Solution to BMW e39 2002 No crank no click after timing guide job

Car model and year: 2002 e39 540i m62 with vanos


Symptom: I did the timing chain guide job. I also did all the chains and tensioners , all new gaskets for that , all new gaskets for intake , cleaned everything nice , blew any debris out of intake head part of motor where Intake attaches , had the cams blocks on the whole time never really moved , crank pin in flywheel , set the timing with tension on chain and pins out of tensioners on cams , got both vanos to read 0.00 .0.03 ohms then I torqued both cams to 93 and 83 ft pounds , then i install the ring plate on the vanos with the special tool that bolts on top timing cover to 36 ft pounds or so and then pretty much reassembled everything took the cam blocks off then the flywheel pin nothing seemed to have moved I had continuity before I installed everything , also probably 250 ft pound on crank bolt I have it all put back together then put battery cable back on and when I go to start the car it doesn’t even go click click click like it wants to start , it kinda jus makes a small click .I got a charged battery at 12v.


How to do (Advice):

Advise you scan the DME for codes at all. While thats unlikely to do too much, it’s always worth a try and ensure the DME is booting and talking properly.

EWS is the immob function/module. If EWS doesn’t like the key in the ignition, or, if the EWS-Key sync gets borked*, then it won’t crank the starter at all period.

You’ll find (maybe have) refs to sync’ing the EWS and DME in case of no start but that’s only if you have crank and no start. If you got no crank that’s a totally different story.

With INPA software (and perhaps some of the other BMW specific scanner devices…) you can do a really nice diagnostic and read live data from the EWS module and see if it sees the key and if it likes the key. In fact there’s a real nice screen that shows you clearly if the starter is ‘enabled’ and if not, what the status is for each and every one of the pre-conditions. See pic below.

Dependencies for EWS to spin starter include –

  • Key recognized AND good (aka a proper paired key w/ the EWS) *
  • DME alive and talking to the EWS (particularly important for automatic cars where the DME actually operates the autostart relay… doesn’t apply here)
  • Car hasn’t cranked too many times without a start (this is an EWS-DME pairing thing but it seldom happens unless you lost DME/EWS sync and just kept cranking over and over again)
  • Clutch has to be pressed to floor and switch working or auto has to be in neutral (on USA cars only cuz we too schtupit derpderpmurica#1)
  • Anti-theft/central-locking unlocked
  • No security code set in the BC (or there’s a code and its been entered)

Re: the key paring and the *’s above, it is possible for the key/EWS to lose their sync. This is different than the DME/EWS sync. However for this to happen you basically have to have had a super-super-dead battery, and tried to crank it on super low voltage, and then have had the EWS-key code write get corrupted or crash in mid process. This is possible, does happen, but, is still somewhat rare.

Frankly I’m more inclined to think that you have a wiring problem like you didn’t plug in that starter… or a blown fuse, or sunthin more pedestrian than that.

EWS INPA livedata 600x324 - Solution to BMW e39 2002 No crank no click after timing guide job - Solution to BMW e39 2002 No crank no click after timing guide job

Question update:

My battery is suppose to be 750 cca and I bet when I tried to start it it only had around 300 or so because yesterday I took it to get tested and was only reading like 280 cca . Current crank amps im pretty sure it’s called but anyway got home with battery fully charged at 760cca and still nothing . Also car alarm did go off a few times I’m garage when I came inside from working on it don’t know if that matters , it was shortly disconnected after that , but obviously disconnected after I shut off alarm.


OK sounds like your battery sucks. Thats the simplest and most common answer.

I know I gave all the other info above but you wont’ believe how many guys come in with “NO CRANK!?!?! BATTERY IS FINE I SWEAR” stories and it very simply ends up being:

– Actually battery was totally sh1t.
– Battery cable/ground was loose.



I gave you a whole long explanation of what to check to see if you have other problems and a whole damn long list of things that are required to crank the starter and a picture of a brilliant diagnostic tool that will show you exactly why the starter isn’t being cranked, if it comes down to something EWS related. .

Leaping off the bridge to send out your EWS was not the first thing I’d have done, I’d have tried to get somebody with an INPA setup to scan the car as described and see what the actual problem is first. If you give it half a try there’s almost always some guy around that can help with that. Of course it takes all of a 1/2 hour to install INPA and setup a cable on a PC too so thats also really an easy option if you can’t find a forum dude who’s close and setup.

install INPA

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