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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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  #1  
Old 07-18-2013, 04:30 PM
Gstob Gstob is offline
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Help bleeding the cooling system...

Hi

My car is a 520i 99/9. Except the engine obviously, its 90% parts wise like the 528i

I`ve followd the thread http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=558386

My car does not overheat, but after 15-20min off driving i lose heat in the cabin.
To get the heat "back" i have to set the temp up 5-6c (ex 24c to 30c) but this only works for another 10 minutes, and when im at 32c the heat disappears completely, Even if i press the window defogger, it only blows cold air..

I`ve "logged" the coolant temp with an obdii reader when im driving, and it stays a 92-93C with the enging heated up

When i try to bleed like suggested in the other threads (car in a slope, both bleeder screws off, heat to max and and just one bar at the fan speed)

Coolant gushes out from the bleeder screws. You can hear the aux pump "struggling" pushing the coolant. if i close the bleeder screws, the pump runs fine. I`ve also try`d bleeding the system without the pump running, but no success...

Oh, and i also pressured tested the cooling system, no leak...

Any suggestions?


(Sorry for the English )
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2013, 04:46 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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No problem with your English.... Better than many "natives" these days...

Reading your post, I get the feeling your heater valve might be stuck closed or clogged, preventing a good flow of hot coolant into and out of the heater core.

Maybe look at this link; http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...e-Cleaning.htm

Last edited by pleiades; 07-18-2013 at 04:48 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2013, 02:34 AM
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mjalloul11 mjalloul11 is offline
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+1 on the heater valve.
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2013, 07:42 AM
Aussie528iT Aussie528iT is offline
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You still have air trapped in the heater cores. If the further and faster you go the less heat you get then its most likely air in the heater cores. Because of the way the cooling system works, its not a conventional system, as the engine gets hotter the thermostat diverts more water flow to the radiator and less is available to go through the heater. The auxilliary water pump is there to ensure adequate water flow through the heater when most water flow is directed to the radiator. Air trapped in the heater reduces the heat output of the heater and the auxilliary pump can't keep up and it gets worse the faster you go.

4 rules to follow when bleeding the system.

1/ It must be done with the engine cold.
2/ Once you have bubble free coolant coming out of the bleed screws close them and don't open them again irrespective of whether the engine is hot or cold. If you open them after bleeding the system the first thing that happens is you let air back into the system, you have just undone the bleeding process and you have to do it again. Why? The normal level in the expansion tank is below the level in the top hose. If you open the bleed screws you allow the water level in the engine and expansion tank to equalise and consequently air enters the system through the open bleed screws.
3/ You have to do the "cold engine rev" bit. Why? This uses the water pump to force water through the heater cores before the thermostat starts to open and flush any air out of the heater cores. Don't drive the car to warm it up first.
4/ Always follow the BMW cold bleed procedure and you will bleed the system first time every time.

A few other bits of info.

The thermostat opening is controlled by the engine ecu. It has a heater element which is to fool the thermostat into thinking the engine is hotter than it really is.
The thermostat is in the cold water return to the engine and controls the water temp of water entering the engine, not water temp leaving the engine as in conventional cooling systems.
The heater valves pulse between fully open and fully closed for between approx 0.36 secs and 3.6 secs. They are not opened to a steady part open position. They are only either fully open or fully closed. If you have INPA you can access live data and can see them opening and closing.

Hope this helps
RonR
99 528iT M52TU
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2013, 09:08 AM
Gstob Gstob is offline
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Thanks for the replies

pleiades I followed your link, and did the procedure i.e: dissambled the heater core, it was "clean as a whisle" inside and no gunk building up. Then i flushed the hoses, and even flushed the torpedo/firewall inlets to clean the system, no gunk inside either.

Then i went for a drive, and heat came on , wow i thought, and it never dropped, and i was able to regualte it too. after 20 min of driving the temp never changed, awesome i finally fixed it. But then i started feeling uncomfortable driving, and obliviously it was the air mix. Super hot from the foot well and cool from the front wents (my desired temp)

I had forgotten to plug the power too the heater core back in

Plugged it back in... and the same old story.


Aussie528iT

When doing the cold reving should i only have the bleeder screws open and expansion tank closed?

And the heater off?


Thanks alot for the input guys

Last edited by Gstob; 07-19-2013 at 09:13 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2013, 10:24 AM
daytradeoil daytradeoil is offline
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Help bleeding the cooling system...

