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      07-02-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
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'08 328Xi won't start...fuel pump?! HELP!!!!

So I get to work this morning and am greeted by a call from my frantic fiancee, claiming that she was broken down on the highway on her way to work. Claims that she had been driving around 80mph in the high-speed lane, when she felt a loss of power and noticed the car begin to slow down. Thinking she may have knocked the car into neutral, she confirmed that this was not the case. Unable to speed up and move to the breakdown lane, she was forced to stop her car in the median.

After telling her to call the police and AAA (and confirming that they send a flatbed for the Xdrive), she calls me back a little while later letting me know that her car was up on the flatbed and she was heading home. Turns out (I wasn't privy to this information prior to it happening), the RI State Trooper decided to "nudge" the car over 3 lanes of traffic to the breakdown lane, thus removing the high degree of danger from being located in the median and making it easier for the tow truck to grab the car. I understand why he did it, doesn't mean I like the decision. Luckily, there was no damage to the E90 after the push.

I decided to head home during my lunch break to try and diagnose the car myself, or at the very least, rule out some possibilities. I found that the car is trying to crank, but won't turn over. So it sounds like the following are ruled out:

*Battery
*Alternator
*Fuel pump
*etc.

Using my old cell phone (Droid X, along with the Torque app) and my ELM-327 bluetooth adapter, I was able to pull the following codes:

*P2415: O2 Sensor Exhaust Sample Error bank2 Sensor1
*P2414: O2 Sensor Exhaust Sample Error bank1 Sensor1

And before anyone gets on me, I did a ton of searches, but came up pretty empty. Would an issue with the O2 sensor have this sort of an impact on a car? I never thought it would prevent a car from starting, but then again, these are E90's that I'm talking about.

I even took a video of the car trying to start up, in hopes that this helps to diagnose the issue. I'm hoping it's something minor that I can fix myself (I can do most basic maintenance tasks), as I'd love to avoid A) paying to tow the car the 25+ miles to the nearest BMW dealer and B) paying the outrageous cost that a BMW dealer would undoubtedly charge me.

(could not, for the life of me, figure out how to embed the video)

Let me know if I can provide any other detail. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thank you all!
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Last edited by onebamf335i; 07-03-2012 at 02:45 PM. Reason: Clarify title
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      07-02-2012, 07:52 PM   #2
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A guy I work with just had pretty much the same thing happen to his older 330. His fuel pump had went bad. He got similar codes and everything.

If the fuel pump goes it will not throw a code.
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      07-02-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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The way he stumbled on this was he sprayed carb cleaner in his intake to "clean" the map/maf sensor (whatever it has) and then when he tried cranking the car it fired right up and then turned off almost instantly. He deduced from this that he wasn't getting any fuel but the car burned the carb cleaner for an instant upon startup.

After listening to the video I really think you may have the same problem.
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      07-03-2012, 08:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtaccord View Post
A guy I work with just had pretty much the same thing happen to his older 330. His fuel pump had went bad. He got similar codes and everything.

If the fuel pump goes it will not throw a code.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtaccord View Post
The way he stumbled on this was he sprayed carb cleaner in his intake to "clean" the map/maf sensor (whatever it has) and then when he tried cranking the car it fired right up and then turned off almost instantly. He deduced from this that he wasn't getting any fuel but the car burned the carb cleaner for an instant upon startup.

After listening to the video I really think you may have the same problem.
Thanks, man...really appreciate the insight. I guess when I first got home and tried to start the car, I was a bit premature in ruling out the fuel pump as the possible culprit. I guess I need to try and figure out how to determine whether or not it is the fuel pump. Time to do some more searching.

Go figure...I'm the one with the 335i, yet she's the one possibly having an issue with her fuel pump. Ha.

Anybody else have any additional feedback/input/thoughts/ideas/help/anything?!

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      07-05-2012, 07:31 AM   #5
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Come on....nobody else has had a similar issue in a 328i/xi? I'd really love to avoid having to pay the dealer to fix this if it's something that I can do. Thanks fellas!
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      07-05-2012, 09:03 AM   #6
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Fiancee found this article...pretty insightful:

http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f22e3d1/0
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      07-10-2012, 08:14 AM   #7
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Quick update:

Pretty embarrassed to even admit this, but there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with the car. Aside from it being out of gas. Yup, the f*cking car ran out of gas. My fiancee says that she had roughly 40 miles left to empty when this happened, which is the primary reason I didn't even consider the fuel being an issue. I've definitely learned my lesson and not to rule out or assume anything.

We had it towed to BMW of Newport yesterday morning. After offering to give Katie a loaner, they call her back shortly after and claim that the car is running like a champ. And that all they had to do was add some gas. The guy claimed that the "miles to empty" is only accurate to about 50 miles. Not entirely sure how much I believe this, however, since I've never had an issue with this on my car. Nor has my buddy with an e46 330i. But from now on, I've instructed her to fill up when it hits a 1/4 tank, just to be safe.

