1998 528i problems

Hello,
I just had my BMW shipped cross country to me and the car is having major engine problems. When I went to move it after sitting idle for about 1 week, I turned the key and the instrument panel lit up like a
Christmas tree! No rev or anything from the engine. On a hunch, I jumped started the car and it started up fine right away. But after running for about 5 minutes the engine started idling funny... shaking a lot and making a cyclic low revving sound. When I press the gas slightly I start to get a little power, then the power just dies off right away. I put it in reverse to back out of the driveway but could not apply any power to the accelerator. The car also made a loud rattle, like something was lose underneath. It feels like pressing the gas hard makes it lose power and almost stall. So I put it in 1st gear and basically limped around to the front of the house. I went back to the driveway and I saw two areas of fluid stains where the BMW was parked. One appears right under the center of the hood towards the drivers side. I felt it and it seemed a bit more greasy and slippery than oil, although it could have been oil. There was not a huge amount, but it might have also been leaking during transport. The other liquid spot was centered under the car around where the front seats are. Again, I'm not sure what the liquid was, but it may have something to do with the problem. I suspect something happened during transport over the past month, but it drove fine around the block on the first couple of days.
Any help would be appreciated,
Thanks,
Alex
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There is a bulb test at switch on where *all* the warning lights should come on, then go out. If the car isn't started the oil pressure and alternator warning lights will say on, of course. This is documented in the driver's handbook.

Sounds like the battery was low with the engine not being run. About two weeks is the limit.

First thing to do is get the codes read. You can buy a reader from the likes of Peake Research, or have it done at a dealer or independant.

The most common leak is from the power steering reservoir. This is on the top of the engine on the right looking from the front. Check the two rubber pipes attached to it for signs of oil leak and follow them to their destination and do the same. The hoses have poor crimped connections. It's possible to remove the crimps and replace with worm drive clips.
There can also be leaks from the camshaft covers, etc. You'll need to remove the plastic cover on the engine to examine for these.
The leak from under the middle of the car may just have been the air con discharging water which is normal.
You might find the group in my sig of some use - many talented E39 people on there. ;-)
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