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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I'll start off by first apologizing for the long rant I'm about to give and also I an not a mechanic and dont know much. So I purchased a 05 530i with 38,xxx original miles. It was from a family member and I am the second owner. This car was purchased as a secondary/weekend car so that's why the mileage is so low. This car was garaged kept its entire life. The only service that it ever received was oil changes and 2 battery replacements due to not being driven often. Now here's the issue....so I dont have a garage so from the moment I brought it home it sat outside (very cold temperatures where I live). The very next day the car struggled to start. I thought it was a battery issue so I jumped it and it turned on. The next few days after that the car would not start (I get up at 6am to start my car). I spoke with my mechanic and told him the history of the car and what was going on with it. He didn't think it was a battery issue due to it not starting the other mornings with a jump.
He suggested I change the crank case ventilation system and spark plugs. Apparently there is a cold climate version of the CCV system and this car did not have that. So I bought everything and changed both myself. I changed the CCV system first (mid afternoon) and then started the car and it turned on first try no problems. Next morning just cranking again no start. So the next day I changed spark plugs. When I went to start it the car said low battery voltage. I jumped it and it started. Next morning it just cranked and cranked but no start AGAIN.
So at this point I took it to BMW and got a new battery (old one was almost 3 years old). Got the car back and guess what....next morning it didn't start again. So I ended up changing the fuel pump and fuel filter soon after thinking it may be that from sitting for so long and next morning didn't start.
The car got taken back to BMW and today I had someone call me now to tell me that the car needs a new ECU?! $2000!! The car was left in the shops garage 2 days in a row and would start every single time no problems. As soon as they would leave it outside overnight it would not start. They are saying it's cold shock to the ECU and it's not giving the ignition coils or fuel injectors the signal or voltage or whatever they need.
I am beyond upset at this point. I asked them so what if I spend the money and change the ECU and it still doesn't start....their response was they will be getting BMW Engineers involved in repairing my car. I dont know if its worth it to due or just give up at this point. I know the cars history and it was never abused and saw 75% of highway miles. What are your thoughts, opinions, questions or comments. Again sorry for the long rant but I just dont know what else to do at this point
 

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2006 530xi 6 MT
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Seriously doubt it is "cold shock to the ECU".
What engine is it? N52?
My two N52 cars had starters that got seriously weak after some time.
In one of the cars, I changed the battery and it made no difference in (garaged) cold weather starting.
Changing the starter made them start like new cars.
Just saying that a new starter might be the only issue.
 

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2013 535xi
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+1
Also does it crank slow?
Plus, there should be a number of service bulletins out for that car they should have done also.
I know one being the battery cable that runs the length of the car and not supplying enough power.
BTW, you can take it to ANY BMW dealership for these.
 

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Under the lift arms
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WOW....

(honestly it makes me feel better knowing that im better then the indy and the dealer lol)

Ok.. lets start with basics,
#1 stop changing parts, Its not spark plugs, its not battery's, or Cold Climate ccv, and If it was A ECU.. there would be a law suit to follow..

You more then likely have a parasitic draw, But there are a few things to you can do right now to stop this.. Until its a little warmer out side, and you have more time to sit down and sort this out (parasitic draw can be one of thee hardest things to figure out.. Normally result in a lot of Blown out back time)

get your self a trickle charger like this



put that in the trunk.. plug the car in when its not in use.. This will save your battery and should allow you to unplug and start the car in the morning, (i doubt your gonna have more then a one and quarter amp draw)

after that is done and you get a few days of starting in the morning.. We can work forward on figuring out whats eating power over night... But i dont want to more forward till after we have confirmed that


put the tender in the trunk.. hang the plug out, OR bring the extension cord In to the trunk ( thats what i do)
 

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Under the lift arms
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and i assure you.. that there is no cold shocked ECU.. these cars start no problem in -60 with the proper oil type..

We can rule them out very easily with a trickle charger.


whats going to happen is they are going to take your 2,000$ and then not be able to figure it out, and then its gonna get tricky.. They will start running you thru the mud until you fold.. (and you can fight city hall)
 

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I wouldn't dismiss the bad ECU theory, I'd be very skeptical of it but I wouldn't dismiss it. I've seen ECU's fail only when cold, hot and everything in between.

The OP mentions that the car cranks just fine but still does not start, if that is indeed true that rules out parasitic draw. The next day after the car cranked normally and wouldn't start the OP tried to start it again but the car said low battery voltage, more than likely from running the battery low the day before by trying to start it.

If the car seems to start normally when things have warmed up I would start by looking at the coolant and air temp sensors while the car will not start to make sure that they are reading correctly and also within a few degrees of each other.


Posted this after the OP posted the docs from BMW. Seems like a known issue but I would still double check everything.
 

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Under the lift arms
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You think so huh?
I know so..


Anyway.. all of that goes out the window now..

28ac code, Internal ram fault..

you need a ECU

thats a very specific code, More then likely one of the chip sets isnt going to sleep.. the ecu has detected the fault.. But is still funcionally

you can rig it.. by isolating what ever is not powering down.. Its hard to say exactly what the code is referring to with out the chip set prints (*which to my knowledge we dont have access to.. that would be the engineers that they are talking about)

more then likely they are more curious about it then anything..

Id bake the ecu in the oven..
 

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Burnig2nd
Quote Id bake the ecu in the oven.. Unquote
Out of curiosity, at what temperature and how long? Do you suspect moisture or what?
 

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BMW CCA 69606
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My E30 had a similar DME problem.....ran too rich, wouldn't run over 1500 rpm in cold weather. Engine ran fine after DME heated in oven at 140F for 30 minutes. Engine ran extremely rich after in freezer for 30 min.. A couple of cycles like this was all the convincing I needed. Bad solder joint or temp sensitive component.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well....I'm going to go ahead and pull the trigger. The car is in immaculate condition. The tech told me there were numerous offers to buy the car as is and I told them all to kick rocks. I changed all of those other parts because they were 14 years old regardless of the mileage they needed to be changed at some point sooner or later.
I'm thinking about ordering the ECU from FCP Euro since it's $500 cheaper than the stealership, new/unprogrammed and they offer lifetime warranty. If anyone has any other places I should consider to save some money that would be helpful. Thanks for everyone's input/suggestions. I will update when I get it replaced and let you guys know the outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Punisher,
Check out this forum:
https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?1756113-Cold-start-problems

I would try re-programming the DME before biting the bullet. What harm can come of that? Other than frustrating yourself! I have also seen people advertise remote programming over the internet, so you might consider looking for someone offering that service.

Good luck
Fred
Very interesting...I'm going to go there tomorrow and ask the tech if he can try reprogramming it for me before I go any further. Thanks for that!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Quick update. I had the tech reprogram the DME which apparently took all day. I never got a response as to how long it normally takes but I would assume it shouldn't have taken that long. Anyways, he went to start it this morning and no luck. Of course today it's nearly 70° so later in the early afternoon it started. I went ahead and already ordered a brand new one from FCP. I figured I know the car's history, it now has new spark plugs, new cold climate CCV, new battery, new fuel pump, new fuel filter and now a new DME. With such low milage I couldn't let myself try to sell it.
Only time will tell if the new DME will ACTUALLY be the fix for the car and then maybe I can start spending on mods instead of repairs. I'll update once I get word from the tech. Hoping to get it back by the weekend maybe for a nice detailing.
 
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