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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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  #51  
Old 09-17-2011, 09:16 PM
Ricardo567 Ricardo567 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSXRYDER View Post
I use the BMW coolant. The dealer is nearby, it was like $17 per gallon and 2 gallons fills our system it is like $8 more expensive than normal stuff...but not so bad for me. Second, I'd look at the valley pan gasket, if yours is leaking, they leak slow and it is difficult to find ...if it is a slow leak I wouldn't even bother with coolant...just get a gallon of distilled water and keep it topped off. Then after you've done the valley pan or had it done then use coolant. Water itself is an excellent coolant unless you're worried about 'freezing' don't use additional coolant...water will work great. Valley pans are expensive to replace so save your $ for that job...then do the whole shabang...IMHO

And follow the procedure below to top off the coolant level


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  #52  
Old 11-06-2011, 08:32 PM
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A newbie's first post was asking what coolant to use, so, for the record, I pointed him to this "What Coolant you using?" thread, which I consider the canonical thread for E39 coolant:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Toping off Coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuxanator View Post
Hey everyone, first post here.
It was a cold morning today and "check coolant" lit up. I went to the store and guy recommended me Zerex coolant for BMW. I mixed it 50/50 with water. So how do I go about toping it off. Do I just pour it in until it reaches max? Because I read somewhere that you have to unscrew some bleed screw.
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  #53  
Old 08-11-2012, 06:48 PM
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For the cross-linked record, a short history of Zerex (Zerez, Zerone, etc.) is in this thread today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > A coolant I came across

Quote:
Originally Posted by aioros View Post
Have anybody used or is currently using this coolant?
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
ZEREZ was the original "permanent" anti-freeze. Before that, people used a methanol-based product. Zerone was one brand. It had to be changed out with pure water for summer, since it would boil away in the old none-and low-pressurized cooling systems of the day (methanol boils at about 160 deg F).
EDIT: Another 'what coolant' thread posted today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > recommendations for coolant
Quote:
Originally Posted by soledoc View Post
Any tips of suggestions for brand/type of coolant? Just got a message on my '02 525iT to check coolant level. Anything else to be concerned about?
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Last edited by bluebee; 08-11-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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  #54  
Old 08-12-2012, 01:59 AM
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Additives

Quote:
Originally Posted by stigst3r View Post
has anyone actually tried these coolant additives , are there any noticeable results from using them?
Tried WaterWetter with no measurable difference in temp. My indy says it's a waste. Just use 50/50 BMW coolant and water plus maintain the cooling system.
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  #55  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:15 PM
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I'm not vouching for what is said in this video (after all, it's put on by a magazine collaborating with a coolant manufacturer); but it's an hour all about coolants, which contains some interesting information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chansta View Post


lets put this age old question to end. long video but very informative.
PS: Since there are three religious sects when it comes to all BMW fluids, you'll never put the argument to rest - all you can do is figure out which sect you personally belong to.
1. Only BMW recommendatrions
2. BMW recommendations plus anything that meets BMW standards
3. BMW recommendations plus anything meeting BMW standards plus logical alternatives
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  #56  
Old 02-02-2013, 08:29 AM
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For the crosslinked record, the "what coolant" topic came up again today, over here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwmanz2 View Post
Anyone have any idea what is different about this besides the color? I am wondering if it is phosphate free or has some other kind of additives to prevent corrosion/cavitation or premature corrosion of the hoses. I was looking for the msds sheet for it or even the chemicals listed, but no luck. I was wondering if it was the standard ethylene glycol base etc. any help or redirection would be I help. Thanks guys.
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  #57  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:47 AM
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I've been trying to figure out why the 'what coolant' comes up, and specifically why anyone would think to only consider BMW coolant, when it finally dawned upon me that the coolant choice, is based on personality just as much as almost every other choice we make.

Here's an example which was posted today
Quote:
Originally Posted by jyeh74 View Post
Do we need specific BMW coolant? I bought a Prestone 50/50 antifreeze and it said "all make" "all models":
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  #58  
Old 03-12-2013, 11:16 AM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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Simple, any of these readily available three will work: Preston Extended Life (Green)5-150/Valvolin Zerex G-05/Peake Green. Mix in pure water from anywhere at less than $1 per gallon (if coolant not premixed) and ready to go. For those asking about water wetter and other coolant additives: As far as I know, BMW coolant contains a water wetter.
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  #59  
Old 08-13-2013, 08:20 AM
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For the record, the question came up again today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nice View Post
What type of coolant should I put in the E39?
Here was my answer:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
To the OP, and anyone else seeking the answers, simply type /coolant F3 in the best links and you'll find all the answers (and some more jokes) ...

