Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:50 PM
intelonetwo intelonetwo is offline
USER
Location: Sacramento, Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Send a message via AIM to intelonetwo Send a message via Yahoo to intelonetwo Send a message via Skype™ to intelonetwo
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540it Wagon
Just bought a 540iT - Didn't come with Service History - How to Get??

This is my first post here, glad to be here.

I recently purchased a 1999 BMW 540iT with 162k and a bad tranny. I took a chance (big) on buying it and am in the process of having my mechanic install another tranny. That process is underway, but I have a couple of questions for the members here.
  1. Is there anyway obtain service records for the vehicle so I can begin them myself?
  2. Will a Carfax provide any info?
  3. Can a BMW service center/dealer pull service records from other BMW service centers/dealers?

The car is not a salvage title and is in good condition other than the tranny and a few other small issues such driver and passenger window regulators being out.

Any advice you can provide on the service history questions would be appreciated. Thank you.
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:01 PM
Dking078's Avatar
Dking078 Dking078 is offline
Nor genius Nor ignorant
Location: Los Angeles, CA
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,324
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 540i
1. Find the previous owner and ask, if he turns up dry, you'll have to make records from your ownership on at the least.
2. Carfax isn't going to help much at all. Ex. "Suspension Checked" really doesn't say jack about what was really serviced, and thats IF it was even reported.
3. Depends on the dealer... BMW feels it's none of our biz to even LOOK at that infomation. The most info you will get out of the dealer will be that of the first owner and sometimes the second.

I was somewhat in your same situation with my 5, my cars PO wasn't usefull at all so I just started a blank slate and recorded all my repairs from the day I got it to now.
__________________
2003 BMW 540i [Sterling Gray / Gray]
[Msport] [Mods from A-Z]


E39 Trim Sets For Sale! PM or see Interior Classifieds for pics!
2 Sets of E39 OEM Technical Graphite / Cubic Interior Trim set- $285/$265 Shipped
E39 OEM Satin-Matte Chrome Interior Trim set- $245 Shipped
E39 OEM Maple Wood "Muschelahorn" trim $300 Shipped & steering wheel $150
E39 OEM High Polished Black Trim set $260 Shipped


Last edited by Dking078; 12-06-2012 at 09:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:42 PM
intelonetwo intelonetwo is offline
USER
Location: Sacramento, Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Send a message via AIM to intelonetwo Send a message via Yahoo to intelonetwo Send a message via Skype™ to intelonetwo
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540it Wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dking078 View Post
I was somewhat in your same situation with my 5, my cars PO wasn't useful at all so I just started a blank slate and recorded all my repairs from the day I got it to now.
Great to know someone has been through something similar before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dking078 View Post
1. Find the previous owner and ask, if he turns up dry, you'll have to make records from your ownership on at the least.
I've asked, but the previous PO owned the car for a short time (since 4/12) and doesn't have any info. He purchased it from a wholesale auction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dking078 View Post
Depends on the dealer...BMW feels it's none of our biz to even LOOK at that information. The most info you will get out of the dealer will be that of the first owner and sometimes the second.
I'll check that out to see if they can offer any info. If the dealer can't provide any info, I'll have to start a file from the time I've owned it on.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:37 PM
edjack edjack is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9,309
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Whilst the car is in the shop, get the cooling system overhauled, since you don't know when it was last done.

Carfax can let you know where the car was registered by the POs. You can write to those states' DMVs for the records on the car. You may be able to find their addresses, and contact them for maintenance info. That's how I found my PO.

You probably didn't get the owner's manuals and zipper pouch, nor all four keys. You could ask them if they still have them.

Dealers have no vested interest in giving you the service info.
__________________


Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.

Last edited by edjack; 12-06-2012 at 10:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:21 PM
intelonetwo intelonetwo is offline
USER
Location: Sacramento, Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Send a message via AIM to intelonetwo Send a message via Yahoo to intelonetwo Send a message via Skype™ to intelonetwo
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540it Wagon
Four keys. Heck no. I got 1. Bummer, I'm sure those keys aren't cheap.

As for the cooling system, it'll go on my revive list. Getting the tranny done is costing a pretty penny. What priority would give cooling system serviced?

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Bimmer App
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:58 PM
edjack edjack is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9,309
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
I'd say before your tomorrow's AM bowel movement.

Master keys are about $200 a pop at the dealer. It is rumored that a well-equipped locksmith can clone them.
__________________


Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.

Last edited by edjack; 12-06-2012 at 11:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:11 AM
intelonetwo intelonetwo is offline
USER
Location: Sacramento, Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Send a message via AIM to intelonetwo Send a message via Yahoo to intelonetwo Send a message via Skype™ to intelonetwo
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540it Wagon
$200 is in line with what I thought they would cost.

