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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 05-25-2013, 09:36 AM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is offline
retiredat44
Location: Oregon
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 187
Mein Auto: BMW and Toyota
Question tiny oil leak question 2001 530i

tiny oil leak question.

I get a small drop of oil on my oil pan every few days.. and was wondering if it could possibly be the sump (oil pan) gasket? One step further is, has anyone tried to cinch the oil pan bolts to stop a leak, or seep from the oil pan? it seems to be on the passenger side, but I am not totally sure if it settles there because it is impossbile for the car to be exactly flat and just migrates to one side. I cannot find any leaks around the engine area, front back or sides... As soon as I can get it up on a rack,, not sure how,,, because there is nothing else wrong, and obviously gotta find a shop that will put it up on a rack so I can look around, but most shops will not let people look around under a rack... and laying under the car on a creeper , with the car on jacks sucks. Car is so low I can barely get my skinny arm under it.... whish there was a DIY shop around here..

I still need to steam clean that bottom of the engine,, haven't done that yet...

2001 530i with auto steptronic trans and I-6 engine.

Edit: I have to find out the torque of bolts before I lay a hand on them,, I usually can feel with my hand trhe desire torque on small bolts... I always try to use small wrench so I can feel the resistance... keeps me out of serious trouble...
__________________
BMW 2001 530i (E39)
(Family cars):
1989 Toyota Corolla SR5 (400,000 miles, and junking soon).
1993 Toyota Camry LE (Daughter uses it for college).

Disabled Veteran:
Necrotizing Pancreatitis (pancreas is dying, not sure when, doctors can't giver me a more exact time of how long I have. There is no cure and with many complications.).

Last edited by retiredat44; 05-25-2013 at 10:43 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2013, 05:40 PM
DHoffmeyer DHoffmeyer is offline
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Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 34
Mein Auto: 99 528i
I have a similar issue, which in my case was recently diagnosed as a leaking oil filter housing gasket, an odd shaped little thing for which there is a decent DIY here:
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...1#post13970831

I haven't done mine yet, but it's on the list.
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  #3  
Old 05-25-2013, 06:30 PM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is offline
retiredat44
Location: Oregon
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 187
Mein Auto: BMW and Toyota
Lightbulb

someone already replaced the hoses and clamps up in that area,,, and it's dry,, no fresh oil.... near the filter and top areas... I just bought the ca ruses a few months ago... it looks like someone replaced the radiator (maybe just expansion tank), the hoses and clamps in that area, not sure about all the parts, but it's definitely not leaking up there... only wet at the bottom of the oil pan after a few days.. doesn't seem to matter if I drive it or not it seems to leak either way,, I maybe going on a long trip in a couple months,, until now the farthests I have driven is maybe an hour and a half.. the trip is going to be a couple days driving.. but will not be for a couple months and will find out more about the leak..
__________________
BMW 2001 530i (E39)
(Family cars):
1989 Toyota Corolla SR5 (400,000 miles, and junking soon).
1993 Toyota Camry LE (Daughter uses it for college).

Disabled Veteran:
Necrotizing Pancreatitis (pancreas is dying, not sure when, doctors can't giver me a more exact time of how long I have. There is no cure and with many complications.).

Last edited by retiredat44; 05-25-2013 at 06:32 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-26-2013, 03:31 PM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is offline
retiredat44
Location: Oregon
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 187
Mein Auto: BMW and Toyota
Lightbulb

There is some wires and hose (I think) running alongside the cover, held by clips (I think) is it possible that the oil is not coming from the gasket, but some little hose there... I read there is some rubber parts that connect sections of hose next tot he cover.. and those connectors (made of rubber, get old and leak..). Maybe that is just letting enough out to make a small mess. I will change the valve cover gasket when I change the aspark plugs, until then I willwait.. the plugs are fine, so no need to mess with them at this time. Might as wel wait until I need to do several things at the same time. I just get annoyed because there is absoltely no room to clean that area because there is a sensor with wires blocking the way of the metal shelf below the valve, cover. Mine gets a slight oil film on it after a few weeks. I just can't see enough because there is to much crap in the way... I was really hoping I would have a car with room to maintain things, but again, too much crap in too little of space.
__________________
BMW 2001 530i (E39)
(Family cars):
1989 Toyota Corolla SR5 (400,000 miles, and junking soon).
1993 Toyota Camry LE (Daughter uses it for college).

