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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 07-15-2014, 04:55 PM
kadey kadey is offline
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Location: Nashua, NH, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 97 528i
New start/battery, power cuts out...

Hello,
First post here, but I was a long time member of the old Roadfly forums. I have a '97 528i, and just replaced the starter (then the battery). When I turn the key to start the car, the engine does not turn over and the electrical power to the entire car cuts out. After a few minutes the power eventually comes back, and the same thing happens again when I try to start the car. Is there some kind of built-in protection that cuts off the power to the car when there's a really bad short (like a bad starter)?

Thanks.

Ken....
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2014, 05:56 PM
helmet75's Avatar
helmet75 helmet75 is online now
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it sounds like you have a loose connection.
when you turn the key to position (without starting it) does everything power on? I would clean the connections at the battery (power, ground and body ground) then check the connections at the starter and make its tight and not potentially contacting anything out of the norm.
I would be really shocked (get it? lol. I kill me) if it were something else.
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Looking for Parts for my E39- PM Me for wishlist and to deal!
2000 528i- Current Daily Driver and Project Car
2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Comp G- 3.8 Supercharged. Sold to buy the BMW. Chipped, 27MPG, tons of torque.
2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GT- Traded in to get GTP. Electrical Hell.
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  #3  
Old 07-15-2014, 06:17 PM
kadey kadey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helmet75 View Post
it sounds like you have a loose connection.
when you turn the key to position (without starting it) does everything power on? I would clean the connections at the battery (power, ground and body ground) then check the connections at the starter and make its tight and not potentially contacting anything out of the norm.
I would be really shocked (get it? lol. I kill me) if it were something else.
Yes, everything is normal electrically when the key is in the on position: all the gauges and lights do their normal thing, I can hear the fuel pump pressurize the system, etc, etc.

I'll recheck all the connections.

So, any idea why all the power just disappears then comes back in a few minutes?

Ken....
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  #4  
Old 07-15-2014, 06:28 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is online now
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thats a normal symptom of a bad connection. the load requirement of a connection when turning the engine over is very strong- a couple hundred amps.
to run the electrical system you need just a couple amps so a lesser connection is required.
once the load is cut, it causes a reset of sorts when the power is reapplied.
__________________

Looking for Parts for my E39- PM Me for wishlist and to deal!
2000 528i- Current Daily Driver and Project Car
2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Comp G- 3.8 Supercharged. Sold to buy the BMW. Chipped, 27MPG, tons of torque.
2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GT- Traded in to get GTP. Electrical Hell.
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2014, 06:16 PM
kadey kadey is offline
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Location: Nashua, NH, USA
 
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My car is running again...the problem was a bad battery ground cable.

Thanks
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  #6  
Old 07-17-2014, 06:39 PM
helmet75's Avatar
helmet75 helmet75 is online now
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sweet! nice and easy fix!
__________________

Looking for Parts for my E39- PM Me for wishlist and to deal!
2000 528i- Current Daily Driver and Project Car
2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Comp G- 3.8 Supercharged. Sold to buy the BMW. Chipped, 27MPG, tons of torque.
2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GT- Traded in to get GTP. Electrical Hell.
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2014, 10:23 AM
kadey kadey is offline
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Location: Nashua, NH, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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Mein Auto: 97 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by helmet75 View Post
sweet! nice and easy fix!
Yep. It took awhile to get it to fire up though. Gave me a scare, as it seemed to be turning over too easily, like there was insufficient compression. Then I remembered reading about cylinder wash, pulled and reinstalled 4 of the plugs, and it fired right up.


BTW, just so other folks know, I replaced the starter from the top of the engine and without removing the intake manifold. You actually don't need the E12 female torx bit either for the mounting bolts. A 10mm box wrench did the trick, and actually the really PITA part was removing/reconnecting the electrical connections.

Ken....
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:01 AM
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helmet75 helmet75 is online now
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Thank you for the tips! Knock on wood I don't have to replace my starter
__________________

Looking for Parts for my E39- PM Me for wishlist and to deal!
2000 528i- Current Daily Driver and Project Car
2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Comp G- 3.8 Supercharged. Sold to buy the BMW. Chipped, 27MPG, tons of torque.
2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GT- Traded in to get GTP. Electrical Hell.
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