Ok the cooling system is high on the list things to begin going through.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Bimmer App
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-07-2012, 07:31 AM
DONROD DONROD is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: JAX BEACH, FL
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 178
Send a message via AIM to DONROD Send a message via Yahoo to DONROD
Mein Auto: 2008 535i
if you have any questions on what needs to be done with a 540it, let me know I have had mine for 8 years and just turned 171000 on her. and I have some parts if you need them .
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-07-2012, 07:45 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,297
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
When I bought my E39, still under warranty, the dealer printed out the entire service history for me, and just handed it to me, without redacting anything.

The codes you get on that printout are shown here:
- BMW_Service_History_Explanation_of_Dealer_Defect_C odes.pdf

But, I never did remove the rear seat so I assume the original options list is still hiding there.

To help the OP gather information from what he has available, I typed /dealer service record F3 in the bestlinks which came up with this:
- BMW 10-character vehicle defect code lookup tool for dealer service records (1) & how to better understand your 17-character BMW VIN (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) and online BMW VIN decoders (0) (1) (2) (3) (4)

Quote:
Originally Posted by intelonetwo View Post
What priority would give cooling system serviced?
See this thread for why it should be #1 on your list:
- Pictorial look at typical E39 cooling system failure modes (1)

See also when it was last replaced:
- Cooling system date stickers & radiator date codes & markings (1) (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by intelonetwo View Post
$200 is in line with what I thought they would cost.
To help with key information, I typed /key F3 into the bestinks to find this for the OP:
- A description of the various types of BMW Remote, Illuminated, Spare/Wallet, & Valet/Service keys (1) (2) & a list of diamond key EWS, FZV, & DWA functions (1) (2) & all about the 10-key limit to programming your own keys at home (1) & a description of the ignition key ISN (individual serial number) ten-second rule (1) & what to do if you lost your only diamond key (1) or what to do if your BMW key was stolen (1)
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:03 AM
intelonetwo intelonetwo is offline
USER
Location: Sacramento, Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Send a message via AIM to intelonetwo Send a message via Yahoo to intelonetwo Send a message via Skype™ to intelonetwo
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540it Wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by DONROD View Post
if you have any questions on what needs to be done with a 540it, let me know I have had mine for 8 years and just turned 171000 on her. and I have some parts if you need them .
Thanks DonRod. Your help is much appreciated. I do have a few questions. I'll PM you.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:10 AM
DONROD DONROD is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: JAX BEACH, FL
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 178
Send a message via AIM to DONROD Send a message via Yahoo to DONROD
Mein Auto: 2008 535i
cool, cant wait to help, love those tourings
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:22 AM
manticore33's Avatar
manticore33 manticore33 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Delaware, OH
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 448
Send a message via AIM to manticore33
Mein Auto: '86 Porsche 951, '01 530i
I'm going to go a bit out of line, but service records are overrated if you are a DIYer. You will pay a premium for a car with records that still need to fix stuff. Plus, you bought the car with no records, why care now? I think you commented in another thread that your car car is in the 170k in miles? Something replaced at 60k will likely need to be replaced again anyways. Most of the e39's failings are 60-100k mile repairs which is obligatory repairs every 2-6 years depending on how much you drive. Not to mention the countless parts that fail with age or just fail to fail. So, if you want piece of mind, start replacing parts. If you do not want to throw parts at a car (which I don't blame you), drive it for a bit and get to know its quirks and start your own inspection regime for ailing parts.

Welcome to the club!
__________________
I like coffee.
My e39 is fixed and moving towards atrophy.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:26 AM
intelonetwo intelonetwo is offline
USER
Location: Sacramento, Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Send a message via AIM to intelonetwo Send a message via Yahoo to intelonetwo Send a message via Skype™ to intelonetwo
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540it Wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
When I bought my E39, still under warranty, the dealer printed out the entire service history for me, and just handed it to me, without redacting anything.
I'll see what I can obtain from them and move from there. I'll also see what I can find out with the DMV on the previous PO. I'll report back what I find out.

