my 86 528e won't start. - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 06:01 PM
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my 86 528e won't start.

I have fuel and ignition. This problem was intermittent for a long while. Then one day I was climbing a 20 degree bridge and it stalled. I let it coast over the top and it started again approximately at the same longitude going down the other side. The tank read 1/2 so I filled it. But the same thing happened on the way home with a full tank. This time it wouldn't start for a while. I pulled over, jumped the fuel pump at the fuse box and it seemed to work. That was the last time the car was off my property. I didn't trust it after that and when I tried to start it most of the time it would not. Not even sputter.
At one point I pulled the plugs, cleaned them and it started and ran fine long enough to give it a bath. I parked it for a few days and tried it again, no soap. I gave up on it and drove my truck for a while and searched for a mechanic who acted like they knew what to look for, without success. My experience in this town is they are more than happy to charge you for leaning over your fenders and shaking their heads.

Finally it's been sitting for a couple years now and I bought a newer 530iA, which is somewhat disappointing considering it cost a hundred times more than the 528. I miss the 528. I'd like to get it running again.
I owned service garages when I was young an good-looking but now I'm old it's tough to bend and crawl. So I need to focus on the most likely problems.

Fuel flows from the pump and the plugs fire. When this car starts it starts in one or two seconds, never cranked and cranked. I'm a little worried I'll burn out the starter if I don't get direction soon.

What do I need to fix it? I'm thinking of getting a running parts car and swapping parts till it starts. thanks
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 06:12 PM
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There are so many possibilities, but I would start with the fuse box. I had a similar problem, and reseating the fuses (which suck, btw) seemed to help.
What sucks about those intermittent problems is that they come and go in such an infuriating fashion, making the car excellent yard art...
Good luck!

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#3 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 11:06 PM
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Lightbulb

car parked 2 yrs. i would start with basicsby the steps):

1) a good battery to ensure the electricity can power current requirements of ECU, coil, and injectors + other electrics. Ensure you have spark at the plugs.

2) check fuel pressure. bimmers must have 43psi upwards for injectors to work properly - (the presence of fuel IS NOT enough)

3) air. take off the filter & re-fit once u have the car running.

4) check compression! got fuel, got spark and still wont start. CHECK COMPRESSION.

5) compression good. next in line to check is integrity of crankshaft sensor, main relay, and air flow meter...

* i know this is an old post. just sharing diagnostix for you stock knowledge in case u ever come to a similar prob ;-)
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#4 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 05:10 PM
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Fuses and block

I pulled and cleaned those fuses so many times the metal filaments fell off or broke. One guy suggested it's the fuse box so I lifted it up and it was clean underneath. One thing I forgot, this problem has existed from time to time since I bought this car. It has a kill togle switch I've never been able to trace. It's located in such a way that just by reaching for the hood latch, it could be moved. There are some wires just short of the fuse block that look aftermarket and could go to the switch. Yes, I've tried toggling the switch but this never seemed to make any difference. To see if the switch is getting power I would need to pull that kick panel on the drivers side and it's such a pain to put back in. But I guess that has to be done.


Someone suggested the harmonic balancer has a device that could kill it also. This is an area of which I am ignorant. Any information in this regard would be much appreciated. Thanks


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Originally Posted by ldsbeaker View Post
There are so many possibilities, but I would start with the fuse box. I had a similar problem, and reseating the fuses (which suck, btw) seemed to help.
What sucks about those intermittent problems is that they come and go in such an infuriating fashion, making the car excellent yard art...
Good luck!
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#5 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 07:38 PM
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Lightbulb

the toggle switch makes me believe that you have an aftermarket alarm... Those things, irregargless of Brand are notorious for causing no start conditions!... i sugeest u take the time to trace and undo them.. If u absolutely must have an alarm for your peace of mind, have one re-installed by a dealer u can trust(and make sure he gives u adequate warranty)

the "device on the harmonic balancer"... your someone is refering to the crankshaft sensor. That thing, the crankshaft sensor is responsible for synchronizing your #1 piston with your #1 spark- yes, it has to do with timing; and provides also the timing of the sequence of the firing order for the other cylinders ou'll find it on 10 o'clock position of the harmonic balancer. It has a wire extending to under the diagnostic port where it meets your engine harness. check and see that the wire isnt damaged. very rare they malfunction though...
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#6 (permalink) Old 06-13-2008, 01:10 PM
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Thanks for the information, I'll give it a good look, next time.
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