If you ever get the geyser from the bleeder screws to stop let me know. Ive bled and bled but it still shoots out like a fountain. Heater works temp stays normal so i gave up.


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  #7  
Old 07-19-2013, 10:26 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Gstob, sorry I led you on a "wild goose chase" with the heater valve. I suspected it to be the problem because you had mentioned that you already bled the system.

I recommend following the cold-bleed procedure again, making sure you do it with the engine off and cold. NN528i wrote out the procedure in the first post of the thread you linked to.
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  #8  
Old 07-19-2013, 11:14 AM
nedmon nedmon is offline
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Gstob,


I found that when one of the dash vents does not blow hot, it means that there is still air in the system.

Bleed it again and then aferwards, each time the engine gets cold, check the overflow tank and fill it to the mark
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  #9  
Old 07-19-2013, 11:39 AM
Gstob Gstob is offline
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pleiades
No problem, it was an interesting job :P

I will try to do a new bleed again in some hours, i`ve studied so many different procedures but no luck....

Just let me do a recap:

Open expansion tank and its bleed screw, then open the thermostat bleed screw (only half way, or it produces the geyser.

Then set temp to max and fan speed to low.

Now coolant gushes out off the thermostat bleed with some bubble.
Start pouring coolant(slowly) into the expansion tank , till there comes an even flow from it.
Close the thermostat bleed screw.

Now coolant "burps" out of the expansion tank bleeder screw.
Keep filling it till this also overflows with no bubbles, Close the bleeder screw and fill the needed amount of coolant into the expansion till the float marker reaches the top a.k.a kalt
level.

Now start the engine, rev it to 4000rpm 3-4 times in 30 seconds

Close the cap. and take a drive for 10min to get the engine temp up. check the coolant level in the morning.


Sounds about right?
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  #10  
Old 07-19-2013, 12:19 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gstob View Post
pleiades
No problem, it was an interesting job :P

I will try to do a new bleed again in some hours, i`ve studied so many different procedures but no luck....

Just let me do a recap:

Open expansion tank and its bleed screw, then open the thermostat bleed screw (only half way, or it produces the geyser.

Then set temp to max and fan speed to low.

Now coolant gushes out off the thermostat bleed with some bubble.
Start pouring coolant(slowly) into the expansion tank , till there comes an even flow from it.
Close the thermostat bleed screw.

Now coolant "burps" out of the expansion tank bleeder screw.
Keep filling it till this also overflows with no bubbles, Close the bleeder screw and fill the needed amount of coolant into the expansion till the float marker reaches the top a.k.a kalt
level.

Now start the engine, rev it to 4000rpm 3-4 times in 30 seconds

Close the cap. and take a drive for 10min to get the engine temp up. check the coolant level in the morning.


Sounds about right?
Yes. With the engine off, heater on at max temp and lowest fan setting. (Coolant doesn't flow very fast out of my bleeder screws so maybe the aux. electric pump on my car must be getting old?)

By the way, I've also removed and dis-assembled my heater valve before and it was also clean as a whistle but I didn't do any electrical tests. Mine is original, so over 14 years old, and probably nearing the end of its life but still performs flawlessly. They are not cheap "new" in the US so I think I will try to find one "used" from a younger car, to keep as a spare.

Last edited by pleiades; 07-19-2013 at 12:21 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-19-2013, 03:36 PM
Gstob Gstob is offline
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I just did nr X bleed yet again

Some ideas on why i can`t bleed it properly:
Heaving the bleeder screws open, never lets cooling system establish a current flow example: from expansion tank, to engine, back to radiator and return to expansion tank.

If i leave the expansion bleeder screw open, the aux pump continuously "evacuates" the coolant,(there is air bubbles but more on that later) and if i leave it going, i spills out the coolant that should go the expansion tank, so there is never a even flow in the system.

When the reservoir is empty, the aux pump starts to burp coolant from the screw.
It contains air bubbles, but this is most likely caused by too little coolant present, so air and coolant gets mixed, and evacuated.

Here is my attempt to bleed it:

expansion screw open and thermostat screw half open:
Coolant bubbles and flows from the thermostat screw, and from the expansion tank screw, it, "over flows"

When the coolant only streamed from thermostat i closed it.

Expansion tank screw continues over flowing with coolant, with some small air bubbles in it. I kept pouring (slowly) into the reservoir to make sure the aux pump never runs dry.

Then i closed the screw almost completely, when no more air bubbles were present, i closed it.

Then i did the cold revving and afterwards went for a drive.

