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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)

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Old 07-20-2007, 04:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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E39 flooded - will not start

Am having a similar issue with my 1999 E39 as I have with my previous car (Volvo 850 T5).

Car was started and then switched off serveral times without driving and now when you try to start it just keeps turning and does not fire correctly. On my old car the exact same issue happened. You can smell the petrol (gas). On my old car a mechanic took out the fuse of the fuel pump and eventually after a lot of trying got the car started. Have tried the same on my E39 but no luck..
Any ideas? I do not think that anything is wrong apart from the car being flooded.
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You may have to replace the spark plugs.
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Old 07-21-2007, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Eventually battery became flat so could not start. Next morning called out breakdown service. They advised that this is quite common on all makes of cars and sometimes is very difficult to resolve. He floored the accelerator and it started first time while battery was being boosted.

Had to drive the car for 20 mins and it appeared to be missing as was a bit flooded but then it cleared itself so all ok now...
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've got a trick to get your car started.

The problem that occours when a car is flooded is that the gas that is still in the cylenders is thinner than oil. This causes low/no compression. To raise the compression in the motor you either have to wait till ALL the gas in there dissipates (grab a lawn chair). Or you can raise the compression in the motor and get it started.

SO you've decided to raise the compression and not be without a car for 3 weeks. Great. All you have to do is get a quart of oil and a turkey baster. Pull all your spark plugs, drop some (not alot, but a fair ammount, probably around 2tbsp) oil down each spark plug hole. The turkey baster will help with this. Put your old plugs back in, close everything up, and get in your car. Start it up, don't burn out your starter, it should catch fairly quickly, but you may have to give it some gas or lay on the starter a bit. You're going to be burning ALOT of oil when you first start it up and probably for a few minutes after. Rev it a bit or drive down the road. You are going to foul your plugs up a bit doing this, but your car will start. It will smoke like a bitch till that gas finds its way out of your oil.

Replace your plugs and do an oil change as soon as you can after doing this, but make sure the car isn't throwing out any smoke before you change your plugs/oil.

If the car is REALLY flooded (you can smell lots of gas on your dipstick), change the oil before you raise the compression. This is going to take awhile since the motor won't be hot. You're looking at about 4 hours to drain since the oil is cold.

If it tries to start and almost catches but then dies out, you'll have to repeat the process.
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