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Old 05-10-2010, 03:06 PM
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BMW-specific E39 acronyms (list and definition)

BMW E39 glossary of terms, abbreviations, acronyms, slang, and oft-used brand names:
(AFAIK, this is the most complete list on the planet; it took many hours to compile & edit.)

(Please correct where needed - but limit to technical parts terms; no jokes please.)
BMW = Bavarian Motor Works aka Bayerische Motoren Werke (in German)
BMWNA = BMW of North America, LLC (a wholly owned subsidiaries of BMWAG)
BMWAG = The parent BMW company in Germany
Beemer = slang for the BMW motorcycle (not the car)
Bimmer = slang for the BMW car (not the bike)
DIY = Do It Yourself (as opposed to the Indy or Stealer)
Indy = Independent BMW specialist (versus the BMW-dependent dealers)
Stealer = BMW dealership, affectionately called the stealership
Realoem = BMW parts diagram and nominal prices (
Roundel = BMW symbol (badge/decal/ornament/emblem/logo) also a magazine
Aftermarket = a copy of the OE part (should meet OE specifications)
DO = dealer only (apparently some parts are restricted to the dealership)
OE = original equipment (the exact replacement part that the dealer sells)
OEM = same OE manufacturer but could be differently branded, boxed, etc.
OES = original equipment supplier (meets spec, can be multiple brands)
CA = client advisor (salesman) (see also comfort access)
PO = previous owner (also sometimes used for "angry" or "not happy")
SA = service advisor (serviceman) (see also Sonderausstattung)
OP = Original Poster
AUF = "of" (preposition) (from RealOEM, e.g., in cupholder AUF 0017969)
EBA = Einbauanleitung (from RealOEM, e.g., in cupholder EBA 9789813)
Einbauanleitung = Options Installation Manual (as specified in Realoem)
Entwurfen 39 = project 39, aka E39
ETK = Elektronikteilkatalog (BMW part numbers & descriptions)
ETM = BMW electrical troubleshooting manual
KDS = Komputer Service Desk (defect codes & warranty flat rate labor units)
KSD = BMW error kodes & man hours per job (shop rate)
PBS = Parts Bulletin System (in TIS)
RA = Repair instructions (in TIS)
SI = Service Information (in TIS) (aka Service Interval)
SIB = Service Information Bulletin (BMWNA)
TD = technical data (in TIS) (also engine speed signal)
TDD = Technical Documentation Disk
TEPC = Nominal prices for parts in the ETK
TIS = Technical Information System (aka Technische Information System)
TSB = Technical Service Bulletin
CSL = Coupe Sport Lightweight
ECE = European community edition
LEV = Low Emissions Vehicle
M52 = Inline 6 cyl single vanos E39 engine 2.0L-3.2L (1994-2000)
M54 = Inline 6 cyl double-vanos E39 engine 2.2L-3.0L (2001-2003)
M Technic = an options package (as in M technic Emblem)
NG = New Generation (as in N73 engine)
PP = Premium Package (multiple definitions)
SAV = Sport Activity Vehicle
Shadowline = matte black (SA339) or high-gloss black (SA760) trim option
SE = Special Equipment
SP = Sport Package (multiple definitions)
TLEV = Transitional Low Emission Vehicle
ZHP = BMW Performance Package (Available on US-Market 330i/Ci/Cic Only)
ZPP = Premium Package
ZSP = Sports Package
4WD = Four Wheel Drive (aka FWD)
///d = diesel (where the slashes indicate a model number, e.g., 528td)
///e = economy (e.g., BMW 528e)
///h = hydrogen (where the slashes indicate a model number)
///i = fuel injected (where the slashes indicate a model number, e.g., 525i)
///M = motosport (where the slashes indicate a model number)
///t = hatchback (where the slashes indicate a model number, e.g., 528td)
///T = touring (where the slashes indicate a model number)
BMW-related abbreviations, acronyms, and definitions:
A = "out" (Aus) (also = processed vehicle speed signal)
A = processed vehicle speed signal (also = "out", Aus)
AB = Airbag
ABL = Brake system warning Lamp (2 colors)
ABS = Anti Lock Braking System
AC = Air Conditioning (aka A/C)
A/C = Air Conditioning (aka AC)
ACC = Active Cruise Control
ACS = Active Comfort Seats (also AC Schnitzer)
A/D = Analog/Digital
ADB = Automatic Differential Braking
ADB(X) = Automatic Differential Braking
ADS = Engine Intake Air Control (also Aux Throttle Position Motor)
ADV = windshield wiper pressure control
AE Projectors = Angel Eyes, projector light distribution halogen lamp system
AEGS = Automatic Electronic Gearbox Control (also EGS)
AFM = Air Flow Meter
AFR = Air to Fuel Ratio
AG = Automatic Gearbox (transmission)
AGD = suction silencer
AGR = emission reduction
AGS = Adaptive transmission control
AHK = Active rear-axle Kinematics (multiple definitions)
AHK = trailer hitch (multiple definitions)
AHM = trailer Module (not for US models)
AHPS = Advanced HPS
AIC = Automatic Interval Control (rain sensor)
AKF = activated carbon canister
AKS = Active head restraint (also a pressure regulating device )
AKS = pressure regulating device (also Active Head Restraint)
ALC = Automatic Light Control
ALR = Automatic Lamp Range Adjustment
AMM = Air Mass Meter
AMP = radio system Amplifier
A Pillar = The front-most roof support (as in A pillar, B pillar, C pillar)
ARI = car radio information system
ARS = Active Roll Stabalization
ASC-EZA = ASC w/ engine timing and injection intervention
ASC = Automatic stability control (most common of multiple definitions)
ASC = All Season traction (multiple definitions)
ASC = Anti-Skid control (multiple definitions)
ASC+T = ASC + Traction control
ASK = Audio System Controller (aka audio systme kontroller)
ASR = self starter block relay
AST = Automatic Slip control (marketing term)
AT = Antenna (multiple definitions)
AT = Automatic Transmission (aka A/T) (multiple definitions)
AT = remanufactured part (multiple definitions)
ATF = Automatic Transmission Fluid (see DEXRON III)
ATL = exhaust gas turbo charger
AUC = Automatic Air Recirculation
AUT = Automatic transmission
AVT = Antenna amplifier Tuner
AWD = All Wheel Drive
AZD = tightening torque specifications (in TIS)
B = Benzene (gasoline contains aromatics and alkenes & alkynes)
BAT = Battery
BBK = Big Brake Kit
BC = Board Computer
BC1 = Body Controller 1
Bentley = most common publisher for BMW repair manuals
BL = Brake Light
BLS = Brake Light Switch
Bluetooth = A wireless interconnection technology
BMBT = Board Monitor
BMW = Bayerische Motoren Werke
B Pillar = The second-from-front roof support (usually the middle pillar)
BS = Block Diagram (aka block schematic)
BST = Battery Safety Terminal
BUNA = Brittle OEM material for VANOS seals (see Viton)
BVA = Brake pad wear indicator
BZM = Center Consol Control Center
BZMF = center console control center, rear
CA = Comfort Access
CAB = Control Arm Bushing
CAI = Cold Air Intake
CAN-Bus = Controller Area Network (bus)
CAN = Controller Area Network (Multiple ECU Controller)
CANH-Bus = CAN bus, High
CANL-Bus = CAN bus, Low
CANP = fuel tank ventilation valve
CAS = Car Access System (multiple definitions)
CAS = Car Activation System (multiple definitions)
CAT = Catalytic Converter (aka cats)
CBC = Corner Braking Control
CBS = Condition Based Service
CC = Check control
CCA = battery cold cranking amps - the current available in cold conditions
CCFL = Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lighting (headlights)
CCM = Check Control Module
CCV = Crankcase vent or (incorrectly) Clutch Control Valve (should be CDV)
CD = Control Display
CDC = Compact Disk Changer
CDS = CD player
CDV = Clutch Delay Valve (prevents dumping of the clutch)
CEL = Celsius (multiple definitions)
CEL = check engine light (see MIL & SES)
Ceramic = an almost meaningless term for brake pad material (versus organic)
CF = Carbon Fiber
CIM = Chassis Integration Module
CKP = crankshaft position sensor (this is the correct abbreviation)
CMP = camshaft position sensor (this is the correct abbreviation)
CO = Carbon monoxide
COMBI = Electronic Instrument Cluster
CON = Controller
C Pillar = The third-from-front roof support (usually the rear pillar)
CPS = colloquial for crankshaft & camshaft position sensors (see CKP & CMP)
