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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-16-2017, 09:35 PM
martinav martinav is offline
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Location: Pottsboro, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 540i
545i E60, N62 A/T Starter Replacement Help

I am needing some help with replacing the starter in my E60, with the V8 engine. There is surprisingly little information out there on how to do this. What I have found is astoundingly scary. I called BMW, and they tell me this job is over $1,700, with 10hrs of labor for a BMW mechanic. Thus, this is a pretty serious job. I have no intention of paying the dealer to change my starter, but I like to have some good advice before going after a job of this magnitude. I will post what I have found thus far. Strangely... I'm not even 100% sure which side the starter is on, given everything I have seen on this!!! I think its on the passenger side, but I have not even been able to see it with my own eyes, even after removing the wheel well skin, and peeking around.

This is the scary youtube video I found on the job... Given the magnitude, this would look consistent with what would take a BMW mechanic 10hrs with all the proper tools:



That is all I have found about this job. I am hoping to find someone with some experience that has don't this, and might have some shortcuts or better advice that what this video shows.

Thank you!

Rod
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2017, 11:55 AM
twh twh is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 530xi 6 speed
Are you sure Bav auto doesn't have a video?
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2017, 12:23 PM
Jtbgonesailing Jtbgonesailing is offline
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Location: Atlantic Beach, Fl
 
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Mein Auto: 05 530i & 81 320i
+1 or Pelican parts.
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2017, 03:31 AM
Alex545 Alex545 is offline
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Location: Norwich, UK
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 545i
I have a right hand drive car and there the starter was on the left side (sitting in the car looking towards front). The engine has holes on both sides so I assume on left hand drive the starter is on the right side. The starter is bolted to the transmission with two of the transmission bolts holding engine and transmission together, so setup is bolt head, through transmission, through engine, into starter. The location is at the back of the engine, between bottom of cylinder head and exhaust manifold. BMW shop manual would call for removal of one of the two engine support brackets (in order to get exhaust manifold out), removal of complete exhaust system (in order to get exhaust manifold out), removal of exhaust manifold, removal of starter. Some comments: I was able to remove the exhaust manifold just by disconnecting it from engine and exhaust and removing the heat shields in that area, then there was enough room to pull exhaust manifold down and out towards rear of car, so no removal of engine mounting bracket or complete exhaust was necessary. But it was very tight and required a lot of wiggling. Starter has a heat shield around it with two bolts holding that to the starter. Also connections on starter are very tight, take your time and don't brake any of the plastic. Another way I could think of to get it out would be removing the complete transmission, but that requires as much work...
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2017, 10:31 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Location: Arizona
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinav View Post
I am needing some help with replacing the starter in my E60, with the V8 engine. There is surprisingly little information out there on how to do this. What I have found is astoundingly scary. I called BMW, and they tell me this job is over $1,700, with 10hrs of labor for a BMW mechanic. Thus, this is a pretty serious job. I have no intention of paying the dealer to change my starter, but I like to have some good advice before going after a job of this magnitude. I will post what I have found thus far. Strangely... I'm not even 100% sure which side the starter is on, given everything I have seen on this!!! I think its on the passenger side, but I have not even been able to see it with my own eyes, even after removing the wheel well skin, and peeking around.

This is the scary youtube video I found on the job... Given the magnitude, this would look consistent with what would take a BMW mechanic 10hrs with all the proper tools:



That is all I have found about this job. I am hoping to find someone with some experience that has don't this, and might have some shortcuts or better advice that what this video shows.

Thank you!

Rod

A big reason why you are finding very little information is that, thankfully, the eight cylinder E60 starter is extremely robust (unlike the 6 cylinder unit) and rarely fails.
Be 100% sure your starter is bad.



You have probably found this video, which is largely worthless except as an audio walk-through.

I can scan and send you a repair manual procedure, but it outlines what you have already found - the exhaust system is removed to make exhaust manifold removal much easier.

Tip - If you do remove the exhaust system and one exhaust manifold to get to the starter, check the secondary air passages for carbon build. If excessive, remove the other exhaust manifold while you are there and clean both. And then consider replacing your valve stem guides. Cleaning the secondary air passages from below is the most complete method, but is normally a last resort due to the pain involved, but you will already be there.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2017, 11:00 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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A couple of other links I found.

You probably know this already, but when you search for DIY procedures include the normally aspirated 550i and 745, 750s.

