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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 02-17-2008, 05:54 PM
hivolt hivolt is offline
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Location: Delaware
 
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Mein Auto: 97 528i
Windshield wipers not working

I purchased my 528i with 190k on the dash for $3000 about 2 months ago. Needless to say it runs and drives but needs a few repairs. The wipers didnt work when I got the car. I checked all the fuses and they seem fine. I am guessing it is either the switch or the motor. I am kinda leaning towards a faulty switch because when I pull the lever down I get nothing at all but when I pull it towards me it sometimes squirts water out but sometimes it does not. Anyone have suggestion tips for me before I do any purchasing?
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2008, 06:04 PM
E39M5 E39M5 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i
Wait, are we talking about the washer pump or the actual wipers . If the wipers go up and down and wipe the window the they are fine. However if the wipers don't move at all from starting position then it could be a possible motor.

On the other hand if the wipers work but you get nothing squirting out when you want to spray the windshield washer fluid then its most likely the windshield washer pump.
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2008, 06:13 PM
hivolt hivolt is offline
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No the wipers dont work at all. But I was thinking it might be a faulty switch due to the fact that when I pull the switch forward, sometimes the water squirts and sometimes it does not.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2008, 10:17 PM
bmacwhi bmacwhi is offline
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Location: Sammamish, WA
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 540i Sport
replace the wiper relay

Notorious for bad wiper relay - about a $25.00 part and half hour of labor. Ignition switch can also cause all kinds of electrical grief.
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2008, 03:24 PM
solera solera is offline
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Mein Auto: 528i
I'm having the same problem but cant find which one is the wiper relay, did u find it.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2008, 09:04 PM
Mikes00528i Mikes00528i is offline
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Location: Springfield, OR
 
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Posts: 187
Mein Auto: 2000 Electric Red 528i
Wiper relay:
61368384505, tan colored relay made by Siemens or Tyco
under passenger side microfilter in the relay box, at least on my 00' 528i
From realoem.com --->
Vehicle electrical system --->
Control units, modules, sensors, relays --->
referred to as double relay, easy fix, just takes a few like bmacwhi says
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  #7  
Old 11-13-2009, 11:05 AM
walt78w walt78w is offline
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Location: Georgia
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 330ci
My windsheild wipers do not work(meaning the wipers do not move up and down) when I turn them on. However, if I user the washer fluid function to spray and clean the windshield, they do work. Does anyone have any ideas of what this could be?


thanks in advance
walt78w
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  #8  
Old 02-23-2010, 10:07 PM
TurboEnginerd TurboEnginerd is offline
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Location: College Station, TX
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 528i sport
Relay Repair

I just pulled my relay off, unknowing whether it was the culprit for the same problems you guys are having, essentially, cookey behavior from the wipers at seemingly random times.

My wipers stopped about 2 years ago at 70mph on the freeway in heavy rain. After removing the solenoid and hearing a $40 dollar price, I reinstalled the relay to do some diagnostic work, and the wipers worked again (thought it might have been a contact issue). Even though I don't think the auto sensor mode has been working for the last couple of years, I have typically had the wipers working and it didn't seem worthwhile to replace the relay, until a 50 year blizzard hit south Texas and stranded my pregnant wife. Had I known how easy the relay was to service, I would have fixed the problem a long time ago. I was going to detail the process with pictures and such, but I happened to find this link (www.dgce.co.uk) tonight as I was preparing to write down the process. He does a pretty good job of documenting the repair, and even though I did it a little different, if I have more problems, I will probably resolder the contact like he does to make it a little more reliable. I will let you know in 10 years when I have to service it again (fingers crossed). Let me know if you have any questions. This process takes about an hour start to finish, and I could do it again in about 15 minutes if I didn't have to play around with the terminals to determine what went where. I listed a few pictures for some reference as to what were talking about.

Relays are primarily a mechanical switch, that is driven by an electric solenoid. This enables a low power circuit to drive something needing much greater power. You can test the two solenoids by applying a 12v differential between 5 and 8, and 5 and 9, where 5 is at +12v. If you don't get clean action, the relay is certainly your problem. Open the relay up (pry the hooks/tabs out with 2 screwdrivers and pull the black piece upward) and look for the two contacts, where the thick spring-loaded copper wire terminates in between two plates. One or both of your contacts is likely a little dark. The problem in my relay was that the driven wire in the relay had frayed at the contact, causing it to arc against the terminal when it was in use. This caused carbon buildup on the contact, making it stick. I cleaned out the contact area with a thin piece of 180 grit sandpaper, and removed the portion of frayed wire from the line that caused the arc.



Jason
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  #9  
Old 02-23-2010, 10:53 PM
///Mtrumpetboyy ///Mtrumpetboyy is offline
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Mein Auto: bmw 530i sport
I'm also having issues with my wipers...

