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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 11-25-2012, 06:08 AM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 525i sport, premium
Cool new owner, 2002 525i SE

new to the BMW world, picked up my 525i yesterday with 121,000 miles for $3600. has a plethora of issues but luckily for me, everyone on here has posted answers to most the issues i have. don't have pictures yet. should today, although i have a seat twist to repair and oil to change. radiator is also out it appears, going to do hoses. along with a valve cover gasket. has check engine light, find out what that is today, and the dash cluster has a bunch of lights out. haven't found answers to that last one but that is because i haven't searched and 2 i don't think their is a fix beside replacing it, but i guess ill find out.

i traded in an rsx type s with full exhaust to this, by god its nice to have a car that is comfortable (minus seat twist). can't wait to get more in tune and contribute here.
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2012, 06:11 AM
crj10536 crj10536 is offline
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i just bought a 540 and it has seat twist too.....Are you referring to the fact that the seat back does not go up or down evenly?

What kind of nightmare is this going to be to fix?
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2012, 06:14 AM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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relax relax! how mechanically inclined are you? now i haven't done it, but it seems to be a simple fix, (and an incredibly common issue). you can find it here, youtube has diy's. everyone commenting seems to not have a problem. don't have a link for you but its easy to find using keyword seat twist.
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  #4  
Old 11-25-2012, 06:19 AM
Psalm11_6 Psalm11_6 is offline
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Are you talking about pixel lines in the display going out, ir lights behind things like the CEL or brights?

Please forgive any grammatical errors, sent from mobile
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  #5  
Old 11-25-2012, 06:20 AM
crj10536 crj10536 is offline
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good moring. fortunately i am inclined. i am just new to bmw's.....just bought my first one this week......a 2003 540......i will look it up on you tube......thanks again
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2012, 06:20 AM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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individual pixel lights. i assume the other lights would be like any other car just a backlighting bulb.
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2012, 07:15 AM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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you should be alright. probably have to buy some tools, torx sockets. i know i have to to get the seat out.
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  #8  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:44 AM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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so, this thread just got a little deeper... 9 obd2 codes on SES light.

p0492-secondary air injection system insufficient flow bank 2
p0174-system too lean bank 2
p0430 catalyst efficiency bank 2
p0192-pre catalyst fuel trim too lean bank 2
p0491-secondary air injection system insufficient flow bank 1
p1093-pre-catalyst fuel trim too rich bank 2

there were three other codes as well, autozone didn't give them too me i guess, i reset the light, we well see if it comes back on, no signs of detonation. i think the MAF sensor is first.
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:57 AM
mbell666 mbell666 is offline
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Check for vacuum leaks, most common cause of lean/rich issues.
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:05 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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The "lean" codes suggest a vacuum leak. Finding the leak can be tricky. Do a search on this forum for other peoples experiences and corrective action.

The secondary air code suggests a failure of the SAP system. The catalysts codes may also be related to SAP malfunction as you have two contradicting codes. The SAP helps to burn hydrocarbons on a cold start. Do a search on this topic. Open your hood and if your air pump does not come on for 60-90 seconds on a cold start up, it is toast and must be replaced.

Please report back your findings and corrective action.
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  #11  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:12 AM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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will do of course, i did open another topic on the forums for just the codes. ill try the cold start tomorrow if i remember, if not it will be next weekend as i work 12-14 hour days. this morning when i drove it to autozone i thought it had a slight spudder to it. definitely cold. thought i was imagining things.
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  #12  
Old 11-30-2012, 04:09 PM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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ok so i finally got time to get into the car, its on stands right now. i reset the codes and only two came back. those two were...
both the secondary air injection codes. p0492 and p0491.

quite frankly, i don't know what a secondary air pump is beside what you told me fudman, i don't have time too search read up on it now, just making a quick post.
THAT BEING SAID, found a disconnected line. air line. if you were looking at the engine, it would be the near left corner of the engine bay. the line was connected to what i believe is my SAP. right behind my right fog light (right as in if you were driving the car right). tried connecting it again couldn't get it to click but i didn't spend much time on it. hopefully the other codes don't come.

found the coolant leak. confirmed it is the radiator, right under the upper hose. replacing all the hoses, expansion tank, thermostat as well.

have "brake" light illuminated on dash. manual says it means bad pads on what cluster, and on a different cluster it could mean a fault in the bmw braking system. have to research that, and buy new brakes anyways, so that isn't too much of a concern to me.

valve cover is leaking bad, going to pick a new one up tomorrow from the dealer for a whopping 80 something. have to look up that as well.

ill keep everyone posted with the codes. engine and airbag code.

thanks to everyone monitoring, it definitely helps when im so time constrained to have feedback from you guys.

