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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 07-19-2012, 07:07 PM   #1
Nightsmoke
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Starting problem today first ever.

Ok....My car is a 04 325i auto 130k miles new fuel filter 800miles ago new spark plugs 12k ago.


When i started my car on the parking lot it reved to 1k rpm and dies...tried again died...made a low rumble sound shaking a bit then died...waited a bit tried again and pressed the gas to rev it while starting and the pedal had no effect on the engine then died...waited....then car worked as normal. What could of this of been bad fuel? dirt? a part of me thinks i need a new drive belt as well.Was the belt slipping when i would press the gas and it did not rev? Any feedback would be great and give me piece of mind of what i have to do
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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How much fuel was in the tank when this happened? If around 1/4 of a tank, I am guessing you may have a fuel pump on the way out?

Suggest you read this thread - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

If you do not think the fuel pump is the issue, read this thread - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616
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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

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Old 07-19-2012, 10:36 PM   #3
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thanks alot man im going to look into it ASAP Im guessing thats what it was
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:28 AM   #4
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I was thinking SAP would cause an issue like this. Sounds very similar to when my sap hose had a hole in it and gunk was plugging the inlet to the valve. If hose is soft, check the valve for a clog, replace hose.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:51 AM   #5
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I'm with JFOJ on this one. Fuel pump. Another one bites the dust. Hope yours is replaced DMAX.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:32 PM   #6
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It could easily be the Fuel Pump, but there are many reasons a car will crank and not start and the OP could do lots of investigation to rule some other obvious possibilities in or out. You guys got lucky with a fuel pump diagnosis yesterday, I noticed, but let's not go crazy.

I like the 'no fuel' possibility better than the FP. There's the relay, the Kalim Fuse, a number of sensors gone bad will also, I think, cause crank/no start (cam maybe, crankshaft position sensor, I'm pretty sure).

Sorry, OP, don't know what you know, and thus have no idea if you're sure you have gas, vs. just trusting the gauge. If you don't hear pump, first make sure Kalim Fuse is good, make sure you have power at the pump, make sure you're not flooded, etc.

I'm not saying anyone is wrong in guessing Fuel Pump, just that there are lower cost reasons your car might not start which don't cost anything to check.
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:25 PM   #7
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Welll guys i have an ending to my story and it's just not good. Let's start from the beginning. The 2 things i did to narrow down the problem was to check the fuel pump relay as well as the fuel pump fuse under the hood. The fuse was fine and i swapped the FP relay with the horn relay just to make to make sure. cars working ok then..........Next day driving on 285 here in atlanta at 5pm in nightmare traffic(If you been here you know what i mean) The car dies in the middle lane i got my 4 ways on praying i don't get rearended, i keep trying to start but still dead.....call 911 and let them know where i am blah blah blah..After i hang up the car starts... luckily im 15mins from the bmw dealership so i go right there. I explain to them im pretty sure its the fuel pump because of the testing i did before...I go to then to the desk to ask for a rental car...this ***** behind the desk tells me i can't get one because i did not make an appointment...I say how can make an appointment for when i have an emergency and come right to the dealership ? She says nothing and just walks to a fax machine and acts like we never spoke....ooookkkk.......Call my dad who lives an hour away to get me...we go home......Next morning i get a call saying that the problem was the relay...I tell them no it's gotta be the fuel pump and he just keeps saying nooo its the relay..i say ok fix it......also recommend i get new drive belts and fix my air intake boot (parts total $40 on ebay at most he quoted me at 400 i say no thanks to that but do the drive belts......few hours later...another call.....Welllll sir you were right its the fuel pump not the relay...i say yeaa i knew that....sir your total for fuel pump with labor and diagnostic comes to (did not had them do the belts because of the pump price) $999.05 ........607.76 labor parts 339.14..........DIY on this is about 30mins and the fuel pump you can buy for under 200$ online.....I really wasn't about to get my car towed from the dealership to my house so i had to suffer it out and pay.....As well as now fix the air intake boot myself and vacuum hose. If you get anything from this story? If you think something is wrong with your car ? fix it at home and don't debate because you will end up with a dead car on the highway and $999.00 lighter....and one last thing....In the bmw manual for our car they say don't drive the car with less than 35miles less in the tank.....Now i know why.

Last edited by Nightsmoke; 07-25-2012 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightsmoke View Post
Ok....My car is a 04 325i auto 130k miles new fuel filter 800miles ago new spark plugs 12k ago.


When i started my car on the parking lot it reved to 1k rpm and dies...tried again died...made a low rumble sound shaking a bit then died...waited a bit tried again and pressed the gas to rev it while starting and the pedal had no effect on the engine then died...waited....then car worked as normal. What could of this of been bad fuel? dirt? a part of me thinks i need a new drive belt as well.Was the belt slipping when i would press the gas and it did not rev? Any feedback would be great and give me piece of mind of what i have to do
Whatever the problem is, it is not the belts. The belts will never ever give the symptom set you report.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:12 PM   #9
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Man, sorry to hear this, I hate to say it, so I won't!

This is exactly why I wrote the thread that I posted when I told you it was the fuel pump.

