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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started a thread in Oct '09, entitled the same, as one morning, after a good run in the countryside the day before, she just refused to start. No battery trouble, but no spark at all. Back then it was the fuel pump, so I'm guessing it isn't that again after just 1.5 years....?

So if it's not the pump, I think I'm only left with the relay that could cause such a catastrophic failure? She was on top form on Monday when I took the day off work and went for a serious session in the sunny spring countryside. I parked her up that evening, and this morning, nothing. There was the faintest whiff of a catch as I first turned the key, then nothing at all. The symptoms are identical to when the fuel pump failed.

I had to rush to work, so I haven't plugged in the INPA yet, but I thought I'd post to get alternative possibilities from the wealth of knowledge out there. Does the relay throw a code, or does anyone know what vltage should be at its output?

Cheers for any help and advice guys!
Barney.
 

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Could be a fuel pump relay, they are known for failure. I am replacing the one in my '03 as a PM measure, then the old relay that is still working is going to stay in the trunk, probably in the small plastic bag, wire tied to the wire harness below the relay block.

Also recall these cars have 2 fuel pumps, so if your low on fuel, this could be the issue? Assume you could go into the OBC hidden menu and look at fuel levels?

I know I pulled the fuel pump relay while the car was running to drop pressure for a fuel filter change and it did not light the CEL/MIL, not sure if there was a pending code?

Good luck and hopefully you will be back on the road again soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice. I'm praying it's just the relay as she's full to the brim with fuel. If the EWS/Immobilser had gone faulty, would she still crank over?
 

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Not too sure Barney as i think the std spec of the M5 in the Uk is a Thatcham Cat 1 equivalent??

I know when i had an alarm problem on my 328i the EWS would allow it to spin over but the part of the system that isolates the fuel pump was at fault and so i experienced the same problems you are describing now, however it wasn't Cat 1. (Although that certainly doesn't suggest it's this 100% at all)

Obviously it sounds like a delivery problem and in that respect it really can only be pump or relay, barring something freaky like a FPR or an alarm circuit fault.

I certainly wouldn't discount the pump though. Stranger things have happened to fairly new components. Relay sounds like a good start before delving very deep. Surely only a few quid?

Failing this i know its a bit rough but sometimes a sticking pump can be freed by a simple tap to the tank aread with a plastic mallet or such. At least if it worked you could pinpoint it to the pump again which is assumably still covered under the 2 year BMW warranty
 

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So it started to crank then won't crank anymore?

Now when you turn the key it won't crank? Nothing fuel related at all then. Sounds like exactly what I had with the Arosa which turned out to be the starter. The main positive lead had burnt through.

I once spent alot of time and money fixing an M3 starter issue as I was convinced it was SMG related. Replaced various sensors and switches and in the end the problem was..the starter.

Normally the most obvious answer is the problem (but not always).

Check this too

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e3...935-starting-issue-need-help.html#post2040950
 

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How strange, just posted this in another thread from today... :

"Had major issues with mine on this that got worse over just a few weeks. The terminals on the starter motor had corroded. They're right underneath the car and apparently the underbody covers don't do a really good job of protecting it. Take the terminals off and clean them to get a good connection, and check condition generally of wiring.

Confusingly, I had this in conjunction with a suspected battery draining issue, so I thought the battery was continually effed but it was in fact this problem with the starter motor, quite separate."

As Cemessi says, it was a connection issue with the starter itself.

They say trouble comes in 3's....
 

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Uh? The way i read it was it nearly caught first time, but now its spinning over but nothing at all regarding sounding like its going to catch?

Hmmm, i'm confuzzled now. Which way is it Barney?
 

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Jamie, I think Cemessi and then me might have picked this up wrong, checked the first post again, had read the thread but saw Cemssi's post and have seen that as posted. Seems on checking though it is turning, just not catching and firing.

Apologies if there was any confusion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all your help guys. Just to clear that up, she is turning over with gusto, just not catching. I had a new battery last year and that's as strong as an ox, so plenty cranking going on! I spoke to Phil Crouch and he's leaning towards the relay too. I'm going to sneak off work early and try a few things...

As mine's between dates for the facelift, we're not sure if I have the tall black ETK relay or the older green mechanical one. If it's the later, I can swap the rear screen-heater relay for the fuel pump one and she shoudl start first time. If it's the ETK, it's just £25-ish (apparently) and I'll change it anyway as a pre-emptive mainenence/fix. If that doesn't work, then I'll start panicking......!

Keep your fingers crossed it's nothing more serious!
 

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Thanks for all your help guys. Just to clear that up, she is turning over with gusto, just not catching. I had a new battery last year and that's as strong as an ox, so plenty cranking going on! I spoke to Phil Crouch and he's leaning towards the relay too. I'm going to sneak off work early and try a few things...

As mine's between dates for the facelift, we're not sure if I have the tall black ETK relay or the older green mechanical one. If it's the later, I can swap the rear screen-heater relay for the fuel pump one and she shoudl start first time. If it's the ETK, it's just £25-ish (apparently) and I'll change it anyway as a pre-emptive mainenence/fix. If that doesn't work, then I'll start panicking......!

Keep your fingers crossed it's nothing more serious!
Fingers crossed and good luck Barney!
 

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Thanks for all your help guys. Just to clear that up, she is turning over with gusto, just not catching. I had a new battery last year and that's as strong as an ox, so plenty cranking going on! I spoke to Phil Crouch and he's leaning towards the relay too. I'm going to sneak off work early and try a few things...

As mine's between dates for the facelift, we're not sure if I have the tall black ETK relay or the older green mechanical one. If it's the later, I can swap the rear screen-heater relay for the fuel pump one and she shoudl start first time. If it's the ETK, it's just £25-ish (apparently) and I'll change it anyway as a pre-emptive mainenence/fix. If that doesn't work, then I'll start panicking......!

