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Thread: E30 just shuts down

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Falmouth, Maine
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    1987 E30

    E30 just shuts down

    This is my first post on the board. I have been reading it for years and this is the first time I have not been able to find an answer to my problem by searching. The number of times this board has helped me out is many. Anyway, I have an '87 325is that when running down the road will just turn itself off. No warning, dash lights do not flicker, no obd code generated, just stops. There does not seem to be any pattern, car temperature, time running, or flickering dash lights. Car runs a little rough at idle, but, really moves when you step on it. Until it decides to quit. In most cases after stopping the car will start right back up. Sometimes you may have to wait a while, but, it always goes.
    new injectors
    new fuel rail
    new fuel regulator
    new fuel filter
    new plugs, harness, etc
    new temp sensors (2)
    cleaned and tested MAF
    cleaned and tested ICV
    tested for vacuum leaks
    every wiring harness connection under hood pulled and cleaned
    do not have a fuel pressure tester, but, there is fuel at the rail right after it shuts down
    i am wondering about the TPS (rough idle) but i do not believe that if it were failing the engine would just shut down and then start up again.

    hoping someone has experienced this before and can help.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    richmond va
    Posts
    112
    My Cars
    88 325ic, 91 318is
    Possibly a faulty fuel or main relay.

    Then there exists a procedure with an ohm meter to pull codes out of the motronic unit but that takes a bit of doing,
    you might be the kind inclined to do it but whether it will help is another story.

    I would look into the relays, unfortunately they do cost around $20 each but it's a simple fix.
    Last edited by 8307c4; 07-16-2010 at 12:43 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    lawrence,ks
    Posts
    427
    My Cars
    integra
    go check the connections at the ignition coil. i had this problem and it turned out one of the small screws was loose and the wire was jiggling around.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,249
    My Cars
    e36 i e30 ix e46 xit
    +1 on relays. Most likley fuel pump relay.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    405
    My Cars
    E30/325i, E39/M5, E36/M3
    Probably a crank position sensor flaking out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Falmouth, Maine
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    1987 E30
    Thanks for the responses so far. Ordered the relays and a TPS today. A friend stopped by and was able to read an obd code indicating a faulty TPS. Still question that one.
    Will check the ignition connections and mountings this evening.
    How/what does a failing/faulty crank position sensor manifest itself? Is there another symptom or symptoms that go along with the cps failing that i should be looking for?

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    405
    My Cars
    E30/325i, E39/M5, E36/M3
    I'm pretty sure that the TPS is not causing your problems...rough idle, maybe. Also, the TPS is only a limit switch assembly, not a potentiometer, so you'll never see a fault code on your engine showing a faulty TPS...it had to be a code for something else that your friend was found...see here...http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tech...de_Reading.htm

    A bad or flaky CPS will cause the engine to stall just as you described at any condition.
    There's a specification for the normal resistance of it, that you can check and verify (don't have a Bently to tell you what it is, but its been discussed here before, so you can search for it)--take it off the car to test it--beat it around in the palm of your hand to see if you can get a bad reading from it. However, you might test it and it look okay, but act up in service...they're relatively affordable...about $60.

    A failing fuel pump relay will kind of cause the engine to sputter a little then die...as the fuel pressure gradually decreases.

    A failing main relay--I think you would see a check engine light come on...but you said that isn't happening.

    But all these are simple enough to look at...that I would check them all anyway.
    Last edited by DLite; 07-16-2010 at 10:03 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    richmond va
    Posts
    112
    My Cars
    88 325ic, 91 318is
    Get yourself an obd-ii scanner and a $10 obd-to-bmw adapter and that might tell you more,
    otherwise the only thing I know is start replacing and keep replacing parts until you hit the nail on the head.

    I learned that one the hard way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Isenbruch Germany
    Posts
    16
    My Cars
    1995 BMW 520i
    Did you ever figure out what the problem is? I have EXACTLY the same problem on my 1995 euro spec 520i. So far, I only swapped out the main relay, no help. I see you are from Maine, me too, I just live in Germany now for the Air Force. Please let me know what the result of your problem is, I will most likely try the same fix with mine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Joppa, Md
    Posts
    2,244
    My Cars
    99 M Coupe,04 K1200rs
    I went through the same scenario for a few weeks, I thought it was 1 of the relays,as replacing them seemed to get it running, but that was just coincidental, the fuel pump was dying,and finally did.

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