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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 01-23-2014, 03:08 PM
kylesteezedknox kylesteezedknox is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i bmw
PLEASE HELP!! :( wierd overheating issue with 528i 97'

I have 1997 528i with 130k on it ive been doing a lot of work on it lately I just replaced the thermostat and rtv'd the thermostat housing because there was air getting into the system through this tiny spot in the housing on the plastic inside by the gasket that was slightly chipped the rtv sealed properly and I bled the system properly I believe and it keeps overheating.

The gauge will overheat and the air gets freezing cold in the cab turned all the way up then after a second the dial will go back to normal and as it does the heat gets hot and turns back on

no coolant mixed with oil, no giant plumes of smoke coming out the back or oil/coolant dripping out of the exhaust no smoke coming from the engine itself at all no knocking very slight ticking so I don't think its a headgasket.

I got the thermostat from oriellys do u think its a faulty one?, fan and clutch still work good. I don't see any leaks in the hoses im so desperate to solve this guys
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2014, 03:18 PM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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You need to bleed the coolant system using aux pump method.
Engine cold.
Park the car so the nose is a little higher.
Remove all bleeders and expansion tank cap.
Turn engine key to ON but don't start
Max out the temp on heater
Turn heat blower on at lowest speed
Be patient and let the aux pump do the the work.
Slowly fill the tank with coolant if need be.

GL
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2014, 03:32 PM
kylesteezedknox kylesteezedknox is offline
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16valex, See when I bled the system I had the car level, turned the car engine actually on all the way and let it warm up to the normal level, then I took the reservoir cap off and let it "burp" that's it. and the level just kept coming up and burping and going and I would fill it a little and it would do the same thing over and over again I did this for like 20 minutes still blew cold air. did I do it completely wrong? this is my first bmw I'm a very experienced mechanic and im just stumped that it would just be the air in the system.
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2014, 03:43 PM
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bartelbe bartelbe is offline
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I am willing to bet that your aux pump isn't working. I have two 528i s with a similar issue one was completely rebuilt by myself about 1 1/2 ago with all new parts and the second was rebuilt about 2months ago also with all new parts. And I believe I have almost figured out what's going on almost. I will start with my issue to possibly help your situation. At idle with heat on at full blast vents blow cold air if I run the engine at 2000 rpms or greater vents will blow heat and this is with both cars so I checked the aux pump which both power and ground are ok so I jumped power and ground to the pump to test if the aux pump was bad and it is on both cars so I have been looking for 2 new aux pumps but I dont want to spend $600 "$300 a piece" so this got me thinking on how these could affect engine cooling and why bmw even has them and one reason I know is for the rest button on the hvac display which when pressed will turn these aux pumps on and with the engine off you would still have heat and I thought that this was all the aux pump was used for untill I was playing with my e34 which had been sitting for a while and when I turn the key on I heard gurgling coming from the heater core and upon further inspect found that the aux was one with the engine running and hvac set to heat. And then QSilver also posted a nice little bit of info stating that the aux is activated to help with heating at low idle so with all that I figured out why I dont have heat I have yet to confirm as I am still looking for the aux pump. But that left another question why the hell would it overheat with the aux pump not working? And it gets better it will only overheat under certain circumstances #1 engine idling with heater blower motor on full if the blower motor is half or off it will not overheat ever. And there is another way I found that it will overheat if I start and drive with the fan on full "most of my commute is freeway untill the last mile" I will have heat because the rpms or above 2000 and when I stop at the donut shop come out and continue on my trip and the dam this will start to approach the red zone on the gauge and with my scan tool monitoring the engine temp it is at 240F and no heat even with rpm above 2000 andthen the temps drops right back down and settles where it is supposed to with no more problems. So I know how to fix the problem but for the life of me cant figure out why it would overheat in the certain situations but not others. Perhaps a detailed schematic of the complete cooling system would help. Both cars have absolutely no leaks and have used my matco coolant fill tool which pulls a vacuum on the entire system and both hold a vacuum.

Last edited by bartelbe; 01-23-2014 at 05:29 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2014, 07:54 PM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylesteezedknox View Post
16valex, See when I bled the system I had the car level, turned the car engine actually on all the way and let it warm up to the normal level, then I took the reservoir cap off and let it "burp" that's it. and the level just kept coming up and burping and going and I would fill it a little and it would do the same thing over and over again I did this for like 20 minutes still blew cold air. did I do it completely wrong? this is my first bmw I'm a very experienced mechanic and im just stumped that it would just be the air in the system.
Kyle,

Yeah you would think BMW is just another car but believe me it's not, especially the I6 coolant system.

Your overheat symptom is a classic air trap and the best way to get them out is cold bleeding as I mentioned earlier.
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2014, 08:19 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I think 1997 528i has no aux water pump.

Anyway, as 16valex said...

