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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really need help. I have been reading a lot of the threads but really can't find my issue. My car would not start this morning. Doesn't seem to be battery related, all lights, radio everything comes on but no noise at all from the engine. Tried to jump start and tried to use extra key with no luck. Then after some reading I was able to start it by turning the key to the position right before it would turn the engine - I let all lights, radio and steering wheel go in position, wait a few seconds turn the key and starts perfect. BUT it has the trans failsafe prog light on. I turned it off and restarted fine and with no light but if I leave it a minute and try again I have to go thru the whole turn key slow bit and the trans failsafe prog light on again.

Anyone have any ideas where to start.

Oh, also I know my secondary air pump is going out (makes a jet engine noise for a minute right after starting engine when cold) could that have anything to do with this new problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update

Tested alternator - good. Thought it was a old battery, so replaced battery but still coming up with trans failsafe prog. I was able to start it once without the error and even drove it around for 5 miles with no problems, then when pulling into garage when into trans failsafe prog as soon as shifted into park. Sometime it comes up right when I start it and sometimes it doesnt and I can drive it around with no problems.

ANY help would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That is what I am replacing next. The other question I have is do you have to go to dealer to clear codes after trans failsafe prog comes up - or will everything just be good once the problem is fixed?
 

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do you have to go to dealer to clear codes after trans failsafe prog comes up
The only time I saw the trans failsafe prog on my cluster was when my alternator was failing on me.

When I replaced the alternator, there was no need to clear codes IIRC.

Details here:
- One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (1) (2)
 

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e39 INTERMITTENT starting problem

I'm trying to diagnose an INTERMITTENT start problem. INTERMITTENT is emphasized because it eliminates the battery, ignition key, starter/solenoid, and alternator as problems. I'm left with the AT neutral safety switch or the "convenience" feature of the E39 ignition switch. I suspect that the neutral safety switch in the trans may be corroded but occasionally allows starting. I also suspect that the ignition interlock ("convenience" feature) may be bad. Before I jack up car to do some work, wonder if anyone has thoughts on this? Or does anyone have a electrical schematic on the ignition start system?

1997 540i AT
 

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Hi.
I'm new to this forum, so please bear with me.
How does one pull the codes?
TIA.
Well it depends on do you want to DIY? What I do is I take my laptop, hook it up to car and read the codes. To do that you need a cable. One can buy a suitable cable online. Ebay sellers typically ship them worldwide. The best bang for the buck solution would be to buy INPA cable. It costs $20-50 shipped. In some countries car parts stores offer to pull the codes for free. Where I live no one offers to do it for free so it's big bucks at garage or DIY. I prefer DIY.
 

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When I got my 530 i had poor start and from the forum advised to renew the fuel filter, problem solved!
Few months later would be driving and car would loose power into limp mode and trans fail safe mode would display on dash after alot of time we found the breather hose from behind the airmass had a hairline crack new pipe fitted problem solved, just a note to try to eliminate your faults!
 

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So you disconnected the hose and tryed to start the car or just disconnected the hose and fuel gushed out? Do you smell gas when you try to start it (fuel hoses attached)? Can you hear the fuel pump running?
I disconnected the hose and turned on the ignition
without cranking it and fuel gushed out.
No gas smell when hoses are attached and I'm trying to
start the car.
I can hear the fuel pump.
 
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