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Marty
Marty, ASE Certified Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 53903
Experience:  ASE & Bosch Certified Master Tech. Over 30 years experience.
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PLEASE ONLY BMW MECHANIC: 2005 BMW X5 e53 n62 4.4. Several

Customer Question

PLEASE ONLY BMW MECHANIC: 2005 BMW X5 e53 n62 4.4. Several days ago replaced air filter and spark plugs. Ran rough, so likely flooded engine when starting and stopping trying to troubleshoot which coils were bad. Ordered and replaced coils, but engine still not starting. Tried Disconnecting the battery, putting key in to on for 10 min, still no start. Trying to clear flood, multiple cranks, wore down battery, bat had trouble holding charge. Attempted to jump start and likely wore out starter. After several hrs with spark plugs out and hoping for fuel to evaporate, new battery placed, put all back together and tried to start. Nope! Now won't even turn over, but getting power to electrical systems. Believed we could hear starter solenoid but won't crank. Replaced starter and now cranks again, but back to wont start. NEED HELP ASAP!
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Steve replied 8 months ago.
is there spark?
what is fuel pressure?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
oh, no codes btw. Will check for spark right now, how do I check fuel pressure?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
codes before were all misfires... probably not going to get misfires until she turns over.
Expert:  Steve replied 8 months ago.
with a fuel pressure quage at the Schrader valve...
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
we put in NGK platinums and the old ones look like bosch fine wire... could that make a difference? Parts store closes soon, what else could I need to buy? (besides fuel pressure guage) could new sparks have been ruined by flooding?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
old ones were Bosch Platinum 4...
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
also will having pulled fuse 47 and letting her run down impact a fuel pressure test now?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Love it when they stop responding... will not continue with membership.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
2005 BMW x5 4.4 e 53 n62 wont start. New spark plugs, (ran fine before this step-just doing 100k mi service) then ran rough, replaced the coils - likely flooded engine troubleshooting which coils -then killed the starter over cranking, (starter definitely dead) replaced battery, replaced starter,now getting crank, but no start - no spark and drivers side headlight is flashing when first turn the key. Thoughts? while waiting we are picking up a fuel pressure guage. What next?! Thanks.
Expert:  Marty replied 8 months ago.

Hi Brian, my name is*****'ve looked over some of your previous questions. It appears as though you have measured the fuel pressure and have 50 psi. It also looks like you have tested for spark and have verified that you are not getting spark to any of the spark plugs. If your tests are correct I would check to see if you are getting 12V to the ignition coils with the key on. If you have 12V to the coils I would suggest replacing the crankshaft position sensor. Ideally you should have a factory level scan tool to check for fault codes and to check for drive authorization. If the EWS system has a fault you will have a crank/no start condition. EWS is your vehicle immobilizer.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Marty, thanks for responding. We broke down and took it to the stealership for diagnosis. They confirmed engine flooded, fouled sparks and recalibrated the ews. After charging 250.00 for the diagnosis and recalibrating the ews, they offered to change out the Sparks for another 355.00. Seeing we could buy good sparks for less than 80.00 we passed and trailered it back home 1.5 hrs away. Sparks are ready to go and any fuel should be evaporated by now with it sitting open. (Not subjected to rain) Well, of course the bad luck continues because now the new starter (new not a rebuild and still has not even been driven) is spinning too slowly to crank!! Battery is new and showing 12.6 v. Perhaps it was a bad starter to begin with? Perhaps the dealership cranked too much and killed it? Perhaps the recalibration did not work? Or set off some other fault mode?! We are now in the process of pulling the starter to exchange at the store, but overall completely stumped. I guess the question of the moment is how did the ews falter, or become misaligned with the dme in the first place? (Presume it is 3.3 so rolling codes) Where did we go wrong? How do we prevent it in the future and how can we get this car running without another trip to BMW? (Found an Indy shop where we can take it this week if needed... They at least let you speak directly with the mechanics unlike the stealership) There has to be a simple solution as the car was running fine before and we have some mechanical ability.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Ah... Been referred again... Just answer sure is unhelpful.
Expert:  Marty replied 8 months ago.

Hi Brian, it would have been good if the dealer at least got the car started while it was there. At this point you will need to get the starter replaced and install new plugs and see if it will fire. The EWS can lose it's alignment due to a dead battery. There is nothing you can do to prevent this other than not allowing the battery to get low. I would not crank it very long after you get the starter replaced. If it does not start up immediately there is still something not right. Going back to what you said about having 50 psi fuel pressure and good spark I would have to suspect that the EWS may have been the problem but everything is not adding up at the moment. You are dealing with a couple of different issues with the lack of cranking and the no start. Let's get the motor cranking again then go from there.

Let me know how you make out. I am not around much on Sunday so it may take me awhile to reply.

Marty

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Will the ews lose alignment again because we are disabling the battery changing out the starter? Hope not!
Expert:  Marty replied 8 months ago.