EVERYONE who owns an E46, E38, E39 that is more than 6-7 years old needs to read & heed this thread - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

The fuel pump is under $110 online!

Not sure how the stupid dealer was able to get the labor up to $607? That's like 5 hours @ $120.00. That's nuts if they charge 5 hours for fuel pump change. You might want to contest the labor charge, if they charged you diagnosis time, you should print out my fuel pump thread and take it to the stupid tech and tell him to learn something!

FYI, you did not kill the pump running it low on fuel, the pump is old and the brushes and commutator wear and the brushes do not make good contact with the commutator. Unfortunately you were led to believe when it started again that you were safe, you were far from it.
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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 07-25-2012, 06:16 PM   #10
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Probably the fuel pump... My car is sitting out in the parking lot for the same reason, wont even start at this point, but it's getting swapped for a new set today... Luckily for me, it's an easier install than any other car I've had in the past, so I've got that going for me.

Probably fuel pump if the more you push on the gas pedal, the more misfiring you get, or if it doesn't even react to it.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:28 PM   #11
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Blah. I might change the pump and fuel level sensor for the hell of it.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:32 PM   #12
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OP,

In a calm moment tomorrow, I'd recommend you call up your Service Advisor and express your concern that...you know you can get an OE pump yourself for $130 (Or whatever), but that you know they have their prices...and that's fine. But tell him that you know that removing the seat, removing an electric connection and one locking ring takes about 5 mins. The whole repair is maybe 20 mins. if even.

Tell him you understand diagnosis time might take some time...but that you told them you swapped relays and told him that (I assume you did)...say you understand the relay costs money and takes time to put it in, but if they'd listened to you, they could have easily just measure voltage directly at the pump and they'd have seen it's getting 12V...that it just wasn't working.

Then, just ask if there's anything he can do. Tell him you told the story on e46 fanatics and guys are all over you to tell them the name of the dealer that charged 5 hours for fuel pump...and that so far, you don't think it's right to do so...but that you also don't think it's right that the book time you were charged for this was obviously so far off.

Bet he'll drop the price at least a couple hundred just to maintain a customer's good will. Maybe it's worth your time to just drive in and talk with Service Manager directly. Use language like "I don't think it's fair" and "it's not right."

You can understand charging 8 hours on a trans if it only takes the tech 3-4 hours to do, but not to charge 5 hours, when it's a 20-minute job.

Everything is negotiable.

BTW, next time, do the math. Towing to your home and diying the FP still would have put you ahead hundreds of dollars...a tow couldn't be more than $100...you'd pay the dealer diagnostic fee...and buy FP for cheap. Maybe save $600 or more.

I know you'll be thinking this next time...and I'm glad you passed along that advice yourself.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:32 PM   #13
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OP,

In a calm moment tomorrow, I'd recommend you call up your Service Advisor and express your concern that...you know you can get an OE pump yourself for $130 (Or whatever), but that you know they have their prices...and that's fine. But tell him that you know that removing the seat, removing an electric connection and one locking ring takes about 5 mins. The whole repair is maybe 20 mins. if even.

Tell him you understand diagnosis time might take some time...but that you told them you swapped relays and told him that (I assume you did)...say you understand the relay costs money and takes time to put it in, but if they'd listened to you, they could have easily just measure voltage directly at the pump and they'd have seen it's getting 12V...that it just wasn't working.

Then, just ask if there's anything he can do. Tell him you told the story on e46 fanatics and guys are all over you to tell them the name of the dealer that charged 5 hours for fuel pump...and that so far, you don't think it's right to do so...but that you also don't think it's right that the book time you were charged for this was obviously so far off.

Bet he'll drop the price at least a couple hundred just to maintain a customer's good will. Maybe it's worth your time to just drive in and talk with Service Manager directly. Use language like "I don't think it's fair" and "it's not right."

You can understand charging 8 hours on a trans if it only takes the tech 3-4 hours to do, but not to charge 5 hours, when it's a 20-minute job.

Everything is negotiable.

BTW, next time, do the math. Towing to your home and diying the FP still would have put you ahead hundreds of dollars...a tow couldn't be more than $100...you'd pay the dealer diagnostic fee...and buy FP for cheap. Maybe save $600 or more.

I know you'll be thinking this next time...and I'm glad you passed along that advice yourself.
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:12 PM   #14
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Wellllll I went back to the dealership today to play hardball. I ended up getting $300 back in dealer credit and a jug of coolant that i needed....It could of been a lot worse like getting nothing at all. On top of that i made friends with the service manager . So with everything said and done i'm not 100% happy but i'm not pissed either.
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:28 PM   #15
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If they gave you $300 credit, then they clearly felt they were wrong somewhere along the line!

Save the credit for a job you do not want to do like CCV, but check and see what the dealer labor rate is for this type of job.

You may be better off burning it with something like alignment, brake fluid flush and other things that have cheap or no parts?
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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 07-26-2012, 07:29 PM   #16
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For a dealer $300 seems generous, they must have felt a little guilty.

Think of all the people who just pay that without blinking, BMW loves those types.
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