Keep your fingers crossed it's nothing more serious!
If it is the green one in the trunk you can just use a paper clip to jump the power feed to the pump. The relay has the diagram on the side. I think it is 30-87 but there are two 87 so you need two jumps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update.... HELP!! So I got home and swapped relays. Nothing. Swapped again to make sure. She started!! Woohoo..... Or so I thought. I drove to the stealer to buy a new relay (£10). I'm still there 2 hours later waiting for the RAC. Now she still turns over fine, and then catches for about half a second or so, then dies. I've even managed to try my spare key (don't ask!) but no difference. I've read about this before but I can't get the iPhone version of M5board to work so I'm having to use the full site, and it ain't easy! Can anyone remember why it does the start-then-die-immediately-thing.....? I want my beast back!!
 

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Did you replace the fuel filter when you did the pump?
 

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Barney, Does this thread help? A quick google search brought this up. I've got a hectic day in the office and don't have time to read through the whole thing right now. Sorry but hope it helps.

my m5 starts, and then dies immediately! HELP! - Bimmerforums - The Ultimate BMW Forum

That last thread goes no where. I hate the feeling you have right now, Barney. I just avoided 15 min of work and found this:

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e3...360-car-starts-dies-almost-immediately-3.html

Does it start up when you disconnect the MAFS? If so- time to call Evolve and get rid of them.
 

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Update.... HELP!! So I got home and swapped relays. Nothing. Swapped again to make sure. She started!! Woohoo....!
Swapping the relays started it.

Go back to that area and carefully check the wiring under the relays. Check for corrosion and also any loose wires. The relays themselves don't sound like the problem. Move the wires and then attempt to start again.

One more thing to look at while your there. Bank 2 above cylinder 3/4 on the outer area of the ECU compartment there is a ground wire. Check to see if it's tightened down properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Barney, Does this thread help? A quick google search brought this up. I've got a hectic day in the office and don't have time to read through the whole thing right now. Sorry but hope it helps.

my m5 starts, and then dies immediately! HELP! - Bimmerforums - The Ultimate BMW Forum

That last thread goes no where. I hate the feeling you have right now, Barney. I just avoided 15 min of work and found this:

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e3...360-car-starts-dies-almost-immediately-3.html

Does it start up when you disconnect the MAFS? If so- time to call Evolve and get rid of them.

Ok, back home now and back on the laptop instead of the phone!

Mate, thank you so much for taking the time to search for me. Frustratingly it isn't quite the same as that. Mine only catches for the blink of an eye. Not more than 0.5 seconds.
The reason I mention it though, is that when the fuel pump died, there was no catching at all. Nothing. Just a spinning engine.

This time it is different and there is clearly some fuel getting there, but something is cutting it the moment it catches.

On the one occasion she did start, she felt as amazing as ever. loads and loads of low down torque, loads of power, eager to surge forward, good thorottle response etc.

In other words, a completely normal and healthy M5, and having had the car for 6 years and over 70,000 miles, and having got through a few sets of MAFs, and had nearly every fault in the book, I can confidently tell you there's nothing wrong with the MAFs, or any sensors. They're all too new... bar the Crank Positon sensor.... but as I mentioned NO CODES, so I will discount that for now.

So back to the relays. Thanks for the post Sal. I'm really grateful to everyone for their time and effort here. I did wonder about wiring, so I removed the fuse/relay panel while I was waiting for our orange friends. All looks really good behind it, and no amount of wiggling, and 3 new relays would change it any more. (well, they're only a tenner, and they are all 11 years old!)

So.....
 

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This might sound silly but check the fuse for the fuel pump that is located in the trunk above the relays.

My car ran fine and all of a sudden sputtered and then died. It would turn over and catch but once I gave it gas it died. After a few of these attempts it would turn but not catch.

I thought for sure the pump was gone but went in the back and pulled the fuse and it appeared that it was blown but there must have been just enough to allow it to sputter immediately after it burned out.

It is a 20A fuse I believe.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A word of warning if you're an RAC member....

So I call them and ask for a recovery as my car won't start.

"certainly sir. Where are you?"

"Outside Battersea BMW"

"Oh. Well, I'm sorry sir but we won't recover you from there"

"Why not? I have full membership?"

You are at a place of repair already"

"But I don't want it repaired here. I have never had any work done here. I just want to be towed home and I'll fix it myself"

"Sorry sir, but we cannot recover you from near a garage"

"So if I was parked at Sainsbury's, you'd take me home?"

"Of course sir"

This went on for some time, and I got a little bit cross.

then swearing......

Cut off.

So me and the 2 gate keepers at BMW pushed her onto the road...... and I called back....

"Where are you sir?"

"Stewarts Road, SW8"

"no problem. We will be with you in 45 minutes."

The guy turned up, and promptly told me he'd been called by the office and told not to touch my car. I asked why, and he explained that a lot of people get a quote from a garage and then call the RAC to take them elsewhere as they don't liek the price.

I explained that I have never had any work done there. They could check their records. I showed him my Peake reader and explained that they wanted to charge £165 to read my codes. Why would I pay that when I could do it myself. I was there for other reasons and was not trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes. They guy agreed. I asked whether they would tow me if I was within a mile of a BMW dealer, and he said "if you could have pushed it here, then no".

Anyway, cutting a looooong story short, they charged me £77 to tow me 1.5 miles to my home. I had no other way of getting my car back tro my driveway. I'm fuming! What kind of customer service is that?! I've been a member of the RAC for 21 years. I've used them twice in that time. I seriously reckon it is cheaper to just pay the £2/300 if you need a tow in future. I must have spent thousands on them for nothing! I've cancelled my membership anyway. Bastards.
 
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