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Big Ant

E39 530d sudden death ?

30 posts in this topic

HELP, simply !

OK, so no problems starting or running for 12+ months, no known problems...then. Parked for 1 week at airport, went to start, immediate fire up, drove 200 miles home, 80-95 mph cruise, very comfortable and normal; stopped 10 miles from home, restarted after 10 minutes break, no problem, parked, bed.

Next day, started but with pre-heat warning (strange as at least 10 degrees outside), cut out, restarted, crawled 20 metres, cut out - will not start. Jumped in E46...

Then, after pondering, tried again few hours later.....and low fuel warning (50 miles to go only) - very puzzling, as should have been plenty, so got 4-5 litres into her from can, and tried again, now low fuel warning (only 30 miles to go...), then with foot to floor & firing with strong battery.....piles of smoke out the rear, splutter, splutter, low fuel warning (7 miles to go only), and big shudder, and dead.

Electrics re-set, all now in German.....and not a peep out of her, will not turnover even.

CLUES ??

Bloody horrible weekend !

Big Ant

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When you say won't turn over, do you mean spins but won't fire, just shudders, or won't turn over full stop?

If the battery has charge but it won't turn over, it could be the starter or a duff ignition switch (they seem to like dying). A new switch is about 30 quid and takes about 20 minutes to fit and it's a common failing, if you're a bit more of the frugal sort then you can remove the switch, open it up and clean the contactors, if they're not too worn.

If it does turn over but won't fire, then it's going to be a duff fuel pump either the electric fuel supply pump, located on the N/S (on a RHD car) chassis rail in the passenger seat area (it's under the car behind the undertray), or the electric lifter pump in the fuel tank.

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Now, she is dead, will not turnover. Battery was strong just few minutes ago. Clocks all in German also ! As if a fuel system error, or electrics related to fuel. Very big last shudder, after the piles of white smoke, and stopped. Miserable day.

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Get the battery on charge, or jumped across another car.

When cranking take a look at the clear fuel hose on the passenger-side of the engine bay - look for air bubbles by shining a torch through.

HTH

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Not turning over doesn't sound too healthy

Was having a look through my niggles thread to remind me when I had clouds of white smoke, I think that was down to a dead or dying MAF sensor. A duff injector wouldn't help.

I'd see if you can get the engine to turn over by hand, not on the starter, being a diesel with very high compression it will be sod, so if you can taking the glow plugs out will help a lot. If it won't turn over then it really isn't good news (ie hydraulic'd, head gasket or big end/main bearing)

It does sound to me that you've got more than one fault though, electrical; possibly ignition switch and/or fuel pump, and something something engine running related like and injector or MAF

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Thanks for ideas. What is amazing, is the sudden death - no issues prior. She is used so regularly, and good mix of runs every day, every week.

Now, she is sitting in the road, looking very nice....but bit sad.

Slooby - will get onto these items, as will need some help.

No 'click click click' of the declining fuel pump.

What there was, today when trying, was a 'sucking' or unhealthy irregular pump noise from the rear.....suggesting pump.

Big Ant

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Sound electrical to me.

If it won't even turn over then that's pretty basic, I'd be checking battery voltage as first step. In the cold weather a cell can collapse and make the battery unusable. Would explain a sudden failure in cold weather.

Ignition switch is a good call too.

I'd also try and read the codes to see if any clues there, although once electrical system undervoltage all sorts of spurious codes may get logged.

As usual, these sorts of problems never occur on a nice warm day when working on your car can be quite pleasurable :?

Good luck with finding the problem tho

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Battery would be my first port of call. They can suddenly go, rather than gradually failing to hold a charge. You coud try charging it but be prepared so you don't get caught out.

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Deffo try battery first. When we first got 530d went to Sandringham pulling caravan. Two hundred miles, so fully charged. Sub-zero over night and following day. Went to start it next day, not a flicker. :neutral: Just managed to put the dash lights on, briefly. Break-down man said "Its the cold. They just die without any warning.Been out a dozen this weekend." £102 for new battery. Not what I planned on :? No other problems though. New battery on and everything perfect.

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Will I be able to jump the 530d off my e46 330 petrol battery, with leads ?

Just to see if the battery is the source ?

Cheers......for small glimmer of hope ! Christ I need a big bill just now like a kick in the....

Big Ant

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Yeah, positive to positive, neg to neg, get a helper to hold the revs at 1500-2000rpm on the 330 for a minute or two before trying to start the 530

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If the battery has a cell gone it might even damage the other car - so I'd first measure the voltage - if its 11V or under will probably indicate a duff / shorted cell. Safest would be to swap battery for a fully charged one.

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My 530d lost all charge over night in last years cold. Tried charging it, which worked for all of 1 day and then just got a new one. As the other one was the original and 10 years old didn't think that too bad. However, I had no issues with smoke etc.

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Gloom. OK, didn't have anything to check voltage, so 330Ci was used to try & jump the 530d, but nothing....not a single turn-over of the engine. All dash lights, screen, etc were flashing on/off, but no turn of the engine.

Bloody strange. Faultless for ages, long run yesterday, next day.....dead.

Will be sitting cross-legged on kerb of friendly independent guy tomorrow morning, hoping he'll pop up.

Ho hum. Thanks all for help. Will post conclusions.

Big Ant

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Sometimes a completely knackered battery will not jump off another car, it seems to block the good battery. Had this happen on one of my rental Transits on Thursday. Started it up, drove it 200 yards then nothing completely dead. Wouldn't jump start, but a new battery later and everything was fine. Well I couldn't find the radio code but thats another story.

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As others have said Ant, if a cell in the battery has completely failed even trying to jump start the car won't work.

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Ahhhhhh !! OK, so trusted Independent just arrived, and......engine would not turn at all, but.....oil dipstick was full almost to the top, and smelling it, he said "diesel is in the oil !" Literally, rather than 1-2 cm at the bottom of the dipstick, oil was all the way to the top.

Tow truck arriving....

Any idea what is bust ? Mechanic pointed at something to the right of the engine.

Wife's optimism....."It needed an oil change, that is good !"

Big Ant

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If your diesel pump is on tje right maybe a seal

Sent from my X10i using Tapatalk

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Not good on diesels but-

this sounds like hydraulic lockup, is there still water level in cooling?

is there water/oil mix on the dipstick and foam around oil filler cap?

what is is sump level like re fuel ingress?

Can glo plug things be removed to see if engine will turn via starter spin or bar crank when free of compression.

Very strange that jump lead connection yielded no engine turnover hence my unqualified remarks above.

keith

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yikes! . . The oil cooler thing is on the right of the engine. The coolant goes through it as well as oil. . With any luck its simply the rubber seal that has failed on that, i simple fix, and an oil change is never a bad thing to do! . . Fingers crossed thats all it is!

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Ahhhhhh !! OK, so trusted Independent just arrived, and......engine would not turn at all, but.....oil dipstick was full almost to the top, and smelling it, he said "diesel is in the oil !" Literally, rather than 1-2 cm at the bottom of the dipstick, oil was all the way to the top.

Most likely broken axle seal on high pressure pump. Diesel leaks to sump via timing case cover.

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Quick update, but will post findings when completed.

Injectors removed, taken to Bosch centre for professional cleaning, and all OK now.

Everywhere is contaminated with the damn Oil / Diesel mix.....from sump to top, and seemingly ancilliaries are contaminated. Exhaust joints are actually dripping oil...

Anyway, won't forget to update, and thanks all for help and ideas. Big Ant

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