So yes, it was a very embarrassing situation, but the service dude that helped Katie out was super friendly and they didn't charge the $65 diagnosis fee, which was very surprising. They even washed her car. So needless to say, they took care of us. Katie will be mailing them a hand-written thank you note in the very near future.

Crisis (ahem, new fuel tank) averted.
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      07-10-2012, 11:38 AM   #8
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Technically it was the fuel pump :P Glad you figured it out.
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      07-10-2012, 11:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtaccord View Post
Technically it was the fuel pump :P Glad you figured it out.
Haha, great point. Thanks again for your input/feedback. You were the only person to provide any insight...much appreciated!
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      07-10-2012, 11:51 AM   #10
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No problem.
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      08-20-2012, 12:56 AM   #11
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Same thing just happened to me on i95 in NJ. Driving 70mph and engine cuts off. 36miles til empty and 4 miles from gas station. Car wouldn't turn over just like in your vid. Just dropped it off at the dealer. I hope it was a lack of gas and nothing else. Id be embarrassed for sure, but don't want any other problems. I've driven with it saying 5 miles til empty and never had an issue. I don't know if I buy the accuracy thing.
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      08-21-2012, 01:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathematics View Post
Same thing just happened to me on i95 in NJ. Driving 70mph and engine cuts off. 36miles til empty and 4 miles from gas station. Car wouldn't turn over just like in your vid. Just dropped it off at the dealer. I hope it was a lack of gas and nothing else. Id be embarrassed for sure, but don't want any other problems. I've driven with it saying 5 miles til empty and never had an issue. I don't know if I buy the accuracy thing.
Update:

This happened to my fiancee again on Sunday. This time, her car showed around 37 miles to empty. In addition, the gas gauge/needle was showing 1/4 tank. She took a picture of this on her phone for future proof. Also, about a week or so ago, she actually witnessed the gas gauge moving while she was driving. That, coupled with the fact that she's now run out of gas twice in the past month or so when the car is clearly showing that there is gas left in the tank, clearly shows that something isn't right.

She dropped the car off this morning at BMW of Newport (128i loaner!!) and they said there's definitely something wacky going on. Read something yesterday about a possible TSB on the fuel level sensor, so that MIGHT be related. If so, looks like a simple programming fix will address this.

Hopefully it's nothing major...for her car or for yours. Keep me posted, and I'll do the same.

FYI, the TSB:

2008 Bmw 328xi Fuel System, Gasoline Service Bulletin 286194

NHTSA: Action Number: 10033130 Service Bulletin Number: 286194
Report Date:
Dec 01, 2009Component:
Fuel System, Gasoline
Summary: Bmw vehicles: fuel level sensor repairs. Where it is necessary to replace the right or the left side fuel level sensor due to a failure, the entire pump and housing or delivery unit (suction jet assembly) do not need to be replaced as well.
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      08-22-2012, 10:02 AM   #13
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turns out that ity was the fuel level sensor. gauge showed i had 1/8 of a tank and 37 miles til empty and BMW called and told me i had 0 gas in the tank. they said the fuel level sensor was faulty and replaced that along with the entire fuel tank. i had the car back the same night it was dropped off and totally covered under warranty.
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      08-22-2012, 10:23 AM   #14
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Really? Interesting...my fiancee has the CPO warranty, but not sure if that'll be covered (assuming it's the same issue). God I hope so.

Does your car have the N51 or the N52? She has the N51, meaning hers has the stainless steel, fully enclosed gas tank. If the fuel pump ever goes, the ENTIRE tank needs to be replaced. Horrendous design, but I guess they needed to do that for the SULEV qualification. Let's see what BMW says when they call her back.
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      08-27-2012, 07:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathematics View Post
turns out that ity was the fuel level sensor. gauge showed i had 1/8 of a tank and 37 miles til empty and BMW called and told me i had 0 gas in the tank. they said the fuel level sensor was faulty and replaced that along with the entire fuel tank. i had the car back the same night it was dropped off and totally covered under warranty.
The latest:

BMW called back Wednesday afternoon and turns out, same result as you. Fuel level sensor shit the bed and they had to replace the entire tank. Luckily, like you, it was covered under the CPO warranty. Thank GOD!!!

They finished the car Friday afternoon and my fiancee picked it up the next morning. So far, so good.
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      08-27-2012, 02:14 PM   #16
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sucks that she was having a problem, but I am glad it was resolved for no cost. my car was in and out the same day. i haven't had any issues since it was replaced last week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onebamf335i View Post
The latest:

BMW called back Wednesday afternoon and turns out, same result as you. Fuel level sensor shit the bed and they had to replace the entire tank. Luckily, like you, it was covered under the CPO warranty. Thank GOD!!!

They finished the car Friday afternoon and my fiancee picked it up the next morning. So far, so good.
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