BMW is known not only for luxurious vehicles but for performance-oriented, luxury sports cars. In line with this focus on performance, some BMWs are equipped with high pressure fuel pumps. A fuel pump’s job is to ensure your BMW’s engine receives the right amount of fuel. A high pressure fuel pump does the same thing but at higher pressures, which is especially important on turbo-charged engines that need higher fuel pressure to run optimally.
Despite the high pressure fuel pump being an upgrade over a regular fuel pump, it is still subject to failure. Without proper fuel to your BMW’s engine, it cannot run correctly, or at all in some cases. There are several signs alerting you to possible high pressure fuel pump problems, so let’s review them and some of the reasons this might occur.
Signs of Failing High Pressure Fuel Pump in BMW
- Reduced fuel economy: You are likely to experience less miles to the gallon before having to refuel your BMW. This is often subjectively noticed in more trips to the gas station, but can sometimes be more accurately measured if your car is equipped with an MPG reading on the dashboard.
- Hard to start: Your BMW might be harder to start or take longer than normal to start. Although this is also a sign of problems such as a low voltage battery or starter motor trouble, it is important to also consider the fuel pump.
- Rough running: Your engine will likely run rough, including engine surging, such as RPMs jumping up before an upshift in gear. Hesitation can also be described as stuttering or sputtering, as if the engine is “jerking” and struggling to move the car smoothly. The hesitation is likely to be most noticeable between 2,000 and 4,000 RPMs.
- Stalling: In addition to running poorly, the engine might stall altogether! This is a safety hazard as the vehicle could stall in traffic or other conditions in which it is imperative you be able to move.
- Limp mode: Your BMW might engage what is known as limp mode, which is a low power operation designed to protect the engine from potential damage. You might be unable to use accessories on your vehicle at this time (air conditioning, radio, etc.) and will find you cannot drive as fast.
- High operating temperatures: The engine might get hotter than normal when the high pressure fuel pump is failing. This increased heat might also be the culprit when you notice stalling. While heat is a necessary and unavoidable component of driving a car, too much heat can cause damage and impair the engine’s ability to function normally.
- Pressure gauge: The fuel pressure gauge might read low as well, indicating that your fuel pressure is in fact lower than it should be. However, the absence of a low fuel pressure gauge reading does not mean your BMW’s high pressure fuel pump is fine, and it should still be considered when other symptoms as described above are present.
- Check-engine light: Although an indicator for a long list of problems, a check-engine light (often abbreviated as CEL) on your dashboard can signal your high pressure fuel pump is not working. Automotive service centers will be able to use a scanner to extract the trouble code and inform you whether it is likely related to the pump or not.
Failure of the high pressure fuel pump can cause a variety of symptoms that reduce performance and efficiency of your BMW. Moreover, safety can also be involved if stalling and overheating are present. Some of the reasons this can happen include using the wrong oil, neglecting oil change, solenoid failure, or even leaks in the injector pump. Due to the higher pressures, leaks are more likely, and such leaks can cause buildup of carbons, impairing functionality.
Heynneman European for Your BMW’s High Pressure Fuel Pump Service
Heynneman European is located in San Rafael, CA and also serves the nearby areas of Larkspur, Kentfield, Corte, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, and Fairfax, CA. Since 1979, we have specialized in European cars and provide you with the service you need from ASE certified technicians using the latest technology and equipment.
Our work comes with a 24-month/24,000-mile warranty. In addition, we offer loaner cars as a complimentary service, so you won’t be inconvenienced while we repair your BMW. Please call 415-499-1234 to schedule an appointment. Our address is 3155 Kerner Blvd, San Rafael, CA 94901. We look forward to servicing your BMW!