Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #26  
Old 01-26-2012, 07:44 AM
ranamunna ranamunna is offline
Registered User
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: X5 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by n1k85 View Post
Tice03, Thanks for your advice on this thread!

I'm from UK and having the same problem as you, but with my 2004 BMW X5 3.0D (Same as ranamunna I guess?

When I bought my car back in December it had problem where as the fuel gauge would not go past half full, incorrectly telling me that I had 300+ miles left to go and half a tank of Diesel. I would think I had loads of fuel left, but then would get the "bing,bing,bing" sound and 'Fuel Injection System' fault followed by the engine stalling. (Because it actually had no fuel in it...)

I discovered that because it worked perfectly from Full->Half that the 'High Level' fuel sender unit was working ok, but the lower Fuel Sender Unit (with the float at the bottom) that does Half->Empty was not working correctly. I ordered a new one for £67 and fitted it myself.

Fitting the fuel sender was an easy job and over the next few days I noticed the needle had gone past the halfway mark (which it had never done before) and seemed to be working fine...

That was until a few days later when the needle reached the quarter tank mark and showed I had 159 miles left to go. Shortly after I got the "bing, bing, bing" 'Fuel Injection System' error again shortly followed by the engine stalling. Luckily I had a full can of Diesel in the boot, so filled it up and off I went.

Since then I've had the Fuel Sender out again and fiddled around with stuff here and there to try and get it working correctly. Unfortunately the only way I can really check this myself is to drive the car and see if it stalls or not...Which is not ideal. (Although I have my trusty full can in the boot)

I put £50 of Diesel in it last week and have watched the fuel range/distance remaining figure and fuel needle go down as they should, i thought maybe it was working now!

A few days ago I noticed the Fuel Guage was on a quarter and the Range/Distance remaining displaying 161miles. I watched the gauge like a hawk all the way down to 159miles (and taking the drive pretty easily) and sure enough a few miles later and I got "bing, bing, bing" 'Fuel Injection System'

So again I filled it up with the can and put another £50 in at a local station. I just now know that when my car shows a quarter of a tank (159 miles) it really means empty...

That was until I read your posts on this thread about the Fuel Filter. At this point i'm willing to give anything a go, so I've just ordered a new Fuel Filter and hopefully will get it fitted in the next couple of days.

I'll post the results up here and let you know if it solved my X5 fuel issue!

Thanks again for the help!

Nick
Hi.
I wanna thank tice. I have solved my problem by changing the fuel filter. You should do that too.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 01-26-2012, 10:06 PM
ranamunna ranamunna is offline
Registered User
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: X5 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by tice03 View Post
I'm a beginner myself and mostly only have experience with my 325i, so all I can do is speculate a little with you about what the problem might be. Also, I don't know what types of differences we'll encounter with a Japanese model. What did you spend the $1,000 replacing? Have you replaced the fuel filter yet? What about the fuel pump?

After seeing a picture of the x5 fuel tank online, it looks like the fuel tank is divided in half more equally over the drive shaft than my 325i tank is, so it might make sense that you are loosing half your tank instead of a quarter, assuming you are having an issue similar to mine. It also appears that the x5 uses a sucking jet pump or siphon similar to the 3 series to deliver the fuel to the other side of the tank. It all looks the same from what can see, but I guess there's always the possibility that the x5 could have some unique issue that I don't know about it. If you have not replaced the fuel filter, I'm betting that is the problem, given that fuel is still reaching the engine when the tank is full. It should give you the other side of your tank back if you replace it. If you already replaced it and are still having the problem, I would say there's a chance your fuel pumps is going out or there's another clog somewhere decreasing the pressure in the return fuel line to make the siphon work. Normally when the fuel filter or fuel pump is the issue, you would very possibly experience less power in the upper range of your rpm's at the same time. Have you noticed this? Or any sputtering when you step on the gas pedal? You start with replacing the fuel filter not only because it is the most likely culprit, but also because it's the cheapest. Then the fuel pump. What has been done so far? Please report back and let us know what ends up fixing it.

Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer
Dear tice,
Thank you very much for your help.
I have changed the fuel filter and the problem is fixed.
Earlier I had changed the gauge and the fuel pump as per suggested by my mechanic. When the problem was not fixed he further suggested to change the meter. But anyways after readin your comments I changed the filter and now it's working fine.
There is only one problem which I noticed today is that the car was showing 50km range on OBC but the engin stopped due to empty tank. I don't know what caused that. When I saw the gauge. The fuel fuel level indicator was broke. I will try to attach a pic. I repaired it. May be this is causing this. Any suggestions.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 01-27-2012, 06:45 AM
n1k85 n1k85 is offline
Registered User
Location: Wolves, UK
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 2004 X5 3.0D
Hi Guys,

I fitted a brand new Bosch Fuel Filter, but unfortunately it didn't help the issue

It was a long shot, but after 120k on the original one, I guess it could have done with a replacement anyway!




I don't know much about the workings of the fuel system myself, so I'm hoping someone in the know will be able to offer me some advice at this point.

