E46Fanatics

E46Fanatics (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/index.php)
-   General E46 Forum (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Save yourself up to $200 and some headaches - Electric Fuel Pump PM (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501)

jfoj 06-25-2012 08:18 AM

Save yourself up to $200 and some headaches - Electric Fuel Pump PM
 
3 Attachment(s)
Fuel Pump Failure Epidemic 2012

So I have been around this forum and many of the other BMW forums and what seems to be a reoccurring theme is after about 7 years is most of the E38, E39, E46 and other similar vintage BMW's not newer than 2006 are have failing fuel pumps at a very high rate. Probably a rate of about 100%, as I say its not if, but when! 5 years later in 2017 fuel pump failures are still happening and probably at a higher rate due to the age on run hours as the E46 is not getting very old and almost to the point of beyond maintenance and actually at the point of restoration.

So a word to the VERY wise, if you have a spare $150 or so and a couple of hours, order yourself a replacement fuel pump, new fuel pump relay and fuel filter and replace them as a PM item.

There are really 2 typical fuel pump related problems.

One is much easier to diagnose than the other. The first situation is where the fuel pump hard fails and does not provide any fuel to the engine at all. This is a pretty cut & dry situation where the problem is rather obvious. A quick and inexpensive way to determine if you are have fuel supply problems is to purchase a $3 can of starting fluid, remove the air filter and give a good, solid, 2 second shot of starting fluid into the intake path/MAF inlet. Then try to start the engine, if the engine starts then almost immediately dies, then you could repeat the starting fluid process, but more than likely the starting fluid test has confirmed you have fuel supply problem. This will most likely be due to a hard failed fuel pump, but it is worth checking the fuses and possibly switch the horn and fuel pump relay just to rule these out as causes of your no start problem.

The seconds failure mode is a soft fail fuel pump that fails to put out enough pressure and/or fuel volume. These are far harder to identify and symptoms may appear to be intermittent or very minor. In some instances the problems may not even seem fuel related. Surging, poor acceleration, possible lean codes, extended cranking when starting, running out of fuel when the gas gauge shows 1/4 of a tank. Soft fail fuel pumps are not really worth diagnosing in my opinion. For the price of the pump and how easy it is to install, I would just plan on replacing your pump if it is more than 7 years old and you have unidentified driveability problems.

In addition to the pump being a problem, fuel filters are very often neglected and over looked and can cause similar issues to a soft failed fuel pump. Please carefully read the following information on fuel filters below.

SPECIAL NOTE ON FUEL FILTERS - since the early 80's fuel filters have much finer filter elements and will catch far smaller particles to protect the fuel injectors. Although many cars have large fuel filters and manufactures claim the filters can be changed every 50-60k miles, based upon field observations, I would HIGHLY suggest replacing your fuel filter every 30k miles. If you open up any of these filters after 25k miles, they are often caked with a very fine black film. This black film builds up and starts to restrict fuel volume and pressure and can cause unusual engine performance issues. From years of monitoring Forums and my own observations, it seems that many of fuel filters with the black film seem to be cars from the East Coast or North East corridor of the US. This may be due the age of the storage tanks both for the distribution network and the in ground tanks at the local gas station. While this thread is primarily focused on fuel pumps and fuel pump failures, PLEASE understand that replacing the fuel filter is an assumed maintenance item. I do not recall seeing specified service interval from BMW for these fuel filters, they may consider them "Lifetime", but I would HIGHLY suggest you consider changing them every 30-50k miles to be on the safe side.

While checking and replacing the fuel filter, also carefully check and replace the fuel pressure regulator hoses and the "F" fitting in the upper intake boot as any vacuum leaks in these hoses and fittings can also contribute to Lean conditions possibly leading to the CEL lighting. Please note that this "hose" that is connected from the F connector in the upper intake boot and to the fuel pressure regulator on the majority of these cars is NOT a vacuum hose. This hose typically does not have manifold vacuum for most models, this "hose" is nothing more than a filtered Atmospheric reference for the fuel pressure regulator. For most of these models, if you present manifold vacuum to the fuel pressure regulator, the fuel pressure will be reduced by approximately 10 PSI at idle and will lead to driveability problems and Lean codes.

What seems to be happening a lot lately is folks are not replacing their fuel pumps as a PM item, they are getting stranded, requiring tow jobs and/or dealer or rush fuel pumps to be purchased of up to $400+. Some even have to pay for the install as they do not have the tools on hand or the time.

