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BMW With Some Problems

Q. Hello! I am relatively new to the whole chat room thing, and would LOVE some light shed on my questions. I have a 1986 325e (purchased 4 months ago with, according to my mechanic, a beautiful engine) with an idle recall that I have scheduled to be taken care of tomorrow. I recently replaced my passenger side mirror with a used one. After I did that, my engine lights began turning on. I unplugged the mirror, but then as I was driving it, I would take off from a stop and the engine would rev a little, then start slowly.

I guess my question is, how much does the idle really effect my car and the engine, and could I have done some serious damage to the car with the passenger mirror? It also lost all power when I was at a stoplight--the engine just shut off, but there were no warning lights on at the time.

One last FYI--about a week ago, I believe I got water in the gas tank, and my engine was surging. When I took it in, they could find nothing wrong mechanically, so they assumed that's what it was. Could water still be in my tank after a week and a full tank of gas? I have yet to flush it. Please help, I'm hoping to take it on a 8 hour drive for Xmas, and I love my car!

A. The idle recall should take care of the idle problem and yes, it is important to have a good steady idle. The computer works best when the inputs are steady and without fluctuations.

As far as the water in the tank, it will not go away by itself. Since water is heavier than gas, it will lay in the bottom of the tank. What you will need to do is add some dry gas to the tank. This works best when the tank is nearly empty and you put the dry gas in before you fill it up. The dry gas is mostly isopropyl alcohol and it will mix with the water and the gas. I would put two or three small bottles to start with and then one per tank (read the bottle for quantity per gallons of gas) as maintenance.

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