BimmerFest BMW Forum banner
1 - 20 of 68 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in desperate need of some help.
I have both the Trans and engine failsafe prog. message at the cluster and the car will not start.
I have done the following, but still no luck starting the car.
1. 12.35 V and battery is relative new.
2. Check ECU box. All dry and fuses are OK.
3. Disconnect air mass meter.
4. Disconnect battery over night and connect again. The car is an 2002 E39.

I am in a very remote location so any help is most welcome.
Automotive tire Tool Finger Gas Cable

Vehicle Car Odometer Speedometer Tachometer

Speedometer Vehicle Odometer Tachometer Car
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
Clear the codes and try to see which are coming back. Check also the ignition switch.

Sent from my SM-G986B using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2001 BMW E39 540i Automatic Sedan, 198 K milesmiles
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
That you have both the engine and the transmission in fail-safe mode may indicate a possible battery or alternator problem. When did the problem start ?

1. At 12.35 v, the battery is about half charged. But that is sufficient to start and drive the car. Do you still measure 12.35 v after disconnecting the battery overnight ? Try to recharge it full if you have a battery charger. Can you measure the battery's voltage right before starting it ?? You could use the OBC test.

2. Reconnect back the air mass meter (MAF).

3. Does it crank when you try to start it : do you have a "crank-no-start" problem ? If so, there are many threads tackling this problem. Check them out (start by checking the voltage, and fuel pressure supply).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Clear the codes and try to see which are coming back. Check also the ignition switch.

Sent from my SM-G986B using Tapatalk
I have ordered the below OBD scanner and will try to reset the errors when it arrives.
Automotive parking light Hood Product Automotive lighting Mode of transport
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That you have both the engine and the transmission in fail-safe mode may indicate a possible battery or alternator problem. When did the problem start ?

1. At 12.35 v, the battery is about half charged. But that is sufficient to start and drive the car. Do you still measure 12.35 v after disconnecting the battery overnight ? Try to recharge it full if you have a battery charger. Can you measure the battery's voltage right before starting it ?? You could use the OBC test.

2. Reconnect back the air mass meter (MAF).

3. Does it crank when you try to start it : do you have a "crank-no-start" problem ? If so, there are many threads tackling this problem. Check them out (start by checking the voltage, and fuel pressure supply).
The problem came out of nowhere, when I was idling and getting ready to turn in an intersection. I turned the engine off as soon as I saw the messages and after it would not start again. I had to ask for help to push it off the road.

1. I will check the voltage again tomorrow morning.
2. MAF is connected again.
3. Yes, normal cranking, but apparently as long as the engine safe mode error is there, the engine will not start, so I need to clear that first.

Not an easy task, as I am on a small fairly remote island. The island don't even have a tow truck and certainly not a BMW mechanic.
 

·
Registered
2001 BMW E39 540i Automatic Sedan, 198 K milesmiles
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
The problem came out of nowhere, when I was idling and getting ready to turn in an intersection. I turned the engine off as soon as I saw the messages and after it would not start again. I had to ask for help to push it off the road.
....
Definitely the symptom of an electric charging problem, or fuel cutoff.
Again, start by checking, testing the battery and/or alternator. Replace them if defective. Make sure the battery is fully charged (+12.5 volts). How old is your battery anyway ?

Then check your fuel pressure supply.

About those error codes, you do not need to erase them to start the car. The engine can start and will run perfectly with previous old errors stored in its computer ECUs....

Also, I would cancel that OBD scanner you ordered. If you have a Windows laptop, order instead the "INPA K+DCAN" cable ($30), and download the free software INPA : a much more useful scanning and coding BMW specific tool
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Definitely the symptom of an electric charging problem, or fuel cutoff.
Again, start by checking, testing the battery and/or alternator. Replace them if defective. Make sure the battery is fully charged (+12.5 volts). How old is your battery anyway ?

Then check your fuel pressure supply.

About those error codes, you do not need to erase them to start the car. The engine can start and will run perfectly with previous old errors stored in its computer ECUs....

