cap off, looks perfect rotorlooks perfect, put it back, checked a bunch of other stuff. ran fine for 10 min then started cuting out again.
Wires look great,plugs look great, coil looks good.
reworked the battery terminals, looked crusty, no effect.
alternator rattles a bit but was working fine.
cleaned relays temp sensor connectors,no effect.
I can hear fuel pump, sounds OK?

I have new engine, AFM,ICV, TPS,temp sending unit.

when it cuts out the check engine light flickers o rcomes on, then the temp gauge goes to 0, the mpg goes to 0, tach dips then recovers usually.
Headlights seemed to stay on.

tried engine code test. 5 WOT on pedal
Got one long one short light then repeated
Wait now I get 1444 == Nofaults?

I'll check the ECu next
yes I have a Dinan chip?

Cheers,
Richard Fitz
'87 325is Delphin Metalic


Last edited by Rfitz25; 05-16-2007 at 12:48 AM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 12:41 AM
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Do you have a chip? Maybe the chip is not working properly if you do. Also check the main harness battery connection as well as the ECU connection. Have the engine running and wiggle the wires to check to see if there's a break. It sounds to me like your ECU is wigging the shit out. The Temp, Tach and MPG come from the ECU, as does the CEL.


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#3 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 01:12 AM
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Thanks
I'll continue tomorrow.
If I cooked the chip I have 8 extra copies LOL
Yeh it seems like power to the ECU could be breaking up
that might explain it.
I'll dig in again tomorrow.
PS 50 spaces leftfor BMWcCA auto x on 27th ini San Diego.
Lots ofLAfolk comedown.
Lookslike youd runin M modified class
what fun
I'll check out your posts/pics?
Cheers for tonight.

Cheers,
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 01:19 AM
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I may, if I can get down there. Car should be broken in.


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#5 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 10:33 AM
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Hey crew, I seem to perhaps be having a similar issue. It started yesterday on the way home from work. The car ran fine on the way in, and has until now. Essentially what happened was that the car started to intermittently sputter, almost like fuel was being cut from the engine. At speed, it felt like I was tapping the brakes, the loss of power was complete, but just for a split second. I immediately pulled off the busy highway and onto a side street, pulled over and kept it running. I got under the hood, and at idle, it would sputter randomly just a little, but as soon as I would open up the throttle a bit, it would get worse. I shut it down and sat and contemplated things for about 10 mins with the hood up. I jumped back in again and fired it up, she ran smooth like nothing happened, so I figured I'd chance it and try to get home. I only made it a few blocks before it started to happen again, pulled over and decided to call a tow truck. In the time it took me to call a truck and find them the area I was in, the car sat, off with the hood down. After I called got off the phone with AMA, i got back in a tried it, just for kicks. Again, ran like a top, like nothing had happened. I canceled the cab and made for home, I just wanted to get it back and into the garage. I made it almost all the way home and it was running well. About a block from home, it started again, this time it was a little more aggressive feeling, but very brief, then there seemed to be a *pop* kind of sound and I thought I could smell electrical burning or something. I immediately opened the trunk to make sure my battery wasn't on fire or something and inspected all around the car and under the hood...nothing apparent. I ended up getting it home and safe in my garage, but I'm stumped. Perhaps a fuel pump or cap/rotor issue? Help!

All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 11:43 AM
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Yeh I barely made it home too.
Took side streets and limped it in. LOL
I thought of fuel too but it was so abrupt, like some one lifted and put on the brakes too.
So I think its electrical.
I'll dig in again tonight. Driving wifes car now. Ford, LOL
Let me know if you figure yours out PhatCat and I'll do the same.
I'll dig into my EUu tonight anyone know wher the power lines are feeding the ECU. I only remember seeing the one huge connector for it and I assume the power is buried in there somewhere.
I hate intermitten problems.
I had to disconnect the battery and clear the fault to get it home after my last test run. This may have cleared the fault from memory hence I get 1444 code "no failures"
Though on the next run the check engine light briefly flashed a few times, weird maybe it has to be constant on to register a fault.
Maybe I'll drive it around the block until the fault is constant on and then extract the code with the igition in II position and tap the accell to WOT 5 times.
PITA
I might try and put old cap back in. Old one had center post worn down flat, new one is fresh and rounded. Myabe I need a new coil to generate enough spark to overcome the smaller contact area?
Thought it might be main relay too but that looked OK, cleaned it up too?
Maybe I need a new flux capacitor or Yoyodyne's Oscillation Overthruster.
Maybe I have no freakin idea what is wrong. LOL

Cheers,
Richard Fitz
'87 325is Delphin Metalic


Last edited by Rfitz25; 05-16-2007 at 11:51 AM.
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 12:50 PM
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Roger that, Ghostrider.
I have a brand new cap and rotor to put on, so I'm going to try that and see if it helps. I'll dig into my glovebox as well and check my ECU to see if anything looks fried.


...where's Starmavin or gotKRAUT when you need them? Of course you as well, trigg...