I will show you the trick:
- Engine cold and off.
- Loosen but don't remove the bleeder screw at the tstat housing.
- Pour 50-50 coolant mix into the reservoir, go slow, it takes a while to fill the engine block.
The key thing is: pour coolant ABOVE the KALT mark in the reservoir. Otherwise, the block will not fill up properly.
Be patient, go slow!
- When coolant flows out of the bleeder screw, gently tighten it, don't force it as it can break!
- Wash any coolant spill with some water.

Start the engine and drive around the blocks for a good 30 min. Don't go too far from home.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2014, 08:31 PM
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bartelbe bartelbe is offline
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Just about all bmws have the aux water pump my 90 525,92 750il,97 528i,98 528i,& 98 540i at least I know for certain that these ones do.
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2014, 08:52 PM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartelbe View Post
just about all bmws have the aux water pump my 90 525,92 750il,97 528i,98 528i,& 98 540i at least i know for certain that these ones do.
+1
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2014, 03:52 PM
kylesteezedknox kylesteezedknox is offline
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thanks guys. I just needed a second opinion I did my research but didn't believe the systems to be that different from most foreign cars. ill let you know how it goes
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2014, 06:02 PM
kylesteezedknox kylesteezedknox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartelbe View Post
I am willing to bet that your aux pump isn't working. I have two 528i s with a similar issue one was completely rebuilt by myself about 1 1/2 ago with all new parts and the second was rebuilt about 2months ago also with all new parts. And I believe I have almost figured out what's going on almost. I will start with my issue to possibly help your situation. At idle with heat on at full blast vents blow cold air if I run the engine at 2000 rpms or greater vents will blow heat and this is with both cars so I checked the aux pump which both power and ground are ok so I jumped power and ground to the pump to test if the aux pump was bad and it is on both cars so I have been looking for 2 new aux pumps but I dont want to spend $600 "$300 a piece" so this got me thinking on how these could affect engine cooling and why bmw even has them and one reason I know is for the rest button on the hvac display which when pressed will turn these aux pumps on and with the engine off you would still have heat and I thought that this was all the aux pump was used for untill I was playing with my e34 which had been sitting for a while and when I turn the key on I heard gurgling coming from the heater core and upon further inspect found that the aux was one with the engine running and hvac set to heat. And then QSilver also posted a nice little bit of info stating that the aux is activated to help with heating at low idle so with all that I figured out why I dont have heat I have yet to confirm as I am still looking for the aux pump. But that left another question why the hell would it overheat with the aux pump not working? And it gets better it will only overheat under certain circumstances #1 engine idling with heater blower motor on full if the blower motor is half or off it will not overheat ever. And there is another way I found that it will overheat if I start and drive with the fan on full "most of my commute is freeway untill the last mile" I will have heat because the rpms or above 2000 and when I stop at the donut shop come out and continue on my trip and the dam this will start to approach the red zone on the gauge and with my scan tool monitoring the engine temp it is at 240F and no heat even with rpm above 2000 andthen the temps drops right back down and settles where it is supposed to with no more problems. So I know how to fix the problem but for the life of me cant figure out why it would overheat in the certain situations but not others. Perhaps a detailed schematic of the complete cooling system would help. Both cars have absolutely no leaks and have used my matco coolant fill tool which pulls a vacuum on the entire system and both hold a vacuum.
I just ran the computer through and no codes came up for the aux water pump or valve system which I believe normally show up when they need to be replaced (being attached to sensors and such)
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  #11  
Old 01-24-2014, 06:15 PM
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bartelbe bartelbe is offline
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There won't be any codes for the aux water pump. The computer doesn't care if it working or not. Check ing power is the only way to see if it is receiving the command should be able to hear it also if it is working with key on engine off heater on the hvac or just press the rest button

