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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 01-13-2010, 11:13 AM
epic_rsm epic_rsm is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Exclamation E39 Ignition Issues

Hi everyone,

I have a 1997 528i with a possible ignition issue.

Its about 20-30 degrees outside this week and its had a lot of trouble starting. no click-click-click indicative of a dead/poor battery, i turn the key, all the electrical systems start up, lights, dings, and fuel pump, but when i crank it, it fires but does not start. at last attempt it took about 15 minutes of trying to start it to get it up and going and since, ive just left it and resorted to riding my bike everywhere. any ideas?

140,000+ miles
about due for an oil change
1997 e39 528i, automatic.

thanks alot,

Ryan
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2010, 11:17 AM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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So the starter works, and the car cranks, just doesn't start? How are you sure the fuel pump works? Just asking some preliminary questions so I can get an idea of what is going on here.

By the way, your first name rocks .
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2010, 11:23 AM
epic_rsm epic_rsm is offline
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HAH! im Ryan M too

I can hear the fuel pump prime when the key turns the elec.

no CEL and about 15 minutes of cranking it will eventually start. every once in a while it will give me a few false starts but otherwise it just cranks.
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  #4  
Old 01-13-2010, 12:35 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Have you ever replaced the fuel filter?
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2010, 03:35 PM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
Have you ever replaced the fuel filter?
+1. Sounds like a clogged fuel filter to me.

Oh yeah, you want to hear something even weirder, I lived in Orlando up until this past August, when I moved.
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2010, 07:30 AM
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bmw7833 bmw7833 is offline
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Mein Auto: Year 1997 E39 M52B25
May be caused by petrol overflow.

Try to crank the engine for one minute without release the key.
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  #7  
Old 01-14-2010, 08:47 AM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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Cranking the engine for one minute will burn out your starter motor. You should never crank the car longer than 12 seconds or so. Also, if you suspect that the vehicle is "flooded", then hold the accelerator pedal to the floor while you crank the engine. This is called Clear Flood Mode and also works on carbureted engines.
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  #8  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:09 AM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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That must be something unique to BMW. Mashing the pedal while cranking the starter on any other fuel injected vehicle I've owned previously doesn't start the car.
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:13 AM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
That must be something unique to BMW. Mashing the pedal while cranking the starter on any other fuel injected vehicle I've owned previously doesn't start the car.
If it's flooded it will help clear it. It works on every fuel injected vehicle. Now granted, if you have ignition issues, or some other problem, holding the pedal down won't do squat. It's only for a flooded combustion chamber.
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:21 AM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan M View Post
It works on every fuel injected vehicle..
Not any of the ones I've ever owned. The car will simply crank without firing.

And just how does a fuel injected car get "flooded", if there is no accelerator pump to squirt fuel into the intake?

I can see if there is no spark, you may get a bit of a "rich condition" but flooded (as in Holley 4-bbl flooded), I'd need a good explanation for that.

Plus, don't most owners manuals discourage any undue accelerator pedal activity in fuel injected vehicles anyway?

Inquiring minds are inquiring.
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:35 AM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
Not any of the ones I've ever owned. The car will simply crank without firing.

And just how does a fuel injected car get "flooded", if there is no accelerator pump to squirt fuel into the intake?

I can see if there is no spark, you may get a bit of a "rich condition" but flooded (as in Holley 4-bbl flooded), I'd need a good explanation for that.

Plus, don't most owners manuals discourage any undue accelerator pedal activity in fuel injected vehicles anyway?

Inquiring minds are inquiring.
There are many things in a fuel injection system that can cause flooding. Poor seat/pintle sealing in the injectors, causing a leak, dirty injectors causing little to no atomization ie liquid fuel, and faulty transistors in the dme are the two most common I've seen. When the DME sees WOT at startup, it stops pulsing the transistors in the DME, and gives the injectors no ground, thus not allowing any fuel to be injected. It's just like doing a compression test. You always open the throttle plate wide open while cranking because you are trying to get as much air in as possible. It works the same way in clear flood mode. You are trying to lean out the air fuel ratio because you already have to much fuel.

It doesn't have to be "Holley 4 barrel flooded" for it to not start.

You also mention a no spark condition. Obviously, holding the pedal down in this case won't do jack, because you don't have spark anyway.

Also, you say it hasn't worked on any fuel injected vehicles you've owned, which means you must have had multiple flooded injected vehicles. But it sounds to me that you don't think an injected vehicle can get flooded. So I'm a little confused.
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  #12  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:45 AM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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I've never had a flooded injected vehicle. My ex was the one that exposed the "no-start while floored" situation. She was used to her '82 2.8 V6 Camaro and it's tendency to flood BADLY and one day got a little carried away while attempting to start my '89 318 Dodge. She automatically held the pedal down after the truck took 2 or 3 milliseconds extra to start after not being driven for 2 weeks and the bloody thing just cranked and cranked. As soon as she let off the gas, the truck came to life. I later experimented on a '95 GMC as well as a 2002 Impala, all reacting the same.

It's not really that a big deal but your explanation on how a fuel injected vehicle can "flood" was very instructional.
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  #13  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:53 AM
scott0357 scott0357 is offline
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Could it be a faulty CPS? If you do a search in this forum, some cars had the same problem and the problem was a faulty CPS.
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