After fitting the fuel filter, i drove the car about 30 miles until it hit the 1/4 tank mark again and i watched the 'Range' like a hawk. It dropped to 169 miles, and then slowly started creeping up to 170,171,172,173 and by that time I had already assumed that it hadn't fixed my issue. (as before I fitted the filter, the range would drop all the way to to 160-170 miles and then start creeping back up a few miles before it just cut out)

I drove around expecting it to cut out at any moment, but it didn't.... I drove it all the way home (another 10 or so miles) and made it back trouble free. I turned off the engine and thought maybe it actually had worked.... But just to check I tried to start the engine again straight away and it wouldn't start. It must have been about to cut out any second while I was driving home! (Gauge still showing 1/4 tank and 170-ish miles):



After it wouldn't start I got into the Hidden OBC Menu to check the Fuel levels (Test NR 6):

from what I can gather, this is saying that the Left Side has 0L of fuel in, the Right side has 23.1L of fuel in and the total fuel is 23.1L:


I then took out both the Fuel senders. Sure enough the Left side (Passenger side) was empty and the Right side (Drivers side sender that has the pump attached to it) had some fuel in it... Didn't look like much but the X5 has a 95L tank so it's hard to tell.

Im still not sure if this will fix the issue, but I managed to find a Drivers side (complete with pump) fuel sender unit from a crashed X5 that I will get fitted over the next few days.

Any other suggestions or help would be great!

Last edited by n1k85; 01-27-2012 at 08:05 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 01-28-2012, 02:08 AM
tice03 tice03 is offline
Registered User
Location: Utah
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 2003 325i, M54
Quote:
Originally Posted by n1k85 View Post
Hi Guys,

I fitted a brand new Bosch Fuel Filter, but unfortunately it didn't help the issue

It was a long shot, but after 120k on the original one, I guess it could have done with a replacement.....

........I then took out both the Fuel senders. Sure enough the Left side (Passenger side) was empty and the Right side (Drivers side sender that has the pump attached to it) had some fuel in it... Didn't look like much but the X5 has a 95L tank so it's hard to tell.

Im still not sure if this will fix the issue, but I managed to find a Drivers side (complete with pump) fuel sender unit from a crashed X5 that I will get fitted over the next few days.

Any other suggestions or help would be great!
Hmmm, I really thought that would have done it. Did you ever take the fuel senders out before the fuel filter replacement to observe what the level was on each side of the tank? At least right now, the fuel, being on the right hand side of the tank, is where it's supposed to be, so that is good. That means the "sucking jet pump" is working and, at least now, you don't have the same type of problem I had.

So was there enough fuel in the right side that the fuel sender was able to reach it, but it wouldn't start? and when you add a little more fuel, it starts right up? Let me know if that is correct. It seems strange. If that is the case, why would adding more fuel make a difference if the pump is already submerged in fuel? That would be puzzling....

So what i'm wondering, is if maybe there was a little fuel in there, but really it was essentially empty, and there was not sufficient for the pump to reach and pump out. If that is the case, the fuel level sensor is not lowering properly as the fuel level falls, and it is probably gumbed up and stuck, OR maybe the sensor contacts are dirty and corroded. With my problem, my fuel level sensors were telling the truth, but i just could not access my fuel. Your problem may be that the fuel level sensors are lying to you, and when your car stops, it's because the fuel really it gone. You can tell this by observing how much fuel it takes to completely fill up your tank after them car dies. Is it as much as the owners manual states that it can hold, or less?

At any rate, the new fuel sender you purchased would probably fix it the problem for the sake of a new fuel level sensor. I can't imagine anything else that it could be. I know you don't have the problem i had though, at least now, because the fuel is staying on the right side of the tank when you are on your last half tank of fuel.

This all might be common sense to you, but hopefully it helps to have an extra validating opinion. I think changing the fuel filter was still a good thing to do. I haven't met anyone else that was able to make it last that long. Let us know how it turns out!


Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer App

Last edited by tice03; 01-28-2012 at 02:09 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 01-28-2012, 02:38 AM
tice03 tice03 is offline
Registered User
Location: Utah
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 2003 325i, M54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranamunna View Post
Dear tice,
Thank you very much for your help.
I have changed the fuel filter and the problem is fixed.
Earlier I had changed the gauge and the fuel pump as per suggested by my mechanic. When the problem was not fixed he further suggested to change the meter. But anyways after readin your comments I changed the filter and now it's working fine.
There is only one problem which I noticed today is that the car was showing 50km range on OBC but the engin stopped due to empty tank. I don't know what caused that. When I saw the gauge. The fuel fuel level indicator was broke. I will try to attach a pic. I repaired it. May be this is causing this. Any suggestions.
I'm happy to hear that it fixed your problem!! Well it ONE of the problems, right so the fuel level indicator was broke, but you fixed it? Explain more about that. Are you talking about the gauge in the dashboard? So is it fixed now?

As far as the engine stopping at 50km left, if i'm understanding correctly, that could be several things. The next time it happens I would try out the onboard computer tests in the dash and see what it says. Which side of the tank does the car "think" it has fuel in? Maybe the fuel level sensor is stuck or the connectors are corroded on that side so the float does not drop all the way when the fuel level drops. You can take the fuel senders out and physically check if there is fuel there, and that will narrow down the possibilities. You can also check to see how much fuel it takes to fill the tank completely after the engine dies. Does it take as much as the manual says, or a few gallons less?

Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer App
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 01-28-2012, 10:44 AM
n1k85 n1k85 is offline
Registered User
Location: Wolves, UK
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 2004 X5 3.0D
Thanks for the reply tice!

After reading a whole load of threads, TIS guides, and websites regarding the Fuel Guage problems on various BMW's last night, I got up this morning and went straight out to the car to have another go.

It was freezing outside and the car was covered in ice! But I just got stuck in and totally dissembled the Fuel senders, both driver and passenger. I removed everything I could and went over it all with a fine tooth comb.

I had my arm fully into the tank up to my elbow in freezing cold diesel and moved around all the hoses to make sure there was nothing jammed or out of place. I took off and cleaned up all the connections on the top of the senders as well as fully removing the senders themselves and making sure all the resistor slide contacts were cleaned up and working ok.

I found the syphon hose and turned on the ignition and some fuel started to slowly dribble out, I put my thumb over the hose hole and could feel it sucking harder at my thumb followed by a few gurgling noises. I took my thumb off after a few seconds and the flow was instantly better and it was more of a steady stream of fuel being pulled trough from the other side of the tank rather than a slow dribble. (I'm not sure if this is because it somehow 'cleared' itself or if it was just because I was blocking it?)

I lubed up all the O rings and gaskets as best I could and fit the whole lot back together.

Turned the car on and saw this:

(Before I did any work on the car, it was telling me I had 1/4 tank of fuel and 167 Miles on the Range... I had never seen the red light come on in my car ever before!)






Since then, I put a little more fuel in just to check the lower end of the tank and it all seems to be working fine now!

(It's a bit of a pain in the ass though since I ordered and paid for a replacement fuel Sender & Pump from a scrap yard which is being delievered Monday, but it seems now that I don't actually need it after all! :headbang: )

Anyway, I'm not exactly sure what it was that fixed it since I did so many things at once. It could have been the syphon not 'syphoning' correctly, it could have been a hose that wasn't properly seated, or something blocking the sender float maybe?? But either way, now it's working and i'm very happy!

Thanks again Tice for all the useful info!

I'm also glad I changed the fuel filter, at 120k miles, I'm sure it's a good thing to replace it anyway!


Last edited by n1k85; 01-28-2012 at 10:48 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 01-28-2012, 11:04 AM
tice03 tice03 is offline
Registered User
Location: Utah
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 2003 325i, M54
Quote:
Originally Posted by n1k85 View Post

....Since then, I put a little more fuel in just to check the lower end of the tank and it all seems to be working fine now!

(It's a bit of a pain in the ass though since I ordered and paid for a replacement fuel Sender & Pump from a scrap yard which is being delievered Monday, but it seems now that I don't actually need it after all! :headbang: )

Anyway, I'm not exactly sure what it was that fixed it since I did so many things at once. It could have been the syphon not 'syphoning' correctly, it could have been a hose that wasn't properly seated, or something blocking the sender float maybe??........
Nice job! You know, it might be alright, since you're not quite sure what fixed it, to hold on to that fuel sender at least until you can fill up above a qtr tank two or three more times and watch the level come down as you use it. Hopefully it's fixed for good though! That's exciting!

Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer App
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 01-28-2012, 11:07 AM
tice03 tice03 is offline
Registered User
Location: Utah
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 2003 325i, M54
Oops, double post.

Last edited by tice03; 01-28-2012 at 11:08 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 01-28-2012, 11:58 AM
Y2K_Bimmer Y2K_Bimmer is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Glendale, AZ
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 427
Mein Auto: 2000 323i
Tice, great post. Enjoyed the U turn temporary fix.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 01-29-2012, 12:44 AM
Totte Totte is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Mexico City
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 128
Mein Auto: E83 X3 2.5si (2009)
Quote:
Originally Posted by n1k85 View Post

I had my arm fully into the tank up to my elbow in freezing cold diesel and moved around all the hoses to make sure there was nothing jammed or out of place. I took off and cleaned up all the connections on the top of the senders as well as fully removing the senders themselves and making sure all the resistor slide contacts were cleaned up and working ok.

(Before I did any work on the car, it was telling me I had 1/4 tank of fuel and 167 Miles on the Range... I had never seen the red light come on in my car ever before!)
So you lost about 20 liters of diesel in the process...

I hope you have solved your problem now, but from your description I am wondering if you really only have about 3 liters of diesel in the tank if you can have your arm in up to your elbow...

Can you have damaged one of the fuel senders instead?
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 01-30-2012, 02:06 PM
Aubrey330 Aubrey330 is offline
Registered User
Location: South Africa
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: e46 330i individual
my 330i cuts out also at 1/4 tank

