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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 04-25-2011, 06:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Need help troubleshooting

About 2 weeks ago my 1993 325i (manual, e30, convertible - a 1992 mfg yr) wouldn't start. It was like it was out of gas. So I had my husband bring me a can of gas. Nope.
Then we checked fuel pump relay. Once we replaced it, we knew that wasn't it. Next we banged on the top of the area where the fuel pump is (under the back seat) and it started up and I was able to get it home.

We replaced the fuel pump last weekend. It was being "sputtery" but I was able to drive it one more time. Then last week it would crank but not turn over. So we replaced the external fuel filter (don't realize there was one when we first changed the fuel pump!).

We tried spraying starter fluid into the engine when I cranked it and it will turn over but not stay that way.

At that point, we replaced the spark plugs. 2 of them had fluid on the heads.

NOW it is cranking, not turning over, and has added a screeching/scraping sound like a fan blade is scraping across something. It is a very loud sound like nails on a chalkboard. Anyone have an idea about
A) what the noise is and
B) what is causing it to crank and not turn?
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the Werkz.

Are you getting any spark on the spark plugs at all? Test this buy using one of the old plugs, connect the park plug lead to it and rest it against the engine block and crank the engine over whilst observing for a spark.

Can you hear the fuel pump running when you first turn the key to position II? It will run for 2 seconds and then turn off.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We are getting spark to the plugs.

How loud should the fuel pump sound?

Thanks

Last edited by whitetrashprincess; 04-25-2011 at 07:29 PM. Reason: adding thanks!
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It should be a quiet buzz in the background. If you have someone else with you get them to put their ear near where the fuel pump is and then move the key to position II. There should be a clear noise change between it running and then shutting off. Make sure the stereo is off so that there is minimal back ground noise.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well we are NOT hearing the fuel pump kick in. Double checked relay and then pulled out fuel pump to compare to old one.

It is the wrong pump.

Have to keep telling hubby when he runs to the auto store that even though my car is a '93 it is NOT an e36!!!!!!!!!!

Hopefully this will work.
Thanks again for replying.
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No problem. Good luck with it all. Do you hear the fuel pump relay activate, or can you check the relay output with a multimeter whilst its all disconnected?
Let us know how it goes with the right pump.

Helping each other out is what the Werkz community is about. Please hang around and make use of the site as well as adding your comments and becoming an active member.

Cheers from downunder.
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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How did things turn out with the fuel pump?
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well...... I thought it was going to be ok (replaced the "new" fuel pump with the CORRECT part), but today after being out on the highway, it died after we stopped. Husband banged on the top of the fuel pump under the seat and got us home again.

So, yes - it is sort of resolved, but it seems like we have another problem.

Any other help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Y'all have been great so far!
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Maybe check the wiring and relay terminations, they might be getting a little corroded.
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well, here I am again! I went and tried to start it and it was doing the same crank crank crank and not turning over that it was doing before we replaced the fuel pump. So I jiggled the wires on the top of the fuel pump area and PRESTO! Fired right up. Got about a block and it died (it was a bit cold today, though). Jiggled wires. Started ok and got all the way to work. Car started fine after work, but went a couple of blocks and died. Turned off my headlights and it just restarted (no wire-jiggling) and got home ok. So what does that mean?

I am wondering if I need to make sure my relay got replaced. I THOUGHT that my husband did this, but I remember that they sold him the wrong one with too many prongs - cuz they kept selling us parts for a e36 - so maybe he never did get the right one.

So.... I will double check on the fuel pump relay (when it stops raining) and then we can go from there. Anything else I should check?
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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How old/good is your battery?
Get the Alternator and Voltage Reg checked as well.
It sounds like you know your way around this car by now. Well done.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Good idea Brettski... Just to add -
Could be a poor earth/ground wire too, this can cause intermittant failure.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Battery was just replaced a couple of months ago -- I'm worried about the starter being the source of the screeching sound, though.
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