CU = Copper
CVM = Convertible Top Module
CVT = Constantly Variable Transmission
CVV = crankcase ventilation valve (sometimes colloqually called CCV or PCV)
CW = drag coefficient
CWP = Cold Weather Package
D-Bus = Diagnosis Bus (same as TXD)
D1 = Xenon light / gas discharge
DAE = Daytime Angel Eyes
DBC = Dynamic Brake Control
DBS = Dynamic Braking System
DCS = Dealer Communication System
DD = Daily Driver (multiple definitions)
DD = Dynamic motor Drive (multiple definitions)
DDE = Daytime Demon Eyes (multiple definitions)
DDE = Digital Diesel Electronics, ECU for Diesel Engine (multiple definitions)
DE = Diagnostic Unit
DEXRON III = General Motors certification of quality for ATF
Diagnostic Connector = Where scanners plug into
DICE = a company that manufactures an iPod interface to the BMW radio (see also Intravee)
DIN = German Industrial Standards (similar to SAE in the USA)
DIS = Diagnosis and Information System (multiple definitions)
DIS = Direct Ignition System (multiple definitions)
DISA = Differential Air Intake Control (multiple definitions)
DISA = intake runner length tuning mechanism (multiple definitions)
DIVA = continuously variable length intake runners
DIY = Do It Yourself or (Do-it-yourself when used as an adjective)
DK = Throttle Housing & valve
DKB = throttle w/ brake intervention
DKE = Throttle Increase
DKI = Throttle Position
DKR = throttle reduction
DKT = throttle position signal
DKV = preset throttle position value
DM-TL = Diagnostic Module Tank Leakage
DME = Digital Motor Electronics (gasoline engine control block) (see ECU)
DOHC = Double Over Head Camshafts
DRL = Daytime Running Lamps
DS = gasket set
DSC = Dynamic Stability Control (in all 540s as of 1998, all models after 2001)
DSP = Digital Sound Processing
DTC = Dynamic Traction Control (multiple definitions)
DTC = SAE Diagnostic Trouble Code (multiple definitions)
DTM = Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterchaft
DWA = Theft Deterrent (Alarm) System
DWS = Druckwarnsystem (see TPMS, TPC, TPM, & TPW)
DZM = revolution counter
E-KAT = Electrically heated catalytic converter
E = "in" (Ein) (also sometimes used for communications errors in code readers)
EAM = Electrostatic Airflow Meter
EBA = EinBau Anleitung (i.e., Installation Instructions)
EBA = installation instructions
EBV = Electronic Brake force proportioning
ECM = Engine Control Module (SAE term)
ECO = Controller for I-Drive system
ECU = Electronic Control Unit (see DME)
EDC-K = Electronic Dampening Control Continuous
EDC = Electronic Dampening Control or Electronic Damper Control
EDFC = Electronic Dampening Force Controller
EDIS = Electronic Distributorless Ignition System
EDK = Electronic throttle valve
EDR = Electronic throttle control
EDS = pressure regulator
EFH = Electric window lifter
EGR = Exhaust Gas Recirculation (to reduce temperatures & therefore emissions)
EGS = Electronic Automatic Transmission Control
EH = Electronic Hydraulic
EHC = Electronic Height Control
EKAT = Electrically heated catalytic convertor
EKM = Electronic body Module
EKP = Electronic Fuel Pump
ELV = Electronic Steering Lock
EM = Electro-Mechanical
EME = Electro-Mechanical Emergency Brake
EMF = Electro-Mechanical parking brake
EML = Electronic Motor Load regulation (aka Electronic Throttle Control)
EMV = Electro-Magnetic sensitivity
EO = Component Location
EPC = Electronic Parts Catalog (related to the ETK)
EPROM = Erasable Programmable Read Only chip Memory
ESC = Electronic Stability Control, a lateral slippage control system (see ESP)
ESP = Elektronisches Stabilitätsprogramm, Electronic Stability Program (see ESC)
ESS = Electronic anti-theft device
ETM = Electrical Troubleshooting Manual
EV = injection Valve
EVAP = relates to fuel vapor recovery
EWS = Electronic Drive away protection (alarm system)
Fault Code = a "code" stored in the DME memory bank
FB = Function Description
FBC = Fading Brake Control
FBD = remote control services
FBZV = Radio Frequency Locking System
FGR = Vehicle Speed Control (Cruise Control)
FH = window lifter
FHK = rear Heater/ air conditioner
FI = Forced induction
FLC = automatic Light Control
FRU = Flat Rate Unit
FS = Crash Sensor
FSR = A/C and heat fan speed-control final-stage resistor (aka FSU)
FSU = A/C and heat fan speed-control final-sage unit (aka FSR)
FTL = For The Loss
FTW = For The Win
Fuel Trim = adjustments to maintain proper air fuel ratio
FWD = Front Wheel Drive
FZD = Funktionszentrum Dach (Roof Switch Unit, e.g., bluetooth)
FZV = central lock receiver
GAL = Speed Dependent Sound Volume
GM = General Module
GMIII = General module III
GMR = Yaw Moment Control
GPS = Global Positioning System
GRII = Cruise Control
GRS = rotation Rate Sensor
GS = Belt Tensioner
GWK = torque converter lock-up control
H = "rear" (Hinten)
H/K = Harmon/Kardon
H2 = Xenon headlights
HA = rear Axle
HC = Hydro Carbon
HD = Heavy Duty
HDC = Hill Descent Control
HFM = Hot Film Air Mass Meter
HG = manual Gearbox (transmission)
HID = Xenon lights (high-intensity discharge lamps)
HKL = Hydraulic trunk lid Lift
HLM = Hot Wire Air Mass Meter
HM = Hotwire Meter
HPFP = high-pressure fuel pump (despite many joke definitions otherwise)
HPS = Head Protection System
HR = Heater control
HUD = Head Up Display
HVA = Hydraulic Valve Adjuster
Hz = Hertz (Cycle)
I-Bus = Information Bus
IB = Interior lighting Control Signal
ICM = Idle Control Module
ICV = Idle Control Valve
IHKA = Automatic Heating and air conditioning
IHKAF = IHKA w/ micro filter
IHKR = Regulated Heating and air conditioning
IHKRF = IHKR w/ micro filter
IHKS = Standard Heating and air conditioning
IHPD = Internal High Pressure Deformation
IHR = Integrated Heater control
IKE = Instrument Cluster Electronics
ILH = Interior Lighting, rear
ILV = Interior Lighting, front
IMS = Instant Mobility System
Intravee = an iPod interface to the BMW radio (see also Intravee)
IR = Infrared
IRS = Infrared Locking System
ISC = Idle Speed Control
ISIS = Intelligent Safety Integration System
ISN = Individual Serial Number
ISOFIX = standardized mounts for child restraints
ITB = Individual Throttle Body
ITS = head airbag assembly/ Inflatable Tubular Structure
IVM = Integrated power supply Module
JC Chip = Jim Conforti chip, remaps fuel and spark
K-Bus = Body Bus (Karosserie)
KAT = Catalytic Converter
KATON = Converter Heating (signal)
KD = Kick-Down
KHI = interface for headphones
KL = Terminal Designation
KL15 = run bus (ignition switch run position)
KL30 = battery bus (hot at all times)
KL31 = ground bus (chassis ground)
KL50 = start bus (ignition start position)
KLR = accessory bus
KO = Compressor "ON" Signal
KOMBI = Instrument Cluster
KOREL = Compressor Relay Signal
KR = Contact Ring
KSK = Knock Sensor
KVA = fuel consumption signal/value
KW = crankshaft (also KiloWatt)
LAM = Laser Airflow Meter
Lambda = the air:fuel & emissions strategy of the DME (lambda = 1)
Lambda Control = catalytic converter/oxygen sensor/emission control
Lambda probe = the 02 sensor between the engine & catalytic converter
Lambda sensor = synonymous with the oxygen sensor
LCM = Lamp Check Module (sometimes called the light control module)
LDP = Leak Diagnosis Pump (also Loss Diagnosis Pump)
LED = Light Emitting Diode
LEO = Law Enforcement Officer
LEW = Lateral acceleration sensor
LHD = Left-Hand Drive
LHD = Left-Hand Drive
LKM = Lamp Control Module
LL = closed throttle
LL01 = BMW Long-Life 2001 certification for motor oil quality (aka LL-01)
LL04 = BMW Long-Life 2004 certification for motor oil quality (aka LL-04)
LM = Light Module
LMM = air flow meter/sensor
LMR = Light alloy wheel
LRA = vertical headlight aiming
LRA = Vertical Headlight Aiming
LSD = Limited Slip Differential
LSM = Steering Column Memory
LSZ = Lamp Switching Center
LVA = Air Supply System (for EHC system)
LWR = Vertical Headlight Aiming control
LWS-5 = Steering Angle Sensor
M-Bus = IHKA/IHKR stepper motor bus
MAF = Mass Air Flow Sensor
MAL = center armrest
MAM = Mass Air Meter
MBC = Maximum Brake Control
MDK = Motorized throttle valve system
