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View Full Version : Car stopped running while driving on the Interstate


knl538
04-06-2005, 02:17 PM
Okay, so yesterday morning on my way to work I experienced a weird mechanical breakdown on my 1998 528. I was driving about 65 mph on the Interstate when the car just lost power. It went down to 50 mph while I was still pressing the gas pedal and then all of a sudden took off an caught back up to 6o mph. This freaked me out. Suddenly, it did again and then once more until it finally just totally lost power. I coasted over to the side of the road and came to a stop. The car was off. I attempted to start the car again and it would not start. So, I called a tow truck. While waiting on the tow, maybe 10 minutes, I started the car but it only stayed on for maybe 10 seconds.

The dealer called me today saying that they were unable to get the car started. I was sitting on the phone thinking 'duh' that's why it was towed in there. So then they said that my EWS needed to be replaced because it couldn't read the chip in my key. I asked if I needed to just bring another key up there. They said that the technician said that he was pretty sure that it was the EWS and not the key. I then asked if this EWS problem could cause my car to lose power and surge like it did before cutting off in the middle of the darned freeway. They said 'maybe.' I was thinking when I took it in there, that it was going to be a fuel pump or something related. So, I told him not to do anything until I brought another key up there to rule out the other key being bad. So far, they haven't called me back but my concern is that they are going to try to nickel and dime me to death. I had no problems with the key. Even when the car wouldn't start it turned over and attempted to crank but it didn't seem to getting any fuel. I thought that if the EWS or key were bad that it wouldn't try to crank at all.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? All advice is appreciated.

Lanc3r
04-06-2005, 02:47 PM
Okay, so yesterday morning on my way to work I experienced a weird mechanical breakdown on my 1998 528. I was driving about 65 mph on the Interstate when the car just lost power. It went down to 50 mph while I was still pressing the gas pedal and then all of a sudden took off an caught back up to 6o mph. This freaked me out. Suddenly, it did again and then once more until it finally just totally lost power. I coasted over to the side of the road and came to a stop. The car was off. I attempted to start the car again and it would not start. So, I called a tow truck. While waiting on the tow, maybe 10 minutes, I started the car but it only stayed on for maybe 10 seconds.

The dealer called me today saying that they were unable to get the car started. I was sitting on the phone thinking 'duh' that's why it was towed in there. So then they said that my EWS needed to be replaced because it couldn't read the chip in my key. I asked if I needed to just bring another key up there. They said that the technician said that he was pretty sure that it was the EWS and not the key. I then asked if this EWS problem could cause my car to lose power and surge like it did before cutting off in the middle of the darned freeway. They said 'maybe.' I was thinking when I took it in there, that it was going to be a fuel pump or something related. So, I told him not to do anything until I brought another key up there to rule out the other key being bad. So far, they haven't called me back but my concern is that they are going to try to nickel and dime me to death. I had no problems with the key. Even when the car wouldn't start it turned over and attempted to crank but it didn't seem to getting any fuel. I thought that if the EWS or key were bad that it wouldn't try to crank at all.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? All advice is appreciated.


It could be anything. I would definitly stay away from dealer service if you are out of warranty.

Does sound like you SA is making stuff up to act like thay actually did any diagnosis. In my experience, independent shops are cheaper and more knowledgable.

540ia
04-06-2005, 02:58 PM
The only thing that I've had close to this situation is when my car just shut off and went into a failsafe mode. Luckily I had just filled up with gas and was turning out of a parking lot. (not cruising down the interstate at 65) Turned out the thermostat had frozen and burned out my wiring harness. The car would not turn over at all. I've got a '02 540ia with Dinan upgrades.
Mileage was around 61,000.





Okay, so yesterday morning on my way to work I experienced a weird mechanical breakdown on my 1998 528. I was driving about 65 mph on the Interstate when the car just lost power. It went down to 50 mph while I was still pressing the gas pedal and then all of a sudden took off an caught back up to 6o mph. This freaked me out. Suddenly, it did again and then once more until it finally just totally lost power. I coasted over to the side of the road and came to a stop. The car was off. I attempted to start the car again and it would not start. So, I called a tow truck. While waiting on the tow, maybe 10 minutes, I started the car but it only stayed on for maybe 10 seconds.

