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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 01-06-2013, 11:02 PM
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Stone Roots Stone Roots is offline
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Question E39 maintenance needed...

As some of you know my wife has been pregnant and we've both taken time off - during which I've been driving her E60 and my E39 has been garaged - I took it out today and I feel it's not driving the way I remember.

It's sitting on 130k miles with the only things replaced being very basic stuff (oil - air filter - tires - brakes) it still has original vanos - and even though they seem fine I figure with the free time I have now I'd like to replace them - what else would you all reccomend replacing?

The car has never been driven hard - it's been a DD for 10 years. I don't want to put a lot of money into it as I'm looking for a 2008-2010 E60 550 or M5. But until then I'd like to do a bit of Maintence since it feels sluggish, slow to accelerate, and low power under 3k (which all show suspect of faulty vanos). The car has been well treated and has been good to me for years - so I figure it's time to return the favor.

I'm not really a gear head - but am a DIYer for the most part. Any input is appreciated!

Thanks,
SR

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  #2  
Old 01-06-2013, 11:14 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Why bother, then? Just dump it.

OTOH, have you visited the Beisan Systems web site? The symptoms are classic VANOS seal failure.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2013, 11:19 PM
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Stone Roots Stone Roots is offline
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Yeah I just got off Beisan site looking up the double vano repair procedure - will more than likely put a order in with them.

I'm looking to do Maintence because I plan on keeping the E39 for traffic driving (and mainly because its too nice of a ride to sell for how little it's worth).
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:13 AM
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Flybot Flybot is offline
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Plugs, if you've never done them and an air filter. VANOS is a great project, and not very hard.
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:18 AM
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Vanos seals
Spark plugs
Air filter
O2 sensors (pre-cat)
Less than $400 total.

And pull the codes to see if there are any vacuum leaks.
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2013, 08:27 AM
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Stone Roots Stone Roots is offline
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I was looking into getting a PEAKE device to check codes and reset lights because sometimes it throwsights and codes but than they go away and I heard OBDII can be misleading... Thoughts?
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2013, 09:00 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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A Peake will generate BMW specific codes. I have one and they are nice but is pricey ($150). A generic OBD II Scanner (<$30) can do almost everything the Peake can do for a lot less and will work on other cars.
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  #8  
Old 01-07-2013, 12:15 PM
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Stone Roots Stone Roots is offline
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Thanks guys!
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:12 PM
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Stone Roots Stone Roots is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Vanos seals
Spark plugs
Air filter
O2 sensors (pre-cat)
Less than $400 total.

And pull the codes to see if there are any vacuum leaks.
I just ordered a OBD2 to read & reset. I went though the E39 maintenance log this afternoon and found that my wife had replaced the spark plugs to platinums in Nov.2009 (about 23k miles ago) so im sure those are still good.

Im going to wait to buy anything until the OBD2 gets here - as the service engine light came on today as I was driving around town.

But more than likely I will be replacing everything you listed + CCV, clean the ICV and replace the temp. sensor (as its been reading -40 for about 3 years when my wife hugged a park stop log in a parking lot...)

I'm also contemplating a OBX exhaust as i've never really cared for the sound of the OEM exhaust...

Thanks again,
SR

Last edited by Stone Roots; 01-07-2013 at 04:14 PM.
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  #10  
Old 01-07-2013, 09:01 PM
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Stone Roots Stone Roots is offline
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So - after driving around today my check engine light came on - everything seemed fine with it. When I went out to start the car this evening I was getting a sound im not familiar with this car having.

I took my phone out and recorded the engine right after start up - earlier the noise was more frequent and louder - not so much in the video. It seems to only make the sound at idle and stops as soon as there is any acceleration.

I attached the video - the sound comes in at :02 second and ends at :04 seconds. You may need to turn your volume up to hear it as the video has been compressed for YouTube.

Is this what a faulty vanos sounds like? Or is this something else? I found a few videos on YouTube but nothing that was definitive...


Last edited by Stone Roots; 01-07-2013 at 09:07 PM.
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2013, 09:03 PM
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Last edited by Stone Roots; 01-07-2013 at 09:05 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2013, 04:42 AM
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That whirring/grinding sound is something else. A Vanos seal failure has NO audible symptoms. The impact is to the variable timing of the car. A Vanos bearing failure has an audible signature, more like a intermittent rattling of pebbles in a can. That noise is omething else. This is probably related to your CEL.
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:45 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
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Sound like one of the pulleys, or WP bearing.
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  #14  
Old 01-11-2013, 04:21 PM
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Stone Roots Stone Roots is offline
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So I finally got my hands on the OBDII reader - and pulled two codes off the car PO491 + PO492. After searching around the consensus is that it has to do with the Secondary Air Pump.

Some say that it is usually the valve that goes bad - but could be the pump as well. So this weekend I will stop by a friends house to borrow his jack + stands and see if I can get this sorted out.

I have the car garaged for now and will keep it that way until all the repairs and maintenance are complete - so as not to exacerbate any problems.

Beyond that i've ordered o2 sensors, CCV, vanos seals, valve cover gasket (and all other replacement parts recc'd by beisan) as well as a flush and change of transmission fluids. Might do all the pulleys as well... and the water pump if it has gone bad.

Also - need to touch up one of the exterior door sills that has a chip in it that has caused a very small rust spot - both seats are twisted - and replace the vapor barrier in the rear door on drivers side...

Luckily I got a lot of time on my hands... ill keep this thread updated and hopefully some of you will follow along and lend a metaphorical hand when needed (as i'm quite sure it will be).

Thanks again,
SR

Last edited by Stone Roots; 01-11-2013 at 04:55 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-11-2013, 05:14 PM
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Flybot Flybot is offline
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You need to read up on secondary air system failure. The check valve fails quite often. If the internal galeries in the engine block are clogged with carbon, then you need to just write off the system and live with the CEL. I put a piece of black electric tape over my CEL. It is a flawed system, and if it is the carbon build up, its not worth fixing. It has zero effect on the performance of the car.


.

Last edited by Flybot; 01-11-2013 at 05:18 PM.
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  #16  
Old 01-11-2013, 05:27 PM
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Stone Roots Stone Roots is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybot View Post
You need to read up on secondary air system failure. The check valve fails quite often. If the internal galeries in the engine block are clogged with carbon, then you need to just write off the system and live with the CEL. I put a piece of black electric tape over my CEL. It is a flawed system, and if it is the carbon build up, its not worth fixing. It has zero effect on the performance of the car.


.
I did read on one of the threads about carbon build up - it didn't really go into any sort of detail of how it happens or how to fix it. I hope this isn't the case because I think the only thing that could possibly aggravate my minor O.C.D. disorder more than the SES light would be a piece of black tape on my dash...
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  #17  
Old 01-12-2013, 05:14 AM
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^^^LOL

Yea, thats my situation. Time heals...
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