Hi Gents very impressed with the amount of information on this forum. I have been battling for months now with this problem and going crazy. My E46 330i started about 5 months ago, it would just cut out when i have 160km left according to the on board computer.. The guage will be reading exactly 1/4 fuel left. I have used the hidden menus to try and diagnose this and stuck i dont know anymore what is causing this problem. This is what i have done i pulled both the sender units out and the jet pump. played around with the guages while they are out and it seems like the computer computes from both the tanks level and decides from there, i then replaced the fuel filter because it did not seem like the sender units were a problem as they were working when outside. i replaced the fuel filter too which did not fix this problem. When i was thinking about it, i thought that may be the pump is weak and its not creating enough pressure for the return to activate enough pressure to the jet pump. So i replaced the whole pumpside sender unit with the pump. Now when i drive in use the 19, 6.0 menu and it seems like the problem is still there as the fuel in the the tank where there is no pump is not sucked to the right hand side the pump side. I did the following test when i had 12liters on the left and 3 liters on the right(the pump side) i made a quick turn while i was watching the 19, 6.0 menu all the fuel moved to the pump side, BUT here is what i am confused about, whilst driving after the u turn, and watching a 19, 6.0 menu the the left side moved from 1liter to 2, to 3 , to 4 until it was at 9. And this is when im driving slowly on a flat road. This means that my pump and the filter are working fine as the excess fuel from the injectors is being returned into the tank where there ins't a pump. But now why is the jet now moving it??? So i went to BMW dealer parts division and tried to buy a jet pump, the sales man told me no stock and they have never sold it before.. he checked other branches and said they have never kept it or sold it ever. So the question is could this jet pump be faulty? if yes has anyone ever changed it? I have pulled it out of the tank... blew it with my mouth and with a small hose pipe with water in it and it seems to be moving the water when its submegged. So now i have ZERO idea where and what is causing this problem.... Please Please anybody with ideas for me to try?
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 01-30-2012, 09:59 PM
tice03 tice03 is offline
Registered User
Location: Utah
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 2003 325i, M54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubrey330 View Post
Hi Gents very impressed with the amount of information on this forum. I have been battling for months now with this problem and going crazy. My E46 330i started about 5 months ago, it would just cut out when i have 160km left according to the on board computer.. The guage will be reading exactly 1/4 fuel left. I have used the hidden menus to try and diagnose this and stuck i dont know anymore what is causing this problem. This is what i have done i pulled both the sender units out and the jet pump. played around with the guages while they are out and it seems like the computer computes from both the tanks level and decides from there, i then replaced the fuel filter because it did not seem like the sender units were a problem as they were working when outside. i replaced the fuel filter too which did not fix this problem. When i was thinking about it, i thought that may be the pump is weak and its not creating enough pressure for the return to activate enough pressure to the jet pump. So i replaced the whole pumpside sender unit with the pump. Now when i drive in use the 19, 6.0 menu and it seems like the problem is still there as the fuel in the the tank where there is no pump is not sucked to the right hand side the pump side. I did the following test when i had 12liters on the left and 3 liters on the right(the pump side) i made a quick turn while i was watching the 19, 6.0 menu all the fuel moved to the pump side, BUT here is what i am confused about, whilst driving after the u turn, and watching a 19, 6.0 menu the the left side moved from 1liter to 2, to 3 , to 4 until it was at 9. And this is when im driving slowly on a flat road. This means that my pump and the filter are working fine as the excess fuel from the injectors is being returned into the tank where there ins't a pump. But now why is the jet now moving it??? So i went to BMW dealer parts division and tried to buy a jet pump, the sales man told me no stock and they have never sold it before.. he checked other branches and said they have never kept it or sold it ever. So the question is could this jet pump be faulty? if yes has anyone ever changed it? I have pulled it out of the tank... blew it with my mouth and with a small hose pipe with water in it and it seems to be moving the water when its submegged. So now i have ZERO idea where and what is causing this problem.... Please Please anybody with ideas for me to try?
Wow, yeah, you've tried all the things I would think to try. So, definitely your jet pump is not working though since and the fuel is getting caught over in that left side and not making it back. Maybe you would have seen this since you had taken it all apart, but i'll ask anyway - do you think there could be a pinch in the tube heading over the saddle hump of the tank? Or maybe there is somehow a pinch elsewwhere in the fuel line. I have never visually followed the fuel line through it's entire loop, but maybe it is exposed somewhere and took a hit. Has the car ever been wrecked or high-centered? Again, I don't even know where the line runs, so i'm just spouting at the mouth. I've seen diagrams before of the fuel system, so maybe you could look for that on the forum. Also, I know it's common for people to put the fuel filter on backwards, or hook the hoses up to the wrong spouts. Have you double checked that? Another thought. Are you throwing any codes? I remember having weird problems once and found out later that the fuel system is pressurized and gasket on my gas cap had dried up so the pressure/suction was messed up. I had to replace my gas cap. I don't really know if that could be related, but it's worth looking at.


Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer App
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:38 PM
Aubrey330 Aubrey330 is offline
Registered User
Location: South Africa
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: e46 330i individual
Hi thanks tice03 for replying. I have plugged in the obd and there are no errors. As for the pipe with the jet pump, i have inspected it carefully and the only hole on it is an intended hole looks like a round drilled hole about 5 cm near the end next to the fuel pump. And yes i thought that maybe the jet pipe is kinked, by its not. I bought an aftermarket fuel filter manufactured by FRAM, it came clearly marked with rubber stoppers colour coded also, as the return pipe is blue and the other is black. So it was very easy to install.

I bought the car brand new, its a 2005 330i individual with 112 000km. It was hit from the back but was a bumper bashing accident. Coming to think about it the problem started shortly after that. I have put my hand inthe fuel tank to feel if the tank is bent or something but it isnt.

The fuel lines run under the car, and i have checked those which are visible and that can be pinched and they all seem fine.

