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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-06-2012, 05:01 PM
Marik Marik is offline
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Location: US
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 28
Mein Auto: 2001 530I
Internal leak

Hey folks,

Here is the story. My BMW 2001 530I had bad water pump and while my wife was driving the car lost coolant and got overheated. Obviously, she does not watch temperature gages and who knows how much she was driving car in that state.

I changed the pump, the car drives fine, but now it loses coolant internally, so I have to add it every couple weeks. I contacted my mechanic and he suggested that should be whether head gasket, or cracked head, but he would not know until he takes them apart.

The trick is I bought the car with warranty. I just talked to the insurance company and they would cover head gasket replacement, but not cracked head. From my perspective, if it turns our the head (which is not covered), it is not worth for me to pay for it, but sell the car as it is and just get another car.

To get second opinion I contacted another mechanic (which is also listed on the bimrs.org as trusted specialist) and he told that either head gasket or cracked head are unlikely and the computer would shut down the system if something severe would've happened. He actually thinks he would be able to tell where is the problem without taking things apart.

Also, I read about Bars Leak headgasket fix, but see mixed opinions. When I asked, the first mechanic says that usually he would not recommend it, but in my situation that might be a chance. On the other hand, the second mechanic says "No", as it would plug the passages in the heater core.

So whom should I trust?

Thanks, M

Last edited by Marik; 12-06-2012 at 05:03 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2012, 05:59 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,552
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marik View Post
insurance company and they would cover head gasket replacement, but not cracked head.
Here is what I generally give to people with the E39 in a similar situation.

- Summary advice to provide users who suspect a major engine repair due to overheating (1) (2) (3) (4) & how to test an engine for a blown head gasket, cracked heads, a warped block, stripped head bolt threads, cam seizures, contaminated bearings, coolant hydrolock, or piston, ring, or valve damage (1) (2) & what are the major factors in deciding whether to rebuild the engine, replace the engine, or sell the car (1) & a DIY for replacing the I6 M54 head gasket (1) (2) & replacing the V8 M62TU head gasket (1) & why these engines are so prone to heat-related damage in the first place (1) & welding the crack between cylinder #3 and the water jacket on the exhaust side (1) & what engine swaps are most recommended (1) (2) (3) & where to obtain a new or rebuilt head (1) replacement short block or long block (1) (2) & how to lift & remove the engine (1) & the most recent real-world results from the last 50 people faced with similar blown engine problems from which this advice came from (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) (25) (26) (27) (28) (29) (30) (31) (32) (33) (34) (35) (36) (37) (38) (39) (40) (41) (42) (43) (44) (45) (46) (47) (48) (49) (50)

BTW, why do you post in the E39 board when you don't have the E39? Wouldn't the right board help you better since they know the vehicle?
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 12-07-2012 at 07:50 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2012, 06:35 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Location: Sudbury, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,259
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Forget the quick fix in a bottle. The M54 engine has an aluminum block which is prone to warping when oveheated. Give the second mechanic a shot at determing the cause of leakage. If it's the head gasket, you're covered. If it's a cracked head, just keep driving the car. Adding antifreeze is cheaper than adding oil! Too bad... This is why we recommend replacing the entire cooling system at 100K.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:56 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,552
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Forget the quick fix in a bottle.
I typed /bars stop leak F3 into the bestlinks and was surprised we never chronicled this miracle in a jar.

So I will do some research of what it is and how it works and open a separate thread, so that we can, in the future, point users to that thread.

I'm sure I'll find plenty of "it worked for me", which, as always, we'll have to take at face value - yet with a grain of salt - but I would like to flesh out this product at least with one canonical thread to point future users to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Adding antifreeze is cheaper than adding oil!
You 'could' even run on water if the OP lives in a warm weather clime.

EDIT: I went to the Bar's Leak site and was overwhelmed by the number of products, so, I opened a specific thread on Bar's Leak for the OP (and others) to benefit from.
-> E39 (1997 - 2003) > - What is Bar's or Rislone Stop Leak head gasket fix and what does it do in your E39
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 12-07-2012 at 08:40 AM.
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