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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 11-25-2009, 11:09 AM
PNW325iSULEV PNW325iSULEV is offline
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'04 325i SULEV fuel pump failure

Just was told the fuel pump failure on this vehicle required replacement of the entire fuel tank assembly (part cost approximately $6,500) plus labor. Does anyone have any history with this and getting BMW to cover this under the CALIF Emissions warranty (15yrs 180,000 miiles)??

I have had two service techs from different dealers say that BMW is covering "only in California".
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2009, 08:57 PM
golf234 golf234 is offline
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i have the same car interested to hear. wow that is expensive. is that the only option
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2009, 10:06 PM
tomjrau tomjrau is offline
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Uhhh, I just changed out the fuel pump/fuel sender assembly the other day for just the cost of the part, roughly $170 and it only took 1 hr. The repair only requires accessing the pump underneath the back seat, not removing the fuel tank. My fuel gauge was giving inaccurate erratic readings necessitating the repair.

What symptoms are you having?
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2009, 11:06 PM
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KrisL KrisL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomjrau View Post
Uhhh, I just changed out the fuel pump/fuel sender assembly the other day for just the cost of the part, roughly $170 and it only took 1 hr. The repair only requires accessing the pump underneath the back seat, not removing the fuel tank.
Wrong.

What you say is true on the "normal" cars but not the SULEV 325i.
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2009, 05:06 AM
chasz17 chasz17 is offline
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That is just obscene. I'd do a nationwide search for a junkyard replacement.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2009, 08:52 AM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
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Ok, this thread will be an interesting read. Most likely a reaffirmation of how SULEV's are true money pits.

The more time passes and I acquire the wisdom of the ages, the more I love my non-SULEV, non-DOT Euro Bimmer...
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2009, 09:08 AM
golf234 golf234 is offline
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I got a great deal on my 2004 325i SULEV. it was a prior company car with great maintenance and 70k miles. As with any car, I keep the fuel level high to keep the fuel pump cool, . I have heard that when the time comes it may be possible to retrofit a normal 325i fuel tank and pump into the car. Also I got a stellar deal on the car for $9,000 in mint condition so I won't be out too much compared to some others. Even if it was a total loss, I could part it out and come up in the black. In comparison, a brand new BMW can get up to $50,000 very easily. I love my car and don't care that it is a SULEV. Granted, given a choice between the two, I would probably get a normal one but for the initial price I can't complain about the car, and I would definitely buy it again. I wouldn't pay top dollar for a SULEV but if you can get a really good deal on one you can do well for yourself. It is still a BMW just with a few minor emissions changes. The only real issue is the fuel pump if it fails.

The vehicle works just fine with the standard 325i radiator, dinan exhaust, and chip.

I am interested to know if the fuel pump retrofit is possible though as I'd do it in a second if it was. There simply has to be another solution to that issue, also, shame on BMW for creating such an issue for its customers that is just absurd. Also, if anybody knows ways to extend the life of the fuel pump as much as possible that would be appreciated too.


Source(s)
2004 325i SULEV black/black

Last edited by golf234; 12-08-2009 at 08:00 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2009, 10:46 AM
pylt pylt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW325iSULEV View Post
Just was told the fuel pump failure on this vehicle required replacement of the entire fuel tank assembly (part cost approximately $6,500) plus labor. Does anyone have any history with this and getting BMW to cover this under the CALIF Emissions warranty (15yrs 180,000 miiles)??

I have had two service techs from different dealers say that BMW is covering "only in California".
Wow, concur with the idea of just buying a regular tank from a junkyard--it'd guess the fittings and rest are similar.

Take your old one with you, if you can, to match it all up.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

BMW should be ashamed of itself--that's is an absurd price for a tank and pump. With labor you may be more than the value of the car--all for a FUEL PUMP!:@##$P@@@!@#$$%%^^&
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2009, 10:50 AM
golf234 golf234 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pylt View Post
Wow, concur with the idea of just buying a regular tank from a junkyard--it'd guess the fittings and rest are similar.

