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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 09-28-2012, 07:27 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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X3 stalling

Hi guys,
My turn to get some advice!
The same thing happened already two times in the last 4 months, but it always started right back, so I'm starting to wonder. This morning, the X3 started great, drove about 400 feet and the engine died at the first stop sign.
Tried to re-start but it wouldn't, (mind the starter is cranking) so starter motor has been ruled out. No lights of any type, just the normal lights and everything electrical works normally (battery ruled out). Tried to start it several times but no start. Left the X3 with the blinkers on and walked back to the house to get some help to push it back, less than 10 minutes later, went back and tried to start it. It cranked for a couple of seconds and coughed two-three times and started, ran like nothing had happened. No EML, no CEL no indication of problems whatsoever, drove it for a while, turned it on and off several times, everything seems perfect, so I'm like

Here's my plan: I'm going to try to get the following stuff today and get it done over the weekend,

Spark plugs
O2 sensors
Valve cover gasket (I needed to change this)

other than that, not sure what way to go....

I've got 120,000 trouble-free miles and all that stuff should have been replaced already, so shame on me.
Does anyone have any idea of what could be going on, been using the same Shell Premium for years, so no cheap gas in it. Any input is welcome.

Thanks!
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2005 X3 3.0i ZPP, Htd seats, Htd strng, Black Sapphire on Terracotta.
1995 ///M3 Coupe, Lux, MT, Htd seats, Cosmos Black on Black.
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2012, 07:43 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
Hi guys,
My turn to get some advice!
The same thing happened already two times in the last 4 months, but it always started right back, so I'm starting to wonder. This morning, the X3 started great, drove about 400 feet and the engine died at the first stop sign.
Tried to re-start but it wouldn't, (mind the starter is cranking) so starter motor has been ruled out. No lights of any type, just the normal lights and everything electrical works normally (battery ruled out). Tried to start it several times but no start. Left the X3 with the blinkers on and walked back to the house to get some help to push it back, less than 10 minutes later, went back and tried to start it. It cranked for a couple of seconds and coughed two-three times and started, ran like nothing had happened. No EML, no CEL no indication of problems whatsoever, drove it for a while, turned it on and off several times, everything seems perfect, so I'm like

Here's my plan: I'm going to try to get the following stuff today and get it done over the weekend,

Spark plugs
O2 sensors
Valve cover gasket (I needed to change this)

other than that, not sure what way to go....

I've got 120,000 trouble-free miles and all that stuff should have been replaced already, so shame on me.
Does anyone have any idea of what could be going on, been using the same Shell Premium for years, so no cheap gas in it. Any input is welcome.

Thanks!
There is a possibility that it's the fuel pump. They will often start acting up intermittently before they fail altogether.
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2012, 08:21 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usaret View Post
There is a possibility that it's the fuel pump. They will often start acting up intermittently before they fail altogether.
You're right! I'll keep that in mind!
And holy moly! I checked the price on the O2 sensors, and there are 4 of them! 2 pre and 2 post CAT at $177.00 a pop with my BMWCCA discount!

I think I'll start with fresh plugs and do the VCG once I'm in there, and see if it happens again. Unless someone else have any more ideas?
__________________
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough"
-Mario Andretti.

___________________
River City Bimmers BMW CCA
2005 X3 3.0i ZPP, Htd seats, Htd strng, Black Sapphire on Terracotta.
1995 ///M3 Coupe, Lux, MT, Htd seats, Cosmos Black on Black.

Last edited by X3-terrestrial; 09-28-2012 at 03:23 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2012, 08:43 AM
noego noego is offline
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you might want to check / replace the fuel filter.

also -- how is the fuel pump tested?
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  #5  
Old 09-28-2012, 08:57 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
you might want to check / replace the fuel filter.

also -- how is the fuel pump tested?
The filter is in the tank too so if it were me I'd replace the pump while I was at it. Usually you can hear it buzzing. I would pull the back seat, put my ear up to the tank and listen for the pump to run while somebody else turned the key on. The fuel pump is on the right side. BTW a wooden stick held to the tank and the other to your ear makes an excellent stethoscope. I have a wooden toilet plunger handle that I use. Clean end to my ear.
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2012, 09:21 AM
noego noego is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usaret View Post
The filter is in the tank too so if it were me I'd replace the pump while I was at it. Usually you can hear it buzzing. I would pull the back seat, put my ear up to the tank and listen for the pump to run while somebody else turned the key on. The fuel pump is on the right side. BTW a wooden stick held to the tank and the other to your ear makes an excellent stethoscope. I have a wooden toilet plunger handle that I use. Clean end to my ear.
That's pretty funny!

i thought the filter would be "in line" somewhere along the fuel line. now i know - thanks, as usual.
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2012, 10:41 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Originally Posted by noego View Post
That's pretty funny!

i thought the filter would be "in line" somewhere along the fuel line. now i know - thanks, as usual.
You're welcome. I wish it were in the "usual" place like they used to be but for whatever reason they moved them to the tank. Ours also have the regulator as a part of it. I do like the regulator in the tank as it eliminates the need for a return line from the engine compartment.

