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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 03-06-2013, 04:54 PM
Tkarrde Tkarrde is offline
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Location: Boston
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: 2000 528 Build Date 10/99
2000 528 196k Advice

Hi,

Looking to give some background on my 5-speed E39 and get some quick advice. Realistically I realize my car is nearing the end of her life and she's been good to me. Let me start by saying that for a host of reasons I do not want to throw endless amounts of money at this car. It has largely highway miles and will soon be commuting me 40 miles / each way 5x per week.

I drive like an old man; I rarely accelerate hard, rarely go past 3,500 rpms, am easy on the clutch, easy on the brakes, etc.

I'd like this car to last me another 15,000-25,000 miles ideally. I am going to go over what repairs have been done to the car over the years, what I have on my list to do now/soon, and what I might be missing preventative-maintenance-wise to maximize my chances of minimal problems for what I hope to be another 6-12 months of ownership before I replace her.

Brief overview of repairs since I bought the car in 2007 (75k on clock). I'm sure I'm forgetting things but this will give you a general sense. I will omit routine stuff like brakes, tires, oil, filters, etc

100k -- new valve cover gasket
115k -- new thermostat, new waterpump, new pulleys, new serpentine belt
135k -- new plugs, new filters, etc
150k -- rebuilt ABS module, new CCV, new mass air flow sensor, new meyle upper and lower control arms, new meyle tie rods, new sway bar links
160k -- new 02 sensors
170k -- new radiator, new hoses, new serpentine belt, new final stage unit
190k -- new waterpump (previous replacement was plastic impeller, new is metal), new thermostat

Currently at 196k, I plan to DIY the following:
replace tie rods (feel shot), inspect control arms
inspect / replace if necessary rear ball joints
replace brake pads / rotors
replace camshaft position sensor(s) -- got a random code on them a few weeks back
replace idle, tensioner and a/c pulleys and a/c belt
replace expansion tank and fan clutch (only remaining parts of cooling system I never replaced -- currently functional but want to play it safe)

I could replace the struts I suppose, but I dont intend to -- I can deal with the ride. I will deal with the clutch when it goes, not before. Hoping I can milk it for awhile longer...no sense of slippage.

Okay. I know we can't predict what can go wrong with a car, and I know I'm asking you all to make best guesses without seeing it, but at this mileage in light of my not wanting to endlessly invest in the vehicle, is there anything I am missing from this list that is CRITICAL? Anything else you would strongly encourage me to consider replacing?

Thanks for any advice!

Last edited by Tkarrde; 03-06-2013 at 04:59 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2013, 06:05 PM
Bwood1 Bwood1 is offline
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Location: Austin, TX
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 121
Mein Auto: 1999 528i, 2002 540i
I have a 99 528i with 225k on it and it is still going strong. Also did the tie rod ends recently and all the pulleys/ tensioners. I bought the car with 105k and have not touched the clutch. The straight 6's will run forever - you don't need to sell it. I keep pouring parts in my wifes '02 540ia but the 528 just keeps humming along.
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2013, 06:13 PM
Tkarrde Tkarrde is offline
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Location: Boston
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: 2000 528 Build Date 10/99
Bwood thanks for the reply -- are you on your original wheel bearings? Any other major issues you've experienced on your way to that mileage?

Thx
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2013, 06:20 PM
mhobryan mhobryan is offline
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Location: Metro Detroit
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i 5 speed
if you have the original struts, I would replace them. You will be amazed at the difference - probably the best bang for the buck. It will also help make your tires last longer. Didn't see anything mentioned about brakes? If you still have the original SAP - secondary air pump - I would seriously consider replacing the valve; it's about $110, but it will help extend the life of the pump, which is ~$250-$350.
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2013, 11:28 AM
Tkarrde Tkarrde is offline
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Location: Boston
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: 2000 528 Build Date 10/99
I am replacing brakes next week with Meyle rotors and Opparts ceramic pads -- budget I know, but I understand it's an okay setup.
SAP was replaced with new valve a while ago.

Couple more questions after further mulling:

Fan clutch -- should I replace now or leave it be? Passes the newspaper test and is OEM. I saw this unit online and am wondering whether this new part would be preferable to the original fan clutch. Yes, I know it's likely not OEM but the price is right and I am price driven at this point. http://www.am-autoparts.com/BMW/528I...19/500803.html

Cam shaft position sensors -- should I replace preventatively or leave alone until they fail? With 198,000 miles will these surely fail or sometimes do they not? I saw these aftermarket units on ebay...342 of them have sold. I am tempted to put these in and keep my currently working OEMs in case of emergency. Outside of the "buy OEM" mantra, does anyone have feedback on these? http://www.ebay.com/itm/220853478425...84.m1423.l2649

Expansion tank: I know everyone will tell me to go OEM, has anyone tried the URO tank and had success?

Control arms / tie rods: If I only plan to have the car 1 more year, can I roll the dice with Karlyn or are they total crap? Again please no hating I got laid off and am just getting back to work and I'm trying to keep to a budget and just keep the car on the road another 9-12 months before I get a new one.

Thanks for all input!

Last edited by Tkarrde; 03-20-2013 at 11:32 AM.
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2013, 03:36 PM
Bwood1 Bwood1 is offline
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Location: Austin, TX
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 121
Mein Auto: 1999 528i, 2002 540i
Sorry for not responding sooner - been away from the computer. I live in Texas and wheel bearings do not go bad down here. It must be salt or sand up North that is causing all those wheel beraring problems I read about.

Original fan and clutch on my '99 - I would simply listen to your car. It will tell you when it is going out.

Only dealer provided expansion tanks! Not worth the risk of being stranded.

I would stay away from URO

I put in Lemforder and Meyle steering and suspension parts. The cost of tires is high enough now it pays to put in good parts
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2013, 03:02 PM
Tkarrde Tkarrde is offline
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Location: Boston
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: 2000 528 Build Date 10/99
Agreed on fan clutch -- I'll leave it be.

I will also pick up an OEM expansion tank.

My Aux fan spins by hand but doesnt appear to be coming on with A/C even after extended periods? Check the fuses, clean the connection under the hood and cross fingers right? I have no interest in going to the effort of replacing the aux fan -- I can live without it if need be correct?
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