The dealer called me today saying that they were unable to get the car started. I was sitting on the phone thinking 'duh' that's why it was towed in there. So then they said that my EWS needed to be replaced because it couldn't read the chip in my key. I asked if I needed to just bring another key up there. They said that the technician said that he was pretty sure that it was the EWS and not the key. I then asked if this EWS problem could cause my car to lose power and surge like it did before cutting off in the middle of the darned freeway. They said 'maybe.' I was thinking when I took it in there, that it was going to be a fuel pump or something related. So, I told him not to do anything until I brought another key up there to rule out the other key being bad. So far, they haven't called me back but my concern is that they are going to try to nickel and dime me to death. I had no problems with the key. Even when the car wouldn't start it turned over and attempted to crank but it didn't seem to getting any fuel. I thought that if the EWS or key were bad that it wouldn't try to crank at all.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? All advice is appreciated.

SS
04-06-2005, 05:14 PM
Okay, so yesterday morning on my way to work I experienced a weird mechanical breakdown on my 1998 528. I was driving about 65 mph on the Interstate when the car just lost power. It went down to 50 mph while I was still pressing the gas pedal and then all of a sudden took off an caught back up to 6o mph. This freaked me out. Suddenly, it did again and then once more until it finally just totally lost power. I coasted over to the side of the road and came to a stop. The car was off. I attempted to start the car again and it would not start. So, I called a tow truck. While waiting on the tow, maybe 10 minutes, I started the car but it only stayed on for maybe 10 seconds.

The dealer called me today saying that they were unable to get the car started. I was sitting on the phone thinking 'duh' that's why it was towed in there. So then they said that my EWS needed to be replaced because it couldn't read the chip in my key. I asked if I needed to just bring another key up there. They said that the technician said that he was pretty sure that it was the EWS and not the key. I then asked if this EWS problem could cause my car to lose power and surge like it did before cutting off in the middle of the darned freeway. They said 'maybe.' I was thinking when I took it in there, that it was going to be a fuel pump or something related. So, I told him not to do anything until I brought another key up there to rule out the other key being bad. So far, they haven't called me back but my concern is that they are going to try to nickel and dime me to death. I had no problems with the key. Even when the car wouldn't start it turned over and attempted to crank but it didn't seem to getting any fuel. I thought that if the EWS or key were bad that it wouldn't try to crank at all.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? All advice is appreciated.

It kinda seems to me that the hoses that are connected to your Air Filter may have been disconnected. When this happens, the vehicle loses power, and will not start. If you look at the air filter on your vehicle, track all the hoses that go back and up onto the left side of your engine...off the top of my head, I'll say a total of three must be connected to the electrical piece (sorry, can't think of the terms, I've sold two cars today and a little out of my mind right now). If there is a hole in the hose, or if one has become disconnected, it WILL cause your car to stall and not start again.

When the vehicle stalled, did all the lights come on, by chance?

knl538
04-07-2005, 07:44 AM
SS, I don't recall if all the lights came on. I was to busy trying to coast off the Interstate and avoid a multiple car collision.

The Service Advisor called me yesterday evening and told me that he agreed with me on my argument that it didn't really seem like my EWS was bad. He said that he was going to get the service manager involved because he didn't feel comfortable with me having the EWS replaced when the symptoms don't point to that. I still think it's fuel related (ie, fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel injector, etc.) but I'm not a mechanic.

BMW528i_Bilal
04-07-2005, 11:52 AM
The only thing that I've had close to this situation is when my car just shut off and went into a failsafe mode. Luckily I had just filled up with gas and was turning out of a parking lot. (not cruising down the interstate at 65) Turned out the thermostat had frozen and burned out my wiring harness. The car would not turn over at all. I've got a '02 540ia with Dinan upgrades.
Mileage was around 61,000.


what is the failsafe mode and how does it work? From this thread im freaked out now :eek: Safety problem. The dealers are thieves, they charge so much for service, and charge so much for reapirs. Seriously the best bet is to lease a new 5 series and when the warranty is over get a new car. This is the same thing with every german car, after 5 years they start to fall apart, and eventually become unreliable

540ia
04-07-2005, 12:04 PM
what is the failsafe mode and how does it work? From this thread im freaked out now :eek: Safety problem. The dealers are thieves, they charge so much for service, and charge so much for reapirs. Seriously the best bet is to lease a new 5 series and when the warranty is over get a new car. This is the same thing with every german car, after 5 years they start to fall apart, and eventually become unreliable


