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BMW 5-Series Starting Problems

My 2001 525i wouldn't start. Just a "clicking" sound when I turned the key. Thought I may have had a dead battery; friend provided a jump. Still just a "clicking"--would not crank. Disconnected jumper cables, THEN I discovered I did not replace my gas cap the night before after filling with gas. I replaced the gas cap. With the jumper cables NOT connected, turned the key again, Bingo! Started right up. That was three days ago. No problems since then. Was the problem the gas cap or do I have a problem with my ignition system? If it is the gas cap, why did it start the night before when I left the gas station with cap "off"?
Thanks !
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Comments

  • I used to have a 2000 Audi A6 that would have the check engine light on if the gas cap was not back on the car. It drive me nuts when it happened, because the car started normally without the light on, and about 2 miles after leaving the gas station, the light came on. Since I was literally a block away from the Audi dealer where I bought my car, I drove into the service department, and before I got out of the car, my service writer was asking me if my check engine light was on. He told me it was because the gas cap was off. As soon as he put it on and I restarted the car, the light went off and all was fine with the car. BMW has a similar thing in the old 7 series with the check engine light. I don't know about an ignition lock, though.

    The clicking sound, though, is usually when you have a dead battery. I would try to repeat the occurance again. If the same thing happens again, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If it doesn't, then I would look into it a little further. The car will probably start the first time, and then not start again. Try it and see what happens.
  • rayg20rayg20 Posts: 6
    Recently (like the last month) I have been having problem with my 525i not wanting to start. I checked the battery and it is fine. Everything electrical works, but it won't start. However if I try to jump start it using the post in the engine it roars to life. I am at my wits end, Can anyone help?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,023
    I am at my wits end, Can anyone help?

    Has the battery been load tested?
    Terminals cleaned?
    Ground cables cleaned?
    Those are the most likely culprits.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • rayg20rayg20 Posts: 6
    Yes, to all of those questions.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,023
    Yes, to all of those questions.

    Connections at the starter clean/tight?

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Thanks to all who gave me suggestions about why I couldn't get my 1994 525i started. It turns out that the battery was the culprit. I took it out charged it up and put it back in the car and it would not hold a charge so I have since replaced it and the car is fine.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,023
    Glad to hear that the problem is solved. Battery troubleshooting can be hit-or-miss; the OEM battery in my Jeep Wrangler load-tested fine and died less than two weeks later.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • phampham Posts: 6
    I couldn't start my car two weeks ago, then it worked when friend provided a jump. I replaced a new battery after that. After 2 weeks driving with a new battery, then it doesn't start again today. What else should I check?

    How can I tell if the problem is the starter or alternater or anything else? Please advise. Thanks.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,023
    How can I tell if the problem is the starter or alternater or anything else? Please advise.

    If the battery is discharged you either have a bad battery, an excessive current drain on the battery, or a bad alternator. Any good shop will be able to load test the battery as well as measure the current drain and alternator output. My bet is on a current drain, altenator next, and a bad battery last.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • since about 3 weeks ago, sometime I start the car(not all the time), with cluch pressed, key all the way down, not thing happened, but if I let go the cluch and press it down again, then the car start, took it to Torrance BMW, service guy stated, just to check this problem is $1500, as they will have to open the cluch assembly, anuone have any idea whats wrong?
  • I have 2003 BMW 525 (Canadian) was parked for a weak over christmass. Can't start it. Lights work, can hear the starter turning. refuses to fire up. Any thoughts.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Is the engine actually turning over? If not I'm going to say "weak battery".

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • I think so, the starter turns, So I assume the engine is turning. I have never jump started a BMW , But am familiar with Cars in general. I could try jump starting though I am a little apprehensive about it !
  • mrfinaglemrfinagle Posts: 20
    off topic slightly but I just wanted to thank roadrunner from everyone - you seem to be a person we can count on answering our questions, clearly with useful knowledge of the subject
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,023
    Thanks for the kind words. I'm just glad to be able to help fellow BMW owners.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • hduhaneyhduhaney Posts: 1
    I had the same problem,disconnect the fuse for the radio amplifier in the trunk . I think the radio amplifier is powered with a relay. I don;t have the problem anymore, just no radio. I replaced the amplifier,had the same problem. I have heard that there is a problem with the radio drawing excessive current when the ignition is off.Normal current draw should be about 60ma, with amplifier pluged in 600ma.Ther is a serious problem with the radio electrical.I will try to locate the culprit. Still think it is a relay to the power for the amplifier.

    Hardie
  • crshvctmcrshvctm Posts: 3
    I just bought a 535i that doesnt like to start. It does have an old battery that does need to be replaced.. It turns over and holds a charge and when I shut the trunk hard it actually started up. What would cause that problem everything works perfectly. I'm lost
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,023
    Make sure all connections-particularly both ends of the ground cable-are clean and tight.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • crshvctmcrshvctm Posts: 3
    anybody have any suggestions on when and if the timing chain should be replaced. The car has 145,000 miles on it and is a hard job to do. I payed 850 for the car and want to restore it so any and all suggestions are and will be helpful.
  • crshvctmcrshvctm Posts: 3
    Thank you I did check them and is well there.
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