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E28 (1982 - 1988)

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  #1  
Old 10-28-2010, 07:18 PM
sonechkah sonechkah is offline
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Location: Northampton, MA
 
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Mein Auto: 1987 BMW 528E
Unhappy BMW 528E Starting problems!!

Hi!

I have had my car for for about 8 years (since I was sixteen!), driven it cross-country twice and it has always been wonderfully reliant, and wonderfully good looking.

In the past year however, it has had issues starting with ever-increasing frequency.

Basically, when I turn the ignition, the lights on the dash will all turn on, including the battery light, and sometimes the windshield wipers will surge, but the car will not even crank. It doesn't make any sounds at all, just the lights and stereo come on. It always starts fine from a jump. It seems to happen in little episodes and then will drive fine for a few weeks, but lately, only for a few days. Now it happens very often and I often have to rely on the kindness of strangers to jump my car. It seems that the battery is not holding much charge because if you leave the stereo or the lights on for even seconds without the battery running, the battery will drain. But even if you don't have lights on or anything, and even after a good long drive, sometimes it just won't start. I never had this issue until about 12 months ago---before that, I'd been known to leave the headlights on all night without a problem.

It has a brand new battery and the alternator was replaced about 2 years ago. I brought it to a mechanic who didn't figure out what the issue was, he thought maybe it was some issue with the ignition???

Other than occasionally having a very rough idle (which will happen for a few minutes and then go away) the car runs very well.

Thank you in advance for any ideas, I absolutely love my little car but the issue is becoming a struggle and I'm not sure how much money I can put into it!
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2010, 07:14 AM
catso's Avatar
catso catso is offline
catso
Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonechkah View Post
Hi!

I have had my car for for about 8 years (since I was sixteen!), driven it cross-country twice and it has always been wonderfully reliant, and wonderfully good looking.

In the past year however, it has had issues starting with ever-increasing frequency.

Basically, when I turn the ignition, the lights on the dash will all turn on, including the battery light, and sometimes the windshield wipers will surge, but the car will not even crank. It doesn't make any sounds at all, just the lights and stereo come on. It always starts fine from a jump. It seems to happen in little episodes and then will drive fine for a few weeks, but lately, only for a few days. Now it happens very often and I often have to rely on the kindness of strangers to jump my car. It seems that the battery is not holding much charge because if you leave the stereo or the lights on for even seconds without the battery running, the battery will drain. But even if you don't have lights on or anything, and even after a good long drive, sometimes it just won't start. I never had this issue until about 12 months ago---before that, I'd been known to leave the headlights on all night without a problem.

It has a brand new battery and the alternator was replaced about 2 years ago. I brought it to a mechanic who didn't figure out what the issue was, he thought maybe it was some issue with the ignition???

Other than occasionally having a very rough idle (which will happen for a few minutes and then go away) the car runs very well.

Thank you in advance for any ideas, I absolutely love my little car but the issue is becoming a struggle and I'm not sure how much money I can put into it!
First you need to be certain the alternator is charging the battery. Sometimes it's as simple as a loose belt. Use a voltmeter to see what the voltage is when the car is off and when it's running. Try disconnecting the battery overnight and see if you have similar problems the next day (this helps determine whether something is draining the battery when everything is supposed to be shut off). If there's no drain on the battery start looking at all the electrical wiring, cables, and connections, particularly at the battery, starter, chassis grounds, and fusebox. Lastly if the drain continues put an ammeter on the battery and start removing and replacing fuses one at a time to try to find which circuit is causing the drain. These old cars have wiring issues, solve it or get rid of it.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2011, 12:22 PM
Muerto Muerto is offline
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Location: San Diego, CA
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 535i 1986
Im having a similar issue with my 86 535i

Car was running fine without any problems... i just got home turn it off and when trying to start the car 15 minutes later it wont start

Starter isnt making any noise and no loose wiring there, fuel pump works fine and all... but the transmission selector ( I think that is what its called ) will make a clicking sound and resets to E ( see picture ) when i choose a different selection

Any ideas what this could be????
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2011, 11:57 AM
quasio quasio is offline
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Location: Las Vegas
 
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Mein Auto: 528e BMW
Hello all. I am new to this forum today.