The 7-series is basically the same engine (for years with non-turbo), but is different in engine bay size, so placement of all equipment as well as the room to work will not be one-for-one.

http://www.bmwforums.info/7-series-g...ement-diy.html

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  #7  
Old 02-19-2017, 07:32 AM
martinav martinav is offline
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Location: Pottsboro, TX
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 39
Mein Auto: 1995 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfan52 View Post
A big reason why you are finding very little information is that, thankfully, the eight cylinder E60 starter is extremely robust (unlike the 6 cylinder unit) and rarely fails.
Be 100% sure your starter is bad.



You have probably found this video, which is largely worthless except as an audio walk-through.

I can scan and send you a repair manual procedure, but it outlines what you have already found - the exhaust system is removed to make exhaust manifold removal much easier.

Tip - If you do remove the exhaust system and one exhaust manifold to get to the starter, check the secondary air passages for carbon build. If excessive, remove the other exhaust manifold while you are there and clean both. And then consider replacing your valve stem guides. Cleaning the secondary air passages from below is the most complete method, but is normally a last resort due to the pain involved, but you will already be there.
I'd love to rule out the starter for something simpler... Here are the symptoms:

Starter is quite strong when it works. On occasion, and becoming more frequent, I twist the key, and hear a very short starter engagement... but then nothing. It doesn't even turn the engine 1 rev. Its always the same when that happens. When it does happen... I turn the key off, then wait about 30sec, and then reattempt the start. After 5 or so attempts, the car will start strongly, or I will get another hit of the starter - same as before. On the last failure, I had to reattempt so many times that the immobilizer kicked in due to too many failed starter attempts, and it interpreted it as a theft attempt. It took me weeks to get ista-d working to realign (adjust) the DME-EWS modules. I also changed the IVM module in that whole fiasco. But, the car is starting again, and I haven't had it going long enough to have another failed start. So... any thoughts?? Bad starter?? Or something else?

Thanks,
Rod
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2017, 09:12 AM
CD530xi CD530xi is offline
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Hi Rod, I had a similar problem with my 06 530xi last year! Initially I thought it was my starter as well and after a few hundred on a new starter, 4 days and a few skinned knuckles I managed to change it myself! Mine was behind the manifold back under the firewall. Saying it was a pain is a major understatement. To make matters worse after I finished it worked perfectly for all of 1 hr and quit cranking once again at which point I did more research and tracked the problem down to the IBS (intelligent battery sensor) which is located on your positive battery cable. Took me 5 minutes to locate it and detach and my car has been working fine ever since!


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  #9  
Old 02-20-2017, 10:28 AM
martinav martinav is offline
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Location: Pottsboro, TX
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 39
Mein Auto: 1995 540i
Definetely the kind of thing that I'm looking for to hopefully avoid this immense job. Did you get any errors with high battery drain? I think that is also common with the IBS sensor. I'm not getting any of those errors. I have never had any problems with battery either. Its always been strong, and I had it tested, and it passed no problem.

Rod
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2017, 10:49 AM
CD530xi CD530xi is offline
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No I haven't had any type of error codes as of yet! Forgive me if this is something you already know but what the IBS does is keep track of the voltage reading in the battery and adjusts accordingly the charge coming from the alternator which in theory helps to prolong the battery life. Since my current battery is getting up in age I'll replace it once it gives up the ghost and I'm forced to purchase a new one! It's very simple to unplug your IBS to see if that's your problem!


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  #11  
Old 02-20-2017, 04:43 PM
H F H F is offline
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Location: Claremont California
 
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Mein Auto: 2005 545i
Quote:
Originally Posted by CD530xi View Post
No I haven't had any type of error codes as of yet! Forgive me if this is something you already know but what the IBS does is keep track of the voltage reading in the battery and adjusts accordingly the charge coming from the alternator which in theory helps to prolong the battery life. Since my current battery is getting up in age I'll replace it once it gives up the ghost and I'm forced to purchase a new one! It's very simple to unplug your IBS to see if that's your problem!


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You are correct about the IBS voltage monitoring . But ,, the DME (not the IBS )makes the alternator voltage adjustments, form IBS battery voltage information sent to the DME via the BSD cable ..But that is one of many duties . It also monitors battery voltage when the vehicle is off . And is the cause of , if faulty,, a low 15WUP signal,and it's the reason the car remains in sleep mode preventing the CAS start up signal .
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