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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 01-24-2014, 08:02 AM
mwbyrd mwbyrd is offline
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Engine Lost Power

I posted this in an older thread today but figured I'd post it here for some advice:

Well, My 2003 525i's engine lost power going over the mountains towards Asheville, NC. Worried about engine so had it towed back to Mooresville. Engine was running really rough, oil was clean and mechanic said radiator fluid was a little low but ok. Never had the Service Engine light come on until the engine lost power. Car has never overheated - or I should say I never received any warning. I did have the yellow crud under the oil cap and had noticed some smoking but attributed that to the crazy cold weather we've had in NC. I had the water pump replaced 1-2 months ago.

I pulled over and opened the hood expecting the engine to be hot, but it wasn't. Car would start and run but didn't have any power and struggled to idle.

First Mechanic said blown head gasket (major compression loss in Cylinder 4). Wanted 2nd opinion so had it towed to recommended mechanic. They don't think it is the head gasket, they think it is a valve spring issue. They are researching that today and will let me know if the heads are ok or need machining.

Anyways, repairs not looking good. Lots of $$. Bought the care this summer with 113K and it now has 119K. Always checked under the car for leaks, kept the oil up to level (it did burn some), let the care warm up before driving, etc.

Researched new engine - way too much. It would cost more than I paid for the car. Already into this 'adventure' about $800 with towing and diagnostic expenses...

Any advice?

Can you say BUMMED....
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2014, 08:42 AM
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bartelbe bartelbe is online now
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What was the code?
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2014, 08:47 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Compession Loss is not good--I just had a bought with that myself--Hope All Turns Out OK
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2014, 08:52 AM
Abuilder2 Abuilder2 is offline
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I'm having the same issue with my 06 e60 rough idle and lose of power, and service engine soon light went on, I've also been seeing this complaint pop up on the board, some people say it's the cold weather or condensation from the gas because of the cold weather, Or vacuum leaks


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  #5  
Old 01-24-2014, 09:14 AM
mwbyrd mwbyrd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abuilder2 View Post
I'm having the same issue with my 06 e60 rough idle and lose of power, and service engine soon light went on, I've also been seeing this complaint pop up on the board, some people say it's the cold weather or condensation from the gas because of the cold weather, Or vacuum leaks


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I was really hoping it was the CCV or a vacuum leak. But neither mechanic even went there. Crazy thing is that I had the exact same thing happen to my truck early this summer. The only difference is that when the truck let go, it really let go and felt like the engine was going to rattle apart. The BMW has a rough idle, but no where near as bad as the truck. Same results though - lost bigtime compression in one or more cylinders with same diagnosis - major engine repair/work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bartelbe View Post
What was the code?
Don't know yet. Didn't ask because i'm kind of in shock.
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2014, 09:15 AM
mwbyrd mwbyrd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
Compession Loss is not good--I just had a bought with that myself--Hope All Turns Out OK
What was the result?
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2014, 04:48 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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I had a burnt valve in No5 Cylinder--I elected to install another engine--cost for repair was about what the cost for the engine with the install was--old engine had 265k miles on her--the new one has 56k miles. My Tranny has about 65 k miles--so I'm driving this car until the wheels fall off.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:24 PM
stachu stachu is offline
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camshaft position sensor had same thing happening to me first 3 cylinders were making noise from injectors and totally lost power going up hill etc and my car was dying one after I stopped on red light. also when bimmers burn oil its related to stuck pcv valve that's what I find out on mine when it started to burn oil a lil bit
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2014, 06:40 PM
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eparayno eparayno is offline
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Find out what the codes were and post them here or google.
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2014, 07:29 PM
Abuilder2 Abuilder2 is offline
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P0306 that's what came up on mine


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  #11  
Old 01-26-2014, 02:45 PM
mwbyrd mwbyrd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
I had a burnt valve in No5 Cylinder--I elected to install another engine--cost for repair was about what the cost for the engine with the install was--old engine had 265k miles on her--the new one has 56k miles. My Tranny has about 65 k miles--so I'm driving this car until the wheels fall off.
I know this is a loaded question, but what was your quote for the engine. So far my mechanic quoted me $6500 for a re-manned engine and $8400 for a brand new one.

Still don't know the final diagnosis. Hope to hear tomorrow.
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  #12  
Old 01-26-2014, 02:57 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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My Indy Here in town charged me 2800.00 for the engine--that included the install also
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2014, 04:40 PM
mwbyrd mwbyrd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
My Indy Here in town charged me 2800.00 for the engine--that included the install also
How didnyounsource the engine.
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2014, 03:27 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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My Indy Found The Engine--It Was A Turn Key Job. The engine was very clean inside as well--I got lucky--I also have a great Indy.
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2014, 06:50 AM
mwbyrd mwbyrd is offline
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I asked the mechanic about the codes. This was his response:

Pretty much narrowed down to a straight misfire on cylinder #4. Initial compression test showed 20 where all other cylinders were 150+. They should hopefully be able to work you back in for the leak check today.