Take your old one with you, if you can, to match it all up.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

BMW should be ashamed of itself--that's is an absurd price for a tank and pump. With labor you may be more than the value of the car--all for a FUEL PUMP!:@##$P@@@!@#$$%%^^&
I agree. It is pathetic, especially for a car that is the most environmentally friendly of the entire model line - these are the people who are supposed to be rewarded, not punished.

PNW325iSULEV, I hope you are able to fit a normal tank and pump on the car and forward the results to us, saving your wallet, and a lot of people from an expensive repair.
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2009, 11:07 AM
golf234 golf234 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW325iSULEV View Post
Just was told the fuel pump failure on this vehicle required replacement of the entire fuel tank assembly (part cost approximately $6,500) plus labor. Does anyone have any history with this and getting BMW to cover this under the CALIF Emissions warranty (15yrs 180,000 miiles)??

I have had two service techs from different dealers say that BMW is covering "only in California".
Ok, just called Crevier bmw in Irvine and got the actual word on this issue. The fuel tank/pump assembly is $6,800. Now, after speaking with the technician, it may very well be possible to retrofit. On a lighter note, the parts guy I speak to all the time said that in the 5 years he has been working there he has not had one person that has called for a pump , and that his car has the same setup. So I think the bottom line for SULEV drivers out there is, Drive with a full tank of gas, here and there add a bit of lucas to your fuel to clean things up, keep your filter clean, and you may never even have the problem.
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  #11  
Old 12-08-2009, 11:50 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Yes, for those special SULEV models, you have to change the tank AND the pump since they are both built-in.... which sucks
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2009, 03:09 PM
golf234 golf234 is offline
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Ok good news for all. The replacement using normal the normal M54 Tank, pump, and filter, seems to be possible. Now it is just the word of another member but it sounds at least somewhat promising

From bimmerforums:

Critter7r :
This and another E46 forum is where I first read about the SULEV fuel tank...just do a search for SULEV in the E46 section.

I own a CPO 2005 325i SULEV. Great car until I found out about the gas tank. When I took it to my indy, a 30 year BMW repair shop, he thought I was nuts when I told him about the tank. He called his contact at BMW NA and it was confirmed. The good part is the regular E46 tank and plumbing can be swapped in if needed. Parts and labor about $2,500....beats $8k for parts and labor. So with a 15yr/150,000 mile no deductible warranty and the option of swapping out the unit for a standard one after that...I can sleep soundly at night that I am also saving baby seals with my SULEV, since it has the pollution impact of a Toyota Prius.

Last edited by golf234; 12-08-2009 at 08:40 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2009, 10:22 AM
golf234 golf234 is offline
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I found this part in a wrecking yard entire assembly for $1500. Definitely keeping the SULEV I love it.
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  #14  
Old 12-11-2009, 04:57 PM
PNW325iSULEV PNW325iSULEV is offline
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I took the 'warranty claim' to BMW NA and was DENIED -- the warranty only covers cars REGISTERED in CA (and the few other states listed in the warranty). I find it reprehensible that a PART installed to comply with emission standards costs $6,800 plus $2,000 in labor AND which is covered for 15 yrs/180,000 miles under warranty but ONLY if the car remains registered in the few states. BMW should be ashamed of themselves. I have hired an attorney to pursue a claim against them. I will keep you posted...but spread the word.
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  #15  
Old 12-11-2009, 08:01 PM
jw08 jw08 is offline
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The SULEV Fuel Pump/Tank assembly strikes again. Cha-Ching!

I bet more hydrocarbons are released replacing the tank then are ever prevented from leaving the fuel system in the first place.

