1990 518i - engine problems and advice for a novice!! - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-03-2006, 03:14 PM
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1990 518i - engine problems and advice for a novice!!

Hi All. This is nmy first time here. Hope you are all well. . I am an utter novice, by the way!

Anyway, I wonder if any of you you might be able to help me out. I have a 1990 518i that has run OK for the two or so years I've had it.

(mileage 175000; transmission manual)

Last week, however, the engine stalled as I accelerated into second on a slight hill. I couldn't get it started again so rolled backwards down the hill and tried to bump it but to no avail. I phoned the roadside assistance people, and when they arrived it started OK but the idle was erratic, going from 1000 to about 4000 revs and then cutting out. This simply righted itslef after a while and the car drove as normal.

I thought there might be a fuel starvation kind of problem, so added injector cleaner to the tank and noticed an almost immediate improvement in engine performance, although the idle speed was moving between about 500 and 1000 revs. A couple of days later, I had the fuel, air and engine oil filters changed. I had the sparks done about three months ago.

The car was going fine again for about a week until, coming home from work tonight, the engine just died, once again accelerating into second. This time it was not possible to restart at first, although at the third attempt the engine fired with revs shooting up (to about 5000) and down and finally cutting out. I got the tow truck to take me and the car home and it won't start at all now.

I phoned a couple of mechanics I know, who made noises about the airflow meter or maybe coil. None seemed to think the injectors a likely source of trouble and scorned my feeble attempts to clean it. One even hinted darkly at possible ECU failure.......


Now, I am no expert at all - a complete novice in fact - and will obviously not be trying to effect any but the most rudimentary repairs myself. But the thing is, I live in Spain and honest mechanics are even thinner on the ground here than in other parts of Europe. So what I'm after are a few pointers to sort of head me in the right direction.


Any help gratefully received.


Richard
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-03-2006, 07:09 PM
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Hey,

I can offer no help myself, but I may be able to direct you in the right direction.

Try posting in the 3 series section. The engine that you have in that car was much more widely used in the 318i and theres a lot more knowledge about it in the 3 series forum.

Good luck, hope you get it all sorted out.

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#3 (permalink) Old 02-04-2006, 12:30 AM
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have u check the vacuum hoses?
one of mine got cut, causing the engine to stall and eventually i could start her up again. fixed the hose and it worked fine.
thats a pic of the severed hose.
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-04-2006, 02:24 AM
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Perhaps even the idle control valve...?

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#5 (permalink) Old 02-04-2006, 04:43 PM
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Thanks for the help but (unfortunately) it was a flooded ECU. I'm drying out the boards as I write, in the probably vain hope that I'll get the thing working again.......
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#6 (permalink) Old 02-06-2006, 02:07 PM
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Well, the car does fire up now, after drying the boards out, and I've driven around the lot where I live a couple of times - but the idle is very uneven, although doesn 't move up to 5000 revs any more or die on me. There's white smoke coming out of the exhaust as well, which had never happened before. I guess that probably means a new ECU, right?
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#7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 02:18 PM
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I'm all alone here.

Still working the car, but with whistling noise and less smoke. Any more ideas?
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