Last edited by SeanMH-6; 11-30-2012 at 04:11 PM. Reason: missing info
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  #13  
Old 12-02-2012, 06:54 AM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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did confirm that was the SAP, and learned a bit about the vacuum system in general. checked the light again last night, still only secondary injection system so i erased the codes. hopefully good on that.

went to discount tire, what a crappy experience. first time i have ever gotten mad at a business and shown my emotions. despite what everyone told me about DT i had to find out for myself i suppose. found out my spare rim had a flat spot on it. called the previous owner and he said it would hold air. funny thing is, it would not hold air. LOL. so i briefly searched for a wheel yesterday. the sports edition is pretty rough and looks pricier. i only checked BF though ill check out all the other bmw sites im not a part of yet.

bmw wants 200 for alignment, that or i can find 500lbs in weight and get it done for about 90. just not sure how im going to go about finding all of this weight.

headlights restored, kinda, with the 3m hand kit.

seat twist fixed. some possible minor adjustments may be made, although i think it is just my paranoia of thinking something is wrong when it isn't. having the wife sit in it today and see what she thinks.

does anybody know where to find the part number of the torx screw that drives upwards securing the cover plate on the back of the seats? the dealership couldn't even find them in the computer, walked out with some screws that were supposed to be the same pitch, but.... they didn't work. like it to be factory anyways.
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  #14  
Old 12-02-2012, 07:46 AM
Psalm11_6 Psalm11_6 is offline
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T-20 I thought was the size... if I remember right, pelican parts had a walkthrough on this and they might bw a good place to check the OEM part numbers. I assume you've already gone through realoem though too?

Sorry I'm not more help!

Please forgive any grammatical errors, sent from mobile
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  #15  
Old 12-02-2012, 08:01 AM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psalm11_6 View Post
T-20 I thought was the size... if I remember right, pelican parts had a walkthrough on this and they might bw a good place to check the OEM part numbers. I assume you've already gone through realoem though too?

Sorry I'm not more help!

Please forgive any grammatical errors, sent from mobile
i have not gone through realoem, haven't even heard of them until now. i figured there was a site with the bmw ipc. ive been going through ecs tuning, amazon, and a little through the dealer. good to know thanks!

i just briefly looked through there and couldn't find it. but, again, only briefly in the seat section. you can see where the screw goes in but no screw! lame. ill find something that works. right now i got a bunch of random screws, they aren't working so hot but they haven't fallen off yet.
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  #16  
Old 12-02-2012, 09:01 AM
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BM109R BM109R is offline
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No need to pay $80something on vcg. If you have the patience to wait for shipping time you can find it here:
http://www.autohausaz.com/search/gro...0%26%20Gaskets

Or www.pelicanparts.com

Check realoem with your vin number for part numbers then search the parts on online parts stores. Much cheaper!
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  #17  
Old 12-02-2012, 09:11 AM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM109R View Post
No need to pay $80something on vcg. If you have the patience to wait for shipping time you can find it here:
http://www.autohausaz.com/search/gro...0%26%20Gaskets

Or www.pelicanparts.com

Check realoem with your vin number for part numbers then search the parts on online parts stores. Much cheaper!
Agreed. Military discount gave me it 39 plus tax though. I emailed the dealer the link to ecstasy and they changed their price. Pelican seems like the place to go ill have to check that out
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  #18  
Old 12-02-2012, 09:12 AM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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Ecs *
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  #19  
Old 12-02-2012, 10:08 AM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
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even with the issues, that's a nice price for a car with reasonable miles. As long as the body and interior aren't in too bad condition, you'll be fine and money ahead of a car that was perfectly kept and demanded a high price.

