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Old 03-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
kertiss
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HELP!! Car sputtered then died.

Hi - I have a 2000 323i with 190k miles. It was running great last week, but is now sitting dead in front of my house and I'm driving a rental that I can't afford to keep doing. Here's the timeline of incidents...

Low fuel light came on and I filled her up with about 10 miles to go. Got home with no problems then tried to start her again later that evening and she started but then sputtered out after a few seconds. Tried several more times and run-time got shorter and shorter until she wouldn't run at all. Immediately thought fuel pump, but tried again next day by keeping gas pedal to floor and letting it crank for 5-10 seconds. Revved up and ran smoothly for about 200 miles, starting and stopping the engine along the way. Finally, the SES light came on but she still seemed to be running fine and started up every time the engine was turned off.

After about the 4th time it was the same situation as before...ran for a few seconds at a very low RPM then died, etc. After letting it sit for a bit, I tried again with the pedal to the floor and cranking for a few seconds. Started up again so I hit the road in hopes of making it home and avoiding getting towed. Ran fine for about 30-40 miles then suddenly stopped responding to the gas pedal. The engine would rev up but the car wouldn't go any faster. If I floored it, the car would buck so I knew she didn't like that! After a couple miles of this, she just tuckered out and died again...on a country road, of course! I had her towed home and am obviously hoping this won't be a major repair, but I just need her to run again. Soon!!

Any insight/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:34 PM   #2
scarede46er
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Umm, sounds like the fuel pump to me. You have a car with 190K miles. The pump is vital PM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:39 PM   #3
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Agree. My fuel pump acted similar. Easy to check, you should hear the pump run when you first turn the ignition to ON. It is directly under the back seat on the right side. You should also have pressure in the fuel rail, but you SHOULD use a gauge to check this.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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Okay, thanks. I was leaning towards that but just wasn't sure. Will give it a try...
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:28 PM   #5
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I agree. Sounds like typical fuel pump death.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
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2nd link below in my signature.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #7
kertiss
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Thanks jfoj. I've been checking out the forum for other posts on this subject and came across that one earlier this afternoon. I'm definitely thinking fuel pump now and hoping that is the correct fix!
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:29 PM   #8
krnlight
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It is the fuel pump. Mine just did that last week. Mine unfortunately died on a busy intersection.

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Old 03-24-2013, 09:53 PM   #9
kertiss
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Well, we replaced the fuel pump on Tuesday (5 days ago) and the car has been running well since....and then the SES light came on again tonight!! Nothing "seems" to be wrong other than that. I got home but am very nervous about driving to work in the morning. Any other ideas or similar experiences?? I'm going to get the codes as soon as possible, but the last time we hooked it up, we just got a bunch of lean codes. Again...HELP!!!
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:33 PM   #10
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Lean codes are typical, read the first link below in my signature.

Also search on Google - e46fanatics, jfoj, software and read that thread regarding a number of software and code reading options.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:48 PM   #11
krnlight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kertiss View Post
Well, we replaced the fuel pump on Tuesday (5 days ago) and the car has been running well since....and then the SES light came on again tonight!! Nothing "seems" to be wrong other than that. I got home but am very nervous about driving to work in the morning. Any other ideas or similar experiences?? I'm going to get the codes as soon as possible, but the last time we hooked it up, we just got a bunch of lean codes. Again...HELP!!!
Did you also replace the fuel filter as well? I changed mine out this weekend after I did the fuel pump and there is a noticeable difference with the car.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:49 PM   #12
kertiss
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I asked about that but was told it was a pain in the butt to change out so we didn't. Mind you, the car was not on a lift as it was stranded in my parking lot at the time. I'll look for a DIY on that and will try to do it myself. Thanks very much for your replies!
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:04 PM   #13
scarede46er
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it's very easy. You need to jack up the car, take out the protective shield, pry open 3 clamps and be prepared to lose half a gallon of fuel.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:09 PM   #14
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it's very easy. You need to jack up the car, take out the protective shield, pry open 3 clamps and be prepared to lose half a gallon of fuel.
+1 very easy, but...
Don't forget to pull the FP relay while the car is running until the car dies of starvation...this keeps the spillage down to a minimum.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:18 AM   #15
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Def. change the filter while you're at it. It's quite possible, likely even, that the filter became clogged and has been dogging your fuel pump for a few thousand miles, which in turn caused the pump to burn up.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:31 AM   #16
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Well i didn't read that you changed the fuel pump already.... but anyone who reads this thread in the future, and is trying to diagnose:

go under the car near the rear passenger seat and beat on the plastic panel there with a wrench or tire iron.... If the car starts and runs after that, it's definitely the fuel pump.

It will die again, for sure though...so don't drive.

Sometimes when fuel pump is going out there is a solenoid that gets stuck... Jarring it with a vibrating hit will loosen it up and the car will start.

Use this only for diagnosis.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:07 AM   #17
kertiss
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Hooked up to a scanner this morning and got P1188 and P1189 codes. Doing some research on the forum now to see what they could mean...
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:08 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ///MPR77 View Post
+1 very easy, but...
Don't forget to pull the FP relay while the car is running until the car dies of starvation...this keeps the spillage down to a minimum.
n00b. the fuse, not the relay
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:36 PM   #19
///MPR77
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^
Ooops..that's what I meant.

My bad on that one...
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:36 PM   #20
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^
Ooops..

My bad on that one...
haha I know it was just a typo. Just bustin your hamhocks
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