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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 09-27-2010, 06:20 PM
wvmso wvmso is offline
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E39 Cranks but won't start

I recently purchased a 2000 528i. The engine has compression, all spark plugs are firing. I have fuel going to the fuel rail and the timing chain is ok. I believe it is the crankshaft position sensor, I repeat the crankshaft position sensor. Any thoughts????
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2010, 07:16 PM
Mercutio2511 Mercutio2511 is offline
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injectors pulsating?
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  #3  
Old 09-27-2010, 07:44 PM
wvmso wvmso is offline
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I removed the Crankshaft Position Sensor. There seems to be a very fine crack in it. I will replace it tomorrow. If that doesn't work I will check the injectors. Any other suggestions?
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  #4  
Old 09-27-2010, 07:49 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Probable cause. What codes have you read?
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  #5  
Old 09-27-2010, 08:45 PM
wvmso wvmso is offline
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P1250, p0300, p0305, p306, p0170, p0173, p1188, p1189, p1749
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2010, 07:27 PM
wvmso wvmso is offline
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No Compression

Today, I installed the Crankshaft Position Sensor. Still would not start. Then, I pulled the plugs and checked the compression. To my surprise, There was only 70 psi in the first cylinder and no compression in the rest of the cylinders. Did it jump time? What could it be?
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2010, 07:57 PM
wvmso wvmso is offline
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The camshafts and timing chain and sprockets seem to be in good working order. Could it be the head gasket?
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  #8  
Old 09-29-2010, 12:49 AM
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Quackers Quackers is offline
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The last time the car was started, did you start it from cold and only run it for a few seconds?
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  #9  
Old 09-29-2010, 04:13 AM
westbay1000 westbay1000 is offline
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Quackers Help!!!!

Quackers.....

I have a cranking problem with my car too....right now!!!

First time I started it in the morning ciold and drove about 20 yards to move it out of the way for a neighbour and then it wouldn't start for 3 days and this time it wont start after I started it cold and switched it off after a few seconds....

what is the problem with running it cold for a few seconds? This is the only time its ever a total cow to me!!!
Is there an easy fix to get it running?.....last time I just had to crank and crank and crank literally on and off for a few days and then it burst into life again.

Its starts off by just cranking and the more you do it, it starts to 'catch' a little bit more each time until it eventually starts and then needs a lot of revving to stabilise it.
After this it runs like new forever!!
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  #10  
Old 09-29-2010, 02:36 PM
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Quackers Quackers is offline
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The problem is called bore wash. The extra fuel pushed through on a cold start washes down the bores when the engine is quickly turned off, and robs the engine of compression. There are a few ways to start the car (try Googling). When it happened to me I took off the oil filler cap and got somebody to stand there with a rag very close to the oil filler (but not smothering it) whilst I pressed the gas pedal about half way down and cranked the engine until it fired and revved to about 2000rpmn. Any less than 2000rpm and the engine may stall and you've got the same problem again.
******NOTE WELL*******
The person holding the rag over the oil filler needs to be CAREFUL!!! There are petrol fumes coming out of the hole while you are cranking! Possible ignition sources SHOULD BE AVOIDED. Take care.
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  #11  
Old 09-29-2010, 03:39 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Try what was posted above--if that doesn't work for you then try the following--remove all the plugs-- remove the fuse going to the fuel pump---tunr the engine over with the plugs removed---then wait about ten min or so and turn it over again-that should dry out the cylinders-then pour about one table spoon of oil down each cylinder and turn over a few more times--that should get the compression back up--reinstall the plugs and see how it goes then.
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  #12  
Old 09-30-2010, 03:14 AM
westbay1000 westbay1000 is offline
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Quackers and Poolman thanks mate!

Got it started on 3 cranks today! - now running beautiful again.
Whats annoying is that when it happened the first time I had mechanics quote me Headgasket, Warped Head, Coils Packs, etc...
I'm good with household electrics but not cars ... but mechanics are supposed to be experts in there field.. so why don't they know about simple stuff like this and someone like me who knows nothing can get an answer of here in a few minutes!

If it wasn't for forums like this it could have cost me hundreds even thousands all for the sake of a basically flooded engine!!!

Thanks again!
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  #13  
Old 09-30-2010, 03:18 AM
westbay1000 westbay1000 is offline
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Its like since getting into BMW cars there seems to be a stock answer to anyone who's got a problem....you've got a warped head mate.

Theres millions of little things that make these cars suffer and some are cheap fixes. I had the FSU problem a while back but it cost me hardly any cash at all to put right, but again I had mechanics wanting to basically strip the car down bit by bit until they found the fault.
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Last edited by westbay1000; 09-30-2010 at 03:21 AM.
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  #14  
Old 09-30-2010, 08:33 AM
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Quackers Quackers is offline
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Yes, it's true. It's amazing sometimes how cheap a particular fix can be. Sometimes it's cheaper than you think even using BMW parts.
There's really no excuse for mechanics to not know about bore wash. It has been a known problem for at least 10 years. It affects other cars too, not just BMWs.
In fairness though, some aspects of some of BMW's cooling system design have come in for serious criticism over the years. And rightly so, in my view. In the UK the 4 cylinder 1800 motor was terrible for the head gasket going between cylinders 3 and 4. And once it went, it often needed further replacement within a year. The recycled plastic components on systems nowadays have also come in for criticism.
Car manufacturers can get a bad name amongst mechanics and the bad name sticks.
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  #15  
Old 01-21-2011, 09:37 AM
satillackid26 satillackid26 is offline
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I had the same issue with my E39 and it turned out to be the fuel pump relay. To test it out remove the fuel pump relay from the trunk of your vehicle. The fuel pump relay sockets are number labeled. Cut a piece of wire and put one end in #2 and the other end in #6. Your fuel pump should be running after this procedure. If it doesn't, you most likely have a faulty fuel pump or bad connection.
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  #16  
Old 12-25-2014, 10:49 PM
unashamed fisch unashamed fisch is offline
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Hey did you ever figure out the problem?
I am having same issues
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  #17  
Old 12-26-2014, 12:22 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Typing /cranks but won't start in the bestlinks nets this:
- Summary of engine cranks but won't start threads due to unspecified gas air spark compression timing problems (1)
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #18  
Old 12-26-2014, 02:07 PM
unashamed fisch unashamed fisch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvmso View Post
I recently purchased a 2000 528i. The engine has compression, all spark plugs are firing. I have fuel going to the fuel rail and the timing chain is ok. I believe it is the crankshaft position sensor, I repeat the crankshaft position sensor. Any thoughts????
did you ever figure out the problem?
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  #19  
Old 12-21-2015, 02:16 AM
JohnnyRevs JohnnyRevs is offline
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Location: Ireland
 
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Mein Auto: BMW e39
Thanks guys!
Your posts help me figure this out. I pulled the fuses to the fuel pump, cranked the car till there was obviously no fuel left in the cylinders, then reconnected the fuses, re-tried & voila, started straight away.

Note that I did run down the battery doing that so needed a jump start to help out.

Cheers,
Johnny
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  #20  
Old 12-21-2015, 03:02 AM
Sroor9001 Sroor9001 is offline
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Location: Bahrain
 
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Mein Auto: Bmw 525i 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
Try what was posted above--if that doesn't work for you then try the following--remove all the plugs-- remove the fuse going to the fuel pump---tunr the engine over with the plugs removed---then wait about ten min or so and turn it over again-that should dry out the cylinders-then pour about one table spoon of oil down each cylinder and turn over a few more times--that should get the compression back up--reinstall the plugs and see how it goes then.
Yep this is the right method done it last year after fed up of checking everything and it's working since then
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