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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 09-25-2012, 04:21 PM
PRO PRO is offline
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Unhappy Car won't start/Dash won't light up after Jump

I left my headlights on today, so I needed a jump start. I found a guy who gave me a jump, but while walking back to my car to turn the key(key was in ingition turned to on position) he turned his car on. My OBC display wouldn't come on(it did before he jumped my car) and the car won't even "click" anymore. I thought it was a fuse, but checked and didn't see any blown fuses. Can anyone direct me where to look next?
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2012, 04:43 PM
acoste acoste is offline
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Have you also checked the big fuses in the white box next to the battery?
There are additional fuses under the carpet on the passenger side.

Get a multimeter and check if the 12V is present on the fuses in the glove box.
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2012, 04:47 PM
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I know this will sound very noobish, but how exactly do I check those fuses in the white box? They arent standard fuses. The earliest I can get access to a multimeter is probably tomorrow
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  #4  
Old 09-25-2012, 04:58 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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If I had to give you a single sentence suggestion, it would be this:
- One user's experience debugging a half-dead instrument cluster (1) which, after testing the fuses (1) battery & alternator (1) thankfully turned into an alternative battery search (1) and a simple battery replacement DIY (1)
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #5  
Old 09-25-2012, 05:05 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRO View Post
how exactly do I check those fuses in the white box?
This is probably the place single thread to ask that question in:
- How to locate & test all the fuses in the E39 (1)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #6  
Old 09-25-2012, 05:22 PM
acoste acoste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRO View Post
I know this will sound very noobish, but how exactly do I check those fuses in the white box? They arent standard fuses. The earliest I can get access to a multimeter is probably tomorrow
Wait for the multimeter.

You could also leave the battery disconnected for an hour, reconnect it and see if it works.
I'm just thinking that maybe the voltage dip caused by the start of the other car (together with your weak battery) brought some controllers into an unknown state so a reset like battery disconnection might help.
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  #7  
Old 09-25-2012, 05:45 PM
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
If I had to give you a single sentence suggestion, it would be this:
- One user's experience debugging a half-dead instrument cluster (1) which, after testing the fuses (1) battery & alternator (1) thankfully turned into an alternative battery search (1) and a simple battery replacement DIY (1)
Thanks, I'll look through the link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acoste View Post
Wait for the multimeter.

You could also leave the battery disconnected for an hour, reconnect it and see if it works.
I'm just thinking that maybe the voltage dip caused by the start of the other car (together with your weak battery) brought some controllers into an unknown state so a reset like battery disconnection might help.
Won't hurt to try. Hopefully it's as simple as that, but I think it'll probably end up being a fuse since the starter doesn't even "click" anymore. :-/ (but hopefully it's as simple as the disconnect Lol)
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2012, 05:55 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRO View Post
the starter doesn't even "click" anymore
Does the starter click when you're in the process of being jumped?

See also:
- Where is the starter motor located (1) & an M52 starter motor DIY (1) (2) & removing the 540i starter motor in one hour (1) & the BMW TIS (1) and an E38 740iL starter motor DIY (1) (2) & how to remove the M52 starter motor without removing the intake manifold (1) (2) & what special tools are needed (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & where is the starter motor relay (1) (2)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2012, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Does the starter click when you're in the process of being jumped?

See also:
- Where is the starter motor located (1) & an M52 starter motor DIY (1) (2) & removing the 540i starter motor in one hour (1) & the BMW TIS (1) and an E38 740iL starter motor DIY (1) (2) & how to remove the M52 starter motor without removing the intake manifold (1) (2) & what special tools are needed (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & where is the starter motor relay (1) (2)
No. The starter doesn't click then either. It clicked when I first tried to start the car though, before the jump.

Also, worth mentioning is all the lights are dim in the car. If I leave a door open(whereas usually lights will fully illuminate) the lights strobe dimly on then off.
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2012, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Does the starter click when you're in the process of being jumped?

