View Full Version : Diagnosis PLS (sputter, stop, won't start)

Scott Snider
06-23-2003, 04:39 PM
This morning on the way to work, Gretchen quit on me while I was at a light...just sputtered and quit, wouldn't restart...she kept turning over but wouldn't start. I called for a tow and called the shop I like to use...he's booked all week and on vacation next week. He thought the fuel sending units might have gone funky and miscommunicated how much gas I have ("sounds like you're just outta petrol") - she shows an 1/8th of a tank and 50 miles range on the OBC. I tried her again and she started then quit 5 seconds later and wouldn't start again. So, I had the car towed home, went out and bought a 2gallon gas container and gas....came home and tried her....same thing...started once, quit and then wouldn't start again...

From what I know of these cars, at 125K miles it's most likely the fuel pump, I think the senders are fine, since the fuel gauge moved up after I put in the 2 gallons but she still didn't start.

1. Since she's a 95, I did the "press the gas pedal 5 times" trick and the code was 1444, which means the computer thinks all's OK. My mechanic says the DME won't pick up a failed fuel pump.

2. when I get home, I'll disconnect the fuel line at the fuel filter and have the wife turn over the ignition...if the pump is OK, the fuel line will begin spraying fuel...

3. the mechanic said it could be a world of things if the pump turns out to be alright (he mentioned the "computer" would be his next test).

Anybody out there experience a sputter, stop and no-start situation?? Causes? HELP! :)

Scott Snider
95 M3/2...2/95 production
125K miles

Dave 325i
06-23-2003, 07:55 PM
On E30s weird stuff happens when the main relay starts to go weird.

I don't know how much this applies to an E36 M3, but have a look.

06-24-2003, 11:42 AM
fuel filter may have some debris and is blocking the fuel, maybe??? or does it even have one???

06-24-2003, 01:27 PM
Hey man, check this out.

water on fuel (http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14707)

Let us know how it goes.


Scott Snider
06-24-2003, 03:12 PM
Last night I disconnected the fuel line at the fuel filter (fuel filter isn't clogged) and turned the ignition...no fuel coming out of the line from the tank (hence -faulty fuel pump- ). I'm going to check the fuses today to make sure any fuse associated with the fuel pump hasn't blown, and then I'll be buying a new fuel pump to install tomorrow. Luckily, my hose connections at the fuel pump/senders (both sides) are fine, but upon install of the new fuel pump, I'll replace the connections with screw clamps (hate those push/press/pinch BMW clamps).

SO....with the installation of the fuel pump, all should be fine.

By the way, in this instance, I hadn't recently gotten gas - I had an 1/8th of a tank and 50 miles left on the OBC (but I WILL look to see if there's any apparent amount of water floating in the tank, maybe making it's way to the pump orifice with all the gas below it having been used already?)....but since nothing's coming out of the fuel line when I turn the ignition, I'm 99% sure it's fuel pump related.

Thanks for all the replies husfar (on four bulletin boards no less!!)

Scott Snider
06-25-2003, 11:57 AM
Alright everybody...it WAS the fuel pump! And talk about easy to replace....wow!

Anyone who has 100-150K miles, I'd recommend replacing the fuel pump before it leaves you stranded one day :(

It was only $115 (plus a $4 ring seal) at VOB BMW in Rockville, MD.