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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 11-03-2012, 04:08 PM
mojave19 mojave19 is offline
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Location: Southern California
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 325i Convertible
Starting a Car that's had a Long Sit

I have a 1989 325i that had been sitting about a year; I won't go into why. I'm in a rural desert area and someone from the county seat an hour's drive away came out here and cited me (and others, I presume) for having an non-operating vehicle on my property. I had it covered and it's in the back of my driveway (not like it's parked across the front yard or on blocks!), but she claims the code is that it has to be in storage if it isn't operating--even though I've kept its registration and even the insurance current. (Is it time for me to switch to the Libertarian Party?)

Anyway, I tried to start it and the engine would try, but just not start. I thought it might be the battery, so I installed a brand new one this morning. Still the same thing. I saw the gas indicator said empty (and the indicator might be out, for all I know; it's had electrical problems in the past), so I put a gallon of gas in. Still not starting. It's turning, the engine just isn't engaging. Might it need new spark plugs?

Sorry I don't know the correct terms. I know very little about cars. There's a neighbor I have a couple blocks away who told me he once had the same car, so I'm hoping I can find him and that he'll stop by for a try and some advice.

Until then or in case I can't find him, does anyone have tips? Please keep it kind of simple for a non-mechanical dumb blonde.
The county's giving me two weeks to get the car out of sight or operating.
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  #2  
Old 11-03-2012, 04:38 PM
hornhospital's Avatar
hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Location: In the Grumpy Chair
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,146
Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
Put more than a gallon in it. That may not be enough for the fuel pump to start picking it up.

Not knowing how much you know about testing engine function, I'll just give you basic stuff to look at.

Check to see if the fuel pump(s) are working. You should have fuel pressure at the fuel rail (where the injectors are). You can take the fuel line off and put it in a small container, then turn the key on for a few seconds. You should get a strong flow of fuel into the container (it really helps to have some help holding the container and fuel line while the key is turned on and off) You should be able to hear the high pressure fuel pump working when you turn the key to "run" position (where the dash lights come on). It will run a few seconds, making a buzzing or humming sound.

If you have fuel flow, next check for spark. You can get a spark tester at an auto parts store, and they only cost a few dollars. If you have spark and fuel the engine should crank.

Now I want to ask, how the heck does this inspector know the car isn't operable? If you moved it to a different spot in your yard and leave the cover off, are they going to come out and check to see if you can crank and drive it? Pardon the rant, but every time I read of this kind of government nannying it makes my blood boil. What right do they have bothering you in a rural area, especially since you've kept it licensed and insured the whole time??? Grrrr. Just pisses me off hugely.
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guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
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Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
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1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #3  
Old 11-05-2012, 01:10 AM
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Nick323 Nick323 is offline
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Location: Windhoek, Namibia, Africa
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Mein Auto: 323i E30 2-door
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How glad I am to be living in the uncivilised world
& then some fools ask me why I left America
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  #4  
Old 11-05-2012, 12:40 PM
E30949/909 E30949/909 is offline
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Location: Pomona
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 101
Mein Auto: 1990 325IC
Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Put more than a gallon in it. That may not be enough for the fuel pump to start picking it up.

Not knowing how much you know about testing engine function, I'll just give you basic stuff to look at.

Check to see if the fuel pump(s) are working. You should have fuel pressure at the fuel rail (where the injectors are). You can take the fuel line off and put it in a small container, then turn the key on for a few seconds. You should get a strong flow of fuel into the container (it really helps to have some help holding the container and fuel line while the key is turned on and off) You should be able to hear the high pressure fuel pump working when you turn the key to "run" position (where the dash lights come on). It will run a few seconds, making a buzzing or humming sound.

If you have fuel flow, next check for spark. You can get a spark tester at an auto parts store, and they only cost a few dollars. If you have spark and fuel the engine should crank.

Now I want to ask, how the heck does this inspector know the car isn't operable? If you moved it to a different spot in your yard and leave the cover off, are they going to come out and check to see if you can crank and drive it? Pardon the rant, but every time I read of this kind of government nannying it makes my blood boil. What right do they have bothering you in a rural area, especially since you've kept it licensed and insured the whole time??? Grrrr. Just pisses me off hugely.
Thumbs up to that.

If you have a garage you would be able to park it in there and shouldn't have problems with the county if you can't get it running in time. I know where I live if your car isn't registered with current tags or non op it can't be parked in your driveway it has to be non visible from the street.
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  #5  
Old 11-05-2012, 05:05 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,908
Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
and I thought Western Australia was the Nanny state.............
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Current:
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Previous:
E21 318i; E32 735iL; E34 535i; E38 730iL; E53 4.4i
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  #6  
Old 11-05-2012, 05:44 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
D'oh, You kids!
Location: In the Grumpy Chair
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,146
Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
They'd have a fit if they saw my yard. 4 BMWs in various stages of restoration, one dead Chevy Blazer and a '92 Chevy Lumina Euro (for sale! cheap!), plus another BMW and a '71 Firebird in the garage.

I believe California has most of the rest of the world "out-nannied". They're never satisfied until they've got their fingers in everybody's pie.

Mojave19, how about an update? Any luck getting your E30 running?
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__________________
Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?


Last edited by hornhospital; 11-05-2012 at 05:48 PM.
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