BMW X5 Owners & Service Manuals

BMW X5: Fuel System Testing

Fuel systems need to be checked for proper fuel pressure as well as sufficient volume. When diagnosing fuel system complaints, you must take into account the type of fuel system and how the fuel is delivered to the engine.

Malfunctions in the fuel system can cause driveability complaints which include:

When a no start condition is experienced, it is important to start with the basics. Does the vehicle have any fuel in the tank? Don't assume that there is fuel, the fuel gauge or sender circuit may be faulty. Also, the siphon jet system may be defective. Check the fuel level using the instrument cluster test steps if necessary. Check to be sure that there is fuel available on the right side of the fuel tank.

Engine Diagnosis
Fig. 10: Checking Fuel System

Once is has been determined the there is fuel in the tank. The fuel system can be tested for proper pressure. Fuel pressure specifications vary between vehicles. Until recently, most fuel systems used a pressure of 3.5 bar.

Some of the new systems use up to 5 or 6 bar. Direct injection systems use 6 bar for the fuel supply system and up to 120 bar pressure to the fuel injectors.

The fuel supply system should be tested using the appropriate fuel pressure gauge. Depending upon the vehicle, the testing methods and connections for the fuel pressure testing equipment differ.

Some vehicles have testing ports with a Schrader valve for easy hookup. Earlier vehicles did not have a test port. Testing fuel pressure required the use of a "T" connector to connect into the fuel system.

Most recently, M56 equipped (SULEV) vehicles have a sealed fuel system which require the use of a special tool.

Engine Diagnosis
Fig. 11: Identifying "T" Connector

NOTE: Always observe all safety regulations when working on fuel systems. Obey all local and state fire safety laws regarding fuel handling. Always have the proper fire extinguisher on hand when performing testing and/or repair to the fuel system.

Once it has been determined that what the fuel pressure is, compare your reading to the proper specification. If the fuel pressure is low or zero, the fuel circuit must be checked over.

See if the fuel pump is energized. Check the voltage supply and ground to the fuel pump using proper electrical testing procedures (i.e voltage drop etc.). Make sure that you analyze the fuel pump circuit. Check the fuses, connections and appropriate relays.

Also, understand the operation of the fuel pump circuit. Older vehicles were somewhat straightforward, on the other hand, the newer vehicles are using more elaborate circuits for fuel pump operation.

Engine Diagnosis
Fig. 12: Operating Power Circuit Diagram

Some vehicles, now use a control module to control the speed and flow rate of the fuel pump. The M3, M5 and vehicles equipped with the M56 engine use a fuel pump control module. The E65/E66 uses the SBSR to control the fuel pump. Take this into consideration when performing diagnosis on these vehicles.

Engine Diagnosis
Fig. 13: Fuel Pump Control Module Diagram

Always use available resources such as wiring diagrams, SI Bulletins and training material to better understand circuit operation.

Engine Diagnosis
Fig. 14: Fuel System Circuit Diagram


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