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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 01-12-2011, 02:55 PM
JimE39 JimE39 is offline
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Location: Hertfordshire, England
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: E39 530d Sport
Battery Drain Problem, E39

I was recently suffering from an intermittent Battery Draining problem on my 2001 E39, UK car (right hand drive).
The only symptoms were a dead battery in the morning or when returning to my car at the end of a working day. A huge inconvenience, being stranded late at night / early mornings numerous times. I first changed my battery, lasted 2 weeks then dead again. Then began pulling fuses and testing for drain, this was labour intensive at local independent garage and as the fault was intermittent fault not found, were adding up.http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/ima...ies/cursin.gif

Long story short I changed my Final Stage Unit (FSU), even though I did not have any Heating / cooling/ fan problems, as threads on this forum had indicated this part is a major problem on the E39. This has fixed the battery drain problem completely and has ended a long period of unhappy motoring.

I bought the part for 63, not from BMW, and thanks to an excellent post from Elvis 530i http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=143393 I fitted the part in around 30minutes. I have attached my own photo for clarity as mine is a UK car (right hand drive). Whilst my head was in the foot-well changing the FSU I could feel the fan blowing in my ear, the key had been out of the ignition for 3 hours. So it appears the fan must have been running intermittently at low speed whilst the ignition was off and draining the battery overnight.

This website has saved me a lot of time, money and further unhappiness. Thanks to Elvis530i and Bluebee for their posts, if everyone continues to post their problems and solutions then hopefully it can help others at some point, thanks again.http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/ima...lies/thumb.gif
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2011, 04:03 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Location: San Jose, CA
 
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Thanks for the feedback. You symptom is the third one I've read, where you encounter no blower problems, but the battery is drained.

The other two symptoms are erratic blower operation, and no blower operation, usually accompanied with battery drain.
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2011, 05:30 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Location: Champ
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 530 Sport Twins
i dont know
maybe i have the same issue
i just feel my 1 year old Interstate battery is not good as it was before
nothing dead but battery feels weak
maybe its just a winter time but i try to charge it from time to time

I bought this Final Stage Unit (FSU) and I will try to change it
Lets see

Last edited by champaign777; 01-12-2011 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:08 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,106
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
nothing dead but battery feels weak
From the VERY best of E39 Links, look up how to TEST the battery:
- DIY how to test a BMW E39 battery & alternator

I'll add your picture and commentary to the canonical FSU thread:
- FAN CONTROL GOES HAYWIRE: poorly ventilated final stage resistur/final stage unit (FSR/FSU) modules that are practically sure to go haywire due to poor heat-sink design (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) ... Autopsy (1) (2) often causing the battery to drain overnight (1) (2) (3)

Do you have a picture of the label on your OLD FSU?
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:31 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 530 Sport Twins
my OLD FSU is on the car
I will update this thread if i'll find something

Last edited by champaign777; 01-12-2011 at 06:37 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2011, 05:08 AM
JimE39 JimE39 is offline
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Location: Hertfordshire, England
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: E39 530d Sport
Battery Drain Returns, E39

After 3 weeks of no problems, the drain has returned. I will start a new thread on this.

I have removed the number 9 fuse which shuts off the AC / Heater & fan system to start with to see if this I can confirm this is the faulty area.
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:00 AM
Tim_A Tim_A is offline
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Location: Gloucestershire UK
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 530d
I has similar problems, namely a drain but without any of the troublesome blower problems. After replacing noisy and rough sounding alternator, as well as getting new starter motor which failed at the same time, I then replaced the FSU and now all works fine. Main issue is to make sure that the car runs for long enough to recharge the battery....Tim
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