Im going to let the car cool for 10 hour, and check the reservoir

Afterthought:
I`dont think this attempt will work either :x


Anyone got an idea on why the coolant is spilled out from the bleeder screws?
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  #12  
Old 07-19-2013, 05:42 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For reference, typing /bleed F3 in the best links nets this, among others:
- Various methods for draining & refilling (1) (pdf) & bleeding the cooling system for all E39s (1) (2) (pdf) & instructions specific for the V8 (1) & the BMW TIS for bleeding the cooling system (pdf) & for working on the cooling system (pdf).*******>********>
Bleeding_the_bmw_cooling_system.pdf (2.78 MB, 451 views)
BMW_TIS_17-00-005_Draining_and_topping_coolant.pdf (215.4 KB, 351 views)
BMW_TIS_17-00-039_Bleeding_cooling_system_and_checking_for_leaks .pdf (118.7 KB, 375 views)
BMW_TIS_17-00_Instructions_for_working_on_cooling_system.pdf (168.8 KB, 312 views)
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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
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  #13  
Old 07-19-2013, 05:59 PM
Gstob Gstob is offline
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Thanks Bluebee for the links, but none of them seems to address my problem....

Any ideas?



Oh and big thanks for your work on compiling threads
It has saved me alot of trouble in the past. (And like many E39 owners, in the future too )

Last edited by Gstob; 07-19-2013 at 06:00 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07-19-2013, 06:43 PM
Aussie528iT Aussie528iT is offline
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Gstob,
When doing the cold rev bleed:
Before you start and rev the cold engine, close and keep closed the bleed valves once bubble free coolant comes out. See 2/ in my post
Heater on max temp and fan on slowest setting. Max temp opens heater valves and keeps them open continuously, no pulsing open and closed. Fan on slowest speed starts auxilliary water pump.
Just place cap loosely on expansion tank, dont tighten it fully closed. This is to stop coolant blowing out of the top of the expansion tank when you rev the engine.
Start engine and within 30 secs rev COLD engine 3-4 times to 3000-4000 RPM. This is the important bit. This is what forces the coolant flow through the heater and flushes out any air. See 3/ in my post.
Once you have done this there should be no air in the heater. DO NOT open the bleed valves again unless you want to do the bleeding process again. See 2/ above.
Check coolant level in expansion tank and add or remove coolant until its about half full - end of level float flush with top of tank.
Close cap fully and and go for a drive. DO NOT open expansion tank cap again until engine is cold. Check and adjust level if necessary when engine is cold.
The expansion tank does not have an overflow tube. Coolant is vented through the cap (cap is hollow inside) and any over flowing coolant will leave white stains around the top of the expansion tank. This is normal but leads some people to think their expansion tank is faulty and leaking.

See the TIS 17-00-039 reference in bluebee's post above. This is for a V8 but the process is exactly the same for all BMW engines and is not E39 specific. This has been the same procedure for years. There are some variations if you have independant heating or latent heat options. Some systems need dealer equipment or INPA, IIRC "Independant Heating", to bleed the system properly.
Edit Added to bluebee reference.

Hope this helps
Good Luck
Regards
RonR
99 528iT M52TU

Last edited by Aussie528iT; 07-19-2013 at 08:28 PM.
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  #15  
Old 07-20-2013, 03:47 AM
Gstob Gstob is offline
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Update:

This morning i did the cold rev again, i did not touch the bleeder screws,
After 4 revs to 4000rpm , i shut the car off, and closed the cap (I refilled some coolant first, so the floater got to the kalt mark.

Then i went for a drive:

Log:
cabin temp set to 23,5c, fan speed and flow to auto and 3 red dots on the center vent, outside temp 15c.
After 15 min the temp stayed the same and i noticed no dro, current driving speed: 70km/h (about "50mph" US)
(Note the cabin temp has always been crazy, so i never known how it should properly work)

25 Min

Still nice air blowing, no temp drop.
I decided to give the system a "stress" test, so i clicked the ac on and driving speed to 90km/h (70mph)
Comfortable heated air blows.

40min
Desired temperature is still maintained by the hvac system



50min
Heat seems to "drop" but the air still feels comfertable. (This also is likely caused by the interior temp is reached, so the ikha sees no more need for the hotter air)
I opened the sun roof and driver window, after 30 seconds, i could feel warmer air from the vents.

55min drive finshed

I will open the expansion tank again 6-7 hours and check my level, and do a new test drive.

