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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 09-05-2009, 08:20 AM
jameswoltz jameswoltz is offline
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E39 Car alarm going off randomly?

Does anyone have any ideas to what is causing the problem and maybe a solution to fix it.?
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2009, 08:23 AM
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Its your interior sensor, buy a new one and your done.
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2009, 08:34 AM
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cagoguy cagoguy is offline
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Before making any assumptions and shelling out $$ on an interior sensor, try disabling the under-hood sensor. It's a hugely common problem on E39s.

Lots of discussion on it here:

Hood Sensor / Alarm issue

Try pulling the plug. See if the alarm still goes off randomly. This doesn't affect your main door/interior alarm sensors in any way.
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  #4  
Old 09-05-2009, 09:15 AM
osikani osikani is offline
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Check the hood sensor. I had the same problem before, as soon as i replaced the hood sensor it stopped.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...errerid=119266
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  #5  
Old 09-05-2009, 09:54 AM
JasonSC540ia JasonSC540ia is offline
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I had the same problem on my 97 540i. I disconnected the hood sensor by the driver side cabin filter and it stop doing it.
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  #6  
Old 09-05-2009, 10:04 AM
JasonSC540ia JasonSC540ia is offline
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1BAD540

You know you signature picture...the way your car is positioned with the driveway in the background...makes it look like you have a huge ricer spoiler on your car.
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2009, 01:42 PM
roadwarrior687 roadwarrior687 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagoguy View Post
Before making any assumptions and shelling out $$ on an interior sensor, try disabling the under-hood sensor. It's a hugely common problem on E39s.

Lots of discussion on it here:

Hood Sensor / Alarm issue

Try pulling the plug. See if the alarm still goes off randomly. This doesn't affect your main door/interior alarm sensors in any way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by osikani View Post
Check the hood sensor. I had the same problem before, as soon as i replaced the hood sensor it stopped.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...errerid=119266
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonSC540ia View Post
I had the same problem on my 97 540i. I disconnected the hood sensor by the driver side cabin filter and it stop doing it.
100% It's the hood sensor. Same problem, just disconnected it.
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  #8  
Old 09-05-2009, 02:35 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2009, 03:09 PM
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Dking078 Dking078 is offline
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same prob here but on a E38.. Q, do you have a pic of the e38's hood sensor? from what i gathered, i disconnected a wire going from the top right bay into the hood. (driver side)
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2009, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dking078 View Post
same prob here but on a E38.. Q, do you have a pic of the e38's hood sensor? from what i gathered, i disconnected a wire going from the top right bay into the hood. (driver side)
The e38 hood alarm switch is up by the expansion tank for the radiator...if that's not what you unplugged...I'd plug it back in.

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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2009, 07:45 PM
ascott ascott is offline
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Hood sensor, as mentioned. If that doesn't do it, check your battery.
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  #12  
Old 09-05-2009, 09:08 PM
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Dking078 Dking078 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
The e38 hood alarm switch is up by the expansion tank for the radiator...if that's not what you unplugged...I'd plug it back in.

thanks i should get right on it!
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  #13  
Old 09-05-2009, 10:32 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Check your battery voltage too; the alarm is designed to go off if it detects that there's a variance in the battery current in order to prevent battery tampering.
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  #14  
Old 09-25-2009, 01:37 PM
MadBMW MadBMW is offline
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Hey all - Having the same problem... Replaced the battery...

I don't have the switch like Dking078 on my 97 528i - but I did unplug the one I have like QSilver7 and the alarm still went off randomly shortly after. Is there another hood sensor i should look for? or is that difference in years?

Otherwise can I disconnect the interior and be done with it?
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Last edited by MadBMW; 09-25-2009 at 01:43 PM.
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  #15  
Old 09-26-2009, 08:05 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadBMW View Post
Hey all - Having the same problem... Replaced the battery...

I don't have the switch like Dking078 on my 97 528i - but I did unplug the one I have like QSilver7 and the alarm still went off randomly shortly after. Is there another hood sensor i should look for? or is that difference in years?

