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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Wed, Nov-14-2012, 01:52:17 AM   #1
wannabe_stig
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Default jet sucking pump vs. fuel pump vs. ?

so I recently bought my car with the knowledge that with about 50 miles left in the range, the car will stall and die out, requiring additional fuel. upon re-fueling, it only takes ~14 gallons (or the full minus about 2 gallons). the gauge reads correctly.

i've been busy (ie lazy), and have just kept the car above half a tank, which seemed to do well. no crazy idling issues, no stalling (other than from me learning to drive the 3 pedals lol). but now, I want to get this fixed.

from what i understand, our M3s have a saddle shaped fuel tank under the rear seats. the main tank with the fuel pump is under the passenger rear seat, and the other pump is under the driver side rear seat. there's some sort of pipe that connects the two. when the fuel in the passenger side runs low, it pumps the fuel from the driver's side.

i've always thought the problem was in the driver's side pump, since i wasn't getting any issues at idle (fuel pump issue). however, the past fillup i've been monitoring the fuel tank readings and here's what it shows:

3/4 full:
L: 17.2L
R: 26.3L

5/8 full:
L: 15.0
R: 24.8

SO, it seems like the fuel from the driver's side IS getting pumped over. so now i'm don't know what the problem could be. Any suggestions? Or, could the driver's side pump work until there's like 2 gallons left and then it fails? Could it be the fuel filter? I live in an apartment and don't have a lift, and I don't want to just replace the whole shebang. appreciate any help!
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Old Wed, Nov-14-2012, 05:37:33 AM   #2
wannabe_stig
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Default Re: jet sucking pump vs. fuel pump vs. ??

long read, i know...but anyone? i'm stumped
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Old Wed, Nov-14-2012, 07:05:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: jet sucking pump vs. fuel pump vs. ??

My car just did this with 14 miles left in range and it stalled and died on the high way. Not sure which cause it
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Old Wed, Nov-14-2012, 07:08:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: jet sucking pump vs. fuel pump vs. ??

all cars have a 'reserve' even after the gauge reads 0 or distance reads 0... i drove 30 miles on 0 distance with no issues..
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Old Wed, Nov-14-2012, 12:29:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: jet sucking pump vs. fuel pump vs. ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by adrianma View Post
all cars have a 'reserve' even after the gauge reads 0 or distance reads 0... i drove 30 miles on 0 distance with no issues..
My last 2 e46 m3 i drove 10 miles after range reached 0 without issue. Not sure why my new m3 engine died at 11 miles range. AFter i put 1 gallon in i was able to start the engine and drive to the gas station. Do i have a weak fuel pump?
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Old Wed, Nov-14-2012, 01:29:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: jet sucking pump vs. fuel pump vs. ??

yeah initially i thought i just had to replace the fuel sender on the driver's side but since it looks like the fuel is getting pumped over, i might have to reconsider a weak fuel pump. any other symptoms of a weak fuel pump i should look out for?

and to poster above, this is the DIY i found
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=592414

Quote:
Originally Posted by oocutioo View Post
My last 2 e46 m3 i drove 10 miles after range reached 0 without issue. Not sure why my new m3 engine died at 11 miles range. AFter i put 1 gallon in i was able to start the engine and drive to the gas station. Do i have a weak fuel pump?
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Old Wed, Nov-14-2012, 01:38:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: jet sucking pump vs. fuel pump vs. ??

When my fuel pump was on the way out it was pretty lumpy on cold starts. Especially on cold days. Then I started having issues at high RPM with the engine cutting out and going in to limp mode. Then it almost left me stranded.

The swap is easy, just don't do it with a full tank.
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Old Wed, Nov-14-2012, 01:55:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: jet sucking pump vs. fuel pump vs. ??

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Originally Posted by kmfurdm View Post
When my fuel pump was on the way out it was pretty lumpy on cold starts. Especially on cold days. Then I started having issues at high RPM with the engine cutting out and going in to limp mode. Then it almost left me stranded.

The swap is easy, just don't do it with a full tank.

so unfortunately in LA the coldest we get is 60deg in the AM...lol. Maybe at 85k miles i should just swap out the fuel pump as preventative measures anyway....
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Old Wed, Nov-14-2012, 02:28:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: jet sucking pump vs. fuel pump vs. ??

How many miles on the car, always good to know. How many miles on filter? Don't think this will fix it, but if due or unknown, should replace it anyway as it can affect pump life.
A few thoughts:
1. don't confuse the readings too much with symptoms; they seem odd, but may be moment in time readings that are completely normal. It's good you checked, and if it always read higher on one side than the other, that's one thing, but for whatever reason, it seems about 9 liters different in both readings, but first on one side, next on the other. Now, it would be interesting to see what they read when you get close to 2 gallons! Until then, I see nothing conclusive, but doesn't appear to be a problem at fuller tank levels.
2. Do you have any difficulty near redline, especially in higher gears? This is where you ask for the max fuel to be delivered over longer period of time (more time in gear at higher rpm than 1st or 2nd gears, for example).
3. The high pressure pump fails almost enough to make it a preventative replacement part for folks that do that. I do believe the jet / fuel leveling pump has failed for a couple folks, but you read about it way less often.

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Old Wed, Nov-14-2012, 03:43:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: jet sucking pump vs. fuel pump vs. ??

Are you sure the fuel is delivered to the engine from the passenger side? I thought it was the other way around. The fuel on the driver's side goes to the engine, and the fuel on the passenger side just gets transferred over. That would make more sense given your symptoms. If the fuel is stuck on the passenger side or slow transferring, check the transfer line for obstructions.
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Discussing E46 M3 Market Sales Tracker: Please Report Your Purchase or Sale! in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)