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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 06-25-2016, 11:03 AM   #1
kennedye46
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 13
My Ride: 1999 323i
E46 DIED WHILE DRIVING, now won't start at all

I have a 1999 323i manual trans with 230000kms. it was running beautifully until yesterday.
I drove 30kms in decently heavy rain. the roads were quite wet. anyway after stopping at a store to pick up some things. Car was still running mint. started up fine. On my way home the last 1 km before my house, i was driving up a hill into my neighbourhood. driving up the hill 3rd gear doing about 60km/h. the car started to surge and stutter. rpms would drop to 1400rpm then surge back to 2200rpm approx. due to this the car slowed to 50km and to try and keep the car going i downshifted to 2nd gear and the car continued to do the same thing. by this time i had to turn at the top of the hill so i downshifted into 1st gear and the car continued to surge and stutter. eventually it just died.

My first check i looked into the intake path to see if any water had been ingested. all dry
i then took my code reader and there was nothing other than the electric fan code which i already knew about due to me running with no fan(i just have it unplugged, due to it constantly running, won't shut off. car doesn't overheat anyway.
looked for fuel at the rail by pressing the schrader valve on top of the fuel rail. all good, tonnes of fuel.
not sure what to look for now.

The car cranks over beautifully but won't start. i am not sure if it is sparking or not. i have pulled a spark plug and it seems to be burning fine.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm a pretty good mechanic myself so i can test stuff if necessary.
thanks in advance
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:41 AM   #2
latitude39
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My Ride: 2002 325xi (163k)
My "guess" is Intake Camshaft Position Sensor. The surging, and not starting sounds like what happened to my '02 325 at 125k miles (202k klicks).

There's a code for it, which my car threw, and therefore pointed right to it. The CPS problem can be flaky, coming and going...and hard to test even if you pull the device.

Get the OEM CPS if you do replace it.
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:55 AM   #3
kennedye46
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I now think it's not getting fuel. Have to check the fuel pump I guess. Anyone know if a clogged fuel filter could cause no fuel like this. I would rather not have to change a fuel pump lol. Thanks again
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:06 PM   #4
latitude39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedye46 View Post
I now think it's not getting fuel. Have to check the fuel pump I guess. Anyone know if a clogged fuel filter could cause no fuel like this. I would rather not have to change a fuel pump lol. Thanks again
There's a shrader valve (like the valve stem on tires) on the fuel rail. It should be getting about 43 psi, IIRC. A parts store might let you use a fuel pressure gauge.
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:34 PM   #5
sam_
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Same thing happened w me, it was the fuel pump.
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:50 PM   #6
jfoj
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My Ride: 330CiC, M5, X5, E93
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedye46 View Post
I now think it's not getting fuel. Have to check the fuel pump I guess. Anyone know if a clogged fuel filter could cause no fuel like this. I would rather not have to change a fuel pump lol. Thanks again
The fuel pump is FAR easier to replace than the fuel filter. I can change the fuel pump in 15 minutes and you do not need to get under the car.

The fuel filter is huge on these cars and it is not likely to clog up.
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Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

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

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Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:00 PM   #7
kennedye46
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Yeah I pulled both the filter and the pump. Replacing the pump tomorrow. $238.00 Canadian dollars. Thanks for all the help. Will confirm if it works tomorrow.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:03 PM   #8
BMWCaptain
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Check your fuel level in your tank.

Check your E-box fuses to make sure one did not blow.

Verify if you get voltage to the fuel pump connector.
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:26 PM   #9
kennedye46
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It's fixed now. Fuel pump was shot. I had a full tank which made it not so much fun as my driveway is sloped but we got it fixed. Thanks for all the help!
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