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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 12-17-2011, 04:15 PM
Triplec916 Triplec916 is offline
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Location: Sacramento
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Lightbulb 1997 528i EWS issues.. Locate? Bypass? Reprogram? PLEASE HELP

My mechanic has done a lot of work on my 1997 528i.. New Head, New headgasket, replaced starter, etc.. I don't know if it is because it has sat for a while, but the we think the EWS is the issue.

Key unlocks doors, arms the alarm, turns on all electrical components when in the on position. Won't turn ignition on. Reprogrammed key manually, still works to lock/unlock and alarm/disarm, however it seems is not communicating with ews.

I am having difficulties locating the ews under passenger side glove compartment. As it says in manuals and online. Can it be located anywhere else? There is a used EWS for sale on EBAY. Would this new EWS be able to be programmed to my key? Success rate? Can I bypass ews? Is there a DELETION CHIP available for this model? Mechanic said he is getting a fault code of some sort saying no communication with ews? Anyone else run into this or sound familiar. Don't really want to have it towed to Local BMW Dealership. Hoping for an easier fix.

After all this work, seems like this the last hurdle!!!

Any and all ideas greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2011, 05:07 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
I assume you mean that the key will not make the starter run.

Often, the antenna surrounding the ignition switch fails.

The EWS is integral to the car. Not sure it can be bypassed. For obvious reasons, there is very little detail available about the system.

If replacing the antenna doesn't fix the problem, I suspect you are at the mercy of the dealer.
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2011, 11:05 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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WDS notes 2 locations for the EWS (A836) module in the 97 MY. See this link for locator pictures and other info.
http://www.bmw-planet.com/diagrams/r...9old/index.htm
Note there are 2 E39 data sets; before & after 9_98. Up to build date 3_97 the EWS module is behind glovebox, 3_97 onward in left hand footwell.

For the 97 model year there were two systems used: EWS II and EWS III. Both are covered in the link above.

When you read the description of EWS functionality you will see that it describes that 10 serial numbers (ISNs) are programmed at the factory. ISNs cannot be changed in an EWS module once it leaves the factory. Four keys are supplied with the car, each using one of the 10 ISNs. A BMW supplied replacement key is factory programed with one of remaining unused ISNs that BMW retains in a database. The consequence is that a used EWS cannot be swapped into your car troublefree. The ISNs in the used EWS would not match the ISNs in your keys, therefore the EWS would not allow the engine to be started.

... Except ...

I have seen sites that claim to supply equipment that can read ISNs from a BMW EWS and then program a "virgin" transponder chip in a key to enable starting the car. Unfortunately, I don't have any links & wouldn't even swear it applies to E39s. If you could find one of the links, you may be able to work around BMW's security. It may though be more expensive than going the dealer route.

However, it seems more likely that Edjack's suggestion or further diagnosis is a better route to persue. For instance, WDS info describes that a synchronization between the EWS and DME modules is sometimes required. Perhaps the repairs done has created one of these sets of condtions.

I think your best bet is to read all the WDS info and perform the diagnoses (plural). In almost 2 years of reading various BMW forums I don't recall a single thread that described a confirmed failed EWS module.

BTW, the keys did work at one time, correct? When you say "After all this work, seems like this the last hurdle!!!" it suggests that you bought the car inop & have been fixing it up. If so, who know about the keys you have.

Finally, the remote control funtions in the key and the EWS/ISN security are completely independent. The only thing they have in common is being physically located together in the key head. Reprogramming the remote to lock/unlock the doors has zero effect on the EWS security system.

Good luck.
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2011, 11:11 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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I just recalled a link that may help.

http://keys4cars.ca/

Although these guys are a little far away from you (Toronto Canada ) perhaps they could suggest some links or locations near you in Sacramento.
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2011, 05:15 PM
dpatel1026 dpatel1026 is offline
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Mein Auto: 540i
I have had the module fail on me, GT1 or something similar will not find the module. You have to order one from the dealer with your vin, something like 150ish I cant remember. I then installed it and the went throught gt1 to get everything synced back up. Your tech has something to communicate with it so he should be able to code everything.
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2011, 06:43 AM
Triplec916 Triplec916 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Thanks for the quick responses. I really appreciate all the effort. Keep it coming.

In response to earlier question.. Yes the key was working once upon a time. I have had my car for about 4 years now.

I am working on it with your help now. I will update with progress.


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  #7  
Old 12-20-2011, 06:57 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
A forum member here posted procedure on how to bypass the EWS before.
I forgot his name, so you will have to search for it.
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2011, 06:03 PM
Triplec916 Triplec916 is offline
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Location: Sacramento
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Anyone have a link to the bentley e39 service manual vol 2?

The e34 forum had some info on bypassing the ews by connecting the 2 thick wires and cutting the green wire... I dont want to do anything rash if it hadn't been proven effective on e39. Thanks again guys.

Cory

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