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Tech Tip: BMW ELV Won’t Release – No Start, No Crank

The customer complains of a no-crank, no-start situation. The condition may be intermittent. The ELV (Electric Steering Lock) warning is shown in the Instrument Cluster.


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Models affected:

– E90, E91, E92, E93 (3 Series) to September 2006 (with Manual Trans) and to 12/2006 (with Auto Trans)
– E60, E61 (5 Series) to March 2007
– E63, E64 (6 Series) to March 2007

The customer complains of a no-crank, no-start situation. The condition may be intermittent. The ELV (Electric Steering Lock) warning is shown in the ­Instrument Cluster.

Cause #1: The steering column is held against the steering lock because of torque from the steering gear. In such cases, a yellow check control warning (CC ID# 187) is shown in the instrument cluster, but no faults are stored.

Cause #2: Communication fault in the CAS (Car Access System) and ELV system network and/or battery low. The problem may cause the ELV warning to be displayed in yellow or red.


Cause #1: Relieve the torque from the steering wheel and repeat the starting operation. No repairs are necessary (refer to the owner’s manual for more information).


Cause #2: In the case of a customer complaint, before connecting to the BMW Diagnosis System, duplicate the “no-crank” complaint.

For comfort access-equipped vehicles, rule out specific comfort access-related issues by inserting the remote key in the key holder.

Carry out a short test but do not delete the fault memory. Follow the relevant DIS test plans, using the latest DIS version through to completion.

If KL-15 cannot be switched on, start diagnostics by selecting the vehicle manually. Then follow the diagnostics path: Drive/Engine start/Comfort start/button to get into the test plan B6100_87CAS.

Additional troubleshooting tips:

– For CAS FC A111 (ELV voltage supply fault) due to low 15WUP signal voltage, refer to B61 07 06 (No crank, no start CAS FC A111).

– For basic troubleshooting, the system requires the following conditions for the starter to turn (engine crank):

1. There must be a valid key.

2. There must be no road speed.

3. The ELV must be unlocked (and the “unlocked and secured” telegram received by the CAS).

4. The ELV module must be de-energized by the CAS.

5. The start button must be pressed.

– Check that the key holder locks the key in position, and that the steering lock unlocks (an audible “clunk” can be heard when the key is inserted).


Note 1: KL-15 is not released unless the steering is unlocked, and the CAS has received the “unlocked” telegram.

Note 2: The ELV makes three attempts to unlock and a whirring sound can be heard at each attempt.

Courtesy of Mitchell 1.

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