As for the fuel cap.:: The pressure is caused by the fuel pump which sucks the gas/petrol from the the right tank to the filter to the injectors and then the access fuel returns via another pipe to the filter to left tank, and then the jet pump uses this pressure to suck from left to right. Now if there is air escaping at the fuel cap.....mmmmmmh there would be less pressure only if the left side is empty and then air will now escape via the fuel cap, which may cause this problem? Interesting i will inspect the hose to the tank and the fuel cap, for air leaks. Because the jet pump has small holes which are meant to absorb fuel and push it across, but if there is nothing the air pressure will build up. which some will escape via the fuel cap.

Another thing that i have tried but did not mention is: I pulled out sender unit on the left (without the pump) took the return pipe that connect to it and pointed it in the left tank, started the car... when a look at this pipe the fuel just sprays like a car-wash-jet-machine. Which sort of narrowed down my problem to the tank only.

The next thing would be to:::: remove sender and pump on the right while there is fuel on the left, take a bucket with fuel and submerge the sender with pump on the right. So that i can see inside right tank.... start the car, pull the pipe from the jet pump and see if this fuel is being sprayed to the right.

If i do the fuel cap, and this bucket story above and i still cant find the problem, then the amount of pressure required at the left side is not enough...

Please comment guys

Last edited by Aubrey330; 01-30-2012 at 11:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 02-01-2012, 05:08 PM
tice03 tice03 is offline
Registered User
Location: Utah
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 2003 325i, M54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubrey330 View Post
Hi thanks tice03 for replying. I have plugged in the obd and there are no errors. As for the pipe with the jet pump, i have inspected it carefully and the only hole on it is an intended hole looks like a round drilled hole about 5 cm near the end next to the fuel pump. And yes i thought that maybe the jet pipe is kinked, by its not. I bought an aftermarket fuel filter manufactured by FRAM, it came clearly marked with rubber stoppers colour coded also, as the return pipe is blue and the other is black. So it was very easy to install.

I bought the car brand new, its a 2005 330i individual with 112 000km. It was hit from the back but was a bumper bashing accident. Coming to think about it the problem started shortly after that. I have put my hand inthe fuel tank to feel if the tank is bent or something but it isnt.

The fuel lines run under the car, and i have checked those which are visible and that can be pinched and they all seem fine.

As for the fuel cap.:: The pressure is caused by the fuel pump which sucks the gas/petrol from the the right tank to the filter to the injectors and then the access fuel returns via another pipe to the filter to left tank, and then the jet pump uses this pressure to suck from left to right. Now if there is air escaping at the fuel cap.....mmmmmmh there would be less pressure only if the left side is empty and then air will now escape via the fuel cap, which may cause this problem? Interesting i will inspect the hose to the tank and the fuel cap, for air leaks. Because the jet pump has small holes which are meant to absorb fuel and push it across, but if there is nothing the air pressure will build up. which some will escape via the fuel cap.

Another thing that i have tried but did not mention is: I pulled out sender unit on the left (without the pump) took the return pipe that connect to it and pointed it in the left tank, started the car... when a look at this pipe the fuel just sprays like a car-wash-jet-machine. Which sort of narrowed down my problem to the tank only.

The next thing would be to:::: remove sender and pump on the right while there is fuel on the left, take a bucket with fuel and submerge the sender with pump on the right. So that i can see inside right tank.... start the car, pull the pipe from the jet pump and see if this fuel is being sprayed to the right.

If i do the fuel cap, and this bucket story above and i still cant find the problem, then the amount of pressure required at the left side is not enough...

Please comment guys
Figure anything out since your last message?

So if the return fuel seems to spray hard without the actual fuel sensor in the way, maybe it's loosing it's seal once you put the left fuel sensor and sucking jet pump on it. Maybe an O-ring between the sensor and the sucking jet pump is leaking? Or clogged somehow.

Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer App

Last edited by tice03; 02-01-2012 at 05:09 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 02-01-2012, 08:12 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Panhandle of Florida
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 909
Mein Auto: 328i, 330ci, R1200C
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...238&highlight=
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 02-01-2012, 09:34 PM
tice03 tice03 is offline
Registered User
Location: Utah
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 2003 325i, M54
Quote:
Originally Posted by QAfred View Post
QAfred, Is there a specific part of this thread you gave the link for that you recomend? I think Aubrey has checked and replaced and done everything in that thread already, besides the fuel system tester. The symptoms of the sucking jet pump not working are known already, but the regular fixes haven't helped apparently.

Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer App

Last edited by tice03; 02-01-2012 at 09:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 02-02-2012, 02:09 AM
Aubrey330 Aubrey330 is offline
Registered User
Location: South Africa
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: e46 330i individual
Thanks guys for your continued support. I have only inspected the fuel cap at the moment, which seems fine. I am happy to report that i have a friend who has agreed to bring his 318i for me to swop items i am suspecting before i fork out money to buy and replace, like it did with the fuel pump. 2 days ago i got stuck again but this time i was going up a hill with just over a quota tank. What is weird is that the 19, 6.0 reported that i have 068 122 6.0, which means that i have 12.2 litres in the fuel pump side. How is this possible when the pump side sender unit and pump are brand new??? But since then I always drive with my tank full, i don't want to get stuck again. When it has gone down abit to about half tank i will do more research on it.

