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Old 06-03-2009, 09:56 AM   #1
FJD

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Wont start

I have a 1999 540i and last saterday I went to pick my brother up at his friends house,on the way there I stopped at the garage for petrol.

Turned the key and they motor simply would not start,the starter was turning and it sounded like the motor would go but then it would just drop down to zero and the engine would die.

Checked all the fuses,checked the petrol pump,the battery everything.Eventualy I had to call a tow truck to take it home.

I struggled with this car the entire weekend and eventualy the battery was flat so I just left it.

Monday I had the garage tow the car in and they put the battery on charge for a while,turned the key and the damn car starts !!! They ran a diagnostics check and could not find any errors ?

So got the car back,it runs fine and since the weekend it's been starting everytime I turn the key.

Any one have any ideas on what this might be ? Cause I realy dont feel to comfy driving anywhere cause it just might happen that I get back in the car and it wont start....
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:58 PM   #2
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Intermittent problems can be a real pain in the butt. You could have had a vapor lock in the fuel line, intermittent no signal from the crank sensor. PCM might be dying. Without it doing the thing and being tested on the spot all you're going to do is shot gun it and throw parts at it until it stops doing it......if it even ever does it again. The list is as long as I am tall 6'9" where do you want to start?
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:22 PM   #3
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Oooh, hence part of the reason behind the moniker...!
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:55 PM   #4
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Intermittent problems can be a real pain in the butt. You could have had a vapor lock in the fuel line, intermittent no signal from the crank sensor. PCM might be dying. Without it doing the thing and being tested on the spot all you're going to do is shot gun it and throw parts at it until it stops doing it......if it even ever does it again. The list is as long as I am tall 6'9" where do you want to start?
Hehe okay,well thanks for the reply this realy clears it up for me a bit.I was just worried that it might happen again and was starting to loose faith in the car.I found it realy strange that we could not get it to start,the garage I took it to just recharged the battery and turned the key and it started.Will just have to wait and see if it does ever happen again.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:05 PM   #5
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May want to check for loose battery connections and corrosion around the chassis grounds. That's a fast easy clean up kind of job and can really fix A LOT of stuff. I had an E12 that'd conk out intermittently and it was just a bad ground to the fuse block.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:29 AM   #6
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OKay...so the car has been running great for that past 2 months....got in my car this morning....turned the key and nothing.

The starter turns but the car just wont start.

The battery seems fine seeing as everything comes on and the starter swings....but the engine just wont fire
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:50 AM   #7
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Phoned the guys I took my car to for the last service and they say that it might either be the battery that is on its way out or that I might need to replace the knock sensor.

Any thoughts about this ?
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:11 AM   #8
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Knock sensor?! All that does is tell the ecu to retard the timing if the engine stars knocking. Has nothing to do with starting the car. CRANK (CKP) sensor is a possibility, when you crank the engine over does the little engine light go out while its cranking over? Is the engine spinning over at a normal speed or is it a slow crank? If it's a normal speed your battery should be fine. You have fuel in the tank and you can hear the fuel pump switch on when you turn the key into the run position before cranking I take it?
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:21 AM   #9
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Knock sensor?! All that does is tell the ecu to retard the timing if the engine stars knocking. Has nothing to do with starting the car. CRANK (CKP) sensor is a possibility, when you crank the engine over does the little engine light go out while its cranking over? Is the engine spinning over at a normal speed or is it a slow crank? If it's a normal speed your battery should be fine. You have fuel in the tank and you can hear the fuel pump switch on when you turn the key into the run position before cranking I take it?

mmmm I will try starting it again tonight when I get home after work and post all the finer details here.It spins at normal speed but it just does not start...the starter motor keeps spinning untill I switch the car off again.I have fuel in the tank as for the fuel pump switching on....I will have to pay more attention to that tonight.
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:58 AM   #10
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Got home friday evening and tried starting the car again,turned the key and car started after the first try.......switched it off and left if.The next morning it was dead again.The little orange engine light does go off when the starter swings and I can hear the feul pump switching on.

Checked the battery and its dead...but what does not make sense is that the car would not start friday morning but the evening when I got back home it started with the first try.

Even tried to jump start the car and had another battery in....still wont start.
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:42 PM   #11
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Be careful with the jump starting, you can fry a body module nothing flat. If your battery started the car one night, and was dead the following morning I'd be suspecting some kind of parasitic draw. Like an interior light staying on in the trunk, glovebox, door not all the way closed, something like that. If your car is losing power and then getting power (as in a bad/weak battery connection or cable) the security system could be freaking out. Like I said though intermittents are a real beyoch. Can you think of ANYTHING at all no matter how small that was different from starting and not starting?
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:16 AM   #12
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No not realy,everything seems to be the same between starting and not starting.

Such a nice car but its been giving me shit since I got it...which is realy a pitty because I love the car.

Just dont think I'm prepared to take it back to the garage and spend another (ZA) R6000
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:31 PM   #13
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I just reread the whole thread looking for clues. When it does not start the little engine light is going out while cranking? That means its not the crank sensor. Your pump is kicking on and you have fuel in the tank. That leaves a clogged fuel filter as a possible there. It does run which means the engine management system IS working but not all the time. Did you do a clean up of the chassis grounds, battery cables and connections and make sure everything was tight? I'd then try to replace the fuel filter and see what happens. Other than that I'm drawing a blank
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:20 AM   #14
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I just reread the whole thread looking for clues. When it does not start the little engine light is going out while cranking? That means its not the crank sensor. Your pump is kicking on and you have fuel in the tank. That leaves a clogged fuel filter as a possible there. It does run which means the engine management system IS working but not all the time. Did you do a clean up of the chassis grounds, battery cables and connections and make sure everything was tight? I'd then try to replace the fuel filter and see what happens. Other than that I'm drawing a blank
They replaced the feul filter the same time they serviced the car which was about 2 months ago.

The engine light does go out while its cranking even though the engine does not start.Will have to check all the connections.

Thanks for all the help so far
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:33 PM   #15
FJD

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Okay,so I've got a new battery considering the old one was 6 years old,put in and the starter swings long and strong but the motor is still dead

Opened the bonnet and pulled out the petrol line (not realy sure whether this was the inlet or outlet) turned the car on and there was just a few small drops of feul dripping out...

Tried to listen to the feul pup coming on....but I cant hear anything.,


Could this then be a dead feul pump like you suggested ? Or could it be that its just not getting power ?
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