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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 02-09-2008, 03:03 PM
xxbimmerboyxx xxbimmerboyxx is offline
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HELP AGAIN!!! e39 won't start

i checked the all the fuses in the car and they are all fine even the ones under the airfilter. Now what? car still won't start. I fully cahrged the battery and no luck, jsut a buzzing noise when i try to start it. what should i do beside take it to the shop?
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2008, 03:32 PM
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first, check the battery voltage. if you do not have a voltmeter, then try to jumpstart it. pay attention to where the connectors are, and be careful (standard disclaimer you are going to see on the cables, yadda yadda...). if you have a voltmeter, then check resting battery voltage. if it's below 12 volts, you most likely are going to need one. you may still wish to try to jump it, or you could remove the battery and have it checked (for free) at many auto parts places. pep bpys, auto zone, and others. when getting a new battery, don't go larger on the cca (cold cranking amps). you don't need to. i worked in the auto repair field for years and the average life of any battery is about 3-4 years. some go longer, but the cca rating has nothing to do with it. in fact, they tend to fail sooner, but that's a different story. (will be happy to 'splain, just pm me)

if the battery checks out ok, then with the meter across the terminals have an assistant try to start the vehicle (unless you've got really long arms....) and check the voltage across the terminals. shouldn't be much if any drop. if the voltage drops several volts, suspect a starter motor.

if you do not have a meter, and want a quick check for battery power, have the lights on when cranking the ignition. if the lights dim very low to out, suspect a battery. then try jumping and repeat with the donor car hooked up. if you hear a rapid clicking with flickering lights, then suspect a very dead battery and/or excessive resistance in the starter motor.

hope this helps.

drivinfaster
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  #3  
Old 02-09-2008, 05:20 PM
xxbimmerboyxx xxbimmerboyxx is offline
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i ahve done what u have told me but no luck, the car battery shows full but when i go to crank it! It sounds like the chain on my bike has fallen off and keeps dragin on the ground. I really don't know what to do and can't aford to have it towed to dealership. what else can we do?
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  #4  
Old 02-09-2008, 05:40 PM
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Suspect the starter, sounds like the bendix isnt kicking out all the way and just grinds!! Also check to make sure your battery doesnt have a dead cell, it will read good till it is put under a load!!!!
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2008, 04:35 PM
xxbimmerboyxx xxbimmerboyxx is offline
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Lightbulb

i have posted 2 videos on youtube, this is what the car is doing. check it out,and if anything leave reply. keep me posted




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  #6  
Old 02-10-2008, 04:40 PM
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DUDE thats not good!! Youve either broken the timing chain or cam sprocket broke or ive even seen cams break themslves...Something is broken bad!!
The engine is turning over but you arent getting any compession its just FREEWHEELING as we call it.. Time to tear it down based on what i heard from your video!!
Good Luck!!
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  #7  
Old 02-10-2008, 06:43 PM
xxbimmerboyxx xxbimmerboyxx is offline
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Unhappy

the crazy thing is i took everything apart from The top and the chain is inatact and it spins when i crank it 2! maybe sprocket?
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  #8  
Old 02-10-2008, 06:44 PM
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oh, it spins?? thought it sounded like a starter gone bad
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2008, 06:46 PM
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There is something not right, do your cams spin? Again based on what i heard from the video it free spoolin!!! Do a compression check and it will tell you right away if something has broke...Bent valve if chain jumped time?? Cant see it so i cant tell you exactly what it is!!
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2008, 07:03 PM
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Ok...

Pop your oil cap an see if you can see a chain attached to your cam sprocket...If so, have someone else crank the engine and watch to make sure the cam is spinning with the crank, so you are not getting any compression at all? just remove the valve cover take a look...
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  #11  
Old 02-10-2008, 08:06 PM
xxbimmerboyxx xxbimmerboyxx is offline
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Lightbulb

you can't see anything in the oil cap, maybe i should take a video of the inside of the cams, and maybe that can help us out, im jsut 17 so my knodledge isn't very good, but i still know my stuff.
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  #12  
Old 02-10-2008, 08:08 PM
xxbimmerboyxx xxbimmerboyxx is offline
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Lightbulb

ok , what we saw when i was cranking the engine is the 2 cams moving as well as the chain 2. hmmmmmm......... something maybe underneath? crank? ??
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  #13  
Old 02-11-2008, 05:10 AM
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Not the crank

