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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:02 PM
markwainwright3 markwainwright3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 BMW 330 1996 BMW 328
e36 feels like it's running out of gas? Help Please!

I have a 1996 BMW 328i with 184,XXX miles, I will do my best to explain what I've been feeling, I had been feeling a small jumping/bucking/stuttering/chocking when accelerating it was very small at first to the point that I thought I was imagining it. It has now gotten a lot worse and the best way I can explain it is it feels as if I am running out of gas, like there is a hesitation in the gas getting to the engine. I have looked all over and received so many different ideas as to what it could be i.e. fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator, spark plugs, coils, catalytic converter, MAF sensor, O2 sensor, cam position sensor, vacuum leak, etc....I have no idea where to start, and don't have the money to just randomly start replacing things. Has anyone else had this problem? Below is a list of all the maintenance done since I've owned the car.
6/15/ 11 New Radiator & Belts.

6/17/11 Oil Change & New Oil Filter.

9/30/11 Oil Change, New Oil Filter, & Tires Rotated.

10/09/11 New Valve Cover Gasket.

10/24/11 New Water Pump, Thermostat, Thermostat Housing, Fan Clutch & Radiator Fluid Changed.

11/14/11 New Front Lower Control Arm Installed & Tire Alignment.

12/16/11 Full Tune Up Performed. Oil Change, New Oil Filter, New Fuel Filter, New Spark Plugs, New Air Filter & BG Induction Service.

03/06/12 New Tires.

06/16/12 Oil Change & New Oil Filter.

12/06/12 Oil Change, New Oil Filter.

05/03/13 Oil Change, New Oil Filter, New Front & Back Shocks and Struts, New Battery, New Climate Control Module, A/C Recharged, New Rear Brakes, and Tires Rotated.
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:22 PM
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Re: e36 feels like it's running out of gas? Help Please!

You're right, it could be a number of things. MAF, coils, and cam or crank sensors are what I'd imagine are pretty likely. Best place to start is by pulling codes to see where you are.

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  #3  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:39 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
Re: e36 feels like it's running out of gas? Help Please!

Don't start replacing things. Start testing things. Like fuel pressure. You say it feels like it's running out of gas. Maybe it is! If the fuel pump is dying, that's exactly what it will feel like.

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Old 06-19-2013, 06:49 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13
buying a ratty example (of a BMW) is a parasitic relationship.(and you ain't the mosquito) 7pilot

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?

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  #5  
Old 06-19-2013, 08:16 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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Originally Posted by SCJon View Post
If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and has feathers, it's probably a duck.
or a loon....







but i agree that things like the fuel pressure should be tested first, and that all maintenance items are current in their recommended replacement schedule.





*then* you can start throwing parts at it....





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  #6  
Old 06-23-2013, 03:39 PM
JayMac JayMac is offline
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Can of Sea Foam in the fuel tank won't hurt while you are sorting it out.
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  #7  
Old 06-23-2013, 09:26 PM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Mein Auto: 128i M, M3, 325is M-Tech
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Originally Posted by JayMac View Post
Can of Sea Foam in the fuel tank won't hurt while you are sorting it out.
This. I had the same issue before when I would stomp on the pedal on my 328i. The fuel pressure tested good at 49 - 50 psi. Then I figured the Catalytic converter was clogged, but then the exhaust back-pressure test from the primary O2 sensor bung was below 1.5 psi.

I poured in an entire can of Seafoam, and some fresh 93 octane. VOILA! Car was running perfect again. Bu I will add that I also took the car on some back roads and red-lined it a couple times. Not saying I recommend this, but after doing that a couple sessions, car was humming gorgeously. Still runs great and surprisingly gas mileage improved as well (gained a whole MPG). I guess my injectors were dirty?
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