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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 12-20-2008, 04:48 AM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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How often should the oil be changed? , and other issues

We got a 2000 BMW 528i, its having some problems. First of all, how often should an oil change be done on this car? and what is the right oil?
My brother drives this car, and i was driving it the other day and noticed the last oil change was done in March of 2008. The car has 85,000km, and now it has 117,000km, and the car hasn't been serviced ever since that oil change. What steps would i need to at this point?
Another problem is that the brake light and the ABS are on. They went off for a while and then at a stop sign, I heard a big 'boing' noise coming from the front end and then instantly the both lights come on. What problem could this be?
Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2008, 05:21 AM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Uhhh...a big 'boing' noise and the brake and DSC light going on? I guess if there were no other symptoms, and I were your brother, I'd be making an appointment with a competent mechanic...

I'm not an E39 owner, but if the engine is a 3.0l M52/M54 series, it will be similar to mine. Does the owner's manual indicate that the car has a mileage "countdown" feature for the next service perhaps?

If not, I'd personally be on a 7,500 mile oil change interval. I use BMW OEM oil 5w-30 from the dealer with my BMW CCA discount card, at $6.20 per quart, and Mann OEM oil filters from www.oembimmerparts.com...
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2008, 05:05 AM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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The car is going in to an Indy shop Monday morning. I don't want to take into a dealer, because they will rip me off. Things that are going to be done first:

1. total engine flush
2. Mobil 1 0W-40 synthetic motor oil (oil recommended for the car)
3. Mann HU 925/4 oil filter
4. Mann C 25 114/1 air filter
5. Mann CUK 2736-2 activated charcoal cabin pollen filter
6. Mann WK 516/1 fuel filter
7. Coolant Flush
The inspection 2 light is on, so I'm going to have the shop look into that right after the necessary things are performed.
The brakes have started screeching as well, so I'm going to have the shop look into that as well. I am guessing it needs new pads and rotors all around along with a brake flush.
Now with all the service mentioned above without the brake work involved and inspection 2the shop quoted me $600+ extra for whatever comes up.
Now with those services being done, should we get a ATF service done too? , and what other things do you guys recommend getting done?
Remember, the last oil change was at Oil Changers, where they provide an oil change in 9 mins or less, so i want to make sure that the car is back to specs.
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2008, 06:10 AM
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Sorry to be abrupt, but sounds like your brother is clueless or just does not care. Don't ask the forum to guess what all that car needs at this point after who knows how much neglect. Tell him to read this forum all day today and he will start to make a dent in what he should (ought) to know if he is going to own a car like this. Not trying to be mean spirited at the holidays, but use the search feature (suggest you not put in "boing") and educate yourself as much as you can or pray you have a great, ethical indy and a fat wallet. It sounds like you are going to need both.

As a side note-are you the older or younger brother? If older, put your foot up his butt.
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2008, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
Sorry to be abrupt, but sounds like your brother is clueless or just does not care. Don't ask the forum to guess what all that car needs at this point after who knows how much neglect. Tell him to read this forum all day today and he will start to make a dent in what he should (ought) to know if he is going to own a car like this. Not trying to be mean spirited at the holidays, but use the search feature (suggest you not put in "boing") and educate yourself as much as you can or pray you have a great, ethical indy and a fat wallet. It sounds like you are going to need both.

As a side note-are you the older or younger brother? If older, put your foot up his butt.
Agreed.


It also sounds like your brother drives by the "Drive it like you stole it" Rule, which I used to untill my thermostat decided it would nuke itself. If it's his car, you should tell HIM to get on the forums, on the internet or even call an indy/dealer about it himself. You shouldn't be worrying about his stuff, he should be worrying about it. I've got a list on a whiteboard in my room with everything on it that needs done, and any performance upgrades I want to do later so everythings in order.