I have a question for all the community. Where is the fuel pump relay or jumping connections at on a 528E? My Bimmer wont start it's not getting fuel to the fuel rail. When I turn the key, it does nothing. I hook up an externel power source to the pump and fuel belches out. Can someone please tell me WTF is going on with this thing.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2011, 12:27 PM
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catso catso is offline
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Location: Chicago
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
Quote:
Originally Posted by quasio View Post
Hello all. I am new to this forum today.

I have a question for all the community. Where is the fuel pump relay or jumping connections at on a 528E? My Bimmer wont start it's not getting fuel to the fuel rail. When I turn the key, it does nothing. I hook up an externel power source to the pump and fuel belches out. Can someone please tell me WTF is going on with this thing.
The fuses and relays are grouped together in the engine compartment near the driver's side strut tower. The fuel pump relay and the horn relay are interchangable. Try switching the two. To jump the car just connect the cables to the battery; just behind the driver's side headlite area. Check and clean your battery terminals and the other electrical connections. The fuses are a known weak point to. Carefully remove and examine your fuses and replace the ones that are suspect. If you get nothing when jumping the car, I'd would start by getting a good fully charged battery. It's also possible your starter or the starter connections or positive cable from the battery is bad. Many times the corrosion is hidden under the insulation.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2011, 02:09 PM
quasio quasio is offline
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Location: Las Vegas
 
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Mein Auto: 528e BMW
Fuel Pump External

Catso,
There are two sets of three relays on each side of the Fuse box. Do you know which one it is. I have afully charged battery (its brand new). I had replaced the pos and neg cables new, and just put a new bosch starter in. Fuses I am not getting power to the ext. fuel pump in the fuse box area. When i turn the key all the other fuses are getting power except the fuel pump fuse.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2011, 03:19 PM
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catso catso is offline
catso
Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,987
Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
Quote:
Originally Posted by quasio View Post
Catso,
There are two sets of three relays on each side of the Fuse box. Do you know which one it is. I have afully charged battery (its brand new). I had replaced the pos and neg cables new, and just put a new bosch starter in. Fuses I am not getting power to the ext. fuel pump in the fuse box area. When i turn the key all the other fuses are getting power except the fuel pump fuse.
The #2 relay (outside of fuse box closer to the engine) is the fuel pump relay, and the #8 (inside the fuse box) is for the horn. That's counting from top left to right. If you're not getting any cranking at all, try jumping the starter solenoid switch with the ignition on. You may have a bad ignition switch, or if it's an automatic, possibly even a bad start relay or neutral safety switch.
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:46 AM
xz14 xz14 is offline
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Location: los angeles
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: bmw 528I
[QUOTE=sonechkah;5582317]Hi!

I have had my car for for about 8 years (since I was sixteen!), driven it cross-country twice and it has always been wonderfully reliant, and wonderfully good looking.

In the past year however, it has had issues starting with ever-increasing frequency.

Basically, when I turn the ignition, the lights on the dash will all turn on, including the battery light, and sometimes the windshield wipers will surge, but the car will not even crank. It doesn't make any sounds at all, just the lights and stereo come on. It always starts fine from a jump. It seems to happen in little episodes and then will drive fine for a few weeks, but lately, only for a few days. Now it happens very often and I often have to rely on the kindness of strangers to jump my car. It seems that the battery is not holding much charge because if you leave the stereo or the lights on for even seconds without the battery running, the battery will drain. But even if you don't have lights on or anything, and even after a good long drive, sometimes it just won't start. I never had this issue until about 12 months ago---before that, I'd been known to leave the headlights on all night without a problem.