Not necessarily. It rarely happens. At this point you don't even know if it needed to be aligned since the dealer never started the car.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
True, but it would have explained the no spark correct? Just got the starter out and it sure smells burnt! Never had this happen with a new starter before!
Expert:  Marty replied 8 months ago.

An EWS fault would disable both spark and fuel injector pulse. You said it was flooded and if that is correct it would not be an EWS fault. If you have both spark and fuel and it's flooding when trying to start I would suspect either low battery voltage or a faulty mass air flow sensor. Flooding is very unusual on this model.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I think I must have misspoke. Let me clarify. Car was starting and running just fine, but little sluggish. With just 100k mi, it was time for spark plug change and other reg maintenance (engine air filter, injector cleaner, did not yet get to fuel filter but on the list). Did sp change, then ran rough. Previous experience said to check coils. When testing out coils, did numerous, quick starts and stops of the engine. Believe this originally caused the flooding. Several bad coils, so replaced all with OEM. When attempting to clear the flood, killed the starter, drained battery. Replaced the battery just because and replaced the starter because lost crank... Starter was indeed toast. Put all back together, got crank but no start, no spark, fuel psi 50, ivm looked intact (no cracks or loose soder) heard fuel pump, heard injectors, battery 12.6 etc. but no spark. Dealership said they realigned ews but we needed new plugs again due to flood and foul. Took it home to do the sp, and after initial attempt where we almost got it running (several were trying to fire) the starter was seeming weak/slow and then barely spinning. Now waiting for 2nd starter and letting any remaining fuel evaporate out of engine with plugs out. (BMW confirmed flooded) Sounds like from what you are saying is that if ews was a problem to begin with there would not have been fuel pressure in addition to no spark. So perhaps ews align did nothing to get spark and that is coincidence that there is now spark? This second starter is now off and while it is brand new clean, smells terribly burnt.
Expert:  Marty replied 8 months ago.

With an EWS fault you would have fuel pressure but you would not have spark or injector pulse. The low voltage when cranking could have put the EWS out of alignment. See if it will start with the new starter and a fully charged battery.

Let me know how it goes.

Marty

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hey Marty, starter is in and we are back to what sounds like only a few cylinders attempting to fire. Would it make sense at this point to put a tsp of oil into each cylinder to help seal things up?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Justanswer mods, you fail again... How about I can continue to speak with Marty?!
Expert:  Marty replied 8 months ago.

Hi, sorry for the wait I was away this evening. Yes it is very possible that the fuel has washed the cylinders and you have lost compression. A compression test would be a good idea but you could also squirt about 5-6 squirts of oil into each cylinder then install the plugs and see if it will fire.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Put about a teaspoon of oil in each cylinder. No start. It cranks and sounds like a couple cylinders fire, but still no start.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Could the fuel injector cleaner have clogged the fuel filter affecting this?
Expert:  Marty replied 8 months ago.

I doubt any fuel additive harmed anything. Are you sure there is fuel in the tank? It's hard to imagine what might have happened. I'm assuming that you had a perfectly good running engine until you replaced the spark plugs, is that correct?

Expert:  Marty replied 8 months ago.

A teaspoon of oil won't do much if the cylinders are washed with fuel. If you can run a compression test that would be best. You could also remove fuse 47 for the fuel pump and just use a little ether in the air intake to see if it will fire. You need a helper to crank the motor while you spray a little ether to see if you can keep it running on the ether for a little while. If you get it running you can replace the fuse and see if it will run on it's own.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
fuel in the tank. Wondering if the cleaner could have jammed up a filter already in need of changing. Regarding the cylinders being washed with fuel, that is most likely so. How does one fix that? Two tsp of oil? LOL
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Oh and yes, perfectly good running engine before.... Just a little sluggish for what one would expect which we assumed would be better after so change and fuel filter, air filter etc. what you would normally do at 100k service.
Expert:  Marty replied 8 months ago.

Yes, if the compression is gone due to fuel washing you should squirt about 5-6 squirts of oil into each cylinder then install the plugs and turn it over. I'd also pull the fuel pump fuse before you crank it. After you crank it a few times you can install the fuse and see if it will fire. Is the fuel filter new now?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
when you say five to six squirts what do you mean? The oil we have is in a consumer qt container. Old fuel filter is still on, was hoping to get it running before another change if possible.
Expert:  Marty replied 8 months ago.

I put the oil into a squirt can and shoot it in that way. I doubt that your fuel filter is plugged.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Ok so say we have been going around in circles.... Did not pull the fuse. How do we prevent new plugs from becoming fouled too... On third set and each time we pull they are fouled.
Expert:  Marty replied 8 months ago.

Doesn't make any sense that it keeps flooding. You can remove the fuel pump fuse to keep it from flooding while you are cranking the motor while using ether to see if it will fire.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Nope! New sparks and oil with the fuse removed and then put back did not get it to start. It did seem to get closer, but no start.