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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)

E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-12-2014, 11:56 AM
redengr redengr is offline
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Unhappy WHAT is that fuel smell??

I traced my gasoline odor, which was detectable at the left rear wheel (outside) to a leaking fuel level sensor, located under the rear seat. After replacing the O-ring and quick disconnect line, it still leaked. The car is now in the shop to replace the cracked sensor, at a cost of about $1200! The shop tells me this is a common problem. Failure of such an expensive plastic component after only 6 years seems like poor material selection by BMW. My older (by 2 years) Honda has never had $1200 spent on it (exc. tires), all total, even at twice the mileage (I do most of my own repair work). Anyone else have this problem?
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2014, 12:51 PM
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98PoleCat 98PoleCat is offline
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Do you mean the problem of spending more for maintenance/repairs on my BMW than I would on a Honda? Yes - unfortunately.
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  #3  
Old 11-12-2014, 01:27 PM
Catbodi Catbodi is offline
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Welcome to luxury cars.
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2014, 02:44 PM
pcy pcy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redengr View Post
I traced my gasoline odor, which was detectable at the left rear wheel (outside) to a leaking fuel level sensor, located under the rear seat. After replacing the O-ring and quick disconnect line, it still leaked. The car is now in the shop to replace the cracked sensor, at a cost of about $1200! The shop tells me this is a common problem. Failure of such an expensive plastic component after only 6 years seems like poor material selection by BMW. My older (by 2 years) Honda has never had $1200 spent on it (exc. tires), all total, even at twice the mileage (I do most of my own repair work). Anyone else have this problem?
Specifically, which sensor is that?
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2014, 06:23 AM
redengr redengr is offline
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Gasoline smell

It is the fuel level sensor, on the driver's side of the fuel tank, accessed from under the rear seat. The device has the "sucking jet pump", which is really a siphon rather than a powered pump. The fuel tank has a sensor on both sides. The problem I refer to is the failure of a component in only 6 years, not from wearing out, but an age-related material failure (fracture of the plastic housing). I understand this problem is common with BMWs and Mercedes.
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2014, 07:12 AM
pcy pcy is offline
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Fuel pump (on the right side) and filter (on the left side) are located inside the fuel tank that is under the rear seat.
To get to pump or filter, you will need to remove the cover plates on both sides, then large ring-nut, and then then there is large o-ring under the ring-nut. I am listing all those parts because all those parts are there to prevent the gas fumes/smell from coming in to the passenger cabin. Even if there is a crack in fuel filter+sender unit, you will not smell anything in the passenger cabin.

Your mechanic may be referring to fuel vent valve/charcoal canister or related components - they are all located inside the rear right wheel well.
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  #7  
Old 11-13-2014, 07:57 AM
Mike Swing Mike Swing is offline
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Same exact thing happened to me last year. Paid about $700 at my local BMW Indie.
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  #8  
Old 11-13-2014, 12:35 PM
redengr redengr is offline
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Mike, that seems to be a good deal. In my case, the shop replaced fuel pump as well as the level sensor. I'm not sure this was necessary, but their explanation was that the quick disconnects inside the tank connecting the left and right sides of tank (sensor to fuel pump) often fail during removal. Did your price include fuel pump replacement?
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  #9  
Old 11-13-2014, 12:42 PM
redengr redengr is offline
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pcy, thanks for your reply. The device on the driver's side of the tank is actually the fuel level sensor, rather than filter on my car. I never did smell gasoline inside the car, but could really detect it when the car has been parked in an enclosed garage for awhile. The odor was strongest at the left rear wheel. No problems detected at right rear wheel near the charcoal canister.
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2014, 01:09 PM
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txag_530i txag_530i is offline
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I wouldn't pay someone $1,200 to replace a $150 (fuel level sender & filter assembly) or $240 (fuel pump) part. It should take a competent technician less than 2-hours to do the repair. You might consider looking for another shop.

DIY fuel pump/filter/level sender repair

It wasn't BMW who selected the fuel system's materials- it was Bosch. The same thing happened to my Volvo XC90. That repair involved removing the second and third row of seats, which took about 4-hours of labor, plus another 3-hours to re-install the interior, and another hour to replace the fuel system components. That would have been a $1,200 repair.

Last edited by txag_530i; 11-13-2014 at 01:12 PM.
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  #11  
Old 11-13-2014, 01:15 PM
redengr redengr is offline
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txag 530- I do understand that BMW does not make their own components, but they selected Bosch as the vendor who did select the material - I guess I was just taking a shortcut with my statement.
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2014, 05:57 PM
Mike Swing Mike Swing is offline
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Originally Posted by redengr View Post
Mike, that seems to be a good deal. In my case, the shop replaced fuel pump as well as the level sensor. I'm not sure this was necessary, but their explanation was that the quick disconnects inside the tank connecting the left and right sides of tank (sensor to fuel pump) often fail during removal. Did your price include fuel pump replacement?
I just found my receipt. The total was $554.76 to replace the fuel filter assembly and fuel line. I'm guessing the fuel pump is in the assembly or I hope it is. I also got a 25% discount on labor which was $91.88. So it should have been $646.64. I don't even know why I got that discount but I'm not complaining.
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  #13  
Old 11-17-2014, 06:19 AM
redengr redengr is offline
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Thanks, Mike.
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  #14  
Old 07-02-2015, 01:25 PM
gohfastur gohfastur is online now
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Not sure if anyone is still tracking this thread. I, too, a getting strong fuel fumes/smell in the garage. Nothing inside. Is this an urgent fix or can it wait?
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  #15  
Old 07-02-2015, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by gohfastur View Post
Not sure if anyone is still tracking this thread. I, too, a getting strong fuel fumes/smell in the garage. Nothing inside. Is this an urgent fix or can it wait?
I would consider any fuel leak or smell an urgent situation and needs to be addressed ASAP . Gas fumes are extremely flammable and explosive , something you don't want to put off
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2015, 02:29 PM
gohfastur gohfastur is online now
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Good point!
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  #17  
Old Yesterday, 02:22 PM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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If I smelled fuel, I wouldn't park it inside until fixed. IMHO.
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  #18  
Old Yesterday, 04:00 PM
Trucker4321 Trucker4321 is offline
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Light a match and found out where it's coming from lol
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  #19  
Old Yesterday, 07:40 PM
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Light a match and found out where it's coming from lol
Ha ha ,, Thats almost not funny lol ..
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  #20  
Old Yesterday, 08:49 PM
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booyaazaa booyaazaa is offline
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Ha ha ,, Thats almost not funny lol ..
Hahahaha yeah follow the flame trail and then RUN!
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  #21  
Old Yesterday, 08:57 PM
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Hahahaha yeah follow the flame trail and then RUN!

Really huh .. but safety first ,,, gotta put on your flame suit ..
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