MEC = Multi-Function Controller
MF = Micro Fiber
MFC = Multi-Function Controller
MFL = Multi-Function Steering Wheel
MFU = Multi-Function Clock
MID = Multi-Information Display (on instrument cluster & above radio)
MIL = SAE malfunction indicator light (see CEL & SES)
MIR = Multi-Information Radio
MLF = Multi function Steering Wheel
MMC = Multi-Media Changer
MoDiC = Mobile Diagnostic Computer
MOST-Bus = Media Oriented System Transport bus
MRS = Multiple Restraint System
MSR = Engine Drag Torque Reduction (or Engine Drag Torque Regulation)
MT = Manual Transmission
MTF = Manual Transmission Fluid
MTL = Manual Transmission Lubricant (as in Redline MTL or Maxima MTL)
MV = Magnetic Valve (solenoid Valve)
NAO = non-asbestos organic brake pad material
NAVI = Navigation module
NG = New Generation (as in N73 engine) (also tilt sensor)
NG = tilt sensor (also "New Generation, as in N73 engine)
NOS = Nitrous Oxide Systems
NOX = Nitrogen Oxides/ exhaust gas recirculation
NSD = rear muffler
NSL = rear fog Lamp
NSW = fog lamp
NTC = Negative Temperature Coefficient (aka coolant temperature sensor)
NW = camshaft
n-ab = rotational speed, transmission (rpm)
n-mot = rotational speed, engine (rpm)
o-ring = cryptically specified by BMW as 7,5X3,0 (7.5mm ID, 3.0mm thick)
O2 = Oxygen (sensor)
OBC = on-board computer (e.g., high-obc cluster vs low-obc cluster)
OBD = On-Board Diagnosis (SAE)
OBDII = On-Board Diagnosis port (must be in cockpit near driver)
OE = Original Equipment (not the same as OEM)
OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer (not the same as OE)
P-Bus = Periphery Bus
PAG = Polyalkylene Glycol oil, a hygroscopic oil used in R-134a A/C systems
P/N = Park/Neutral position
PB = Pin Assignments
PCD = performance center delivery
PCV = Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve
PDC = Park Distance Control
Peake = a OBD scan/reset tool
PGS = Passive Go System
Pixel = the little orange squares (that die) in the MID & KOMBI
PM = Power Module (multiple definitions)
PM = Preventive Maintenance (multiple definitions)
PO = Previous Owner
PP = Impact Pad (multiple definitions)
PSI = Pounds Per Square Inch
PTC = Positive Temperature Coefficient
PWG = Pedal Position Sensor / potentiometer)
QL = idle air mass adaption (see Fuel Trim)
RAL = Aluminum wheels (also standard color, from the ETK)
RAL = standard color (also aluminum wheels, from the ETK)
RAM = (usually DME) random access memory
RDC = Reifendruck Control, Tire Pressure Control, see TPMS
RDS = Radio Data-broadcast System
RDW = Reifendruck Warnsystem, Tire pressure warning system, see TPMS
RFT = run-flat tire
RHD = Right-Hand Drive
RLS = Rain-Light Sensor
RM = Relay Module
ROM = (usually DME) read-only (aka program) memory
ROZ = Research Octane rating for fuel (RON versus MON Motor Octane Number)
RPA = Reifenpannenanzeige, tire puncture warning system, see TPMS
RPS = Rollover Protection System
RPW = Tire Puncture Warning
RS = Repair kit
RSM = Rear Shock Mount
RSW = back-up lamp
RTAB = Rear Trailing Arm Bushing
RWD = Rear Wheel Drive
RXD = wake-up Diagnosis line
RZV = Direct Stationary Ignition
S/C = Supercharger
SAE = Society of Automotive Engineers (specifications)
SASL = Satellite, A-pillar left
SASR = Satellite, A-pillar right
SB = Fuse Assignments
SBE = Seat occupancy detector/sensor
SBFH = Seat module, passenger-side rear
SBSL = Satellite, B-pillar left
SBSR = Satellite, B-pillar right
SBT = SI techniques/ tech reference information (in TIS)
SCA = Soft Close Automatic/Actuator
SD = silencer/muffler (also sliding roof, from the ETK)
SD = sliding roof (also silencer/muffler, from the ETK)
SES = service engine soon light (see CEL & MIL) (multiple definitions)
SES = voice recognition System (multiple definitions)
SFAH = Seat module, driver's side rear
SFZ = Satellite, vehicle center
SG = Control Unit
SGS = Seat Integrated Belt System
SHD = Sunroof Module (or sliding/lifting sunroof)
SI = Service Interval
SIA = Service Intervall Anzeige (service-interval readout when you reset the SII)
SII = Service Interval Indicator (see also SIA)
SIL = silicon
SIM = Safety Information Module
SINE = Siren/tilt sensor
SKD = Steel sliding roof
SKHD = Steel sliding/ lifting roof
slushbox = derisive slang for automatic transmission (compared to manual)
SM = Seat Module (multiple definitions)
SM = Street Modified (multiple definitions)
SM/SPM = Seat/Mirror Memory
SMBF = Seat Module, passenger side
SMFA = Seat Module, driver's side
SMG = BMW Motorsport Sequential Manual Gearbox
SP = Schematic (multiple definitions)
SR-300 = an OBD scan/reset tool
SRA = headlight/fog light cleaning
SRS = Supplemental Restraint System (includes Airbag)
SS = stainless steel, as in Braided SS Brake Lines
SSD = Steel sliding roof
SSH = Seat Satellite, rear seat
SSK = Short Shift Kit
ST = Connector Views
Step = Steptronic transmission (see Steptronic)
Steptronic = transmission shift control (see Step)
STVL = Satellite, left front door
STVR = Satellite, right front door
SVS = Speech processing System
SWR = headlamp cleaning system
SWZ = Special tool listings (in TIS)
SZL = Switch center, steering column
SZM = Central Switch Center Module
TAGE = Door Handle Electronics
TCM = Transmission Control Module
TC = torque converter
TCS = Traction Control System
TCU - Telematics Control Unit (related to bluetooth)
TD = engine speed tachometer signal via ignition pulse (also tis technical data)
TDC = Top Dead Center (vertical position of piston in the cylinder)
TE = fuel evaporation control
TEL = Telephone control unit
TEV = evaporative purge control valve
THZ = Tandem master cylinder
ti = Injector "on" Time (duration)
ti = Injector on time
TL = part throttle / load signal
TMBFT = door Module, passenger side
TMBFTH = door Module, passenger side rear
TME = Transmission Mount Enforcer
TMFAT = door Module, driver's side
TMFATH = door Module, driver's side rear
TP = Tandem Pump
TPC = Tire Pressure Control (see TPM & TPW)
TPM = Tire Pressure Monitor (see TPC & TPW)
TPMS = Tire Pressure Monitoring System (see RDC, RDW, RPA, & DWS)
TPS = Throttle Position Switch/Sensor
TPW = Tire Pressure Warning (see TPC & TPM)
TR = engine speed signal (rpm) (also TRansister in the ETK)
TR = Transistor (also engine speed signal)
TRE = Tie Rod End
TRG = fuel level sensor
TRI = Technical Reference Information (also SBT)
TRS = Battery Isolation Switch
TSD = Torsional vibration dampener
TSH = Door Lock Heating
TSZI = Transistorized coil Ignition system
TXD = Transmitting Diagnosis Line
U-batt = Battery voltage
U-vers = supply voltage
UERSS = rollover bar
ULF - Universal Ladefreisprechelektronik (Universal Hands-Free System, e.g., bluetooth)
URS = rollover protection System
USIS = Ultrasonic passenger compartment Sensor
V = "front" (Vorn) (also vehicle road speed)
V = vehicle road speed (also "Vorn", i.e., front)
VA = front Axle
VAM = Volumetric Airflow Meter
VANOS = Variable Camshaft Timing (Variable Nockenwellen Steuerung).
VAT = front axle support
VC = Valve Cover
VDS = Vehicle Description System. VIN Digits 4-7
VEP = distributor-type injection Pump
VID = Video module
Viton = Better than OEM material for VANOS seals (see BUNA)
VIN = Vehicle Identification Number
VL = full load (wide open throttle)
VSD = front muffler
VTEC = Variable Timing and Lift Electronic Control
VVT = Valve tronic
VVTI = Variable Valve Timing and Lift (With Intelligence)
WBG = hazard warning switch
WIM = Wiper control Module
WK = Torque Converter Lock-up Clutch
WOT = Wide Open Throttle
WSS = Wind Shield
WTB = Want to buy (as in WTB xenon passenger headlight)
WT = Valve tronic control unit
Z = "central" (Zentrum)
ZAB = ignition fade-out (reduction)
ZAE = Central Airbag Electronics
ZAS = ignition starter switch
ZCP = BMW Competition Package (M3 Only)
ZCW = BMW Cold Weather Package
ZGM = Central Gateway Module
ZK = cylinder head
ZKE = Central Body Electronics
ZKH = cylinder head cover
ZMS = dual-Mass flywheel
ZS = central lock
ZSD = center muffler
ZV = Central Locking System
ZVM = Central Locking Module
ZWD = Idle Control Valve