These pumps are very easy to replace, only need a few basic tools and you do not even need to get under the car. Even if you buy the pump and do not get it installed, keep it in the trunk with the tools to change it and a copy of a DIY until you get around to actually installing it.

It is almost as easy as changing a tire!

So these fuel pumps are kind of like death, taxes and the cooling system.

As the Nike commercial says, "Just Do It!"

Your wife, kids, girl, buddies, employer, wallet and your schedule will all appreciate a PM fuel pump job.

www.bmaparts.com seems to have the best pricing on the fuel pump, not sure about the relay and filter?

I think there is also an online discount code that may still be good, something like SpecE30?? If I find it, I will edit this post with the discount code, but I do not guarantee it will work.

UPDATE: The BMA online discount code is SpecE30. Reports are the replacement pump is under $108 with free shipping. NOTE: As of Aug 2012 it appears the pump prices may have increased slightly to closer to $120?? As we are 5 years after this thread was originally written, the Simens/VDO fuel pump and sender assembly has gone up in price, as of mid 2017 the typical going price is around $145.

To help out people that are in fact in a bind and stranded, many of the local auto parts stores are reboxing and offering the Siemens/VDO pumps but they tend to be more expense that you could proactively purchase the part online when you are not stranded. Any example is this thread where it was found that the part was reboxed for a local suppler - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1130362

Members here have had decent luck with Bosch branded fuel pump and sending unit assemblies.

A note about purchasing very low cost fuel pump sending unit assemblies, recently a number of members have purchased from Amazon or ebay pump and sending unit assemblies for as low as $50 and installed these as PM replacements for the original working fuel pump and have quickly found themselves stranded or with driveability problems. Just use your head, how do you justify a fuel pump sending unit assembly that is the cost of the typical fuel filter for these cars that has effectively no moving parts, not electrical components and no wiring. Think about it before you decide to be penny wise and pound foolish and trying to spend less that you would expect for a quality part. I DO NOT suggest you even consider spending less that $140 for a name brand part, this still does not rule out that you could still end up with a counterfeit item. Make sure you are buying parts form a reliable source and supplier. When something is too good to be true there is usually a reason.

Note about soft failures on the fuel pump

Some of the fuel pumps are soft failing. This means they work and you do not have issues starting your car, but they can cause intermittent hesitation, misfiring, stalling as well as problems running out of fuel when the tank is about 1/4 full. This is due to low pressure and/or volume causing the siphon or suction jet pump that transfers fuel from one side of the tank to the pump side to not transfer fuel correctly. What happens is you still have fuel in the non electric pump side, but the electric pump side runs out of fuel. This usually happens with 1/4 of fuel showing on the gauge. The hesitation, misfiring and stalling is usually again to low pressure and/or volume from a weak fuel pump. Many have recently replaced their fuel pump & filter as preventative and found that they have crisper throttle response, better overall acceleration and sometimes a small inprovement in fuel economy, which was not noticed until the pump and filter were replaced. So there may in fact be some hidden benefits to preventatively replacing your fuel pump and filter.

Most of the soft failures are due to severely worn brushes and commutator and/or wear in the actual pumping section of the fuel pump. Think about this analogy. Fuel pump brushes and the commutator are like brake pads and the rotor. The difference is the pump brushes are under constant spring tension on the commutator, it is like you driving the car with the brakes partially applied. Brush and commutator wear is part of the normal operation of a typical DC brush fuel pump, therefore the fuel pump is consumable, similar to a starter motor, but the starter motor is not running the entire time the engine is running.

There is a lot of mis-information from fuel pump suppliers and multiple Internet sources about running the fuel level low in the fuel tank, this information is pretty much garbage. Same hold true for fuel contamination. When you are talking about any fuel pump that is failing beyond the warranty and/or after 8-10 years, these are all failing due to them being worn out. Pump run hours is the main factor in pump lifespan, not vehicle mileage.

Contaminated fuel could damage a fuel pump, most contamination is due to water. But for the most part if the fuel is significantly the engine will run very poorly or not run at all. Once the contaminated fuel is removed and/or diluted with fresh fuel, there is little chance this will cause an imminent fuel pump failure. But if the fuel pump is over 8-10 years old, it would be wise to replace the pump at that point in time.

Some people prefer to wait and replace the fuel pump when if fails, the problem is unlike a dead battery you cannot always get the car started with little time and effort and get the car to a place where you can get it repaired quickly and easily. You cannot always find a fuel pump 7 days a weeks and at most local corner stores. So a fuel pump failure can and will cost you a lot more time and money than say a weak or dead battery.


