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BMW 3-Series Fuel Pump Failures



  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,301
    Enter the last seven digits of the VIN into the online ETK at; that will tell you whether it's an M54 or M56.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    nice tip! Thanks for posting it. Geez, replacing the entire fuel tank---that's a drag.


  • tsaputojtsaputoj Posts: 2
    My 97 328i has 240K miles, I was going 65 on the freeway when I lost power and lucky got across 3 lanes of traffic to an exit. When it came to a stop, I tried to start it but it wouldn't turn over. I was real low on gas, so i put a couple of gallons in it and nothing. Everything lights up and the starter is working but it just won't turn over. Based on reading these past post it might be my fuel pump. Is there anything else I should check before jumping to that? I live in Colorado does anyone have an ideal on cost in my area, so that I don't get over charged!

    Thanks for your help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    Well you should check to see if there is fuel in the fuel rail---no sense guessing with your checkbook. A mechanic could verify that in a few minutes, tops. If there's fuel in the fuel rail (pipeline to the injectors), then it's not the fuel pump.

    Next step would be to check for spark, also easy. So the mechanic should have it narrowed down to either no spark or no fuel within ten minutes. From there, each component has to be tested.


  • tsaputojtsaputoj Posts: 2
    My car was towed to my house and is sitting in my garage. My 20 something son already checked the spark plugs and we have spark. Would it be easy for me and my son to check the fuel rail our selves?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    Well I guess if you are very very careful you could operate the schrader valve in the fuel rail and see if a little fuel sprays out of it (NOT WHILE CRANKING THE ENGINE!!!). Wear glasses or goggles.

    Or sometimes you can hear the fuel relay and fuel pump go on for a few seconds when you turn the key to the ON position, but I'm not sure on your particular BMW.

    If you can find the fuel pump relay you can sometimes by-pass it with a jumper wire.

    If you find you have a good spark and you have fuel then you must have a problem with the injector pulse.


  • I don't know if this helps at all, but last week my 2008 335i had a "Engine Malfunction" warning, followed by the check engine light - the physical reaction was reduced engine power.

    I took it to the shop and they said it was a bad fuel pump and said it was "covered under warranty." Now, my warranty has been up for over a year - so she may have meant it was covered under a recall? I'm not sure.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,671
    The 3.0 twin-turbo is pretty famous for having a high incidence of HPFP failures... I'm sure there is some sort of recall or extended warranty on them...

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  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    The turbo's have a high pressure pump. It's a known problem and they stood behind it with a long extended warranty. Ten years seems to stick, but that's very long so I could be mistaken. But that's the way it should work.
  • abbiehightideabbiehightide Posts: 1
    edited February 2013
    My fuel pump failed on my BMW. It was sitting in my driveway. It was towed to the mechanic. He replaced the fuel pump. It sat over night in his garage. It would not start. He replaced the fuel new fuel pump again. I drove it home. It would not start the next day. I towed it to the mechanic. He replaced the fuel pump a third time. It sat over night. It failed to start in the morning. At this point, after thoroughly checking the car, he cut open the original fuel pump. The impeller had swollen. He emptied the fuel tank, saving a sample of the fuel. He believed that the fuel had caused all of the fuel pumps to fail. I also live in the Hudson Valley, NY. The issue here is neither the age of the car nor the age of the fuel pumps. Even the make of the pump cannot be blamed because my mechanic used both BMW and non-BMW parts trying to repair this 2001 BMW 325xi. Something is seriously wrong and potentially dangerous if alcohol placed in fuel can essentially melt the part. It's both the fault of oil companies and the car makers. For what it is worth, in Westchester Co, a higher ethanol content is required during certain months of the year, higher than surrounding counties.
  • dakidd4dakidd4 Posts: 1

    This situation is also with the 2008 328xi for it recently happened to me with only 66K miles. The worse, shutting off on me while on the highway (regular highway speeds). Not a good feeling to have when car was repaired for an "excessive fuel amount" diagnosis 2x within a 2 week period and told ready for the road (a third time). Come to find out: fuel pressure issue was valid and a fuel tank and module was needed. ($3100 repair) // Chances of me every feeling "safe" with a BMW again, slight to none...for did not expect something of this magnitude to take place with "low" miles.

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