See also:
- Where is the starter motor located (1) & an M52 starter motor DIY (1) (2) & removing the 540i starter motor in one hour (1) & the BMW TIS (1) and an E38 740iL starter motor DIY (1) (2) & how to remove the M52 starter motor without removing the intake manifold (1) (2) & what special tools are needed (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & where is the starter motor relay (1) (2)
No. The starter doesn't click then either. It clicked when I first tried to start the car though, before the jump.

Also, worth mentioning is all the lights are dim in the car. If I leave a door open(whereas usually lights will fully illuminate) the lights strobe dimly on then off.
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  #11  
Old 09-25-2012, 10:25 PM
acoste acoste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRO View Post
I think it'll probably end up being a fuse since the starter doesn't even "click" anymore. :-/ (but hopefully it's as simple as the disconnect Lol)
The ignition switch has no direct connection to the starter. The start signal is given by the EWS module, which communicates with the DME before start. Weak battery or a wrong state in any of these modules can easily prevent a start.

I just don't understand how a fuse can be killed by the procedure you described. I think your car will be fine by resetting it and connecting it back to a fully charged battery.



Sent from my ADR6350 using Bimmer App

Last edited by acoste; 09-25-2012 at 10:40 PM. Reason: my bad english
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  #12  
Old 09-26-2012, 04:21 AM
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Flybot Flybot is offline
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When its completely dead check that your battery connections are tight. That is the usual, and simplest, culprit.
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  #13  
Old 09-26-2012, 04:37 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I also think, from afar, it's the battery.

However, that's why I asked if it works when he's in the process of being jumped.

If the jumper car didn't (temporarily) solve the issue - then it's more than a simple battery.

However, if I throw out that (bad?) datapoint, then all else points to the battery.
I'd suggest the OP take a look at this thread found by typing /battery F3 in the bestlinks:
- DIY how to test a BMW E39 battery & alternator
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #14  
Old 09-26-2012, 07:23 AM
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eparayno eparayno is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybot View Post
When its completely dead check that your battery connections are tight. That is the usual, and simplest, culprit.
This is true. I thought my alternator was a goner and the car would not crank or even click on startup. Ended up that the + cable on the battery was halfway up and loose on the terminal post.

The starter on the car should at least be clicking if it were attached to another battery for a jump. How old is your current battery in the car PRO? Check the fuses and make sure the battery cables are on there nice and tight also.
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  #15  
Old 09-26-2012, 07:44 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Where did you jump the battery:
- Trunk or
- Engine compartment?
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  #16  
Old 09-26-2012, 08:07 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Where did you jump the battery:
- Trunk or
- Engine compartment?
Ditto what cn90 said above...plus if you've unlocked your OBC (do TEST 9)...you can get an indication of you car battery's voltage when the ignition is in position 1 (or 2)...or the alternator/charging system when the engine is running. If the display show voltage at 11.89 volts...then it is at 0% state of charge....if lower...then it's a really good indication that your battery is toast and is probably the culprit for your current situation.

Since you tell us that you don't even get any clicking from the starter...if it IS the battery)...it is probably so LOW in voltage that you're getting nothing. Even with another (running) car connected to the emergency jump posts (in the engine bay)...a severely discharged battery could take a good 5-10 minutes to have enough juice to start the car.

Before getting to deep into the weeds...rule out that the issue isn't the battery...which by all indications (lights left on, clicking starter, now absolutely nothing when start is attempted).

If you dont' know how to unlock your OBC yet...below is a quick instruction on how to get an indication of your battery's voltage without a multimeter:


For info on how to UNLOCK the HIGH & LOW instrument clusters & info about all 21 OBC TESTs, click (and save) this link below:

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/313409...-series/page-6



*********************************************
*********************************************

Battery State of Charge

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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
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Last edited by QSilver7; 09-26-2012 at 08:09 AM.
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