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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 07-31-2011, 11:12 AM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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1998 528i - hard to start

I have a 1998 528i with 150k miles.
It is becoming difficult to start. It will crank and will start after two or three attempts.
I am wondering if this is an indication of a fuel pump going bad? I will be changing the fuel filter just in case. It has been in the car for at least 50k miles.
Any suggestions as to what may be wrong with the car?
I appreciate the continued help.
Thank you
R.G.
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2011, 06:15 PM
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lild lild is offline
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it could be the pump. you would need to test it. it could also be a lazy relay, i would check those first. i know on my explore, it did the same thing before the pump finally went out.
remove the lower back seat, to gain access to the gas tank and fuel pump.
one way to tell, maybe before your next start, is to unscrew the cap off of the bleeeder valve on the fuel rail, and see if there's plenty of pressure. take caution it could spray all over if built up.
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2011, 07:13 PM
bmwbmc bmwbmc is offline
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Mein Auto: '97 bmw 520i
I had the same probl with my 520i auto and i had to replace both camshaft and crankshaft position sensors. Any chance to get a code read?
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2011, 09:00 PM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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Thank you Lild & bmwbmc for your replies.
I replaced the fuel filter this afternoon but it did not make any difference.
I haven't tried reading any codes. I will try that tomorrow and will check on the pressure at the end of the fuel rail.
I will post again if anything changes or if I get it to run.
Thank you
R.G.
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2011, 09:04 PM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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I failed to mention that I replaced the cam position sensor recently. There was a code at the time. Thank you. R.G.
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2011, 07:01 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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What BRAND of cam sensor?
Aftermarket is notorious!

Use BMW or Siemens BRAND only.
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2011, 04:15 AM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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Update: I was able to check for codes and the scanner indicated codes:P0101 & P1189.
P0101 - "Mass Airflow circuit range performance problem"
P1189 - Fuel Control Bank 2 Sensor 1.

A few weeks ago, the P1189 code came on but it went away. At the time I did not notice any change in performance/operation.
This time the car cranked a few times and then started. But the next time I stopped the engine, it would not start anymore. It does crank.

Any suggestions? P1189: I will get an Os sensor. For P0101: Could it be a relay? or is the MAF bad?
Thank you for any help
R.G.
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  #8  
Old 08-02-2011, 04:17 AM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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To CN90 - The replacement cam position sensor is made by Bosch.
Thank you
R.G.
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  #9  
Old 08-02-2011, 08:08 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raulg View Post
Update: I was able to check for codes and the scanner indicated codes:P0101 & P1189.
P0101 - "Mass Airflow circuit range performance problem"
P1189 - Fuel Control Bank 2 Sensor 1.

A few weeks ago, the P1189 code came on but it went away. At the time I did not notice any change in performance/operation.
This time the car cranked a few times and then started. But the next time I stopped the engine, it would not start anymore. It does crank.

Any suggestions? P1189: I will get an Os sensor. For P0101: Could it be a relay? or is the MAF bad?
Thank you for any help
R.G.
- I'd replace the MAF (OEM or equivalent brand, no aftermarket!) at 145K miles.

- Don't change the O2 sensor yet. Check the hoses under Intake Manifold and replace them all at 145K miles. A broken or leaky hose can cause lean mixture:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=379225
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  #10  
Old 08-02-2011, 08:30 AM
gnilson gnilson is offline
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There should be a valve in the fuel rail that prevents the fuel from running back into the tank when you shut the car down. If it is not functioning, it will take some time for your system to build up pressure again. Try turning the key on without starting it for 15-30 seconds and see if you can hear the fuel pump running. Obviously if it is not running, you have a problem. If it is running, then let it build pressure in the system and then try starting the car.

Good Luck

Geoff
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  #11  
Old 08-02-2011, 09:22 AM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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CN90:
I replaced most if not all the hoses when I did the head gasket replacement. I did follow your write-up at the time. I will re-check the hoses though.
Should the ICV going bad, would that produce a different code in the scanner? Would it prevent the car from running?
Thanks for all the advice.
R.G.
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  #12  
Old 08-02-2011, 09:30 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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As lild mentioned above it could be bad fuel pump too.
Change the fuel filter first!
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  #13  
Old 08-02-2011, 06:51 PM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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I did replace the fuel filter over the weekend and the fuel pump. The pump was original with 150K miles. The car won't start.
I will check the hoses under the intake manifold however I replaced most of them while replacing the head gasket (at 143K miles).
I guess the MAF comes next.
I will update this thread once I install the MAF.
R.G.
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  #14  
Old 08-02-2011, 07:38 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Not yet.