Fuel Pressure & Volume Testing

From the Bentley manual, following are fuel pressure and volume specs for anyone that happens to have a fuel pressure gauge handy and wants to test either the fuel pressure and/or volume. I have not tried this trick, but some have stated that you can use a regular tire pressure gauge to measure fuel pressure in a pinch. BE CAREFUL DUE TO FUEL SPRAY AND FIRE/BURN HAZZARD!!!

Note on most E46 except the M3 the fuel pressure tap or test point (Schraeder valve) is located on the front of the fuel rail under the upper fuel rail/engine cover. This upper fuel rail/engine cover will need to be removed to access this fuel pressure tap or test point.

On the E46 M3, the fuel pressure tap or test point (Schraeder valve) is located on the fuel pressure regulator block, under the drivers side floor board near the fuel filter.

On SULEV vehicles, I have not done a thorough investigation, however, expect the unexpected with these cars. These cars have the stainless steel fuel tank with the sealed fuel pump. This pump actually has 15 year/150k mile warranty and cannot be serviced without replacing the entire fuel tank assembly which I have heard is in excess of $6000!!! Note to self, if you have a SULEV car sell it before 14 years / 140k miles.

Fuel Pressure Specs Per Bentley
All engines except the S54 3.2L M3 - Fuel pressure 3.5 +/- 0.2 bar or 50.76 +/- 2.9 PSI
Residual fuel pressure after 20 minutes - Fuel pressure >3 bar or >43.51 PSI

Additional note/clairfication for the M52 (323/328 models). These models may utilize a manifold vacuum controlled fuel pressure regulator unlike the M54 (320/325/330 models). Bentley did not properly or clearly outline how to test the fuel pressure on the M52 (323/328 models) from my perspective. For the M52 (323/328 models) the 3.5 +/- 0.2 bar or 50.76 +/- 2.9 PSI fuel pressure is the stated spec, however, I would suggest checking the pressure with the vacuum line to the Fuel Pressure Regulator BOTH connected and disconnected. If the fuel pressure is tested with the engine running AND the fuel pressure regulator vacuum hose connected, the fuel pressure could be approximately 2.8 bar or 40 PSI IF the fuel pressure is actually vacuum controlled. Please make note of this clarification and report what behavior you see with the 323/328 models.

Unfortunately I do not have ready access for many 323/328's to verify if there is any vacuum present at the FPR. The 323 FPR hose is connected to the main body side port of the CCV and I know in a number of cases if there is vacuum present at the CCV main body side port. Not sure if this is with a good CCV or a failing CCV, but any sort of vacuum presented to a FPR will lower the fuel pressure even if it is a FPR that is designed just to have atmospheric reference like the 325/330 models. Might as well check this while you are under the hood checking the fuel pressure on the 323/328.

S54 3.2L M3 - Fuel pressure 5.0 +/- 0.2 bar or 72.5 +/- 2.9 PSI
Residual fuel pressure after 20 minutes - Fuel pressure >4.5 bar or >62.2 PSI

Fuel Volume Specs
All engines 1.12 liter (1.16 qt) for 30 seconds at 12 Volts or while crank


If your car dies on you with 1/4 of fuel, you can sometimes get it started again by adding a few gallons of fuel. But beware you will again likely run out again once the gauge shows 1/4 tank. This may get you going if you are stranded and buy you a bit of time so you can shop your parts and DIY the pump. If you access the Hidden OBC menu (see my signature below for a link regarding the Hidden OBC Menu) you will be able to check the fuel levels in each side of the fuel tank. Note that most all BMW's have a kidney shaped fuel tank with 2 separate fuel level sensors and 2 fuel pumps, siphon/passive pump the drivers side (Left side), which rarely fails, and the primary electric pump on the the passenger side (Right side).

The way these BMW kidney shaped fuel tanks function with the 2 fuel pumps is as follows:

The electric fuel pump on the right side of the tank is constantly running and excess fuel is returned from the fuel filter/regulator back to the left side of the fuel tank. When the fuel enters the left side of the fuel tank if passes through the passive siphon pump and transfers fuel from the left side to the right side of the fuel tank. Once the fuel level drops below about 1/2 tank the left side of the tank quickly drains and all the fuel is kept in the right side of the tank. If you access the Hidden OBC menu you will be able to see the fuel transfer behavior and if you see the fuel level in the left side of the tank higher than the right side of the tank once stabilized, it is likely indicating a soft fail fuel pump. But also note there are also fuel level sending unit failures that can also show similar behaviors. Best to get to know your cars total average range using the trip odometer and then use this along with fuel level to determine when you may have to refuel and/or have a potential problem cropping up.