If the cams are spinning the crank is certainly spinning so this is a good thing. Are you sure you don't have any compression? Did you check your coolant level, what does your oil look like? You have some problem but I need some answers to determine further what is wrong...
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  #14  
Old 02-11-2008, 07:36 PM
xxbimmerboyxx xxbimmerboyxx is offline
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I just checked , there is no compression in none of the cilinders. the coolant is low and so is the oil but what does this haave to do with engine not starting? No compression, i don't know what to do. this is weird problem. don't give up on me, PLEASEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #15  
Old 02-11-2008, 07:51 PM
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When you say no compression did you have a compression test done? It's odd that there is no compression in any of the cylinders.
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  #16  
Old 02-12-2008, 04:42 AM
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Could be

Could be that you don't have compression on any cylinder...but In order for this to occur you either have HOLES in ALL of your pistons or, ALL of the cylinders have bent valves or you have cracked each cylinder, THAT is what the coolant and the OIL have to do with it. I would start by draining the oil now...see what it looks like...do you see metal chips, or FLAKES...dude in order for there to be no compression anywhere your buddy may have been right...the motor may be trashed. Now you did say that the cams are spining...and it happened while you were driving...

I think you need to get it to an INDY and see what they say...
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  #17  
Old 02-27-2008, 08:03 AM
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Was the problem solved in the meantime?

May be I have just had the same problem, but I find it difficult to compare the sounds....

This morning when I wanted to start my 525iA (E39, 2003) the car sounded like the starter motor was turning (your buzzing sound?) but it would not ignite. I tried several times en for quite a long time (10 seconds) but no way, had to take our little Fiat Panda to work......

Later in the evening I tried to start it for a longer period and after maybe 20+ second it started to make a sound like it was making attempts to start. Eventually it did start !!!

I went to my BMW-dealer and explained the problem. The first question they asked was 'Did you move the car for a few meters en then stopped the car?' That was indeed the case.
In fact two days before the problem I drove the car out of my garage to take a look under the bonnet and 15 minutes later I drove it back in to the garage. That's when the engine builds up to much unburned fuel in the cilinders. Only solution is to start it for a long time with the throttle down on the floor.

Could be worth a try?
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  #18  
Old 03-20-2008, 08:56 PM
xxbimmerboyxx xxbimmerboyxx is offline
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in my case i had no compression...so i had no choice but to take it apart, i manage to break 30% of the engine. lol
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  #19  
Old 03-21-2008, 12:57 AM
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Why you keep posting same threads everyday? CAR WON"T START!!! Ok just update old threads why you post everyday new threads about the same issue???
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  #20  
Old 03-21-2008, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vadim540i View Post
Why you keep posting same threads everyday? CAR WON"T START!!! Ok just update old threads why you post everyday new threads about the same issue???
You'll notice that he originally posted this thread a long time ago. He was roundly chastised for numerous posts on the same topic (he thought they went away -- likely he was set up to only see stuff posted that same day), and has largely kept it to one thread since. In this case, he was responding to another response.
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  #21  
Old 03-21-2008, 11:37 AM
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I'm taking a shot in the dark, but did you have any work done on your fuel filter in a while??? The reason being is that I brought my car in for a Schedule II and the shop replaced my fuel filter. After I brought the car home, I had a hell of a time starting the dang thing. After a day or so, I brought the car back to the shop. Turns out that the fuel filter was bad (they had to change it a few times because the shop had a bad batch of them). Once they replaced it with a good one, all was well.
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  #22  
Old 07-24-2009, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koepeetje View Post

I went to my BMW-dealer and explained the problem. The first question they asked was 'Did you move the car for a few meters en then stopped the car?' That was indeed the case.
In fact two days before the problem I drove the car out of my garage to take a look under the bonnet and 15 minutes later I drove it back in to the garage. That's when the engine builds up to much unburned fuel in the cilinders. Only solution is to start it for a long time with the throttle down on the floor.

Could be worth a try?
Jeez, thanks very much. I found this thread after our E39 was making exactly the same noise as in the You Tube Video and it was coming from the cam area, so it wasn't as simple as the starter motor. I was reading the thread with dread and fear.

However, when I read about moving the car a few metres forward that's exactly what my wife had done earlier to allow someone onto the drive. Starting it with the foot to the floor, and about 30 seconds later she kicked in and all is well.

Many thanks!!
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  #23  
Old 07-24-2009, 03:50 PM
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Wow that car sounded like it had 6 bent valves or the spark plugs removed.... like it had no compression..did not sound like it was flooded.
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  #24  
Old 01-04-2010, 07:58 AM
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I had this same non-starting problem with my 525i after moving it from in front one garage door to in front of the other garage door. Your posted solution solved my problem in 15 seconds.

Feel like i dodged a bullet. Thanks to everyone for sharing stories.... this thread saved me a tow, some cash, and some embarrassment.
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  #25  
Old 02-22-2010, 09:57 AM
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this thread fixed my prob in 10 seconds thanks!
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