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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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  #51  
Old 04-27-2009, 04:58 PM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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^^Ewww, why did you use Electrasol??
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  #52  
Old 04-27-2009, 09:30 PM
mosearch mosearch is offline
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Originally Posted by TheStig View Post
^^Ewww, why did you use Electrasol??
oh, you prefer Palmolive?
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  #53  
Old 04-27-2009, 09:48 PM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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Originally Posted by mosearch View Post
oh, you prefer Palmolive?

No, I like Dawn. The one that conditions your hands.
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  #54  
Old 04-28-2009, 08:40 AM
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weasel like weasel like is offline
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LOL! This was when we were de-gunking our cooling system when we had to drain it of all glycol-based coolent and run distilled water for race day. Since DEXCOOL is known to degrade into what is called "mung", and accumulated in the heads, we wanted to wash it out as best as we could. Believe it or not, running the engine with this sudsy mix got all the gunk out and worked well. Of course, this car was destined for destruction so we weren't too concerned about engine longevity, but she ran at full tilt for 2 days in the South Carolina sun after that! We destroyed the transmission before the 4.9L V8 went!

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  #55  
Old 04-28-2009, 10:59 AM
JoeFromPA JoeFromPA is offline
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OP - You need to do a comprehensive, and multiple times, flush of the trans system and cooling system if you plan on keeping this car for awhile.

A little bit of leftover ATF (i.e. a few ounces) in the cooling system isn't going to kill your engine, but coolant in the ATF will kill your trans. Just flush both with about 3x the amount of fluid it regularly needs, and I'd definitely recommend using a synthetic ATF for your final fill.

If your trans is working fine now, and your engine hasn't overheated, then you don't have much to worry about as far as existing damage goes.

Coolant just completely removes the ability of oil to lubricate.
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  #56  
Old 04-28-2009, 11:24 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Dishwasher detergent may not be what you want in your engine; it's far more reactive than dish soap. Palmolive would be a far better choice :S
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  #57  
Old 04-28-2009, 11:54 AM
ascott ascott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
Dishwasher detergent may not be what you want in your engine; it's far more reactive than dish soap. Palmolive would be a far better choice :S
Dishwasher detergent doesn't foam up. Regular dish soap does.

You can also flush with simple green. You just don't leave it in there very long and flush it really well with clean water afterwards.
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  #58  
Old 04-28-2009, 02:08 PM
2002Dinan5 2002Dinan5 is offline
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Does anyone know if there can be possibly more than one place where coolant can mix with tranny oil with 540iA transmission? Some one mentioned busted pinion could leak coolant into the tranny but I still don't see how that can be possible in 540iA. I need some advice from someone familiar with 540iA automatic transmission.

Thanks
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  #59  
Old 04-28-2009, 02:58 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Good luck using that tranny---coolent will melt the clutch packs in a heart beat--hope it works for you---but evne a couple of spoonfulls of the stuff in your tranny will ruin it
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  #60  
Old 01-01-2010, 05:09 AM
Kheng Kheng is offline
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hey,

look at my rad pics

what is causing. is the coolant mixing with the atf.

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSC01927.jpg

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSC01925.jpg

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSC01924.jpg

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSC01922.jpg

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSC01920.jpg

but my engine oil is clean..

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSC01921.jpg

Last edited by Kheng; 01-01-2010 at 05:17 AM.
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  #61  
Old 01-01-2010, 07:13 AM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002Dinan5 View Post
Does anyone know if there can be possibly more than one place where coolant can mix with tranny oil with 540iA transmission? Some one mentioned busted pinion could leak coolant into the tranny but I still don't see how that can be possible in 540iA. I need some advice from someone familiar with 540iA automatic transmission.

Thanks
I'd like to know what the heck a "busted pinion" is that could cause coolant and AFT to mix

In general terms for many years in all automatic transmissions I'm aware of which were primarily domestic, there is a heat exchanger in the radiator where the transmission oil is cooled (and heated more quickly when cold). If this leaks, then AFT and coolant will mix.
When the engine warms, the coolant becomes pressurized and will force coolant into the ATF. When the engine cools, a slight vacuum is created and this could suck ATF into the coolant. It is also possible with a cold engine that the slight pressure of the ATF flow force itself into the coolant.
If the transmission cooling lines enter the radiator, then the ATF is cooled by the coolant.

- Replace the radiator
- Flush out the engine coolant using the PROPER engine flush
- Flush out the transmission AFT as others have noted. As others have noted, getting the transmission well flushed is the most important.

[IMG]http://www.**************/Classroom/Images/Cooling-Radiator.gif[/IMG]
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Last edited by gtxragtop; 01-01-2010 at 08:17 AM.
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  #62  
Old 01-03-2010, 06:48 AM
john_p john_p is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kheng View Post
hey,

look at my rad pics

what is causing. is the coolant mixing with the atf.

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSC01927.jpg
Hey Kheng,

I am having exactly the same problem with my 2000 328, steptronic - oil is fine but mustard-coloured contamination of the coolant.

I will be taking the car to a garage for checks but I wonder if we are having the same problem as 2002Dinan5 had .. leak within the ATF heat exchanger. I will post if I get any more info.
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  #63  
Old 03-30-2011, 09:39 AM
Kheng Kheng is offline
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john P

replaced Gasket but still had issues. the i used thermagasket and its been over a year no issues.
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  #64  
Old 03-30-2011, 10:59 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I realize this is a resurrected thread so I will just point interested individuals to the common set of tests one can perform when they have oil in their (chocolate) coolant:

- Combined summary advice for major decisions when a cooling system overheating caused suspected blown head gaskets, cracked heads, a warped block, cam seizures, contaminated bearings, coolant hydrolock, or piston, ring, and valve damage (1) (2) (3) & advice previously given to people faced with similar blown engine problems (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23)

Last edited by bluebee; 03-30-2011 at 11:03 AM.
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  #65  
Old 03-30-2011, 12:18 PM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ascott View Post
Probably because it really isn't relevant. Due to wear and manufacturing variances and even the temperature of the engine when you do the test, it's going to vary. The important thing to check is if the cylinders are all within 10-15% of each other.
Good point-
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  #66  
Old 03-30-2011, 12:36 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Wonder how this all played out?
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  #67  
Old 03-30-2011, 03:56 PM
sferley sferley is offline
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wonder if i should add this to my list of items to replace while engine is out of car.. as per other post...
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  #68  
Old 03-30-2011, 05:18 PM
MSPORT540I MSPORT540I is offline
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Hey now,I had the same problem with that crap in my expansion tank,but it ended up being tranny fluid due to the crappy stock trans cooler going bad.. Not sure about yours but I would definately check it out..
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  #69  
Old 11-13-2011, 04:27 PM
windsmith windsmith is offline
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I had this issue, but not quite to the extent of the 'chocolate milk' coolant. I just purchased the car ('99 540iT, 107,000 miles) with a known 'no reverse' issue, so I've really looked closely at what needs to be done. While doing so, I noticed the o-rings in the cooling hoses and expansion tank cap were swelling, and there was a thin sheen of oil floating on the coolant. I flushed it clear, and then ran it up to temp with clear water. What came out was milky / red tinged and had the odor of transmission fluid. So, I've ordered a new transmission cooler to go along with the valve cover gaskets and complete cooling system overhaul (with the exception of a new radiator, as it appears to have been replaced recently). Fortunately, there was no water in the transmission.

The point here is that the ATF caused the o-rings in the cooling system hoses to soften and swell. The implications aren't good for those of us that have seen this problem and not replaced the hoses and coolant sealing o-rings.
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