Q: The engine stopped working suddenly

asked by on

The issue with my car started out of the blue. One day, I stopped the car and exited it for a short time. When I got back and tried to start it back up, it wouldn't. Everything in the car worked--the locks, doors, heater, windows and lights. The engine however, couldn't be turned on. I had no previous problems with the car and there was no warning before this. The engine became unresponsive. What could cause it to stop working so suddenly? Thank you in advance.

BMW has a TSB (technical service bulletin) on this. A faulty oil level sensor can cause this, as the power to this sensor is shared with the transmission range selection switch. If the transmission range selection switch loses power, the engine computer cannot verify that the transmission is in Park. Therefore, the starter will not be allowed to be engaged.

Another possibility is a problem with the EWS (immobilizer circuit) or with the ignition switch.

To begin diagnosis, you will want to have the fault codes read out of the engine computer and go from there. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will have the tools and equipment to carry out a diagnosis of your no start issue and recommend the best path of repair.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. The engine stopped working suddenly

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: The car pulls every once in a while

Hi there, thanks for writing in. Sounds like this may be related to either transmission components failing, or potentially a fuel delivery problem which may also create the jerking feeling that you're describing. Does the car run fine when in...

Q: Transmission is hard to change over after overheating due to a ruptured radiator hose.

There are 2 unrelated issues going on here. The poor idling may well reflect a blown headgasket from the overheating event you mention. This would show up as rough idling and spark plug firing issues/codes. The harsh shifting can be...

Q: Overheating and leaking during driving

BMW had a TSB (technical service bulletin) out for a casting flaw where a leak could develop on the lower right side of the cylinder head. Good news though, that was on the M52TU engines and you have an M54...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.