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Help! Car keeps cutting off....

Discussion in 'E34 (1989-1995)' started by mylifemysoul, Mar 18, 2011.

    mylifemysoul guest

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    I have a 1995 530i e34. We just bought the car, and was working fine. Then it started shutting off in stop/go traffic. On the highway, no problems.

    Twice in a half hour at two stop lights, the car cut off and the gear locked - couldn't get it out of park. Then i disconnected the battery for about 10 mins, and then it ran for another 10 minutes then cut off.

    It is at the BMW repair shop in midtown manhattan (I can't remember the name) with Jacob. His partner (Ethan) cannot figure out why the car keeps shutting off. There are no air leaks, gaskets were cracked and have been replaced. Jacob says there are no air leaks.

    Gear locks because of the alarm (another issue)

    Can anyone shed any light on why the engine keeps cutting off?

    Thanks in advance.
    • Member


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    Let's hope the genuine gurus kick in on this one. I might venture a guess as to some faulty electronic something someplace - ECU, some module, something electronic related to the transmission perhaps, maybe even the dipstick. My older BMW's will stop running if the oil dipstick is pulled out, but that's more immediate, wouldn't think necessarily it could be related to a running problem like you describe. If your shop isn't familiar enough w/ the car to work through and check all the possibilities, you may have to consider finding someplace that can.

    Hope it can get worked out!

    cwbiii guest

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    Vacuum leak or manifold leak.

    Check the condition of the boots on both side of the mass flow sensor... I suspect that they are on the way out because of old age.


    drummerfc guest

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    I'm having a similar problem....the RPMs fluctuate wildly when stopped (mostly in the first 10 mins of driving and almost exclusively in the morning). I warm the car up for a good 5-10 mins. first thing in the AM, especially during these cold days we still have. The issue doesn't occur while warming up and (I'll assume) the electronic fuel injection system is "open". The problem occurs at my first stop of the trip, and sometimes 2 or 3 after that.

    Symptoms: The tach flits up and down between 1500 and 500 rpms and the car feels like it's going to stall out...sometimes it stalls altogether. I have to pump the gas pedal to get it back consistent. Once I get rolling at a decent speed, it doesn't seem to happen at stops after that.

    I've already had the Idle Control Valve (or whatever the heck that part is called) replaced recently (no more than a month ago) and the problem, while a little better, is still there post-replacement. :mad:

    Any thoughts/suggestions?? I'm pulling my hair out over here with this :eek::confused: !!

    Thanks in advance...

    mylifemysoul guest

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    Thanks MGarrison.

    Well, two weeks later, the car is still in the shop. The place I took it to is TNS BMW Auto Repair in NYC. Ethan is working on the car and he's baffled. After replacing the idle control valve and replacing the relay today, I get a call that the wires are fried and now the car won't start at all.

    He's baffled and I'm going to look at it tomorrow. So far, I've had the car 3 weeks and it's been in the shop for 2 weeks! ARRGH!

    The car ran fine the first week we had it. And now this! I'm totally baffled as well! ARRGH!

    cwbiii guest

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    Did you check the boots?

    I hope so since this is how the car acts when they get old... they seem to work different after they have warmed up. The one on the manifold side my son's fingers went through it when he tried to remove it... they may have been original, the car has low mileage for its age.

    His was surging and stalling... when cold... although it could be just the opposite and be the same problem.

    The "boots" are the formed hoses between the intake manifold -> mass flow sensor -> air filter box. If the one on the intake manifold side leaks then the computer cannot get the fuel air mix correct. If the other leaks it allows nasty stuff like dust and grit into the combustion chamber.


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