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Old 01-11-2013, 06:06 PM   #1
ScotJ
1st Gear Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3
My E39 540i - Engine Fail Safe Mode?

I haven't posted in a while - but as of late my 540 is giving me all sorts of troubles.

It is quite moody - one day it'll run like a dream, the next day it'll missfire a bit (which it hasn't in a long time though now) and then other days it'll randomly go into "engine fail safe mode"

I do have an exhaust leak post cat, and also have 100cell metallic cats which have been on the car for 3 years with no major problems.

I unfortunately do not have a scanning tool, nor the ability to update the ECU (which I've read on a few forums). I have done a reset but disconnecting the battery, as well as doing the cycle of the key from on to off position in 30 sec intervals, which did help for about 3 hours and the car went back to this mode.

Any help here would be appreciated!
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:51 PM   #2
MLue1
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Markham
Posts: 452
Scot, even if you haven't got your car scanned yet you should make sure the battery voltage and connections are OK as the E39 is very sensitive to low voltage/bad battery or charging problems, which can cause intermittent problems. If the voltage is OK then we can rule that out.

Use the following instructions to unlock the on board diagnostics. Use the tests when you experience the problems, it may or may not help with this but I use them to rule things out. Test#9 for the battery voltage, Test#7 for the coolant temperature are commonly used. I don't use Test#21, I don't take a chance with that one.

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/317195

Good Luck!
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'99 E39 540iT

Last edited by MLue1; 01-13-2013 at 12:06 AM. Reason: adding more helpful info
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:34 AM   #3
MLue1
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Markham
Posts: 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by MLue1 View Post
Scot, even if you haven't got your car scanned yet you should make sure the battery voltage and connections are OK as the E39 is very sensitive to low voltage/bad battery or charging problems, which can cause intermittent problems. If the voltage is OK then we can rule that out.

Use the following instructions to unlock the on board diagnostics. Use the tests when you experience the problems, it may or may not help with this but I use them to rule things out. Test#9 for the battery voltage, Test#7 for the coolant temperature are commonly used. I don't use Test#21, I don't take a chance with that one.

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/317195

Good Luck!
Hey Scot any luck figuring out your problem, if your areound Markham this week end I could use the Peake R5 to scan the codes, I need a bit of notice tho.
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'99 E39 540iT
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:04 PM   #4
david528
2nd Gear Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Whitby
Posts: 55
Was it really cold that day or was there a drastic temperature change like we've been experiencing in the GTA?

if so, I suspect it may be the ebox fan in the ecu compartment. This fan doesn't just cool the ecu, it helps feed the sensors in the ecu (yes, there's sensors inside) to help it calculate... well, temperature.
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