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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 04-22-2014, 12:33 PM
Aztecson Aztecson is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 Bmw 528i
1997 528i limping

How's it going, a while back i bought a 1997 BMW 528i. Had a code for trans speed a. P0500 and bmw code 84 for crank sensor ( I cleared all the codes P0500 was the only one that came back). Even though the
The crank code and didnt come back could it be bad? I pulled the sensor of the tail end of the trans. IT WAS A GM PART!!? . . Its on limp mode. When i replace
The parts Will limp mode go away automatically ?
I know I have to clear the codes. I don't know about the limp mode. My first bimmer. Thanks for any help
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2014, 02:25 PM
djmjd djmjd is offline
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It's a GM transmission - a 4L30E. BMW doesn't make transmissions. The GM transmissions (later years had the 5L40E) tend to be more durable than the ZF transmissions anyway. Check your fluid level while you're under there, you check it just like any other GM tranny - warm with the engine running after putting it in each gear for a few seconds, unfortunately since there's no dipstick you do it under the car. I'd also recommend a fluid/fliter change (Dexron III is the correct fluid) as GM recommended no more than 100K miles between fluid changes. I have an 'Actron CP9580A' scantool and it have used it to scan and clear e39 trans codes. I believe Advance auto parts uses this same scantool for their free code reading service so they should be able to clear your codes once you fix the tranny.

If you find the tranny to be low on fluid see if your fluid cooler is leaking (it's in front of the radiator), that wouldn't be a surprise.

Last edited by djmjd; 04-22-2014 at 02:28 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2014, 03:54 PM
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bartelbe bartelbe is offline
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As djmjd stated its a gm trans. The output shaft speed sensor may not be your culprit as it will cause shifting issues, limp mode & cel I dont think the instrument cluster use this particular sensor for mph or odometer. As stated in your previous thread that you need to check the rear driver side wheel speed sensor & circuit since it sounds like the evidence is more pointing to that speed sensor as the issue " your lack of mph gauge and odometer". I'll unplug mine output speed sensor when I get home to see what pops up for a code. Iam kinda curious
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:39 PM
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bartelbe bartelbe is offline
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So I unplugged my trans output shaft speed sensor and limp mode came on checked fault code p0720 output shaft speed sensor circuit. So I tried unplugging thr driver side rear wheel speed sensor and retested to see what transpired, There was a noticeable transmission shift difference but no limp mode and no fault codes but mph gauge and odometer where not working. I could say if it was limpy because the car is on stands right know but would suspect with the different shift points it very well could feel that way. Was interesting that a fault wasn't registered especially since the car I'm doing this too is identical to yours. But anyway I would start at the rear driver side speed sensor in trying to find the culprit of your issue..
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:29 PM
Aztecson Aztecson is offline
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Hey bartelbe
Ok. Ill do that. And yeah when I first got it, it had Pending p0720 cleared it never came back. . And have you ever came across a bad crank sensor with no code?. I haven't replaced it. But its starts sometimes. And sometimes it does start and idles rough. And dies . Thanks guys I appreciate the input
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:32 PM
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bartelbe bartelbe is offline
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Usually a bad crankshaft position sensor will prevent any starting and will threw a dtc. Sounds like you have multiple issues or symptoms that you haven't mentioned. What are ALL the issues. From what I have gathered dtc p0500, occasional rough start?, no mph guage or odometer. Whats lights are all on in your display? What diagnosing have you done. Ex; voltage checks, live data mointoring, tested speed sensors, etc ?
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:45 AM
Aztecson Aztecson is offline
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When I got the car it had bunch of lights and codes. It had a rough idle and the owner at the time said it would shut off on her ,but i drove it home no problem . For the lights ,Check engine, abs, airbag. For the check engine it had. P0500 , a pending
P0702. An o2 sensor code also a BMW code 84 for a crank sensor. For the ABS it had codes for all abs speed sensor except from driver side . I looked abs sensors they were brand new like she said.. I cleared all the codes. The only ones that came back was the p0500.. I still sometimes get the crank no start condition. I do have a multimeter and I've been looking for the resistance specs for the sensor I wanna test. Can't find them. Would you know where to get the specs?
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:50 AM
Aztecson Aztecson is offline
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And no on the live data.
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  #9  
Old 04-30-2014, 12:33 PM
Aztecson Aztecson is offline
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anyone wanna help? a link where I can get sensor specs?
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2014, 01:17 PM
dvdlkd dvdlkd is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528
AZTECSON, I can't do links like some of these folks do. Too dumb on computers. But use the search engine by typing in "speed sensor".
Scroll down what comes up and on the first page you will see a thread by BlueBee from 5/22/09 titled "DIY ABS Brake DSC Lights on (ABS Module and speed sensor test and replace)"
This writeup is quited detailed and describes how to test the speed sensors.
There have also been statements made by some of the smarter folks on this site that only OEM speed sensors are reliable. I don't know how to tell what is OEM but maybe someone can chime in on that.
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  #11  
Old 04-30-2014, 04:59 PM
djmjd djmjd is offline
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Do you mean the wheel sensors? If so, *for '97-'98 only* the resistance is ~3000 Ohms and the diode check should work in only one direction (use a multimeter on the diode test setting). I've had good luck pulling them from the junkyard. '99+ sensors (blue connector) are incompatible with the '97-'98 sensors (gray connector).
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2014, 07:39 PM
Aztecson Aztecson is offline
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hello guys thanks for the the info. ok I took care of the starting issue it was the fuel pump, starts every time now. idles kinda rough at first . i think it might my idle air control valve , after it warms up it idles good but its rough still. i replaced all vacuum lines , cleaned idle air control , cleaned pcv new hoses and injector o rings, but im still having trouble with limp mode problem. i get no forward gears only reverse at start up no cog light or asc light no speedmeter or odometer. i replaced the sensor at the top on end of the tranny P0720 still their .but if i press the gas & brake pedal
at the same time i get forward in third and i get the cog light . asc turns on after a while. im going to test the rear left abs sensor . and ill check back in. any ideas thanks. thanks DJMJD and DVDLKD

