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Old 09-25-2012, 10:54 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
Location: earth
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,403
Mein Auto: car
Originally Posted by Byork7 View Post
I tried that exactly and nothing happened. Ill give it another try and see if it works. My check engine light isnt always on, it usually on clicks on when im in idle or park for a small amount of time, then as soon as i give it gas it goes away.

Finally gave the car a wash. Was told it might have a small exhaust leak so i went to get it checked out and ended up putting a new cat converter and muffler on it. Just sold my truck today so this weekend is tune up and fluid change time. Pics will come as soon as it dries.

There is a long list of things that you need to check, replace or tune. PM me and I'll extract it for you.

Off the top of my head, these are the things you must do even if your existing components are working perfectly.

1. Get a new oem fuel pump. Oem only, up to $200. Do not buy anything else. Change the O ring too - $15.
2. Get and install a new cRankshaft position sensor. Oem. $80.
3. Get new fuel pump, dme, o2 sensor and ABS electrical relays. Oem only, around $10 each.
4. Get a new radiator tank cap and bleed screw. Cheap stuff. Keep the old bleed screw in your car.
5. Flush the radiator and refresh the coolant. Bleed it twice, once after the flush, and once the next morning (after having driven the car some distance in the intermediate). Use walmart coolant, this will be fine. Make sure the coolant is brightly coloured and has a strong odour - this way if any hoses burst, you'll know from the strong smell invading the cabin, which will give you enough time to take inspect and maybe action before the engine overheats. The bright colour makes it easier to spot leaks. The oem coolant has a very weak smell and is pale blue in colour so its not useful.
6. (not essential but) Probably a good idea to change the fuel filter. $15. Too many people fail to do this. Keep the old filter, rinse it out in water, and use it for the next change interval.
7. When you flush your radiator, take a look at the inside of the upper and lower radiator hoses. If they are caked with rust (not the same as a light coat), then change the two hoses to new ones, and flush the radiator once every two weeks for 2 months.
8. Have your car battery's CCA (cold cranking amps), or Reserve charge, tested at a battery shop. This can only be done with an **digital** battery tester, not the analogue ones. If its under 20% its probably a great idea to replace it (and if its under 50% you should have the battery tested once every 3-6 months). Use the opportunity to get them to give you an opinion on how well the alternator is doing, the tests involve the same meter and take just 3-4 minutes.
9. Check all of your engine belts and replace those which appear to have cracks on the ribbed side of the belts.
10. Keep an assorted bunch of spare fuses in your car's fuse box.

The consequences of not doing the above (with the exception of the belts, radiator stuff and some of the relays) will be your car suddenly failing to start suddenly, with little or no warning that its about to do that beforehand. The fixes involved are not quick and simple. You can be stranded somewhere or be really embarrassed. You are driving an old car, which has the advantage of being cheap and of having most problems already identified. The above are the common problems which lead to no-start situations. It will cost you a pretty penny to do all of the above but overall you're still spending very little on an old car and as you say constantly, its in great shape which is not common. And if you wonder why you are replacing perfectly good parts, have your car towed once or twice and get a shop to charge you to fix problems while you are in a jam and the phrase "penny wise, pound foolish" will hit home like never before. Furthermore, the overwhelming inconvenience of being stuck when you need the car can be avoided, pretty much permanently.

Doing all of the above still means that you've got a cheap car, so its well worth it. And judging by the number of no-start threads on bimmerfest, it is clearly a smart thing to do. As mentioned, these are common and well known issues with our model at this age.

There are only 3 situations where you need not do the above if you don't feel like it :

1. You do not intend to keep the car for longer than 6 months.
2. You have physical proof or RELIABLE assurances that any of the above repairs were done within the past 2-4 years.
3. This is a spare car and you hardly drive it as well.

Not having enough money is not a good reason to forestall all of the above. The cost benefit analysis does not compute.

Along the way you should have all of your fluids, seals and your suspension components inspected after your car has been winched up at a shop. Also check everywhere for rust. See if you have a valve cover oil leak, see if you have a head gasket oil leak (these need not be nightmare scenarios). Have your fuel hoses and brake hoses checked for cracks. All these are observable issues and will not cost money in terms of diagnostic time. Get the shop to take out a little bit of your tranny and rear diff fluid and see how clean it is...if they look good they need not be replaced.

Since this is an m20 engine, have them remove your timing cover and inspect your timing belt and replace it ASAP together with the timing bearings if it does not look good. Unless you have proof that this has been done at a specific interval, I would recommend that you replace it anyway for pure peace of mind. A snapped timing belt during driving means your engine is destroyed. And have your water pump and fan clutch checked for bearing looseness and if its there, change it out within the next 6 months unless the mechanic advises against it based on his on-site assessment. In any case, if you change your timing belt, change your water pump as well as it has the same wear and tear interval and this keeps things simpler. Only purchase water pumps with a metal or composite/fiberglass impeller (preferable to the metal one). Do not buy one with the plastic impeller. O'Reilly's has a nice composite water pump online with a lifetime warranty. Nice !

Be anal about this inspection with a professional mechanic....I would have done this before confirming the car. If you find problems after an undercarriage inspection, you can always let us know and we'll help you prioritise or at least buy the right stuff...there's alot of junk out there. This inspection would take around 30 minutes of shop time so their charges might not be much and they might even do it for free if you are going to be a regular customer or you're having something else done there. Since the car is winched up anyway, it would be a good idea to replace that fuel filter right off. Its a 10 minute job. Maybe the labour for that will cover the cost of your inspection as well.

Oh and btw while the car is winched up, check on all of your tyres for signs of abnormal wear. If that is found, it could indicate alignment problems or more rarely, busted subframe bushings (very expensive repair but fortunately fairly uncommon). Have the tyres rotate if slight wear marks are appearing on the inside or corresponding tyres. And ensure that your tyres are not more than 3.5 years the 4 year mark they must be replaced (tyres have a 5 year lifespan). I recently had the incredible experience of a tyre shop clown trying to sell me a single use tyre that was 7 years old ! Jerk. So this needs to be double checked.

I think that's the whole bucket list on the E34 so no need for that pm

Oh btw, congrats dude! You've got a great ride! Goto youtube and do searches for e34 commercials. There are a couple of old e34 tv commercials there, and they are still pretty cool.


p.s. Just scanned a few of the earlier posts. Looks like you've done the undercarriage inspection. Apologies if I've repeated anything unnecessarily.
p.p.s. This may be a useful thread :

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 09-25-2012 at 04:08 PM.
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