German to English translation of the BMW wiring diagram technical terms:
German to English translation of the BMW wiring diagram technical terms:
Abblendlicht = Dipped Headlights
Abbledschalter = Dip Switch
ABS (Anti-Blockier-System) = ABS (Antilock Braking system)
ABS-Diagnose = ABS Diagnosis
ABS-Druckmodulator = ABS Pressure Modulator
ABS-Kontrolleuchte = ABS Telltale
ABS-Relais = ABS Relay
ABS-Sensor = ABS Sensor
ABS-Tester = ABS Key
ABS-Warnrelais = ABS Warning Relay
Abschirmhülse = Screening Sleeve
ab = modell from model
akustisch (akust.) = acoustic (audible)
Änderung = Change
Anlasser = Starter Motor
Anlasserkontakt = Starter Contact
Anlasserrelais = Starter Relay
Anlasserschalter = Starter Switch
Anlaßrelais = Starting Relay
Anlaßwiderstand = Starting Resistor
Anlaßwiederholsperre = Starting Repeat Lock
Anschluß = Connection
Antennenhalter = Aerial Holder
Anzeige = readout (or indicator, or display)
Ausreichend geladen = sufficiently charged (green battery hydrometer)
Basis = Base, Basic
Batterie = battery
Batterie ersetzen = replace battery (yellow battery hydrometer)
Bedienteil = Control Element
Begrenzungsleuchte, -licht = Marker Light
Behördenschaltplan = Circuit Diagram (Official User)
beige = beige
Benzinstandgeber = Fuel Gauge
blau = blue
Blaulicht = Blue Light
Blinker = Flasher
Blinkerausschalter = Flasher Cancel Switch
Blinkerkontrolle = Flasher Telltale
Blinkerkontrolleuchte = Flasher Telltale Light
Blinkerschalter = Flasher Switch
Blinkgeber = Flasher Unit
Blinkeuchte = Flasher Turn Indicator
Bremsflüssigkeit = Brake Fluid
Bremsflüssigkeitskontakt = Brake Fluid Contact
Bremsflüssigkeitskontaktschalter = Brake Fluid Contact Switch
Bremslicht = Brake Light, Stop Light
Bremslichtschalter = Brake Light Switch
Choke-Kontrolleuchte = Choke Telltale Light
Choke-Kontrollschalter = Choke Telltale Switch
City-Horn = City Horn
Cockpit = Cockpit (Fairing)
Country-Horn = Country Horn
Dauerlicht = Permanent Light
Diebstahlwarnanlage = Burglar Alarm
Differenzdruckschalter = Differential Pressure Switch
Diode = Diode
Diodenplatte = Diode Board
Diodenträger = Diode Carrier
Doppelfanfare = Twin Tone Horn
Drehstromgenerator = Alternator
Drehzahlmesser = Revolution Counter
Drehzahlwarnung = Engine Overspeed Warning
Drosselklappenschalter = Throttle Butterfly Switch
Druckknopfschalter = Pushbutton Switch
Einspritzrelais = Fuel Injection Relay
Elektrik = Electrical System
Endschalter = Limit Switch
Entlastungsrelais = Load-Shedding Relay
Entstörfilter = Suppressor Filter
Entstörgeflecht = Suppressor screening
Entstörhülse = Suppressor Sleeve
Entstörkasten = Radio Suppression Box
Entstörkondensator = Radio Suppression Capacitor
Erläuterungen = Note On (Key To)
Fahrlicht = Low Beam
Fanfare = Horns
Fanfarerelais = Horn relay
Fanfareschalter = Horn Switch
Fernlicht = High Beam
Fernlichtkontrolle = High Beam Telltale
Fernlichtkontrolleuchte = High Beam Telltale Light
Fernlichtschalter = High Beam (headlight) Switch
Fliegende Sicherung = Fuse In Cable
FMS-Geber (Funkmeldesystem) = Two-Way Radio Transmitter
France = France
Frontplatte = Front Panel
FUG (Funkgerät) = Two-Way Radio Set
Funk-Batterie = Two-Way Radio Battery
für (f.) = for
Fuß = Foot
Fußbremslichtschalter = Foot Brake Light Switch
Ganganzeige = Gear Indicator
Generator = Generator
Getriebe = Gearbox
Getriebedeckel = Gearbox Cover
Getriebeschalter = Gearbox Swich
Gleichrichter = Rectifier
grau = gray
grün = green
Hallgeber = Hall-Effect Transmitter
Hand = Hand
Handbremslichtschalter = Handbrake Light Switch
Heckleuchte = Rear Light
Heckteil = Tail
Heizgriffe = Heated Handlebar Grips
hinten = rear
Hinzukommende Teile = Additional Parts
Hoch, hoher Ton = high, high-note
Höhenkorrekturstecker = Height Correction Plug
Horn = Horn
Horndrücker = Horn Push
Hornrelais = Horn Relay
Hornschalter = Horn Switch
Horntaster = Horn Push
Hörsprechgarnitur = Transmitter/Receiver Equipment
identisch mit = identical with
Induktivgeber = Inductive Transmitter
Innenraumfilter mit Aktivkohle = cabin filter with activated charcoal
Instrument = Instrument
Instrumentenbeleuchtung = Instrument Lighting
Instrumentkombination = Instrument Cluster
Kabelbaum = Wiring Harness
Kaltstatanhebung Kontrolleuchte = Cold Start-Increased Idle Speed Telltale Light
Kaltstatanhebung Kontrollschalter = Cold Start-Increased Idle Speed Telltale Switch
Kammernummer = Chamber Number
Kasten = Box
Kennleuchten = Identification Lights
Kennzeichenlicht = Number Plate Light
Klangfolge = Tone Sequence
klappbar = folding
Klemme = Terminal
Kombischalter (Kombisch.) = Combined Switch
Kombi-Instrument = Combined Instrument
Kondensator = Condenser, Capacitor
Kontaktplatte = Contact Board
Kontaktschalter = Contact Switch
Kontrolle = Check, Monitoring, Telltale
Kontrolleuchten = Telltales
Kraftstoffanzeige = Fuel Gauge
Kraftstoffkontrolleuchte = Fuel Telltale
Kraftstoffpumpe = Fuel Pump
Kraftstoffstandgeber = Fuel Level Sensor
Kühlmittelempertur = Coolant Temperature
Kühlmittelemperturwarnleuchte = Coolant Temperature Telltale
Kupplungsschalter = Clutch Switch
Ladekontrolle = Charge Telltale
Ladestromkontrolleuchte = Charge Telltale Light
Ladestromwarnleuchte = Battery Charge Telltale
Lampenkontrolleuchte = Bulb Monitoring Light
Lampenkontrollgerät = Bulb Monitoring Unit
Lautsprecher = Loudspeaker
Leerlauf = Idle, Neutral
Leerlaufkontrolle = Neutral Indicator
Leerlaufkontrolleuchte = Neutral Indicator Light
Leerlaufschalter = Idling Switch
Leitung = Cable, Wire
Leitungsverbinder = Cable Connector
Lenkerschalter = Handlebar Switch
Leuchtdiode (LED) = Light-Emitting Diode (LED)
Licht-Hauptschaltung = Main Light Switch
Lichthupe = Headlight Flasher
Lichthupe-Relais = Headlight Flasher Relay
Lichthupe-Schalter = Headlight Flasher Switch
Lichtrelais = Light Relay
Lichtschalter = Light Switch
links (li.) = left
LTG (Leitung) = Lead
Luftmengenmesser = Airflow Meter
Lüftermotor = Fan Motor
Magnetschranke = Solenoid Barrier
Masse = Earth, Ground
Massenpunkt = Earth Grounding Point
mechanisch (mech.) = mechanical
Mikrofon = Microphone
mit (m.) = with
Mit Einbauanleitung = including mounting instructions
Modell = Model
Motor = Motor, Engine
Motorkabelbaum = Engine Wiring Harness
Nachtrag = Supplement
Nebellicht, Nebelscheinwerfer = Fog Light
Nicht ausreichend geladen = not sufficiently charged (black battery hydrometer)
nicht belegt = not in use
Notabschalter = Emergency Off Switch
Notausschalter = Emergency Stop Switch, Kill Switch
nur, nur bei = only, only with
ohne (o.) = without
Öldruckkontrolle = Oil Pressure Telltale
Öldruckkontrolleuchte = Oil Pressure Telltale Light
Öldruckkontrolleschalter = Oil Pressure Telltale Switch
Öldruckschalter = Oil Pressure Switch
Öldruckwarnleuchte = Oil Pressure Telltale
orange = orange
Plus = Positive
Pol = Pole, Pin
-poling = -Pole, -Pin
Rahmen = Frame
rechts (re.) = right
Regler = Regulator, Govenor
Relais = Relay
Rundumkennleuchte = Rotating Beacon
Schadgasreduzierend = reduces emissions of toxic gases
Schalter = Switch
Schaltgerät = Switchbox
Schaltkasen = Controls Cabinet
Schaltplan = Circuit Diagram, Wiring Diagram
Scheinwerfer = Headlight
Schlußlicht = Rear Light
schwarz = black
Schweden = Sweden
Serienhorn = Standard Horn
Sicherung = Fuse
Sicherungskasten, -dose = Fuse Box
Signalhorn = Horn
Signalhornschalter = Horn Switch
Sirene = Siren
Skalenbeleuchtung = Instrument Dial Lighting
Sonderausstattung SA = Special Equipment
Spannungsmesser = Voltmeter
Spanungsregler = Voltage Regulator
Sprechtatse = Speak Button
Stadthorn = City Horn
Standlicht = Parking Light
Straktonhorn = High Power Horn
Stecker = Plug
Steckerleiste = Plug Strip
Steckerplatte = Plug Board
Steckerverbindung = Plug Connector
Steuergerät = Control Unit
STVB (Steckverbindung) = Plug Connection
Summer = Buzzer
Tachobeleuchtung = Speedomter Light
Tachometer = Speedometer
Tachometer-Skalenbeleuchtung = Speedometer Dial Lighting
Tank = Fuel Tank
Teile = Parts
Temperaturefühler = Temperature Sensor
Temperaturschaltgerät = Temperature Switchbox
tief, tiefer Ton low = low-note
Tonfolgeanlage = Tone Sequence System
Tonfolgesteuergerät = Tone Sequence Control Unit
Transistorzündung (TSZ) = Transistorized Ignition
Uhr = Clock
Umschalter = Changeover Switch
und (u.) = and
Unterbrecher = Breaker, Contact-Breaker
Ventil = Valve
Verbindungsstelle = Connection Point
Verkleidung = Fairing, Cover Panel
Vollenstörung = Interference Suppression, Complete
Vollverkleidung = Fairing, Full
Voltemeter = Voltmeter
vorhandene = Teile Existing Parts
vorne = front
Vorwahl = Preselection
warm = warm
Warnblinkanlage = Hazard Warning Flashers
Warnblinkgeber = Hazard Warning Flasher Unit
Warnblinkschalter = Hazard Warning Flasher Switch
Zeichungs-Nr. = Drawing Number
Zeituhr = Clock
zum (z.) = to, for
Zündung = Ignition
Zündauslöser = Ignition Trigger
Zündkerzen = Spark Plugs
Zünd-Lichtschalter = Ignition-Light Switch
Zünd-Lichtschloß = Ignition-Light Switch And Lock
Zündschalter = Ignition Switch
Zündschloß = Ignition Lock
Zündspule = Coil
Zündspulenbefestigung = Coil Mounting
Zündsteuergerät = Ignition Control Unit
Zündunterbrecher = Breaker, Contact Breaker
zur (z.) = to, for
Zustazinstrumente = Additional Instruments
Zusatzschalter = Additional Switches
Zusatzscheinwerfer = Additional Driving Lights
Zweifunken-Zündspule = Twin-Spark Coil
Commonly recommended brand names (parts used in the BMW):
ACS = AC Schnitzer, the tuning company
Adsotop = registered trademark for Mann activated charcoal cabin air filters
ATE = a re-builder of the ABS control module in your BMW
Axxis = longer sold in the USA after 6/2010; see PBR
BBA = a re-builder of the ABS control module in your BMW
BBS = manufacturer of wheels for the BMW
Bilstein = a manufacturer of shocks often used in the BMW
Borla = a brand of aftermarket BMW exhaust systems
Bosch = manufacturer of many parts, e.g., the ABS control module
Carsoft = an OBD scan/reset tool
Celis = Central lighting systems, a trademark of Hella (as in OEM Celis Tail Light retrofit)
DDM Tuning = a seller of BMW items such as wheels & headlights
Depot = a headlight commonly used to replace the BMW Hellas
DICE = manufacturer of an iPod to radio interface for the BMW
Dinan = a California-based tuning compoany (as in Home made CAI (Possibly better then Dinan)
DJ Auto = a headlight commonly used to replace the BMW Hellas
E-code = a headlight commonly used in Europe to replace BMW Hellas
Flowmaster = a brand of aftermarket BMW exhaust systems
G-power = a German tuner (as in Who sells G-Power?)
Hella = manufacturer of the OEM headlights for the BMW E39
Intravee = manufacturer of an iPod to radio interface for the BMW
Jurid = OEM manufacture of E39 front brake pads (lots of dust, great bite)
Koni = a manufacturer of shocks often used in the BMW
Magnaflow = a brand of aftermarket BMW exhaust systems
MM = Module Masters, a re-builder of the ABS control module in your BMW
Pagid = brake pad brand name often used in BMW E39s
PBR = Patons Brake Replacements (aka Repco/Mintex/Axxis/MetalMasters)
Redline = an often recommended manufacturer of lubricating oils
Repco = See PBR
RP Synchromax = Royal Purple manual transmission fluid
Sirius = a satellite-radio provider (as in Sirius Receiver Pinout..)
Textar = OEM manufacture of E39 rear brake pads
ZF = Sahnradfabrik (gear factory) Friedrichshafen AG, manufacturer of steering & transmissions
Note: this list needs a lot of improvement!
Most-recommended top-three suppliers based on bimmerfest threads:
(obviously subject to interpretation; but intended to be useful to newbies)

