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2001 BMW 525I Hesitation (Almost stalling) Problem


Hi: I have a 2001 BMW 525i. 125,000 miles. In the past 2-3 weeks, it’s been hesitating and sounds like it’s going to stall. It’s been getting progressively worse. The other night, I barely made it home because it almost stalled. Then the check engine light came on. At red lights, the car would shake. It’s being towed to my mechanic today. But I’d like your opinion on what you think it is. Thanks very much, Marybeth

Will it run at idle? If so, open the hood and locate the 3" (or so) diameter “L” shaped black rubber hose with “rings” around it. Give it a hard squeeze. Does the idle change? If so, it’s your problem. It’s very common. Got a screwdriver? $35 wholesale at the dealer. May also be available elsewhere.

The car was towed to the mechanic by the time I got your reply. But thank you. Before it nearly died on Thursday night, it was barely running at idle. At a red lights, while idling, it was shaking. Today before it left, and after I turned off the car, there was also a bad odor of gas at the rear of the car. Today, if I had to have run the car, it wouldn’t have made it down my street before stalling out. Does any of this sound like a bad fuel pump? Thanks a lot.

Don’t let any mechanic work on your car that will not first check for “Service Information” from BMW. These cars run so well so much of the time that when something like this comes up it usually has a cause that BMW knows about and has put out information on how to fix.

Your mechanic needs to find out what code is associated with the check engine light. I am thinking of a large vacuum hose in the mid-level valve cover area or a problem with the throttel body.Both are common problems that BMW has issued guidelines on how to fix.

Then it could just as easily be related to a rat that got under the hood and caused mayhem, someone must take a look.

Without knowing what code(s) are associated with the check engine light there is not much point in starting the make guesses.

The engine needs 4 things to run well: air, fuel, compression, spark. The vacuum leak guesses are about too much air. But you could have a problem in any of these areas. As much as those guesses fit you’ll also get the same thing from spark plugs & wires that are too old, insufficient fuel pressure, clogged air filter/intake etc. etc. etc.

If you want feedback your best bet is to get the exact code(s) the mechanic pulls and post them here. Don’t post “words” unless also accompanied by a code (e.g. P1234).

I agree completely. This car has been seen by the same mechanics (local, independent, specializing in German/foreign car mechanics) for the past 6 years, and sadly, they’ve seen this car too many times. In a future post, I’ll list all the issues to see if anyone thinks it’s a lemon.

Meanwhile, they always, always hook up the car to the “diagnostics machine” first to run it to see which codes show up. I’ll be very curious to see what they find today, and if for some reason they can’t determine the problem(s), I’ll get the codes and post them here for further advice. Thanks very much!