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.
BMWs are a popular vehicle; ranging from a mid-size family sedan to a sporty coupe, these versatile, stylish cars provide a wealth of opportunity. The German love for reliability holds true, and the well-engineered BMW will always be there for you. Consistency, attractiveness, styling, and power come together to provide the perfect car for all scenarios.
However, regular wear and tear can—and of course does—occur, even in these gems. One area that can be problematic is the clutch. While a bad clutch can be an issue in many cars, it’s particularly important in a BMW. When driving a manual, a bad clutch can imperil portions of the rest of the car, which you want to avoid when driving an expensive and well-engineered car.
When dealing with a potential clutch issue, most car owners and even some mechanics will immediately jump to a clutch replacement. This isn’t always the case, and only some complaints actually need the pricey repair. The most common complaints that drivers have about their clutches are: even with the clutch pedal pushed down the shifter won’t move into gear; the clutch pedal has to be pressed to the floor in order to shift gears; the clutch pedal itself feels loose or unattached; there is a knocking or shifting sound when the car is in neutral; the engine begins to rev up faster than expected in any given gear; the car doesn’t move immediately after the clutch pedal is released, or the vehicle doesn’t move at all; there is any kind of strange noise when the clutch is pressed; or there is a vibration of the pedal when the clutch is engaged.
While all of these are real problems and do need mechanical attention, it’s likely that only the second half of the list requires a clutch replacement. The others are caused not by clutch disc wear, but generally by some kind of fault in the hydraulic system, or an issue with bearings or gears in the transmission.
Any kind of poor performance on the part of the clutch is always going to impair the ride—and therefore your enjoyment of the vehicle. This is a particularly large problem in a BMW, because the high-quality ride and comfort is compromised if your clutch is not working correctly.
The best way to avoid clutch problems is to reduce clutch wear. Wear only occurs during the time the clutch is being engaged and disengaged; the rest of the time it’s spinning at the same speed as the flywheel, and no friction is caused. If the clutch is engaged or disengaged suddenly or harshly, the clutch wears out a lot faster, so it’s necessary to disengage/engage the clutch pedal gently and carefully. This is especially prevalent in changing to first gear, as that’s where a majority of severe clutch wear occurs.
Other causes of clutch wear include excess weight—like pulling a trailer—and constantly going up and down hills, as more acceleration increases friction.
As with all car-related issues, the best way to make sure that your BMW will remain in tip-top shape is by following the maintenance schedule rigorously and taking it into the shop if there are any questions. Most clutches are designed to last around 75,000 miles, so with careful use a clutch replacement should rarely be necessary, provided you take responsible and safe care with the vehicle.
* BMW M2 image credit goes to: teddyleung.
You may be facing a catch-22 with your BMW clutch. Many BMW parts are plastic or thin metal to save on car weight. It does indeed make it lighter and rust-proof, but plastic does not withstand pressure and friction as well as metal does.
You may be able to repair just part of the clutch, but if the damage is too extensive, you may need to replace the entire kit. If you choose to do these repairs yourself, be sure to be prepared and keep plenty of spare parts, especially new aluminum bolts on hand. If you have any questions, please call the experts at Euro Plus Automotive.
An excellent example of this catch-22 is the shift fork pivot pin. This plastic pin breaks easily, leaving you with an inoperable clutch. The logical solution to this is to replace it with a brass AGA pin. Even with this replacement, you need to be careful because the housing unit this pin fits into is fragile. If you tap the brass pin in with a hammer, you may crack the housing around it, leaving you with a significantly more expensive replacement.
If you cannot merely repair parts, you will have to replace the entire clutch. Make sure you have a new clutch kit ready and new transmission bolts before beginning. Aluminum bolts will always need to be replaced.
1. After lowering the transmission from the engine, remove the six 6mm Allen bolts from the pressure plate in an alternating pattern. Do not let the plate fall when removing it.
2. Remove the flywheel by removing the six T60 Torx bolts from the flywheel in an alternating pattern. If the flywheel surface is in good shape, you can leave it installed. Otherwise, you must replace it.
3. Remove and replace the pilot bearing. Use a bearing driver to install the new bearing.
4. Install and center the clutch disc using the alignment tool. (Your clutch kit should come with one.) Remove the center bolt from alignment tool.
5. Next, install the pressure plate on the alignment dowels. This requires six new Allen fasteners. Tighten the fasteners until pressure plate is flush with the flywheel.
6. Double check to ensure that the pressure plate is flush with the flywheel, and then remove the SAC lock. Most come out by rotating counterclockwise using a 14mm Allen. If the SAC moves and ratchets, you need additional special tools to reset the SAC feature of the pressure plate.
7. Next, torque six new Allen fasteners. Check your vehicle specifications for to confirm torque details. Then remove the clutch disc alignment tool from the clutch disc.
8. To service the bell housing, first remove the throwout bearing, sliding it off the transmission output shaft. Then release the spring retaining clip and remove the clutch fork from the bell housing.
9. Next, replace the throwout guide bushing by removing the four 10mm fasteners, then remove guide bushing from the transmission. Install the new guide bushing, then install and tighten the fasteners. Install a new clutch fork if you are replacing it, or reinstall the old one. Then slide the new throwout bearing over the guide bushing and put it in alignment with the clutch fork.
10. Finally, it is time to reinstall the transmission. Your clutch kit should come with spine grease, which you need to apply to the spines on the transmission output shaft. Jack the transmission into its proper place, then slide the transmission shaft into the clutch. Once engaged, slide the transmission forward until the bell housing is lined up flush with the engine. Install and tighten the bell housing fasteners and make sure to replace all the aluminum bolts. Once you tighten the transmission bolts, you may install the transmission mount and secure the transmission in place.
As you can see, repairing and replacing the clutch in a BMW is not a simple task. You need the correct tools and know-how, or you can find someone else to help you. If are in the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles County, CA, near Canoga Park or Woodland Hills, be sure to check in with Euro Plus Automotive for your BMW clutch repair needs. We have years of experience working on European vehicles, so our service technicians can provide you the expert assistance to make sure it gets done, and it gets done right.