As for actual fuel pump failures, there are many myths and ideas as to why and how the pumps fail. Also suggestions that the pumps are overheating due to running the tank low on fuel for extended times and possibly the pump drawing air from time to time. But I can say most of these suggestions are mostly myths. The fuel pump is a DC brush motor that is constantly running and circulating cool fuel. The failures of these pumps really have nothing to do with overheating but simple brush and commutator wear just like a starter motor for an engine. What is typically happening is the brush fail to make proper connection with commutator and fail to start. Most of the fuel pump failures tend to happen after the car is shut down, there appears to be a very low percentage of failures while driving.


Also a few helpful hints on fuel pump replacement -

1. Wiring Connector
Many people new to BMW's or German cars may not understand how to release the wiring from the fuel senders. The connectors have a slide release that is a bit tricky but will be clear once you study it for a moment.

See attached pictures of the wiring connector up close both "latched" and "unlatched"

Attachment 480893Attachment 480890Attachment 480891

Pictures courtesy of Frank_E46


2. Make sure you install the gasket on the fuel tank opening lip and not the sending unit
. When you remove the sending unit, the round gasket may come out stuck on the sending unit or you may partially pull the gasket out of the tank when removing the sending unit/fuel pump assembly, however, you need to install the gasket on the fuel tank lip before reinstalling the sending unit/fuel pump assembly, there is a small grove in the side of the gasket that goes around the inside lip of the fuel tank opening. What I actually do is install the sender with the gasket loose on the sender, then once the float is inside the tank, I then put the gasket on the tank lip before seating the sending unit. Also be VERY careful to install the gasket the gasket in the correct orientation when you install it on the edge of the fuel tank. This gasket is asymmetrical and should only be installed in the proper orientation. I believe there is the word "TOP or UP" embossed in the fuel sender gasket. If you install the gasket upside down you will have a fuel leak. Fuel leaks will only likely occur at 3/4 tank or higher. Once below 3/4 tank, you will likely not have any leakage.

If this gasket is not installed properly you may have also have Evap codes triggering as well as anything from a large fuel leak, to just a heavy odor of gasoline.

So be warned, make sure you note the orientation of the fuel sender gasket when you remove the sending unit/fuel pump assembly and reinstall the gasket in the correct orientation and make sure the gasket is fitted inside the tank opening and groove in the side of the gasket is installed on the edge of the fuel tank opening.

3. Fuel level can be an issue. If you are 3/4 tank or below you are in pretty good shape, but if you just filled up and need to change the fuel pump, you will have a problem with fuel spilling out of the tank onto the top of the tank and the driveway or asphalt below. Remember gasoline is not only flammable, it can soften asphalt and be an issue if you happen to be indoors. It is apparently very hard if not impossible to siphon fuel from the tank via the fill pipe, so be forewarned and this may be another good reason to proactively replace your pump on your schedule and not the cars schedule!

4. Be careful about residual fuel pressure in the fuel line before changing the fuel pump or filter. If your pump failed and your car will not start, you likely will not need worry about residual fuel pressure, however, if the car still runs and you plan on changing either the fuel pump or fuel filter, it is wise to remove the fuel pump fuse, start the car and let it idle until it dies. If you plan on removing the fuel pump, you can disconnect the wiring connector to the right side fuel sender and start the engine and let it run until it dies. NOTE, if yo disconnect the fuel sender, you may end up with some trouble codes for the fuel sender and you fuel level and mileage figures may be WAY off until you fill the fuel tank. The trouble codes will not likely show up with a standard ODB scanner, however, INPA, SSS or BMW Scanner may read these errors. Just make a note if you do run the engine with the fuel sender disconnected in case you see any codes, you likely forced them to be triggered. This is way you can pull the fuel filter or pump without a high pressure spray of gasoline. You will still likely get some fuel leakage, but hopefully not under pressure. It might also be wise to remove the fuel filler cap to also release any residual pressure in the fuel tank, but suggest you reinstall the cap before removing the fuel sender/pump combo.

