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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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Old 03-16-2015, 04:12 PM
KSUTJH KSUTJH is offline
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Location: Maize, Kansas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 81
Mein Auto: 2000 540
Long Crank

So, this morning I leave to go to work and all is just fine, car starts normal. Then at lunch I go out and the car cranks normal, but doesnt actually start for about 3 seconds probably...then it does it again when its time to go home. If I turn it off and then try to restart right away it starts normal. So I am thinking that over the course of a few hours I am losing pressure in the fuel system. Anyone had a similar experience or advice on where to start looking if it continues? I also thought I could have a gummed up injector since I dont really know much of the history of the car and its fuel usage by the previous owner. Stopped at the indy today and picked up a can of BG 44 in the hopes that it helps, as its the best product I have found for cleaning a fuel system.
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:39 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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Location: San Jose, CA
Join Date: May 2007
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
The fuel pump has a check valve to maintain pressure, but may not be working. Simple thing to do is to wait a few seconds with the key in position 2, and then start the engine.

Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:47 PM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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Location: Cape Neddick, Maine
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 528iT/5, S/C
As edjack says you have a residual fuel pressure problem. Residual fuel pressure is the fuel pressure that remains in the system so the engine will start right up after the car sits for a while-a day, a week, whatever.

This subject is covered in the Bentley Manual which is available free online. The subject is covered starting at the bottom of page 160-13. That coverage describes testing also. The most likely problem is the check valve in the fuel pump but it can also be a leaky fuel injector or a leaking fuel pressure regulator. Don't just throw a part at the problem. Do some reading and find out what is wrong.

Last edited by johnstern; 03-16-2015 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:50 PM
KSUTJH KSUTJH is offline
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Location: Maize, Kansas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 81
Mein Auto: 2000 540
Yea, I assume a fuel pressure bleed down..just not sure if there are some typical areas to look, such as the pump itself.
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