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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, 07:10 AM
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King 5 King 5 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 528i
First major break down: Overheating

Hey fella's, I had my first major break down last night coming back from dropping a friend off at the train station. I was on the highway and I happened to look down and see that my temp guage was in the red at about the 1:30 position. The red section of the light was on but the needle wasnt quite pegged. I felt helpless because I was in a construction zone and could not pull over immediately. As soon as I saw that it was overheating I did what I could and drive very gingerly and within about 10-15 seconds of me noticing the light being on the guage dropped right back down to normal and at that time I was then able to pull over. No smoke from under the hood and all the radiator hoses were still in place and flexible. The coolant was okay. So I decided to start her up again and see what happens. I started driving and within maybe a 1/4 mile the temp guage started to rise again so I pulled over as soon as I saw that. This time I only let it get to maybe at most the 1230 position before I pulled over. Had it towed back to school and will most likely have it fixed at a german car repair shop called Autobahn in Albany, NY. Does anyone have an past records with them by any chance? But mainly, any ideas as to what could have caused this overheating?

Thanks guys I really appreciate it!!
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1997 BMW 528ia 2/97

2004 BMW 330ci 4/03

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  #2  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:32 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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You have 573 posts and have not heard about cooling overhaul?

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/199986
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  #3  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:33 AM
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ztom ztom is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Needs more coolant & be sure to bleed it. I think best is to just come to 12 on morning warm up, then open & fill. Coolant then won't boil over during fill. I fill to near the top of tank in such case. Squeeze the return hose, should feel coolant filled up in there. If problem persists on highway, likely coolant leak.
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  #4  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:37 AM
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
You have 573 posts and have not heard about cooling overhaul?

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/199986
Yes, I have heard of the cooling overhaul but I was just asking if it was possible to narrow it down to a single faulty part such as the thermostat ($24) rather than doing a whole cooling system overhaul if necessary ($500)
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  #5  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:41 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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In your case, likely bad thermostat (stuck closed) or broken water impeller.
The problem with cooling system is: once a part breaks, the other parts follow like clockwork.
So replacing things bits and pieces is a bad idea.
Once the engine overheats, you are now talking about $3000/$4000 repair bill.

So spending $500 now for cooling overhaul is a wise investment.

You other option is to wait until other parts fail, then it is $500 for cooling parts + $3000/$4000.

The math is very simple $500 vs $4500.
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  #6  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:44 AM
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Oh I gotcha now. I didn't think of each part failing right behind the other. I was looking around and Ive done a lot of business with turner motorsport and they have a complete overhaul kit.
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  #7  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:53 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Mfg of the parts matter! For The best bang for the buck:

- WP: Hepu $65
- Hoses: BMW
- Rad: Nissens
- Fan Clutch: Sachs
- Fan Blade: BMW
- Reservoir: BMW only, and even so it will crack after 5 years, trust me on this.
- Tstat: Wahler only
- Tstat housing: BMW Plastic.
Re Aluminum, search for the pros and cons.

- Belts x2: Contitech
- Rollers x3: INA or BMW
- Tensioners: INA, SKF or BMW
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:55 AM
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http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-14...-e39-528i.aspx this wouldn't be sufficient?
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  #9  
Old 10-12-2012, 08:17 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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That kit looks good but you could probably piece it together for cheaper. You will also need an expansion tank and ask them if the one they offer is genuine BMW. You could also save money on a Graf WP with the metal impller.


Sorry for the offtopic but I noticed this wrench is going for $55 and I just had to laugh. Guess it was made by Sasquatch himself coated in God's saliva.

Last edited by BentValve; 10-12-2012 at 08:21 AM.
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  #10  
Old 10-12-2012, 08:17 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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No.

Shop for the items I mentioned above separately.

Some useful links:

http://www.bmwmercedesparts.com/part...?siteid=215771

autohausaz.com

eeuroparts.com
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  #11  
Old 10-12-2012, 08:22 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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don't forget furiousmethod.com to compare prices.
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  #12  
Old 10-12-2012, 09:35 AM
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Dr._Zoidberg Dr._Zoidberg is offline
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That looks like a Stahlwille wrench which are expensive but the best you can buy. For any of us Harbor Freight would be a better value though, even though working on BMWs is more fun and easier with quality German tools like Stahlwille or Hazet.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:03 AM
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More than you ever wanted to know about tools for a cooling system overhaul (1)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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