20 Most Recent 1990 BMW 3 Series Questions & Answers

Buy a electrical troubleshooting booklet, try and find one on eBay used.

1990 BMW 3... | Answered on Oct 03, 2017

You said E30, 320i correct? Your engine is a 2.0L 4 Cylinder engine? If so it does not have a timing belt, it has a chain, upper and lower gears and two chain slides. To change the timing chain and slide set is not easy if you have never done one, neither is the belt on the 6 cylinder engines. I recommend a reputable BMW shop.

1990 BMW 3... | Answered on Jun 08, 2015

Hi Nigel:
You may need to bleed air out of the fuel lines if it won't start by spinning it over.

1990 BMW 3... | Answered on May 25, 2015

have you tried scanning for codes? does it burn oil? do they have DISA? google it and see if that may be issue with yours. if its runnig so reach then your dont have enough air=throttle body issue OR your injectors are bad and sqourt fuel instead of air soling it.

1990 BMW 3... | Answered on Dec 06, 2013

check your brake light bulbs. probably corosion on light bulb plug is creating a short and blowing fuse

1990 BMW 3... | Answered on Mar 13, 2013

If your car have motronic 1.3 the most accurate and simple way to find your problem is put the key in the ON position (but do not start it).Then fully press the accelerator and fully release it 5 times.Once you have done this the Check Engine light should blink once and after a short pause start to blink a four digits code. The code language and what it means is explined on this link:http://e30world.com/fuel/BMW-E30-DME-Motronic-fault-codes

1990 BMW 3... | Answered on Oct 10, 2012

Hi there:
First I suggest check this information about "engine noses"...

A clicking or tapping noise that gets louder when you rev the engine is probably "tappet" or upper valvetrain noise caused by one of several things: low oil pressure, excessive valve lash, or worn or damaged parts.

First, check the engine dipstick to see if the oil level is low. If low, add oil to bring it back up to the full mark. Is the engine still noisy? Check your oil pressure. A low gauge reading (or oil warning light) would indicate a serious internal engine problem that is preventing normal oil pressure from reaching the upper valvetrain components. The cause might be a worn or damaged oil pump, a clogged oil pump pickup screen or a plugged up oil filter. Using too thick a viscosity of motor oil during cold weather can also slow down the flow of oil to the upper valvetrain, causing noise and wear.

Worn, leaky or dirty lifters can also cause valvetrain noise. If oil delivery is restricted to the lifters (plugged oil galley or low oil pressure), the lifters won't "pump up" to take up the normal slack in the valvetrain. A "collapsed" lifter will then allow excessive valve lash and noise.

If you can rule out lubrication-related problems as a cause, the next step would be to remove the valve cover(s) and check valve lash. On older import engines, mechanical lifters require periodic valve lash adjustments (typically every 30,000 miles). Too much space between the tips of the rocker arms and valve stems can make the valvetrain noisy -- and possibly cause accelerated wear of both parts.

To measure (and adjust) valve lash, you need a feeler gauge. The gauge is slid between the tip of the valve stem and rocker arm (or the cam follower or the cam itself on overhead cam engines) when the piston is at top dead center (valve fully closed). Refer to a manual for the specified lash and adjustment procedure. Also, note whether the lash spec is for a hot or cold engine (this makes a big difference!).

On engines with hydraulic lifters, oil pressure pumps up the lifters when the engine is running to maintain zero lash in the valvetrain. This results in quiet operation. So if the rocker arms are clattering, it tells you something is amiss (bad lifter or worn or damaged parts) or the rocker arms need adjusting.

Inspect the valvetrain components. Excessive wear on the ends of the rocker arms, cam followers (overhead cam engines) and/or valve stems can open up the valve lash and cause noise. So too can a bent pushrod or a broken valve spring.