I'm reading through the wealth of info you've posted. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:36 AM
intelonetwo intelonetwo is offline
USER
Location: Sacramento, Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Send a message via AIM to intelonetwo Send a message via Yahoo to intelonetwo Send a message via Skype™ to intelonetwo
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540it Wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by manticore33 View Post
I'm going to go a bit out of line, but service records are overrated if you are a DIYer. You will pay a premium for a car with records that still need to fix stuff. Plus, you bought the car with no records, why care now?
For piece of mind. The records may give me a picture of the previous PO's upkeep on the vehicle. Additionally, it will allow me to make an educated decision about the priority of certain repairs. IMO, and experience with other vehicles, service records can be helpful to the intrepid DIY'er.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manticore33 View Post
I think you commented in another thread that your car is in the 170k in miles?
Sorry wasn't me. This is my first thread on this forum or any BMW forum. This 540iT is my first BMW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manticore33 View Post
If you do not want to throw parts at a car (which I don't blame you), drive it for a bit and get to know its quirks and start your own inspection regime for ailing parts.
After the tranny is done I think this is what I'll do first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manticore33 View Post
Welcome to the club!
Why thank you!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:43 AM
the540wgn's Avatar
the540wgn the540wgn is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Jose, CA / Littleton, CO
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 775
Mein Auto: '02 540iT
Welcome to the touring brotherhood!



sorry this is off topic, but DONROD what % are your windows?
__________________

ColdWeather+Summer+Sport--20/30 Ceramic Tint--Euro Armrest--JL 13tw5-3 Subwoofer--LED AEs
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:47 AM
KSUTJH KSUTJH is offline
Registered User
Location: Maize, Kansas
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: 2014 528xi
After filling out some paperwork and proving that I am the current owner of my car, the dealer released the service records to me. Luckily mine had been serviced by the same dealer for its entire life, and has 194,000 miles now. As the original dealer is about 200 miles from me, I asked the local bmw dealer if they could pull the records, but they were only able to see what had been done under warranty, so I would guess you will have to go to the dealer that originally sold the car to find the full report.;
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:54 AM
AnotherGeezer's Avatar
AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is online now
Hofmeister Kink
Location: ManchVegas, New Hampster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,807
Mein Auto: 2003 530i/5
My service history was virtually non-existent.

As a last resort, I took mine to a psychic.....and she tried to steal my keys.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:42 PM
matt540's Avatar
matt540 matt540 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Michigan
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 970
Mein Auto: DINAN 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
My service history was virtually non-existent.

As a last resort, I took mine to a psychic.....and she tried to steal my keys.
__________________
Dinan F&R strut tower brace, M5 F&R sway bars, Koni Sports, Eibach springs, Powerflex polyurethane bushings, Dinan stage 2 engine software, Stage 1 trans software, Zionsville cooling kit, resonator delete, Dinan exhaust, Dinan throttle body, AFE cai, 18' style 5's, 235/40/18 275/35/18, Ultimate cup holders, rear cup holder delete/coin holder, Hella taillights, clear sides, Depo AE, M5 lip spoiler,
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:30 PM
intelonetwo intelonetwo is offline
USER
Location: Sacramento, Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Send a message via AIM to intelonetwo Send a message via Yahoo to intelonetwo Send a message via Skype™ to intelonetwo
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540it Wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSUTJH View Post
After filling out some paperwork and proving that I am the current owner of my car, the dealer released the service records to me. Luckily mine had been serviced by the same dealer for its entire life, and has 194,000 miles now. As the original dealer is about 200 miles from me, I asked the local bmw dealer if they could pull the records, but they were only able to see what had been done under warranty, so I would guess you will have to go to the dealer that originally sold the car to find the full report.;
I called and talked to my local dealer but they didn't have much in the way of information. There was a total of 5 or 6 items on the repair list which was from back in 2000-2001 timeframe. Things like replacing a tail light, 1 oil change and a couple of other small items. Nothing heavy like a tranny overhaul, etc.

Next step is to get with DMV to find previous PO and attempt to contact them for info.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:35 PM
intelonetwo intelonetwo is offline
USER
Location: Sacramento, Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Send a message via AIM to intelonetwo Send a message via Yahoo to intelonetwo Send a message via Skype™ to intelonetwo
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540it Wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
My service history was virtually non-existent.

As a last resort, I took mine to a psychic.....and she tried to steal my keys.
Really?? Your psychic must know mine because before I bought my 540iT, my psychic told me that I'd be broke soon and to be leary of deals that are to be too good to be true.

I'd be good, but I don't believe in psychic hocus pocus! Go figure.

Last edited by intelonetwo; 12-07-2012 at 08:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-08-2012, 06:25 AM
Edgy36-39's Avatar
Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
Constantly Learning
Location: Northern Virginia
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,253
Mein Auto: 1999 M3, 2002 M5
Quote:
I called and talked to my local dealer but they didn't have much in the way of information. There was a total of 5 or 6 items on the repair list which was from back in 2000-2001 timeframe. Things like replacing a tail light, 1 oil change and a couple of other small items. Nothing heavy like a tranny overhaul, etc.
Congrats on your purchase, and your quest. Question on the list -- was this a complete printout? Did it have things like all the option codes, MSRP paid, etc. and so forth? Any BMW dealer should have access.

