Bucking/surging problem with my 1998 BMW 318is

John Avis by | January 30, 2020 | My 1998 318is

How I fixed a surging and idle problem with my 1998 BMW 318is with M44 engine.
For a week or so now I have been noticing a problem when driving that most occurs when going down hills where I can feel the car bucking or surging. I also noticed that sometimes it would idle at about 1,100 rpm instead of the usual 700-800 rpm.

I started noticing that the fuel consumption gauge was showing a reading above zero when the car was moving in gear but I wasn't touching the throttle, where usually it should read zero.

It turns out the car was randomly accelerating a little on its own.

I checked for fault codes but there were none reported and tried cleaning the throttle body in case it wasn't fully closing, but that didn't help the problem.

I asked on the BMW M42 / BMW M44 Facebook group for suggestions on what the problem might be and got a few responses including somebody who had experienced the same issue and found the cause was the wiring to the throttle position sensor (TPS).

I checked the wiring to mine and it looked okay but I unplugged and plugged the connector back in several times to make sure the connection was good, and amazingly that solved the problem.


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About me

I am a bit of a 3 series fanatic, having owned a couple of E30s and a few E36s, plus a few parts cars. I like the combination of the compact size, good performance and handling, and that they are more sports sedan than an impractical and extrovert sports car. This blog is a place to share my experience and knowledge.


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