- Coolant: Coolant, for engine, automatic transmission, power steering, and AC evaporator cooling (1) & bleeding (1) (2) (3) or refilling DIYs (1)

In addition, print this and put it in your glovebox:

- Glovebox printout: BMW E39 fluid summary printout for your glovebox (1)
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  #60  
Old 09-03-2013, 10:07 AM
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For the record, the age-old question came up again today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > coolant?
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  #61  
Old 09-13-2013, 07:01 PM
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Hi. First post here from a long time BMW tragic, just added an E39 530i to the collection...great machine...

Since BMW doesn't publicly release the coolant spec (Bluebee had to get it from the depths of the TIS), it makes me wonder if it gets changed over time to suit the latest models. Similar to engine oil, where I've heard that dealers don't stock E36 M3 grade any more, they just throw in what's closest. Is their mystery coolant the same as it was 15 years ago? Or is the current brew better for our engines? Or worse? We'll probably never know.

PS this is the first time I've ever experienced Aussie BMW dealer prices that aren't absolutely gouging! (~US$15 for 1.5 quarts, which isn't too bad)

Last edited by sixpot_simon; 09-13-2013 at 11:13 PM.
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  #62  
Old 02-18-2014, 05:17 AM
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For the record, there was yet another thread on Evans NPG today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Evans WATERLESS COOLANT
Quote:
Originally Posted by larryingreenback View Post
DOES ANYONE HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH THIS PRODUCT? GOOD OR BAD?

TOUTED BY JAY LENO FOR HIS CARS. NO MSDS SHEETS AVAILABLE, BUT IT APPEARS TO BE PROPYLENE GLYCOL, AS OPPOSED TO THE NORMAL ETHYLENE GLYCOL.
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  #63  
Old 05-04-2014, 05:52 PM
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The question came up again today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > What type of Coolant - BMW 525I 03
Quote:
Originally Posted by vpower1989 View Post
Hello everyone.

I got the "coolant level low" message on my dash yesterday. I removed the cap of the reservoir and it is definitely low. No physical leaks identified and the car has never overheated in the few months that I've owned it. I think the sudden temperature changes that have occurred lately are bringing this issue to light.


Here's my question: is there some brand that I can get from the local NAPA that would be ok to top off my coolant level with??

Also it's the time of the year where bugs and **** start splatting on the windshield. When I open the hood there appears to be two spots to put cleaner. Are there separate reservoirs for the windshield and the headlights?
Quote:
Originally Posted by eparayno View Post
Top it off with distilled water
You don't even need that.
Tap water will suffice in many locations.
For example, we've looked closely at the water in San Jose and New York City and our tap water far exceeds BMW published specs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
The "correct" coolant is an endless debate, surpassed only by the "best oil" question.
Agreed. The less the fluid matters, the more debate there is on it:
- What religious arguments are used in BMW E39 coolant decisions (1)

