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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 Sat, Jul-08-2017, 12:41:16 AM   #1
Arcana
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Default Diagnosing fuel related no start. Looking for input.

Hey guys -

Trying to figure out the best course of action for what, best I can figure, is a fuel system related no start.

Car:
2003 M3 Coupe w/ 6spd, US spec, 185k miles

Background:
Returning home from work two Mondays back, at a long light I noticed the car idled normally for about 15 seconds, then low for 5 seconds, then died. Fired right up, but idled down and died again. As long as I balanced the throttle above ~1100 rpm she ran ok, so I limped her home.

At home I did a little research and it seemed the ICV going out / clogging up has similar symptoms. So I unplugged the MAF to red neck check the ICV and she idled fine. Plugged the MAF back in and, surprise, she idled fine.

Wrote it off as a fluke, until I left for work the next day. She fired up ok, idled ok and ran for about a minute and a half (long enough to get me almost a half mile down the road) before she missed catching idle and died. Tried to start the engine and she fired up, until I put my foot on the gas, then she died. Now, when turning the key, you can hear the engine crank but never catch.

I flat towed the car home, where she sat well I went to work for the week. Having replaced my wife's fuel pump at the end of May for similar symptoms, when the weekend came around I promptly made my way to the fuel pump.

With the seat and cover off you can not hear the pump kick on when you turn the key. I unplugged it and tried cranking with a voltmeter attached, at the plug I was reading 11.7V. After this, for fun I checked fuse 54 and it is ok.

Questions:
1. Will the pump work on 11.7V, or is this indicative of a bad relay not transferring enough power?
2. On the Coupes, the relay is stashed in the passenger side of the trunk, right?
3. How does one test a relay to see if it works properly?
4. Any other ideas about what may be happening?

Mechanically inclined, yes; electrically inclined, no. So try not to get too jargon-y with relay related responses please! I'm hoping it's the relay just cuz they're cheaper than the pumps, but I'll need to do what I need to do...

Loved the E46 M3 since it came out, but man does it seem to be accident prone... 😏

Thanks in advance!

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
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Old Sat, Jul-08-2017, 01:38:16 AM   #2
RedM3/4
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Default Re: Diagnosing fuel related no start. Looking for input.

What does the battery read at the terminal? I believe 11.7 should be enough to run the pump and in some cases start the car (if it's just not fully charged from cranking or sitting, versus a dead cell, for example). You could aslo ... have a pro run jumper wires to the pump and see if it runs. I say use a pro because we're talking about electricity and gasoline; things can go horribly wrong since you aren't good with electricity.

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Old Sun, Jul-09-2017, 02:05:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: Diagnosing fuel related no start. Looking for input.

Always verify source voltage first (your battery).

Hows your fuel filter? has it ever been changed since you have owned your M?

A little test I like to perform is unhook the feed line on the fuel pump, the one pumping fuel towards the engine. Get a second hose and attach it and see how/if the pump flows out into a container of some sort. It should be a healthy flow, none of that old man flow. Or if you don't have fuel coming out, but have voltage going into the pump then you know its a bad pump.
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Old Sun, Jul-09-2017, 03:42:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: Diagnosing fuel related no start. Looking for input.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...y/61357892976/

This is the relay, black 8 prong and its getting more expensive by the day. It was $40 when I bought it. It is located above the battery behind the trunk carpet on the wheel well. As far as I know they're not testable.

That being said, sounds like a fuel pump issue. There is many ways that are cheaper than buying OE if you have done this before, not what I would do though.

You can search fuel pump or crank no start in my posts, I outline the BMW way to confirm its the pump. Takes about 30 min and rent a pressure gauge.
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Old Sun, Jul-09-2017, 04:39:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Diagnosing fuel related no start. Looking for input.

Eliminate the easiest cheapest first: Battery at terminal- should read over 12. 11.7 is something like a 70% capacity and not enough to start the car. My SMG pump won't prime if I have a low battery. no prime= no start. Take battery into Autozone and they can perform a load test on the battery. If battery is good, then like poms302 said sounds like bad fuel pump. Let us know how it goes.
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Old Sun, Jul-16-2017, 02:19:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Diagnosing fuel related no start. Looking for input.

Sleeve of Wizzard / Red 3/4-
The battery is putting out proper voltage, I got a new one when my alternator failed in April.

I had the fuel filter replaced during a regular service a couple years back, but I figure I'll replace that at the same time anyway. May as well do it all at once.

Had something's come up at work which will keep me away from working on the car for a week or so, but I'll update more once I'm back.

Thanks for the input guys!

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Discussing Diagnosing fuel related no start. Looking for input. 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)