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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for some help hopefully this forum can help me out. Searched as much as possible before making an account to post.
Recently purchased a 1999 e39 540i with leaking valve covers. Replaced to stop oil from getting on spark plugs. Reassembled, started car (it did start) and received an engine failsafe alarm. Turned the car off, investigated, and found I had not tightened a coil down all the way. Tightened the coil down tried to start it again without any success. The thermostat was pegged at red and the alarm was still there, so I went through the steps of checking EF1 through EF5 all of which were good. I also replaced the thermostat sensor which is still reading red. I checked the DME since I was not getting any codes to see if there was any damage to the board or the connections however I did not see anything.
Attempts so far:
-Unplugging battery for 15min
-Checking all fuses EF1-EF5 (replaced EF1 just to double check), glovebox, and trunk
-Replacing thermostat sensor(still not working)
-Unplugging MAF
-Unplugging crank position sensor
-Visual inspection of DME and connections (attached picture)


The coils are not firing, and the temp sensor is reading -128 degrees Celsius. Any input is appreciated.
 

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Do you have a code reader? Pull the codes and see what the computer is saying.

Could you have not gotten one or more of the injector connections not hooked back up tight?

Jim
 

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Double check to make sure you didn't pinch any wires in the valve covers. Retrace your steps to make sure everything is connected fully and in the right place.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No wires are pinched everything is hooked up. I'm not getting anything as far as communication (codes) so I'm checking to make sure are wires are grounded and red has power. Are brown wires with yellow or blue stripes resistor wires if so what volts should I be getting out of them
 

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Checking for pinched wires now. Do you reset through one of the 21 test?
Throttle body adaptation is a shot in the dark but you never know. Put the key in position right before cranking the car on (dash lights on). Press the pedal down all the way for 30 seconds. Let go, then press the brake and try to start the car.
 

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ok need more data.. is the engine cranking? if so head to the cam position sensor and check wires.. look at tsat wires did you cross them up?,, do you know of pwm and do you have a scanner that can plot it?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ok need more data.. is the engine cranking? if so head to the cam position sensor and check wires.. look at tsat wires did you cross them up?,, do you know of pwm and do you have a scanner that can plot it?
the engine is cranking, and I dont see any tears in the cam position sensor wires. I would like to check the sensor, anyways to check before replacing? I seem to have a lack of communication from the dme since i should have at least 2 codes being thrown and none are currently being shown
 

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the engine is cranking, and I dont see any tears in the cam position sensor wires. I would like to check the sensor, anyways to check before replacing? I seem to have a lack of communication from the dme since i should have at least 2 codes being thrown and none are currently being shown
You probably already know about this, but I thought I'd put this out just in case.

I have a '99 540 also (Sept build), and find that the dme is not read under the hood, but rather only under the dash. Many others functions like IKE and ZKE are only read under the hood. So if you also have 2 ports and are trying to read dme under the hood, move your reader to the dash and see what you get.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Can you tell me about ZKE or point me in the right direction? I don't know anything about it. Do you mean under the passenger side glove box with the relays or do you mean the obd2 port when you say under the dash? And IKE is the instrument cluster alarms correct?
 

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There are 2 ports that report data for your car, a port under the L side of the dash and another on the R side of the engine compartment, they read different stuff. The port under the dash reads DME which will show you codes that relate to engine functions like fuel trim, etc. The port under the hood reads and/or alters many other things, zke = body electronics like; window up with one touch, window down with one touch, doors lock automatically at specified speeds or upon engine start and a lot of other stuff.

Start by looking for codes under the L side of the dash.

Jim
 

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let's start at the start again, the car was running fine until you replaced the valve cover gaskets. You replaced the valve cover gaskets. Did you look to make sure they're seated correctly and there is no oil pouring into the spark plug access tubes?
 

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the engine is cranking, and I dont see any tears in the cam position sensor wires. I would like to check the sensor, anyways to check before replacing? I seem to have a lack of communication from the dme since i should have at least 2 codes being thrown and none are currently being shown
cam sensors are checked using a scope. you can use a dvom but that is NOT accurate at all.. but it will at least tell you if you are getting something from sensor. look up details using key words hall effect and dvom you need a scope to see if you are getting good signal from the sensor.

found this over at youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM_nVQy3-kA
 

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Discussion Starter #17
There is no oil in the spark plugs and I'll have to try testing the sensor. So if there is an issue with one sensor does it cause other one to not work properly?
 

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no each are independent on reporting but both are used to set timing and vanos etc this part cam sensor is OEM only.. it's one of the few parts on this car that has been shown time and time again to only use OEM.. don't frugal out here...
 
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