BMWs are designed with efficiency, high-performance, and impressive power in mind to help satisfy their fan base’s cravings for more driving satisfaction. Just like all other vehicle brands, however, BMWs have a list of specific issues their various models and series commonly encounter. One such issue in certain vehicles produced in earlier years is related to the high-pressure fuel pump. Some drivers are just now experiencing fuel pump failure, and some have dealt with the issue for years. In this article, we’ll go over some basic information about your BMW’s fuel pump, including it’s main purpose, how to spot malfunction, and what you can do moving forward to best protect your BMW from further failures.
Many BMW models are designed with twin-turbo engines, which produce a phenomenal amount of power to the vehicle. In order to keep up with the fuel demand of these engines and the precision such systems require, BMW utilized a high-pressure fuel pump to accurately and precisely spray the proper amount of fuel into the engine to create the right air-to-fuel ratio for combustion. Unfortunately, these fuel pumps are prone to failure and malfunction rather quickly into the life of the vehicle.
High-pressure fuel pump failure can cause serious performance problems that BMW drivers with an N54 engine have consistently reported over the years in the following models:
Many of these vehicles underwent a widespread recall to address the issue of faulty HPFPs, as drivers had complained for years of serious malfunctions and dangerous symptoms that put BMW enthusiasts in precarious situations while driving – the symptoms of failure are no picnic.
As we said before, the warning signs of HPFP failure are concerning to drivers – so much so that thousands of individuals worldwide complained to the manufacturer. These are just a few of the common signs of fuel pump failure that you may encounter and should constantly be on the lookout for:
If your BMW’s fuel pump fails and it falls within the affected models, it’s likely that a few different procedures will be required in order to adequately fix the problem. Depending on previous replacements, repairs, or other procedures to attempt to address the HPFP failure, the BMW manufacturer will recommend that a trained BMW specialist attend to the problem by: upgrading vehicle software, swapping out the faulty fuel pump for a newer design, and regularly inspecting the part for integrity and function.
Here at Euro Plus Automotive, we proudly specialize in German-made vehicles such as BMW. BMW-owning residents of Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, San Fernando Valley, and Los Angeles County, CA, have come to us with grievances about symptoms related to fuel pump failure – so much so that we have implemented a preventive regimen in ongoing maintenance schedules to keep failure from occurring. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms previously mentioned in your own BMW, please do not hesitate to call us directly – your vehicle’s performance and longevity is important to us, just as much as your total satisfaction with our services and ensured safety on the road.
* BMW F26 X4 image credit goes to: DarthArt.
Porsche: the name comes imbued with characteristic German capability, speed, engineering, and looks. Flashy, sophisticated, fast, stylish, luxurious—Porsche can (and does) do it all. The car preferred by sporty celebrities and wealthy parents alike, there is no doubt that Porsche cars are a great purchase. Despite their glitz and glamour, however, Porsches can face the same sorts of maintenance and technical failures as a run of the mill family car. One example is the air/oil separator—with turbo-charged engines and other add-ons, Porsches face problems just like anything else.
The air-oil separator is found in all Porsches, and is not unique to a specific style. It’s an emissions device placed in the back corner of the engine, generally on the top right-hand side. Its primary function is to collect lingering gas and vapor remaining in the crankcase, and funnel those gases back into the intake manifold. There, they are burned in the regular combustion chamber. The main job of the air-oil separator is to reduce emissions for the car overall.
When the air-oil separator fails, the results are not catastrophic, but if left untreated for a while, it can result in damage to the engine. If the air-oil separator is not working properly, it cannot separate the oil from the “air” that it is sucking back to be combusted, and oil is pulled into the intake manifold. This is not good for the engine, and can interfere with spark plugs and catalytic converters.
One of the most common—and telling—indicators that the air/oil separator is not functioning correctly is a large quantity of white smoke pouring out of the engine area. While this doesn’t happen every time, it is common enough to indicate air/oil separator failure across the board. Generally, the smoke will be accompanied by check engine light (the oil being drawn into the engine reduces the normal levels), and the oil cap can become very difficult to remove. This is due to the high vacuum levels of the engine.
The engine may also make a high-pitched squealing sound as air is being drawn through the crankcase seal—again, due to the high vacuum on the inside. Other indicating possibilities include oil leaks and dark smoke coming from the exhaust pipe.
If any of these signs occur, it’s absolutely crucial to take your Porsche to a specialized mechanic right away to avoid any long-term or reoccurring damage.
The best way to avoid any sort of problems, especially in a high-end Porsche, is to consistently and regularly follow the maintenance schedule proposed by the manufacturer. This information should be readily available in the owner’s manual that comes with the car, and further (or follow-up) questions can always be directed to a Porsche dealer or your mechanic.
However, it’s possible to do a little diagnosis yourself: measure the engine crankcase vacuum with a slack tube manometer by making a hole in the top of an old filler cap and adhering the gauge. The normal pressure ranges between four to seven inches of water—if the air/oil separator has failed, it will be between nine to twelves inches. If a manometer is not available, a regular vacuum gauge should work fine. If you are not sure—or don’t like to fiddle around under the hood—a mechanic should be able to diagnose the problem easily.
* Porsche 911 image credit goes to: Vladimir Mladenovic.