Seems to me these 'environmentally friendly' or 'green' cars cost the most. Prius battery? Cha-ching. Prius transaxle? Cha-ching. And, oh yeah baby, they fail! Not to mention you've got two cooling systems to maintain, a brake hydraulic system that has to be flushed with a scan tool... it all costs more! I'll take my gas powered pig and enjoy only paying for gas, oil, tires and the ocassional window regulator.

Last edited by jw08; 12-11-2009 at 08:06 PM.
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  #16  
Old 12-11-2009, 08:03 PM
golf234 golf234 is offline
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wow

Last edited by golf234; 12-17-2009 at 04:12 PM.
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  #17  
Old 12-11-2009, 09:35 PM
golf234 golf234 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw08 View Post
The SULEV Fuel Pump/Tank assembly strikes again. Cha-Ching!

I bet more hydrocarbons are released replacing the tank then are ever prevented from leaving the fuel system in the first place.

Seems to me these 'environmentally friendly' or 'green' cars cost the most. Prius battery? Cha-ching. Prius transaxle? Cha-ching. And, oh yeah baby, they fail! Not to mention you've got two cooling systems to maintain, a brake hydraulic system that has to be flushed with a scan tool... it all costs more! I'll take my gas powered pig and enjoy only paying for gas, oil, tires and the ocassional window regulator.
take it easy on the poor guy man hahahaha
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  #18  
Old 12-11-2009, 10:06 PM
golf234 golf234 is offline
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.

Last edited by golf234; 12-13-2009 at 02:52 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-13-2009, 02:51 PM
golf234 golf234 is offline
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.
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  #20  
Old 07-03-2010, 09:48 AM
nijode nijode is offline
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SULEV Fuel Pump

All parts are covered by 15/150,000 warranty in California. No questions asked. Our local dealer, Savage BMW in Ontario California, did the whole job in 1 day. It would have cost more than $8000 but at least in California, it is covered.
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  #21  
Old 09-20-2010, 06:05 PM
az325isulev az325isulev is offline
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I am in the exact same boat as you were with your fuel pump/fuel tank assembly. I have contacted BMW NA asking specifically if the fuel tank assembly is COVERED by the Federal Emissions Performance Warranty or the Federal Emissions Defect Warranty, but neither CSA that answered the phone could give me a definitive answer. Can you tell me if you had any success with contacting an attorney about forcing BMW taking responsibility for this expensive repair?
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  #22  
Old 09-20-2010, 07:49 PM
nijode nijode is offline
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We did not need to do anything other than have it towed in to the dealer. In California the extended warranty on the SULEV components is honored without any hassle. Frankly we could hardly believe it. My Son who has assumed ownership of the car by right of possession will most likely never buy anything except BMW, ever. Probably a good investment for BMW
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  #23  
Old 04-05-2011, 12:38 AM
fwsteve fwsteve is offline
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BMW Fuel Pump/Tank replacement

My fuel pump went out on my 2005 BMW 325i. Two local BMW dealerships tried to rip me off by trying to charge me $7,500. I finally found an honest dealership 100 miles away that replaced the part at no charge under the 15 year warranty. I just wonder how many people they have ripped off?
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  #24  
Old 04-05-2011, 01:55 AM
nijode nijode is offline
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I don't know which is the greater shock; finding out that a fuel pump replacement will cost $7500, or discovering that BMW will replace it free under a warranty that you were not aware of.

Last edited by nijode; 04-05-2011 at 01:56 AM.
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  #25  
Old 06-23-2011, 11:57 AM
haviation haviation is offline
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I am having issue now with fuel pump failure in sealed gas tank.!! Having 150,000 mi on car and it has been running great until this issue!!

I am very interested in gas tank exchange of regular E46 tank M54 Tank, pump, and filter. Has anyone done this with success? Do you have to change out wiring connections when changing to a standard tank that allows replacement of fuel pump?

Since my 325ia SULEV registered in CA, I am interested in getting BMW to honor repair. I have read that some have had success with this method. Is there anytning I have to do over than pay for a diagnostic charge at a BMW dealership to get BMW NA to cover it?
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