Question about BMW 325

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Have 1987 BMW and the mechanic is telling me the following: The ECU is faulty by reading very low engine tempearature and providing maximum fuel to compensate. The spark plugs are over floating with gas and the engine stals. He recomends changing the ECU unit for used ECU at $660.00 Does this make sense?

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Hi, Unfortunately he could be correct in his assumption but, has there been error codes? if, the ECU is faulty it would show a picture like an engine on your dashboard, has this happened? if not then really i would advise to get a second opinion, but do not inform the other people what has been told to you already, as you may get the same result best just to ask them and see if there diagnosis is the same if it is, then ime sure you could purchase another one from a breakers yard for far less, all you have to make sure of it is for the same year of vehicle and same engine and fuel type, then it should be a simple case of swapping it over, but i would definatley get a second opinion first....hope this helps please vote thanks

Posted on Jul 28, 2010

  • steve morris
    steve morris Jul 29, 2010

    this also could be the TPS throttle position sensor, or fuel pressure delivery, MAP sensor , ECT engine coolant temperature sensor any one of these would cause flooding....

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A bad coolant temp sensor for the computer will do that exactly and costs alot less than $660,00 ... I would get a second opinion.

Posted on Jul 28, 2010

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Check coolant temp sensor (not the sender for the dash indicator but the one that talks to the ECU). These fail often and will tell the ECU wrong temperature data such that the fuel mix can be way off. They usually do not cause check engine light to be on. This can be tested with ohm meter if you have a temp chart with readings. Easy fix.

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Bad fuel economy and lumpy idling - possibly causes


<p><b><u><span>Excessive fuel consumption and 'lumpy' idling engine</span></u></b><br /> <p><b><span>Possible faults:-</span></b><br /> <p><b><u><br /></u></b><br /> <p><b><u><span>Coolant sensor </span></u></b><span><span> </span>- engine is signaled as being 'cold' all the time, not just at start up, causing ECU to set longer injection cycle </span><br /> <p><span><span>&oslash;<span> </span></span></span><span>Low coolant level can prevent sensor being able to detect coolant temperature</span><br /> <p><span><span>&oslash;<span> </span></span></span><span>Faulty 'open' thermostat allows coolant to circulate without regulation and perhaps prevents the engine from achieving normal running temperatures.</span><br /> <p><span> </span><br /> <p><b><u><span>FPR</span></u></b><span> - broken diaphragm allows fuel to enter the vacuum line and then into the inlet manifold. Additional source of fuel makes the fuel air mix richer causing a faster and lumpy idle.</span><br /> <p><span> </span><br /> <p><b><u><span>Vacuum leak </span></u></b><span>- 'high oxygen' signal from O2 sensor causes ECU to set longer injection cycle.</span><br /> <p><span> </span><br /> <p><b><u><span>O2 sensor</span></u></b><span> - 'high oxygen' sensor error causes ECU to set longer fuel injection cycle</span><br /> <p><span> </span><br /> <p><b><u><span>MAF</span></u></b><span> - 'over reads' in error the amount of air entering causing ECU to set longer fuel injection cycle </span><br /> <p><span> </span><br /> <p><b><u><span>IAT</span></u></b><span> - 'under reads' in error the temperature of incoming air causing ECU to set longer fuel injection cycle</span><br /> <p><span> </span><br />

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Okay diagnostics 101:
1) Do the spark plugs have spark?
2) Does the vehicle have air?, i.e. is the air-filter condition okay?3) Does the vehicle have fuel?, i/e/ is the fuel pump operational and is the filter clogged?
If the vehicle has all of these three things, then either the mixture of air and fuel is faulty, or the spark timing is faulty.
A common issue on a vehicle if it doesn't have an issue with the supply of all of those things is the MAF sensor or the Manifold pressure sensor, which can give false readings to the ECU and cause the ECU to provide an incorrect fuel injection, resulting in an incorrect fuel to air ratio.
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If there is no spark it is certain that the ECU is faulty or the electronic igntition unit is faulty and so does not triggger the HT coil. So you need to take a voltage check on the HT coil to confirm.
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My 2000 Grand Prix GTP runs great. However, the gas mileage has dropped to maybe 120-130 miles per tank and at idle there is a very strong odor of gas inside and around the car..noticed no drips on...


Following list of possible faults should help:-

Coolant sensor - engine is signaled as being 'cold' all the time, not just at start up, causing ECU to set longer injection cycle

? Low coolant level can prevent sensor being able to detect coolant temperature

? Faulty 'open' thermostat allows coolant to circulate without regulation and perhaps prevents the engine from achieving normal running temperatures.


FPR - broken diaphragm allows fuel to enter the vacuum line and then into the inlet manifold. Additional source of fuel makes the fuel air mix richer causing a faster and lumpy idle.


Vacuum leak - 'high oxygen' signal from O2 sensor causes ECU to set longer injection cycle.


O2 sensor - 'high oxygen' sensor error causes ECU to set longer fuel injection cycle


MAF - 'over reads' in error the amount of air entering causing ECU to set longer fuel injection cycle


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