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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 01-01-2008, 07:10 PM
braedel braedel is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 540i E39
97 540 No Start-No Crank-EWS?

Hello All, First; I'll describe what happened, then I'll describe what I've checked so far...

I started the car, drove away; noticed the instrument panel had a message 'Stop Check Oil'. I heard a strange sound and got out with the car running and checked the oil level(was fine). I heard the starter motor was still running. I drove back home (half a block), turned ignition off and the starter remained engaged(cranking engine). I rushed to the truck, took out 13mm wrench from tool compartment and dis-connected neg battery cable. I re-connected it a few seconds later and starter was not engaged. I got in car and tried to start it, nothing! All dash lights on, but when I turned the key to crank, not a peep from the starter. I assumed the starter or solenoid was bad.

Troubleshooting:
I connected a jumper cable to the starter motor(the short braided cable that goes to the solenoid). then I connected the other end to the positive terminal on the battery; the engine cranked. I tried the same thing with the key in the run position, but it wouldn't start. I then checked to make sure the main power was present at the starter - it was. Next I got out my Bentley service manuals. I found the wiring diagrams for this circuit to be very poor. My build date is 11-1996. I checked to see if the ingition was firing the starter solenoid (It wasn't). The EWS diagrams and locations are shown for EWS-III systems. I removed the EWS module and found it to be an EWS-II. The wire colors and pins don't match my connector.(If anyone has the right diagram, I would love to have it). I checked the 2 EWS fuses(both good). I found one pin that had 12v in park or neutral, so I know the Park/Neutral safety switch is good. I tried every pin while turning the ignition to crank and couldn't see any of them change state. I'm not sure if the ignition is supposed to send 12v to the EWS module when turned to crank. If it is, then that might be the problem? I haven't tried my spare key yet as I didn't have it with me. I had read some post about re-initializing the key, but I think this may only be for the remote functions, not for the embedded eeprom / RFID EWS system.

Any suggestions, EWS system overview, EWS schematics, or comments would be great. I looked on eBay and found I can buy a EWS-II module for about $40.00. I would guess the stealer would have program the keys to match the module.

Thanks for helping,
Brad
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2008, 09:00 PM
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Rule number 1 :Always check for blown fuses.Do not forget that there are fuses located in the trunk and in the E-Box where the DME is housed (there are relays there too).Does the instrument cluster display the current gear selection? Does it change when you move the gearshift selector? First off before heading towards the EWS circuit,have you checked the ignition switch circuit ? Simply use a test light and see to it that all power wires with key ON and off are good and the test light illumination or brightness are equal.That is one way of checking amperage.They may all have battery voltage but incorrect amperage causes VOLTAGE DROP as the circuit is energized.Check the input from the ignition switch to the EWS module and then check the output to the starter solenoid.Make sure you check the ground circuit also,simply use the volt meter.Next,take a quick look under the vehicle and make sure you (or anybody) didn't rip out the oxygen sensor harness that causes the wires to short out from one another (don't ask me why,it'll take longer to explain).Move to the engine compartment and inspect all the B+ wires,grabbing onto them and doing the wiggle test.The ground wire attached to the oil filter housing,check to see if it is burnt.To kind of get off track,you mentioned oil pressure warning came on.Remove the plug and inspect it for moisture since you are now in this area.Use a jumper cable,use the red lead and attach to the motor (use the eyelet or shackle to where you would hook up the engine hoist).Attach the other end of the red jumper cable to the chassis ground (preferrably to the ground terminal nut on the shock/strut tower).In doing this,you are eliminating the possibility of a faulty ground wire.By this time you have either figured it out so for now,lets call it a day and I will check back with you and continue where I left off.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:11 AM
braedel braedel is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 540i E39
Ingition switch diagram

Thanks for the response. I have checked all of the fuses and verified the ground connections.

I can't find a good wiring diagram of the ignition switch. Does anyone have one they can send? It is only listed as 'S2' in the Bently manual. I am leaning towards the switch, but I want to ensure it isn't sending a crank signal to the EWS.

Thanks, Brad email: braedel@yahoo dotcom
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:34 AM
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It contains all power wires with key on and off (KL 15 and terminal 30).One obviously would be the crank signal and the oddball would be the ground wire.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:36 PM
v8e39i v8e39i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_tech View Post
Rule number 1 :Always check for blown fuses.Do not forget that there are fuses located in the trunk and in the E-Box where the DME is housed (there are relays there too).Does the instrument cluster display the current gear selection? Does it change when you move the gearshift selector?


what does it mean if all fuses are good but your dash doesnt show a change in gear when u change the shifter?

thanks
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:46 PM
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dannyc9997 dannyc9997 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v8e39i View Post
what does it mean if all fuses are good but your dash doesnt show a change in gear when u change the shifter?

thanks
Bad transmission selector switch, AKA neutral safety switch. The wiring harness falls apart after years of service, and water enters the switch causing it to fail. Could cause a no start/no crank if Park or Neutral is not detected. I was getting at that in your other thread when I asked you if it was an automatic, but then you got all pissy. Test it before you replace it this time.
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:12 PM
v8e39i v8e39i is offline
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heh thanks for the info... yeah i was a lil hot last time.

i've done everything and it still wont start... i guess its going to the dealership

thanks
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