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Discussion Starter #1
I am at a total loss and in need of help.

4 days ago, while out in town, my E39 decided to not start. It cranks fine, and sometimes it sounds like it wants to catch, but it doesn't. Let me give a little history..

1. last year I was having bad hesitation and it threw a check engine light. the code called for the Crank Shaft sensor. I replaced the Crank Shaft Sensor and the Cam Sensor, and everything seemed fine.

2. this past winter I threw a check engine light again, and I was having hesitation and stall out when at Idle after starting the car up. I ran the codes and it called for the 02 sensor in bank 2 (pre-cat). I replaced it, but it still did the same thing. Because of weather, I couldn't work on the car until early spring. The car started knocking... Due to a past experience with an ex-girlfriends car, I knew why, but I ran the OBD reader again anyway. It called for coil packs in cyl 2 and 4. I replaced all the plugs, and the coil packs in Cyl 2 and 4. It fixed the knock, but it would still die out at idle once I first started it up ((only after idling for about 5 minutes or so without touching the gas pedal))

3. Recently, I started taking 2 or 3 tries to get it to turn over. I thought it may have been bad gas, so I added Octane and Fuel Stabilizer, thinking that it would correct the issue as I drove the gas.

4. the latest incident, It cranked, but wouldn't turn over at all. I had to tow it home. When I got home, I :

A) checked all the fuses and none were blown (including the fuel pump fuse in the glove box

B) changed the Fuel Filter and Fuel Pressure Regulator (located under the Driver side of the car)

C) Changed out the 2nd 02 Sensor (pre-cat)

D) inspected the Cam sensor wire for damage and the Crank sensor wire for damage

E) Put a full charge on the Battery

F) Went through every fuse on the Glove-box, Trunk, and under the passenger side Cabin Air Filter Unit

G) Checked the Fuel Pump (((took it out of the tank and plugged it in and cycled the key and it came on)), so I re-installed it.

H) Inspected the Fuel Rail and depressed the valve-stem actuator on the fuel rail and fuel sprayed out.

I) cleaned the Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF) with CRC, and inspected the connecting Boot and line for damage

J) Pulled the Alternator and had it tasted 4 times and it came back 100 good

K) Ran the OBD reader (again) and codes (P0170 and P0173) (Fuel Trim) came up. I cleared the codes and cycled the key to try and start the car and it cranked, but didn't quite catch. I ran the OBD reader again, and the same Codes (P0170 and P0173) came up.

L) I removed the Air-box, MAF unit, and the adjoin Rubber boot, and sprayed a shot of Starting fluid in at the intake Butterfly, then tried to start the car again... and still nothing.

I really need help with this situation because I dont know what the problem could be at this point .

Respectfully,
Nathan.

:eek::rolleyes::yikes::mad::dunno::tsk::cry:
 

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Very detailed and glad you tested. For your battery, you have a full charge but do you have the amperage? Get that load tested. Also check your starter and see if there is voltage drop to it. You could also try the "starter tap" but not generally recommended.

Give those a shot and report back.

PS I generally like the alternator with a bit of oregano and paprika but to each their own. :) Sorry but that made me lol and I couldn't resist.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Battery Checked Fine, but still won't turn over.

Battery is defiantly at full charge capacity. I put a meter to it twice.

The Starter is cycling fine, hence the engine cranks healthy.

((is there anyway to download pictures and a video onto this string?)
 

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Easiest way is to upload to YouTube or other hosting site and paste the like. Or you can go through the "Go Advanced" and "manage Attachment " at the bottom.
 

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So fuel, air, spark, and compression. Have spark? Sure that the plugs are firing? Fuel: what is the pressure at the rail? Should be 50. You have operational pump and flow but proper pressure? Compression after.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How would you check for spark, being that the plugs are connected to coil-packs vs a distributor wire? Wouldn't the OBD pick up a code if there wasn't any spark?

I know the fuel is coming through the Fuel-Rail ( ref. to "H"), but I do not know what the actual pressure (bar/psi) is. I would have to order a Fuel Pressure kit to get the actual number.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Headed to AutoZone

Just got off the phone with them (AutoZone). The same applies in New Jersey. I'm going to try and hustle a ride into the next town over (because I live in the middle of nowhere, where we don't even have a gas station or a grocery store), where AutoZone is located. I'll run the test and post pictures and a video during the work in progress.
 

