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View Full Version : 98 M3 sputtered to a stop!! HELP!!


potstar1
02-13-2006, 12:15 PM
I guess it could have happened in a worse place...I have a 1998 M3 convertible with the hardtop and today I ran it through a car wash then came home for 10 minutes then jumped back in the car to head to the mall...at a red light, the light turned green and I pressed the gas and the car just started sputtering...no power being made by the engine...almost like it was not getting air/fuel/etc.......i managed to turn it into the first place i could which just happened to be a garage that works on mostly Porshe and Volvo(but had 2 new 3 series in the garage)...after I got it pulled into his parking lot the check engine light came on....with the hood up you could see the engine sputtering and shaking.......the guy said he would be able to look at it in the morning...and what I need help on is if anyone has run across this before?? This guy drives a $100,000 Porshe so you know how his rates are gonna be and I would like to come prepared when he calls me in the morning.....this is my first M3 after a couple of 3 series and a 5 series....love it...but scared.........

What does this sound like to you????? Any ideas????
Dave

LmtdSlip
02-13-2006, 12:30 PM
It sounds like the old water on the ECU problem. But I think this was addressed by the 1996 model.

Can you go back and see if it will start and run now before they look at it?
How long after the car wash did this happen?

potstar1
02-13-2006, 12:36 PM
In total it was probably 20 minutes total after the car wash....I ran it through the wash...sat at car wash on the phone for a minute or two...drove about 3 miles home...parked....stayed inside about 10 minutes....and cranked back up and made it about 2 more miles before it started sputtering and not going(more than 5 miles an hour).......no, can't go crank it...i might can call and ask them if they have cranked it yet.....it sucks because I bought the car last Wed and have been walking on air since I bought it...now I have to put around in my 95 325i until I get it back....its like going from a jet to a bi-plane......but there have been no problems with it since i have had it...no noises....(except a noise in rear that i think may be loose diff bolts) and I have the car scheduled at a BMW shop for tomorrow to have oil changed and the mechanic to do an inspection on it for me......

potstar1
02-13-2006, 12:44 PM
Mechanic called...said he hooked to computer and had 5 or 6 codes on it....charcoalfilter blockage.....o2 sensor....o2 sensor....mixture differential....and something else...will get list in second....but said he cleared the codes and it runs fine now???? Said he has never seen something go back to running great just from clearing the codes.....anyone know whats goin' on?? I have it scheduled still for the inspection tomorrow.....but don't want to walk in blind.

LmtdSlip
02-13-2006, 12:48 PM
Well good news that it is running well.

If the o2 sensors are bad you will get the code again. Those shouldnt affect the car the way you describe. You will want to get them changed out if you get the code again.

Your mechanic could address the other codes when he looks it over.

Plaz
02-13-2006, 12:48 PM
Mechanic called...said he hooked to computer and had 5 or 6 codes on it....charcoalfilter blockage.....o2 sensor....o2 sensor....mixture differential....and something else...will get list in second....but said he cleared the codes and it runs fine now???? Said he has never seen something go back to running great just from clearing the codes.....anyone know whats goin' on?? I have it scheduled still for the inspection tomorrow.....but don't want to walk in blind.

The water evaporated? :dunno:

potstar1
02-13-2006, 01:22 PM
Here are the codes that were on the car(before this happened, the check engine light was not on...it came on about 3 minutes after the car started spitting and sputtering)...here is the code list:
#253
#246
#203
#202
#228
#227

Any ideas?...Going to go take a picture of my beauty now so I can show you why I am walking on air...

thilton59
02-13-2006, 06:31 PM
I had a very similar problem, the car would idle, but sputter, then when I gave it gas it would die, it could rev, but couldnt move. It wound up being the vacum line on the bottom of the intake manifold. Reattached it and it's fine. But I like the idea of water evaporating.:thumbup:

potstar1
02-14-2006, 12:04 PM
The mechanic today said that one of the codes was a vacuum leak and he did a smoke test and said i have a hole in one of my valve cover gaskets.....$290.00 parts and labor to replace....It makes sense about it being a vacuum leak the way my car started out of the blue spitting and sputtering....but why would it just start then if there was a hole in the valve cover gasket....???

