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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 10-20-2013, 12:13 PM
Bim540 Bim540 is offline
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First Bimmer Problem.. Engine Failsafe Prog

I was driving home yesterday, and when I got into my garage, my car just shut off on its own. Nothing like this has ever happened. I turned the car back on, and it seemed to start up just fine. Within a few seconds the RPMs were almost guessing between 500-1k RPMs. The car then shut off again, while the gong alarmed, 'Engine Failsafe Prog'.

Now the car will not start. When I turn the key, it sounds as it normally does, but simply will not start. No sputter or anything. Just a constant "dit dit dit dit dit". (Or at least that's how my ears interpret things.)

I popped the hood, and could smell a faint burning electrical smell. It didn't take long to find the source of the smell was coming from this plug/connector. (As photographed) It is the first connector toward the front of the car. I looked to see if any wires appeared to be damaged (to the left of the plug), and they do not at all. From what I gather this cable/wire runs down to this photographed piece. Apologies for my lack of knowledge here.

After researching this 'Engine Failsafe Prog' code, I saw a thread discussing the temp gauge in the cluster going all the way to red when the key is in the on position. My car does this. I can't honestly say I am certain it never did before (though I'm pretty sure that it did not), but if this is truly something unusual, it may be an important piece to the puzzle.

I do not have a code reader. I plan to order one today, hopefully that will provide more info than I can. I'm just hoping that maybe this has been an issue resolved from one of the guys here.

Thank you for any help. If there's any more info I've overlooked, please ask! Thanks again!
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2013, 12:16 PM
Bim540 Bim540 is offline
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Second Photograph.
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2013, 01:38 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Can't tell from your pics, but there have been cases where the temp sensor failed and took out the engine computer. If the harness from the sensor to the ECU is fried, this may very well have been what happened.

Check the fuses in the ECU box.
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Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2013, 02:45 PM
Bim540 Bim540 is offline
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Thanks for the reply! Do I have to take the ECU out to see the fuses? I opened the E Box and there appears to be some relays, a big black box/rack unit (I'm assuming is the ECU), and a white fuse box.. With no fuses in it?

Last edited by Bim540; 10-20-2013 at 02:48 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2013, 02:46 PM
Bim540 Bim540 is offline
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Also, would that account for the connector photographed to have a burning smell?
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2013, 04:06 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Read my post again.
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2013, 04:32 PM
Bim540 Bim540 is offline
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I can't find any fuses. I must be missing something obvious here..
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2013, 07:06 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bim540 View Post
I can't find any fuses. I must be missing something obvious here..
You don't need to remove the DME, just take the top cover off the DME box.
The 5 fuses are located at the back of the DME box, near the firewall.
The first connector in your first post is the cam position sensor. The t-stat wires run right below the cam sensor wire.

Last edited by JimLev; 10-20-2013 at 07:14 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2013, 01:15 AM
Bim540 Bim540 is offline
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After a bit of a headache, I was able to open the fuse box. From what I've read, fuse 'EF1' is blown. I've been able to search similar fuse charts, but I haven't found one with all 30A fuses like mine.. I'm not sure of that real matters though. Any word on what this blown fuse may narrow my problems down to?

Here's a photo to verify, the correct fuse. It is the first fuse on the left.
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2013, 03:28 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Stop reading, take the top cover off the fuse holder in your pic, pull out the bad fuse and put a good fuse in it's place.
There's nothing special about that fuse, it's just a 30 amp fuse that any auto parts store sells. You should trace the wires back to find out why it blew.
Buy more than one fuse, if you don't find the root cause it will blow again.

Last edited by JimLev; 10-21-2013 at 03:41 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-21-2013, 04:59 AM
Bim540 Bim540 is offline
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I took the cover off in the photo, I just set it back on the case. That fuse is certainly blown. I suppose I'm asking what the fuse is for, and given my other issues what this could mean.

Last edited by Bim540; 10-21-2013 at 05:31 AM.
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  #12  
Old 10-22-2013, 05:35 PM
Bim540 Bim540 is offline
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Well I bought a Peake reader. It came up with code 0F 82. 'Drive-by-wire throttle positioning monitoring'. Now I am really confused.. I don't see how that explains the burning electronics smell. Any thoughts?
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  #13  
Old 10-23-2013, 07:00 AM
Bim540 Bim540 is offline
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So I replaced the fuse today. The car started up as normal. I let the engine reach temp., then checked for codes.. With no results. I can still smell a faint burning electronic odor from passenger side group of wires that is well kept above the valve cover. It's still there, but doesn't seem to be worse after running the engine. There doesn't appear to be anything damaged or out of place. I tried to find where the first position fuse leads to, without much luck. All devices seem to work as normal. I don't really want to take this on the road knowing that SOMETHING had to of made this fuse blow.
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  #14  
Old 10-23-2013, 07:16 AM
Bim540 Bim540 is offline
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I forgot to mention that the electrical smell also seems extra potent specifically on this blue/black wire. Hope this helps someone help me.
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  #15  
Old 10-23-2013, 07:43 AM
Mannyf540 Mannyf540 is offline
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First Bimmer Problem.. Engine Failsafe Prog

That's a vacuum hose


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  #16  
Old 10-23-2013, 07:57 AM
Bim540 Bim540 is offline
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Explaining why it smells. Damn.. You would think getting your car to start would be a good thing. Haha.

Last edited by Bim540; 10-23-2013 at 07:59 AM.
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  #17  
Old 12-03-2013, 09:17 AM
Mannyf540 Mannyf540 is offline
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First Bimmer Problem.. Engine Failsafe Prog

That vacuum hose is connected to a vacuum control solenoid, ( the square little black box, there may be oil inside the hose if you have a bad PVC valve, that's my assumption anyways. Check to see if the vacum hose does not have oil inside of it


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