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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 12-09-2004, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi,

Problem 1: When I filled up on gas a couple weeks ago, my car started to smell like gasoline in the interior for like 3 days. I did not spill any on me or on any part that is inside my car. It happened again yesterday. Whats the cause of this?

Problem 2: When I tried to start my car today it had issues. At first, there was the normal electronics startup routine through key position 2, but when it got to the ignition phase, every thing electronic died it didnt even budge the engine. It made no sound. I turned the radio off, as a precaution and tried again, and again, etc. Nothing. After letting it sit for a quick min. I tried again, and this time, I waited for about 5 seconds at key position 2, then tried to start it. The engine turned over, a couple times, then all I got was the tick,t,t,t,t,ti,tick, but then it went silent again. Once again I tried the 5-10 second wait, and finally it started. Whats the cause?

This problem is making me mad! Please help! used

Any help is appreciated...
-AJ
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Old 12-09-2004, 04:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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problem 1... *shrug* no clue... i never top off my m3 cuz it makes the gas needle stick on empty until i burn off some gas... not related though.. never top off

problem 2... sounds like battery connection, or perhaps the battery can't withstand your climate.. I have an optima in mine, seems to work in every climate i've put it through so far.. although, i haven't tried extremely cold climates..
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Old 12-09-2004, 05:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hmm,

I live in California, so the climate cant be too bad. But I shall try the connections. Thanks...

Anyone else wanna take a swing at these problems??

-AJ
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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problem 1: you should go around your car and try to "sniff out" where a possible fuel leak might be coming from. it might be as simple as a brittle and cracked fuel line, or a leaky fuel filter connection. or it could even be a bad fuel pump. or if it's only after having filled up the tank, it could be a crack line that connects to the gas tank itself.

problem 2: it doesn't sound like a bad battery connection to me, if your electronics ran when in position 2, then you batter connection should be fine. since on the subject of the battery, it might just be that your battery is old and low. you should take it to your mechanic and have him check it on a battery tester, most do this for free. if it's not the battery, then my next guess would have to be the starter, and i hope for your sake that this isn't the problem.

alright, i hope this helps...good luck!
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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In regards to your fuel leak - check your fuel filter to see if the rubber hoses leading to and from it are cracked. They can get hard and crack over time.

Looks like you have a 325, so the fuel filter is located in the engine bay - accessible if you jack the car up, turn the steering wheel all the way to the right to full lock and look at the driver's side of the bulkhead. It would make sense to me that if you had a fuel leak there, the smell would spread into your cabin.

Your electric issue could be a myriad of things - check your battery leads for corrosion, as well as the ground connection - a faulty connection can often create the issues you state. If that doesn't work, check your battery for charge (they just get low after a while - and modern batteries can actually go bad over night believe it or not). If your battery is running at about 12 volts on the meter, then your fine there. The last place to look is your starter motor/solenoid. This can be tested with the starter in the car I believe (I haven't done any work with the start yet on my 325 so I'm not totally familiar). Otherwise, you'll need to take it out and bring it to Schucks and have it tested.

Good luck!
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Old 12-09-2004, 08:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by supark@Dec 9 2004, 07:54 PM
Looks like you have a 325, so the fuel filter is located in the engine bay - accessible if you jack the car up, turn the steering wheel all the way to the right to full lock and look at the driver's side of the bulkhead. It would make sense to me that if you had a fuel leak there, the smell would spread into your cabin.
[snapback]246760[/snapback]
Really, I have a 1995 325 and my fuel filter is underneath the car, not in the engine bay.

Will your car start at all now, or is it completely out of commission? If it will not turn over, it's your fuel pump. The fuel pump is located underneath the rear seat, and this would explain the aroma of gas in your car.
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Old 12-09-2004, 08:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Problem 2: take a steel wool brush and clean both your battery terminals on the cables and the battery itself. I'd be surprised if that doesn't fix the issue.
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Old 12-09-2004, 08:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I tend to agree with most of the diagnosis's here.. a bad connection to the battery can allow all your lights and gauges to work just fine (they don't require nearly the power your starter does), but when it comes time to start the car.. click click click click..
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Old 12-09-2004, 09:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by jllphan+Dec 9 2004, 06:05 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jllphan @ Dec 9 2004, 06:05 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-supark@Dec 9 2004, 07:54 PM
Looks like you have a 325, so the fuel filter is located in the engine bay - accessible if you jack the car up, turn the steering wheel all the way to the right to full lock and look at the driver's side of the bulkhead. It would make sense to me that if you had a fuel leak there, the smell would spread into your cabin.
[snapback]246760[/snapback]
Really, I have a 1995 325 and my fuel filter is underneath the car, not in the engine bay.

Will your car start at all now, or is it completely out of commission? If it will not turn over, it's your fuel pump. The fuel pump is located underneath the rear seat, and this would explain the aroma of gas in your car.
[snapback]246768[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]

The bentley manual says it can be in either of 3 places - in the engine bay on the bottom part of the driver side bulkhead, in the middle of the bottom of the car, or towards the rear on the driver side. But if you have a gas leak at any of those places, you'll smell it in the cabin.
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Old 12-13-2004, 07:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I had a loose seal on my fuel pump, and had the gas smell in the car too (95 M3)
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