Hopefully is finally fixed.

This might be the solution to others, that also suffers the "geyser effect", when trying to bleed the coolant.
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  #16  
Old 07-21-2013, 03:05 AM
Gstob Gstob is offline
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Yet another update for anyone interested.

Took the car for another drive (1 hour+ this time)
I did the same "stress test" this time and had some higher speed

Cabin heat never dropped, so it was nice and warm all the time.

Seems i finally fixed the heat, yay!

Thanks for all the ideas/tips suggested guys


The method that worked for me:
(Alot suggested here differs from the proper method, but because in my case, if i leave the leave the bleed screws off, coolant spills till the hoses and expansion tank is empty)
(You will spill alot off coolant with this method, so take care on your surroundings)


Engine cold obviously.
Expansion tank cap off, tstat bleeder screw only slightly off (2-3 threads)
exp bleeder screw all the way off.
Set heat to max and fan speed to low.
Now coolant will bubble out off the tstat bleeder screws, allow it to continue till you see an even stream for it. Close the tstat bleeder screw all the way.

Now coolant will flow extensively from the expansion tank bleeder.
Insert the screw but do not close it all the way.
Allow the coolant to spill, bubbles will emerge.
Check the expansion tank level at this point, most likely it will need some more coolant.
If needed, pour slowly.

When no more bubbles appears from the bleeder screw, close it almost fully, but allow an small flow to pour out.

At this point squeeze the lower hose from the radiator( facing the the car, located down to the left. )
Bubbles appears. Release your grip slowly. Try giving it another squeeze, and you should see no more bubbles. Now do the same procedure on the hose that returns from the tstat (same that got the bleeder in it).
When there is no more bubbles appearing, close the screw completely.
Check coolant level, if needed fill coolant till the floater reaches the kalt mark.

With the expansion tank cap still off, get in your car, start it and rev it to 4000rpm 4 times in less than 30 seconds.
Shut off the engine and go check the coolant level. If none is needed, close the cap.

Now go for an drive that heats the engine up properly ( at least 10 minutes )

Park your car, and allow the car to cool down (at least 6-7 hours)

Now go check coolant level in the expansion tank. Do not in anyway touch the bleeder screws!

If needed, refill coolant till the floater reaches the kalt mark.
Now go do the cold reving again.

Close the cap, And go for a test drive (Minimum 40 minutes) Cabin heat should work at this point.


End notes:
As i said earlier, this is far from the proper method to bleed the cooling system, and a lot suggested here might sound stupid too the people that have the "know how", but none the less, it worked for me.

Last edited by Gstob; 07-21-2013 at 02:44 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-21-2013, 10:25 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Gstob, glad you got it worked out.

Basically your method involves the added step of "massaging" the radiator hoses. I am wondering why you get more bubbles out the bleeder screws that way.
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  #18  
Old 08-01-2013, 01:37 PM
Gstob Gstob is offline
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Update yet again

The heat dissapeared again.. But now im certain that this is not linked to air being in the system.

I used the 32`c "trick" while driving, and the heat output lasted for the whole drive (1hour)

So this lead me to belive that my thermostat is the culprit.

I dissambled my thermostat, and saw that the set temperature for it is 97`c
The p.n for it is : 11531437040 and it seems this is one is only used in europe, and is not listed in the US on REALOEM.
Is is used on 7 different models and engine sizes span from 2.0 to 3.0 (inline six)
I had my thermostat replaced a year ago when i got the car. (Before my DIY days began )


Onwards:
So i put in my obdII reader, and went for a drive trying to log the coolant temprature.

Hvac temp set to 25`c.
After 15 minutes driving, coolant temp is at constant 94-95`c.
After 30 minutes driving still same result, and only cold air blowing in the cabin.
So then i set the hvac temp up to 32`c, coolant temp rapidly drops to 87`c and takes maybe a minute to stabilize at 92- 93 `c. Constant flow off hot air.

Theory:
The heat output from my engine (520i) is not enough too keep the coolant at 96-97`c long enough.. So the engine is always properly cooled, i.e : the thermostat opens when the coolant reaches the set temperature for the thermostat , but only briefly enough to keep the engine cool and not allow the flow off hot coolant to the heat exchange for the cabin.


