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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 11-20-2010, 06:31 PM
dms540i's Avatar
dms540i dms540i is offline
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Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 644
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540iA
What to do to hotwire a 540i

Anybody heard of this method?

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Old 11-20-2010, 08:44 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is online now
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 39,906
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
From just a quick, cursory read, it would appear that this wasn`t a true "Hot Wire" job in the classic sense of the term....the ignition immobilizer was probably not engaged, and he was simply "jumping around" a stuck switch....
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:47 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Location: Northeast Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 9,043
Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Ditto...it wasn't really a "hotwire" in the sense that most think. If you read thru the guys write-up...you will pick up that the ignition was stuck in the ON position...and I'm assuming that the key was still stuck in their too since the car would NOT have started if the EWS system didn't recognize the transponder chip inside the key.

He never says that the key was in the ignition...only that the car had power..but the presumption is there since the key can't be removed from the cylinder until it reaches the OFF position:
Since I already had juice throughout the dash, instrument panel and accessories from the ignition barrel which was stuck in "on" mode, to start the car I simply used a paper clip...

...What actually happened? When I turned off the ignition that day I did so with too much velocity for the old plastic & metal part assembly. While I turned the key (and metal pin) counter clockwise to cut off the ignition and stop the engine, the selector inside the ignition switch did not spin backwards the way it should have. ...

...Therefore the ignition switch got stuck in the wrong mode, the "on" mode which meant the switch distributed power in this "on" mode feeding continuous power to the accessories and dash....
The car can be started by using a screw driver on the ignition switch even when it is dangling from below the steering column and not attached to the lock cylinder...but ONLY if the key is inserted into the lock cylinder (or near the RING ANTENNA) so that the ISN (individual serial number) in the key's transponder/chip can be verified and that info sent to the EWS control module to release the car for starting.
Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

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