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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Was coming off the highway on my way to work today, (Seems a common theme from what I've read) when suddenly the car lost nearly all power. Idle must be kept above 2k to keep it from stalling. Running much ruffer than the previous time when a spark plug went out. The check engine light flashed for a bit, then stays on all the time. Car shakes like a RUB at the DEM convention, or, like a DEM at the RUB convention, which ever way you would like to see it. :)

I just bought the Torque Pro app, but my phone can't see the the bluetooth i bought for it and so I have another on the way but it's not here yet. Think I'll try and limp it down to AZ at lunch and see what codes may be there waiting for me. Don't think they are able to read fuel trims for me. :(

Was reading a thread on power loss, etc., and ran into one where bluebee said she hoped her legacy would be debugging, not a long list of parts she had changed. :( From what I have read from her, I think she accomplished her goal and then some. :)

From the symptoms I'd guess it's, fuel pump, vacuum, maf, cam position sensor. Seems to be both sides of the motor (global in nature) and has the hp down to at most 100hp. Not sure if it would even be able to limp home if need be.

Any thoughts appreciated,

Jim
 

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Codes are going to point you in the right direction. I've had maf and cam codes and neither caused major driveability issues. When the same happened to me it was throttle body. Initially the shop found codes, but then it was fine for a couple thousand miles and came back.

I should have done it myself but was really busy at that time and just needed the car back real quick.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=880011

Fuel Pressure is fairly easy to test since we have a nice schrader valve on the fuel rail, and AZ/O'Rielly will "rent" you the test kit.

I am not sure AZ will be able to get to the codes. My plain OBDII reader could not, took a dealer level tool.
I now own one of those INPA cheapie kits and cable and sure can't make it run right.
I'd probably buy a Launch Tech if I had to do again (since I have a few different brand cars). You could also get a Creator. Those should do BMW level codes.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Codes are going to point you in the right direction. I've had maf and cam codes and neither caused major driveability issues. When the same happened to me it was throttle body. Initially the shop found codes, but then it was fine for a couple thousand miles and came back.

I should have done it myself but was really busy at that time and just needed the car back real quick.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=880011

Fuel Pressure is fairly easy to test since we have a nice schrader valve on the fuel rail, and AZ/O'Rielly will "rent" you the test kit.

I am not sure AZ will be able to get to the codes. My plain OBDII reader could not, took a dealer level tool.
I now own one of those INPA cheapie kits and cable and sure can't make it run right.
I'd probably buy a Launch Tech if I had to do again (since I have a few different brand cars). You could also get a Creator. Those should do BMW level codes.

Scott
Good thoughts. I have a Creator at home, but not sure it it will make it home! From what you have written, fuel pressure and Vacuum seem the most likely.

Wish I had put more tools in the trunk. Think I better work on a trunk tool box, and I'm going to keep the Creator in it.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Any noises?
More likely vac/sensor issues. Does a visual reveal any hoses/breaks/etc?
No clanking or banging, just massive power loss. Haven't had a chance to open the hood yet, had to park and run. My boss isn't coming in until after lunch and so working with just the front desk and me for now.

As bad as it was running when I parked it, I hope it will start so I can take it to see what codes are present! It was running great the last couple of weeks.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Ok, started right up, but ran slightly ruff. Within 200 yards was back to running normally.

Codes:
P1341 Multiple cyl misfire w fuel cut-off
P1343 Misfire cyl 1 w fuel cut-off
P1345 Misfire cyl 2 w fuel cut-off
P1347 Misfire cyl 3 w fuel cut-off
P1351 Misfire cyl 5 w fuel cut-off
P 0171 Fuel system too lean (cylinder Bank 1)
P0174 System to lean (Bank 2)
P1356 Misfire during start Cyl 8

I'm thinking fuel filter or fuel pump. Thinking of a way to test which one because with the fuel reg in the filter, each run bout $130. Fuel rail pressure would reflect the health of both simultaneously, differentiated only by pulling the out line on the pump? Perhaps bmw line mech would just replace both?

Or, with most of the codes on the bank 1 side, could it be something else??

Any thoughts appreciated,

Jim
 

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Borrow a fuel pressure tester. Its extremely easy. Hook up to the valve on the fuel rail and crank/start. It will take a long minute to fill the hose, but then you should get pressure.

If you get proper pressure, lets likely its the FP or Filter/Regulator (though FP can be intermittent)
If you get NO pressure its the fuel pump. If you get SOME, then you probably need to re-do the test on the inlet side of the filter to see if its the pump or filter

but... if you haven't changed the filter/regulator, I would. Its not a lifetime part. And its a lot easier than the fuel pump.