To diagnose a bad MAF:

- DISCONNECT the MAF, if the car now runs, the MAF is bad.
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2011, 08:09 PM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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C90 - Thank you for your reply. I will try starting the car with the MAF disconnected and report back.
I appreciate the help.
R.G.
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2011, 08:15 PM
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lild lild is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raulg View Post
I did replace the fuel filter over the weekend and the fuel pump. The pump was original with 150K miles. The car won't start.
I will check the hoses under the intake manifold however I replaced most of them while replacing the head gasket (at 143K miles).
I guess the MAF comes next.
I will update this thread once I install the MAF.
R.G.
ok, the maf isn't going to keep the car from starting. but could throw a false code
a few things does come to mind.
the crank postion sensor,
i noticed that you replaced the head gasket, posibly the timeing is off?
fuse or relays
how are the plugs and wires. and by some chance have checked the water lately?
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  #17  
Old 08-03-2011, 03:59 AM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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CN90:
I check for pressure at the end of the fuel rail with one of those tiny gauges from Advance auto. First time it read 17 psi, second time 35 psi. It had a long stem and it did not fit tight at all. Gas spill everywhere but was expected.
Disconnected the MAF. First try.. nothing. Second try and pressing the accelerator pedal half way..the car STARTED. It run rough and I needed to press on the accelerator to keep it from stalling. Tried once more and run rough.
Is this expected when the MAF is disconnected? Please let me know what you think.

Lild: I did the head gasket 6 months ago and the car has run fine all this time. Checked fluids multiple times and the temperature all the time even now. I did replace the plugs, not the crank position sensor or the wires. Have not checked fuses or relays.
Thank you both. I appreciate the help.
R.G.
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  #18  
Old 08-03-2011, 04:15 AM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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Update:
Checked once more after the last post. The car starts with and without the MAF connected. I need to press on the accelerator about half way to keep it running otherwise it stalls.
Any suggestions?
Thank you for your help.
R.G.
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  #19  
Old 08-03-2011, 07:22 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Search forum for fuel pressure but I think it should be higher (maybe around 40-50 psi, can someone chime in?).

I know this is a long shot but at 150K miles, there is not much lifespan left in the fuel pump.
So you have nothing to lose to get a new fuel pump.
Search forum for DIY, very easy with simple tool.

Options:
- OEM is expensive.
- Bosch insert is cheaper ($120 or so)
- Pierburg insert (only on ebay from Turkey etc.) is the OEM fuel pump. About $120 as well.
- Last option is Walbro (lots of faked Walbro fuel pumps on ebay so watch out, get it from reputable dealers, not ebay).
- No-name fuel pump, someone used a no-name fuel pump recently w/o any issues, but no long-term report.

Since fuel pump is a safety item (you can get stranded far away from home) ---> personally, if I have to replace my fuel pump, I'd use either Bosch or Pierburg Inserts.
It costs just a bit more but I sleep well at night. My 0.02.

Last edited by cn90; 08-03-2011 at 07:23 AM.
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  #20  
Old 08-03-2011, 07:25 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raulg View Post
To CN90 - The replacement cam position sensor is made by Bosch.
Thank you
R.G.
You might want to use BMW CPS.
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  #21  
Old 08-03-2011, 09:02 AM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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CN90 - I just installed a new fuel pump (2 days ago). I think the pressure readings may be off because the pressure gauge doesn't fit well at the end of the fuel rail.
Assuming the pump does not develop 50 psi, would that cause the car not to be able to idle?
Thank you
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  #22  
Old 08-03-2011, 09:31 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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You already replaced the fuel filter + fuel pump.

So the problem is likely electrical:
- The fuel relay is in the trunk, bypass it and run the car, if car runs fine, relay is bad.
- The CPS: maybe you want to scan for any codes using an OBD-II scanner.
Maybe try a BMW CPS?
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  #23  
Old 08-03-2011, 08:28 PM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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Update:
This afternoon I started the car knowing that I had to keep pressing the accelerator nearly half-way. I did not want to over rev the engine. The first couple of times the engine ran rough and stalled. (scanner connected to check for codes).

The third time I was able to keep the car running at about 1500 rpm for a few minutes and then took my foot of the accelerator gently expecting it to stall. To my surprise, the car idled for a few minutes and I turned it off. Erased the codes and started the car again to check for codes.

The car idled ok and the codes and CEL are gone.

I guess that it may have been air in the lines needing to be bleed (after a new fuel pump and filter) so that the system could reach operating pressure. I will take it for a short test drive tomorrow to make sure it is ok.

Thank you CN90 for your advice (you saved me from buying the MAF). Thank you Lild and others for sharing your ideas to trouble-shoot this problem.
I had been scratching my head for several days.
R.G.
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  #24  
Old 08-04-2011, 03:10 PM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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Update
Drove the car today and it appears to run smooth. I have one concern though. Up until before the fuel pump replacement, the dash would display the MPG between 18 and 19 most of the time.
Today it displayed 16 and as I waited for traffic to move, the numbers kept dropping down to 12.9. The fuel gauge also appeared to have gone down quicker than expected for my short drive.

I suspected a leak somewhere, checked the connections to the fuel pump (under the rear seat) and at the filter (under the car, driver's side). Everything is dry.
I poured a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in the tank and I am hoping for the best.
Is it possible the injectors got dirt from the pump replacement work? Or now that the pump has the system running at full pressure the injectors may be on their way out?
Thank you for any help and suggestions.
R.G.
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  #25  
Old 08-06-2011, 02:04 PM
Raulg Raulg is offline
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Update:
After driving on the highway for about an hour or so, I noticed the MPG numbers to increase slowly but steady. The best number I got was 20.3 MPG. It will fluctuate between 20.3 and 19.8 now.
The car appears to be ok now.
Thank you CN90, Lild and others for the suggestions and advice.

Next is replacing the rear struts
R.G.
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