BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

Oil, EML and SES lights on Engine Cranks won't start

13204 Views 140 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  swampX3
Was going to go out and car wouldn't start. It cranks but won't stay running. Last week or so it has been idling rough for the first few seconds when first starting. I did have the SES light come on and saw there were some misfires. I think I have a VCG leak and thought oil might be getting into the plug holes. Was planning to address that last month. I cleared the code.

I put the key in the ignition and tried to crank and it wouldn't start then I noticed the Battery and OIL lights are on in red. The EML and SES lights are on in yellow.

I check the oil level regularly because I know I have some leaks and it was always been between the two marks. I added about a 1/4 bottle or less and it's up near the top mark now but oil light is still on.

I also have a small leak around my thermostat and was planning on replacing it and the water pump in the next few days. I check the coolant and oil weekly and top off about 20oz every couple of months. Never let it run too low and the engine hasn't overheated since I've owned it.

Ran DIS and didn't see any codes that tell me anything. There are the missfires and lean codes that are currently not present. Any help would be greatly appreciated in what I should look at/do next.


See less See more
21 - 40 of 141 Posts
there is a tiny cooling fan in many bmw E boxes ....the one by the brake fluid reservoir in many cases.....and have DIS get in and run the activation of the baby fan from your DIS57 screens

also some basic plug , battery, coils with oil on, air filter , intake boot integrity/cracks , checks before spending other bucks
Thanks, will do I've just been in a bit of a panic. Do you have any info on how to activate the fan from DIS? I'm still just learning DIS and haven't found any info searching.
DIS ...control unit functions etc

a good link on how to navigate in DIS to activate various stuff

Now to get to the Function and component selection page, you can either press the Control Unit Function button or you can press the RIGHT green arrow. On the next screen the Function Selection button will be enabled, select Function selection and you will land here
e box baby fan

double triple check if you have an e box fan ....put the last seven of your VIN in REALOEM.COM and search your model....or call bavauto/FCP/pelican etc
ultra low cost e box fan fix from the FESTCHIVE

moneyflylane moneyflylane is offline
Registered User
Location: san diego

Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 50
Mein Auto: 545i
View My Garage
I took the e-Box fan out and the fan motor was running intermittently, I took the motor apart but the armature was worn out and not repairable. Instead of spending $145 at BMW for a complete fan unit I instead purchased a new electric motor at Radio Shack: $5.95 9-18V DC motor, PN# 2730256 it fits into it's housing as good as the original and works perfectly! The fan's impeller was easy to remove from the old motor's shaft, the new motor's shaft was exactly the same diameter.. so an easy slam dunk!
See less See more
Now I'm starting to get worried about that noise I mentioned. I didn't think it was a big deal because I always heard it. I think it has a fan. This is the realoem page for the ebox. It shows a part as a cover with blower?

Thanks for that last link on DIS. Very helpful. I'm going to remove covers and check plugs probably later tonight might check DIS again in a bit.
Sorry one more question about DIS to make sure I'm doing it right.

I'm in DIS and I do the quick test. Then I click the right arrow and I see the list of fault codes (from the screenshot) that's going to give me all the error codes right? I'm concerned that I see the SES and EML lights on and don't see any active codes that would indicate that there's a problem other than the misfires. Last time I had misfires only the SES came on once. Not the EML. Hopefully EML is just about the battery.

And I probably forgot to mention it but thanks everyone for helping out. This really ruined my day but glad you guys and this forum is here.
Okay some good news and another question....

Went down to play around with DIS and saw the battery couldn't find how to activate the ebox fan but I noticed the battery charger indicated the battery was almost full so I crossed my fingers and turned the key. Engine started with the same rough issues I noted previously and then all the warning lights went off. Whew! Guess that bluetooth ODBII thing eats a bit of battery considering I don't drive every day and when I do it's a lot of short trips. Removed it and will remember to not get lazy about connecting the battery maintainer.

Now for the question.

One thing I saw in DIS was..

DME Motor Electronics -> Smooth-running values -> Tru-running value, cylinder [1-6]

I turned on the display for all 6 cylinders and all of them were 0.00 except for cylinders 2, 3 and 4 which where jumping around. Took a picture after I shut off engine and it showed cyl 2: 1.851 1/s^2 and cyl 3: 1.138 1/s^s.

Can anyone tell me what this means? I think it might be relevant since those were the cylinders that had misfires. I have no idea what those values are supposed to represent but since the engine wasn't running smooth right after startup something called smooth-running values seemed like something good to check. :)
See less See more
low cost bay e box fan motor pic

looks like your X sure has the E box fan ....picture below of the poboy ultra low cost fix

get the X running first and then move onto the e box fan fix


See less See more
looks like your X sure has the E box fan ....picture below of the poboy ultra low cost fix

get the X running first and then move onto the e box fan fix
Not sure if you saw my last post. Car runs now that battery charged and all warning lights are gone.

NOt sure the fan is a problem. It doesn't sound like the previous video posted. When I was making my video I didn't think the sound would even be heard on the video. It's very low. About and really only noticeable when I have the hood popped and the engine is not running. The HVAC blower motor is louder in the cabin even on low.

Any thoughts on those true running values I posted?

When I got the car earlier this year I thought I would have to change the VCG. Spoke to the previous mechanic and he changed it so I cleaned off the oil that was under the valve cover and it was clean for a while but noticed a little oil staining recently. Plugs are new Bosch plugs but the coils look old. Called bosch to check the model numbers and they told me they haven't been made in a while so I think they may be due for a change and the misfires coincide with the cylinders you mentioned are likely to have issues with a VCG leak so I'm going to work on that.