If you do buy a pump, shop around. I found the proper Walboro on Amazon for half what the major retailers wanted and it appears legitimate (high incidents of fakes on eBay/Amazon lately).
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e3...bro-intank-e39-get-right-pump-first-time.html

Buy gas lately? Maybe you got some really bad gas. Might pour in some HEET and some STARTRON if you can find that.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Scott, have been stocking up on tools, fuel pressure gauge was one of the first, (rad pressure tester the 2nd, thanks ebay!! :) ). I'll hook it up tonight and see what I get. My friend thinks fuel pump. Says when they go bad, they tend to get hot and fail, cool down and get going again. Not sure how fast I can get one here from Amazon.

Really hope I can get it home tonight without being one of the many bmw's I see on the side of the road from time to time. :(

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Fuel gauge has been erratic lately. I noticed starting last week, when I fill up the tank the gauge stays on empty until I restart it 2 times. Is there any correlation to the possible fuel pump failure? Is this a float system, perhaps based in the pump?

Thanks,
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I located a new, direct replacement pump for $88.75, free shipping, but after doing some reading I think I better unlock the cluster first.

Reading an old post of ed's, I realize the fuel system is a bit more complicated than I had anticipated. There is in essence, 2 fuel tanks connected by a transfer pump, with a fuel level in each section recorded by the cluster as well as a sum of the 2 of them. Could be I am having a fuel transfer issue, considering the problem I have been seeing with the fuel gauge. Going to take some stuff apart tonight, as well as measure fuel pressure at the rail and, keep much more fuel on board and see what happens before I order the fuel pump.

Jim
 

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Did you test the fuel pressure?

Don't go looking to make things more complicated than they are. Hoofprints - horses- zebras and all that.

I would not assume the two are related. Test and prove first.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
LOL, double post. Good thought.

Don't get off until 7:15-20, or so. Going to go home, eat some din, and then try and figure out wassup. Think I'll try and unlock the cluster on the way home and watch test 6 to see what happens with the duel fuel levels.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Car drove home last night, ran as if nothing had ever been wrong. Current fuel pressure at the Schrader valve, 50# with the motor and pump cold. Will take the pressure again this aft when I first get home from work and the motor and pump are hot.

Tried to open the cluster last night and was unsuccessful. Will try again today.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Jim
 

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your fuel filter has a pressure regulator built in, try removing the vacuum line from the regulator and see if that restores power, if it does not I'm not sure if this has ever happened to the extent you're describing but your '99 I think has a single VANOS on each cylinder bank and it could be one, both or the electrical or oil pressure to one or both units has failed causing power loss. Maybe your ECU needs recalibrating. Just guessing is what we're all doing without codes.

Just read your last post, I'd try the fuel pressure trick first, or maybe replace the fuel pump relay. Isn't 50# low? Might want to PM a BMW tech on the site and ask or look it up in the archieves. 50# sounds low to me so try I'd try the fuel regulator trick first, then a filter, then a pump check.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
your fuel filter has a pressure regulator built in, try removing the vacuum line from the regulator and see if that restores power, if it does not I'm not sure if this has ever happened to the extent you're describing but your '99 I think has a single VANOS on each cylinder bank and it could be one, both or the electrical or oil pressure to one or both units has failed causing power loss. Maybe your ECU needs recalibrating. Just guessing is what we're all doing without codes.

Just read your last post, I'd try the fuel pressure trick first, or maybe replace the fuel pump relay. Isn't 50# low? Might want to PM a BMW tech on the site and ask or look it up in the archieves. 50# sounds low to me so try I'd try the fuel regulator trick first, then a filter, then a pump check.
Thumper, I believe 50# is right where it should be, so, I'm a little confused. Friend says not unusual for fuel pumps to be erratic when they are getting ready to fail. Think I'm going to have to put my fuel gauge in the car and be ready to read it if and when it goes into fuel starvation again.

Wondering if i am over thinking? Perhaps I should just go and throw a new fuel pump in? Trying really hard not to be a parts swapper. Diff/diagnose, prove, repair or replace. :)

Jim
 

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I'd carry the pressure gauge and try to test it when the problem presents, to rule it as the problem.

Nobody would fault you for just changing the fuel pump though. At anything over 100k miles they're bound to be suspect.
Only other thing I might look at is if the vacuum line to the regulator is somehow failing. Bad piece of line sucking closed or cracked and coming open somewhere or something.

Might be time to spend the $45 on an AMA membership for their roadside so you don't have to sweat getting home, or end up under the car in a random parking lot.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the input. Have roadside assistance/towing through my car insurance and am quite happy about it. :)

Will carry the fuel pressure tester for a while.

Will strongly consider changing out the pump.

Jim
 
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