Also, I would cancel that OBD scanner you ordered. If you have a Windows laptop, order instead the "INPA K+DCAN" cable ($30), and download the free software INPA : a much more useful scanning and coding BMW specific tool
My battery is 5 years and 2 months old and I am in a hot climate, so hopefully that is the culprit.
Voltage was 12.26 V unconnected this morning and even lower at 11.85 V with the key in the ignition.
I found help at a local motorcycle shop, he will charge the battery over night so we can give it a try fully charged.

Audio equipment Material property Measuring instrument Gas Electronic device
Measuring instrument Gauge Tool Sports equipment Gas
Font Rectangle Parallel Screenshot Number
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It appears I have more luck in love than fixing Bimmers.
Fully charged battery with 13.09 V and 12.74 V connected, still no luck.
The starter is cranking fine, but the car still have the two failsafe errors and will not start.
Pinning my hope on the OBD scanner now.

Meanwhile, how do I check if it is a throttle fault?
Gauge Tool Measuring instrument Sports equipment Gas
Gauge Measuring instrument Gas Auto part Clock
Car Vehicle Plant Vehicle registration plate Grille
 

·
Registered
2001 BMW E39 540i Automatic Sedan, 198 K milesmiles
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
So, you now have a crank-no-start party...!!
Can you check the fuel pressure: fuel pump, fuel filter and fuel lines are good ?? You want to make sure it is not starting for lack of fuel pressure.

The throttle has nothing to do with the no-start. But it is good to clean it anyway and reset its adaptations.

And the OBD scanner may not be of much help either You may need a BMW specific scanner (INPA, ISTA,...).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, you now have a crank-no-start party...!!
Can you check the fuel pressure: fuel pump, fuel filter and fuel lines are good ?? You want to make sure it is not starting for lack of fuel pressure.

The throttle has nothing to do with the no-start. But it is good to clean it anyway and reset its adaptations.

And the OBD scanner may not be of much help either You may need a BMW specific scanner (INPA, ISTA,...).
Party might be a stretch of the word, but we have food, accommodation, a working credit card and a view of the ocean so all is not lost yet.
I could remove the back seat and test the fuel pump pressure with a small pressure gauge, but the engine was running fine until the error messages came up, so I doubt the engine is starving for fuel. It is something else, electric or otherwise.
Any help or suggestion is welcome at this point.
We are on a small island so towing is a 100 km ferry trip and then a 500 km road journey back to my regular BMW mechanic.
The view, while we wait for the OBD scanner.
Cloud Water Sky Water resources Plant
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,414 Posts
There is a schrader valve on the fuel rail, you need to remove the plastic cover on top of the engine ( 2 /8 or 10mm nuts) and that is where you test for fuel pressure. there is no fuel pressure test at the fuel pump.
 

·
Registered
2001 BMW E39 540i Automatic Sedan, 198 K milesmiles
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
Party might be a stretch of the word, but we have food, accommodation, a working credit card and a view of the ocean so all is not lost yet.
......
Thanks for throwing another crank-no-start party… Seriously now :

1. You recharged the battery, and you hear the starter cranking.
2. Verify that the fuel pressure is ok, as advised by Bmwblue.
You should then have ignition, and the engine should start.

If it still does not, I suspect PROBABLY a loss of synch between the EWS (Security module) and the DME (data mngmt engine module). This is often caused by a long time disconnect of the battery, or the removal or replacement of the EWS or DME from the car.

3. You will need to verify the loss of EWS--DME synch. They leave error codes.
4. And if so, you will have to re-synch the EWS with DME.
Then it will start.

You will need a BMW specific scanner tool (such as INPA) to do the above steps 3 and 4. An OBD scanner canNOT do it.
Of course, do all the above while making sure the battery is fully charged.

There are a few bimmers who threw these crank-or no-crank-no-start party. Check out their threads...lots of fun...LOL..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for throwing another crank-no-start party… Seriously now :

1. You recharged the battery, and you hear the starter cranking.
2. Verify that the fuel pressure is ok, as advised by Bmwblue.
You should then have ignition, and the engine should start.