All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 05:18 PM
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Yeh Ive been searching around and the usual suspects seem to be:

old fried main/dme/ecu relay
old fried fuel pump relay
loose ECU chip (or pinched pin)
loose ECU plug (or loose ground)
fuse just past pos terminal of battery (corroded?)
bad alternator (Voltage regulator)

I'll dig in some more tonight
Hate it when my baby is sick. Particularly when I cant figure out whats wrong. ggggrrrrrr

Cheers,
Richard Fitz
'87 325is Delphin Metalic

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#9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rfitz25
Yeh Ive been searching around and the usual suspects seem to be:

old fried main/dme/ecu relay
old fried fuel pump relay
loose ECU chip (or pinched pin)
loose ECU plug (or loose ground)
fuse just past pos terminal of battery (corroded?)
bad alternator (Voltage regulator)

I'll dig in some more tonight
Hate it when my baby is sick. Particularly when I cant figure out whats wrong. ggggrrrrrr
i really have no idea, i run away from these problems as fast as i can...lol i fought one of these problems with my scirocco for almost 2 years

never found out what it was, after a mere couple grand...it just went away all of sudden...random, but you are on the right track

Kyle Sutherland

1995 BMW 540i/6:
The Calypso Beast Vid 0-70ish
1987 BMW 325es: Face & Butt Lifted/M50tu Swapped*Sold*
1985 VW Scirocco: Too many mods, money pit*Sold*
E34 Plate Filler Wanted!
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#10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 06:33 PM
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First check fuel pressure. Next check your primary engine ground on the oil pan below the alternator. Check the condition of your spark, blue/white or orange/red?

Last edited by Starmavin; 05-16-2007 at 06:37 PM.
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#11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 10:54 PM
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hmmmm....
Thank God. BMW Jedi master Starmavin is in the house. LOL

and the Kraut master!!

I'll recheck the ground strap, looked at it last night and looked ok, sprayed with cleaner no effect.

pulled relays, main relay will rattle when shaken fairly firmly. It says 12 86 on lower part of it, if thats the original mfg date its gottta go anyway so I'll get all 3 tomorrow
main DME, O2 sensor heater, and fuel pump
Will check spark after that plugs looked good, white.
W8LRC I believe,Bosch Super, coppers.
Not sure how to check fuel pressure have to find a procedure. I have spare regulator 3.0 barI think not the 2.5bar for e motor.
I'll report in again tomorrow.
Thnaks again for all the support.
I'm sure I'll end up with more new parts than I needed after this, as usual, but it looks good. LOL

PS I can use the sparkplug boot lube on the metal contact parts right? ie sparkplug tips, inside boot on ditributor side too? Can I use this on other connectors like AFM plug, main engine harness temp sensors etc to prevent oxidation and maintain good contacts?

Cheers,
Richard Fitz
'87 325is Delphin Metalic


Last edited by Rfitz25; 05-16-2007 at 11:05 PM.
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#12 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 11:27 AM
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I was talking with one of the guys in the office today, who has done more car work than most certified mechanics and is very proficient. I explained to him in detail what was happening (there were sounds, and actions and everything...he must have thought it was quite the show!).
He's figuring that with how I described it that my in-tank fuel pump might be dying. I was running just a hair over a quarter of a tank at the time.
I'm going to jack up and crawl under the bimmer tonight to check out things a little more thouroughly, thanks for the tips guys!
Hope you get yours figured out soon as well, Richard!

All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.
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#13 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 04:50 PM
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A weak pump will show up in a fuel pressure test. However going over the symptoms again I feel, you should check your throttle position switch. Could be a weak or intermittent contact there from it being bad (even if it's new, doesn't mean it's good) or not adjusted correctly. This would make the DME think it's coming off idle briefly shutting down the IAC, this would cause your idle to fall, stumble then come back. Also if I remember correctly you might have a single cannon plug under your intake for your engine, check it for corrosion.
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#14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 10:34 PM
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Dang !!!!!

put in new relays ran perfect for about 15 min.
drove around started and stopped it a few times no problem went home
put in new coil started up fine then CEL flashed.
then again intermitently drops out.

Disconnect ECu reconnect no effect.
bang on ECU in frustration...no effect. LOL

tried cleaning TPS ICV vacume connectors no effect.
Jiggled all the wires every where I could find to no effect.
Maybe I'll try and disconnect TPS and see what happens.
Maybe it is fuel?
try again tomorrow night.

Thanks again for sticking with me.
AAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!

Oh yeh I did the spark test
pulled a wire insert plus start car.
sparklooked good.
Whent out the same time as the engine died briefly!!
Then sparked again with recovery.
could new cap be bad?

also temp gauge seemed to stop dying but mph gauge went to max left when the cut out occcured???
40mph?
WTF over???
could that be a fuel problem?
weird
I can hear the fuelpump running?
Maybe I'll listen somemore.
The worse it gets the closer I get to finding the problem,maybe.

hmmm the two times it ran great for 20minit may have been cold. so maybe once it warms up this problem occurs.

Cheers,
Richard Fitz
'87 325is Delphin Metalic


Last edited by Rfitz25; 05-17-2007 at 10:49 PM.
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#15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 11:11 PM
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If you lose spark that narrows it down to 4 main things. DME, Coil, crank sensor or ignition switch.

Last edited by Starmavin; 05-17-2007 at 11:15 PM.
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