Well, after 5 years and 140K my M3 left me stranded yesterday for the
first time... :(
I don't blame her-- she has been flawless all this time.
I was leaking fuel all over the freeway and inside the car, under the
rear passenger seat.
I consumed 1/4 of a tank in just 3 miles, so that gives you a good idea.
I've heard of this happening before to other people on this list,
but I don't remember what the cause was. Anybody have the 411 on this?
The car doesn't leak when engine is off.
Is this the fuel pump or some brittle hoses that need to be replaced?
Is this going to seriously affect my Christmas shopping budget?
Juan (Driving a Biturbo Audi All Road today to ease the pain...)
Had the exact samething happen except I was in stop and go traffic and just
noticed a gas smell really bad. It was my 95 M3 LTW, popped the seat out,
took the passenger side cover off. I could not believe my eyes, the fuel
line was just resting on the nipple, seems BMW uses a one time clamp and
from age, it had slipped off. The fact the car would run amazed me, it was
just resting against the nipple, no idea how fuel was getting to it.
Anyway, I just used a hose clamp and reattached it, been fine every since.
For any of you M3 owners, I would check this ASAP. When I checked my other
95, I could pull it off wiht my hands, even though there were no signs of
leakage yet. Pull the seat bottom out, undo the cover on the passenger
side of the car, check the clamps and lines on the fuel pump going into the
tank. I think it was the passenger side, not 100% positive about that.
I am surprised or wonder how many M3/325i have burned due to this happening.
Alot of fuel comes out if the hose becomes unattached.
Michael Lawrence and Juan Rico have experiences with this.
So do I.
Took LTW out for a weekend drive but consumed fuel way too fast. Parked car in
upward sloping driveway, front up rear down. Came back out 5 minutes later and
found fuel running behind the car that had come off the top of the fuel tank.
In my case:
Take off rear seat cushion.
2 oval covers.
Took off passenger side oval cover and hose is loose on plastic nipple. Clamp
loose and useless. Is a one time, non "screw and groove" clamp. Replaced with a
good screw and groove clamp and no problems since. I think the same type of
clamp is used under the drivers side oval cover. Easy to take off so just take
it off and check. Replace all those clamps with good ones and that should do. It
did for me. I think sometime in 95 the fuel line and fuel sensor configuration
in the rear changed because Bentleys seems to have 2 different configurations. I
have not seen the differences personally and I don't know if this affects the
fuel hose and clamp problem but is something for thought.
Bob Stommel helped me with mine (hi Bob! Thanks!) when it occurred.
This is a quick cheap fix. Just do it in a well ventilated area away from open
flame or heat sources and watch the sparks.
It amazes me how many people I have seen fill up their cars while smoking
cigarettes or cigars. The subtle forces of Darwin at work. Unfortunately others
are usually at the gas stations as well. Don't these people understand that it
is the fumes that explode??? Liquid gas burns, fumes explode!
Sorry for the rant.
Side note re M cars and VPC
The M cars that come direct off the boat from Germany to the BMW VPC (vehicle
preparation center) have "break in oil" in them for the trip and for the various
short starts and drives around the VPC. Near the end of the process at the VPC
the break in oil is sucked out of the car and for cars with M3 engines (M3,
Mcoupe, Mroadster) they put in Castrol full synthetic 10W60 oil. For M5 engine
cars (M5, Z8) they put in BMW branded oil 10W30 I believe. I have no idea if
they did any of this with the E36M3 cars. The guy was actually taking the cap
off of the quart bottles of oil to put in the cars by hand.
I recently suffered a similar problem where my M (70k miles) dumped about 7 gallons of gas in 1.5 miles. Also,
it only leaked when running. The problem was that the "feed" hose attached to the top of the fuel pump (under
the rear passenger-side seat) h
ad backed off substantially and the fuel pump was shooting fuel around the bottom of my car. Strange thing was
that the top of the fuel pump cover was dry and dirty (ie the excessive amounts of fuel being sprayed in the
area hadn't cleaned it which mad
e me think that this wasn't where the leak was). The fix was to pull the hose completely off the fuel pump,
pull of the old hose clamp, put on a new hose clamp, press the hose as far on as it seems willing to go, and
tighten up the new hose clamp well.
Not a bit of trouble since. Hope this helps you.
Q: Why did Chevron put a warning label on its dispensers when it
introduced RFG in California?
The label warned the owners of older or high-mileage vehicles that
testing indicated that California RFG may cause some fuel system
parts, particularly those older or worn fuel system parts in a very
small percentage of older or high-mileage vehicles, to fail. The
parts of concern were parts containing elastomers — synthetic rubberlike
materials — like 'O'-rings, hoses, valves and diaphragms.
Chevron did not expect RFG to "attack" or otherwise damage the
parts. Our concern arose because the properties of RFG differ
somewhat from those of conventional gasoline and as some older
elastomers tried to adjust to the property change, leaks or other
failures might occur. When RFG reached the market place, we learned
that the concern was not justified. There is no credible evidence
that fuel system leaks or vehicle fires increased after RFG was
After reading the recent list postings about fuel lines deteriorating and
spilling fuel onto the top of the tank, I'm wondering if this is credible
evidence that RFG caused the problem.
Thanks so much for the info. You guys nailed it.
The hose had become loose. Apparently it had been leaking slightly
for over a week before it decided to finally let loose yesterday.
I recently changed to 100 octane unleaded gas,
and I was worried that this might have been the culprit
since, as the urban legend goes, this type of gas
chews up rubber hoses, or so they say.
Time to put some serious thought into this, though.
Everybody else, if you start smelling gas,
LOOK UNDER THE REAR PASSENGER SEAT!
And the car is ready... ;)
Juan. (95///M Ready for another 140K trouble-free miles...)