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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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Old 09-27-2012, 06:53 AM
Prankbuddie Prankbuddie is offline
Location: Blackpool
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Mein Auto: e30 320i
Strange Goings On Expert help!


I wonder if any of you good people could help me. Having some strange goings on with my 2nd BMW E30 320I i only have limited mechancial knowledge so forgive me please.

My Garage has just done my ICV idle control valve and the car was running ok but sometimes in 2nd it hesitates a lil bit not much its rough on start up also but after a a min or two idles perfect. My friend thinks its just misfiring and maybe needs a tune up. Does anyone have any ideas?..........

Also i have noticed at Idle sometimes when i have my lights on the car cuts out like the battery cant handle it it does happen sometimes.

The BMW is a push button start if that helps

Thanks from over the pond in the UK.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:19 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Mein Auto: E24x2,E36x1,E30x1, F150
That stumbling at idle with the lights on points me toward a weak alternator and/or battery, although technically the battery is there only to start the car. The car is supposed to run all the electrical system on the power supplied by the alternator. The alternator is supposed to be of sufficient capacity to not only run the electrical system (engine control, lights, HVAC) but recharge the battery at the same time. A weak alternator will cause hard starting because the battery isn't up to capacity. It's simple to have the alternator and battery tested in the car.

You can rough-test the alternator yourself if you have a DVOM. Start the car, check the voltage across the battery terminals. It should be in the ~14 volt range. Now turn on the lights and check again. It should STILL be at the same voltage or very close to it. If it is much lower, the alternator is weak.

Could possibly be a vacuum leak somewhere. Any time you have idle issues look to it being vacuum related....although in this case I think it's going to be electrical.

When WAS the last time it has a tune-up? Plugs and such?
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Last edited by hornhospital; 09-27-2012 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:35 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Mein Auto: E23;E32;E34;E38;R50;R55
I'd be looking at the battery/alternator. Vacuum leaks don't turn on and off. Battery includes cables/joints/connections and earth points. Test alternator under load, lots of load..
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:43 AM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Location: South Africa
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Mein Auto: BMW E30 318i 1991
Is this a manual or automatic?
I agree with the advice given regarding checking the battery charging and looking for loose and bad earths as regards the cutting out with lights on.

Are the plugs OK?....using anything other than NGKs can cause bad idle and spluttering.
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