Disabled Veteran:
Necrotizing Pancreatitis (pancreas is dying, not sure when, doctors can't giver me a more exact time of how long I have. There is no cure and with many complications.).
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  #5  
Old 05-27-2013, 07:29 AM
johnstern's Avatar
johnstern johnstern is offline
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Location: Cape Neddick, Maine
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 528iT/5, S/C
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredat44 View Post
There is some wires and hose (I think) running alongside the cover, held by clips (I think) is it possible that the oil is not coming from the gasket, but some little hose there... I read there is some rubber parts that connect sections of hose next tot he cover.. and those connectors (made of rubber, get old and leak..). Maybe that is just letting enough out to make a small mess. I will change the valve cover gasket when I change the aspark plugs, until then I willwait.. the plugs are fine, so no need to mess with them at this time. Might as wel wait until I need to do several things at the same time. I just get annoyed because there is absoltely no room to clean that area because there is a sensor with wires blocking the way of the metal shelf below the valve, cover. Mine gets a slight oil film on it after a few weeks. I just can't see enough because there is to much crap in the way... I was really hoping I would have a car with room to maintain things, but again, too much crap in too little of space.
There is no oil line just under the right (passenger) side of the valve cover. The rubber hose you see there is the vacuum line to the SAS valve. The wires go to the upstream O2 sensors.

Simple Green and a garden hose will clear any oil residue so you can diagnose the source of the oil but you can bet it's from the valve cover gasket.
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  #6  
Old 05-27-2013, 06:09 PM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is offline
retiredat44
Location: Oregon
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 187
Mein Auto: BMW and Toyota
Lightbulb

does anyone know which brand gasket set for the valve cover gasket set is recommended? I know some will say BMW brand, or dealer.. but I was hoping for a decent price.. It just a minor leak, but would like to get it done in the coming weeks.

not sure if recommndations are already in a DIY.

thanx..


edit.
I searched very gard and found fresh oil in a very hard to reach corner of the BMW valve cover.. it was so hard to find,, it showed up on a white paper towel.. and was very fresh not yet dripped off the gaskets, but building to a drip..
I ordered a valve cover gasket set...
with a long trip coming, I don't want oil leaking..

I ordered it online from Pelican.
I will also replace the spark plugs, even though it runs perfect, might as well just get them while I have some of the parts off..
(I am also doing an oil change and plugs on my daughters Camry, there is a sale on some stuff and might as well do two cars at once with some parts..)

I usually use Bosch but will check to see if the Auto-Lite Platinum series fits the BMW, there is a very good sale at Autozone for plugs depending on which model (no more than $2.00 per plug..)... also, a $5.00 coupon off Any Walmart Valvoline 5 qt oil jug.
That will go in the Camry.
__________________
BMW 2001 530i (E39)
(Family cars):
1989 Toyota Corolla SR5 (400,000 miles, and junking soon).
1993 Toyota Camry LE (Daughter uses it for college).

Disabled Veteran:
Necrotizing Pancreatitis (pancreas is dying, not sure when, doctors can't giver me a more exact time of how long I have. There is no cure and with many complications.).

Last edited by retiredat44; 05-28-2013 at 12:53 AM.
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  #7  
Old 05-29-2013, 07:55 PM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is offline
retiredat44
Location: Oregon
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 187
Mein Auto: BMW and Toyota
Question

I replaced the valve cover gasket with a new one. While I was changing the valve cover gaskets, I replaced the spark plugs. First of all the car was running great, but wasn't sure how old the spark plugs were, because I bought the car used a few months ago.

When I got it all back together, I drove it around the block and it was not firing on all cylinders. Maybe 5 out of 6 were running. A light to service the car also came on.

I went home and turned off the car, restarted it, drove it a little more, and it is running fantastic. turning off the engine and restarting it made it perfect.

Great. But, I am wondering, am I suppose to reset the computer?

I think the computer was confused when I changed the spark plugs. I changed the computer when I changed the oil and filter recently, so it would know it had been changed.

Thanx.

edit., I am going to use this to make a new thread, n o one sees this,, I need an answer..
__________________
BMW 2001 530i (E39)
(Family cars):
1989 Toyota Corolla SR5 (400,000 miles, and junking soon).
1993 Toyota Camry LE (Daughter uses it for college).

