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BMW 5-Series Starting Problems



  • dingo5dingo5 Posts: 1
    hi i have a 2003 530i just purchased it on the weekend drove it for a few days and started noticing that the shifter light wont go off and just recently the car died
    had the battery tested and it was fine , all the instruments lights are all working but the car won't start
    can anyone help
  • can someone help my 525xi bmw wont start, the battery is good, all the light and radio functioning well but it would not crank
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Does this model have a neutral interlock switch? If a manual, often the clutch must be pressed to close this switch. On an automatic, it must be in park or neutral. If the switch or the linkage isn't adjusted properly, or the switch has failed, you'll never get the starter to operate. There are other things, like the starter relay, or an ignition switch, or even the starter motor itself, but not much more in the starter circuit. Now, cranking but not starting has another big list of possible problems.
  • I have a 2007 550i and have been having problems with the car not starting and stalling. This happens sporadically, where I go to start the car, and when I push the button nothing happens (All the light, radio, etc. work). After repeatedly pushing the starter button, it will eventually turn on. In addition, the car will stall while I'm driving.

    I took it to the dealership (still under warranty), and they said it was fixed. The believed it had something to do with the break system, that the car was not registering when I was pressing the break while starting the car.

    The problems have started to occur again, and wanted to see if anyone else had experienced the same problems.

  • kls50kls50 Posts: 1
    I have a '83 528e that won't start. It began gradually a couple weeks ago, when I turned the key it wouldn't start but made a buzzing sound. After a couple tries of turning the key off and on, it started. Then gradually it would happen for frequently and take more and more tries before it started. Now it won't start at all. All the lights work and I just got a brand new battery about a month ago.
    Does anyone have an answer? :confuse:
  • jaimeb1jaimeb1 Posts: 1
    edited January 2011
    I had this problem on my 2003 530 i, what it turned out to be is the EWS control unit. I beleive this unit is located in the steering column and is electronically linked to the key. This is a coded unit therfore you will have to present the BMW dealer with a copy of your license and registration before the install. Total cost was $ 610 installed.
  • rin0rin0 Posts: 1
    my car doesnt start in the morning, i tried, charging the battery n putting it back and it starts up fine, but, the next morning it wont start and the battery would be flat. i also bought a brand new battery but it dint change anything.

    Can someone please help me with this?!!
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    You likely have a component malfunctioning and not turning off properly which is discharging the battery overnight. There are ways to isolate this, but the average person doesn't have the skills or equipment to do it. The other main possibility is if the alternator or voltage regulator is defective. Also, make sure that the belt driving the alternator is not worn or slipping.

    If you have a clamp-on or in-line ammeter, you could monitor it and then go through the fuse panel, pulling one fuse at a time to isolate which circuit is drawing the power. That will get most circuits, but some are on fuseable links, which are harder to check.
  • terobe2terobe2 Posts: 1
    edited November 2011
    I have a 2004 525i and recently started experiencing the car would not start in the early morning. As the day gets warmer, it starts without issue. I have never had any major issues until now. Over the past 3 months, I have gotten a new Starter, Crank Sensor, and Fuel Pump. Oh by the way, the car was purchased new and now has 255k on it. HELP!! I really do not want to buy a new car.
  • Homie... PLEASE HELP! I have a 2008 550i and I love the car. But it does the same exact thing as your did. BMW says its a "phantom issue" and they can't find how to replicate the problem. The computer systems shows no faults... My car sporadically will not start (unless I attempt 30 times); and it occassionally stalls while driving- which scares the hell out of me. I almost got bumped yesterday by a Honda Accord on the street... Any assist that would help my dealer/ mechanic get this fixed would be so much appreciated!! Michael.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    The car's computer collects a fair amount of data, but if it is not being logged, you might be able to buy, rent, or borrow a recorder that plugs into the OBCII plug in the car. Depending on how sophisticated it is, it can show instantaneous readouts of fuel pressure, voltages, and other things. While you may not be able to interpret them, someone else may, and it may point them towards the gremlin. There are some software/cable kits that work with some smartphones that are pretty neat if you don't go for a dedicated system. They have their advantages, since you can check yourself what is triggering a check engine light, for example, and reset it, if desired.
  • HI, any update on this? I have a 2008 550i and am having the same problem. Sometimes it takes 30 minutes of trying for the car to start and it randomly shuts off as well. Its been in the shop for about two months over the past year and they can't figure it out. So far they've replaced the starter, the CAS (key receiver), and a cell or two in the battery. I'm at my whits end. I'd suggest posting a complaint with the NTSB ( as this is obviously a serious safety issue that BMW needs to address. If we get enough of them out there they will be forced to take this seriously.
  • Hey Bud... Michael here. I had the same issue- drove me crazy. The car is fabulous and yes periodically the start button would not respond. Occassionally the car would shut off while driving and just coast to a stop. Pretty dangerous problem. Stupid for a $71,000 car. OK... United BMW of Gwinnett in Atlanta nailed this problem. Luckily I was able to replicate the issue with the shop foreman right in front of me at the service valet... The repair is a $116 part. Yes, crazy. The labor was a few hundred extra. Now the car is healed and I love it again... I screamed at BMW and told them to update their database to help other 550i owners across the world. Contact me if you need any other info. The part is: Failed "IVM" or Integrated Supply Module. Part# 12-52-7-510-638 for $116.05. I am hopeful this works for you too!! Email me and let me know if this nails your issue... Then you can love your car again. Mine is perfect again and hope your will be too. Michael.
  • Hi Michael or anyone else- Over the last couple of weeks, my car hasn't started on a few occasions (BMW 525 2004). I eventually got it to crank after trying a few times. Well, this morning my car won't crank at all. My car has lights on the dashboard. My husband jumped the battery, but it still didn't crank. I don't want to have my car towed b/c I feel it might be damaged while towing. Any suggestions? I called a couple shops and mentioned the IVM and people said my dash lights would not be on if the issue was the IVM. Any Thoughts? Also, does anyone know how to get to the IVM?

    Thanks a bunch! Ashley
  • Ashley the dash lights do go on w/ this issue... Replace the IVM for a few hundred bucks. Michael.
  • 913kdub913kdub Posts: 3
    I recently had my battery replaced and before that it was sounding real sluggish starting but after the battery was replaced it ran fine for 6 months then it starting sounding like it did when the battery was bad, so i replaced the battery again and it ran fine for 1 month and then it starting sounding sluggish again so now it will not start or anything, I can hear a slight noise when I press the brake in before I turn the key the in gauging of the starter but it will not start. Also just to mention the last time i tried to start my car it sounded like the battery very low but i just purchased it the day before. If any one have any suggestions please help!
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    It doesn't take much of a load from something not turning off properly to drain a battery overnight. You need a load test to confirm there's no improper load AND you need to verify that the belt to the alternator and the alternator itself are working properly. Throw in a check for your voltage regulator as well. Some of this can be checked fairly easily at home, IF you have the proper tools.
  • Your the man. That did it. Thanks for taking the time to respond!
  • My pleasure Chief glad it worked out. Incredible how many BMW certified service centers are not familiar w/ this easy $350 fix- that causes the owners so much grief. Why can't all the BMW dealerships simply synchronize their knowledge data bases? Anywho, take care... Michael.
  • bsingerbsinger Posts: 1
    My old battery was going so my local mechanic replaced it with a generic battery. Yesterday my car would not start at all would not even take a jump. I went to the dealer this morning to purchase the correct battery installed it and the car still will not start. all power is fan on ac is running dash lights up. it sounds like it wants to go but does not have enough power to start it. HELP
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