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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 10-12-2012, 06:23 AM
FiveDriver FiveDriver is offline
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It's Friday -- Let's Talk about Green Bars

No, not those kind of Green Bars.....the Green Bars on the dashboard on start-up.

What, exactly, are they measuring ??

Is it the viscosity of the Oil? Or the amount of Oil in the system ? Or the estimated Life til Oil Change ?

Where is the critical point ? 3 bars left ? 2 bars left ? 4 bars ?

Enquiring minds want to know.
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  #2  
Old 10-12-2012, 06:27 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
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Oil change reminder. I think it's base on your mileage driven. I ignore it since it reminds you to change oil according to BMW schedule (15K mi). I change oil and filter every 7.5K mi with Mobil1 synthetic and Mann filter.
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2000 Dinan S1 //M5 (my DD) 06 DINAN E53 4.8iS (wife's DD), 90 Straman Z32TT (my pride & joy ride)

Gone, but not forgotten: 01 E53 3.0i, 01 525i Sport, 03 DINAN 540i MSport and 91 Z32TwinTurbo

Last edited by tmvE39/E53/Z32; 10-12-2012 at 06:28 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-12-2012, 06:37 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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Mein Auto: 00 528i 3 pedals
Mine is currently at 1 yellow bar and 1 red bar because I've been too lazy to reset it.
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  #4  
Old 10-12-2012, 06:38 AM
mbell666 mbell666 is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 2002 540i6
From what I've read it oil change count down. I believe it actually based of measured fuel flow into the engine. I think the basic idea is the more fuel the more blow past fumes and the more carbon produced, so the sooner you should change the oil. It does seem to target ~15k in most cars.

Personally I change the oil ~7.5K as well.
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  #5  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:01 AM
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Nline6 Nline6 is offline
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So I am a fool for changing mine every 3k huh? Also using synthetics. I always have changed my oil evrey 3-4k on all my cars. Guess I have spent some extra dough on oil changes.
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  #6  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:02 AM
FiveDriver FiveDriver is offline
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Interesting -- Measured Fuel Flow. I guess that could be easy to derive given the MPG calculator on the dash.

I usually change the oil every 7-8K miles. It's more of a seasonal oil change and 8K is about 6 months worth of driving. I go into winter with a fresh oil change and by April-May I'm ready for new oil.
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  #7  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:03 AM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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With a good synthetic you are wasting money changing at 3 or 4k..... I go 7500 with Mobil1 0-40
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:12 AM
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Nline6 Nline6 is offline
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I either use Mobile one or Pentosin 5w-30 full synthetic. I am at about 3k on my current oil and was planning on changing it before winter hits, but I guess I can hold off another month or so.
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  #9  
Old 10-12-2012, 10:05 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbell666 View Post
From what I've read it oil change count down. I believe it actually based of measured fuel flow into the engine. I think the basic idea is the more fuel the more blow past fumes and the more carbon produced, so the sooner you should change the oil. It does seem to target ~15k in most cars.

Personally I change the oil ~7.5K as well.
That is interesting...
Because, my dash lights seem to dissipate to NO bars when I have driven the car for about 7.5k miles...
My dash bars are reset after every oil change as well (FULL green bars after oil change).

Although, I have been told I am VERY hard on the car, and my driving habits warrant more frequent oil changes, not just from experienced/ knowledgeable people, but from seeing my oil analysis reports as well...

Also, I think it is IMPORTANT for a LOT people posting to SHOW an Oil Analysis Report, to back-up how frequent their oil is replaced, and what brand/ weight oil they use...

Thanks!
Jason
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Last edited by Jason5driver; 10-12-2012 at 10:10 AM.
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  #10  
Old 10-12-2012, 11:51 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Some drivers ignore the fact that they're operating the car in a "severe service" environment: short commute (10 miles one-way), in slow or stop-and-go traffic, short errands on the weekend, etc. This requires more frequent oil changes, but, it's your car, and you can do with what you will.

The Service Interval Indicator was a response to European tree-huggers; stretching out the change interval tends to decrease the waste oil problem, as does "lifetime" fluids.
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  #11  
Old 10-12-2012, 11:59 AM
mbell666 mbell666 is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 2002 540i6
Wish I could remember where I had read it, it might have even been in the owners manual....

My general rules of thumb is to change the oil twice as often as recommended. If your doing the oil changes your self its probably cheaper to do the oil twice than pay a garage to do it once. For a lot of cars places like Jiffy lube make me think twice about bothering doing oil changes my self, as the cost difference between the parts and them doing it is pretty low. But for cars like my 540 which take a large amount of synthetic oil I can probably get the oil and filter for 2.5+ changes for the cost of them doing once! I also bother to drain the oil correctly and fully....
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  #12  
Old 10-12-2012, 02:20 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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Originally Posted by bigco540i View Post
with a good synthetic you are wasting money changing at 3 or 4k..... I go 7500 with mobil1 0-40
+1
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  #13  
Old 10-12-2012, 02:46 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Whoa! I wouldn't let Jiffy Lube, et al, change the oil in my pressure washer! Want your drain plug cross-threaded? Want the oil capacity short-changed? Want a cheap Chinese filter? Step right up!
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  #14  
Old 10-12-2012, 02:53 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Whoa! I wouldn't let Jiffy Lube, et al, change the oil in my pressure washer! Want your drain plug cross-threaded? Want the oil capacity short-changed? Want a cheap Chinese filter? Step right up!
+1

That's assuming they actually replace your oil...and filter...and even bother unplugging the drain plug.
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  #15  
Old 10-12-2012, 03:26 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 hamster w/ pin-wheel
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Whoa! I wouldn't let Jiffy Lube, et al, change the oil in my pressure washer! Want your drain plug cross-threaded? Want the oil capacity short-changed? Want a cheap Chinese filter? Step right up!
Edjack,
Are you still using 20w-50 all year round?

Thanks!
Jason
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