1998 BMW 540i No Start

Tiny
CHASKIRK
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 BMW 540I
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 167,000 MILES
Hi,

I just brought this car home and the following day it would not start. It does not seem to be getting power to the starter. Turn the key, eveything powers up but the starter does not engage.

I started the car 5 times yesterday, before buying it, without any problems. I also had a dealer inspect the car. They did not identify anything that would seem to be related to this problem.

I am not hearing a solenoid actuate. The battery reads 11.7 volts and has a 5/07 manufacture date on it. I put jumpers on it anyway but this did not help.

I have thought about cleaining the battery terminals (they appear to be very clean), checking for a starter relay, a clutch or neutral safety switch, and a starter solenoid. Unfortunately I am not familiar with the car so I don't know where any of this is located or how to isolate the problem.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Charles
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Friday, January 9th, 2009 AT 1:10 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
If the battery shows 11.7 volts then it could be low and could cause this issue. A fully charged battery will show between 12.5 and 12.8 volts. Also there is a system in the car for drive away protection called EWS, it is possible for this system to lose its alignment, do you have more than one key? Have you tried the other key?
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Friday, January 9th, 2009 AT 1:30 PM
Tiny
CHASKIRK
  • MEMBER
I managed to get the car started. I think you are right about the key. I replaced the battery in the key and re-initialized it and this seemed to do the trick. Do you know if there is a neutral safety switch associated with the stick shift?

Thanks for your prompt response. I appreciate it.

Charles
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Friday, January 9th, 2009 AT 3:15 PM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
Yes there is a neutral safety switch as per federal requirements. Replacement of the battery in the key is a separate issue as it only is there for the central locking system, the key recognition does not depend on the key battery. If the issue happens again, try the other key. This might need to go to the dealer or someone with the proprietary BMW software to find the root cause, I am glad you got it running, keep in touch and let us know if there is anything else you need help with on your car, cheers! ♥
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Friday, January 9th, 2009 AT 8:37 PM
Tiny
CHASKIRK
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the feedback on the key. It is good (and bad) to know that I may still have a problem. When the dealer inspected the car they removed the shift boot and lubed the shift linkage. That is why I was curoius about the neutral safety switch. If this is where it is located it may have been disturbed when they performed this procedure.

Thanks again for your help.

Charles
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Saturday, January 10th, 2009 AT 2:02 PM

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