Edit - if the car has 75k+ Miles on the tranny, i'd HIGHLY Suggest doing an ATF Flush/change, maybe even a differential flush/change.
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Heh. Well, you should know if its a touring. It would have a very large badonkadonk.
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2008, 11:20 AM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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I am mad at him as well, he is my older brother, who doesn't know any better. I am the only one in my family that looks after all our cars upkeep. The place we are going to send it to works only works on European cars, and replaced the engine in one of our Volvo's. The "boing" noise, i can not explain the noise any better. 540iman I'm only here to collect advise, I do go on the search from, and try find out what problems i might be having, just here to collect as much information as i can get from forum members. I don't think its a crime to come on the forum for some educated advise from fellow members. It is the Christmas season, wish you and your family the very best in the coming days.
The car is a family owned , He owns it as much as I do. He just borrowed it because he was gone to University in London, Ontario, and needed a car to get by, comes every weekend. Thought he was keeping all the services up to date until he told me about the brake problem.
Adrian H thanks for the advice about the transmission and differential flush/change.
Pockets are wide open. Got to spend it either way. Hoping all the repairs come under $3000. Hey, Adrian I also keep a similar timetable for our cars regular servicing. I have a little notebook for each car that mentions when everything should be done. I try to get each one of cars serviced every 10,000km, beyond that just sounds to much.
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  #7  
Old 12-21-2008, 01:51 PM
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Read up about ATF changes. It is somewhat controversial.

The overall conclusion seems to be that its ok to change ATF up to 100k miles or so and risky after that, DO Not flush but drain fluid (from torque convertor too), then drive for a period of time (500-1k miles) and drain again. I did this to my 1998 528i at 105k and it worked really well. Car shifts Very smoothly.

I was surprised how dark the atf was after second drain.

Do the diff fluid change as well.
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  #8  
Old 12-21-2008, 02:07 PM
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Well, I'm glad to hear how enthusastic you are about keeping your Bimmahs and Euro's in order. I can't really help you much but say that Boing noise coming from the front almost sounds like it's possible that the spring slipped slight after a corner or a hard stop and reseated itself in a bad or wrong position. Does the handling/braking feel comprimised? Definatly do the oil and diff oil change. on that note, I've been too broke to do it myself otherwise I would, so it'll have to come spring along with another tranny flush for me. I'd take your bro's car out and see if you can notice anything about it handling wise, hell just have someone get in the car and press the brakes while its running, maybe look in the wheel wells to see if there's something hidden/broken/misplaced. I know my back rear left/right corner makes squeaking sounds when I'm going downhill, still can't figure out that one.
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Originally Posted by taylormiles View Post
Heh. Well, you should know if its a touring. It would have a very large badonkadonk.
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2008, 02:30 PM
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I change my oil every 5,000 miles because I don't want to risk anything. I just don't like going 7500 miles on one change so I don't pay attention to those lights. I also use bmw synthetic 5w-30.
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  #10  
Old 12-21-2008, 05:23 PM
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You can start reading this very short post, that has a few links.
I would study those few links
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  #11  
Old 12-21-2008, 05:57 PM
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[QUOTE=BMW318i_E36;3781533]I am mad at him as well, he is my older brother, who doesn't know any better. I am the only one in my family that looks after all our cars upkeep. The place we are going to send it to works only works on European cars, and replaced the engine in one of our Volvo's. The "boing" noise, i can not explain the noise any better. 540iman I'm only here to collect advise, I do go on the search from, and try find out what problems i might be having, just here to collect as much information as i can get from forum members. I don't think its a crime to come on the forum for some educated advise from fellow members. It is the Christmas season, wish you and your family the very best in the coming days.
QUOTE]

Maybe I was not clear. Of course there is no harm in asking, but at this point the only advice anyone can give is a shot in the dark as the symptoms are vague and the length of time since service so long, that you or your brother is going to have to become an educated owner OR open your wallet and hope for the best! We can all give you the boilerplate stuff, but if you or your brother do some catch-up reading you will be ahead as you can then decide for yourself what might apply. You seem to have a good handle on the basics and that is all we can tell you. Beyond that is a wild guess. That's all I was trying to tell you. No such thing as a dumb question here it is just an awkward place to put other members in your particular case. So, he is your older brother huh....can you take him? Merry Christmas. With a budget of 3 grand you should be fine
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  #12  
Old 12-23-2008, 08:10 PM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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The shop called me today, seems like the car needs new pads and rotors all around. Also, it needs a abs control module, going to give me prices tomorrow. Hope it isn't much.
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  #13  
Old 12-24-2008, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW318i_E36 View Post
The shop called me today, seems like the car needs new pads and rotors all around. Also, it needs a abs control module, going to give me prices tomorrow. Hope it isn't much.
The ABS will cost you an arm and a leg.
Could be the same for your brakes. You are better off:
1.) If you are mechanically inclined, do the brakes yourself. It is not hard
2.) Save some dough (actually lots of it), take off the ABS module and send it to Modulemaster in the US to repair it. A buddy of mine at my suggestion did it on his X5, here in Calgary. The total cost including shipping was around 300 bux. Took about 1 1/2 week.