Possible workaround.
I will now try to get a thermostat with a set temperature of 93`c
Maybe the replacement thermostats with 97`c works poorly in colder climates
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:33 PM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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sounds like your thermostat is opening to early or too often not allowing coolant to get hot enough. That is a typical symptom of thermostat stuck in open position or in your case maybe the wrong thermostat.Dealer should now proper temp range for your area.
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  #20  
Old 08-01-2013, 04:14 PM
Gstob Gstob is offline
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It seems that all the thermostats available for M52TU and M54 is set to 97`c
It looks like it was only the M52 engine you could get different thermostats for. ( 87`c 93`c )

Looking at this picture:





There is 2 sensors related to the coolant, could it be that the sensors are old and corroded, and giving off wrong/low values to the heater valve, and not allowing it to open?

The heater valve has a connection with 3 pins, so im guessing + - signal

Last edited by Gstob; 08-01-2013 at 04:16 PM.
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  #21  
Old 08-03-2013, 01:02 PM
Gstob Gstob is offline
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bump

Anyone got any input before i start ordering parts?
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  #22  
Old 08-03-2013, 01:26 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Maybe I am misunderstanding something basic here but I think your tstat is performing normally based on the data you posted. Turning on the heater will drop the coolant temp temporarily on any car.

Tstats for the M52TU and M54 cars in the US are also set at 96-97 degrees. The displayed coolant temp range you saw seems normal. If I recall correctly, the information you see is coming from the dual temp sensor on the rear of the cylinder head. If that sensor is failing, it could be your problem. The DTS is cheap here in the states. About $27 for genuine BMW, probably half that for quality OE (FAE). It is somewhat difficult to reach but some people have replaced it without removing any more than the cabin filter housing on that side and removing the DTS with a 22-mm offset O2 sensor socket.

The radiator outlet temp sensor is of course much easier to get to and replace, and also inexpensive.

I am guessing on the heater valve but I would assume the signal pin (if that's what it is) is direct from the MS 42.0, in response to readings from the temp sensors.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:53 PM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gstob View Post
bump

Anyone got any input before i start ordering parts?
I hope you haven't ordered a new t-stat yet. Yours looks OK to me. Read this post for an explanation why the temperature reported by the sensor is lower than maximum temp seen by the t-stat.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...9&postcount=10
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  #24  
Old 08-03-2013, 02:38 PM
rdl rdl is offline
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After reading your reports of symptoms, I agree with you that air in the cooling system is not likely the source of your problem - you do get cabin heat at times. It appears to me that something is causing the water valve to close and thus reduce cabin heat.

For instance, some possible faults that come to mind:
HVAC control panel fault.
water valve circuit fault.
water control valve faults to closed as it heats up.
cabin air temp sensor in the IHKA is falsely reporting cabin is too warm & therefore IHKA turns off the heat.
IHKA cabin air sampling fan is inop - heat generated inside the IHKA "tricks" it & the IHKA to close the water valve.
temp sensor(s) in the air ducts may be faulty & again IHKA reduces heat thinking air is too hot.
etc.

I'd suggest finding a BMW aware diagnostic system to help find the problem. A well equipped shop will have a system, or you can DIY. For DIY, INPA would be a good option. It is inexpensive ($30 - $50 for a cable, INPA s/w can be found for free) & easy to install. It would allow you to monitor the IHKA system sensors and signals so you could catch the problem "in the act."

See these links for help
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=561237
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...6&postcount=47
or this forum
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ostic-Software
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  #25  
Old 08-03-2013, 02:43 PM
Gstob Gstob is offline
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Edit:
I just saw you posted at the same time as me rdl.
I got inpa, and the connection cable. But i never bothered useing it, because it stopped working, and i wouldn`t bother again with the painfull install process :P
But i will try to install it again
I propably won`t get a chance to test it out untill next week, but thanks for the info

Thx for the input,

I haven`t ordered a new tstat yet

On a side note:

When i start the car, the heat comes on after 5-6 min, and matches the temp on the hvac.

Then when the engine reaches operating tempeature (12`o clock mark)
Cold air starts blowing.

Maybe the dme has a "start up" mode, telling the heater in the thermosat to go on, and when ideal engine temperature is reached it goes to normal operation mode.

I`m thinking based on your post rdl, if i unplug the power to the sensor (engine temp)
Maybe this will give me an error code, but anyway, if the dme can`t read the engine temperature, it will constantly think the engine is heating up.
Makeing the dme tell the heat element in the thermostat to go on, and allowing hot coolant to the heater valve.

Note; I only intend to do this for experimental reasons but maybe this will give me an idea if the sensor is bad?

Last edited by Gstob; 08-03-2013 at 03:04 PM.
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