Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: Car slips out of gear

Hello! I suggest having the transmission module tested by a technician. There are certain specifications of resistance and voltages a module must have to properly work. Both resistance and voltage can be tested with a multimeter. If it fails testing...

Q: Alignments

An alignment will not cause this. Only a damaged or worn out suspension component can cause it or if you have the wrong size tire. You will need to have the suspension inspected for problems and then a proper alignment...

Q: I recently got a new battery and starter with in a month for my 2006 bmw 330i. Now the car won't start and key buttons won't work.

Hello, thank you for writing in. To remove the key from the ignition, you are going to want to disconnect the battery. The electronic sensors that register you are in park and allow the key to come out are not...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...