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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 12-07-2012, 11:19 AM
Tcoffeeman Tcoffeeman is offline
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Cranks but wont start after getting bumped in front in parking lot.

My wife came out of the store and the car cranks but wont start. After going to help her I discovered a hole in the front spoiler where someone hit her. It cranks and fires but dies immediately...no fuel supply for some reason. Doesnt sound like the fuel pump is engaging. Oddly, this happened last summer once after it got bumped in a lot but after 30 minutes it started and ran fine ever since. No such luck this time. Wondering if there is a safety fuel pump switch I that needs to be cleared/reset. I am aware of the pyro switch in the battery cable but in that case it wouldn't crank according to what I have read. Any leads?
Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:33 PM
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Scottji Scottji is offline
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First of all, start parking in different parking lots!

Take off the rear seat and make sure the electrical connector to the fuel pump is secure. Maybe getting bumped just jostled the connector loose? If the connector is secure, I'd still check it with a voltmeter to make sure power is running to the connector. Again, jostling the car could have loosened an electrical connection somewhere else.

If it's getting power and the pump isn't humming when you turn the key to "on", then the pump is dead. Could be sheer coincidence that it died after the car got bumped. How many miles? The fuel pumps seem to be on-schedule to die around 130-140k.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:49 PM
Tcoffeeman Tcoffeeman is offline
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Thanks Scottji,
Ha, no doubt on parking elsewhere, lol! I usually do that but she...well SHE, NUFF SAID
Yah, who knows, maybe it cause some little weird electrical surge when it got hit, maybe not.
Anyhow, I get two quick little clicks at the pump when I turn the key but no whirring function noise. I will confirm with meter but pretty sure pump is bad. On another note, it looks like there are pumps beneath both back seats. Identical set
-ups for each. Do you know about that?
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:37 AM
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Scottji Scottji is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcoffeeman View Post
Thanks Scottji,
Ha, no doubt on parking elsewhere, lol! I usually do that but she...well SHE, NUFF SAID
Yah, who knows, maybe it cause some little weird electrical surge when it got hit, maybe not.
Anyhow, I get two quick little clicks at the pump when I turn the key but no whirring function noise. I will confirm with meter but pretty sure pump is bad. On another note, it looks like there are pumps beneath both back seats. Identical set
-ups for each. Do you know about that?
The fuel pump is behind the drivers' seat. The fuel level sender is behind the passenger seat. They look similar from the top, but they are quite different. You'll hear the pump whirr if it's good. If the fuel level sender is bad, you'll just get odd fuel readings.

(*NOTE -- This should be the other way, i.e., fuel pump behind PASSENGER seat, level sender behind DRIVER'S seat. My bad.)

Last edited by Scottji; 12-09-2012 at 07:45 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:08 AM
Tcoffeeman Tcoffeeman is offline
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Hey thanks man. Good info.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2012, 10:05 AM
Tcoffeeman Tcoffeeman is offline
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Hey Scottji, for future reference, after further research I found out the fuel pump is ACTUALLY behind the PASSENGER seat. Sender is behind drivers seat.
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:15 PM
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ahull ahull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcoffeeman View Post
Hey Scottji, for future reference, after further research I found out the fuel pump is ACTUALLY behind the PASSENGER seat. Sender is behind drivers seat.
+1 There are two components with two locations. The main pump that usually fails in this manner at 8-12 years is on the passenger side. There's also a relay that can give out.

Last edited by ahull; 12-08-2012 at 02:26 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-09-2012, 08:50 AM
Tcoffeeman Tcoffeeman is offline
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Yep. Checked it with my meter and I have 11.86 volts at the harness for about 3 seconds. Pretty sure that = failed pump.
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2012, 11:08 AM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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For all reading here let's get the whole accurate story. There is a fuel pump/sending unit under the rear seat on the right (passenger) side of the car.
Then on the left (driver's) side under the rear seat there is a sending unit.
Two sending units are required because the tank is divided into two halves with a connecting tunnel that bridges the two sides over the driveshaft.

Replace your fuel pump; you're due.

And don't get me started on the sucking jet pump which is a passive device that transfers fuel from the driver's side of the tank over to the passenger side where the one fuel pump pickup is located.

Last edited by GoForthFast; 12-09-2012 at 11:10 AM.
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2012, 03:28 PM
Tcoffeeman Tcoffeeman is offline
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Absolutely. It has 160k on it. Again, there is a 3 second voltage of 11.6 at the pump when I engage the key but no pump whine so it is def the pump.
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2012, 07:39 PM
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Scottji Scottji is offline
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Originally Posted by Tcoffeeman View Post
Hey Scottji, for future reference, after further research I found out the fuel pump is ACTUALLY behind the PASSENGER seat. Sender is behind drivers seat.
Sorry, I had them mixed up in my head. Sounds like you got it sorted out though.
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:21 AM
Tcoffeeman Tcoffeeman is offline
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No problem. Got my pump ordered last night from Highflow for $125/Free Shiiping. Read decent reviews so hopefully it's a good one.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2012, 10:03 AM
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Scottji Scottji is offline
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Originally Posted by Tcoffeeman View Post
No problem. Got my pump ordered last night from Highflow for $125/Free Shiiping. Read decent reviews so hopefully it's a good one.
I'd be a little wary of after-market fuel pumps, especially when you can get an OE VDO/Siemens brand one for just $20 more than you paid for the aftermarket one.

Hopefully it works out well for you, but please report back once you get it installed and let us know a) if that fixed your problem; b) fit issues with the aftermarket pump (compared to the OE pump); and c) if you have any issues with it in the future.

Good luck!
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  #14  
Old 12-10-2012, 07:23 PM
Tcoffeeman Tcoffeeman is offline
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Will do. It does have a lifetime guarantee with free replacement if it fails, so we'll see. Happy Holidays guys.
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