They stopped while i was on the freeway going 70+ mph while it was pouring
now when i push the lever, they go up all the way but dont come back down
does anyone know what the problem is? my mechanic says 400-700 dollars to fix it...
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2010, 12:05 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mtrumpetboyy View Post
They stopped while i was on the freeway going 70+ mph while it was pouring
now when i push the lever, they go up all the way but dont come back down
does anyone know what the problem is? my mechanic says 400-700 dollars to fix it...
Did you bother reading post #6 above?
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  #11  
Old 02-24-2010, 12:23 PM
TurboEnginerd TurboEnginerd is offline
Why I drive? It moves me!
Location: College Station, TX
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 528i sport
Or read post 8

I would first check the relay, read post 8 and visit the link included. You can go buy a new relay or repair your old one (just as good as new), but you should make sure it is bad first. Open it up and check it.

TurboEnginerd
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  #12  
Old 04-08-2010, 10:47 PM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
Wrenchin' fool ...
Location: nova
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 764
Mein Auto: e39 528it
Excellent writeup and the link to http://www.dgce.co.uk/ will be very helpful.

Lost my wipers on way for late night snack in t-storm tonight. Checked fuse #1 (30 amp) in glovebox and was intact, swapped another known good and still no wiper joy.

Made it home without wipers and found this thread (with links).

Will do a short term diagnosis on the relay tomorrow a.m. and order a new one in any event. Found wiper motor from rockauto.com (A1 Cardonne remanufactured) for about $130 which sure beats the dealer and others with 20% discounts to get to a still-way-to-high $270.

Wiper motor: #67638360603
Relay: #61368384505

Also replacing:

#3. CENTRE ENGINE COMPARTMENT CLOSING PANEL #51718174739
#15. LEFT ENGINE COMPARTMENT CLOSING PANEL #51718174737



... as mine are crumbling from the engine bay heat and age (pieces dropping down onto bell-housing) and the center piece is kind of important in keeping engine wiring harness off of the top back of the cylinder head. (ya think)

Will take some pics.
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2000 528iT Sport 5M (mfg. 5/1999) ~ 1990 325iX 5M
BMW CCA member #130075
JScottRacing
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:20 AM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
Wrenchin' fool ...
Location: nova
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 764
Mein Auto: e39 528it
Cleaned contacts in wiper relay and have "wiper joy" !!!

Excellent info and easy fix.

Thanks
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Jason

2000 528iT Sport 5M (mfg. 5/1999) ~ 1990 325iX 5M
BMW CCA member #130075
JScottRacing
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  #14  
Old 04-09-2010, 07:45 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
So,

Jason, you did NOT replace the wiper motor.
Just cleaned the relay and that is it???
(If this is true, then it is a good trick for people who are stranded far away from home and need to fix this. Oh BTW, carry some metric Allen keys in the trunk to access the E-box on pass side!).
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2010, 08:16 AM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
Wrenchin' fool ...
Location: nova
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 764
Mein Auto: e39 528it
Correct.

I did not replace the wiper motor.

The relay contacts were worn down/crudded up and dirty.

Cleaned them, replaced relay and good to go until new relay from tischer bmw shows up with new "closing panels".

My E-box cover is fastened with zip ties as the captive nuts (in the bottom half) stripped out of the plastic housing when I went in there back in 2007 for another repair. Cover is snug, no moisture getting in. I have a knife that cuts the ties easily.

*Make SURE that you reinstall the pollen air filter housing bottom half correctly so that water runs where it is supposed to off of the windshield and out the side/inner fender drain .... not down into the E-box well. We have had enough threads about this "problem" recently including the ones where I posted marked up photos of water flow (people having frozen brake boosters b/c of water in driver side well).

For emergency repair:

1. metric hex/allen keys
2. small pick/screw driver to get cover off relay
3. little bit of sand paper/emory cloth

... should be good to go.

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Jason

2000 528iT Sport 5M (mfg. 5/1999) ~ 1990 325iX 5M
BMW CCA member #130075
JScottRacing
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  #16  
Old 06-05-2010, 05:54 PM
walt78w walt78w is offline
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Location: Georgia
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Mein Auto: 2004 330ci
Wipers on move when using the washer fluid spraying function.

That was really great information on the wiper relay, however, my issue seems to be different from the other problems I am reading about. The wipers move up and down when I spray the wiper fluid but when I attempt to turn them on as if I am driving in the rain, they fail to activate. I was able to easily follow the detailed instructions to remove and clean the relay(which did not look that bad) but this did not do anything to help the situation. My next step is the replace the switch unless someone can tell me that this is not necessary.

Can anyone tell me how to remove the switch. I hope I don't have to remove the whole stearing column.


thanks,
Walt78W
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  #17  
Old 06-05-2010, 06:33 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Sometimes, weird things happen inside the relay that you cannot see with your naked eyes!