Tice I have inspected the o-ring you are talking about when i had the whole hose with the jet pump out, but i agree maybe its gone a bit dry and needs replacement. But now this 068 122 really messes up my head i would agree with it if it was 122 068???

The problem is it happens when i am least expecting it, When i have a laptop in my boot and driving to a client or something. If it was a weekend i would open the tank just there and see if the sensors are also lying. I am really running out of ideas.

One thing i have noticed when i had both the sender units out and playing around with them is that: If i make the float on the pump side to empty and the left side to QUOTER empty, the gauge reports that the fuel is 1/4 before empty. And this is what is happening; the pump side finishes before the left side. For this reason, i am going to swap with and test with this friend with a 318i.

I will report back

Last edited by Aubrey330; 02-02-2012 at 02:11 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:31 PM
Aubrey330 Aubrey330 is offline
Registered User
Location: South Africa
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: e46 330i individual
Hey guys anybody knows how to reset the dashboard cluster. I dont want to test it, rather to reset... I read on www.justanswer.com some of the mechanics recommended a simple fix as reseting a dash cluster after removing and disconnecting the sender units, which causes the guages to start messing around with the menus in the 19 6.0

In short menu test 2.0... is this testing the cluster or resetting it or both??
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 02-02-2012, 05:04 PM
tice03 tice03 is offline
Registered User
Location: Utah
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 2003 325i, M54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubrey330 View Post
.... 2 days ago i got stuck again but this time i was going up a hill with just over a quota tank. What is weird is that the 19, 6.0 reported that i have 068 122 6.0, which means that i have 12.2 litres in the fuel pump side. How is this possible when the pump side sender unit and pump are brand new??? .....
I'm starting to think you have other problems besides the sucking jet pump problem that might be contributing. Have you tried a fuel system cleaner yet? You might have a clog somewhere.


Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer App
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 02-02-2012, 11:06 PM
Aubrey330 Aubrey330 is offline
Registered User
Location: South Africa
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: e46 330i individual
Thanks Buddy for your continued support.. I will get a fuel cleaner and try it. At this point I am willing to try anything. I love this car but my love for it is fading fast now.. I might just wanna upgrade to an E9x.

This weekend i am removing the left fuel sender and the jet pump with the hose, and replacing them with the ones from the 318i i mentioned earlier in my posts. Hopefully I will find out what is causing this issue...

And i will report back...
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 02-03-2012, 03:17 PM
n1k85 n1k85 is offline
Registered User
Location: Wolves, UK
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 2004 X5 3.0D
Aubrey330 - I had exactky the same problem as you, which was a slightly different issue to what tice was having.

Like you, I removed both senders and set the floats to the minimum levels while they were out of the tank, and the guage showed an empty tank, which meant that the senders themselves were actually working.

I think if you read my post below and do this on your car, this will solve your problem



Quote:
Originally Posted by Totte View Post
So you lost about 20 liters of diesel in the process...

I hope you have solved your problem now, but from your description I am wondering if you really only have about 3 liters of diesel in the tank if you can have your arm in up to your elbow...

Can you have damaged one of the fuel senders instead?
Well, as you say, I must have not had 20 litres in there in the first place.

At first when my car was cutting out at 1/4 tank and displaying 159 miles on the range, I assumed that my car did have 1/4 tank of fuel in it, but it just couldn't get to it.

But when I had my arm inside the tank, there was hardly any fuel in either side of the tank. There was some fuel in there, but certainly nowhere near 20 litres! more like 2 or 3 litres. (Although my X5 tank is a 95L tank)

Its been working like a dream since I did the repair, and now I think the whole cause of my problems was not in the right side sender at all (the one with the pump) but the left side sender.

I may have mentioned above that when I first bought the car, the gauge would not drop below half a tank. Because of this I replaced the Left Fuel sender myself with a brand new one. On the brief fitting guide that came with it, I read that there was a 'nest' (it feels like a little plastic volcano) at the base of the tank that the sender core/pole has to sit inside to make it stand perfectly upright... I thought i had done this and it was sitting niceley inside this 'nest/recess'. But thinking back over what i actually did when i repaired it, I remembered that I had read a guide the night before that said to hold the Sender Top Cup part perfectly horizontal and lower it into the tank; and the base would then just slot perfectly into the nest (which is what I did do when i fitted the sender the last time, and after that it worked perfectly.)

However before (when I originally fitted the left sender) I was not aware of this 'hold it perfectly horizontal' method (and although it sounds obvious, the shape of the core/base of the sender actually looks like if it was perfectly horizontal it would not sit inside the nest) and when I original fitted it I tried to guide the base/core of the sender into the 'nest' by eye and feel... but obviously I didn't do a very good job.

And now i'm thinking that although I thought that it was sat properly in the nest, the whole sender unit was probably sitting at and angle so the float could not go all the way to the bottom, thereby giving a 1/4 tank reading when it was actually empty. (if you know what I mean)

So when I eventually fixed it, i had both senders out, fitted them both the 'horizontal' method, and its now working fine. It only occurred to me afterwards when I was going over all the things I did to fix it in my head that i remembered the 'new' (correct) method I had used to fit the senders, and realised that it was probably this that fixed the problem, rather than messing about with the hoses etc.

