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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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Old Today, 01:44 AM
shadows672 shadows672 is offline
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Location: Australia
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 1994 BMW 320i
1994 320i M50 engine problems.

So, I just recently bought a 1994 320i in the hope that it would be easy to get running and back on the road. I was told by the seller that all she needed was a new battery then I'd be good to go. This was, however, a lie.

I bought a new battery (bloody expensive at that) and much to my disappointment the engine would not turn over. Eager to get it running, I removed the spark plugs, cleaned the spark plug cavity and the plugs themselves. After a while of turning the key on and off, the engine finally started (with me feathering the gas pedal). Although it started, it was backfiring, the revs were very jumpy and it would not idle without me holding the gas to keep the revs. Once the engine warmed up the revs stabilised, but it still would not idle on its own. I managed to get the car to crawl forward a bit in first gear, but that was as far as I went as I was worried about the engine. There also appeared to be water leaking from somewhere (I'm thinking the radiator, but it was dark so the light wasn't great. I also noticed that the fuel pump was staying on constantly.

Next day, I bought new spark plugs and put them in. Tried to start the car and it was the same story, the engine would tick over and try to start for a while and eventually it would start with me feathering the gas to keep the revs up. It was still backfiring, and when it did air would be be blown backwards out of the air intake.

I don't want to keep spending money on unnecessary things so I'm just trying to see if anyone can give me a more definitive answer. Although if not, any kind of help would be much appreciated.


Won't turn over first time and needs gas pedal when it eventually does
Won't idle
Backfires and when it does air is blown back through the air intake
Water leak (somewhere)
Revs are jumpy till it warms up
Fuel pump stays on

Thanks in advance!
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320i, backfire, bmw, engine problem, fuel pump, idle problem, m50

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