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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 08-02-2019, 12:45 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is offline
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No crank no start

So I bought a donor car to use for parts. It's the same model and year as my car (528i 1998)
The owner said it stopped starting up and he tried to fix it for a few days and gave up. He said he checked all the fuses, tried starting in neutral, tried starting with both keys, opening the visor, charged the battery etc. Anything he could find on the internet and he also seemed extremely knowledgeable about this car. He had another 540i in excellent shape that was his daily.
Long story short, he brought it to his mechanic who tested everything, fuel pump, starter etc. and concluded the EWS module was dead. He said they were able to start it a couple of times somehow.
Out of curiosity I wanna make this car start and I've been researching for a few days.
When I came to pick up and tow the car, I asked the previous owner to scan the car for errors since he had that BMW Driver 1.4 software. When we scanned it first, a bunch of errors came up. We cleared them and rescanned. No more errors but still wouldn't start. I've attached pictures of the scans.
I found a website that can fix the EWS module and followed their steps to test if it was in fact EWS.
https://www.rpmmotorsport.net/pages/...or-a-key-issue
I followed steps 1 to 3.
- No crank: OK
- Remove EWS: OK
- Insert 30A fuse in EWS connector pins 1 and 2: OK
- Turn the key and look if it will crank: NOT OK!

So at this point I'm questioning the "faulty ews" theory. Why wouldn't the car crank.
It should crank, but should not start with the module out.

Since no crank, I move to step 8 to check if Pin 2 on ews plus has voltage. It shows 11.5V I think. Ok next step I need to check Pin 1. These are the pins I was shorting with 30A fuse.
I check Pin 1, and there is 7.25V
Now I'm scratching my head...
I look up the diagram and pin 1 is for started. So if there is only 7.5 volts in pin 1, ews cannot send out volts to the starter?
I try one more thing
I put the module back it and try shorting the wires on the ignition and turning the key. Nothing. I try shorting pin 1 and pin 2 on ews plug and shorting ignition. Still nothing.
All electronics seem to work: dash lights, gear light, a/c, radio, windows, trunk lights.
The only thing I found weird is that lights above the sun visor dont come on on either side.
I'm really determined to find out the problem and fix it. Just too curious what's wrong with this car.
If you guys have any ideas, please share ***x1f642;
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  #2  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:53 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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What is the actual battery voltage? S/B 12.5 +
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2019, 01:04 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is offline
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Probably not enough as it's been sitting for at least 4 days.
But I've been told he tried to start on the full battery and it still wouldn't start. I can buy a battery charger or I can jump it to my other e39
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2019, 01:14 PM
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charge the battery and test it, dont take anothers word or youll just be left in the shape youre in.
trying to start a BMW with a low battery is a ogod way to knock the EWS and DME out of sync.
"jumpering the EWS" is not a good way to check your car out.
from your first pics attached, in pic#2, INPA is telling you that key #5 isnt being recognized. do you have another key?good thing you have INPA, its what you need to figure this out. if the key isnt recognized, youll have the no crank/no start situation every time.
heres your troubleshooting all laid out for you by the grace of geargrinder on another forum.

https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...ends-are-wrong

just saw your pic in your post #3. 11.8 volts is pretty much a dead battery. while a lead acid battery is called a "12 volt" battery, full charge is 12.6 VDC. at 12.0 VDC, youre only half charged. at 11.8, youre stranded.
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Last edited by mattmar1; 08-02-2019 at 01:17 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2019, 03:21 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is offline
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Thanks Mattmar1!
Yes I have 2 keys for the car, and neither of them work. The software used was BMW scanner 1.4 and it was the seller who scanned it. After scanning, resetting and trying to start and rescan again, no more errors. I dont have BMW scanner program as I towed the car away from the seller.
Yesterday I installed windows XP, INPA and other tools downloaded from bimmergeeks. So now I'm waiting for the INPA K+CAN K+DCAN adapter, it should come tomorrow or early next week.
I will try to scan all modules for errors with INPA.
I just went and bought a battery charger and will report back after fully charging the battery and trying to start the car again.
Btw thank you for the link!! Somehow I've been googling non stop for the last 3 days but never stumbled upon it.
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2019, 05:02 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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+1 What mattmar1 said...
So that you don't compound your problems: try to recharge the battery while it is in the car -connect the charger to the jump start posts under the hood. Many modules -including the EWS- do not react well when disconnected from the electric juice for long periods of time.
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2019, 08:53 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is offline
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Fully recharged the battery. No luck. Still all the same symptoms. Tried shorting pin 1 and pin 2 on ews plug, still no crank.
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  #8  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:48 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Try the "battery reset." Open the boot and wait for the lights to go out (16 min). Disconnect the battery (neg post is easiest). Let the car set for a few hours. Reconnect.

