5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60)Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)
After a little tinkering last night I have eliminated the battery and the starter motor, both are ok. I can short the solenoid terminals and the engine turns over ok, with the ignition on I can even start it this way.
So where else could the problem be?
I'm guessing either the ignition switch, or the switch in the auto transmission that stops you from starting the car in gear.
Anyone know where I can find a wiring diagram online so I can try and troubleshoot this further? There's a couple of links on this site but they don't seem to work.
Buy an inexpensive probe test light. These look like an ice pick with a bulb and a wire hanging out. You can purchase one at any auto store. Get the car up in the air and find the neutral safety switch. Have a beautiful blonde assistant hold the key in the start position. You can probe the wires 1 at a time going in the switch and coming out...both should light up the test bulb. You may have 1 black wire which will not light up..this is a ground. if 1 wire lights up you are getting power to the switch so your ignition switch is good. If both wires light up the neutral safety switch is also good. It is really better to have a digital voltmeter to check resistance in the switch and a bunch of other stuff...but if you do not have one try the above. Should be easy to solve. Most likely it is the neutral safety switch. Blondes can get you in trouble probe only the wires!!!
I am really more familiar with American cars. Usually they are on the left side midway on the transmission. Sometimes you can just follow the shift linkage and it will be near there. Probably on a car that old they are the only wires attached to the tranny unless the overdrive is electronic. Anyone else want to pipe in here? A good parts diagram would really help here.If you can get a repair manual that would be even better. Good luck...We love Aussies over here!
It may be somewhere in that box where the shifter cable is or possibly just under the shifter itself in the console. Here is a parts site, but I am not sure they go back that far RealOEM.com Online BMW Parts Catalog
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