Good luck
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  #14  
Old 12-24-2008, 08:06 AM
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i have to say MM all the way for ABS work...
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  #15  
Old 07-21-2009, 07:57 AM
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Data point for the oil change interval question, I got a sample of my oil analyzed to see how the engine was doing and how the oil was wearing.

My car had 102,000 miles on it when I bought it, and I don't have a maintenance history, so I have no idea how often the oil was changed prior to me buying it.

I changed the oil when I bought it and reset the service lights.
After two blocks had disappeared, I changed the oil again. This was at 115,120 miles. There was 12,580 miles on the oil in the crankcase.

Here's the oil analysis report, numbers are in parts per million except where indicated:

MI/HR on Oil 12,580
Sample Date 07/12/09
Make Up Oil Added 1 qt
ALUMINUM 14
CHROMIUM 1
IRON 32
COPPER 8
LEAD 4
TIN 2
MOLYBDENUM 94
NICKEL 0
MANGANESE 2
SILVER 0
TITANIUM 0
POTASSIUM 4
BORON 88
SILICON 13
SODIUM 12
CALCIUM 2500
MAGNESIUM 153
PHOSPHORUS 805
ZINC 1055
BARIUM 0
SUS Viscosity @ 210°F 68.2
cSt Viscosity @ 100°C 12.47
Flashpoint in °F 410
Fuel % <0.5
Antifreeze % 0.0
Water % 0.0
Insolubles % 0.2
TBN 1.4

These numbers track well for average wear. The TBN of 1.4 means the additive package in the oil was still in good shape (get below 1.0 and it should be changed), and the viscosity and high flashpoint mean the base oil was also in decent shape and still lubricating the engine adequately. They've recommended a 13,000 mile interval going forward and a better air filter to cut down the aluminum and silicon.

Looking at this, BMW's 15,000 mile change interval doesn't seem so far fetched, though it would be wise to ignore the service lights and go by the odometer.

I'm using Mobil 1 0w40 European Car Formula from AutoZone.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:03 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Originally Posted by ascott View Post
......Looking at this, BMW's 15,000 mile change interval doesn't seem so far fetched, though it would be wise to ignore the service lights and go by the odometer. I'm using Mobil 1 0w40 European Car Formula from AutoZone.
1. It is not synthetic or dino oil that makes a difference. You probably drive alot of highway so less wear and tear and less metal in the oil report.

2. If people drive short trips 2-3 miles from home, stop-and-go and listen to the dealer for oil change every 10K-13K, then they ask for engine sludge and engine death. Example from Googling "BMW sludge":



PS: For most of us doing a mixture of city and highway trips, I'd stick with 5-6K interval or once a year at the minimum!
I am a green (tree hugger) person and do not like the idea of polluting the environment but when it comes to oil change, and this is what I do ---> oil change at 5-6K intervals.
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  #17  
Old 07-21-2009, 08:10 AM
ascott ascott is offline
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
2. If people drive short trips 2-3 miles from home, stop-and-go and listen to the dealer for oil change every 10K-13K, then they ask for engine sludge and engine death. Example from Googlling "BMW sludge":
If your commute is a mere 2-3 miles, I don't see why you'd even drive your car to work. Ride a bike and save a massive amount of money.

My drive is 13 miles to work, about 8 miles of it is on the freeway, plus whatever errands I run. It's pretty good mix of highway and city driving. I think I'm fairly typical with regards to my driving habits.

The bigger point is not to listen to the dealer or the lights on the dash. Get a sample tested. It's $30 plus postage and they'll be able to tell you how often you should be changing your oil. It's $30 well spent when it costs at least $80 for an oil change on one of these and you have hard information saying you can safely increase your interval from 7,500 to 13,000 miles, or you run the engine ragged and should be changed it at 2500 miles.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:22 AM
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If I remember correctly... (did I say "IF"?)