Just identify the safety concerns and tackle those issues first, like the brakes. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Seek help from a more experienced hand or professional when you need it. It will save you time and money in the long run.
A lot of people will propose taking on certain tasks while you're tackling something else. This has the potential to save you a lot of time, since you won't be disassembling some of the same things 2 or more times, but it will also cost you a LOT of money. If you have something else to drive while you're getting this one ready, that's a great strategy, especially if you have more time now than you will later, and the funds available to do it. This all sounds very hypothetical, so let me give you an example. Let's say you need to replace the valve cover gasket ($50). Well, while you're at it you could also
rebuild the VANOS ($140 for the seals and washers)
replace the spark plugs ($10 each online, $25 from the dealer)
ignition coils ($60 each)
replace the secondary air valve ($100) and vacuum line($20)
oxygen sensors ($100 x4).
It's true, all this work does require some of the same preparation to gain access to where you're going, but you've just turned a $50 valve cover gasket job into a $1000 job replacing a lot of components that will eventually need to replaced, but are fine for the time being. it's unlikely any of these parts will fail catastrophically and leave you stranded so unless you're doing a lot of long-haul driving, my advice is to wait until they need to be replaced. This advice does NOT apply to the cooling system.
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  #20  
Old 12-02-2012, 10:36 AM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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Yep you hit my issue spot on. I plan on posting all the goals for the car on here shortly. But basically, if I see something having the potential to outlast the car, I don't fix it till it's broke. Minus the cooling system. Or regular servicing. I don't want my wife opening hot radiator caps so that is my priority. Previous owner said brakes were done but rotors are way out spec. Haven't measured them yet but they are BAD. ecs wants 400 for all four.
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  #21  
Old 12-02-2012, 10:53 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skibbySTFU View Post
... stuff deleted ...

bmw wants 200 for alignment, that or i can find 500lbs in weight and get it done for about 90. just not sure how im going to go about finding all of this weight.

... stuff deleted ...
Any chance you have a water softener? I bought several months worth of 20kg bags of salt and used them for the alignment. I used a sheet/blanket to protect the upholstery and carpets from salt dust.
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  #22  
Old 12-02-2012, 12:12 PM
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hh3uunp hh3uunp is offline
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What type of name is skibby shut the F@$! Up
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  #23  
Old 12-02-2012, 12:52 PM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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Originally Posted by hh3uunp View Post
What type of name is skibby shut the F@$! Up
well what kind of name is hh3uunp?!?

it has a story behind it, a high school story.

freshman on the soccer team, we all got treated like garbage from this one junior. well all his senior friends left the next year and there was 10 of us new sophomore that had been playing together forever. basically i lead the rebellion against this new senior and ruined his soccer season for being such a stereotypical douchy asshole to us.

i pretended to be drunk pre game at a skirmish and i was putting my shinguard on backwards while singing journey during stretches and that particular senior said "skibby...STFU"
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  #24  
Old 12-02-2012, 01:12 PM
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hh3uunp hh3uunp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skibbySTFU View Post
well what kind of name is hh3uunp?!?

it has a story behind it, a high school story.

freshman on the soccer team, we all got treated like garbage from this one junior. well all his senior friends left the next year and there was 10 of us new sophomore that had been playing together forever. basically i lead the rebellion against this new senior and ruined his soccer season for being such a stereotypical douchy asshole to us.

i pretended to be drunk pre game at a skirmish and i was putting my shinguard on backwards while singing journey during stretches and that particular senior said "skibby...STFU"
Flip your computer screen upside down and then read it.

That was a good story.
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  #25  
Old 12-03-2012, 07:22 AM
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DHoang DHoang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vavet5308 View Post
e Let's say you need to replace the valve cover gasket ($50). Well, while you're at it you could also
rebuild the VANOS ($140 for the seals and washers)
replace the spark plugs ($10 each online, $25 from the dealer)
ignition coils ($60 each)
replace the secondary air valve ($100) and vacuum line($20)
oxygen sensors ($100 x4).
It's true, all this work does require some of the same preparation to gain access to where you're going, but you've just turned a $50 valve cover gasket job into a $1000 job replacing a lot of components that will eventually need to replaced, but are fine for the time being. it's unlikely any of these parts will fail catastrophically and leave you stranded so unless you're doing a lot of long-haul driving, my advice is to wait until they need to be replaced. This advice does NOT apply to the cooling system.
i'm on the opposing side here...b/c if you're already in there, you may as well change anything you can gain access to. Just take the costly hit once, reset your parts baseline, and you be proactive in maintaining your car's relative health, not let the car dictate your time and cost.

And even though those parts listed may not leave you stranded, but by the time you figure out that they need to be replaced, the failed parts cold cause problems for other parts down stream. Take oxy sensors. if failed, you could have been running too lean or too rich w/o knowing. Both cases, you subject your costly catalytic converters to a period of damage.
vanos seal....if you wait until they are a goner, by then, the solenoid would have rubbed itself raw against the sidewalls, and so instead of just replacing a $50 beisan seal, you could be looking at a complete vanos unit due to a scored or out of round cyl wall.
2nd air valve. if the valve is left until it's 100% failed, it could take out the pump.
spark plugs...can't imagine why anyone would reuse old spark plugs after a gasket change. They're so cheap, and besides, for 100% combustion seal, you cannot reuse old plugs b/c the washer is a crush washer, a one time use.
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