I have an E38 1996 which has been giving me problems for a while now. It has been taking longer and longer to start.....you turn the key to crank position and nothing happens, if you hold it there, it may or may not start after a minute or so. At first I thought it was a sticking solenoid on the starter.
I had the car towed to a workshop yesterday, we took the engine tray off and tested the starter, it was fine. We then took a look at the relays up near the ECU and found one to be a bit suspect, replacing it made no difference.
We removed the ignition switch connector and checked the start position contacts were good.
We can crank the engine manually with the ignition on and it won't start, this leads me to think it could be an EWS issue or a problem with the transponder chip in the key. The chip is fixed in place inside the key.
Is there anyway to test the key is talking to the EWS unit other than using a scope to look at the signal from the EWS to the ECU?
The car isn't worth a great deal but its a dream to drive, I'd hate to scrap it.
I'm assuming the car has EWS II as it has a small black box near the ignition barrel that the aerial ring plugs into. Is there a cost effective way of removing the EWS? I realise this is a sensitive area (car thieves) etc...I can give registration and VIN details if need be by PM.
Thanks very much for your time, any help would be deeply appreciated.