The 5 green "blocks" that tells you its time to service your car do not directly correlate to the mileage alone. It tries to guess on your engine work load. So if you WOT your car and drive it like a bat out of hell you will finish those 5 green lights very quickly. It tries to guess how hard you drive your engine by checking your fuel consumption and vacuum based on that it will turn the lights off. So assuming that 2 lights = around 13,000 miles means that you are driving your car kind of lightly, so your oil stays in good shape for longer than average. My 5 lights will usually go after 10-12k miles, and I change oil every 2 lights or 7500 miles - whatever comes first. I just figured that I will change my oil twice as frequently as BMW advise.

So... better go by the green lights if you want to change oil more frequently, than going by mileage alone.

Sludge: I wonder if the oil analysis detects sludge in the engine?

mw
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:58 AM
ascott ascott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
If I remember correctly... (did I say "IF"?)

The 5 green "blocks" that tells you its time to service your car do not directly correlate to the mileage alone. It tries to guess on your engine work load. So if you WOT your car and drive it like a bat out of hell you will finish those 5 green lights very quickly. It tries to guess how hard you drive your engine by checking your fuel consumption and vacuum based on that it will turn the lights off. So assuming that 2 lights = around 13,000 miles means that you are driving your car kind of lightly, so your oil stays in good shape for longer than average. My 5 lights will usually go after 10-12k miles, and I change oil every 2 lights or 7500 miles - whatever comes first. I just figured that I will change my oil twice as frequently as BMW advise.

So... better go by the green lights if you want to change oil more frequently, than going by mileage alone.

Sludge: I wonder if the oil analysis detects sludge in the engine?

mw
The service lights go by how much fuel has been burned, nothing else. I only lost two blocks in 12,500 miles, so you guys must just be hammering on these cars. I averaged 20mpg over that 12,500 miles. Even on tanks that were burned almost entirely in city driving, I never got below 17.

Sludge is particulates and overcooked oil that settles in pan and sticks to things. Oil analysis will detect oil that's so worn it would contribute to sludge build up. It'll also pick up particulates like silicon that could be getting past a crappy or missing air filter (or getting in through a bad vacuum leak).

The picture posted above is an extreme case of neglect.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:04 PM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post

That's what happens when you use canola oil. Everyone knows your supposed to use Extra virgin olive oil...




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Old 07-21-2009, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ascott View Post
Sludge is particulates and overcooked oil that settles in pan and sticks to things. Oil analysis will detect oil that's so worn it would contribute to sludge build up. It'll also pick up particulates like silicon that could be getting past a crappy or missing air filter (or getting in through a bad vacuum leak).
I think you misunderstood the question.

Will the lab detect an already existing sludge in the engine after we send them a 5,000 miles oil. Not a 30,000 miles old dino oil that has directly caused the sludge.

mw
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TheStig View Post
That's what happens when you use canola oil. Everyone knows your supposed to use Extra virgin olive oil...
These days its called E.V.O.O. And Rachael Ray can change the oil in LESS than 30 minutes!

Besides. EVOO has a low smoking point. It is best to use sesame oil for its very high burn or smoking point.

... and I thought you knew everything...


mw
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:33 PM
ascott ascott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
I think you misunderstood the question.

Will the lab detect an already existing sludge in the engine after we send them a 5,000 miles oil. Not a 30,000 miles old dino oil that has directly caused the sludge.

mw
A sludged engine will show a high incidence of particulates, as fresh oil will dissolve the sludge, so yes, you'll see it.
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  #24  
Old 07-21-2009, 01:06 PM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
These days its called E.V.O.O. And Rachael Ray can change the oil in LESS than 30 minutes!

Besides. EVOO has a low smoking point. It is best to use sesame oil for its very high burn or smoking point.

... and I thought you knew everything...


mw
Naaaa, my car runs smoother on E.V.O.O. My car likes the extra virgins.


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  #25  
Old 07-21-2009, 01:12 PM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ascott View Post
A sludged engine will show a high incidence of particulates, as fresh oil will dissolve the sludge, so yes, you'll see it.

Read this thread...He got some UOA's on his sludged engine and the report was perfect. Nothing out of the ordinary...

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94785
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