Additionally I have no hard data, but it appears the 2002 and newer cars may have more of an issue with the pump life as compared to the very early E46's? Also case in point, many of the newer turbo BMW 3 series have had a series of fuel pump failures while most of these cars were still under warranty. So just making the comment that the pump design can possibly influence life expectancy.

Do not say you have not been warned!

Denial is not an option, as you will get a rude dose of reality.

Wanted to update this thread with some failure mode information.

These fuel pumps are all dying due to worn brushes and commutators, very little to do with contaminated fuel. Fuel contamination can accelerate fuel pump wear, however, the fuel sock is actually very fine and will trap or block all but the smallest particles from entering the fuel pump. Additionally almost every "fuel pump" at your local gas station has a large inline fuel filter that looks like a large canister oil filter. These filters trap quite a bit of debris that may be in the gas station in ground tanks or distribution lines. The fuel pump is a standard 2 pole/brush DC brush motor and the brushes and commutator wear out, probably faster than they should. This may be partially due to changes in fuel or fuel additives, but who knows for sure.

I took apart the pump that failed in my E46 at approximately 9 years with 84k miles. The brushes were shot and the commutator was HEAVILY worn. One brush was worn all the way to the copper stranded wire that is embedded in the end of the brush, about 1/2 way more worn than the other brush. I am guessing that the brushes were worn down by over 3/4 of their original length. Not sure if the uneven brush wear was due to the way the pump is angled in the sending unit or why this happened. In addition to SEVERE brush wear, the commutator was unbelievably worn, probably over 0.110" of wear or almost 1/8" diameter of the commutator was gone!

All the worn commutator copper and brush carbon is probably part of what ends up in the fuel filter and may be some of the black color that many find when changing the fuel filter.

On to fuel pump longevity.

Overall vehicle mileage or age has VERY little to do with the pump life expectancy. Keep in mind for every second the engine is running, the fuel pump is running as well, or just slightly longer if you consider the fuel pump priming. Pump run hours and the total number of pump rotations is what actually determines when the pump will fail.

It is assumed the pump life is around 5000-6000+ run hours, but this does not seem to match up very well with the failures we are hearing about. You could possibly tie this run time to mileage, bit is VERY hard and not very accurate. I am sure someone may challenge my info here that may be a Product Engineer with system life expectancy calculations. All that being great, but I think there is enough real world data to show that the majority of these fuel pumps are lasting around 4000-5000 run hours. Maybe the design life was longer, who knows. But the failure rate is pretty high over the past few years for E46 fuel pumps.

Estimating fuel pump life expectancy, you typically have 2 primary kinds of vehicle usage. There may be some middle ground, but the middle ground is based on the 2 primary vehicle usage profiles. Highway Warriors that can put 20+k miles on the car a year and the Urban Dweller that might only get 12k miles or less on the car a year seem to make up the main building blocks of vehicle usage.

My E46 is clearly an Urban Dweller. It probably averages about 90 minutes a day driving, possibly a bit less. The fuel pump in my E46 failed around 84k miles as I recall at around year 9. Doing the math, 90 mins x 365 days x 9 years/60 (mins in an hour) = 4927.5 run hours on the fuel pump! Notice I did not factor mileage in the equation at all because mileage has little to no bearing on the run hours. If I was to calculate the Average MPH over the 884k miles, with the data above, this works out to 17 MPH average speed for the life of the vehicle. I think in reality using the Trip Odometer most of the time, the Average MPH was usually around 22 MPH for the type of driving the car sees weekly. 22 MPH Average Speed may actually be yielding more along the lines of closer to 4000 hours of run time, which in the big scheme of things in NOT very reliable and not a very long life expectancy for a fuel pump.

I think most observant people would see a Highway Warrior could clock up far more miles in the same 5k hours if the cars speed was averaging 30-40+ MPH rather than the 20-22 MPH that my E46 would run.

So for instance, a real world situation I deal with weekly is I have a trip during the worst part of the day for traffic. I drive 12 miles and it takes me 1 hour. So this means I am averaging 12 MPH for this trip! Not very good a all and remember for each trip like this, I am adding 1 hour of run time on the fuel pump as well as other parts of the vehicle to go only 12 miles!

For the person that had a garage queen that is 10+ years old and has 50k miles on it, I would expect the pump to have a fair amount of life left because the pump probably has not seen a higher value of run hours.

There is some thought based on discussions that the earlier fuel pumps, pre- 2001 may last longer than the 2001-2006 fuel pumps. Not sure this has been proven with hard data, but this is a theory that is circulating around a bit.