This couldn't be something as dumb as a spark plug could it....
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  #16  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:23 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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The comp test ,pretty much sum's it up. The engine has lost a cylinder. You may get lucky and have a broken Valve Spring,,but anything after that is going to mean the head has to come off and more info will need to be found.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:17 AM
mwbyrd mwbyrd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
The comp test ,pretty much sum's it up. The engine has lost a cylinder. You may get lucky and have a broken Valve Spring,,but anything after that is going to mean the head has to come off and more info will need to be found.
Here is the verdict from the mechanic:

'Ok so we have all the pressure going out the exhaust on the head on cylinder 4. Meaning the exhaust valves are not closing. Now you are sure this thing did not overheat on ya?

It is very unusual for this to happen and when we rar a camera down we didnít see signs of damage to the piston. The head could be cracked near the exhaust valves. Aint a whole lot more I can guess at.'

Bummed. I bought the car in June/July and it never overheated on me. Dumb luck I guess...
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  #18  
Old 01-28-2014, 08:45 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Mine happened in #5 cylinder--didn't tear the engine down because of cost and the special tools that would be needed in the rebuild. Question--have you pulled the DISA valve to have a look at the pin that holds all that together--if that pin was allowed to get free --it could do alot of damage to the valves in a cylinder. Know that doesn't help any,,but it could tell what happened and if you find the problem--your indy might have a better feeling on removeing the head and fixing the damage done.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:19 AM
mwbyrd mwbyrd is offline
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Poolman,

Thanks, I'll forward this information to him. Looks like I'm in the same boat. I can go 'deep' into to tear the engine down for further diagnosis. But what you said is the problem - figuring out what caused the problem in the first place.

He is looking into the cost of a used engine and also what I might be able to 'part' the car out for. I'm not sure what direction to head in. the car is 10 years old and it doesn't have any sentimental value to me. If i'm not careful, I will have invested way too much money in an old car.
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  #20  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:48 AM
Abuilder2 Abuilder2 is offline
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I asked my buddy that is a bmw mechanic and he said the is most likely the valve cover gasket is leaking, causing oil to leak into the spark plug, I'm going to take it apart right now and see what's up, I'll post results


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  #21  
Old 01-29-2014, 07:04 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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If your indy can determine that indeed the valves or valve in No4 cylinder on the exhaust side is NOT closing--then you might be lucky enough to have a bad valve spring. That can be fixed without removing the head--might run you 500 bucks instead of a few thousand--just thought to add that --
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  #22  
Old 01-29-2014, 08:02 AM
Abuilder2 Abuilder2 is offline
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I was all ready to change out my valve cover gasket, I first removed all the plugs to see if there was any oil in them, they were all dry, so I replaced just the two coils on cylinder 3 and 6 and new plugs, they were due anyway, and so far the car is running great


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  #23  
Old 01-29-2014, 09:37 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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The OP still has the problem though--glad that your running again--but --Mwbyrd--I would pull the valve cover on your engine and look and see if the exhaust valve springs have failed--You could have someone turn the engine over while watching if the springs are working the valves the way tey are supposed to. If they are broken they can be fixed without removing the head--Since you haven't overheated the engine--you may get lucky though and pull the head for a rebuild--dang if ya do and danged if ya don't.
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  #24  
Old 01-31-2014, 10:06 AM
mwbyrd mwbyrd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
The OP still has the problem though--glad that your running again--but --Mwbyrd--I would pull the valve cover on your engine and look and see if the exhaust valve springs have failed--You could have someone turn the engine over while watching if the springs are working the valves the way tey are supposed to. If they are broken they can be fixed without removing the head--Since you haven't overheated the engine--you may get lucky though and pull the head for a rebuild--dang if ya do and danged if ya don't.
Thanks. I'm still waiting to hear back from the Indy. He is researching a used engine. I'm pretty sure it's not a valve spring - think he said they could see them with the scope? Maybe I just dreamed that up.

For some reason he hasn't offered that up as a fix. He seems reluctant to tear to far into the engine to diagnose why the valve failed.

I'm pretty sure he's thinking it's a cracked head at this point even though he hasn't said as much. I'm not a mechanic and this whole exhaust valve failure has me confused when it comes to fixing it. Seems the diagnosis is pretty complex.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:15 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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With these engine getting some high mileage on them now--chances for mechanical failure rise. There was a discussion on valves somewhere and the thing I remember was --bad ones do get through from time to time. They can last for a lot of miles--but at sometime an edge can burn--burn a valve and you have lost compression on the cylinder it's located in...Now the big thing is--tearing into an engine that requires lots of special tools to do the job. These engine require those special tools---unless your indy specializes on these cars--bet he doesn't have those tools...That might be the thing to do --is find spot that can do the job and stand behind the work--easier siad than done though--One thing in your favor--if the engine hasn't ever over heated--your a good candidate for haveing the work done. If the engine was overheated--I wouldn't think about it though--when retourqing the heads back down--the pressure could strip the heads bolts out of the block--because the engine was over heated--it would weaken the block and cause this problem--Good Luck In What Ever Happens
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