It has a brand new battery and the alternator was replaced about 2 years ago. I brought it to a mechanic who didn't figure out what the issue was, he thought maybe it was some issue with the ignition???

Other than occasionally having a very rough idle (which will happen for a few minutes and then go away) the car runs very well.

Thank you in advance for any ideas, I absolutely love my little car but the issue is becoming a struggle and I'm not sure how much money I can put into it![/QUOTE


Follow all the advise above and if not working then try the ignition swith.
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:47 AM
xz14 xz14 is offline
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Location: los angeles
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: bmw 528I
Follow the above suggestions and if not working. You should try to check the ignition switch. Good Luck.
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  #10  
Old 03-04-2011, 02:08 PM
quimby55 quimby55 is offline
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Location: detroit
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 86 325e, 84 528e (killed)
Wink

if you dont want to replace your ignition switch, because of price or whatever, my 84 528e uses a trigger start hooked to the battery and starter run into my car to start it. i just turn the key on and press the trigger, 15 bucks from an auto store. i love my 84 and will do what it takes to keep her goin on the cheap.
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  #11  
Old 03-04-2011, 06:44 PM
south26 south26 is offline
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Location: Dayton, OH
 
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Mein Auto: 535i 1989
Or I have the ignition switches for 20 each. Both kinds.

Andy
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2014, 08:26 PM
thomas535i thomas535i is offline
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Location: ferndale, wa
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 1988 bmw 535is
Question

[QUOTE.Muerto;5775569]Im having a similar issue with my 86 535i

Car was running fine without any problems... i just got home turn it off and when trying to start the car 15 minutes later it wont start

Starter isnt making any noise and no loose wiring there, fuel pump works fine and all... but the transmission selector ( I think that is what its called ) will make a clicking sound and resets to E ( see picture ) when i choose a different selection

Any ideas what this could be????[/QUOTE]




Hello , my 88 bmw 535is has the exact same problem with the transmission selector. Did you ever figure out what the problem was?
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  #13  
Old 07-13-2014, 01:24 PM
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catso catso is offline
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Location: Chicago
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
If it doesn't even click, I would investigate the nuetral safety switch after making sure the battery, its terminals, and cables and connections are good. Next culprit would be the ignition switch.
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2014, 08:21 PM
thomas535i thomas535i is offline
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Location: ferndale, wa
 
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Mein Auto: 1988 bmw 535is
Thank you catso, by chance would you know where that is? Also do u have an idea why my widows do not work? I appreciate the help
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  #15  
Old 07-13-2014, 08:29 PM
thomas535i thomas535i is offline
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Location: ferndale, wa
 
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Mein Auto: 1988 bmw 535is
Thank you catso, by chance would you know where that is? Also do u have an idea why my widows do not work? I appreciate the help
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  #16  
Old 07-15-2014, 08:08 PM
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catso catso is offline
catso
Location: Chicago
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas535i View Post
Thank you catso, by chance would you know where that is? Also do u have an idea why my widows do not work? I appreciate the help
The switch is in the console connected to the gearshift. Your window problem may be a bad fuse, bad electrical connection, or the window lock-out switch that's near your right knee on the lower part of the dashboard. Try pushing that in and out to see if they work.
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  #17  
Old 07-16-2014, 06:39 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
Getting back to the OP - clean and check all the battery cable connections first. Then check out the starter motor and engine earth straps.
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  #18  
Old 07-19-2014, 04:17 PM
thomas535i thomas535i is offline
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Location: ferndale, wa
 
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Mein Auto: 1988 bmw 535is
I cleaned the terminals on the battery and some corrosion on a few major ground wires, the car starts now, and windows work. Although the car got new problems, the rpm gauge does not work at all, the whole dashboard will just shut at random times, the engine will have a rough idle at start up and wount stop till the car is warm. Also I have checked the OE and looks good no corrosion on any connections.

Thank you for the help
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