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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Car Question BMW.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by BobbyZ, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Last weekend I (possibly stupidly) bought another old BMW. I really like the 01 525i Wagon I picked up last year. Old organs fit right in!
    Anyways a 99 528 wagon, with a 5sp, came up for $650, "no rust, nice shape, starts right up BUT dies instantly.
    Ok the guys idea of "nice shape" and mine differ greatly. So I tell him it looks like a $200 car and he says $300.
    I said "no thanks".
    Then, like an idiot, I let my friend, with the car trailer and a farm full of junk cars talk me into dragging it to his place. Probably because he had room for one more.

    Question. This actually seems to be fairly common on old BMWs starting then dieing. Haven't looked at it yet and Googling gave me many "answers".

    Anybody have this issue, on a BMW ? And know the solution ?

    Worst case I just forget about it and let trees grow through it like all the other "projects waiting on restoration" at my friends place. :)

  2. 1293

    1293 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 18, 2006
    Plug in a code reader.
    xafinity, Guitarteach and BobbyZ like this.

  3. dkmw

    dkmw Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA
    I don't have specific experience with that problem, but there is a whole culture of BMW nuts posting on dedicated web forums. The BMW Car Club of America site might be a good place to start.

    I think you scored big! Wagon w/manual would combine a lot of fun with a lot of utility.
    Harry Styron, jimash and BobbyZ like this.

  4. adamkoop

    adamkoop Tele-Meister

    Feb 18, 2016
    could be any number of things .. the fact that it starts shows that spark, fuel and air are good .. at least long enough for it to bang over. From there, it's a question of how it dies .. does it sputter out, as though fuel supply can't keep up with demand ? that could have you looking at fuel pumps, lines, filters, injectors ... or does it cut out immediately, as though spark gets cut or something like that ? Then you're into plugs, wires, coils, computer codes.

    I have a very soft spot for the E30 chassis bmws, particularly post-facelift ones .. my second car was an 88 325iX, the AWD model .. absolutely brilliant in the snow, classic lines, and the 88s had all the trim features of the 'iS' models too .. loved that car until I hit a bump and the exhaust fell off and took the mounts out of the body when it went .. it was pretty rotten underneath, typical east coast canada car problems
    NC E30 and BobbyZ like this.

  5. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    I only tried it twice before the battery went dead. But it fired right up and shut right down. Second time I tried gassing it to see if was an idle valve issue.

    My friend has a code reader just not sure how good it is. Or if it's compatible with the car.

    Hopefully it's something simple because the guy probably beat the snot out of the car in the short time he owned it. So it maybe just a parts car now I don't know.
    Best to buy cars from mature owners that took care of them.
    Definitely not the case here. But 300 bucks. :)

  6. adamkoop

    adamkoop Tele-Meister

    Feb 18, 2016
    A 99 should be OBDII, and you can get universal readers that hook up your phone over bluetooth for 10 bucks out of China .. I've used them with good success. get the right software and you can even display real time data graphs. Used one to troubleshoot a power loss under acceleration issue with my buddy's truck. Turned out his fuel rail pressure was dropping under boost .. yay for real time plotting line graphs.
    BobbyZ likes this.

  7. rich815

    rich815 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    I've owned four BMW's (and presently have two) and the one thing I've learned is they often become money pits after about 100-120k miles if not sooner. I guess if you get them cheap enough and like to work on cars it can make sense but some, based in the work they need, the seller should be paying YOU to take it away.
    BobbyZ and Piggy Stu like this.

  8. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Rich that is probably true. Expecially the ones that were used by people that beat them and didn't keep up on maintenance.
    However the 525 is working great at just under 200,000. If anything major happens I'll do a cost benift analysis at that time. I like messing with simple old cars like the 66 Volvo. Anything as "new" as 2001 isn't simple.
    Even the 05 Suburban I had was very complex and had constant problems with the heating/air conditioning system.
    I was so glad when that pile of crap was totalled out.

  9. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

    Jan 14, 2013
    DC Burbs
    Post a photo please

    Does it run...At all..Till it dies? Vacuum leak, idle valve, blocked up fuel line, bad air flow meter, etc might be possible causes.

  10. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    The ultimate... dri..g.. machi. ..... ..


    I'm chasing a similar fault... OBD reader = good!

  11. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2016
    My Father made a living off of Audi and BMW's back in the '80' paid for 4 kids to go to college if that tells you anything. This is clearly a fuel issue, but is it the pump, the fuel solenoid / ground, or MAF is anyone's guess.

    I would always start simple and work my way up. Clean the batter ground to the block / chassis and disconnect the battery to re-boot the computer. Then clean the MAF....if it improves, replace the MAF sensor as they really don't clean in all honestly. If still no change, verify that there is proper fuel psi and replace pump (s) as needed.

    You will be very surprised how many things get fixed by cleaning grounds, re-booting the computer, and replacing a MAF sensor or fuel solenoid.
    boris bubbanov and Grant Austin like this.

  12. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Aug 17, 2012
    The MAF sensor will throw a code, but a bad ground won't and can easily cause the same symptoms. My 325 has 169,000 miles on it and runs great. I keep up on routine maintenance (do it myself), and honestly the thing about BMWs being expensive to own isn't entirely accurate if you do most of your own work.
    Milspec likes this.

  13. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    Gas cap vent?
    Low oil pressure safety cut-out?
    Does it fire right back up after it dies or do you have to wait?

  14. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 6, 2007
    Moon Township, PA
    I'd check fuel pressure first.
    I once had a fuel pump in a Saab that blew a diaphragm. It was mounted at the top of the fuel tank, and would draw up the gasoline and then dribble it back down into the tank. Fuel pressure gauge diagnosed it, since everything was good electrically. Around 200k miles, many hard-to-diagnose things can happen.

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