I didn't use a BMW-approved car wash...non-bmw water may make an M3 do that

potstar1
02-14-2006, 01:15 PM
Sorry...it was a hole in the VALVE COVER is what the smoke test revealed...........anyone have a clue if this is right?

thilton59
02-14-2006, 08:29 PM
That makes sense, if you've ever started your car with the oil cap off it'll do roughly the same thing, if you have a hole in the valve cover it would do the same thing, but how it got there is the real question. Have you seen the hole?

potstar1
02-15-2006, 05:01 AM
No..but I am going to have them put the old valve cover in the trunk so I can check it out once I get back home.......

I love my M3 and hope this is the source of the problem....any ideas on where I can price a replacement?

potstar1
02-15-2006, 05:25 AM
Oh and if that is the problem...why is it running fine right now?? Wouldn't a hole in the valve cover make it do this all the time and not just that once??

ImperialDuckM3
03-10-2006, 11:07 AM
Is that mechanic on crack:confused: A hole in the valve cover gasket and would only cost you $290 to repair:rolleyes: What a freakin punk!!!:mad: It only cost like $30 for the valve gasket and about 30 minutes of your time. No way it cost $290.. Total BS

This gets my blood boiling seeing mechanic and dealership trying to ripe us off, just because we a BMW's.

First of all, WHY THE HELL you took your car to a car wash???????? NEVER, NEVER do that again. Hand wash yourself or have them hand wash your car. The fabric on those automatic washer will kill your paint job, leaves TONs of scratch mark, I could go on forever.

If you're talking about the infamous"drowning" of the DME, I believe it only happens on E36 1992-1995. BUT some newer model 1996+ DO experience the problems, if the drain pipe is clogged.

After you clear the code and your car is fine, don't worry about it, unless it happen...

romeo
03-13-2006, 08:14 PM
Iam having the same issue with my vehicle...I will be taking my car this week to my turbo guy...seems something with the fuel/air ratio...i'll keep you posted

potstar1
04-08-2006, 03:13 AM
Ok..to end this story and put it to rest...here was the problem:

I went to an automated car wash that just uses spray jets (no brushes that would scratch my girl!).....anyway, afterwards car sputtered to halt etc..(read 1st post).....I left the car at the shop and went home and waited 3 hours....in the meantime I called the local BMW dealer and asked if they had any problems with automated car washes...he asked me which car wash and I told him and he said that one has high pressure hoses that spray under the car and it sprays right into the engine computer located at the bottom of the engine.....they run into the problem all the time.....so I went back to the shop and he had cleared my codes and it started up just fine and has never had a problem since.

MORAL OF THE STORY: It's a BMW...handwash it....you savages

Here's my girl, I call her ALDENA(Alpineweiss III w/ Modena)
<a href='http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic=4/9221090058.jpg&s=x11' target='_blank'><img src='http://x11.putfile.com/4/9221090058-thumb.jpg' alt='Click to enlarge'></a>
<a href='http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic=4/9221075918.jpg&s=x11' target='_blank'><img src='http://x11.putfile.com/4/9221075918-thumb.jpg' alt='Click to enlarge'></a>
<a href='http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic=4/9117142830.jpg&s=x11' target='_blank'><img src='http://x11.putfile.com/4/9117142830-thumb.jpg' alt='Click to enlarge'></a>
<a href='http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic=4/9117092873.jpg&s=x11' target='_blank'><img src='http://x11.putfile.com/4/9117092873-thumb.jpg' alt='Click to enlarge'></a>

lesl2
04-10-2006, 10:22 AM
A hole in the cover? How big of a hole are we talking about here? If it's a pinhole, isn't this something that can be repaired with a little epoxy? If it's a gasket problem, does the dealer always have to replace it before trying to tightening it a litte? I hate the dealer.:mad:

ImperialDuckM3
04-12-2006, 03:01 PM
...he asked me which car wash and I told him and he said that one has high pressure hoses that spray under the car and it sprays right into the engine computer located at the bottom of the engine.

First off, there's NO DME or ECU at the bottom of the engine. The DME (ECU) and TME(for you Automatic peoples) are all located on your left side firewall. So, I don't know if the guy at the dealership was trying to pull your chain or just having some fun, since you did take your car to a car wash.:p But either way, take the time and hand wash her. She'll treat you well...:thumbup:

potstar1
04-13-2006, 04:23 AM
Well if you don't believe me, run your's through an automated car wash that has jets that spray under your car and watch your car sputter to a stop. Mine never did it again

Patrick
04-13-2006, 04:56 AM
Beautiful M3! :thumbup:

BTW, are those recent pics? I mean are the trees and bushes in full bloom there already?


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