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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-01-2006, 08:12 PM
R540 R540 is offline
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Location: So. California
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 62
Mein Auto: 1997 540i/6
new here/car won't start.... sometimes

Hello everyone. I have been reading this this site for quite some time and think that it is great. I have a question though. I just bought a 1997 540 with the 6-speed. 1 week after I bought it I had a problem with it not wanting to start, it would crank, but not start. I'm new to BMW so I took it to the dealer and diagnosed with car not recognizing the key. Bought new key, shipped from Germany, picked up the car and now it is back in the shop with the same problem. When the car will not start, if I let it sit for an hour or so and come back it usually will start. Also, when it won't start the key remote will not lock/unlock the front doors. Sorry for the long first post, but in need of some help.
Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2006, 05:14 PM
R540 R540 is offline
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Location: So. California
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 62
Mein Auto: 1997 540i/6
Update: dealership now says that the security control module is ineffective and is not reading the remote/key. However, they cannot guarentee that this will fix the problem. I'm really not excited about paying them to try to fix the problem by replacing one piece at a time. Hopefully this fixes the problem. I'll keep you all posted. By the way, does anybody else have any ideas or have had the same type of problem?
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2006, 10:57 AM
KTrostel KTrostel is offline
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Location: St. Louis, MO
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 620
Mein Auto: 1998 540i and 2002 M5
If there is a problem with the security control module that could also cause the problem with the car not starting, could not definate. Your point about not wanting to pay to swap parts is valid. I would ask the dealer how they determined that the security control module was ineffective. If their answer sounds fishy - head elsewhere. Try getting a second opinion at a reputable indy.
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:05 PM
R540 R540 is offline
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Location: So. California
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 62
Mein Auto: 1997 540i/6
The dealership said that there is an antenae (sp?) inside the module that is getting an inconsistant signal from the key. They also stated that the 97 540i does not give multiple codes to diagnose like the later models. They say that they can only go one at a time based on what the "codes" are saying.
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2006, 07:40 PM
R540 R540 is offline
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Location: So. California
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 62
Mein Auto: 1997 540i/6
Update: picked up car this afternoon after over 1 week at dealership. Had security module replaced (over a week to do this?) Anyways, picked up the car, picked up wife and kids to go out to eat. Got done eating, car won't start. Same problem as previous. Had someone pick us up and came back 45 minutes later and car started right up. I love the car but this is getting rediculous. This will be the third time back to dealership for the same problem and I keep paying for it. Someone please help....
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2006, 06:43 PM
R540 R540 is offline
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Location: So. California
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 62
Mein Auto: 1997 540i/6
Update: car has been at dealership for over 2 weeks now. They think the connection for the security module may have been loose. Also, they say that the ignition switch may be the problem. The shop foreman says that he saw a problem like this before and it was the ignition switch. I guess we will find out. I might be able to pick up the car tomorrow. By the way, the dealership loaned me an 07 525 to drive while they work on my car. Not bad, but I want my car back.
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2006, 10:11 PM
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ketchup ketchup is offline
Wrenchin'
Location: San Diego, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,051
Mein Auto: E46 M3
I have a problem similar. My car will not start from time to time. I would turn the key all the way and everything turns on but the engine, all I hear is a click like a dead battery. it has nothing to do with the battery, since I have a brand new battery(and spark plugs) now. Pestery ignition problem. Its embarassing when people are around.
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2006, 08:43 AM
NORE NORE is offline
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Location: Jersey City
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 76
Mein Auto: E39 540i
Any new update?
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  #9  
Old 10-28-2006, 06:22 PM
R540 R540 is offline
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Location: So. California
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 62
Mein Auto: 1997 540i/6
last update (hopefully) I picked the car up yesterday (Friday) morning, they re-did the connection on the security module and replaced the ignition switch. So far it is running perfectly for 2 days. I can't say what the actual problem was since they re-did 2 things and I am not totally confident that things are fixed since they never actually "identified" the problem. Next up is to replace my upper control arms.
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