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From digest.v5.n493 Sun Nov 17 08:18:35 1996
From: "Michael Barrett" <>
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 96 04:30:09 UT
Subject: Hard Starting M20 engines

>Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 00:01:05 -0500
>Subject: Re: BMW hard to start

> My car is also hard to start sometimes. I have a 1990 525i with the
>M20 engine. I noticed that the other people complaining in this digest were
>325's but I think we share the same engine. My car starts fine most of the
>time, but every once in a while it takes two to three cranks to get it going,
>it has been doing this for as long as I can remember. I took it to the BMW
>dealer once and they told me to try and switch to Chevron super unleaded, I
>have been doing this for about three years, and maybe it doesn't do it as
>often, but when it does, it is always in a most embarrassing situation. If
>anybody has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate them. Or if you have
>any similar problems please e-mail me.

Check your fuel pump relay. My wife had an 88 325is with the same problem. We took it to a mechanic (specializes in BMW/Mercedes, but not dealer) who said "all the small sixes are that way." I later figured out it was the relay, because I realized could not hear the fuel pump noise whenever the car exhibited the hard start problem. By removing the relay and jumping the terminals to make the fuel pump run, the car would always start on the first try. New relay, no more problem.

YMMV. By the way, I don't go back to that mechanic any more.

Mike Barrett
BMWCCA # 111632

94 740i - current
95 525i - wife's current
88 325is - wife's former
85 535i - my former
80 320i - my former former
69 2000 - my first car!

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