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BMW 3-Series Fuel Pump Failures

2

Comments

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited May 2011
    Sorry to be such a dope. What's E85? And how would it be added to my gas tank?

    Well, I would say we now understand your problem.

    At some point, you (or another person) most likely filled your tank (maybe multiple times) with e85 instead of regular 10% blended gasoline. That would explain your situation perfectly.

    However, I'm a bit surprised that you didn't notice the significant hit it would have had on reducing your mpg... since ethanol only has about 65% of the energy content of 100% gasoline.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,651
    Or... maybe he just has a defective fuel pump.... or the fuel lines went bad for some other reason..

    Blaming it on ethanol is just a convenient excuse, I think... that absolves them from blame...

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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Either way, I don't see this as being a fleet wide problem as has been suggested.
  • jongouldjongould Posts: 13
    I wish that was my problem -- at least it would explain something. But no, none of the places I buy gas sell anything like this e85 product that you're describing, and BMW has never suggested that that is what caused this problem. I live in New York State, and I've never seen the product for sale. Who would buy it, anyway? I'm afraid the e85 angle is a red herring.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    I thought they told you that "alcohol" in the fuel deteriorated the fuel lines?

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  • jongouldjongould Posts: 13
    Yes, by which they meant an "elevated" percentage of ethanol. But not this e85 fuel that people have been posting about. The notion of "deterioration" (their word) suggests a process that happened over time, not an infusion of the wrong kind of fuel.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    edited May 2011
    Okay so they are saying that E15 caused this then?

    (from Wikipedia)

    "In October 2010 the EPA granted a waiver to allow up to 15% of ethanol blended with gasoline to be sold only for cars and light pickup trucks with a model year of 2007 or later, representing about 15% of vehicles on the U.S. roads. In January 2011 the waiver was expanded to authorize use of E15 to include model year 2001 through 2006 passenger vehicles. "

    also THIS:

    "The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted tests to evaluate the potential impacts of intermediate ethanol blends on legacy vehicles and other engines. In a preliminary report released in October 2008, the NREL presented the results of the first evaluations of the effects of E10, E15 and E20 gasoline blends on tailpipe and evaporative emissions, catalyst and engine durability, vehicle driveability, engine operability, and vehicle and engine materials.This preliminary report found that none of the vehicles displayed a malfunction indicator light as a result of the ethanol blend used; no fuel filter plugging symptoms were observed; no cold start problems were observed at 24°C (75°F) and 10°C (50°F) laboratory conditions"

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  • jongouldjongould Posts: 13
    I guess so. But they're not being all that definitive about anything. They've just told me: this is what happened (fuel pump failed), this is how it happened (deteriorated fuel lines), and this is why (high levels of ethanol in the gas). Does that mean 10%? 15%? 20%? I don't know.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    On what basis can they demonstrate "high levels of ethanol"? did they do a chemical test or something?

    If not, why can't we say "no, the fuel lines were a manufacturing defect". Prove THAT wrong if you can't prove excessive ethanol correct.

    My personal opinion, based on what's been posted, is that no one has a clue why the fuel lines disintegrated, and since you apparently haven't seen them, even IF they deteriorated.

    Also I've never heard of throwing away a fuel tank because the fuel pump inside of it is defective. If that were true, why do they allow you to extract the fuel pump at all?

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  • jongouldjongould Posts: 13
    You're right. I just spoke to my regular mechanic -- not the BMW dealer. He tells me that the fuel pump costs $328 and takes 1.2 hrs to replace -- and it is replaceable. So much for the $750 BMW charged me for that. As for the gas tank, it costs $980 and takes 7.2 hrs to replace. So much for the $2500 BMW charged me for that. This is getting weirder and weirder. On to the NYS Attorney General's Office...
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,651
    Has that really gone on sale? Anywhere?

    Every place that I've bought gas in the last year ..... has only had E10...

    I know they've considered sellling E15, but not sure it's actually happened.

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Has that really gone on sale? Anywhere?

    Every place that I've bought gas in the last year ..... has only had E10...

    I know they've considered sellling E15, but not sure it's actually happened.


    According to what I have read, e15 must have a separate pump and be clearly labeled as e15. Since a new pump cost in the neighborhood of $20 large, I doubt you'll see it become widely available anytime soon.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited May 2011
    I live in New York State, and I've never seen the product for sale. Who would buy it, anyway? I'm afraid the e85 angle is a red herring.

    The link below is a listing (6 months old) of New York state gas stations selling e85...

    http://e85vehicles.com/e85-stations/e85-new-york.html

    Notice there are several Mobil stations included in the list. Any of those stations look familiar to you???
  • whittonmwhittonm Posts: 30
    My 2008 335xi was beginning to take a long time to start when cold - cranking for 10 to 20 seconds before firing. I took it in to the dealer who replaced the fuel pump under the recall, and also replaced some of the fuel injectors, which are also on recall. There was a third recall that escapes me as well. It did take 3 days for the repairs, and the dealer, as usual, did not have a loaner even though I was promised one and booked two weeks in advance. BMW deals are like Hyundai dealers except they have fancier coffee machines.. Car runs fine now, we just made a 1200 mile round trip to Canada with no problems. Seems to have more power and fuel economy seems unchanged.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,283
    edited May 2011
    BMW deals[sic] are like Hyundai dealers except they have fancier coffee machines.

    Really? My BMW dealer is first rate- to the point that my wife refuses to consider any other brand. She's taken it to them a couple of times(with no appointment) when the tire pressure warning illuminated and both times they checked it out and repaired the tire in under an hour. Once I asked for a transmission software update for her X3; it was already supposed to be online but it turned out that BMW NA had delayed rolling it out. So instead of simply saying "Sorry." my dealer shipped the TCU Next Day Air to BMW NA in New Jersey to get it flashed. Meanwhile, they gave me an X3 3.0 M Sport for an additional three days.
    Yeah, I suppose the only difference is the coffee maker...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • whittonmwhittonm Posts: 30
    It is good that you have a decent dealer. I unfortunately have to go to lousy BMW dealers who promise loaners and back out on the day of service, do not have the car ready on time, etc. The buying experience is also bad - we wanted a test drive and the dealer rolled out a unit from the parking lot covered in pollen and then wondered why we did not buy one. My wife also likes BMW's, purely for the status - the dealershis are inferior to our Infiniti and Acura dealers.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    The dealer where I lived in no. California really stunk. The local BMW owners referred to it quite regularly as The Evil Empire.

    But that's the nature of a franchise. Some places the burgers taste great and the bathrooms are clean and everyone's smiling at you, and some you don't wanna go near them.

    A bad dealership is the product of bad management/ownership.

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  • bmazzabmazza Posts: 1
    Does anyone know where it is located .My husband is a mechanic and cant locate it. It just wouldnt turn over and thats what hes thinking that its the fuel pump
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,651
    edited August 2011
    I'm pretty sure the pump is inside the fuel tank...

    YouTube video on diagnosis and repair of fuel pump

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    says here if its the M54 engine you can replace it but if it's the M56 engine you have to replace the entire fuel tank. You cannot replace the pump by itself.

    Here's the scoop on the M56...maybe you can figure out which engine you have (M56 is SULEV, sold in CA, NY, MASS and VT, 2003--2005 only, automatic transmission only.

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