E36 325i running badly

Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1991-1999) and E30 M3 (1986-1990)' started by ElliotR, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. 13 Jan 2021 at 1:06 PM #1
    ElliotR

    ElliotR On the path

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    Hello,

    I know it's not an M3 but maybe someone can still help.

    I've completely given up on using Spanish mechanics so I'm going to have a go at things myself from now on and maybe learn a thing or 2.

    My car isn't running right. To be fair the car has been standing for a while but it isn't as smooth as I remember it. It feels and sounds a bit like it's missing slightly, and the car feels like it shudders a bit at idle. After a blip of the throttle the revs drop to around 500 before it searches and finally settles at normal idle.

    All the fluids are good.
    It's just had a new fuel pump no idea if they changed the fuel filter. They said it was low on fuel and it's now got half a tank of what they said is 98ron.
    Just had new plugs. They fitted BERU twin tip plugs. I took them out and 3 and 6 (assuming 1 is the front of the car) are sooted up a bit whereas the others aren't. I also noticed the electrode gaps (if that's the correct term) didn't look consistent but I don't have a feeler gauge to check.

    So any advice of where to start. I'm going to get a code scanner should I wait and do this before I do anything else? Or are there things I can check or rule out first?

    Thanks
    Elliot
     
  2. 13 Jan 2021 at 1:16 PM #2
    Dek

    Dek Wearing official crakows

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    If two plugs are sooted up that points to your problem I think. Looks like it is a spark problem not fuel. The gaps are normally pre-set but should have been checked before putting in in case they’ve been knocked. I’m sure someone with greater knowledge of this model will be along soon. Good luck!
     
  3. 13 Jan 2021 at 4:48 PM #3
    ElliotR

    ElliotR On the path

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    Thanks mate. Yeah done a lot of googling and I think this is my first port of call. I'm going to replace the spark plugs with NGK ones. Also the coil packs are all the original ones and the rubber spark plug connectors are all a bit deteriorated so I'm thinking of just replacing them as well. Is it recommended to stick with Bosch items (very expensive), or would aftermarket ones be ok? I've found Meyle-Original items listed as true to OE, or there's Bremi, Hella and Febi-Bilstein ones - all of similar price.

    Input greatly appreciated, thanks
     
  4. 13 Jan 2021 at 5:19 PM #4
    henrym3

    henrym3 On the path

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    Bremi were an OE coil pack on my V8 so a good make. I replaced them at 110k with febi these have done 50k without problems and I have Bremi in the m3 and b3. The ones you listed are good makes but it’s just that some people won’t fit anything but OEM.
    You do need to put diagnostics on it to stop you throwing money at thing that are fine. I’m surprised the "mechanic" didn’t put diagnostics on it. To suggest the problem was because it was low on fuel seems odd. Get a new mechanic.
     
  5. 13 Jan 2021 at 5:49 PM #5
    ElliotR

    ElliotR On the path

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    Thanks mate great to hear about the coil packs. The cheapest Bosch ones I found are €90 and all the others are around €30 and for that much I'll just replace all 6.

    I'm trying to find a mobile mechanic to just come and run a diagnostics on it, failing that I'll just make a decision and get a fault code reader.

    Sorry no the mechanic didn't suggest it was low fuel it was more to say if it was bad fuel it's now mixed with a load of fresh stuff.

    I think you'd be very surprised at mechanics here. I was surprised to get my car back with jobs I'd asked for not done or not done how I'd asked, jobs done that I hadn't asked for, my car covered in overspray and several new dings, chips and scratches, and not running right. I've used several different ones for different cars since I've been here and they're all the same. Maybe it's just me though and I expect too much. This is in a country where they double park without handbrakes on so you can nudge them out the way should you need to get out lol
     
  6. 13 Jan 2021 at 6:02 PM #6
    Old Greg

    Old Greg Wearing official robes

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    Some good advice here already and my thoughts are similar. A good engine ECU (DME) fault read, clear and re-read would be good to have.
    You’ve identified plugs and coils being in poor condition, so in the spirit of methodical diagnosis, it’s a good idea to replace them.
    Next my thoughts would turn to the air intake system, or more specifically, air leaks due to perished rubber hoses in/around/under the inlet manifold. A good visual inspection isn’t a bad place to start.
    As I said, a read out of currently present faults will take a chunk of guess work out of fault finding.
     
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  7. 13 Jan 2021 at 6:13 PM #7
    jamesc2003

    jamesc2003 On the path

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    Could you switch the coils over and see if the soot follows the coil.

    I think a vaccum leak might be the culprate and its free to inspect the rubber boots and vaccum hoses.

    If its been sat a while check the battery has good voltage whilst the engine is off and when it's on with some revs to see if the alternator is in good health.

    All free stuff to try :)
     
  8. 13 Jan 2021 at 6:23 PM #8
    ElliotR

    ElliotR On the path

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    Thanks so much for all the help and I've now got a plan to get cracking with.

    It's got a brand new battery and I'll get a multimeter thing tomorrow to try and check the alternator - it's something I should probably have anyway.

    Thanks again!
     

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