Report back.
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  #9  
Old 08-03-2019, 12:53 AM
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stop trying to "short" pins...

it doesnt work like that..

Its strait up telling you the key is wrong..

Does the ket turn in the tumbler?
Does the key lock and unlock the drivers door?

you have A EWS snyc error.. Its not going to do anything until you get that sorted..
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  #10  
Old 08-03-2019, 05:32 AM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is offline
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Edjack sorry what do I have to open? The hood? I dont think any lights come on when I open the hood
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  #11  
Old 08-03-2019, 05:38 AM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
stop trying to "short" pins...

it doesnt work like that..

Its strait up telling you the key is wrong..

Does the ket turn in the tumbler?
Does the key lock and unlock the drivers door?

you have A EWS snyc error.. Its not going to do anything until you get that sorted..
Since clearing the errors and trying to start the car a few times and then rescanning, no error came back. I thought it was an old error no longer present. And there was only one key error, however I have 2 key.
The key turns fine all the way in ignition, just nothing happens. I can lock/unlock doors remotely and can open the trunk.

I will wait for INPA adaptor to arrive and then rescan for errors.
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  #12  
Old 08-03-2019, 09:31 AM
djbecker djbecker is offline
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If you have time before the INPA cable arrives, here are a few things to check.

Remove the ignition switch, open it up, and polish the contacts. That will eliminate fluctuating voltage from a bad switch as a possible cause.

Check the Battery Safety Disconnect (BSD) on the cable close to the battery positive terminal. If the case is cracked it won't hold the cable tightly together. Jump starting from the engine compartment will avoid this part, but it's just a few seconds to visually check.

Slide under the car and look for corrosion or a loose connection where the positive cable attaches to the body. It passes through around a red rubber fitting underneath the dead pedal.

I'm guessing that it's a dead starter, but that's not trivial to check.
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  #13  
Old 08-03-2019, 09:40 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is offline
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INPA adapter is here, however the usb extension cable I had is not long enough and I need at least 5 meters to get to my car (I dont have a laptop so need to use my PC) So now waiting for extension cable. Also the OBD II 16 to 20 pin connector that I got from B800 tool seems to be missing a bunch of connectors. Only a few pins seem to have metal inside.
Battery safety disconnect (whatever it is) seems fine and battery connections are solid. Unfortunately the car is a bit low (dropped) to get underneath but I might get a jack and jack stands on my days off.
I disconnected the ignition switch and all the contacts look good. I will take it apart tomorrow.
If you think it's a starter issue I'll give it a wack with a metal pipe. Heard it can help start the car if the starter is dying.
The person I bought it from said his mechanic checked it at the garage and bith the starter and the fuel pump were operational.
From reading the information on the link provided here it seems the sync is lost between the key and ews. In this case it looks like I need to order a new pre cut key with a transponder and code it with AK90+.
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  #14  
Old 08-03-2019, 10:28 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwe39528i View Post
INPA adapter is here, however the usb extension cable I had is
.
From reading the information on the link provided here it seems the sync is lost between the key and ews. In this case it looks like I need to order a new pre cut key with a transponder and code it with AK90+.
Yes, but that is a big IF. You will confirm it when you get INPA installed , configured and running, assuming you have an original key..

Meanwhile, as djbecker advised, make sure all your electric stuff is good: battery, fuses, connections, ignition switch, starter,..etc.. I assume you have already checked the fuel side of things (pump, pressure at the rails),,,
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:39 PM
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there is no "sync" tween the key and EWS. the ring antenna is energized, the transponder in the key is energized inductively, and it transmits the code to the EWS. if for some reason your EWS has lost the ISN #s of the keys (perty much impossible, but i guess could happen) no new key would be needed just reading and reprogramming the keys in to the EWS. overall kinda strange series of events here. i wouldnt go farther forward with thinking til its checked for errors with INPA.

"The person I bought it from said his mechanic checked it at the garage and bith the starter and the fuel pump were operational." reread the first line of my post #4 in this thread.
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:25 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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So, am I the only one who thinks that many of these old BMW cars with the "no crank, no start" issues are hot cars : ie, cars that have been totaled or stolen then sold. And the new owner needs to get it up and running again with a "new" key...?!
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:41 AM
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yeah... there is a good chance...

no sync means no key....