Relay is $10, replace it and start from there!!!
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  #18  
Old 10-04-2010, 08:46 PM
GmenaBMW GmenaBMW is offline
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Location: Chula Vista
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: BMW 5630i
Thumbs up THANK YOU Janson!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboEnginerd View Post
I just pulled my relay off, unknowing whether it was the culprit for the same problems you guys are having, essentially, cookey behavior from the wipers at seemingly random times.

My wipers stopped about 2 years ago at 70mph on the freeway in heavy rain. After removing the solenoid and hearing a $40 dollar price, I reinstalled the relay to do some diagnostic work, and the wipers worked again (thought it might have been a contact issue). Even though I don't think the auto sensor mode has been working for the last couple of years, I have typically had the wipers working and it didn't seem worthwhile to replace the relay, until a 50 year blizzard hit south Texas and stranded my pregnant wife. Had I known how easy the relay was to service, I would have fixed the problem a long time ago. I was going to detail the process with pictures and such, but I happened to find this link (www.dgce.co.uk) tonight as I was preparing to write down the process. He does a pretty good job of documenting the repair, and even though I did it a little different, if I have more problems, I will probably resolder the contact like he does to make it a little more reliable. I will let you know in 10 years when I have to service it again (fingers crossed). Let me know if you have any questions. This process takes about an hour start to finish, and I could do it again in about 15 minutes if I didn't have to play around with the terminals to determine what went where. I listed a few pictures for some reference as to what were talking about.

Relays are primarily a mechanical switch, that is driven by an electric solenoid. This enables a low power circuit to drive something needing much greater power. You can test the two solenoids by applying a 12v differential between 5 and 8, and 5 and 9, where 5 is at +12v. If you don't get clean action, the relay is certainly your problem. Open the relay up (pry the hooks/tabs out with 2 screwdrivers and pull the black piece upward) and look for the two contacts, where the thick spring-loaded copper wire terminates in between two plates. One or both of your contacts is likely a little dark. The problem in my relay was that the driven wire in the relay had frayed at the contact, causing it to arc against the terminal when it was in use. This caused carbon buildup on the contact, making it stick. I cleaned out the contact area with a thin piece of 180 grit sandpaper, and removed the portion of frayed wire from the line that caused the arc.

Jason

THANK YOU Jason!

New to the BMW world I would have waited until tomorrow to take my BMW to the Dealer only to have them charge me a leg and a arm! to tell me I had a BAD "Electric Solenoid" So this evening I went to (www.dgce.co.uk) as you suggested and as you stated in the post above it worked! and I SAVED my self some money.
THANK YOU
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  #19  
Old 10-05-2010, 07:54 AM
TurboEnginerd TurboEnginerd is offline
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Location: College Station, TX
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 528i sport
Certainly

Good, I'm glad that worked for you. When your oil leaks, Its probably going to be the oil filter housing gasket, even if it looks like the main oil pan gasket.
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  #20  
Old 10-05-2010, 10:55 PM
GmenaBMW GmenaBMW is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 5630i
Whats up with my running lights staying on when I turn my car off?

Hello again, has any one had problems with there left or right RUNNING LIGHTS staying on after you turn of your car and set the the alarm? this is new???

2002 530i BMW
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  #21  
Old 10-06-2010, 09:51 AM
bmw_n00b13's Avatar
bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Location: Cambridge, ON
 
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Posts: 6,372
Mein Auto: 99 528iA
Search for "LCM Repair" or just "LCM". Sounds familiar. I don't think the fix works with the LCM III (without the heatsink). YMMV.
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  #22  
Old 10-20-2010, 04:47 PM
jeffwoo jeffwoo is offline
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540i wipers not working

My wipers do not work either.
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  #23  
Old 10-20-2010, 07:07 PM
GmenaBMW GmenaBMW is offline
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My Wipers don't WORK!

Take a look at this link http://www.dgce.co.uk/ TURBO posted awhile back! it worked for me and my wipers are still RUNNING!
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  #24  
Old 10-20-2010, 08:58 PM
jeffwoo jeffwoo is offline
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wipers

I actually did pull out my relay, I cleaned it and my wipers still do not work. The location of the panel is actually on the passenger side out here in the US by the way.
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  #25  
Old 10-20-2010, 09:06 PM
jeffwoo jeffwoo is offline
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Like hivolt mentioned I have the exact same problem. My wipers do not work, but intermittently my washer will spray water when I pull washer, but the wipers will not move. I took it to the dealer and they charged me a $130 diagnostic fee to look at an error code and my wipers. I called a day later and they wanted me to give them an extra $75 to keep looking into the wiper situation cause they couldn't figure anything out. Freaking criminals!! So I'm gonna try and fix it myself.
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