But I think in general the fuel pumps in these cars should be replaced around year 8-9 if you expect to have reliable transportation. Some may disagree, just update the forum when your pump fails and you are left stranded. It is just a matter of time.

Link below to pictures of the failed fuel pump cut open showing the worn brushes and commutator. You can see how thin the one brush is where the copper braided wire was running on the commutator and also notice how severely worn the commutator is.

Fuel pump cut open to show worn brushes and commutator - https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tdx5kech2...WsRmk2Pxa?dl=0

Also a very interesting testing case and analysis of fuel pump life and impact of different fuels. Interesting that brush and commutator wear appears to be greater with gasoline than with E10 or E20 blends.

http://www.agweb.com/assets/import/f...0endurance.pdf


Regarding all of the claims of not running the vehicle below 1/4 tank for fuel pump cooling, this is pretty much a bunch of BS. Most all modern electric fuel pumps have the fuel volume of fuel passing directly through the center of the fuel pump which actually bathes the commutator, brushes and bushings in fuel. So as long as the fuel pump has a supply of fuel, it is being cooled. Additionally I have yet to see a high mileage heat related fuel pump failure. I have cut MANY fuel pumps open for inspection and the majority of the BMW/German design fuel pumps that have failed had SIGNIFICANT commutator and brush wear and it was clear this commutator and brush wear was the root cause of the pump failure.

DC brush motors are CONSUMABLE and they have a designed or finite lifespan. Maybe they should be lasting longer than what we are seeing here in the real world, but like anything, the real world is what we all face on a daily basis. I think the side commutator/brush design pumps may wear faster than the end commutator/brush design fuel pumps.

Should listen closely from the 9 minute mark. I think the Airtex Director of Engineering should be a pretty reliable source. Far more knowledgeable the majority of "expert" mechanics which I have met VERY few of.

What is interesting is if you watch the video and listen to the discussion regarding the pump commutator and the overall issue of wear concerns, there is NO mention of motor brush wear. It may be due to the DESIGN of the end based commutator and the way the brushes ride on the end commutator. I expect that the end commutator/brush design is far more robust when compared to the side side commutator/brush design that the E46 and many other BMW and other German model vehicles use. There may be material differences as well when compared to the BMW/German design.

But for the BMW pumps that I have cut open, they ALL have significant brush and commutator wear and I have not found much problem with the actual pumping portion of the pumps, more often than not the pumps slow down due to commutator and brush wear and also fail to start due to extreme commutator and brush wear just like a worn starter motor that have have personally rebuilt hundreds of over the years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piOzN1tZI_E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMVv...ature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbzEeWy1b3o

Mango 06-25-2012 10:21 AM

Good post. This absolutely needs to be done. Anybody who disagrees, step up. There is no reason not to do this.

There should be a popup that asks a series of questions:

Have you JFOJ'd in the past 60,000 miles?

Have you replaced your entire cooling system in the past 60,000 miles?

Have you replaced your fuel pump, fuel pump relay, and fuel filter in the past 60,000 miles?

Have you replaced your voltage regulator, battery in the past 60,000 miles or five years?

If the person answers 'no,' a big slap machine reaches out of the computer screen and slaps the offensive person in their face. If the person answers 'yes,' proof must be submitted and approved by JFOJ. Then and only then can they deserve to proceed to the forums.

Anything short of doing any of the above and you might as well be wearing a shirt that says "I love to be stranded!" cause that's pretty much what you're wishing for when you don't maintain critical parts of your car.

ryanwhite74115 06-25-2012 10:41 AM

Wow...175,000 miles, been on the forum for years. Never knew the fuelpump was that prevalent of an issue. :facepalm:

Mango 06-25-2012 10:44 AM

All fuel pumps fail regardless of make/model/type of car. YMMV depending on how you drive, conditions, etc. What may last 175k to you may last 60k for someone else. In any case, not replacing it is just rolling the dice.

scrace 06-25-2012 10:45 AM

Any explanation as to why it fails at this certain milage? I have a hard time throwing money into parts just because, without have some fundamental reason why they are all failing.

It seems a bit paranoid, because if I'm going to keep a spare fuel pump in my car, why not the whole cooling system, etc.

Mango 06-25-2012 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scrace (Post 14515846)
Any explanation as to why it fails at this certain milage? I have a hard time throwing money into parts just because, without have some fundamental reason why they are all failing.

