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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

For starters, this is my first post. Love my 1998 BMW 540i and still cannot believe i found it where i did last month.

This morning i drove to work and when i parked it, i accidentally left my phone charger plugged into the cigarette lighter. I had a 7 hour shift and when i got back to the car, I put the key into the ignition and positions 1 and 2 work totally fine; everything lights up, chime rings and all. When i proceed to start it, absolutely nothing happens, not even a sound comes out from the starter or the engine cranking. I initially thought the battery was dead so I had a buddy swing his car around to jump it and nothing.

The only way to start this car is to roll and pop it in gear.

No idea what to do
 

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A while back when my battery suddenly died the lights and chimes would come on but it would not start. Your phone charger probably killed the battery. That's the first place I would look. Let us know how this resolves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The thing that does not make sense is everything in the car works normally. AC, windows, radio, you name it. I just cant get it to start with the key
 

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But you can get it started by push starting/jumping it. I'm not a mechanic but I know that a weak battery can cause all kinds of weird things. Have you tried a powerful battery jump charger to see if that will get it started with the key?
 

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In these cars, dead batteries cause a lot of weird things to happen. Your phone charger probably killed the battery because the lighter outlet is always running. It wouldn't be a bad idea to replace the battery, depending on the age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update: I disconnected the battery for about an hour and went back and plugged it in. positions 1 and 2 are still great but still, when you put it to position 3, absolutely nothing happens. Rolled it down the driveway and popped it into gear and it ran like a champ. I even left it running for alittle bit and turned it off to try starting it again. Problem still there

I guess I will try ordering the new battery tomorrow but someone suggested tapping the starter. Anyone know if this will work? If so, whats the easiest way to do it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
But you can get it started by push starting/jumping it. I'm not a mechanic but I know that a weak battery can cause all kinds of weird things. Have you tried a powerful battery jump charger to see if that will get it started with the key?
I actually have not tried that. I dont have one handy, are they expensive? Seems like a useful tool for me to have
 

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I actually have not tried that. I dont have one handy, are they expensive? Seems like a useful tool for me to have
check fuse 15. if its blown check your oil level and if oil level is good then its time for a new oil level sensor.
 

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Check you battery first - don't just check for 12 volts, you need to have the CCA (cold crank amps) checked to make sure it putting out enough to fire the starter. If they battery is dead replace. If the battery is fine, then move to you starter. Before you start tapping your starter you need to check your battery. Again if you battery is good, then have a friend tap the starter while you crank the car. If it starts, then you need a new starter.

If those don't work, then you need more testing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Check you battery first - don't just check for 12 volts, you need to have the CCA (cold crank amps) checked to make sure it putting out enough to fire the starter. If they battery is dead replace. If the battery is fine, then move to you starter. Before you start tapping your starter you need to check your battery. Again if you battery is good, then have a friend tap the starter while you crank the car. If it starts, then you need a new starter.

If those don't work, then you need more testing.
I took your recommendation sir. I checked on the cockpit gauges (running that test no. 9) and the car said it is only getting 11.8 Volts, which dropped to 11.4 when i put the key to position 2. Ordered a new battery and that should take care of the problem. I figure if i dont even have 12V then i definitely dont have the CCA needed.
 

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did you check the fuses?
 

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Yep, all look good. New battery placed and it still wont start
use a multi-meter and see if your getting power to the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well i just got a call from the mechanic and i wanted to let everyone know what finally happened in case this happens to you:

After replacing the battery, starter, and clutch switch (along with verifying the fuses were all good) the car was still not starting. A BMW tech was called into the shop and they found the EWS module was out on the car. They determined that is the issue because when they plugged the computer into the car and they had no communication with the EWS.
 
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