Apparently the "fail safe mode" will come on in situations that could ultimately cause major damage to the engine/transmission--major component type issues. You will see it appear in the center console message area. It also talks about this "fail safe mode" in the owner's manual. The theory it is better to protect the "brain" and inner organs. The plus of this is you don't do more damage. The minus doesn't give you much warning. Luckily I had just filled up with gas and was in a parking lot. In my case the thermostat had to be replaced along with the wiring harness. Don't get me wrong..that certainly was no fun to replace--about $400 worth of no fun. But it beats your engine seizing.

knl538
04-08-2005, 02:27 PM
Just like I thought, after "replacing" the EWS they are now saying that it's the fuel pump. Honestly, I believe that's what was wrong the hold time. It didn't cost me anymore, because my service agreement paid for it, but they still ended up getting over on the warranty company. After they replace the fuel pump, I wonder if they'll try to come up with more phantom problems.

BMW528i_Bilal
04-11-2005, 07:01 AM
Apparently the "fail safe mode" will come on in situations that could ultimately cause major damage to the engine/transmission--major component type issues. You will see it appear in the center console message area. It also talks about this "fail safe mode" in the owner's manual. The theory it is better to protect the "brain" and inner organs. The plus of this is you don't do more damage. The minus doesn't give you much warning. Luckily I had just filled up with gas and was in a parking lot. In my case the thermostat had to be replaced along with the wiring harness. Don't get me wrong..that certainly was no fun to replace--about $400 worth of no fun. But it beats your engine seizing.

The engine light is now flashing on my 5 series, im not taking it out on the highway or driving it for that matter. I just paid $5000 for repairs a month and a half ago, and once again looks like a couple hundreds or thousands down the drain. I believe my "fail safe mode" came on when i was on the highway once with my 318i and the engine belt broke, and some kind of rotory thing came on, taking me to the nearest exit and a safe place to park.

knl538
04-14-2005, 06:26 AM
Ok. So I went to pick up my car yesterday from the dealership. They installed a new EWS (which was unnecessary) and a new fuel pump. The SA goes to pull my car around and he discovers that the engine light has come back on. I got a call from him yesterday evening and the SA told me that the car has 2 fuel pumps. :dunno: Does anyone know if this is true? He was very apologetic about the service that I had recieved to date. In the back of my mind, I'm wondering if they screwed up my car somehow and are now launching some big coverup. How can they possibly be this clueless about a 1998 528? It took them 4 days to get a fuel pump. Meanwhile, I had called around to three other dealerships in the city and they all had fuel pumps in stock for my vehicle. Can anyone help me with this 2 fuel pump business?

BMW528i_Bilal
04-14-2005, 06:31 AM
Ok. So I went to pick up my car yesterday from the dealership. They installed a new EWS (which was unnecessary) and a new fuel pump. The SA goes to pull my car around and he discovers that the engine light has come back on. I got a call from him yesterday evening and the SA told me that the car has 2 fuel pumps. :dunno: Does anyone know if this is true? He was very apologetic about the service that I had recieved to date. In the back of my mind, I'm wondering if they screwed up my car somehow and are now launching some big coverup. How can they possibly be this clueless about a 1998 528? It took them 4 days to get a fuel pump. Meanwhile, I had called around to three other dealerships in the city and they all had fuel pumps in stock for my vehicle. Can anyone help me with this 2 fuel pump business?

ah damn, are the fuel pumps expensive?

knl538
04-14-2005, 07:34 AM
The first fuel pump was $117 plus labor.

BMW528i_Bilal
04-14-2005, 08:01 AM
The first fuel pump was $117 plus labor.


i have no problem with the actual pump, how much would labour cost, im guessing around $500-$1000 at this rate

bimmerd00d
08-24-2005, 11:11 AM
My moms' 2000 528iA did this exact same thing. Camshaft Position Sensor was the problem.

jygesq
08-24-2005, 01:01 PM
Ok. So I went to pick up my car yesterday from the dealership. They installed a new EWS (which was unnecessary) and a new fuel pump. The SA goes to pull my car around and he discovers that the engine light has come back on. I got a call from him yesterday evening and the SA told me that the car has 2 fuel pumps. :dunno: Does anyone know if this is true? He was very apologetic about the service that I had recieved to date. In the back of my mind, I'm wondering if they screwed up my car somehow and are now launching some big coverup. How can they possibly be this clueless about a 1998 528? It took them 4 days to get a fuel pump. Meanwhile, I had called around to three other dealerships in the city and they all had fuel pumps in stock for my vehicle. Can anyone help me with this 2 fuel pump business? there are two fuel pick ups. crossover house could be pinched. Seems they do not know what they are doing