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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-08-2012, 12:39 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Replace your fuel pumps before 150k miles!

So I go to the store this morning to get milk. Car wouldn't start when I got back in it from the store. It started for one second and then dead. Turns over, won't fire up. I pull the back seat and put my hand on the pump and nothing, nada, dead. My car has 146k miles.

I had no symptoms up to now, no warning, it is just dead. I have seen this time and time again. My last car pump died around 150k miles, same exact way. People on the forums have it happen, people I know have it happen, people who's cars I fix have it happen.

And it is one of the few things that will leave you stranded wherever you are at. So I highly suggest you add your fuel pump to the list of things to do BEFORE it leaves you stranded.

I won't even mention that in my case I forgot my cell phone at home and my wife didn't answer her phone and left me stranded for 2 hours when she was only 5 miles away.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2012, 03:37 PM
1XTC 1XTC is offline
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Wow that sucks. Maybe the ZHP saw the video of you test driving the E92 M3 and got a little jealous.
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  #3  
Old 04-08-2012, 03:43 PM
Spikes007 Spikes007 is offline
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I got another 80k miles to go but thanks for the advice.

At least it didn't happen when you were out of town. :/
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  #4  
Old 04-08-2012, 03:57 PM
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charlesberry charlesberry is offline
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I gotta get this done. I'm at 162K.
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2012, 04:35 PM
mvd mvd is offline
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Fuel pump went at 83K... changed fuel filter as well.

Did preventive cooling system (pump, thermostat, expansion tank, hoses, belts, etc.) at 85K.

Now at 88K the power steering pump went ... doing all hoses and reservoir as well.

Hoping I'm good for awhile... if it wasn't for this site... I'd be out at least 3K in labor at least.

Thanks again
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2012, 05:33 PM
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johnnygraphic johnnygraphic is offline
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I can't remember where (maybe Mike Miller's Tech Talk), that a few well place bangs on the bottom of the fuel tank by the pump is enough to get the pump working again to get under way and either home or a repair shop. Hopefully, I'll never have to use that technique.

Johnny
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  #7  
Old 04-08-2012, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnygraphic View Post
I can't remember where (maybe Mike Miller's Tech Talk), that a few well place bangs on the bottom of the fuel tank by the pump is enough to get the pump working again to get under way and either home or a repair shop. Hopefully, I'll never have to use that technique.

Johnny
Im starting to wonder if maybe this pump isn't the reason for phantom lean codes every once in awhile.

I'll know tomorrow.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #8  
Old 04-08-2012, 06:09 PM
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goosefoot33 goosefoot33 is online now
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I will add my .02: go with OEM fuel pump, not aftermarket or knock-offs. More expensive, yes but you will not have to replace it in another 20k miles.

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  #9  
Old 04-08-2012, 06:30 PM
mvd mvd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Im starting to wonder if maybe this pump isn't the reason for phantom lean codes every once in awhile.

I'll know tomorrow.
Had the same codes off and on for 6 months before pump went... not one since I replaced it.
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2012, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvd View Post
Had the same codes off and on for 6 months before pump went... not one since I replaced it.
Nice to have a possible way to help diagnose a possible fuel pump going bad.
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  #11  
Old 04-08-2012, 07:07 PM
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I just replaced bad sender unit (117k mi) & was debating doing fuel pump at the same time, but then thought, Nahhh, I'll wait until it breaks. You may have just changed my mind.

Might be time to call Max & order a fuel pump.
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  #12  
Old 04-08-2012, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottji View Post
I just replaced bad sender unit (117k mi) & was debating doing fuel pump at the same time, but then thought, Nahhh, I'll wait until it breaks. You may have just changed my mind.

Might be time to call Max & order a fuel pump.
I highly recommend doing it BEFORE it breaks. I missed church today as a result of my misfortune. I still can't believe the ONE TIME I leave my cell phone at home my car dies.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2012, 04:18 AM
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Cool. At the pace I'm putting on miles, I won't have to worry about my fuel pump for seven years. (don't hate)

I hope your Easter ended better than it started.
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  #14  
Old 04-09-2012, 05:05 AM
SPDSKTR SPDSKTR is offline
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EDIT: Had I known it was an easy DIY, I would have saved a lot of money. An independent mechanic charged some $600 for a fuel pump, fuel filter, and labor. Skipping details, I didn't pay for it.