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Just got off the phone with them (AutoZone). The same applies in New Jersey. I'm going to try and hustle a ride into the next town over (because I live in the middle of nowhere, where we don't even have a gas station or a grocery store), where AutoZone is located. I'll run the test and post pictures and a video during the work in progress.
Lets think about this a second. The codes indicate a rich condition, and the car refuses to start even when fed starter fluid. Just a guess but I'm thinking the problem is not fuel related.

Did you try and start it with the maf unplugged? I think you might look at some other electrical stuff before riding in to get a fuel psi test kit. While it is a good idea, other stuff can be tested first without the drive. As the bear has indicated, a spark test would be a great idea.

Jim
 

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Lets think about this a second. The codes indicate a rich condition, and the car refuses to start even when fed starter fluid. Just a guess but I'm thinking the problem is not fuel related.

Did you try and start it with the maf unplugged? I think you might look at some other electrical stuff before riding in to get a fuel psi test kit. While it is a good idea, other stuff can be tested first without the drive.

Jim
OP stated he did that in L (MAF) hence the jump to other possibilities.
And there are the fuses under the passenger floor but suspect other symptoms would be present too. Worth a check just like checking for spark.
 

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Where did you buy the sensors? Many aftermarket sensors are poorly made. A bad crank sensor will inhibit injector firing and spark.

BTW, if it's cranking, by definition, it's turning over.
 

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well according you your logic you have to replace the fuel trims with a 170,173 code.. Now regulars to this board are having a chuckle and I don't say this out of spite but as a learning lesson. The error codes that you get almost always indicate that a device got a reading that was so bad that it's saying something is so wrong with the car that it needs to turn on the CEL. What it is NOT doing is saying replace that part. Very rarely do obd readings fixed in this manner. (although technically possible it more of a crap shoot then anything else) For example, if you get codes like p0300 (Random Misfire) on these cars, doesn't warrant a coil pac replacement or a plug replacement. In the case of these cars your first look would be for an air leak. So when you get the new codes just post the codes and a brief explanation for the code and these good fellas here will give you just the right direction on where to look for the beginning of the fix for your car..
 

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now moving on... you need fuel and spark and air to make this pump work.. pick one.. and prove it... now, TAB said prove fuel.. ehhh. I disagree, As Jim said with a rich reading, and high fuel trims.. I would head to spark right out the gate.. Now, Ed said to make sure to use oem on your cks and cps,,,, did you? if you didn't, head there, as this -as Ed puts it- "anecdotal evidence has shown this to be an issue" I say this is the only part on the car that must be oem. Now over to scanners.. if you have a good one you can bring up the pwm pattern of each sensor.. ckp and cps... or you can get a general very non reliable but can prove if it's putting out something using a dvom..either way.. my best guess is to start there... if that all proves out try fuel, then air.. keep us posted.
 

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Yeah, guess I was sucked down the fuel line... Meant it as a prove with numbers and got lost along the way. But still goes back to the same four and proving each element. Glad that ca2014mp2 posted that video on spark. Good test.
 

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yup you're right.... tab be the man...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Fuel Pressure Test

Ok, I made a few calls and got a ride over to AutoZone for the cost of a 6-pack of Sam Adams IPA....

The clerk at AutoZone showed me how to hook up the Fuel Pressure Tester. It was Straight-Forward.

I hooked up the device and did 4 readings. Between each reading, I purged the Device (Fuel Pressure Tester)

Reading #1
Ignition Key placed from zero, and turned to Position 2

Reading #2
Ignition Key placed from Zero and turned to Position 2

Reading #3
Ignition Key placed from Zero and turned to Crank

Reading #4
Ignition Key placed from Zero and turned to Crank
***Reading #4 can be seen via YouTube at link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU2olxmfo-U

***I have tried to attach photos of the readings (Please let me know if they did not come through).
 

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new fuel pump time...
you should technically do a drop voltage test to the pump... but odds are it's the pump.. just be sure you have 12v running to the pump..
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Fuel Pump Quote

Apparently, just because the Fuel Pump is working electrically, does not mean that it is working properly. If I am not mistaken, I was told in this string, that I should have received a reading of "50 psi" in the Fuel Pressure Test. From what we can see, I am no where close to that.

Here is what I found in a replacement part.

http://www.usautoparts.net/details/...Pump/1999/Base/6_Cyl_2-dot-8L/REPB314520.html
 

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looks like a match and direct replacement. Others who are more familiar may chime in but better pricing than the $300 Genuine BMW part... Just curious: Did you grab your part number from realoem.com or was that the directed part by the vehicle selection?
 
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