It seems a bit paranoid, because if I'm going to keep a spare fuel pump in my car, why not the whole cooling system, etc.

You don't keep a spare in your car, you replace the part.

And there's no set mileage. That's the whole reason why you replace it. You never know when it's going to go. And it's usually not on your schedule ;)

sunnyjay 06-25-2012 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scrace (Post 14515846)
Any explanation as to why it fails at this certain milage? I have a hard time throwing money into parts just because, without have some fundamental reason why they are all failing.

It seems a bit paranoid, because if I'm going to keep a spare fuel pump in my car, why not the whole cooling system, etc.

Well a fuel pump is a basically a electric motor and they do burn out with age like any motor. The bushings wear inside the motor and they lose contact with armature or a burnt armature. End result is a failed fuel pump.

hummer 06-25-2012 11:15 AM

No, No, No!
There are always two or more schools of thought when it comes to issues like these. A better service to members would be a poll to illustrate experience with these items rather than the sky is failling, replace everything now approach!
My experience:
Fuel pump - 10 years 160K, relay still Ok at 175K
Battery same. Alternator suffered a bearing failure at approx 120K
Cooling system - original tank, hoses and radiator still in at 175K
- water pump replaced when it actually started leaking at 114K

As you can see, if I had gone into panic mode at 60K, I would have spent a whole lot of money for nothing. The only thing on the above list to be changed regularly is the fuel filter. So, for a commuter like mine the experience may be totally different from a ham fisted tire burning drifter.

jcns 06-25-2012 11:20 AM

some data
my e30; fuel pump died with about 190k miles (about 7-8 years)
my e46, fuel pump died with about 140k miles (10 years)
inexpensive fix and takes only about 30-45 minutes.

Mango 06-25-2012 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hummer (Post 14515923)
No, No, No!
There are always two or more schools of thought when it comes to issues like these. A better service to members would be a poll to illustrate experience with these items rather than the sky is failling, replace everything now approach!
My experience:
Fuel pump - 10 years 160K, relay still Ok at 175K
Battery same. Alternator suffered a bearing failure at approx 120K
Cooling system - original tank, hoses and radiator still in at 175K
- water pump replaced when it actually started leaking at 114K

As you can see, if I had gone into panic mode at 60K, I would have spent a whole lot of money for nothing. The only thing on the above list to be changed regularly is the fuel filter. So, for a commuter like mine the experience may be totally different from a ham fisted tire burning drifter.

People with our school of thought never become stranded. Of course you can drive your car til it rots into the ground. Just because your car starts and drives doesn't mean you've done yourself any favors. Don't maintain your car and at that point, it's a rolling pile of rotted rubber and worn parts

I am proud to say that my car is almost completely rebuilt or refreshed from the ground up and the results show the moment you turn the key to the moment you shut the door. Very, very pleased. Confidence and peace of mind is worth every penny.

FenderGuy05 06-25-2012 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hummer (Post 14515923)
No, No, No!
There are always two or more schools of thought when it comes to issues like these. A better service to members would be a poll to illustrate experience with these items rather than the sky is failling, replace everything now approach!
My experience:
Fuel pump - 10 years 160K, relay still Ok at 175K
Battery same. Alternator suffered a bearing failure at approx 120K
Cooling system - original tank, hoses and radiator still in at 175K
- water pump replaced when it actually started leaking at 114K

As you can see, if I had gone into panic mode at 60K, I would have spent a whole lot of money for nothing. The only thing on the above list to be changed regularly is the fuel filter. So, for a commuter like mine the experience may be totally different from a ham fisted tire burning drifter.

Honestly, I have to disagree. Maybe it's because I only have one car so when something fails...I get totatally screwed. If I had another car I wouldn't be so concerned with keeping mine running. I think that given the fact that the car is averaging around 10 years old is enough.

It isn't always miles that wears parts, it's age. My fuel pump actually died on me yesterday, no start, straded in a grocery store parking lot. (Thank god for AAA) I have ordered my part and am waiting to change it myself, the fuel pump and filter were on my list for the next round of maintainance. Luckily, it was a Sunday and not this morning before work.

My bottom line is that PM is the best thing you can do with our e46, I just spent around 200 dollars for new oring, pump and fuel filter, and that is going to buy me peace of mind for a while.

Mango 06-25-2012 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FenderGuy05 (Post 14516251)
Honestly, I have to disagree. Maybe it's because I only have one car so when something fails...I get totatally screwed. If I had another car I wouldn't be so concerned with keeping mine running. I think that given the fact that the car is averaging around 10 years old is enough.

