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Old 10-09-2010, 08:26 PM   #1
daveyto
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coolant leak and now cant start - e39

OK coolant leaked out of my rad cap today ( it wasn't tighten properly) after I stopped at a gas station to buy more coolant I could not start the car again. The car did not over heat. The only thing I could think of is that the billowing coolant may have leaked over and shorted the starter terminals or the clutch safety switch, the switch that makes sure one doesn't start the car in gear without depressing the clutch first, its a six speed manual. After trying for about an hour and with an AAA guy testing my battery and finding it ok, I didn't know what else to think. Does anyone have any ideas? The car is a 2003 540i manual 6 speed. I am going to start the car tom morrow or at least try to once everything is supposedly dry. Please let me know if anyone has experienced this issue with their car and how to fix or remedy.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:18 PM   #2
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try pushing the car to start it in 2nd gear?
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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i'd rather not because I live on a hill and would not be able to get the car back on the drive way if it didnt work.


BTW...if it did start in 2nd could i then assume its the starter?

thanks
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
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Cool

Hi David, sorry to hear about your situation, I had a similar situation when I incorrectly bled the cooling system and ran a bit low on coolant... the car inexplicably wouldn't start. After going to bed some what puzled every thing was fine the next morning, I can't explain it...the E39 must have some type of timed fail safe system (pure speculations) but all was well and that was three years ago .

Good Luck!
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Last edited by MLue1; 10-09-2010 at 09:51 PM. Reason: adding comment
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:29 PM   #5
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Hi Mark,

I was thinking the same thing when it initially died, ....that I should leave it until tomorrow but I started looking at the DME fuses and relays I got a code in the dash display : ENGINE FAILSAFE MODE..
I will try to start the car again tomorrow morning and let you know.

thanks
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:48 PM   #6
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Well I tried to start it again this morning and same thing, no cranking, nothing,

I just heard a whining noise from what i believe is the Throttle position sensor, the bulbous thing above the water pump...

Any ideas anybody?

Is there anyone here with a Bentley's that can chime in?
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:17 PM   #7
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If it's not cranking, you can stop worrying about anything like crank sensors. Cranking is a purely electrical thing that happens when you turn your key to the start position. If it fails to catch, then you can start investigating ignition and injection.

A few things worth looking at:
-ignition switch
-neutral switch (I assume your car has one, most modern manuals do)
-starter solenoid
-starter motor
-battery leads/connections

Do your interior lights go dim when you put the key into the start position? Do you hear any clicks from the starter? Does it attempt to move the engine even a little bit?
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:59 PM   #8
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Car may have overheated and now its in limp mode. You'll probably have to tow it to the dealer to have the dme reset.
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:22 PM   #9
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Thanks guys I was starting to suspect the starter /solenoid and the switch.
Just coincidence it died when my coolant ran out, i guess...


I could reset the dme myself but I cant get my scan program to work....DAMN

I am hoping someone will help me out on this one...I was the guy doing free scans for board members...I am hoping someone can return the favour....


I just pulled codes with a generic scanner:
P0120 ---TPS? Coincidently it is making a singing sound
P0123
P0222
P0335
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:23 PM   #10
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BTW...Wheres the starter on these cars? I am assuming near the tranny?
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:07 PM   #11
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^Yes, starters are always bolted to the transmission bellhousing. Your starter will be on the passenger side of the car, halfway down the side of the transmission. Getting at it could be a whole 'nother story lol
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:07 PM   #12
daveyto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigD View Post
If it's not cranking, you can stop worrying about anything like crank sensors. Cranking is a purely electrical thing that happens when you turn your key to the start position. If it fails to catch, then you can start investigating ignition and injection.

A few things worth looking at:
-ignition switch
-neutral switch (I assume your car has one, most modern manuals do)
-starter solenoid
-starter motor
-battery leads/connections

Do your interior lights go dim when you put the key into the start position? Do you hear any clicks from the starter? Does it attempt to move the engine even a little bit?
Sorry didnt get a chance to answer you properly....no the lights do not go dim when I am in the start position. No movement whatsoever. No clicking nothing from the starter.
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dissembler View Post
^Yes, starters are always bolted to the transmission bellhousing. Your starter will be on the passenger side of the car, halfway down the side of the transmission. Getting at it could be a whole 'nother story lol
Can I get to the starter if I put the car on ramps?

Thanks
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dissembler View Post
Car may have overheated and now its in limp mode. You'll probably have to tow it to the dealer to have the dme reset.
Why can't I just pull the battery or the connection to the DME? Would it not reset? I cant see how it need to be recoded by the stealer. I really don't want to deal with them if possible.

thanks
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:15 PM   #15
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I am going to try to do this myself...because I am cheap and I also want to learn...

Worst possible Scenario ...does anyone know a BMW mechanic in the east end, Brimley and Kingston...
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