Or wrong key...

Or ebay key...

and then the conversation turns in to how do i rig it to get it to run.. and the answer is always..

you dont
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:38 AM
djbecker djbecker is offline
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The ignition switch fails internally, not at the connector contacts. You need to unclip the case and check the internals. Of course you probably don't want to open up the steering column again.
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  #19  
Old 08-05-2019, 01:58 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is offline
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Mattmar1

Got my cables finally, running probably like 6-7 meters of cables lol
Well looks like it's working, otherwise I would've had to buy a laptop but didnt want to spend more on laptop than the car is worth.
Funny thing, got INPA running on windows 10 64bit, while couldn't make it run on windows XP virtual machine.

Guys thanks for sticking with me this far!
Here's what I got with INPA. Just this one error.
I dont know why the errors are in German but it's the first time I'm using INPA.
What should I do at this point. Should I erase the error and rescan?
Should I erase, take the second key, put it in ignition and rescan with the second key?

The people saying stuff about stolen vehicle etc what a joke. Use your brain a bit. The car is worth $500. I already spent more than that just on time, researching how to fix the car. I have both keys to the vehicle. In canada police gives you an open website to check the vin in case it's stolen, called CPIC. Go ahead run my VIN if you think it's stolen but please dont clutter this thread with this ***x1f642; if you're really paranoid, call me on whatsup I'll show you LIVE that the VIN from inpa screenshot and from my car matches
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  #20  
Old 08-05-2019, 02:05 PM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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You have a Ews fault.. that is your no start problem

that wasnt a jab at you.. that was a joke about EWS...

your not going ot get anywhere until you figure out your ews fault..


https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...-EWS-12-and-14

same problem you had.. Idk what they did
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  #21  
Old 08-05-2019, 02:25 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is offline
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Originally Posted by djbecker View Post
The ignition switch fails internally, not at the connector contacts. You need to unclip the case and check the internals. Of course you probably don't want to open up the steering column again.
Haha yes! You guessed it but since you're taking the time to give me advice, I gotta take the time to try what you're suggesting...pictures attached, seems like inside is good, contacts are clean.
So at least I know it's not the ignition switch.
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Old 08-05-2019, 02:36 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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Well, as you verified that it is not the ignition switch, the battery power and electric connections, or fuel pressure.
It is the EWS, as Burning2nd told you --

Error code 18 detected by INPA indicates the key not recognized (nicht vorhanded in German), so the EWS does not allow the car to start.
The question is then: why , and how to fix it?
Do you have another original key of the car ? Maybe the key you are using is not programmed initialized correctly ?? Or could be the EWS got messed up by the battery disconnect, and hence lost its track of keys ??

As to the error codes, no, do not erase them at this point. Wait until you fix the problem, then you can erase all the error codes and test again.
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Old 08-05-2019, 02:54 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is offline
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Thanks for the link.
Yes I have a second key. In total I have 2 keys. They both look original.
Pictures attached. Previous owner told me he used the car for 5 years until it stopped working.
I just took out the key I was testing with and put in my second key.
It gives me a different error. So looks like two keys give me different errors?
I found this thread http://blog.obdii365.com/2015/11/13/...n-bmw-e36-ews/
And followed the steps.
Any INPA specialists here? ***x1f642;
I'm pretty excited that I got this thing to work and its showing me stuff, but so far not sure what it all means! The only thing I understand is that it looks like I'm on key #5, which begs the question where are keys # 1, 2, 3 and 4 lol
But other than that, do the screenshot I posted say about what my problem is? I.e. dead EWS, no sync etc?
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  #24  
Old 08-05-2019, 03:20 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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So, your INPA is set up and works fine. And no your EWS is not dead, It responds to all the INPA commands. No need for a specialist here.
But,
The EWS reports you posted show that 4 different keys have been tried -unsuccessfully-on this car. Maybe rigged keys ??...but anyway:
Which different error code you get with the second key you are trying? does it crank and no start ?? The ECU clearly rejects your key.

Did you re-sync the DME and the EWS now that you have INPA working ??
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  #25  
Old 08-05-2019, 03:21 PM
Bmwe39528i Bmwe39528i is offline
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Actually the same error on the second key. I got lost in INPA lol. Different error was when I went into EWS menu and scanned. But if I scan under engine, still the same error
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