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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My car: 2004 330i 6 speed manual 105k miles

Ok, let me start by saying that this has happened a few times in the past, but never completely died before. I'm combining a few symptoms although they may or may not be related.

A few months ago, I had a tire with a leak and kept going flat (rear tire on my RWD). When driving on the freeway, I would get the triangle sign on my dashboard (traction?) and the car would decelerate (almost as if it was telling me to slow down and it was pushing the breaks by itself). As soon as I put air in the tires, it would drive normally.

This morning on my way to work, the same feeling of sputtering happened, even though I changed my tire and it no longer leaks. I also didn't get any warning lights on my dashboard. It kept sputtering and would be better as I downshifted, but pretty soon it would not take any more throttle. Made it to the exit and as soon as I started going about 10 mph, the car just shut off.

I tried turning it back on but no luck, turned but as soon as it started, it immediately died. I tried it again and it stopped turning on altogether. Called a tow truck and while waiting 30 mins for it to arrive, decided to try it one more time. Turned on, then immediately off.

While waiting for the truck, decided to look at the forums on my phone. Found someone who had something similar happen and started thinking if it could be because I was low on gas. According to the dash, I still had about 30 miles left on my tank (I know, it's not very much). Tow truck arrived and I asked if he had spare gas. He put in about a gallon and sure enough, it turned on. Went to the gas station and filled up and drove to work (less than a mile), no sputtering.

I'm now contemplating taking it in to the shop and see what the mechanic says. I'll feel really stupid if he just tells me that I ran out of gas (even though I've gone much lower before without any issues). I also just ordered a new fuel filter to replace it (bought the car used and not sure if it has ever been replaced). Anything else I can check/look out for?

I'm planning on driving the car home today (about 11 miles) and see if I have any problems. What do you guys think? Am I just an idiot who ran out of gas? Could this be something else? Anyone else experience this before?
 

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Living Life At The Beach
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Probably is just the fuel filter clogged, but could also be a sign that your fuel pump is on its way out. NEVER let your car run low on gas. It's really bad for the fuel pump, and you can pick up the junk on the bottom of the fuel tank. I would suggest never letting it go below a quarter of a tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good news is that the car is driving perfectly, so I think I did run out of gas :banghead::spank::eek:uch:

The bad news is I already ordered the fuel filter ($70) but I guess it's probably a good idea to replace it anyway, as I'm not sure if it has ever been replaced.
 

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Living Life At The Beach
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Good news is that the car is driving perfectly, so I think I did run out of gas :banghead::spank::eek:uch:

The bad news is I already ordered the fuel filter ($70) but I guess it's probably a good idea to replace it anyway, as I'm not sure if it has ever been replaced.
You did the right thing. At 105K you NEED a new fuel filter, and you will extend the life of your fuel pump considerably. I replaced mine at 45k and the car seems to run better, but we have REALLY crappy gas where I live.
 
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