Question about 1996 BMW 318
Fuel returning to the left side of the tank is not being transfered to the right side of the tank quickly enough causing the pickup pump in the right side of the tank to draw air and create a fuel starvation problem. Engine shuts off as a result, this happens even if there are three gallons or so in the tank.
I have checked everything, pump, pipes etc and cannot find any faults,
However I have been advised by BMW that there should be a valve situated in the external fuel transfer pipe which runs over the top of the tank from left to right which may be faulty. I have removed both the left and right inspection plates under the rear seat and the ends of the pipe are visible but not the valve. Is anybody aware of the existence of this valve and is it accessed by completely removing the fuel transfer pipe.
Help will be appreciate.
Sorry this is not a solution. Just to say I own a 1997 318tds which only starts on the button if the tank is at least half full. This was looked at professionally shortly after i bought the car 3 years ago.( I did wonder why it was sold to me with such a full tank). I was told it would need the fuel tank replacing. Bearing in mind the value of the car & the fact the owner is now too geriatric to do major repairs, I just make sure it is always half-full, and live with it.. This could be your problem. BMWs chap said it was logged on their system as a known but unusual fault.
Posted on Dec 16, 2008
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The fuel filter is serviced only as part of the left fuel level sensor assembly in the fuel tank
1. Remove rear seat bench
2. Fold carpet forwards
3. Fold back rubber mat
4. Remove the nuts and fold back metal cover
5. Disconnect electrical connector
6. Release and disconnect fuel feed and return lines
CAUTION: The fuel gauge must roughly indicate zero before the left tank opening is opened. Large quantities of fuel may emerge upon opening. If necessary, keep the left tank opening closed and feed an extraction hose through the right service opening to the left tank half and drain the fuel out of the left tank area before proceeding.
7. Release the screw cap
8. Carefully raise fuel level sensor until sensor flange emerges.
CAUTION: Risk of breakage! When raising sensor unit, do not pull excessively on connecting piece of fuel return line.
9. Disconnect line to fuel filter
10. Disconnect suction jet pump from fuel filter (Press catch downwards to detatch suction jet pump)
11. Remove left sensor unit from the tank.
12. Reverse order to install
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