I've read every single "what coolant" thread in the besltinks, and, "my" net is that I'd tell the OP to put in whatever floats his boat - but - I'd only put in the EXACT amount needed (or more, no less), due to the well known pressure issues of a boiling fluid in our cheap plastic Behr expansion tanks:
- How to modify the cooling system expansion tank 2 bar cap to 1.2 bar to vent at a lower pressure (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
E39s had an option for an "intensive clean" windshield washer.
We have a thread for EVERY fluid used in the E39.
Here's just the summary thread ...
- BMW E39 fluid summary printout for your glovebox (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
missed the question about headlight washers.
See also:
Quote:
- Glovebox printout: BMW E39 fluid summary printout for your glovebox (1)
- Motor oil: BMW approved motor oils (pdf) & tribal motor oil recommendations (1) (2) (3) & gravity oil change DIY (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & vacuum extraction DIY (1) (2) (3) & drill pump DIY (1)
- Gasoline: Engine fuel & octane (1) & "The Gasoline FAQ" & top-tier gas stations (1) & Techron additives (1) & how to clean your gas gauge sending unit (1) & mpg calculations (1) how large is the fuel tank and reserve in the E39 (1) & what gasoline to use (1) & how much gas should be left to cool the fuel pump (1) & how to siphon the fuel out of the tank (1) & what is the cost differential between 87 & 91 octane AKI (1)
- MTF: Manual transmission fluid (1) (2) & manual transmission fluid-change DIYs (1) (2) (3)
- ATF: Automatic transmission fluid (1) (2) (3) (4) & automatic transmission fluid & filter DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & torque values (1) & how to find the hidden E39 transmission fluid level dipstick (1) & why ATF gushes out of the fill hole (1) & ZF 5HP19 facts (1)
- PSF: Power steering fluid (1) (2) & power steering fluid flush DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) & volumes (1)
- Coolant: Coolant, for engine, automatic transmission, power steering, and AC evaporator cooling (1) & bleeding (1) (2) (3) or refilling DIYs (1)
- Brake & clutch fluid: Brake & clutch hydraulic fluid (1) & recommended E39 brake job "fluids" (1) & how brake bleeding DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
- A/C: Air conditioner refrigerant & PAG oil (1) & how to refill your A/C system (1) (2) (3) (4) & what to use to rid yourself of the BMW gym sock stink (1)
- Differential: Rear differential hypoid gear oil (1) & differential fluid change DIYs (1) (2) (3)
- Battery: What battery (1) & what battery maintenance (1) & battery electrolyte (1) & battery replacement DIY (1) (2) (3) & how NOT to change the battery (1) (2) (3)
- Windshield fluid: Windshield washer fluid (1)
- Intensive cleaner: Intensive cleaning system fluid (1)
- Windows: Window glass cleaner fluids & cloths for the inside window & windshield glass (1)
- Tire air: Recommended tire pressures (1) (2) (3) & the claimed benefits of nitrogen gas (1) (2)
- Wheels: Best product for cleaning wheels (1)
- Interior: Interior cockpit & dashboard cleaners (1)
- Carpets: Suggested carpet cleaners (1)
- Floormats: Suggested floor mat cleaning & shampooing (1)
- Headliner: Solvent for cleaning the headliner fabric (1)
- Vapor barriers: Sealant for door panel vapor barriers (1) & sizes for the adhesive (1)
- Engine cleaner: External engine degreaser, engine bay cleaning & engine compartment detailing (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
- BMW list of lubricants, sealants, & thread lockers (pdf) (shrunk gif) (original-size jpg)
- Fundamental BMW decision-making religious camps (1) & motor oil Petrolism (1), coolant decisions (1), & gasoline dogma (1)
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Last edited by bluebee; 05-04-2014 at 05:55 PM.
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  #64  
Old 05-15-2014, 06:11 PM
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Interesting picture from this thread today of coolant deposits inside the hoses:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Cooling system questions
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  #65  
Old 06-15-2014, 09:34 PM
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the question came up again today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Which coolant to use?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolai View Post
Hey guys can I use this radiator coolat?
See also:
- What is the proper coolant level bobber stick height (1) & what to do when your expansion tank coolant level sensor float bobber stick is MIA missing in action (1) & where to find leaks when the CHECK COOLANT LEVEL is lit on the instrument cluster (1) & where does the coolant level sensor cable go (1) & what is the o-ring size for the coolant level sensor (1) & what is the temperature of the coolant when the thermostat opens under normal conditions (1) & how to modify the cooling system expansion tank 2 bar cap to 1.2 bar to vent at a lower pressure (1) & how to retrofit a coolant level sensor to an E39 that doesn't have it (1) & what is the most often recommended coolant (1) & tricks for efficient flushing (1) draining (1) bleeding (1) and a coolant refilling DIYs (1) & users' behr/hella cooling system autopsy photos (1)
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-26-2014 at 03:25 PM.
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  #66  
Old 09-07-2014, 11:26 AM
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The question came up again today, so I post my answer, as it contains a useful link to psychological tests ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilcox6 View Post
Is it really true that I can only use BMW coolant? Bought it used about a month ago and I don't know how I let it slip my mind to check the coolant. Opened it up and it was DRY. Its it possible I have a small leak? it has not over heated at all. If you're familiar with a 04 325i, the gauge has a blue and red square for the readings. When I crank it the red light comes on for a second and goes off but the line always stays in the middle. It isn't my daily driver but I don't want to cause any damage so its parked until I fill it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I have been running straight well water in my M54, for two years now, in the hot California sun....

