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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 04-09-2011, 07:20 PM
SpritzUSMC SpritzUSMC is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540i ///M Sport
Rack and Pinion replacement?

I took my '98 528i to a new mechanic to do a thorough once over. He hooked it up to the diagnostic port, all checked out well. Put it up on his rack and took me out to show me what needed to be replaced. New pads, rotors and brake sensors and a new water pump. But he told me my steering rack needed to be replaced. Even showed me where it was leaking from the joints while up on the lift. I'm not saying I don't trust him because I was referred by a close, mutual friend of his, but having the rack replaced!? And I know the car is 13 years old but I only have 66k miles on it. I just want to see if this is common, or if I should maybe get a second opinion. Any and all help/ advice is greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2011, 07:32 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpritzUSMC
New pads, rotors and brake sensors
I'm confused about the 'brake sensors' unless you have a red BRAKE light lit on your dash.

Nonetheless, this thread will help you choose the most often recommended pads & rotors:
- What brake pads & rotors are most often recommended for street use on the E39

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpritzUSMC
and a new water pump
This thread will help you choose the most often recommended brand & type of water pump:
- What brand of waterpump to buy (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpritzUSMC
steering rack needed to be replaced
This thread 'might' help you debug the steering rack yourself:
- How to debug power steering problems like hard steering due to the steering rack and/or pump (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpritzUSMC
or if I should maybe get a second opinion
Second opinions are always good.

Do your homework first on prices for the job, for the part, and good shops in your area:
- BMWfans phantom diagrams (1) & realoem nominal prices by part number (1) & EACTuning prices by part number (1) labor rates by zip code (1) (2) (3) where to find a good mechanic (1) (2) joining BMWCCA (1) (2) & finding a reputable BMW indy in your area (1) (2) & the most often recommended parts suppliers (1)


Note to the OP:
All these links came from a simple /keyword(F3) in the first thread in this forum, the best of E39 links.
Your duty is to read the referenced links, and, if they do NOT answer your question, ask here or in those links; this isn't as much for you (since you're only one person) as it is for the hundreds of others who follow you with the same questions.

Last edited by bluebee; 04-09-2011 at 07:35 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2011, 07:57 PM
SpritzUSMC SpritzUSMC is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540i ///M Sport
Brake wear sensor. the total price for job is $2300.
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  #4  
Old 04-09-2011, 07:59 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6, '90 BMW k75s
If your steering effort isn't heavy, you could probably continue to drive for quite a while, as long as you make sure your power steering fluid is topped up. You might just keep tabs on how bad the leak is. If it's leaking from the seals on the rack, it will eventually need to be rebuilt or replaced, but it's not urgent until you find yourself having to add a lot of fluid to keep the reservoir full. If the steering effort increases, you need to bite the bullet and replace the rack.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:30 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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the problem of steering rack replacement is usually floating issue on the road
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:37 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
the problem of steering rack replacement is usually floating issue on the road
Probably better to just say any change in steering behavior means repair/replacement is in order.
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  #7  
Old 04-10-2011, 06:12 AM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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It is a very common problem for the rack to leak fluid. The seals where the inner tie rods screw on to shrink or tear and let fluid seep through. The rack itself does not go bad, just the seals go bad. Keep your eyes open for a rebuilt rack with the updated seals. When you change it, go ahead and replace the inner and outer tie rods, it will improve your ride quality greatly.


$2300 is way too much, even $1500 is pushing it.
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Last edited by Jimmys 530i; 04-10-2011 at 06:14 AM.
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  #8  
Old 04-10-2011, 07:06 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpritzUSMC View Post
Brake wear sensor
I know. I was trying to be brief.

What I meant was he doesn't need new brake wear sensors unless they tripped ... and ... if they did trip ... he'd know that because he'd have a red BRAKE light lit on his cluster.

Anyway, we've pointed the OP to the solutions. It's his turn.
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  #9  
Old 04-10-2011, 09:46 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Get a 2nd opinion, or inspect the thing yourself.
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2012, 11:19 AM
cbell2112 cbell2112 is offline
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I have posted on another thread about my steering rack problem. I finally had it replaced, leak is gone but now I am getting an audible thump when I am moving at low speeds and turning the wheel. It happens every time I back out of the garage and other times when I am turning at low speeds. The car seems to drive fine though I get a little shake in the steering wheel from time to time which it didn't have prior to the rack being installed. The guy is only giving a 1 year warranty on the rack and I see most of the rebuilds have 3 years so I am a little suspicious.


Any ideas?
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  #11  
Old 09-25-2012, 12:19 PM
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DHoang DHoang is offline
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bring it back, why not ask the shop what's up w/ that noise?
and 1 yr labor & parts is about right for shop warranty, despite parts being warrantied longer by the parts supplier.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:10 PM
cbell2112 cbell2112 is offline
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Mostly b/c I am not going back to that shop as I don't think they are always shooting me straight. Additionally, it is difficult to duplicate as it doesn't happen all the time.
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