I have a 2000 318 saloon, purchased about 3 months ago. When I first bought the car I noticed it had an oil leak from the gasket on the oil filter housing (knowing they are an easy DIY and £10 to fix) this being the only fault I could find.
Living in rural North wales (miles away from stealerships and motorist supermarkets) I drove around for 3 weeks without fixing the leak. The leak got worse so I drove the 25 mile or so to get the gasket. Upon replacing the gasket I noticed there wasn't an "O" ring between the housing and the engine (hence the oil leak). Totally repaired the oil leak but the engine was blathered with oil. I steam cleaned the engine to remove the old oil. I also ran out of fuel in the car around the same time as fixing the leak (just trying to give as much info as poss as it might be relevant). A few days later the car cut out on the motorway (instant engine loss, not coughing or spluttering so I assumed electrical). I trawled this website and a few others looking for possible causes. At first it was maybe once a week it would do this. The engine would cut out, I had to dip the clutch, wait for ignition lights to come on then it would bump start. After a few weeks the fault happened more regularly. All the posts I read suggested it was the Crankshaft posssition sensor. Once or twice it would cut out whilst idleing and be a right pain to start, the rev counter would behave erratically jumping up and down (even on ignition without trying to start) there is knocks and bangs coming from the fuse box and under the bonnet the headlights also flash (even though they are not switched on.
I purchased a spurious part from "europarts" worked perfect for 2 days then it wouldnt start at all. Then i also read on a forum that cheaper parts are not good at all and to buy OEM parts. So i then went and bought an OEM from the stealership, this worked for 2 days also!!
Today I have purchased a new battery as the old one gave up with all the strain. Still the car will not start.
All the posts I have read similar to this one point towards crankshaft sensor, having changed this twice I am sure this is not the case??
Any help / advise is greatly appreciated.