Makes sense that there wasn't any major work listed -- after all, tranny doesn't usually fail in year one, two or three. But since "free" maintenance is included, usually new owners run back to the dealer every time they hear a new squeak.

If the above doesn't sound like what you received, I know someone who might get it for you. See the list for my M5 attached.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	M5history2.JPG
Views:	68
Size:	150.8 KB
ID:	352330  
__________________
I LIKE OLDER BMWS, PLEASE HELP ME:
Fern Green 99 M3, Conforti Shark Software, Conforti CAI, Dinan Exhaust. Stamped LTWs, 235x40 square, OEM Hella heads, ///M Pedal Kit, Clear Corners, OEM Rear Spoiler, CD43 stereo. MRegistry listing here.
Le Mans 2002 M5, Black/Titanium, Rogue SSK, Dinan exhaust, PSS9 coilovers, Euro rotors, iPod integration. MRegistry listing here.

Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:04 PM
intelonetwo intelonetwo is offline
USER
Location: Sacramento, Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Send a message via AIM to intelonetwo Send a message via Yahoo to intelonetwo Send a message via Skype™ to intelonetwo
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 540it Wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgy36-39 View Post
Congrats on your purchase, and your quest...
If the above doesn't sound like what you received, I know someone who might get it for you. See the list for my M5 attached.
Thanks Edgy. I appreciate it.

I've got my new transmission (used) installed but I'm having problems. It still read trans failsafe prog, and the engine (light) is on. I used an actron code reader to get the code which is P1748 which is Transmission Control Module Self Test which looks to be related to the "trans prog failsafe" error.

Here are the symtoms:
  1. It goes into P, R, D, M, but the dash indicator lights don't show those positions.
  2. It drives in reverse, and very, very slow in drive which I already know if limp mode.
  3. With the engine OFF, but the key turned to just before cranking the motor, I can shift the tranny into P, R, D, M and the lights on the dash DO show the position.

My question is what tool can reset the Trans Failsafe Prog error? I've searched the forum for answers, but the threads are deep and none that I've found so far, say definitively which tool resets the Trans Failsafe Prog. Any ideas?
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-10-2012, 10:27 AM
Ohmess's Avatar
Ohmess Ohmess is offline
I wanna DRIVE!
Location: Vienna, VA
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 233
Mein Auto: 2000 540i6/2001 540iT
Similar issues

I bought a 540it last month; didn't care too much about the service history, just talked to the prior owner and I knew a lot of work needed to be done (I own another e39). The prior owner had an indy who did his work for him, and I talked to the guy, but now that I have the car I can see he was something of a hack mechanic.

I had the head gaskets and valley pan done by my local mechanic, along with the radiator and expansion tank, right after I bought the car. I then jumped into a bunch of stuff (wheels and tires, aspheric mirrors, euro armrest, bimmian angel eyes, wiper blades, polished the lenses, swapped out the broken cup holders, replaced the grungy tray below the cup holders, fixed the broken fog lamp, etc.) I've got a TCU, microphone and bluetooth antenna for a retrofit on the way, bought the bushings for my rear subframe, and am thinking about protection (V1 and LI, perhaps).

Does anyone have access to the software to get at the dealer codes? I hate the auto door locking thing and my airbag light is on from my cleanup of the steering wheel stereo controls (I accidently turned the key too far when unlocking the steering wheel to reorient it while working with the airbag out).
__________________
HRE 543s w/Michelin Pilot Sports
Koala Quaiffe LSD w/ 3.38 Gears
H&R Springs/Bilsteins
Eibach sway bars
Zionsville Alloy Radiator and Cooling Kit
Authority CAI and ECU tuning
M5 calipers, EBC Green Stuff pads, European M5 floating rotors
SprintBooster
Eurodash
Euro armrest w/ tray
Rogue Engineering Tranny Mounts
Aspheric Mirrors
V1 in Center Rear Headrest w/Remote Display in ashtray
Lidatek (custom dash switch)
M5 grills
Debadged
Saab license plate frames & trunk handle
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12-10-2012, 10:31 AM
DONROD DONROD is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: JAX BEACH, FL
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 178
Send a message via AIM to DONROD Send a message via Yahoo to DONROD
Mein Auto: 2008 535i
to 540wgn, the tint is double layer limo, 0%. cant see in and at night you cant see out,
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
540it


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms