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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

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 03-09-2011, 02:00 PM
1998323iconvert 1998323iconvert is offline
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Cool Bad gas mileage!!!!!

98 323i Convertible had cat conv. replaced put in a new mass airflow sensor and still getting very bad gas milleage engine seems to run smooth slightly low on power but still runs smooth,any ideas on what needs replacing?. just on idle for 5 min give or take and it went from 1/4 tank to under the red part and turned light on. Not sure why it burns so muchi need like 15 dollars of gas for like a 20 mile drive its crazy.
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2011, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 1998323iconvert View Post
98 323i Convertible had cat conv. replaced put in a new mass airflow sensor and still getting very bad gas milleage engine seems to run smooth slightly low on power but still runs smooth,any ideas on what needs replacing?. just on idle for 5 min give or take and it went from 1/4 tank to under the red part and turned light on. Not sure why it burns so muchi need like 15 dollars of gas for like a 20 mile drive its crazy.
Gauges always drop quickly after the 1/4 tank mark. Fill the tank to the top, reset your trip and drive. At the next refilling, fill to the top again and divide the miles on your trip by the gallons you just put in to give your real MPG. That's much more helpful for troubleshooting.

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  #3  
Old 03-09-2011, 02:20 PM
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^What he said.

I don't think it would be possible for the car to use 1/4 a tank in 5 min of idling.
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  #4  
Old 03-09-2011, 02:25 PM
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And besides, $15 of gas is what, like half a gallon now?

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  #5  
Old 03-09-2011, 02:34 PM
1998323iconvert 1998323iconvert is offline
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Originally Posted by cj.surr View Post
^What he said.

I don't think it would be possible for the car to use 1/4 a tank in 5 min of idling.
it didnt go down a quarter tank it seems to go down quickly wich is wierd
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  #6  
Old 03-09-2011, 02:35 PM
1998323iconvert 1998323iconvert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
Gauges always drop quickly after the 1/4 tank mark. Fill the tank to the top, reset your trip and drive. At the next refilling, fill to the top again and divide the miles on your trip by the gallons you just put in to give your real MPG. That's much more helpful for troubleshooting.

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I'll have to try that any idea if an o2 sensor could cause such bad mpg
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  #7  
Old 03-09-2011, 02:47 PM
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It's possible. Do you have a check engine light on? A bad o2 sensor will often set off the check engine light.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:08 PM
1998323iconvert 1998323iconvert is offline
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no check engine light, it was on only when cat went out and it also said that engine missfire #6 no check engine light know.
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  #9  
Old 03-09-2011, 04:03 PM
relmonte relmonte is offline
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I'm having the same problem. I haven't been able to have my car properly scanned since it's OBDI to get a code. I had a CEL before I changed the fuel filter and after I changed it, it went off.

I've been leaning towards o2 sensor or ignition coil.

I may take mine to the dealership this weekend.
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  #10  
Old 03-09-2011, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by relmonte View Post

I may take mine to the dealership this weekend.
Better bring your lube and take out on your 401k now. Go to an indy Euro shop, much better rates for same service.
OP, when was the last tune up? Try adding some seafoam to your gas/oil to clean up your engine. Is your car stock? If you have an ECU flash but youre filling up on 87, well, you should stop and start putting 91+ in
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  #11  
Old 03-09-2011, 09:26 PM
chopsim323 chopsim323 is offline
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Quote:
And besides, $15 of gas is what, like half a gallon now?
Its about 9.5 dollars per gallon here in the UK
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  #12  
Old 03-09-2011, 09:29 PM
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  #13  
Old 03-09-2011, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by chopsim323 View Post
Its about 9.5 dollars per gallon here in the UK
You're probably talking imperial gallons, but still... so about how much does it cost to fill the tank?
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  #14  
Old 03-10-2011, 03:56 AM
1998323iconvert 1998323iconvert is offline
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Smile

[QUOTE=relmonte;5905690]I'm having the same problem. I haven't been able to have my car properly scanned since it's OBDI to get a code. I had a CEL before I changed the fuel filter and after I changed it, it went off.

I've been leaning towards o2 sensor or ignition coil.

I may take mine to the dealership this weekend.[/QUO

let me know what they tell you.
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  #15  
Old 03-10-2011, 03:59 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Ign coils have no effect on mpg, but fuel leaks and spark plugs do
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  #16  
Old 03-10-2011, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
Ign coils have no effect on mpg, but fuel leaks and spark plugs do
Sorry, but that's dead wrong. Ignition coil(s) that are breaking down will kill gas mileage just the same as the plugs going bad.
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  #17  
Old 03-11-2011, 02:21 PM
kdevry kdevry is offline
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Poor mileage

I've got 102k mile 1998 m3 with a shark injector chip, borla cat-back exhaust and a cold air conforti intake setup. I do old people style city driving and Im in the same boat - hand measured 15.9 MPG last tank. Im takin her over monday to my usual shop here in Seattle Monday 3/14 to get this resolved. I had another '98 m3 years back with the same setup - sans the chip- and got 21+ around town. I won't even go into the MASSIVE mileage difference at Freeway speeds.. I'll let you guys know what we find out...
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  #18  
Old 03-17-2011, 12:14 PM
kdevry kdevry is offline
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Well we swapped plugs, which did not look bad at all . Swapped out the foam air filter for a K&N. I'll wait to finish off this tank and see where I end up...
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  #19  
Old 03-17-2011, 05:48 PM
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Hmmm... It may seem too simple, but when is the last time you checked your tire pressure? With my 328, I've been averaging about 22.3mpg in Seattle city driving throughout the winter. On the freeway, I get 32-33mpg. My car is less powerful than your M3, but you should at least be in the same ballpark.

By the way, I like your taste in cars (E36 and a muscle car - same as me).
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 03-17-2011 at 05:51 PM.
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  #20  
Old 03-17-2011, 06:45 PM
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does my 72 datsun count? i wanna be part of the club lol
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  #21  
Old 03-18-2011, 01:18 PM
kdevry kdevry is offline
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I've got low profile tires and we have utterly terrible roads in Seattle so I check my TP nearly daily... I used to have MVR magnums on my rig, but after cracking/reparing different rims 4 TIMES in 2 years I swapped out for some stronger m6 knock-offs, but maintained my typical level of paranoia
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  #22  
Old 03-18-2011, 01:21 PM
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If you think the roads are bad here in Seattle, you should try driving in the Midwest or Northeast. The potholes generated by the annual freeze/thaw (which we don't get here) can swallow a car whole.

But yeah, low profile tires will lead to many headaches.
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  #23  
Old 03-18-2011, 01:25 PM
kdevry kdevry is offline
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I can't imagine driving on anything worse than what we have! Oh God. Well, it all comes down to politicians misallocating taxpayer dollars to speicial interest groups n other BS other than maintaining roads.. At least they're consistent across this beautiful land lol Im not sure whats up w/ the mileage, getting back to it, I had another e36 m3 ages ago that got far superior mileage to mine. The mechanic was at a loss too..
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