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Old 01-12-2019, 10:44 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Germany
Car: BMW 318i Cabriolet 1996
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Default a long story but 1 cylinder firing after air filter problem

First of all it should read 1 Cylinder is not firing... but it wont let me edit the title

Ok so I purchased a 1996 BMW 318i cabriolet (E36 M42 i think) for the girlfriend thinking it would be a good solid car, and am having nothing but problems.

The seller had an aftermarket air filter on that was poorly put on so I spent 20 mins and put the original back, well the car ran like an absolute dog unless the filter was perfectly placed, so I put the aftermarket thing back on and went to the forums.

After doing some research and checking some things I found a hole in the boot, sorry im getting ahead of myself, the girlfriend was driving the car home when it started driving really bad and wanting to stall, she hobbled it home rather than stopping, (i could smell some burning plastic when she got it home, like a cable had shorted out) since then its been running on 3 cylinders only.

so after putting the new boot on and getting the air filter sorted I hoped the car would be driving right, but the now cylinder number 1 isnt firing. there is a spark and unburnt fuel on the plug but yeah it runs like a dog still. I swapped the spark plugs round and it stayed on cylinder 1, swapped HT lead around so they were correctly matched (socket 1 to plug 1 using cable #2) and the fault didnt move it ran on 2 cylinders instead (i broke the lead removing it and replaced it from the local scrap yard)so....

Im left with thinking its either a burnt out wire, clogged injectors or cylinder head, there is some white smoke coming out the exhaust but i hoped that was more to do with the back box falling off the damn thing, and maybe water in the air box, it was raining when i put it together, but its long dried now. Today it is in the garage having the exhaust replaced at the moment, they have checked the coil box, he is currently doing a pressure test on the cylinder, but im really concerned we have brought a lemon.

Would injector cleaner be worth it? I can do alot of the work myself, only reason its at the garage today is to use the ramp for the damn exhaust, as i'd had no luck i thought i'd let them check but I really need some peace of mind.

Any ideas of what you might look for if she was your dog? some hints on possible burnt out wire locations would be great, if its a wire it has to be in a specific spot to only have that 1 influencing problem.

Update: Garage reports no pressure cylinder 1 and oil everywhere FML

Last edited by Titan; 01-12-2019 at 11:47 AM.

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