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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-30-2013, 04:00 PM
50volvo 50volvo is offline
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won't hold fuel pressure and.....

Hi guys... I got a problem I haven't been able to solve, and haven't found an answer to..

2000 528i

plugs and coils are fine. Fuel filter was just replaced because the car had no fuel pressure.

The problem is fuel pressure won't hold. It's drops to zero within 2 minutes of the pump off.

Here is a video:


The car runs amazing down the road, but doesn't start properly unless you wait 2 seconds before starting the car after cycling the key on(to build fuel pressure). If you don't wait, it usually won't start, and when it does, it runs poorly for a few seconds and sets codes for misfires on #3 and #5(the two aftermarket coils)....

Only other symptom is the car runs out of fuel at 1/8th tank... But I believe that is the sucking jet in the right tank?

So what is in charge of keeping the fuel pressure from dropping? Is there a check valve in the fuel pump that's worn out?

I appreciate the help!
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2013, 04:36 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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The fuel pump does have a check valve to hold pressure. Does the pump develop 50 psi? If so, you may wish to consider waiting 2 secs, instead of replacing the pump.

Why do you run the tank so low?
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Last edited by edjack; 06-30-2013 at 04:37 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2013, 05:30 PM
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Topaz540i Topaz540i is offline
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Not sure if yours is the same but mine has a pressure regulator built into the filter that is located directly under the driver seat on the bottom of the car.
Also, your injectors may be leaking the pressure out if they dont close properly.
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2013, 05:34 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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See post #15.
On the tu-V8's the pressure is held by the regulator, not certain how the 528 does it, look at the PDF in the link below.
The spec on the drop in pressure is 7PSI or less in 20 min.
After a few days mine is usually at 0 but the car starts right up when I turn the key.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=2009922
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2013, 07:35 PM
50volvo 50volvo is offline
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The injectors are good... I've cycled the pump and watched the pressure drop all day, and then it will still fire right up.. If it had leaking injectors, then all my testing would have super flooded the effected cylinders.

I've been temped to throw a fuel pressure regulator at it, and a german filter instead of the aftermarket one...

...Whats wrong with having a car that's able to run till the gas light comes on??!

..and I would gladly live with the 2 second rule, but if a pump will fix it, and I can also fix the 1/8th tank problem while I'm in there, then why not.
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2013, 05:37 AM
pshovest pshovest is offline
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If check valve is bad then pinching the pump discharge line shut immediately after pump stops should let system hold pressure longer. BMW use to sell an inline check valve kit that would fix leakage without requiring pump replacement. Some 6 cyl E39's have a small diameter line from pressure regulator diaphragm that runs back toward engine. If there is fuel in that line then diaphragm is leaking. Have you unlocked the OBC to check the right and left tank levels? As tank(s) empty, I believe system tries to put all fuel into tank with electric pump, via sucking jet pump. Sucking jet pump only works if electric pump is capable of pumping more fuel then engine requires......and excess flow is returned to tank. If excess flow is returned to sucking jet pump, then fuel is transferred to other tank. If there is no excess flow, because pump capacity is reduced due age/wear then tank-to-tank transfer can't occur. For 30 years and 11 Bimmers, I've run tank until light is on without any consequence and without a pump failure. This includes 5 Bimmers that had over 150K miles and 3 of these had over 170K. I see zero evidence life expectancy has been shortened.
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2013, 04:51 PM
50volvo 50volvo is offline
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Mein Auto: 500HP V8 Volvo 244DL
Well put.

There is no fuel in the vacuum line for the regulator....
I have used hose clamps to pinch off the regulator return line... and the pump to filter line...
Pinching the return causes fuel pressure to spike WAY up for a second, but then still falls off as fast as usual...
Pinching the feed line to the filter AFTER the pump runs, and it will hold pressure a little longer than in the video.

An inline check valve would be a wonderful option instead of a fuel pump....
Let me know if anyone has a part # for one.

But cycling the key and waiting before starting the car works just fine...

I will have to get in the tank and inspect the plumbing for the sucking jet...
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2013, 08:01 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Likely that the check valve in fuel pump is bad.
If you have more than 150K, then it is not a bad idea to have a new fuel pump.
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2013, 08:31 AM
pshovest pshovest is offline
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Mein Auto: '10 535iA, '00 528iTM
Did you have the fuel pressure drop problem before you replaced the fuel filter? I'd run a can or 2 of Techron or other FI cleaner thru system. If FP check valve or tank sending unit is sticking, this might free it up. Pinching hose with hose clamp is difficult. Sears and auto parts stores sell a pair of pliers with flat, non-serrated jaws that will pinch a line completely shut. It's also useful for working on cooling systems. Be aware that pinching 15 year old fuel lines does have some risks. On your 1/8 tank problem, I would not look at sucking jet until I verified tank level via OBC. Tank levels can be checked thru OBC. Pump is in right tank. If OBC says left tank has fuel and right does not, then sucking jet or left level gage is acting up. If OBC says right tank has fuel, and left does not, then sucking jet is working and I'd check for a problem with fuel pickup....clogged strainer, pump not fully seated in holder....etc.

inline check valve BMW part # 16 14 9 068 988
http://www.bimmernut.com/forum/5-ser...d-535-her.html

Last edited by pshovest; 07-02-2013 at 10:10 AM. Reason: typo
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2013, 10:36 AM
50volvo 50volvo is offline
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Thanks guys for all the help!

I will update this post once I have the solution.
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  #11  
Old 06-20-2014, 06:59 AM
Bennt771 Bennt771 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540i,89 Por 930,Vett
Read the whole thing and no climax..... i hate when this happens.
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