http://www.ecstuning.com/ES37467/PriceAlert/PriceAlert/
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2012, 11:00 AM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Check the charcoal canister too. That might be clogged.
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2012, 01:49 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
you might want to check / replace the fuel filter.
Good suggestion, ordered one, will be here Tuesday, got the plugs and a VCG set. Seems like I'll be busy this weekend and next!
Quote:
Originally Posted by usaret View Post
The filter is in the tank too so if it were me I'd replace the pump while I was at it. Clean end to my ear.
Thanks for pointing me on the right direction with the filter location, I did not know that was in the tank! It doesn't look too complicated:
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/09/23/47
I'm going to rule out the "smaller" things first before just replacing the pump without a full diagnosis ($300.00+ for just the pump), but definitely keeping it as a possibility.[/quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by x3brian View Post
Check the charcoal canister too. That might be clogged.
Noted!

Thanks all!
__________________
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough"
-Mario Andretti.

___________________
River City Bimmers BMW CCA
2005 X3 3.0i ZPP, Htd seats, Htd strng, Black Sapphire on Terracotta.
1995 ///M3 Coupe, Lux, MT, Htd seats, Cosmos Black on Black.

Last edited by X3-terrestrial; 09-28-2012 at 03:22 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-28-2012, 02:20 PM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is offline
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I'd second the fuel pump being the problem. Seems to coincide with the symptoms you're experiencing.

On another note, I just replaced my O2 sensors a couple of weeks back. Pre cat only.
Amazon has the best price on the Bosch direct replacement sensors. I noticed a nice improvement in gas mileage. Good luck!
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  #11  
Old 09-28-2012, 09:24 PM
vwvwvw vwvwvw is offline
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Fyi- You don't need to replace the post-cat O2 sensors. Just the pre-cat ones.
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  #12  
Old 10-02-2012, 07:48 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlukas161 View Post
I'd second the fuel pump being the problem. Seems to coincide with the symptoms you're experiencing.
Good luck!
Quote:
Originally Posted by vwvwvw View Post
Fyi- You don't need to replace the post-cat O2 sensors. Just the pre-cat ones.
Thanks guys!

Ok, did the spark plugs and the valve cover gasket on Sunday, ran into a little inconvenience...got a little torque happy when tightening the valve cover screws and broke one of the studs that go into the head. I freaked out at the beginning, but then I realized that the BMW engineers gracefully thought on us DIY'ers-torque-happy-people! . You can back the stud right out and put a new one in; is that easy. Luckily my dealer had them in stock, ($5.50 for the stud and a new cap screw with grommet included) I got it finished last night. (Had to take the valve cover off again to replace stud)
Advice: Don't use a torque wrench with these screw caps, not even a micro torque wrench, just use a 1/4 ratchet, and when they bottom down they are pretty much done. It's only about 8 ft/lbs.

It's running fine, I haven't had any other stalling or running rough episodes again, my fuel filter comes today and I'll be replacing that this weekend. hopefully all I have is a clogged filter and not a dying pump!
What I noticed was a nice improvement on "gitty up" with the new plugs!
__________________
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough"
-Mario Andretti.

___________________
River City Bimmers BMW CCA
2005 X3 3.0i ZPP, Htd seats, Htd strng, Black Sapphire on Terracotta.
1995 ///M3 Coupe, Lux, MT, Htd seats, Cosmos Black on Black.

Last edited by X3-terrestrial; 10-02-2012 at 07:53 AM.
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  #13  
Old 10-07-2012, 11:58 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Ok, I replaced the fuel filter yesterday, took me maybe two hours from start to finish. The most difficult part was taking out the retaining ring to gain access to the tank. Since I didn't have the special tool, I used a combination of crossed screw drivers and carefully hit the dimples around the nut to loosen it up. Frustrating since it takes really hards "smacks" to start moving!
The rest of the process is just disconnecting and connecting things again; not a pleasant job if you are doing it for the first time and working inside an open gas tank can make you feel uncomfortable at times. Sometimes you have to stick your hand in and go "by feel".

With the new plugs and fuel filter, I definitely feel a power improvement, the x3 feels more responsive than before, I'm tempted to open up the old fuel filter and have a loo at the condition of the actual element.

We will see if this takes care of the "stalling" episodes, just time will tell..I'll keep this updated....

For reference I partially used this instructions http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...22&postcount=3
__________________
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough"
-Mario Andretti.

___________________
River City Bimmers BMW CCA
2005 X3 3.0i ZPP, Htd seats, Htd strng, Black Sapphire on Terracotta.
1995 ///M3 Coupe, Lux, MT, Htd seats, Cosmos Black on Black.

Last edited by X3-terrestrial; 10-07-2012 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Added info
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  #14  
Old 10-07-2012, 07:53 PM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is offline
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Thanks for the updates! Sounds like you got it figured out!
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