Usually bad news. A deep rapping noise from the engine is usually "rod knock," a condition brought on by extreme bearing wear or damage. If the rod bearings are worn or loose enough to make a dull, hammering noise, you're driving on borrowed time. Sooner or later one of the bearings will fail, and when it does one of two things will happen: the bearing will seize and lock up the engine, or it will attempt to seize and break a rod. Either way your engine will suffer major damage and have to be rebuilt or replaced.

Bearing noise is not unusual in high mileage engines as well as those that have been neglected and have not had the oil and filter changed regularly. It can also be caused by low oil pressure, using too light a viscosity oil, oil breakdown, dirty oil or dirt in the crankcase, excessive blowby from worn rings and/or cylinders (gasoline dilutes and thins the oil), incorrect engine assembly (bearings too loose), loose or broken connecting rod bolts, or abusive driving.

Bearing wear can be checked by dropping the oil pan and inspecting the rod and main bearings. If the bearings are badly worn, damaged or loose, replacing the bearings may buy you some time. But if the bearings are badly worn or damaged, the crankshaft will probably have to be resurfaced - which means a complete engine overhaul or replacing the engine is the vehicle is worth the expense.

The cause here may be Spark Knock (Detonation) caused by an inoperative EGR valve, overadvanced ignition timing, engine overheating, carbon buildup in the combustion chambers, or low octane fuel.

Hope this helps; also keep in mind that your feedback is important and I`ll appreciate your time and consideration if you leave some testimonial comment about this answer.

Thank you for using FixYa, have a nice day.

1990 BMW 3... | Answered on Jun 21, 2012

Car not starting or turning over indicates towards multiple possibilities. It can be issue with battery or weak battery. But if battery checks out ok, then it can be starter issue or faulty alternator or problem with low fuel pressure or no spark at spark plugs due to dirty spark plugs or faulty ignition coil or injectors getting cracked or dirty and needs to be cleaned.

To confirm the problem, the basic troubleshooting is required.

Click this link below and follow the troubleshooting:------



This will help.


1990 BMW 3... | Answered on Feb 18, 2012


These are fuse issues.

If you look in your owners manual, it will tell you were these fuses are. If you do not have a owners manual, you will find the fuse box under hood up toward windshield on drivers side. It is normally a black box, and is size about 8 inches wide, and about 12 inches long. Comes off real easy with front clips that you push in, and lift. You will see all the main fuses, as well as you will see on inside of lid, all the names of the fuses as well as location. Simple diagram, easy to find. Most likely it is a fuse, and replace the fuses, it is hard to tell if they are bad. Most BMW's have spare fuses in the lid of the fuse box in a area, where they are just stored. I hope this helps Mike.

ps. I own myself a 93 BMW 325is, so this is why i have some good info for you.


1990 BMW 3... | Answered on Aug 07, 2011

Locks need to be resync'd. Lock doors at drivers side, go around to pass side unlock & relic 2-3 times. If you can't do from pass door then try trunk lock. If sync doesn't take, then one of your actuators are bad and I'd have BMW look at it or a good BMW specialty shop.

1990 BMW 3... | Answered on Apr 04, 2011

i had this problem with my 1990 316i and had to replace the fuel pump. the pump can be expensive but with a little doctoring with the return pipe a cheaper pump will do. hope this helps

1990 BMW 3... | Answered on Apr 04, 2011

Looking over the fender at the fuse box, you see three rows of relays. The first row, closest to the engine, has three relays. Below that are two rows of six relays each. Counting from the left:
Row One 1) Fuel Pump Relay 2) Main Relay 3) Oxygen Sensor Heater
Row Two 4) Horn 5) Tail/Fog Lights 6) Low Beam 7) High Beam 8) Emergency Flasher 9) Heater/AC Blower
Row Three 10) Rear Defogger 11) ABS System 12) ABS Pump 13) Radiator Fan High Speed 14) A/C Compressor 15) Radiator Fan Low Speed
#15 in the lower right corner of the fuse box is the one that seems to take the most grief and fail the most often.

1990 BMW 3... | Answered on Mar 06, 2011

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