Otherwise can I disconnect the interior and be done with it?
What battery did you replace? The car's battery (in the trunk) or the key's battery?
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 09-26-2009 at 08:11 AM.
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  #16  
Old 09-26-2009, 08:16 AM
03bmw525i 03bmw525i is offline
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+1 battery replacement. ( car battery) My alarm would randomly sound. The battery was wearing down due to an alternator that needed replacement. I replaced alternator and battery and no more false alarms.
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  #17  
Old 09-26-2009, 10:41 AM
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bmvguyE39 bmvguyE39 is offline
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+1 Hood sensor, had it replaced on current and previous E39 models with same problem. Have never replaced battery but should have it checked...couldnt hurt
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  #18  
Old 09-26-2009, 11:22 AM
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abanjableu abanjableu is offline
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My alarm was driving me crazy one night a few weeks back. Apparently a cicada entered into the car through the cracked sunroof and the interior poxy sensor set off the alarm every hour or so from the damn bug flying around. All is well now though I know if you double press lock it disables the proxy sensor...not sure if it does anything else
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  #19  
Old 09-26-2009, 11:25 AM
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Do you mean the microphone?
Is there an easily accessible connector to disable this? My dogs will trip it when left in the car the moment they bark.
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  #20  
Old 09-29-2009, 04:32 PM
MadBMW MadBMW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
What battery did you replace? The car's battery (in the trunk) or the key's battery?
Replaced the car battery... The remote is usually out of range so I doubt that would be the cause.

Seems like it goes off regularly after the car is parked for 30-60 minutes. Sometimes a few times mid day. Heat?

I disabled the hood sensor and still had the same issues.
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  #21  
Old 09-29-2009, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ross1 View Post
Do you mean the microphone?
Is there an easily accessible connector to disable this? My dogs will trip it when left in the car the moment they bark.
No, not the microphone... There is a motion sensor in the car. I bet Q has a picture of it lol... But to disable it just press the lock button on your key twice. (Press.... 1 second pause.... Press again)
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  #22  
Old 10-13-2009, 12:21 PM
MadBMW MadBMW is offline
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AHHHH It still goes off every few hours during the day, sometimes back to back...

Where is this motion sensor? I want to make sure its bug free

Cant we unplug it?
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  #23  
Old 10-13-2009, 02:40 PM
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The motion sensor is located in the traditional interior light position in between the driver and passenger on the ceiling behind the sunroof.
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  #24  
Old 10-13-2009, 02:48 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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I tried to post this info about 1/1/2 hours ago but the forum wouldn't take it....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ross1 View Post
Do you mean the microphone?
Is there an easily accessible connector to disable this? My dogs will trip it when left in the car the moment they bark.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyMNK View Post
No, not the microphone... There is a motion sensor in the car. I bet Q has a picture of it lol... But to disable it just press the lock button on your key twice. (Press.... 1 second pause.... Press again)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadBMW View Post
AHHHH It still goes off every few hours during the day, sometimes back to back...

Where is this motion sensor? I want to make sure its bug free

Cant we unplug it?
The IMS (interior motion sensor) is located under the the small thingy in the center of the roof liner. And as you can see in the image below from the owners manual...it states NOT to leave pets or small children (adults, too) in the car when you've locked it with the key!


Images below are from farnarkler's DIY write-up on www.e38.org on how to upgrade from the old RF (radio frequency) IMS...to the newer (ultrasonic) IMS.

This is the older IMS (it's an RF sensor):

...and this is the newer style IMS (it's an ultrasonic sensor)...and has the grid/slats in the cover:

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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #25  
Old 10-13-2009, 03:33 PM
anton-sa anton-sa is offline
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i once had a problem like this...hehe.. it turned out i left my cellphone in the car... and people were rining me... i would goto the car.. disable and re-arm the alarm...
true as bob later on it would randomly go off again... only LAAATER when i was looking for my phone did i click what had happened.,
like 8 missed calls on my cell. around the same amount of times the bloody alarm went off...lol
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