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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 12-26-2009, 08:10 PM
boeing7 boeing7 is offline
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Will jump starting damage the electronics?

I had to jump start my '98 528i this evening after not driving it for 2 weeks. It was just clicking when I would try to start it as if it had just slipped below the required voltage to start. Anyway after I got it jump started it ran really rough and would not idle. It would stall if I was not in it giving it a little gas. I jump started from the truck battery locations as I was not aware that there is a proper place for this under the hood.
Could I have damaged something such as the engines computer while jump starting? I decided not to mess with it any more this evening as it was cold, dark, and raining out. Tomorrow I might try disconnecting the battery and powering down the car and maybe this will reset things in the computer. Anyone had this problem before?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2009, 08:13 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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Unfortunately yes. When jumped from the battery directly, risks of catastrophic electrical surge is high. What's going on now?
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2009, 10:00 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Why do people *insist* on meddling in things they should keep their noses out of ?????????
Learn the *proper* procedure for jump-starting a car, or leave the job to someone who knows how....

Your car more than likely needs a new battery....when they`re about to die, they cause all sorts of weird problems....
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2009, 10:51 PM
BillP BillP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Why do people *insist* on meddling in things they should keep their noses out of ?????????
Learn the *proper* procedure for jump-starting a car, or leave the job to someone who knows how....
I think that's a bit harsh. We have all jump-started cars for years at the battery and there is nothing that screams "don't do it". Yes, it is in the manual which I have read cover to cover ... twice ... but this is an obvious way of doing things that in this case happens to be wrong. What if there was a hidden button you had to push before filling the tank with gas? Would you have read the owners manual looking for something like that before filling up? No, you wouldn't have. Even some professionals who perform jump starts dozens of times per week don't know the proper jumping procedure for BMWs (two AAA guys I ran across, for example).

Now that the OP realizes the right way to do a jump start, he will be more careful and hopefully he goes through the manual looking for other nonstandard procedures ... like the annual greasing of the muffler bearings. It's all ball bearings nowadays!


Cheers,
Bill
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2009, 07:04 AM
xraye39 xraye39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
Unfortunately yes. When jumped from the battery directly, risks of catastrophic electrical surge is high. What's going on now?
This perspective is a bit puzzling to me and I read it on every forum. Why should this be the case, when the jumper cables are attached to the terminals under the hood it also energizes the terminals at the battery too!?

True statement....The safe way to jump our cars with the trunk mounted battery is from terminals in engine compartment but this due to the tight spaces in trunk which make it nearly impossible to attach jumper clamp on positive terminal without shorting to car body.

The other advantage to the remote jumper terminals is there is not way to create a spark near battery.

To OP, sounds like you might possibly need new battery, also check your alternator output.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2009, 09:57 AM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
Unfortunately yes. When jumped from the battery directly, risks of catastrophic electrical surge is high.
The only reason BMW wants people to jump start from the front of the car is to ensure there is a fuseable link and to keeps open sparks away from the battery.
There is no difference in current surge between jumping directly on the battery and jumping under the hood.

For me, I won't give anyone a jump start, other than family. Our cars have too many computers and I don't want to risk it.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2009, 10:02 AM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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UOTE=xraye39;4793607]This perspective is a bit puzzling to me and I read it on every forum. Why should this be the case, when the jumper cables are attached to the terminals under the hood it also energizes the terminals at the battery too!?

True statement....The safe way to jump our cars with the trunk mounted battery is from terminals in engine compartment but this due to the tight spaces in trunk which make it nearly impossible to attach jumper clamp on positive terminal without shorting to car body.

The other advantage to the remote jumper terminals is there is not way to create a spark near battery.

To OP, sounds like you might possibly need new battery, also check your alternator output.[/QUOTE]

Actually I witnessed a BMW battery start on fire jumped at the trunk battery terminals and have read scores of commentary about battery explosions. Just offering advice I know is safer and true. Regardless of whether it's specified in a manual that trunk jump starts are a risk, I can say I know this is true.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2009, 10:52 AM
BlueSkies10 BlueSkies10 is offline
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If these cars are so touchy in regards to power currents and computers, could these cars be damaged from getting shocked from an outside power source? 20 years or so I recall people talking about how someone could sabotage a car by shorting out a car's computer by connecting a source of power to it's body or frame, or it could be done by accident by having the car touch a power source like an electric fence, etc. Is there any truth to that or is it just a tall tale?
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2009, 12:12 PM
xraye39 xraye39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
QUOTE=xraye39;4793607]This perspective is a bit puzzling to me and I read it on every forum. Why should this be the case, when the jumper cables are attached to the terminals under the hood it also energizes the terminals at the battery too!?

True statement....The safe way to jump our cars with the trunk mounted battery is from terminals in engine compartment but this due to the tight spaces in trunk which make it nearly impossible to attach jumper clamp on positive terminal without shorting to car body.

The other advantage to the remote jumper terminals is there is not way to create a spark near battery.

To OP, sounds like you might possibly need new battery, also check your alternator output.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
Actually I witnessed a BMW battery start on fire jumped at the trunk battery terminals and have read scores of commentary about battery explosions. Just offering advice I know is safer and true. Regardless of whether it's specified in a manual that trunk jump starts are a risk, I can say I know this is true.
I don't think you read my complete post, I never recommended to jump car from trunk battery.

I don't disagree, that it is safer to jump from the underhood points, that is what I said in my post. To be clear.... it is in fact specified in the owners manual to use the jump terminals under the hood. My point is that if someone did by chance jump their car "safely" from the trunk battery than this in it self does not cause harm. This was the question posed by the OP. The OP was concerned if he could have damaged his cars electronics because he jumped his car using the trunk battery. The OP does not mention any sparking or arcing during the jump process so it sounds like he had carefully placed jumper clamps and as such he could not have damaged his car electronics by doing so!

