Trouble down the road?

Ok, just had a scare. I have a 99 528 bmw (136k miles). I tried to start it this afternoon and it turned and turned but would not start. Normally I do not press the gas to start this up.

Then, after tearing some hair out ans swearing, I pumped the gas when starting up and on the 8th or so pump, it started up. It seems to be fine (but that was 2 hours ago)

The check engine light is not on. This car is a workhorse, I put tons of miles on it. The last time I had trouble starting it, I had to replace a part of the brain (can’t remember which lobe, I think it was the expensive one), that was 2 years ago.

The only hint/or obfuscation I have is that on Saturday afternoon, I moved the car about 15 feet, to put it in a different part of the garage, and then I did not use it for 48 hours, which was the 1st 48 hours in a long time it was not moving in a long time.

So is this a one time item, or is this cause for concern?



What sort of sounds does the car make when it won’t start? I usually suspect the batter first. How old is the battery? Typically, replacement should be about 3 to 5 years.

start with the basics, does it have spark, fuel,timing,compression ?

I think your short start-move-stop on Saturday is the culprit.

If you’re going to start the car, let it run for at least a minute or two before you shut it off.

Pumping doesn’t help. Put your foot to the floor. That tells the computer the engine is flooded, which it may or may not have been, but it worked in your case.

I suggest you monitor the situation. If the car operates normally, all is well.

I agree with this idea of being the cause.
At the very least, you should drive your car around the block to prevent the overly rich starting from flooding the engine, and making your next start attempt much more difficult than it needs to be.


The answers are: Battery is like 4 years old, but it was turning and the radio was on when I turned the key.
Well a full 5 days of operation later and no more start up problems, however the check engine light went on (garage said they will tell me what it is on Monday). The light went on, the day after the starting probelem, after I put another 100 miles on the car… it does not seem related to me.

Thanks for the advice about the short move thing, I did not realize that.


“start with the basics, does it have spark, fuel,timing,compression ?”

Doesn’t the fact that the car starts mean it does?

MacP: the OP reports that pumping the pedal 8 times is what worked in his case.