Old mechanic also told me he changed the thermostat recently but there's a leak at the thermostat so have to change it so who knows.
See less See more
good work !

good work getting it running's some background on true/smooth running.....various computerized engine management systems have different measures.....but .....if you go back to the old days when you had coughs and splutters from one or two fouled plugs, a torn intake boot letting loads of unmetered air in or you pulled a high tension plug wire off and got a dead cylinder.....or you rotated the distributor to alter your advance and retard timing you have a rough idea of what they are trying to measure

also .....keep practicing your DIS 57 skills .....first test is to activate the E box fan ! (listen if it runs quiet)......second test is activate the secondary air pump !....third test is get your fuel trims and see how each bank of three cylinders is doing ....this can give you loads of tips about lean codes/poor injectors/etc etc.....4th test is to see your wheel speed sensor output in real time ....5th test is activate the fuel pump and listen for the low hum of the motor/pump....loads of fun learning !......your diagnostic skills will improve will save beaucoup dollars and be singin "king of da road"

have a read in this area of the FESTCHIVE

Cylinder True Runnding Value Problem - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums ***8250; ... ***8250; BMW Model Discussions ***8250; 5 Series ***8250; E39 (1997 - 2003)
Apr 7, 2010 - 17 posts - ***8206;3 authors
For a smooth running test, the numbers should be as close to zero as possible. Cylinder 5 looks like the most troublesome one, being that it ...
2008 E92 N43 misfire 1 post Aug 7, 2015
Did smooth running test and DPF back pressure test with ... 8 posts Jun 17, 2015
Cylinder True Running Value/Injectors & Coil ... 14 posts Feb 16, 2014
INPA users: What are the good analog readings for ... 17 posts Jul 10, 2012
More results from
See less See more
I actually found the secondary air pump activation. Activated it but didn't notice anything from behind the drivers seat with windows open and hood popped. Would it be loud enough to hear.

Did the HVAC motor calibration run and I could hear those going and activated the HVAC LEDs and Display just to make sure DIS was working. Didn't find the ebox fan or fuel pump. I think the ebox is called something else so will look again.
secondary air pump activation

yes ....with engine off the secondary air pump is loudish....try again.....or you have the N52 engine ????? ....without the secondary air pump .....check REAOEM.COM for your situation

also more test for you......the electric coolant fan will be very helpful to know how to activate it for any future troubleshooting

keep digging for the Electronics box fan .....maybe under DME ?

DME is German for the engine computer

take some screen shots of your paths to find these things and post them on the FEST......a good memory jogger for yourself and other Festers
link to typical secondary air pump

its often on the passenger side and is used to pump air into the exhaust attached below

some image of the pump below
The secondary air activation I found wasn't for the fan it was for a valve. I think I"m not in expert mode and I"m not sure how to get into expert mode. I understand the screenshots in first DIS link you sent but not sure how to even get to thta menu wher you configure which mode you're in. Any advice?

Edit: What I have installed came with a launcer. DIS opens in a vmware client and goes straight into DIS. If I try to exit out of DIS it just restarts instantly. I don't see that Easy-DIS CONFIGURE-Matic Main menu.

Edit 2: Found the answer here. http://forums.********* Need to click Administration button from DIS start screen then select touchscreen calibration button. Enter password 12345 and it gets you to that menu. Odd way to get there.
some DIS57 activations how to's etc

a basic screen setup for an activation....this is for the cluster lights but they all follow the same basic path

also ...attached pic of the E box fan in DIS57 .....path is normally

Diagnosis Function and selection page
complete vehicle
motor electronics
E box fan
E box fan

when you arrive at the components test pane ....itsa great idea to just spend an hour going thru all the activations sat in the vehicle wishes


See less See more
I can be an idiot at times. On my screen Component Activation has 2 more lines under it that start with a dash "- ". Like under diagnosis request. I thought that meant that was a heading so I never clicked on it. I found all the stuff in there after I clicked on it. Or maybe enabling the expert mode did it?

Found the ebox fan, activated and it sounded fine. That leaves me wondering what that humming noise I'm hearing is?

Fuel pump activated fine, Secondary air pump activated fine. Electric fan activated fine. I forgot it had an electric fan. I waste money buying a fan clutch tool wrench and holder.

All that playing around with DIS though I need to wait for battery to recharge. Will check plugs either tonight or tomorrow for oil leaks though I'm pretty sure VCG has issues or maybe just coils.
component activations from within a DIS57 test schedule

dug this up to show how some stuff can be activated/tested from within the test schedule....this one shows a full brake bleed including activating the DSC pump etc

1. Hit the "Control Unit Function" button (lower right in DIS screen)
2. Tap the "Function Selection" button (lower left)
3. Select "Chassis" in the left column that appears
4. Select YES or NO for ACC2 option
5. Select "Wheel Slip Control System"
6. Select "Bleeding Routine" in the middle column.
7. Tap the "Test Schedule" button at the bottom left middle to start the process.
See less See more
great job on the activations

don't forget to check for oil in the plug well annuluses or annuli !

great job on the DIS can be magical but a little confusing at times .....and ...your next software must be a Rheingold download with a better shell and GUI ...runs native in windows 10 too
21 - 40 of 141 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.