ABS control module rebuilders 123: (BBA, MM, and ATE in that order)
Brake pads 123: (Akebono Euro, PBR Deluxe Plus, Jurid/Textar OE)
Cabin air filter 123: (Mann CUK2736-2,Hengst E960LI, Mahle LAK73/S)
Windshield wiper refills 123: (BMW dealer, ?,?)
Wheel cleaner 123: (Sonax R2000, P21S, ??)
DOT 4 brake fluid 123: (ATE Super Blue, ??, ??)
Motor Oil 123: (Mobil1 0w40 Euro Formula LL-01, Mobil1 5W30 USA, anything 10W30/40 API SM)
Headlights 123: (Hella, Depo, DJ Auto)
Oil filter 123: (Mahle, Mann HU9254X, Hengst)
Tires 123: (??, ??, ??)
Shocks 123: (Bilstein HD, Koni FSD, Sachs OE)
iPod interface 123: (DICE, ??, ??)
Oil extractors 123: (Mityvac, ??, Motive)
OBDII testers 123: (Carsoft, Peake, Actron)
Repair Manuals 123: (Bimmerfest, Google, Bentley)
Radiator & expansion tank 123: (Nissens, Behr, Zionsville)
Water pump 123: (EMP/Stewart, Hepu, GMB)
Gas additives 123: (nothing, Techron, ??)
Exhaust 123: (Magnaflow, Flowmaster, Borla)