Last edited by Aztecson; 07-15-2014 at 07:42 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2014, 10:09 PM
alex5er alex5er is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 1997 528i
1997 528i limping

I had similar problems on my 97 528 the passenger side wheel speed sensor was bad. When It had a short on this WSS it caused the car to go into limp mode. I soon as I disconnected the passenger side wheel speed sensor I was able to drive the car without any shifting problems or limp mode. Of course the abs traction control light on. As soon as I put in the new OEM wheel speed sensor problem fix. ( I did try an aftermarket will speed sensor and it did not fix the problem) On the 97 the rear driver side WSS controls the speedo. If you don't use OEM WSS and ask for the correct build date 1996 to Sept 1998 your going to continue to have problems sooner or later.


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Last edited by alex5er; 07-15-2014 at 10:24 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2014, 11:06 PM
Crutzy Crutzy is offline
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I got the po500 when I removed my abs unit.
Went away when I put it back.
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  #15  
Old 07-16-2014, 12:48 AM
Aztecson Aztecson is offline
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alex5er , so if unplug the wss bad sensor the no forward would go away? and you had a problem with the left rear wss and when you unplugged the passenger rear wss the shifting issues went away or it was the rear passenger side wss was the culprit the whole time? or I just unplug the left rear one which controls the speedo. what is good site for parts? thanks for the help really i appreciate it . and my p0500 went away didn't come back but ill keep it in mind thanks crutzy. if the trans fluid is low will it go into limp mode or no? thanks again cant wait to get this baby going. they are very nice. its my first one

Last edited by Aztecson; 07-16-2014 at 12:51 AM.
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  #16  
Old 07-16-2014, 11:28 AM
alex5er alex5er is offline
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1997 528n limp mode

If your 97 528 is in limp mode you should be able to drive it but it will feel very sluggish. if you have no forward at all then you have a transmission problem. In my case the passenger WSS was shorting out in a down poor of rain sent the car into limp mode. I was able to disconnect the WS sensor and drive it home with out going to limp mode. The driver side rear WSS controls the speedo, and the passenger side WSS works or has some effect with the gearbox. Low ATF will cause bad/hard sifting and slipping of the transmission. when the trans has a very hard shift the TCU will send the car into limp mode, most of the time you can reset the TCU by turning off the car for a few minute and drive away. Driving with low ATF can/will damage the trans. I did have this issue latter on my 97 528. my fix was to replace all the shift solenoids I paid $125 for the set on ebay (4L30E Transmission 4 piece Solenoid set Shift TCC Band 1990-1999 GM Transmission)
Have you check the ATF level?
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:08 PM
Aztecson Aztecson is offline
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not yet, today I'm going to check that and the wss. I get no forward gears on start up or cog light, but I press the gas and brake pedals and the same time I hear a click cog light comes on ., and now im in limp mode and could drive it. im hoping its not the whole trans, and maybe low trans fluid is causing the no forward gears, thanks for all the info alex ill check back in ,
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:16 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is offline
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Mein Auto: 97 &99 528i, 05 e60 530i
Ended up getting both 4L30e's (97 AND 99 528i's) rebuilt for the same behavior when I lived in Fontana back in 07.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:12 PM
alex5er alex5er is offline
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FYI: every Indy and transmission repair shop told me I need a new or rebuild transmission, I did not have or want to pay $1,400 to 2k for a transmission. I decided to try as a last resort to change the shift solenoids and spend less then $200 on parts and ATF. This is not a very difficult DIY with a little bit of know how and following direction (Bentley manual) 4.5 hours of your time. (this was my best investment yet). if you can change the ATF and filter you most likely can change the shift solenoids. If you remove the ATF pan on the transmission and you do not see many small mettle shaving or mettle pieces you have a good chance of fixing the problem. There is a ATF oil pressure solenoid that is expensive it located in the torque convertor oil pan. It is not included in the shift solenoid set from eBay hopefully you do not need to replace it. (in my case I did not)
You can search best links to find the DIY for transmission ATF/filter change. and other transmission related issue or fixes.

Good luck.
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  #20  
Old 07-17-2014, 08:22 AM
Aztecson Aztecson is offline
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thank you alex , jarhed ,I will check it out..
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