Disabled Veteran:
Necrotizing Pancreatitis (pancreas is dying, not sure when, doctors can't giver me a more exact time of how long I have. There is no cure and with many complications.).

Last edited by retiredat44; 05-30-2013 at 01:16 AM.
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  #8  
Old 05-30-2013, 03:31 AM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is offline
retiredat44
Location: Oregon
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 187
Mein Auto: BMW and Toyota
Lightbulb

I wanted to say replacing the valve cover gaskets (and spark plugs) took much, much longer than I thought it would. I have done many valve covers in the past, on al sorts of engines. This job took a lot of hours. It took maybe 4 hours to just remove the parts...



it took a short time to spray the valve cover with brake fluid, it wasn't very dirty at all and no gasket material was on it to remove. The head was easy to clean what very little was on it... it was very, very clean.. I didn't put new VANOS parts on, it ruins great and I didn't want to mess with that since it runs great. I have no clue if it had ever been changed. I did put new spark plugs in. There was absolutely no trace of oil were is should not be, all rubber parts (except a small section of some vacuum hose) were in very good condition. Gromments were in very good condition.

The valve cover bolt in the lower corner was in a terrible place to hold in firmly and turn it without stripping it. Not sure what tool would have made it easier. A mini ratchet and socket helped a lot. And a mini box end wrench. I went by hand tight,,, so I don't strip and break parts.

But, just the amount of time it took to do the job took about 10 hours. But, my back is very bad and horrible health. It really took a very long time to do al the work. The parts were in very good condition. The rubber gromments were in very good condition, but I bought some new ones , just in case I needed new ones. The old valve cover gasket had some bad places at the rear cam cutout area. One vacuum home was brittle and I had some extra new hose around to replace that with.

The reverse order was not easy on assembly,. because things like the electrical wires and hoses do not go back neatly and easily as they were on there before removal. So, it takes extra work to work in tight places and remembers how things tuck away.

All is well know, I hope..

__________________
BMW 2001 530i (E39)
(Family cars):
1989 Toyota Corolla SR5 (400,000 miles, and junking soon).
1993 Toyota Camry LE (Daughter uses it for college).

Disabled Veteran:
Necrotizing Pancreatitis (pancreas is dying, not sure when, doctors can't giver me a more exact time of how long I have. There is no cure and with many complications.).
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2013, 08:22 AM
retiredat44 retiredat44 is offline
retiredat44
Location: Oregon
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 187
Mein Auto: BMW and Toyota
Lightbulb

follow up... after the drive to Oregon, the car runs great,, excellent gas mileage.. I would say up to 30 mpg... less if I go through a city and stop and go... valve cover still had small seep,, so I Pulled it back off and put a bead of Permatex sealer all the way around it,, no more of the just a little there b.s.

that's it,, runs great. Most driving is on country roads... just cruise,, the area I live in has no stop lights,, just a couple stop signs.. what a joy it is to just drive, and not be in big cities..

gas is about $3.70 gallon for super 92 octane. more if you fill up in small towns.

wish the speed limit were faster on the major interstate... the car loves a bit more speed,, but can cruise well out in the open,,, lots of twisties and straights.. hills too.. wife never drove on ice or snow,, I always did the driving when I snow skied many, many years ago.. I also was stationed in North Dakota and Northern Europe (when on active duty military) besides learning to drive in the high sierras when I learned to drive.. so I know bad weather driving..
so she will learn to drive in snow (if or when it snows..) if there are any iced roads I will probably either be there or teach her.
I got my fill or long drives,, especially being very sick,, even with a decent car, it's not fun, but at least the car is decent. It's nice not having to work on a car much,, the old cars we had always needed something.. now, it would be nice to own another small pickup to move things and just have a little truck,,, always nice to have two cars.. in case something happens to one.. hopefully next year we can get a used small pickup as a second car.. and when we go to home depot I don't have to put wood in the BMW.
__________________
BMW 2001 530i (E39)
(Family cars):
1989 Toyota Corolla SR5 (400,000 miles, and junking soon).
1993 Toyota Camry LE (Daughter uses it for college).

Disabled Veteran:
Necrotizing Pancreatitis (pancreas is dying, not sure when, doctors can't giver me a more exact time of how long I have. There is no cure and with many complications.).
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