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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 08-04-2004, 01:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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have a 1993 318i that is running extremelly rough and sputtering. It accelerates extremelly slow and doesn't even have enough power to make it up my driveway. I checked On Board Diagnostics and got a fault code 1271 which I looked up in my repair manual and found it to mean: Ignition coil # 1. I thought this was the problem but in the manual next to the code it says that this code is only for DME3.3.1 only. My car has an M42 engine which is a DME M1.7 What the hell??? How am I getting a fault code for an engine that I dont even have?
Here is a list of things I've tried to fix the problem.

1. The first thing I tried was changing the spark plugs...didn't fix it.
2. Ohmed the spark plug wires and they checked good.
3. 4. Ohmed all 4 coils and they checked good (.6 Ohms).
4. Checked for power at the coil harness connector and got 12VDC.
5. Removed new spark plugs to inspect after only being ran on the way home from the auto parts store and while I've been running the car at home and I found plugs #2 and #4 to be extremelly black and sooty. Plugs #1 and #3 still looked brand new. If Ignition Coil #1 is bad I dont see how plugs #2 and #4 and bad.

So if the spark plugs are good, the plug wires ohm good, the coils ohm good, what else can I check? Can Coil #1 still be bad even through it ohms good?

One more thing...I just had some auto body work done on it 3 days before the problem started. The shop had also cleaned the engine cleaner than I've ever been able to get it. I dont know if they power washed it or what, but the point is I was reading another post on this website and someone said that E36's are known for the computer getting wet if the engine compartment is washed. Could this problem be coming from a malfunctioning ECM? If it is a possibility how could I find out?
So now I'm stuck. Do I buy a $60 coil and change #1 because the OBD says its bad even though it ohms good? Or does anyone have any other possibilities before I have to take it to a shop? Thanks!!!
Kyle Stewart
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Old 08-04-2004, 01:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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might be a possibility of something other than the ignition system. Maybe there could be a problem with the fuel delivery system. Check out your injectors and your fuel pump. Check the lines.

I wouldn't go replacing expensive parts just to figure it out. You might want to have the computer checked out by a specialist because I don't think its something that you can do unless you are electronics expert. You could pop open the housing to see if there is still and standing water or residue or visual problems.
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Old 08-04-2004, 01:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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try swapping the coil with another one, and see if the code changes first
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Old 08-04-2004, 04:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ok, so I swapped the igniton coils and the faul code stayed the same(1271). Do I ned to reset the DME before I would get a different code?
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Old 08-09-2004, 09:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I took my car to the mechanic and had him diagnose it. He told me my #1 and #3 ignition coils are bad, I need a new plug wire set, and new spark plugs. I ordered all the parts online for $240 and am planning on doing the work myself. the only problem is he told me these things need to be changed, but it still could be the DME. That would suck
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