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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 10-07-2012, 08:51 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Exclamation Must read for 540 owners! Possible catastrophic Power Steering failure

This had just been brought to my attention and never seen it mention here on the fest. Very important.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1501053
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2012, 01:32 AM
JasonSC540ia JasonSC540ia is offline
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Thanks for the tip. Guess Ill be checking my PS bolts tomorrow.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2012, 09:11 AM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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Thanks for the info,Very good stuff here that could save you thousands!!!
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2012, 09:55 AM
Ed Cheung Ed Cheung is offline
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So how do we check on the PS pump?
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2012, 10:51 AM
jmanyoyoyo jmanyoyoyo is offline
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People so need to read this. It happend to me aswell and the total cost for me was $700.

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  #6  
Old 10-08-2012, 01:37 PM
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Dking078 Dking078 is offline
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Are we talking hose bolts or ps pump attachment bolt to engine. What would be some symptoms?
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  #7  
Old 10-08-2012, 04:30 PM
jmanyoyoyo jmanyoyoyo is offline
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Location: Monterey, Ca
 
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For me it was the ps welds, they snapped and cracked the ps pump in 2 places. I knew it was the ps at frist by the "nails on a chalk board" sound when turning then the next day I heard a loud snap at the welds busted and some belt snapped simutaniously.

With 124,000 miles I decided to do the highly discussed cooling system overhaul aswell.
In all I replaced
1) ps pump and hoses
2) fan clutch
3) a belt (don't rember wich)
4) radiator with hoses

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  #8  
Old 10-08-2012, 07:02 PM
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dms540i dms540i is offline
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I pulled up this DIY from a few years back - it will show you what to look for. Probably belongs in the stickies (and maybe it is already). I wish I lived next door to a rocket engine welder.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=323318
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:12 AM
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DinanBimmer DinanBimmer is offline
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I'll be checking my PS pump this weekend, thanks for the heads up 540indiana!
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:45 AM
senser senser is offline
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Dang! Seeing threads about this stresses me out! I'll check it first thing in the morning.
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2012, 01:25 AM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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So I read through the linked threads. I don't fully understand the problem. Is it the bolts backing out and causing the brackets to break? Or are the brackets weak and just breaking off?
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  #12  
Old 10-11-2012, 11:50 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King540i View Post
So I read through the linked threads. I don't fully understand the problem. Is it the bolts backing out and causing the brackets to break? Or are the brackets weak and just breaking off?
From what I understand, the bolts are backing out and the stress from turning the car could cause the brackets to break.

I just know that I waas happy to have found this thread. I checked mine and all the bolts have not moved. I would prefer to get it on a lift so I can get a better view of the pump.
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  #13  
Old 10-11-2012, 02:45 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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Thanks indiana. That was my first guess also. Will check them this weekend.
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  #14  
Old 11-01-2012, 10:59 AM
lawyer540 lawyer540 is offline
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Quote:
From what I understand, the bolts are backing out and the stress from turning the car could cause the brackets to break.
Yes. And it happened to me yesterday. I had owned my '02 540 for 4 years now (daily driver) and had no idea this was an issue until I just did a search and found this thread. I stopped for gas and went I started my car back up and drove off I noticed the steering was extremly hard to turn and the battery light was on. I was just a mile from the dealer anyway so I said oh well and was going to drive there. Then I noticed the temp gauge was going to far to the right, so I pulled over and shut her down. Then I noticed the belt hanging below the engine under the car (I don't have the splash guard on - but I need to put it back). Right then my heart sank as I began to think oh crap, what have I done! My mind flooded with those horror stories of catastrophic failures under the hood! How the belt managed to not wrap up on anything....well I guess for once I was very lucky!

I had AAA tow it down to the dealer. Dealer called a few hours later and said the PS bolt had backed out, which caused the bracket to break. The fix is replace the PS pump and bolt.

So yes, if you have a 540 and are reading this - check that bolt!

Last edited by lawyer540; 11-01-2012 at 11:04 AM.
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2012, 11:06 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyer540 View Post
Yes. And it happened to me yesterday. I had owned my '02 540 for 4 years now (daily driver) and had no idea this was an issue until I just did a search and found this thread. I stopped for gas and went I started my car back up and drove off I noticed the steering was extremly hard to turn and the battery light was on. I was just a mile from the dealer anyway so I said oh well and was going to drive there. Then I noticed the temp gauge was going to far to the right, so I pulled over and shut her down. Then I noticed the belt hanging below the engine under the car (I don't have the splash guard on - but I need to put it back). Right then my heart sank as I began to think oh crap, what have I done! My mind flooded with those horror stories of catastrophic failures under the hood! How the belt managed to not wrap up on anything....well I guess for once I was very lucky!

I had AAA tow it down to the dealer. Dealer called a few hours later and said the PS bolt had backed out, which caused the bracket to break. The fix is replace the PS pump and bolt.

So yes, if you have a 540 and are reading this - check that bolt!
Wow sorry to hear that man. This isssue haunts me more than the other ticking bomb on our car,
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  #16  
Old 11-01-2012, 01:08 PM
Reefin' Dude Reefin' Dude is offline
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after doing my oil change i removed the splash guard and checked my bolts. the lower one was loose, the upper one was fine. the lower was not super loos, but i could easily give it close to a half turn before becoming solid. i will check these bolts every oil change from now on.

G~
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  #17  
Old 11-01-2012, 01:34 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Along with the bolts backing out (haven't had that problem) if your water cooled alternator starts to seize up the tension on the PS pump from the belt can also rip the PS pump mounting tabs off the pump.

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  #18  
Old 11-02-2012, 12:49 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
Along with the bolts backing out (haven't had that problem) if your water cooled alternator starts to seize up the tension on the PS pump from the belt can also rip the PS pump mounting tabs off the pump.

Thanks Jim! That makes a lot more sense.
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