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E60 530d Starting Issues

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My 530d I bought it with hard starting issues, nothing terribly bad, but annoying.

Replaced all 6 glow plugs, and the problem got a bit better, but not fixed 100%. 

The previous owner claims the battery is near new, and it looks to be, however, I tried starting it with jumper cables off another battery and the problem went away completely. 

Am I overthinking this or is the battery likely to be the issue?

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From what you say there would appear to be a voltage issue.

Take it to an auto sparky & get it checked properly

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Ok, I can, but im trying to troubleshoot it myself. 

Found the hidden menu and looked at the voltage pre starting (12.5v), under 9v when cranking and then 14v after its started.

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With respect i come across so many people who try to trouble shoot themselves - without knowledge nor test equipment & come completely unstuck.

Replacing all glow plugs on a whim without confirming them actually faulty is proof of above.

It is a 5 min job for a sparky to confirm for sure if the battery is weak or not. Being new/near new means nought! Under 9v cranking is dubious if that is infact correct. Has it the correct battery in it? I see plenty that have cheap skated & then burnt themselves with under capacity.

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^^ this.

Hey, one thing to bear in mind - after scanning and professional diagnosis - is something I read recently about e60 start problems (turns over but won't start):

Bear in mind, this is a US site, don't think they got the diesel e60's... so you'd be reading the following, then checking on realOEM to confirm your vehicle has this module.  http://www.bavtek.com/category/guides/n62-ism-module-issue/ 

To reiterate:  As Grant mentions:  please don't go merely substituting parts on an educated guess; these are very complex vehicles with many interrelated systems.  You'll need extra-deep pockets to throw parts at it in the hope you'll sort it.  Do enlist an experienced specialist (BMW Dealer or BMW Independent) to diagnose.  The link above is not intended to provide you with your second avenue ahead of an experienced specialist!

May the force be with you.

Edited by Olaf
manners, grammar

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16 hours ago, hotwire said:

With respect i come across so many people who try to trouble shoot themselves - without knowledge nor test equipment & come completely unstuck.

Replacing all glow plugs on a whim without confirming them actually faulty is proof of above.

It is a 5 min job for a sparky to confirm for sure if the battery is weak or not. Being new/near new means nought! Under 9v cranking is dubious if that is infact correct. Has it the correct battery in it? I see plenty that have cheap skated & then burnt themselves with under capacity.

Ran a basic battery test, came back at 85%, took it to an auto sparky who said he needed to do a load test on the battery to confirm its fault, but felt it was probably the issue. 

Its an 820cca battery from 2017 (H7)

Anyway, will get it load tested and then see what that says, just dont want to take it to a dealership just yet.

I wasn't terribly worried about replacing the glow plugs, i pulled the old ones ran them over a multi meter and about half of them were shot, bosch replacements off ebay were about $80 for a set so it wasn't a biggie

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Fair call on the glow plugs, made sense to replace them all.

Wasn't meaning you needed to take it to the dealers. Just a decent auto sparky, which by the sound of it is onto it.

820cca is fine but as i alluded to - age means nothing. Batteries can last 5 mins or 15yrs

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Indeed, common issue with e60 is battery replacement without registration (cos people get charged for that), then the charging is wrong (it's still optimised for the old worn-out bettery), and new battery ends up pooched in a year or less...

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Auto Sparky load tested it, battery fine. Charging fine. 

Back to square one...

Thinking it could be the glow plug controller now

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Positive battery cable? Apparently a common issue with the E60, not sure if diesel models is an exception though... also assuming that your 530d is e60 model...

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6 minutes ago, treone said:

Positive battery cable? Apparently a common issue with the E60, not sure if diesel models is an exception though... also assuming that your 530d is e60 model...

Yeah, the auto sparky earthed it properly (i gather thats the test), but apparently the glow plug controller will cause issues like this, going to run the codes and see what it comes back with

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Sounds like you're going through the right steps.

When I had my E60 I got all sorts of dings and dongs (including going into limp mode) and a multitude of codes. First thing was a battery replacement but issues persisted. Codes cleared by a specialist garage who finally diagnosed a faulty positive battery cable (the one in the boot to battery). Replaced and viola, dings and dongs gone. Hence original post your issue sounded familiar.

Hope you get it sorted!

Sorry also - just re-read the title of the post - doh!

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From your original post saying jump starting with another battery & it started correctly suggested a battery/connection issue.

Where did you jump at - the battery or jump points under the bonnet?

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21 hours ago, Subway said:

Auto Sparky load tested it, battery fine. Charging fine. 

Back to square one...

Thinking it could be the glow plug controller now

Not back to square one.  Get it scanned by a specialist!  Or are we wasting our breath here?

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Control units for the glow plugs are pretty prone to blowing on these.

More description of the issue would help, turning over for ages and not firing, only turning over slowly, not turning over, etc...? Worse on a cold morning, ok for a hot start?

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Car has a near new battery, 2017, right CCA, load tested by an auto electrician and its fine. Although I have no idea if the previous owner coded the new battery in or not. 

It takes a good couple of seconds to crank whether its hot or cold, although when its cold its particularly bad, and sometimes fails to pop, however putting jumper leads on the front terminals started the car first pop.

Could give you a demo Jon as im in Howick as well.

Plan is to pull the codes this weekend and see whats up.

 

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Minor update, pulled the codes, all 6 glow plugs failed at the same time, cleared the codes drove it some more with a couple of the glow plugs failing again. Brand new plugs so I know they aren't the issue.

Ordered a new glow plug controller (thanks ebay!) will install it and see if it fixes things. 

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Fitted the new glow plug controller, no longer throwing any codes on glow plugs, but hard starting is still there.

Confirmed as well that jumping off the rear battery points it starts fine, so have no idea, will head back to the auto electrician.

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Possibly a lazy starter - based on the fact another battery connected to the vehicle battery (in the rear) allows it to start properly.

Also since the vehicle battery has been confirmed correct size & has full output.

Have they monitored the battery voltage while cranking? - It may be dropping to much, hence another battery connected can provide more current & mask the problem. Or the vehicle battery is simply failing under load.

Have seen all these scenarios.

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The Auto Electrician I took it to did a load test and said it was fine, but the battery is 800cca, have a feeling it should be 830cca, but again not sure if that makes much of a difference. 

Would it be difficult to test the starter motor?

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Anyone recommend an experienced BMW Auto Electrician in Auckland? Keen to take it to someone who knows their way around BMW's specifically

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