Since the repair, I've filled it up 4 or 5 times with about £25 of fuel each time which takes it over the 1/4 mark anyway, and each time it's run down perfectly, red light has come on at the appropriate time and the Range has dropped to about 10 miles before I refilled.

Before the repair, the range would only drop to 159 miles, then it was anyone's guess after that.

Sorry if the above is confusing, I've just polished off a bottle of wine... But anyone who has actually had their hand inside their tank will probably know what I mean!

This may help explain it slightly better: (you can just about see the 'nest/mound/recess' at the base of the tank ((3) on the diagram), and the sender unit is slotted into the top of it)

Installation:
Quote:
When installing fuel level sensor, comply with the following without fail:
1. Insert fuel level sensor flange (1) horizontally into tank opening so that sensor foot (2) is positioned vertically in recess (3) in bottom of fuel tank.
2. Press fuel level sensor flange into tank opening.
3. Fuel level sensor flange must remain in pressed-in position! When the flange is partially pressed out, the sensor foot (2) is not in the recess (3) in the bottom of the fuel tank.
4. Line set (5) must not interlock with sensor arm (4);.


http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/images/1/05/82/26.jpg

Last edited by n1k85; 02-03-2012 at 03:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 02-03-2012, 05:03 PM
tice03 tice03 is offline
Registered User
Location: Utah
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 2003 325i, M54
Nice job Nick! Nice to have that figured out, and it seems like it could happen easy enough that a lot of people could potentially run into this problem. Hopefully your struggling to find a solution to this will help many.

Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer App
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 02-05-2012, 05:01 AM
Aubrey330 Aubrey330 is offline
Registered User
Location: South Africa
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: e46 330i individual
Hi Gents, I am pleased to report that my fuel problem is now sorted out. Well I have tested and tested yesterday only putting in fuel above 1/4 twice and ½ and the fuel gauge goes down to complete empty with - - - - kilometres left.

After months of stress and worries, a mate of mine with a 318i rescued me. The fix was the FUEL PUMP. I wanted to pin point exactly why the fuel was not moving from the left to the right.

Here is what I did….. if you read my previous posts you will notice that I had both sender units out and tested them individually and moved the float by hand and watched the fuel gauge as I was doing that, I have also replaced my fuel filter because I thought that maybe it was blocked, I have also removed the jet pump and inspected it and even tried buying another one and BMW stealers said that they don't have and never kept and never sold one.

Ok back to the story….. on the 318i.. before I did anything on it. I decided not to remove anything I checked the fuel level on it and it was just above ¼ tank.. I used the 19..6.0 menu which reporter 000179, which meant that the left is empty and the right has 17.9 litres.

I opened the left side without completely removing the sender unit, I just wanted to see if there was fuel inside as the computer was saying its empty.. when i looked inside the tank was wet but nothing not even 200ml nothing.

I then proceeded to open the right side (the pump side), and definitely there was a lot of fuel inside. Then I knew that I had a proper reference point as this is not happening on my 330i.

I put back everything and left the blue return pipe that connects to the left sender unit to the jet pump, and connected a small garden hose to it so that I can extend outside the car before I get fuel sprayed all over the inside. When I started the 318i to my amazement the amount of fuel meant for the jet pump was way way more pressure that the one I have seen on my car.. this is more like 1 litre every 2 seconds estimate. I realized that I needed to swap the pumps around. My NEW pump on the 318i had the same effect as on my car it sprays but not as much as the 318i old pump.

The 318i pump on my 330i sprays exactly like on the 318i….. but I wanted to be sure I was not going to simply accept that.

I connected the flexible garden hosepipe that I was using earlier to the end of the black pipe from the jet pump in the right side (pump side) and turned (u turn) it inside the tank so that it comes out on the left side and then outside of the car to a bucket. This is to see if the jet pump is working and sucking fuel from left to right. I then connected the right side pump with the sender unit and closed it (obviously without that big nut). Why am I doing to this again??? Because the my fuel was staying in the left side and not moving to the right side (the pump side).. and when the pump is submerged and sender unit installed I cannot see if the fuel is coming out of the black pipe from the jet pump as its inside fuel and blocked by the pump and strainer.. so the idea is to take this fuel meant to go into the right side and re-route to the left and then outside where I can see the flow rate..

I connected the left sender, and the blue return pipe to it. Mind you I cannot completely close the left side because the hosepipe is sticking out.. (I had half and half fuel on both sides of the tank before this test)

I started the car with my NEW pump and watched to see if fuel comes out of the hose, this will test the jet pump and I will also be able to compare the flow rate.

Fuel came out of the other side slowly.. very slowly with my pump. This is despite the fact that the return pipe shows a lot of fuel if not connected to the left sender unit which connects to the jet pump.

I removed my pump and put in the 318i's one. And the amount of fuel coming out was amazing.

So these tests confirmed two things my brand new pump although new is weak and that the jet pump is working fine. And that the jet requires a certain amount of pressure for it to work properly.

I took my new pump back and tried to return it, and they refused saying all electrical goods are not refundable or returnable. I have paid R 2500.00 for this pump about US$230.

