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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I have a problem with my (usually) trusty 525d touring (187,000 miles, dubious quality of previous owners).
It stalled out on me in very wet weather & wouldn't restart. Plenty of battery power but just a click-click or sometimes ugly rattle when I turned the key.
Recovery guy put a jumper pack on and engine turned slightly then went back to previous noises.

I am hoping that the extreme wet (very little undertray left to protect electrics) caused it to stall and it won't restart because of a knackered starter (the noises are from rear, lower, nearside of engine). Recovery gut reckons it is the timing chain...

If the chain has failed would it make these noises on a start attempt and would the engine turn at all? Also what's the easiest way to check on condition of chain?

I have previously only run E32 735i and E38 745i Sport so not familiar with the 525 diesel engine.
 

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You say plenty of battery power. Was the battery voltage measured? If the battery is drained it can draw so much current that with regular jumper cables there is not enough voltage to turn the engine unless first let it charge up for a while.
 

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I would have thought a broken timing chain would result in no compression - ie easy to crank/turn over but no start. Or possibly a total siezure - in which case, one click and nothing.

Click-click or ugly rattle sounds like starter failing to engage properly - which is possibly knackered battery or solenoid failure on the starter.

As clavurion so rightly says above - if the battery is dead, you need serious jump cables and donor battery to start it. By way of example, I had an A8 4.0 tdi and the RAC couldn't jump start that without giving it 20 mins head start charge as the pull from the plugs and starter were just too much to send through jump cables. These 6cyl BM units are the same ball park.
 

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If the ugly rattles are metallic sounding then quite likely it is the clutch mechanism in the starter. If you can still turn the motor over by hand then it is less likely to be the timing chain. I don't think these were really a problem on the E39s and you would have noticed them rattling if the guides were on the way out prior to the failure.

As above, if the current delivery isn't up to spec then all you get is a rattle from the starter solenoid. You might also want to check the earth straps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would have thought a broken timing chain would result in no compression - ie easy to crank/turn over but no start. Or possibly a total siezure - in which case, one click and nothing.

Click-click or ugly rattle sounds like starter failing to engage properly - which is possibly knackered battery or solenoid failure on the starter.

As clavurion so rightly says above - if the battery is dead, you need serious jump cables and donor battery to start it. By way of example, I had an A8 4.0 tdi and the RAC couldn't jump start that without giving it 20 mins head start charge as the pull from the plugs and starter were just too much to send through jump cables. These 6cyl BM units are the same ball park.
Thanks Evog, I'm hoping it's not a total seizure (there's was no drama to the engine stopping to suggest this) and is just the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all. I have a replacement starter to fit (just need the correct female torx socket for the bolts now). Since the stall out the battery is depleted, don't think recovery guy left his jumperpack connected anywhere near long enough. Don't have one of my own so getting it started post-repair might not be so easy.
 

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Why don't you first try with a good battery before renewing the starter motor. A failed starter motor would not explain the engine shut down in the first place. A failed alternator or battery could explain both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why don't you first try with a good battery before renewing the starter motor. A failed starter motor would not explain the engine shut down in the first place. A failed alternator or battery could explain both.
If I had a good battery I would do. Does seem to be an issue with the starter as it will not come free of the flywheel. It seems to be permanently engaged.
 
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