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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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Old 01-27-2013, 11:21 AM
Theola_Henry214 Theola_Henry214 is offline
Registered User
Location: Austin, Texas
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: 1997(8) BMW 540i Auto
Question Replace Radiator?

Good afternoon all,

Last week my 1997 BMW 540i may have finally quit on me. After 2-3 weeks of a fluctuating thermostat. The radiator simply "popped", emitting a steam cloud and some coolant/water.

Now, hours before the 'pop' (at least 2 hrs prior) I put water into the reservoir which I noticed was bubbling unusually and excessively. I have owned this vehicle for 6 months now and NEVER experienced such a problem.

I am afraid I may have an underlying head gasket issue (cracked or blown), something I cannot afford to fix in this or the next lifetime.

The car still turns on as normal, also driving as such. Now, I am aware NOT to drive it, for the risk of burning it out completely.

However, my question is: Should I replace the radiator for now and work my way up to the gaskets? Or am I wasting my time buying the radiator? OR is it possible to solder the cracked area?

I must add, I questioned why the thermostat went up and down, even while driving; my car showed no signs of overheating. Therefore, many told me that the thermostat may be broken and I would simply need to replace it. All in all Ididn't think much of this.

What do I do!??!?!? I'm nervous that if I buy a new radiator that I might be wasting my money
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