What to fix in the first month (DIY/Indy/Stealer):
- cracked plastic radiator (replace entire system) ($700/$1400/$2800)
- CCV and ICV ??? (cn90?)
- brittle Vanos seals ($200/$400/$600)
- crumbling windshield & back window molding ($50/$100/$200)
- missing jack pads ($50/$100/$200)
- recode annoying automatic door-lock ($250carsoft/$75/$150)
- blown cluster pixels ($500/$800/$0secretwarranty)
- blown MID pixels ($250/$500/$1000)
- cracked wood trim ($400/$800/$1200)
- ???

What to fix when it breaks (DIY/Indy/Stealer):
- broken ABS control module steel power wire ($150/$600/$1200)
- erratic fan-control (FSU/FSR) module ($100/$200/$300)
- loose rear vapor barrier seals ($50/$100/$200)
- clogged cabin-filter housing drain hose ($0/$25/$50)
- washed-out roundels ($25/$50/$100)
- crumbled headlight adjusters ($200aluminum/$500/$1000)
- frayed trunk loom wiring harness ($25/$200/$1200)
- bump brake shudder front shocks worn ($500/$1000/$2000)
- stuck window regulators ($150/$300/$600)
- curb-crushed ambient temperature sensor ($100/$200/$400)
- fragile front & rear cupholders often break ($100/$250/$500)
- wobbly thrust arm bushings ($200/$400/$1000)
- ???

Maintenance items (DIY/Indy/Stealer):
- oil & filter change ($25/$75/$250)
- front & rear brake pads ($100/$300/$800)
- front & rear rotors ($300/$600/$1200)
- ???

Overall Used BMW E39 DIY Repair Budget (assume 50K miles or so):
$1k for the first month
$100 a month thereafter (ad infinitum)

Overall BMW E39 Indy Repair Budget (assume 50K miles or so):
$2k for the first month
$200 a month thereafter (ad infinitum)

Overall BMW E39 Stealer Repair Budget (assume 50K miles or so):
$3k for the first month
$300 a month thereafter (ad infinitum)

Most-recommended BMW parts suppliers (please improve):
RealOEM,(WB),Lookup only!,
SpeedNet Motorsports (CA) 800-530-3515
E// = Entwicklung, chassis code, evolution, development, project, e.g., E39
Note: Sometimes called Entwurfen, as in Entwurfen 39, aka E39

BMW E3 (1968-1977) 2.5, 2.8, 3.0, 3.3 "New Six" sedans
BMW E9 (1969-1975) 2800CS, 3.0CS, 3.0CSL "New Six" coupés
BMW E12 (1972-1981) 5 Series
BMW E21 (1975-1983) 3 Series
BMW E23 (1977-1986) 7 Series
BMW E24 (1976-1989) 6 Series
BMW E26 (1978-1981) M1
BMW E28 (1981-1988) 5 Series
BMW E30 (1982-1991) 3 Series
BMW E31 (1990-1999) 8 Series
BMW E32 (1986-1994) 7 Series
BMW E34 (1988-1995) 5 Series
BMW E36 (1991-1999) 3 Series
BMW E36/5 (1995-1998) 3 Series Compact (US market known as "318ti")
BMW E36/7 (1996-2002) Z3 Series Roadster
BMW E36/8 (1998-2002) Z3 Series Coupé
BMW E38 (1994-2001) 7 Series
BMW E39 (1996-2003) 5 Series
BMW E46/5 (2000-2004) 3 Series Compact
BMW E46/4 (1998-2005) 3 Series Sedan
BMW E46/3 (1999-2005) 3 Series Touring/Sports Wagon
BMW E46/2 (1999-2006) 3 Series Coupé
BMW E46/C (1999-2006) 3 Series Convertible
BMW E52 (2000-2003) Z8
BMW E53 (2000-2006) X5
BMW E60 (2004-present) 5 Series
BMW E61 (2004-2007) 5 Series Touring/Sports Wagon
BMW E63 (2004-present) 6 Series coupé
BMW E64 (2004-present) 6 Series convertible
BMW E65 (2002-2007) 7 Series short wheelbase
BMW E66 (2002-2007) 7 Series long wheelbase
BMW E67 (2002-2007) 7 Series Protection
BMW E70 (2007-present) X5
BMW E83 (2004-present) X3
BMW E85 (2003-present) Z4
BMW E86 (2006-present) Z4 Coupé
BMW E87 (2004-present) 1 Series
BMW E88 (2008) 1 Series Convertible
BMW E89 (2009) Z4 roadster
BMW E90 (2005-present) 3 Series
BMW E91 (2005-present) 3 Series Touring/Sports Wagon
BMW E92 (2006-present) 3 Series Coupé
BMW E93 (2007-present) 3 Series Convertible
BMW F01 (2008) 7 Series
BMW F02 (2009) 7 Series long wheelbase
BMW F03 (2008) 7 Series Protection
BMW F04 (2009) 8 Series Light Base
BMW F10 (2010) 5 Series
BMW F11 (2012) 5 Series Touring/Sports Wagon
BMW F12 (2011) 6 Series Coupé
BMW F13 (2011) 6 Series Convertible
BMW F14 (2011) LC5
BMW F25 (2011) X3
Single page BMW E39 fluid summary: (print for glovebox)
(with a reference thread for each to see if they stand the test of time)

- Power steering: Dexron III ATF (realistically, Dexron VI ATF because Dexron III certification is no longer available from GM) Bentley page 020-20. [Volume: It has been said to be just under 2 quarts; I used about a quart to flush twice just my power steering reservoir using a turkey baster to remove fluids out the top.] Note: I6=rack and pinion attached to an aluminum subframe, V8=recirculating ball and nut attached to a steel subframe. Replacement Interval: Bentley says it's "permanently filled"; but most of us would suction out and refill the reservoir with about a quart of fluid every few years because it's a hygroscopic fluid and the permanent filter on the bottom of the reservoir doesn't prevent the fluid from becoming dirty. Some even replace the reservoir in order to have a new filter. Most also replace or cut off the tip of the bottom hoses whose clamp often allows leaks.

- Windshield & headlight washer system: surprisingly, I can't find a specification in the Bentley; it should be in book II section 611, Wipers & Washers; but it's not; the Owners Manual, page 150 (Washer Fluid), it says to use "water" and "screenwash when required" (whatever "screenwash" is). [Volume: 3.7 quarts (0.9 gallons, 3.5 liters) or 6.3 quarts (1.6 gallons, 6.0 liters) with headlamp washer system]. Replacement Interval: When needed.
- Intensive cleaning system: The Owners Manual (page 150, Washer Fluid), says to use "BMW intensive cleaning agent", BMW P/N: (500ml bottle). [Volume: 1.1 quarts (1.0 liters)]. Replacement Interval: When needed.

- Brakes (9/1998 and later): "low viscosity" "high performance" DOT 4 (nobody seems to know what "low viscosity" means in practical terms; but the Bentleys clearly specify both "low viscosity DOT 4" on page 340-9 and "high performance DOT4" on page 020-11 and just plain old "DOT 4" on page 020-24). ATE Super Blue DOT 4 or any good DOT 4 brake fluid can be used. [Volume: Most people use about 750 ml or about 3/4 quart to flush the four wheels manually so buy about a liter or quart to power flush your entire brake system.] Replacement Interval: Every two (2) years (Bentley page 020-9) starting from date of manufacture. Best to use the pressure method, e.g., Motive pressure bleeder; but the two-man push-and-open method still works.
- Brakes (up to 8/1998): "high performance" DOT 4 (nobody seems to know what "high performance" means in practical terms; but the Bentleys clearly specify "high performance DOT4" on page 020-11 and just plain old "DOT 4" on page 020-24 and again on page 340-9). Replacement Interval: Every two (2) years (Bentley page 020-9) starting from date of manufacture.
- Hydraulic clutch (manual transmission only): Uses the same reservoir as the brake fluid, Bentley 020-26.

- Engine oil (E39 1999 & later): 15W40 LL-01 mineral oil BMW PN: (amazingly, only ONE SAE weight is specified! Don't be confused because Bentley page 020-11 lists only SAE 15W40 while page 020-9 confusingly lists only 5W30 & 15W40 but the 020-11 appears to be the specific listing). [Volume: I6=6.9 quarts, V8=7.9 quarts]. Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary by lighting the yellow light and indicating "OIL SERVICE". Note: Mixing oil types (mineral vs synthetic) is permissible. On average, most seem to change oil & filter roughly thrice a year at about 4,500 miles. Best to use either the oil-pan gravity-drain method or the MityVac vacuum-extraction method (don't use the Motive vacuum extractor). Most replace the oil filter on every oil change.
- Engine oil (gas, E39 1997 & 1998): Synthetic 5W-30 LL-01 (aka long-life 2001) BMW PN: (amazingly, only ONE SAE weight is specified! This is confusing because Bentley page 020-11 lists only SAE 5W30 while page 020-9 confusingly lists only 5W30 & 15W40 but the 020-11 appears to be the specific listing). Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary. Note: Mixing oil types (mineral vs synthetic) is permissible. On average, most seem to change oil & filter roughly thrice a year at about 4,500 miles.
- Engine oil (diesel): I can't find anything in the Bentleys; but the euro owners manual lists on page 152 "ACEA: A3/B3 or ACEA: A3/B4" specifications which all long-life-01 oils meet (according to that owners manual). Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary.

- Engine coolant/antifreeze: phosphate free (for Europe's high-mineral-content water), amine & nitrite/nitrate free (for USA long-life requirements), & low-silicate or silicate free (for Japan requirements) 50:50 mixture of ethylene glycol & water (the Bentleys say distilled water (Bentley 020-11), aka de-mineralized or de-ionized water, some call it purified water, and the BMW AG TIS 12.11.2007 18:56 specifies water with a pH from 6.5 to 8.0, maximum total hardness of 3.6 mmol Ca++/liter, maximum chloride content 100 mg/liter, and maximum sulphate content 100mg/liter; interestingly the BMW TIS says "potable tap water usually fulfills these requirements". Despite this, most people say never use tap water due to the ion content. BMW lists a score of coolants in their BMW AG TIS 12.11.2007 18:55 which meet the BMW N 600 69.0 standard, some of which are BMW PN: 1.5-liter; BMW PN: 1 gallon; Castrol Anti-Freeze NF; BASF Glysantin Protect Plus G48, & Havoline AFC (BD04). Others recommend Service Pro Universal Formula; Valvoline Zerex G-05, & Prestone Extended Life 5/150. [Total Volume: 1997 I6=10.5 quarts (2.6 gallons), 1997 V8=12.0 quarts (3.0 gallons), 1998-2002 I6=11.1 quarts (2.8 gallons), 1998-2002 V8=12.7 quarts (3.2 gallons), 1997-2002 V8 with latent heater=13.5 quarts (3.4 gallons)]. Prestone says the only reason for phosphate free is the extremely high mineral content of water in Europe - and that in the USA, it's not needed. Replacement Interval: Every three years (Bentley page 020-9) or every four years (aforementioned BMW AG TIS) starting from date of manufacture (except for M-Power vehicles which have 3-year intervals). Note: Mixing BMW-recommended coolant brands is permissible; but mixing types is not permissible unless it's an emergency.

- Air conditioner: Refrigerant 134a (aka R-134a) with poly alkylene glycol oil, sometimes referred to as poly alkaline glycol oil (aka PAG refrigerant oil). Bentley book II, 640-2 & 640-3 & 640-23. The PAG oil is known by other names such as ND8, PAG46, and BMW PN: and travels with the refrigerant as a mist. Best to empty and then refill refrigerant by total weight; second best is the evaporator temperature method (i.e., in the shade, ambient temperature less than about 75°F and relative humidity below about 60% - then add R-134a until the evaporator exit air temperature with A/C set on max at 60°F is 4°C/39°F or colder - the best you can do without MoDIS is probably the center-dash vent at something like 10°C/50°F); third best is the pressure method (i.e., add refrigerant until the low-pressure side is 25 psi to 45 psi ... aim for around 32 psi (assuming shade, ambient, & humidity listed prior); worst is by can weight (e.g., adding a 12oz by weight can or a 16oz can by weight but the AC is a critical-charge system that won't tolerate refrigerant quantities much outside + or - .05 kg). [Volume: E39's built up to 12/97 contain 1,225 grams +/- 25 grams (2.70 lbs +/- 0.05 lbs) of R-134a; E39s built after 12/97 contain 750 grams +/- 10 grams (1.65 lb +/- 0.03lb) of R-134a. The amount of PAG oil misted in the system is said to be about 1 ounce by volume.] Replacement Interval: Lifetime charge.

- Manual transmission (yellow sticker): BMW PN: or MTF-LT-1 (manual transmission fluid, lifetime, I'm not sure what the "1" means) Bentley page 020-10 & 020-30. [Volume: See chart below.] Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 230-6). A user-recommended fluid is "Royal Purple Synchromax 1512 manual transmission fluid" & Redline MT-90; the user-recommended replacement interval is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles.
- Manual transmission (orange sticker): The Bentleys, on page 200-4, simply say "ATF" (aka ATF-Oil). Nothing more. Note: This orange sticker is not mentioned in the Bentleys page 020-10 & 020-30 but is noted on page 200-4. Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 230-6); but the user-recommended replacement interval is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles.
- Automatic transmission (green sticker): BMW PN: or Texaco ETL 8072B or Shell LA2634 (this is extremely confusing, not only because these are cryptic "types" but also because the Bentleys list different fluids and volumes on page 020-10, 240-6, & 240-8). [Volume w/o torque converter/with torque converter, see chart below]. Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 240-6); but the user-recommended replacement interval for the fluid and filter is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles. Apparently Pentosin is the OEM oil but FEBI also works (ATF Auto Transmission Fluid equivalent to ESSO LT 71141). Note: Mixing ATF types will cause transmission failure (Bentley 240-6). My 2002 525i with the ZF 5HP19 (aka A5S 325Z) transmission (6.2 liters/8.9 liters or 6.6 quarts/9.4 quarts) has this green sticker.
- Automatic transmission (black sticker): Dexron III ATF (realistically Dexron VI ATF) BMW PN: or Exxon LT-71141 which seems to also be called Esso LT-71141) (all this is extremely confusing, not only because these are cryptic "types", but also because the Bentleys list different fluids on page 020-10 than on page 240-6). [Volume w/o torque converter/with torque converter, see chart below]. Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 240-6); but the user-recommended replacement interval for the fluid and filter is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles. Note: Mixing ATF types will cause transmission failure (Bentley 240-6). Some users suggest Mobil1 Synthetic ATF.

