Reviving BMW after 1 yr+ in garage

Asked by Mar 02, 2011 at 01:59 PM about the 1997 BMW 5 Series 540i Sedan RWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The car battery died because I was not driving it very often. Tried to jump start it but failed. Installed a new battery and everything lit up but car did not start. No sound. Nothing. Battery has since died again. Car previously had no problems starting or running and was in good shape with low mileage. Need to get this car running once more. Besides the cost of new battery what other things might need be done in servicing to get it going again? Money is tight and of course an issue...Thanks for any thoughts and assistance

1 Answer


is it a 6 speed? Can it be push started? Sounds like you have a short if the new battery went dead. If you installed the new battery and when you went to turn it over there was no click or anything, you might check fuses as well. I am not an expert by any stretch, but to me it sounds like you are hunting a short... did a search on 'troubleshoot e39 wont start battery drain' and got " It mentions the the CD changer and FSU. The FSU is a resistor that controls the fan motor. If you can charge the battery up long enough to get the car into 'ignition on' see if the fan blower responds to the fan speed settings you give it. If it does not fluctuate speeds on it's own accord, or functions as expected, this is likely not your issue. If the fan speed seems "possessed" this bad resistor can cause the fan to turn on and run all night which would explain the drained battery. I replaced mine, and it is not too hard to replace, just cumbersome. Might be a longshot as the car does not start, but worth a shot as it is time & not $$ to troubleshoot. Good luck!

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