The point of telling you that is that the choice of coolant, just like your choice of a martini, depends more upon your personality than anything else.

So, we'd have to ask YOU what type of personality you are, and only then can we recommend the right coolant for your bimmer:
- Research into how our Myers-Briggs personality profile affects what BMW motor oil, coolant, and gasoline religious dogma decisions we should recommend when people ask which fluid to use (1)

Otherwise, you'll get MY personal choice, and someone elses' personal choice, and we'd all argue with each other until the end of time, because the choice has more to do with how we think and logically analyze and how we emotionally feel, than on the bimmer itself.

However, the two answers you'll get most, are already discussed, ad infinitum, in this thread, among hundreds (thousands?) of others ...

- Coolant: Coolant, for engine, automatic transmission, power steering, and AC evaporator cooling (1) & bleeding (1) (2) (3) or refilling DIYs (1)

See also:
BMW fluid summary printout for your glovebox (1)
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  #67  
Old 09-09-2014, 06:39 PM
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This information posted today to our sister forum is just too good to not cross reference to this thread:
> E46 (1999 - 2006) > what coolant should I use?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilberVogel View Post
Here's the link to the thread on E46Fanatics: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1013600 (Changing Temperature Gauge Buffer Range with PA Soft 1.4)

I originally created the graphic that Bluebee posted to help others better visualize what was being done in that thread. Took it a step further and made an interactive version, which you might also find useful (screenshot below). If you have any questions about the program or formatting the HEX values for P.A. Soft, please don't hesitate to ask.

It's normal behavior for the red light to illuminate briefly once you turn the key past the first position. Temperature needle shouldn't max out, though.

To address some of the questions in your first post, BMW coolant isn't required, but it's easily available and just as cheap as everything else. Generally recommended not to mix coolants, though, so stick to one. Here's some additional information on coolant if you're interested: http://blog.fcpeuro.com/2014/06/06/c...e-best-coolant.

Not knowing the maintenance history, you're correct that there could be a leak, but I wouldn't be overly concerned about the reservoir being "dry." A lot of people fill to the minimum or just under, as overfilling can cause the expansion tank to rupture, so you might not need to add that much more. Keep an eye on the level afterwards, though.

And it's unlikely you'll ever see the temperature needle move unless you overheat, as it has a 40ēC buffer. Because of this, I'd highly recommend taking a look through the thread I linked to above on reprogramming the temperature gauge buffer. Not anything urgent, but it's an easy DIY and certainly something to consider, given this car's susceptibility to cooling failures and the benefit of having an accurate and more sensitive temperature gauge. _sl_
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  #68  
Old 09-19-2014, 02:12 AM
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The question came up again today ... framed in terms of "need" ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > What Brands of Anti Freeze are OK
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjheinz View Post
Hello All,

I have a "01 525i. What brands of Anti Freeze do you use? Do I really need the BMW stuff at $30 per gallon?
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  #69  
Old 10-16-2014, 10:54 AM
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The cooling system capacity question came up again today, which I cross reference for one-stop shopping:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Cooling system capacity..

Quote:
Originally Posted by emelen View Post
Hi All,

Last week I bought a 2003 530i Saloon Champagne Ltd Edition II which I am slowly discovering has a few issues..

What is the capacity in Ltrs of the cooling system?

I think I may have a leak somewhere in the cooling system but I can't see where.. So far I've poured in approx 8-9 litres of coolant (50:50 antifreeze ready mixed), my header tank doesn't appear to have the little red floaty thingy in the top to say 'max' but it has the BMW / Behr sticker so I assume this isn't a cheapo replacement. There are no puddles beneath the car before or after a journey and no odd coloured exhaust clouds whilst driving.. When I start the engine I get the 'Check Coolant' message, I've filled it up and done the bleed screw thing to get the air that was in there out, but I still get the above message.. How much more do I need to put in?

Thanks,

Matt..
Quote:
Originally Posted by pudl View Post
Cooling system including heating (liters)

8,4 – BMW 520d
9,2 – BMW 525d, 530d
10,5 – BMW 520i, 525i, 530i
12,0 – BMW 535i, 540i

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  #70  
Old 10-16-2014, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
Up until 5/28 I always used BMW coolant mixed 50/50 with distilled water. Now its 100% Evans NPG+, and so far I'm very pleased with the change.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=458877
Ditto...Evans NPG+ High Performance
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