See this thread for complete details on fluids, torques, volumes, locations, etc and to find which transmission is in your model E39:
Manual transmissions:
BMW 525i 2001-2002 M52TU, M54: Getrag S5D 250G, 1.2 quarts (1.1 liters)
BMW 540i 1997-2002 M62: ZF/Getrag S6S 420G, 2.0 quarts (1.9 liters)
BMW 528i 1997-2002 M52: ZF S5D 320Z, 1.4 quarts (1.3 liters)
BMW 530i 2001-2002 M54: ZF S5D 320Z, 1.4 quarts (1.3 liters)

Automatic transmissions:
GM THM-R1 (A4S 270R), 9.3 quarts/8.2 quarts (8.8 liters/7.8 liters)
BMW 528i to 9/1999 M52: GM THM-R1 (A4S 310R), 9.3 quarts/8.2 quarts (8.8 liters/7.8 liters)
BMW 528i from 9/1999: GM 5L40-E/GM5 (A5S 360R), 9.5 quarts/8.5 quarts (9.0 liters/8.0 liters)
BMW 525i to 3/2001 M54: GM 5L40-E/GM5 (A5S 390R), 9.5 quarts/8.5 quarts (9.0 liters/8.0 liters)
BMW X5 GM 5L40-E/GM5 (A5S 390R), 10.1 quarts/9.1 quarts (9.6 liters/8.6 liters)
BMW 530i to 3/2001 M54: GM 5L40-E/GM5 (A5S 390R), ? quarts/? quarts (? liters/?liters)
ZF 4HP22, 7.9 quarts/3.2 quarts (7.5 liters/3.0 liters)
ZF 4HP24, 8.6 quarts/3.3 quarts (8.1 liters/3.1 liters)
ZF 5HP18 (A5S 310Z), 8.2 quarts/3.4 quarts (7.8 liters/3.2 liters)
BMW 525i from 3/2001 (2.5L M54): ZF 5HP19 (A5S 325Z), 9.4 quarts/6.6 quarts (8.9 liters/6.2 liters)
BMW 530i from 3/2001 (3.0L M54): ZF 5HP19 (A5S 325Z), 9.2 quarts/6.5 quarts (8.7 liters/6.1 liters)
ZF 5HP24 (A5S 440Z) for 4.4 L, 9.5 quarts/5.7 quarts (9.0 liters/5.35 liters)
BMW 540i from 1/1997 M62 TU: ZF 5HP24 (A5S 440Z) for 4.6 L, 10.5 quarts/5.7 quarts (9.9 liters/5.35 liters)
BMW 540i to 1/1997 M62: ZF 5HP30 (A5S 560Z) 13.8 quarts/5.8 quarts (13.1 liters/5.5 liters)

- Differential (conventional, i.e., non-limited-slip E39s): The Bentleys specify "BMW SAF-XO synthetic final drive gear oil" which doesn't exist (it's Castrol). The Bentleys don't specify the weight (it's SAE 75W-90); and the Bentleys don't specify the quality (it's API GL-5 hypoid gear oil). Given that, suitable replacements are Amsoil Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid (MTF) API 75W90,Mobil1, Royal Purple Max-Gear, & Redline SAE 75W90 API GL-5 synthetic gear oils. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell which of the three (3) different differentials you have w/o looking at the numbers molded into the metal. Bentley page 020-11 & 020-26 & 331-6. [Volume: Type G=1.7 quarts, Type 188 Compact=1.1 quarts, Type 220/215 Compact=1.5 quarts.] Replacement Interval: Lifetime fluid (but most recommend replacing differential fluid at the same time you replace transmission fluid, which is about 5 years or roughly 60K miles).
- Differential (limited-slip E39s, such as the M5): BMW SAF-XJ API GL-5 SAE 75W-140 synthetic hypoid final-drive gear oil (aka Castrol SAF-XJ). This requirement is not listed in the Bentley manual; it is gleaned from the Castrol literature and from what is stated about the M5 in this thread below (please correct if necessary). Replacement Interval: Lifetime fluid (but most recommend replacing differential fluid at the same time you replace transmission fluid, which is about 5 years or roughly 60K miles).

- Battery: A charged battery is 33.5% (volume/volume%) sulfuric acid (4.2 Molar H2SO4, ) & distilled water (Bentley 020-23) with positive plates containing lead dioxide (PbO2) and negative plates of lead (Pb), both mixed with calcium (Ca) to minimize gassing (i.e., loss of water) and other elements (such as tin, antimony, & selenium to harden the plates and simplify manufacturing) in a polypropylene case. In the discharged state, both plates turn to lead sulfate (PbSO4) as the electrolyte loses its dissolved sulfuric acid and becomes primarily water (which can freeze in cold temperatures and the lead sulfate may form insoluble crystals which, over time, reduce the capacity of the battery if it is not recharged immediately after discharge). [Total Volume: unknown but users have reported adding about 20 ml per cell after two years of use]. Replacement Interval: Lifetime fluid (top off only if needed, after removing steel strap, two stickers and then unscrewing the six cell caps, and filling to the fill line which is 1/4 inch or 5mm above the top of the plates at the very bottom of the internal black plastic depth indicator). The OEM battery has built-in hydrometer where green indicates a charged battery and black indicates a discharged battery, and yellow indicates a defective battery. Better to test at 27°C/80°F by loading battery with 15 amperes for 1 minute (or just turn headlights on w/o engine running) and then perform a 1.265 specific-gravity hydrometer test of each of the six cells (add or subtract 0.004 to the hydrometer reading for every 10°F/6°C above or below 27°C/80°F respectively); and a 12.6 volt open-circuit voltage test across the battery terminals (Bentley 121-5, 121-6). OEM specs are BMW, USA 729905-10, EN 12V 90Ah 720A, SAE 160 RC 720 CCA. Aftermarket batteries are NAPA #7549, Deka 649MF, Interstate MTP-93, Werker model???, Batteries Plus model???, East Penn model??? (need specific model info) with a stamped date code within the last month or two.

- Engine fuel (gas): The sticker on the inside of the fuel filler specifies the octane rating to use; most E39s in the USA specify unleaded 91 AKI (the AKI is the average of the RON & the MON). Lower octane ratings can be used as the two piezoelectric knock sensors will retard timing if they sense detonation vibrations which may adversely affect performance but which won't damage the car under normal circumstances. [Volume: 70 liters (18.5 gallons) with a reserve capacity of 8 liters (2 gallons) in the 525i & 530i and a reserve of 10 liters (2.5 gallons) for the 540i]. We're not sure the algorithm for the small round yellow fuel-warning light, but most people say it goes on approximately at 40 miles remaining fuel; chime sounds at approximately half that (need more data). Replacement Interval: Monthly, as fuel reputedly goes "stale" after 30 days; also it's reputed you should fill by the 1/4 to 1/8 mark in order to better cool the fuel pump. Fuel can't be siphoned out due to siphon restrictions 4 inches in but can be bled using other methods.
- Engine fuel (diesel): On page 23 of the Owners Manual, it lists "Diesel oil DIN EN 590", whatever that is. It specifically says not to use rapeseed oil methyl ester (aka RME), or bio diesel oil. Replacement Interval: As needed. ???

- Tire pressure & mixture: Standard air (i.e., 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen) or 95% to 98% nitrogen (it's not pure nitrogen because they generate the nitrogen from air instead of using pure liquid nitrogen bottles). [Volume: About 10 to 18 liters at 30psi at 25°C, mass is about 26 grams of air].Pressure is more important than volume. The stated reason for the higher rear inflation is to handle weight transfer upon acceleration but nobody is really sure. You want to stay within 3% (+/-) between the axles as greater differences can create problems with ABS & the car's traction control systems. Some say you also need to take into account the load rating if you deviate from the standard 94 load range for the OEM E39. If you buy tires rated, say, 97, they say you need to adjust the pressure down or the tires will be overinflated. There are many reputed reasons for nitrogen over air, the main one being tires lose air at about 2.7 pounds of pressure per month while nitrogen-inflated tires lose it at only 0.7 pounds per month.

Here is a general BMW E39 inflation table from QSilver.
18" - 38/41 front/rear (up to 4 passengers) (this is the only one that is different)
18" - 41/48 front/rear (5 passengers)
16"/17" - 35/39 front/rear (up to 4 passengers)
16"/17" - 41/48 front/rear (5 passengers)
16"/17" - 30/35 front/rear (up to 4 passengers) snow tires & Q/T/H speed rated tires
16"/17" - 36/44 front/rear (5 passengers) snow tires & Q/T/H speed rated tires

Reference - Glossary of BMW terms and abbreviations
BMW Acronyms
BMW-specific E39 acronyms (list and definition)
Most recommended BMW parts suppliers
What does the ULF stand for in "BMW Bluetooth ULF"?
1-page printout of the dozen fluids in the E39

BMW E39 acronyms
BMW technical terms (pdf)
BMW technical acronyms
BMW abbreviations and acronyms
What does E mean anyways
Autohauz definition of Aftermarket, DO, OE, OEM, & OES
Please add more BMW-specific acronyms & definitions & technical translations ... or correct these above.
Please do not add BMW joke acronyms & definitions (there are already too many threads for that).
I'll update this with your input for as long as it will let me.

Last edited by tim330i; 12-09-2015 at 10:55 AM.
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