Last edited by bartelbe; 01-25-2014 at 07:40 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-25-2014, 04:16 AM
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mjalloul11 mjalloul11 is online now
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The AUX pump on 97 is hidden below the cabin air filter and the under the heater valves on the driver side. Turn it on and put your hand on it, it should be buzzing.
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2014, 08:48 AM
kylesteezedknox kylesteezedknox is offline
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yeah my rest button doesn't light up idk if it works or not, I know where the aux pump is just haven't driven the car or done the bleed yet I live in MI its ****in snowing like crazy and well below 0 degrees out -_-
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  #14  
Old 01-26-2014, 10:53 AM
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bartelbe bartelbe is offline
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I thought I read somewhere that proper cooling system bleeding procedure involves turn the heater on. If this is correct then that would confirm that the aux pump should be running to push any air trapped in the heater core. So if the aux pump is not working then you may have a tough time bleeding. I would start at the aux pump not working for the reason that your issues like mine are being caused by the aux pump not working and by fixing the pump it will in turn fix both your overheat issue and no heat.
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  #15  
Old 01-26-2014, 11:55 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartelbe View Post
I thought I read somewhere that proper cooling system bleeding procedure involves turn the heater on.
Typing /bleed f3 in the bestlinks nets this...
- 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).
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #16  
Old 01-27-2014, 06:15 AM
kylesteezedknox kylesteezedknox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Typing /bleed f3 in the bestlinks nets this...
- 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).
thanks bluebee
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  #17  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:56 AM
kylesteezedknox kylesteezedknox is offline
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So im doing the bleed now its -5 here in MI and ive had the car sittin in ignition position for about 10-15 minutes hasent heated up yet is it supposed to? pour the fluid in the reservoir it sucked down slightly and is staying mid way, had all the bleeder caps and reservoir cap removed as well. and I can hear the buzzing of the aux water pump by the driver side air filter. whats next? I feel like a newb -_-
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  #18  
Old 01-28-2014, 10:07 AM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylesteezedknox View Post
So im doing the bleed now its -5 here in MI and ive had the car sittin in ignition position for about 10-15 minutes hasent heated up yet is it supposed to? pour the fluid in the reservoir it sucked down slightly and is staying mid way, had all the bleeder caps and reservoir cap removed as well. and I can hear the buzzing of the aux water pump by the driver side air filter. whats next? I feel like a newb -_-
What do you mean "hasn't heated up yet"? The engine is off right?
Ignition ON
Heater On max.
Blower speed minimum.
Turn on top, bottom, and mid vents.
Let the aux pump purge the air out of the system. It may take 20-30 minutes.
Fill the expansion tank slowly until it covers 2/3 of the return hose but not cover the return hose completely.

If you see the coolant start to spill over the bleeder screw at the thermostat then stop. Button everything up, go for a good ride of 30 minutes or more.

Check coolant level the next day or the next cold cycle. Top it off if needs be.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:16 AM
kylesteezedknox kylesteezedknox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
What do you mean "hasn't heated up yet"? The engine is off right?
Ignition ON
Heater On max.
Blower speed minimum.
Turn on top, bottom, and mid vents.
Let the aux pump purge the air out of the system. It may take 20-30 minutes.
Fill the expansion tank slowly until it covers 2/3 of the return hose but not cover the return hose completely.

If you see the coolant start to spill over the bleeder screw at the thermostat then stop. Button everything up, go for a good ride of 30 minutes or more.

Check coolant level the next day or the next cold cycle. Top it off if needs be.
the engine was off ignition on, well I sat there and nothing was happening for a solid 15 minutes the pump was pumping to, I turned the car actually on. did I f up the process?
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:34 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylesteezedknox View Post
the engine was off ignition on, well I sat there and nothing was happening for a solid 15 minutes the pump was pumping to, I turned the car actually on. did I f up the process?
Just so you know ....

The purpose of turning the heater unit on (fan low, temp at max high setting) is to push water through the cooling system including the heater core and get any trapped air pockets to come out through the bleeder vents.

You just sat in the car that whole time? You needed to be in front of the car, watching the open bleeder screws and adding coolant through the expansion tank mouth, and closing off the bleeders when bubbles change to fluid.
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  #21  
Old 01-28-2014, 10:35 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartelbe View Post
Just about all bmws have the aux water pump my 90 525,92 750il,97 528i,98 528i,& 98 540i at least I know for certain that these ones do.
Just to digress, I entered 64-11-8-381-989 into realoem dot com, and it says M52/M54 etc. after 9/98.
My car build date was Sept 1997, so I guess no Aux WP?
I am trying to learn if my 1998 528i (build date 09/1997) has Aux WP...
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  #22  
Old 01-28-2014, 10:39 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Just to digress, I entered 64-11-8-381-989 into realoem dot com, and it says M52/M54 etc. after 9/98.
My car build date was Sept 1997, so I guess no Aux WP?
I am trying to learn if my 1998 528i (build date 09/1997) has Aux WP...

My understanding is that the "aux pump" was merely moved from the base of the heater valve to a location all its own at the bottom left corner of the rad. Do you see a big electric pump attached to the bottom of your heater valve assembly?
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  #23  
Old 01-28-2014, 11:01 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Actually found the bugger!!!
For 1998 528i, it is directly below the heater valve.
This is a device that I never paid attention (or care about), anyway it is there.
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  #24  
Old 01-28-2014, 11:18 AM
kylesteezedknox kylesteezedknox is offline
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yeah I haven t physically taken apart anything to see it but I definitely can hear it, I dont have any leaking hoses or anything im beside myself on this process when I left the car in IGNITION for 20 mins absolutely nothing happened temp gauge didn't move no fluid flowed through the thermostat housing that I could see I poured to the halfway mark and it sucked it down very little stayed about level WTF AM I DOING WRONGGG ughh this is stupid frustrating for a simple coolant bleed
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  #25  
Old 01-28-2014, 11:21 AM
kylesteezedknox kylesteezedknox is offline
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i followed the steps you guys told me to do and nothing happened u could hear a buzzing sound (guessing that was the aux pump) and absolutely nothing happened no overflow of coolant through any of the bleeders or the reservoir cap no air bubbles come out till i turn the car on and let it heat up I've never dealt with this shiz before and its frustrating as ever
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