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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 10-03-2004, 10:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I don't know if my topic title is good enough, but I'm confused as to what to ask/say. My 1984 528e, after having sat for one month, started right up one day and I drove it a few miles and parked her back home in the driveway. I turned the key again and nothing. I waited a few minutes and the car started. I opened the hood and the battery terminals were very corroded, so I cleaned them immaculately, and the car started when I turned the key! The car wouldn't start the next time though.
What could be causing the car to want to start every once in awhile with no hestitation whatsoever, and then other times not do anything? You can hear the starter "clicking" when I turn the key, but nothing happens. So with my limited knowledge of these things...

1) Starter?? (I thought they either worked, or either didn't work)
2) Ignition Relay near the fuse box??
3) Battery? (I highly doubt this is the issue, as the car starts, and all the accessories are working)
4) Ignition Coil?? (It's a year old, So I doubt this is the culprit as well)

Please help...

Richard
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Old 10-03-2004, 10:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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concentrate on the battery. even though you can turn lights on etc BMW is funny when it comes to electricity. I t does need a good RATED battery. So before investing in new battery try another GOOD battery from another car and see what happens next.
good luck
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Old 10-04-2004, 12:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I hooked some jumper cables from my suburbans battery straight onto the battery wires, bypassing my bmw's battery, and nothing. So maybe a new battery then? I would just take it to the Porsche/BMW repair man here in town, but he reams the market here because hes the only person here who does repairs.
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Old 10-04-2004, 01:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had an '84 325i and I had similar trouble. I would look a bit further into the ignition switch. Are lights coming on the dash when your turn the key? Are they dim or not coming on at all. If they are "Normal" (Bright), then I would focus on the relay / starter / start solenoid. Good luck, Keep us informed with your success!
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Old 10-05-2004, 08:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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UPDATE--

I really appreciate everyones efforts to help me out here. I finally concluded that its the ignition switch. The dash lights were coming on strong so I deducted the possibility of it being the battery. I played around with the key in the ignition, and got it to turn over every single time by pushing the key IN and over.

Hopefully a new ignition switch will correct this, and that will be the end of that. My only other question is...

Do I need a new key cylinder, or JUST the ignition switch that it attaches to. All repairs will be performed by me using a Haynes Bimmer book.

Richard
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Old 10-05-2004, 10:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It sounds like you only need the switch itself. Although the tumblers could be worn and ready for replacement, I would start with just replacing the switch itself.

Greg
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