There is no catastrophic elelctrical surge when done correctly. Jumping from trunk is primarily risky to due tight space in turnk which may result in the POSITIVE jumper clamp coming into contact with the body of car and causing a short/arc/spark etc.

So once again everyone PLEASE USE THE JUMPER POINTS UNDER THE HOOD as specified in the owners manual. It is the safest method of jumping your car.

The incident you witnessed was most likely cause by the POS cable clamp coming into contact with car body and shorting out.
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2003 530iA Sport - Titangrau Metallic/Schwarz Montana
Build Codes: ZSP/ZPP/ZCW. Born on date: 09/02, Dingolfing, Deutschland

NAV MKIV | PP | CWP | Xenons | Style 42s | Rear Shades | OEM ULF Bluetooth | Euro Armrest | Beisan Vanos Seals |

2003 530i/5Spd Sport - Titanium Silber/Schwarz Montana
| PP | Xenons | Style 42s | OEM TCU Bluetooth | Euro Armrest | Beisan Vanos Seals |

2001 525iA - Anthracite Metalic / Grau Montana
Sold but in the "family"
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2009, 12:18 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraye39 View Post
I don't think you read my complete post, I never recommended to jump car from trunk battery.

I don't disagree, that it is safer to jump from the underhood points, that is what I said in my post. To be clear.... it is in fact specified in the owners manual to use the jump terminals under the hood. My point is that if someone did by chance jump their car "safely" from the trunk battery than this in it self does not cause harm. This was the question posed by the OP. The OP was concerned if he could have damaged his cars electronics because he jumped his car using the trunk battery. The OP does not mention any sparking or arcing during the jump process so it sounds like he had carefully placed jumper clamps and as such he could not have damaged his car electronics by doing so!

There is no catastrophic elelctrical surge when done correctly. Jumping from trunk is primarily risky to due tight space in turnk which may result in the POSITIVE jumper clamp coming into contact with the body of car and causing a short/arc/spark etc.

So once again everyone PLEASE USE THE JUMPER POINTS UNDER THE HOOD as specified in the owners manual. It is the safest method of jumping your car.

The incident you witnessed was most likely cause by the POS cable clamp coming into contact with car body and shorting out.
Your points well taken and without argument.
That battery and then trunk went up in flames so fast .....
I never saw an actual arc or spark and glad there was no kaboom.
I threw a rubber welcome matt over it and slapped out the flames.
A day to remember for sure and wanted to share with fellow festers.
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  #11  
Old 12-27-2009, 01:31 PM
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juanchi93 juanchi93 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_VQ View Post
The only reason BMW wants people to jump start from the front of the car is to ensure there is a fuseable link and to keeps open sparks away from the battery.
There is no difference in current surge between jumping directly on the battery and jumping under the hood.

For me, I won't give anyone a jump start, other than family. Our cars have too many computers and I don't want to risk it.
So if you see somebody stranded at a gas station your just going to say no your not family I have too much electronics going on?
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2009, 01:33 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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I'll jump it from the engine compartment at the designated poles, NEVER from the trunk.
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2009, 01:40 PM
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juanchi93 juanchi93 is offline
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Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
I'll jump it from the engine compartment at the designated poles, NEVER from the trunk.
So would I have jumped a complete stranger because once I needed a jump from a stranger and they jumped me its just good karma to each his own.
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  #14  
Old 12-27-2009, 01:54 PM
Fiziks Fiziks is offline
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I've been jumped and jump started people dozens of times from both the front and rear terminals. No problems what-so-ever. You guys need to relax a little. Some people have no idea how electricity works.
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Old 12-27-2009, 02:11 PM
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juanchi93 juanchi93 is offline
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I've been jumped and jump started people dozens of times from both the front and rear terminals. No problems what-so-ever. You guys need to relax a little. Some people have no idea how electricity works.
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2009, 02:12 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSkies10 View Post
If these cars are so touchy in regards to power currents and computers, could these cars be damaged from getting shocked from an outside power source? 20 years or so I recall people talking about how someone could sabotage a car by shorting out a car's computer by connecting a source of power to it's body or frame, or it could be done by accident by having the car touch a power source like an electric fence, etc. Is there any truth to that or is it just a tall tale?
This theory is an old wive`s tale, and complete bullsh!t, as any electrical charge applied to the body would go directly *to ground*, not into the car`s electrical system....
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  #17  
Old 12-27-2009, 02:22 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiziks View Post
I've been jumped and jump started people dozens of times from both the front and rear terminals. No problems what-so-ever. You guys need to relax a little. Some people have no idea how electricity works.
Jump-starting is (usually) safe *as long as proper procedure is followed* (i.e., the NEGATIVE cable is the *last* to get connected between cars, and the *first* to get DIS-connected)
For those who may feel less than comfortable jumping a car, shut off the donor car`s ignition, that way, you`re only using the donor car`s battery as a power source, the rest of the electrical system is removed from the equation....
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  #18  
Old 12-27-2009, 05:39 PM
BlueSkies10 BlueSkies10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
This theory is an old wive`s tale, and complete bullsh!t, as any electrical charge applied to the body would go directly *to ground*, not into the car`s electrical system....
I pretty much thought it was such a tale, but didn't know for sure. About jump starting, I would say the only thing you really have to worry about is just making sure everything is connected correctly and in the right order.
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  #19  
Old 12-27-2009, 05:57 PM
franka franka is offline
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I've jumped my car via the trunk battery terminals and also under the hood with the connection points very visable.

I've done it both ways. It makes it easyier when you have the 2 ends of the car to choose from.
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