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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 Tue, Apr-19-2011, 03:22:12 AM   #1
M42boy
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Default Need help... Car starts, then immediately sputters and dies....

Okay, so my car has been randomly stalling when coming up to traffic lights (intermittent problem).

So... Last Friday, I'm driving home from work and decide to go to the bank to make a deposit at the ATM. When pulling in the bank, the car just randomly dies. I try to restart, get it started enough to get it off the street and into the bank parking lot, but then promptly dies again.

Will crank, but not start. I can hear it turn over, but nothing... Battery tests fine. I can hear the starter trying to turn over, but nothing from the motor.

Today, I crank it... it comes to life for a brief moment, only to sputter out and die again quickly.

I'm guessing FUEL PUMP, but want to see what everyone here thinks. Is there a fuel pump relay or something I should test for continuity before I drop coin for the pump itself.

Other important information to consider:
* My M3 has 161,000 miles on it
* Fuel pump is orginal
* Car has been stalling randomly at traffic lights (intermittent)
* Starter has been "catching" upon startup recently (like starter gear won't retract and gets hung up on the flywheel ring gear). This is intermittent as well.
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Old Tue, Apr-19-2011, 04:50:38 AM   #2
Tech1
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Default Re: Need help... Car starts, then immediately sputters and dies....

Sounds like the fuel pump but you can test it. remove the inlet line to the engine and place a water bottle with the line in it. turn the key and the pump if working right should fill the whole bottle in 15 seconds or less.
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Old Tue, Apr-19-2011, 01:58:33 PM   #3
M42boy
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Default Re: Need help... Car starts, then immediately sputters and dies....

I'm guessing once the backseat bottom is removed (the fuel pump connection is under there, right?) that it would be easy to listen and hear if it were coming on.

I'm not crazy about the idea of spraying fuel everywhere if it turns on. Doesn't sound safe. Any other way to test it's functioning??

How much is a fuel pump exactly?
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Old Tue, Apr-19-2011, 06:58:43 PM   #4
M42boy
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Default Re: Need help... Car starts, then immediately sputters and dies....

Okay, took out rear seat bottom today and turned car in Igition II position and hear nothing!!! Can't hear or feel pump running at all. Of course, car won't start.

Really, hoping to get some additional feedback from the group on this as if I need to order a fuel pump I want to do it today! Anything else I need to test first. While all signs are pointing to the pump itself, I want to check fuel pump relay. Can anyone point me in the right direction on what to test.
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Old Tue, Apr-19-2011, 07:04:55 PM   #5
M3Man03
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Default Re: Need help... Car starts, then immediately sputters and dies....

If it's not the fuel pump, it sounds like a fuel mixture problem.

Did you clean your MAF?

Can you smell fuel in the car?

Easy way to test if it's a fuel pump, disconnect the fuel line from the fuel rail (or even where it comes out of the fuel filter, turn the car on and see if fuel comes out.
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Old Tue, Apr-19-2011, 07:12:22 PM   #6
M42boy
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Default Re: Need help... Car starts, then immediately sputters and dies....

Usually up by the fuel rail is a place where a mechanic can screw in a guage to test fuel pressure. Is there not such one on the M3??
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Old Tue, Apr-19-2011, 07:39:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need help... Car starts, then immediately sputters and dies....

My thought is a bad fuel pump as well. Mine went out at 85k. But that's probably because my sender unit went bad and I ran out of fuel 3 times.

Check out Tischer BMW. I believe I paid $380 for mine. It may also be a good idea to replace the driver side sender unit as well. I believe it goes for about $75.

Also, it maybe a good idea to replace the fuel filter if you haven't changed it for a while.
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Old Tue, Apr-19-2011, 10:49:33 PM   #8
M42boy
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Default Re: Need help... Car starts, then immediately sputters and dies....

Okay, I went and pulled the backseat, pulled the little cover off and checked first for voltage at the pump. YES, I have voltage there. I don't hear anything even when I try to crank the car (no noise or vibration at the pump), hence I think based on this we have a dead fuel pump.

I've ordered a new pump and sealing ring from the dealer and should have it on Thursday.

I pulled up this excellent DIY someone else here wrote up and it looks fairly simple. Just need to remember to disconnect all power (neg terminal to battery) when doing anything fuel related!

Complete Fuel Delivery Mechanism is Part Number: 16142229684
Screw Cap for top of Fuel Pump: 16116762417

DIY for fuel pump replacement is found here:
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=283580

Last edited by M42boy; Tue, Apr-19-2011 at 11:03:28 PM.
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Discussing Need help... Car starts, then immediately sputters and dies.... 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)