Now...



That is all.

Last edited by SPDSKTR; 04-09-2012 at 05:20 AM.
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2012, 06:44 AM
sisspc sisspc is offline
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My fuel pump also died right around 150,000 miles. It may be the easiest of all diy's, no excuse for not doing it (and fuel filter).

Last edited by sisspc; 04-09-2012 at 08:49 AM.
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  #16  
Old 04-09-2012, 08:00 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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I forgot spdsktr's pump died too. Around 140k miles IIRC. It is an epidemic!
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #17  
Old 04-09-2012, 09:04 AM
SPDSKTR SPDSKTR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
I forgot spdsktr's pump died too. Around 140k miles IIRC. It is an epidemic!
And you are correct!
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  #18  
Old 04-09-2012, 09:09 AM
325GirlinNJ 325GirlinNJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
I highly recommend doing it BEFORE it breaks. I missed church today as a result of my misfortune. I still can't believe the ONE TIME I leave my cell phone at home my car dies.
Isn't that always the case. Same thing happened to me when my Saab died last year. Had to ask a local merchant to allow me to use his telephone. It sucked. Of course, hubby didn't answer the phone either.
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  #19  
Old 04-09-2012, 12:03 PM
vinny323 vinny323 is offline
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I had my fuel pump die at 73,000km (46,000m) on my 2004 325i. I changed my fuel filter at the same time. I think after so many years these pumps go dead.
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  #20  
Old 04-09-2012, 12:11 PM
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Brand new VDO about to go in the car
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #21  
Old 04-09-2012, 01:00 PM
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charlesberry charlesberry is offline
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Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Brand new VDO about to go in the car
Hose clamps - did you reuse or replace?
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  #22  
Old 04-09-2012, 01:13 PM
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Mine died at just over 100k miles.
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  #23  
Old 04-09-2012, 01:30 PM
marlin1881 marlin1881 is offline
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Mine died at just over 100k miles.
Mine was the same as KrisL. I got a "warning" from mine, as I made it ~100 miles from home, but max MPH was ~50. Babied it all the way. If I tried going faster, it would cough and sputter. The next day (I'm so Scottish that I drove it again, the next day...), it left me stranded on the interstate. Finally got it started again and drove it EASY on the way home, and it never moved again until I got the part from Max at oembimmerparts.
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  #24  
Old 04-09-2012, 01:33 PM
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catso catso is offline
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Mine died at 124,000 right outside of the shop I hang out at. Had a pump delivered an hour later and 15 minutes after that I was back on the road.
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  #25  
Old 04-09-2012, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesberry View Post
Hose clamps - did you reuse or replace?
Just one clamp, I use new ones as those snap on ones always seem to get "damaged" when I remove them.

This is a noteworthy update: The new fuel pump has made my car come alive again. I'll say that in my last E46 I had a dead pump and the car felt the same with the new one. But I must say, the one in this ZHP must have been "weak" since I got the car. But especially over the last 3 weeks. I would get 0171 and 0173 codes, the 4k rpm stutter had returned, and past 5000 rpm my car felt "weak". It just didn't pull after 5k rpm, it'd rev, but lamely.

Anyways ALL of those issues are GONE! My car pulls HARD all the way to redline, jumps right past 4k rpm with no stutter at all, and just feels way more peppy. I have nothing scientific to base this on, but I have a pretty big ass (some say it's on my shoulders) so my "butt dyno" takes a lot to register. The biggest things again are hard pulling from 5k-6800rpm and no more 4k rpm dip and those are EASILY felt.

So HAPPY! Too bad I changed my intake boots this weekend thinking they were the cause of my lean codes (they weren't cracked at all). But oh well, they are new now.
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Quote:
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....

Last edited by smolck; 04-09-2012 at 03:26 PM.
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