It isn't always miles that wears parts, it's age. My fuel pump actually died on me yesterday, no start, straded in a grocery store parking lot. (Thank god for AAA) I have ordered my part and am waiting to change it myself, the fuel pump and filter were on my list for the next round of maintainance. Luckily, it was a Sunday and not this morning before work.

My bottom line is that PM is the best thing you can do with our e46, I just spent around 200 dollars for new oring, pump and fuel filter, and that is going to buy me peace of mind for a while.

You mean your fuel pump didn't send you an e-mail asking if yesterday at the grocery store was a good time to fail?? Shocking! :lmao:

FenderGuy05 06-25-2012 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E46Mango (Post 14516258)
You mean your fuel pump didn't send you an e-mail asking if yesterday at the grocery store was a good time to fail?? Shocking! :lmao:

:rofl: Unfortunately it didn't, that would have been nice.

One thing I can say is thank god for these forums, because I would have been at a total loss if my last car had not started up, but because I have read so much on these fuel pump failures, I knew what to look for and had it diagnosed by the time the tow truck arrived.

What are the chances the day after a thread like ths pops up!

///MPR77 06-25-2012 01:28 PM

My fuel pump was nice enough to fail right outside of Bavarian Auto Parts.
190k

I went in to pick up some bumper trim, came back out, and fuel pump failed.

Since this is a common issue; Bavarian had the part in stock, and I replaced it out front in 20min. And was on my way.

If I had only checked my email prior to leaving that day, I would have seen the message from my fuel pump saying: "today is the day sucka"

Seriously, though this will fail at some point, so replace it if you haven't by at least 150k

FenderGuy05 06-25-2012 01:32 PM

Definitely at least by 150k, I just hit 100k and it failed. Age kills too!

Solidjake 06-25-2012 02:05 PM

116k on my car and zero issues with my pump. I did change the filter though 30k miles ago.

Brinkley 06-25-2012 02:11 PM

160k and 14 years on mine

jfoj 06-25-2012 02:29 PM

Mileage is really not a factor with fuel pumps, its hours. Unfortunately there is really no hour meter for the pump.

Case in point, if you live in a major metro area and commute daily, you will not rack up much mileage, however, the pumps will have lost of time on it. So if your commute is 10 miles in stop and go traffic and it takes you 45 minutest to get to work, this is very much different than driving 60 miles in 45 minutes. This is a difference of 6 times the mileage for the same length of time.

I can tell you the E39 M5 are dropping pumps at a very similar rate to the E46. Mine went before I bought the car at about 70k miles in about 7 years.

I have replaced 2 other E39 M5 pumps withing about 8 years. One had about 100k miles, the other about 120k miles.

It seems 7-8 years is about the problem window.

If you have more than 8 years on your pump, thank the fuel pump gods and keep a pair or tennis shoes in the back of the car.

I have a neighbor that had an E46 that failed at about 8 years, 110k miles.

I can assure you that other than hard failures there are a number of soft failures that cause the suction jet pump to perform poorly and drain the passenger side tank and cause you to run out of fuel.

What gets me is some owners proactively replace their battery every 3-4 years, which is a good thing, but for slightly more than a cost of a battery they will not replace their fuel pump.

If your battery dies, usually you can jump start or roll start the car, not so easy with a bad fuel pump!

I can say over the past 3-4 weeks it seems that about every 10-15th post is about a fuel pump failure.

Again, the other way to verify if your pump has been replaced previously it to pull the rear lower seat, check the rubber sound proofing horse shoe shaped piece on the passenger side and see if the 4 or so connection tabs have been cut, if not, you likely have your original fuel pump.

It just seems that most of the pump failures are very inconvenient and have cost owner more money due to no being able to shop parts and possibly labor for someone else to install your pump.

Gus330vrum 06-25-2012 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Solidjake (Post 14516407)
116k on my car and zero issues with my pump. I did change the filter though 30k miles ago.

Jake, you better keep fuel pump at home :)

Mine went out at 110k ..

Bmaparts.com sold me FrEE fuel pump on big deal I got...:rolleyes:

Sent from my ZTE-X500

trive2 06-25-2012 07:59 PM

Ahahaha I've been meaning to get a fuel pump just in case for a couple of months now. I'm on 90,000 miles on the original pump and I've run out of fuel about ten times in the last six months.

Buzz of deathhhh.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:33 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.