Q: Car won't idle, sputters and shuts off. 1995 BMW 318is

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The car wouldn't start when I purchased it, but it was a bargain so I took it and planned to repair it. The fuel pump went bad, so I had it replaced and now the car starts right up. However, the car has idling problems. Each time in neutral, it would start sputtering and shut off. If the gas is applied in neutral, it has no issues. When I checked the oil, I think there was some coolant in it. I had the oil and fuel filter replaced also. Later I checked the oil and it had no traces of coolant in it. What might be the issue with the car and how costly would the repair be?

Hello there, a few different faults could cause this issue on your 1995 BMW 318is. When oil and coolant mix, the usual suspect is the head gasket. The mixing of coolant and oil may take some time to develop and is usually associated with the engine overheating.

For the idling issues in neutral, this could also be linked to the head gasket issue, or a vacuum leak, MAF sensor, low fuel pressure, spark plugs, or coil. In cars where a head gasket is suspected it should not be driven to avoid overheating the vehicle or causing further damage. A qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic will be able to inspect the vehicle to determine what is causing the idle faults and stalling issues.

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