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    Intermittant starting problem on 88 528e

    I am looking for help in diagnosing an intermittant starting problem I have on my 88 528e. When I try to start my car, it will crank strong but the car will not start. I will stop cranking the engine and try again after maybe 5 seconds an the same thing may happen again or it may start. It has been doing this for over a year and It may happen once in a couple dozen times starting the engine. I believe I have tried cranking the engine as many as 4 times before it finally started. Once the engine is running it runs smooth and with typical power. I have replaced the both fuel pumps and the filter although not because of this problem. I have also replaced the crankshaft sensor, main and pump relays, thouroughly cleaned all the connections at the battery and on the battery clamps, and replaced the two thermal time switches. I really can't say it is fuel or electrical and it is difficult to make tests because I am usually in need of getting someplace and once the car starts it is like rolling the dice on when this may happen again. I have looked over many of the messages on the forum and did not see any symptoms as I describe. Has anyone experienced this and could you provide some items to check or actions that may keep this car running. By the way, the car has 245K miles but the oil has been changed religiously at 3,000 mile intervals since 45K miles and it doesn't burn or leak any oil.

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    Matt Hernandez
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    all thats really left

    Is the throttle position switch, oxygen sensor, and air flow meter if your car is a 3/87-12/87 production date.
    You already replaced the other stuff which, while good for refreshing old stuff, eliminated the possibility of those if you dont have diagnosis "skills".
    I have an air flow meter and throttle position switch for the super eta if you want to give that a shot.

    Matt (jspec20 at hotmail dot com)

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    Re: Intermittant starting problem on 88 528e

    The other thing that can cause intermittent starting are electrical grounds that have become oxidized/corroded and are now intermittent. I address such issues here at this webpage
    Electrical Problems. HTH,
    -Rod

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    Re: Intermittant starting problem on 88 528e

    If it's anything like my 86 528e, I had to replace both reference sensors (2) on the flywheel. I had similar symptoms prior to it deciding not to start at all. Additionally, have you tried giving the car a little throttle while starting? I have had situations (not sure why) but occassionally (1 occasion/ mo or longer) I need to give it a little throttle to help it get started. It bothers me, but I have no idea why.

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    Re: Intermittant starting problem on 88 528e

    Couple of questions.
    Does the 88 have a cold start valve?
    Does the 88 have 2 flywheel sensors?

    I know the earlier eta engines had the 2 on the flywheel that were part of the ignition system. The crank sensor was purely for diagnostics.

    If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say it was fuel related. The fuel system pressurizes and should remain pressurized. Either it can leak down internally or into the intake manifold through the cold start valve. If you want to actually diagnose the issue, you'll need to install at least temporarily a fuel pressure gauge. Otherwise you could try swapping the FPR (less likely) and the CSV out and hope that helps. Don't forget to replace the O-rings if you do.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Richard O.
    1986 528e
    1989 325iX
    1998 328iC

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    Matt Hernandez
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    super eta is a 325i

    it does not have the flywheel sensors or the cold start valve

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    Re: Intermittant starting problem on 88 528e

    richardodn

    Thank you and everyone for your help.

    For your reference, the later 528e does not have a cold start valve and this is compensated for by the computer changing the duty cycle on the injectors when the engine is starting. Also, the later eta engines only have one flywheel sensor and I have replaced it about 20,000 miles ago and made sure it was properly adjusted.

    My first step is will be to clean all the grounds as many of you have suggested. I have cleaned a couple already and they were heavily oxidized. After I complete the ground cleaning, I may have to wait a week or so to have some comfort the problem was the grounds. If the problem appears again, I will continue looking.

    If you come up with additional thoughts, feel free to provide them ad I appreciate the help.

    By the way, the couple of website links were very helpful in locating the ground connections. One additional note, I have also de-oxidized the terminals, cleaned them, then applied a little solder between the connector and wire to insure the crimp connection has not started to oxidize as well. Since the solder is on the wire and the terminal and will not be subjected to much vibration, it should hole up pretty well. Should the problem be remedied by this work, at a later time I can actually replace the lugs.

    Dave
    BMW528e

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    Re: Intermittant starting problem on 88 528e

    Just for grins clean and retension the contacts for fuse 1. Use a new fuse too. My 88 was acting up the other day and luckily that was all it was. Just becausse the fuse isnt blown doesnt mean it is any good. The contacts at the ends get bad. A look with a 5X magifying glass and the spots where it was arcing were plainly visible

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