If it still does not, I suspect PROBABLY a loss of synch between the EWS (Security module) and the DME (data mngmt engine module). This is often caused by a long time disconnect of the battery, or the removal or replacement of the EWS or DME from the car.

3. You will need to verify the loss of EWS--DME synch. They leave error codes.
4. And if so, you will have to re-synch the EWS with DME.
Then it will start.

You will need a BMW specific scanner tool (such as INPA) to do the above steps 3 and 4. An OBD scanner canNOT do it.
Of course, do all the above while making sure the battery is fully charged.

There are a few bimmers who threw these crank-or no-crank-no-start party. Check out their threads...lots of fun...LOL..
We might just have found the root cause of the problem; fuel or namely the lack of fuel.
Zero fuel pressure and it is not just a faulty reading by my Micky Mouse fuel pressure gauge, also not a drop of fuel coming out when I force the Schrader valve open with a screwdriver.

What is the next logical step?
Rip out the back seat and fish the fuel pump out of the fuel tank?
Hopefully find it is in fact fault order a new, install it and drive away into the sunset?
Tire Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design
Automotive tire Automotive design Motor vehicle Wood Automotive exterior
 

·
Registered
2001 BMW E39 540i Automatic Sedan, 198 K milesmiles
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
I'd start with the fuel filter-regulator. Cheaper and easier to reach and replace than the fuel pump. And the symptoms of engine stalling point to a possible clogged fuel filter. Have you ever changed it ? Is it the original filter on this car ??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'd start with the fuel filter-regulator. Cheaper and easier to reach and replace than the fuel pump. And the symptoms of engine stalling point to a possible clogged fuel filter. Have you ever changed it ? Is it the original filter on this car ??
I have a M54 engine and from what I understand the fuel filter and the regulator is an integrated part located deep under the car, right?
Not an easy task with the car parked on the side of the road, but I guess I could have some stands manufactured locally.
The filter have never been changed, so it is well overdue with 148,000 km on the car.
Could I as a test run a hose direct from the fuel pump to the fuel manifold?

Just as a side note, I have check the fuel pump fuse #31 and it is OK.
 

·
Registered
2001 BMW E39 540i Automatic Sedan, 198 K milesmiles
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
Then it is most likely the clogged fuel filter, hopefully. !!
And NO, I would not attempt running a hose directly from the fuel pump to the manifold...!!

Yes, on the E39, the fuel filter+regulator is located under the car, driver side, about middle of the car. You can crawl on the side of the car to reach it (remove a splash guard first).
I have replaced the fuel filter on my car a few times. No need for stands nor jacking up the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
Apparently the fuel pressure regulator is on the fuel rail on your car.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Vehicle Automotive exterior


Sent from my SM-G986B using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,414 Posts
First thing I would do is pull off the back lower seat, have someone turn the key to the 2nd position and listen to the pump to hear if it primes or not for a few seconds, also I would get some starting fluid and see if it will fire up by getting some starting fluid down that intake, if it fires, then you have spark. Odd that you have the fuel regulator at the front of the fuel rail.
What engine size is your car, this should have been the 1st thing listed in your thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
First thing I would do is pull off the back lower seat, have someone turn the key to the 2nd position and listen to the pump to hear if it primes or not for a few seconds, also I would get some starting fluid and see if it will fire up by getting some starting fluid down that intake, if it fires, then you have spark. Odd that you have the fuel regulator at the front of the fuel rail.
What engine size is your car, this should have been the 1st thing listed in your thread.
I will pull the back seat tomorrow morning. Good advise about the starter fluid, thanks.
The car is a 523i year 2002 E39 and I believe a M54 engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,124 Posts
Do the starter fluid test as bmw blue suggested. If it does start then you can start looking at why the fuel pump isn’t working. Your fuel pump relay should be behind the glove box. There are 2 fuses in the fuel pump circuit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sorensen
1 - 20 of 68 Posts
Top