E30 Throttle unresponsive.

1991 318is 127k Yesterday my wife said she ran out of gas. Afriend drought her some in a can and she was on her way. I later put some more in the tank, and shortly
after I pulled into traffic only to discover that the engine would not turn faster than about 1500 rpm. At this point the engine sputters and pops and the only thing to do is shift into the next gear and wind it all the way back out to 1500 rmp... very exhilerating. I do suspect the fuel filter first, presuming that she did in fact run out of gas yester day. But if this was the problem then, and she simply assumed lack of fuel... then I would appreciate it if someone has another thought. Thanks
Matt
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M Warren wrote:

The likelihood is the last bit of fuel she had was right down there on the bottom with all the non-fuel crap that has been sloshing around in the tank for years. It picked up a slug of that and the filter caught it. So dump some fuel additive like Berrymans B12 in it, fill it half full of gas. Drive a few miles, then change the fuel filter. Then fill it up and dump another can of additive for good measure. The other possibility is fuel pump damage. Anytime you run a vehicle out of fuel, then continue to crank it to no avail, you can damage the fuel pump. The fuel is it's lubricant, so the bearings are running dry. Doesn't sound like you have a bad fuel pump though. As an aside, the fuel pump manufacturers say you should never run your car below half tank. This is especially true is you live in a hilly area.
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When you run out all the last few drops of sludge and crap get into the filters. Change them. It sure sounds like fuel starvation because of a clogged filter.
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