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Hello all, as many of you know I have been dealing with some issues with my car lately, first the new UUC clutch, then my cooling fan fell off, then my cats went bad, and now my car is going in the shop this morning for new spark plugs and fuel filter, as for the latter, after I got the car back from the dealer with the cat, I was driving around the very next day, and all of a sudden the car begins to run like crap, no power, hesitation, and the SES light illuminates, so I bring the car into the dealership and they say it has recorded mutiple misfiring. so they move around a bunch of coil packs and check the Mafs but are unable to duplicate, so then they call me and ask to take a fuel sample, so I say sure and they took a sample from after the fuel filter and placed it in a clear water bottle and it was as black as coffee or used motor oil for that matter, I have never seen gas that dirty it was unreal, then they pulled the plugs and said they were marginal. So basically my first question, is this common on the plugs? 2001 with 40000 miles to need new plugs? and the gas? what in the world could have happened to the gas to make it that dirty? bad gas from the gas station? just wondering if anyone else has experienced this? As far as maintence since I have owned the car it has undergone a CPO inspection, an oil change every 5000 miles and an inspection 1, I just wonder what gives, I feel like the car is falling apart, sorry for the rant, but one last thing, ever since they replaced my cat, it sounds like something is loose or knocking around underneath the car directly under the armrest when ever I go over a bump? the car is driving me crazy lately, what happened to the car I loved to drive??? Josh
 

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Josh - Sorry to hear about your woes. You'll work it out, the car is most definitely WORTH the temporary hassles.

Now, the noise under the armrest is very likely to be at the hanger just aft of the cats. There's not much clearance there, and the exhaust pipes are probably hitting the undercarriage. A very simple (should be free) adjustment, but it probably sounds like a $2000 noise inside the cabin due to all the clunking and resonance.

I look at the cats this way - you're lucky to get new ones. I'm assuming they were free due to the warranty or gov't-mandated (EPA) 8-year emissions warranty.

Look at the plugs like this: You will see a performance improvement! A plug change more often than not will improve 1/4 times a tenth of a second (or so).

The fuel is the only thing I'd worry about. Of course you could have got a bad load from the gas station. This risk can be minimized somewhat by avoiding discount places, stick with Marathon or Shell using only Premium, of course.

Another possibility, although unlikely, is vandalism or otherwise deliberate introduction of a contaminate into the system. I use the term "contaminates" loosely, as some fuel additives, gasoline oxygenates, gas driers, fuel injection cleaners, etc. can be damaging on polymeric (rubber/plastic) fuel system components.

BMW fuel filters are relatively large, efficient, and and expensive. You mentioned that the fuel post-filter was "dirty". Hopefully what you meant was discolored but free of solids. If there were solids, then you might be looking at replacing the expensive injectors due to plugging.

Good luck bro, again, this car is absolutely worth it! :M5thumbs:

- Bill
 

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bmwusa said:
Hello all, as many of you know I have been dealing with some issues with my car lately, first the new UUC clutch, then my cooling fan fell off, then my cats went bad, and now my car is going in the shop this morning for new spark plugs and fuel filter, as for the latter, after I got the car back from the dealer with the cat, I was driving around the very next day, and all of a sudden the car begins to run like crap, no power, hesitation, and the SES light illuminates, so I bring the car into the dealership and they say it has recorded mutiple misfiring. so they move around a bunch of coil packs and check the Mafs but are unable to duplicate, so then they call me and ask to take a fuel sample, so I say sure and they took a sample from after the fuel filter and placed it in a clear water bottle and it was as black as coffee or used motor oil for that matter, I have never seen gas that dirty it was unreal, then they pulled the plugs and said they were marginal. So basically my first question, is this common on the plugs? 2001 with 40000 miles to need new plugs? and the gas? what in the world could have happened to the gas to make it that dirty? bad gas from the gas station? just wondering if anyone else has experienced this? As far as maintence since I have owned the car it has undergone a CPO inspection, an oil change every 5000 miles and an inspection 1, I just wonder what gives, I feel like the car is falling apart, sorry for the rant, but one last thing, ever since they replaced my cat, it sounds like something is loose or knocking around underneath the car directly under the armrest when ever I go over a bump? the car is driving me crazy lately, what happened to the car I loved to drive??? Josh
Josh
40k miles on plugs may be a little early, but not unreasonably so. See if you can get a look at the old ones, that will tell you how the motor was running the last few hundred miles. You should have a medium tan color. Look at the tips and see if they are rounded or worn, and check the gap.

As to fuel, if should never be black. See what the old fuel filter looks like and when it was last replaced (Inspection I?). I agree, stay primarily with high end gas stations, I prefer Chevron and Amoco. If you got gas just after the station got a fill up, it will stir up sediment and you might have gotten some of that. If the delivery truck is at the station when you pull in, get gas the next day!!

As suggested, the clunk is probably just the exhaust banging. Look underneath, there is probably a rub mark where the exhaust is hittingThey need to loosen it, adjust and retighten and you should be good to go.

Hope it all gets sorted out.
Regards,
Jerry
 

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Thanks guys, the car is at the dealership now and I should be getting it back this afternoon, they are going to check the exhaust hangers and see if they were mis aligned when they chnaged the cats, as to the gas I bought it from a bp station, so I am not sure if it was them or not, but hopefully everything will be fine, also talked to UUC about the clutch and we have an acceptable plan to all parties so hopefully everything will be better then new soon, Josh
 
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