I was desperate and was not going to fight it, so I went to car part store and bought a universal Bosch 4 bar pressure fuel pump, it was not going to fit exactly but was going to be close.. I took a pvc plastic 50mm used for basin and sinks and cut it size, the pump fits into it perfectly with a little to not play.. the pvc pipe is more/less the same diameter as the original pump and fits in the sender unit perfectly. The Bosch pump cost me about US$50.

When I was done I had even more flow rate on the hose pipe than the 318i.. As I have already mentioned I have tested 3 times too and this is working perfectly without fail, except that the starting is not instant ***61516; it takes about 3 seconds while cranking the engine before it starts whilst with the VDO pump is instant….. maybe some can explain or help on this

While I was struggling with this I discovered the following.. I know this is a book by now …..…...reading too long stories. But I hope this will help someone in the future.

Procedures I have used when my car was jerking at ¼ tank.

1. Replace the fuel filter; if this is blocked then it may cause this problem why? With closed inspection under the car I discovered that the fuel pumped from the right side of tank does not go to the injectors and then return as excess as I thought in my previous posts, the E46 fuel filter has 3 connectors "for fuel" (1) to fuel pump (2) to return (3) and to injectors. This fuel filters needs a specific fuel pressure before excess fuel can happen which is triggered and controlled by the regulator but pressurized by the pump. So in short the fuel comes from the pump on the right and then to the fuel filter and then makes a u-turn inside the filter and then goes to the return pipe to left sender unit and then to the jet pump inside the tank and then to the pump again. loop
2. If you have inspected the fuel lines (pipes) and made sure that they are not kinked or blocked then check the sender units.. To check the pipes disconnect the sender unit and the fuel filter blow air into one side and let a friend check if it comes out on the other side
3. The senders unit can me tested outside.. I think Tice has already shown pictures and explained this procedure. But the important information is, if it will help someone; there is a variable resister which must measure from 0 ohms when full and about +-400 ohms when empty. So maximum resistance must be 400 ohms. If it measure more that like kilo ohms or mega ohms then the contacts are loose. Again Tice has show how to clean them….. So maybe there is no need to buy new senders if you know the default resistance.

N1k85 has included a procedure how to install the left sender unit

4. The jet pump. I don't think this can ever be faulty its not electrical and not mechanical no moving parts nothing. The worse that can happen is it may get blocked, but to prevent this blockage the fuel filter does just that before it connects to it via a blue fuel pipe on the left side (sender). Or unless the tank has dirt which may block the holes under this jet pump.. so just remove it and inspect and clean it….. make sure you do not bend the black pipe that runs across the tank hump. I have detailed a way I found easy when testing this jet pmup in the beginning of this post
5. The fuel pump, normally people change this when the car no longer starts and fuel is not getting to the injectors. In my case it has just gone weak and was not creating enough pressure sufficient to get the jet pump to work properly.
6. The 19. 6.0 menus are also very helpful IF and only IF your sender units are working properly. I have noticed the that left side should be dry like 000 when the right side has 16 -19 litres so 000190

Thanks to everyone who helped me to try and resolve this issue Tice you are the man

Last edited by Aubrey330; 02-05-2012 at 05:05 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 02-05-2012, 10:43 PM
ranamunna ranamunna is offline
Registered User
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: X5 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranamunna View Post
Dear tice,
Thank you very much for your help.
I have changed the fuel filter and the problem is fixed.
Earlier I had changed the gauge and the fuel pump as per suggested by my mechanic. When the problem was not fixed he further suggested to change the meter. But anyways after readin your comments I changed the filter and now it's working fine.
There is only one problem which I noticed today is that the car was showing 50km range on OBC but the engin stopped due to empty tank. I don't know what caused that. When I saw the gauge. The fuel fuel level indicator was broke. I will try to attach a pic. I repaired it. May be this is causing this. Any suggestions.
Hi tice3,
I hope you are doing well. I didn't reply earlier because I wanted to gather all the information before replying to you. After I Changed the filter it worked fine for two tanks then now the on board gauge is not moving at all now from 0.
Any guesses. As I wrote before the fuel level indiator strip is broke and repaired in the right tank if you are facing the front of the car.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 02-09-2012, 01:12 AM
tice03 tice03 is offline
Registered User
Location: Utah
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 2003 325i, M54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranamunna View Post
Hi tice3,
I hope you are doing well. I didn't reply earlier because I wanted to gather all the information before replying to you. After I Changed the filter it worked fine for two tanks then now the on board gauge is not moving at all now from 0.
Any guesses. As I wrote before the fuel level indiator strip is broke and repaired in the right tank if you are facing the front of the car.
Hmm, solved one problem, bit another one started? I'm having a hard time knowing what you mean by the "indicator strip" in the back tank. At first I thought you were talking about the fuel level indicator in the dashboard. Are you talking about the fuel level sensor in one of the sides of the fuel tank? And how did those.thing get repaired? Was it replaced? So if i understand right, even if you fill your tank with fuel, the gauge reads zero no matter what? Are other gauges on your dashboard working fine? I wonder if an electrical connector back on one of the sensors didn't get put back on tightly, or maybe one of the floats on the sensors inside the tank is stuck in the down position or gumped up.. maybe there is a blown fuse that powers those sensor? This is uncharted territory for me, so i'm just saying the first unfounded ideas that pop into my head.

Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer App
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
fuel gauge, fuel gauge sensor, fuel pump, fuel tank, m54


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms