Question about 1992 BMW 3 Series

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1994 318i no fuel at fuel rail. could it be a relay problem or fuel pump. Car will run by putting fuel into intake manifold.

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  • marg_bob May 31, 2011

    Have done tests. Have checked pump relay with external power supply suspect dme relay. Where is it located?

  • marg_bob Jun 04, 2011

    Thankyou for your reply. We know where the relay box is. But which relay is the DME?

  • marg_bob Jun 05, 2011

    This is not the same as ours. It is different to the one we have. The relay we have has 3 seperate relays on the outside of the mains relays and fuses. This is a 1994 318i.

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  • BMW Master
  • 8,273 Answers

Hi, what I recommend is interrogating the relay socket. In this way, you can determine what signals are getting to the relay and isolate the problem. It is also a simple matter to jump the relay to test the pump itself. If the relay is mounted in the open, you can easily see the wire colors for the terminals. Otherwise, you have to do a little extra work to identify the terminals. You will need a 12 volt test light to interrogate the relay socket. First, find the fuel pump relay. It may be in the relay box under the hood. Pull the relay out and connect your test light clip to chassis ground. Probe the terminals in the relay socket--there should be 2 hot terminals when the key is on. If only one hot terminal, suspect the DME relay. Note which terminals are hot. Next, switch your test light clip to battery positive. Probe the terminals again. With the key on, there should be one terminal that lights the light brightly and one that lights it dimly. If there is no terminal that lights the light brightly, the DME controller is not turning the pump relay on for some reason. If there is no terminal that lights the light dimly, the pump has an open circuit or the 15 amp fuse is bad (F18). If you do have a terminal that light the light dimly, that is your pump wire. Run a small jumper or use a large paper clip to connect one of the hot terminals to that terminal to apply voltage to the pump. If the pump only hums but does not pump, replace the pump. If all of the signals at the socket are correct, try swapping the relay with a similar one to see if the pump will come on when the key is on. Please let me know if you have questions and do let me know the outcome of your tests so that I can provide repair advice.
1994 318i no fuel at - jturcotte_1767.gif

Posted on May 27, 2011

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  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte May 31, 2011

    The DME relay and control unit should be in the relay box under the hood. Is there a box on the passenger side behind the shock tower?

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Jun 04, 2011

    Sorry, does this look like your box? You have E36 model, right? It looks like all your relays are of the same type, so you can borrow the horn relay to check any of the other circuits.


  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Jun 05, 2011

    OK, this is the only diagram I have for a 94 3 series. If you found the fuel pump relay in the box but there is no spot in the box for the DME relay, I would guess it's one of those outside the box. Maybe you can identify it by the wire colors, which are red, red/white, and brown. The brown wire goes to the DME control unit, which should be close by. Sorry, this is the best advice I can give you.

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