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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 12-22-2014, 10:46 PM
BavarianE31 BavarianE31 is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 162
Mein Auto: '03 BMW 530i Sport Auto
My car is hurting! Need your help to point me in the right direction (codes included)

It all started several days ago. My 530i started shaking and had a very rough idle during a cold start (temp was 37 degrees in the morning). I drove the car and 20 seconds later it ironed itself out. I was very worried but since it disappeared and never came back (even during other cold days) I ignored it and hoped to track the issue down during Christmas break.

I did some research and my symptoms seemed to point towards CCV, VANOS, or a leak in the intake manifold gasket...

Today, I started the car and it just wouldn't stop shuttering. Very rough idle even at warmup. Seemed like a cylinder wasn't firing. Even on the freeway (yes, I stupidly took her out hoping that she'll warm up to it) she was shaking. That's when I knew there was a serious issue and decided to turn back. Drove the sedan for 5 miles in total and the check engine light came on.

Decided to pull codes and this is what I got:

68 [104] Exhaust camshaft, VANOS end position not reached, adaptation value outside tolerance

F0 [240] Misfire, cylinder 3, misfiring with cylinder cutout (Misfire CARB_A)


Car: 2003 BMW 530i Sport with 100K miles

The following engine components have been replaced/maintained within the last year:
DISA (aftermarket replacement by me)
Chain tensioner spring replacement (simply done by me)
Tensioners/Pulleys, fan clutch, fan blade

Done by BMW, but was hidden from me by PO :
Entire Cooling System replacement
CCV replacement
Headgasket replacement

Car was running pretty smooth up until this point. It started eating oil recently (1.75 quarts in the last 4k miles since the last oil change). Never lost oil before that.

Exhaust upon start up is normal (no white cloud of smoke).

I'm thinking oil got into one of the spark plugs and that a VCG replacement may be on the way... Or is it a VANOS replacement? Looking at the records it seems that the spark plugs or coils are original as well....

Thanks for any input/insight into the matter.
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2014, 02:18 AM
Whorse Whorse is offline
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Location: Queens, Ny
 
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Mein Auto: e30, e39
Did you delete the codes to see which one comes back first? I think the vanos error might have been an past intermittent code maybe during head gasket replacement.. I would sway towards a bad coil, boot or plug in cyl. 3 but cant tell you anything for sure with out seeing it and testing it myself. if the misfire code comes back first, do the cheapest thing, try swapping coils with another cylinder and see of the code changes to the other cylinder
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Queens NY
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86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
00 540is 6spd 215k (daily driver) new motor at 214k due to chain guide failure

Last edited by Whorse; 12-23-2014 at 04:32 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2014, 03:57 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Good advice from whorse. These are two separate problems. First, clear, your codes. Second, wait for symptoms to recur. Then, pull the codes again. If the misfire code recurs, clear the codes and swap your coils to determine if the problem follows the coil. If yes, that is your problem. If the Vanos code recurs (and it may not), the rough idle when cold is likely Vanos related. Read the Beisan website for more info. Live with it or fix it. Your choice.
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2014, 06:12 AM
BavarianE31 BavarianE31 is offline
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Mein Auto: '03 BMW 530i Sport Auto
Thanks guys. I'll try to swap coils tomorrow and see what happens. When I got the car I cleared most of the codes so these are definitely new.
My code reader says that both of these codes happened before (I'm thinking from the initial incident several days ago). But I'll follow your advice. Shouldn't be too hard to swap coils and see what happens. Should I replace all coils if one is failing?

The VANOS code is throwing me off a bit. Isn't there usually more codes associated with a failing VANOS? Would a misfire cause VANOS error or vice versa? I just am not completely clear on if both problems are related or independent.

Last edited by BavarianE31; 12-23-2014 at 06:14 AM.
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  #5  
Old 12-23-2014, 06:59 AM
Whorse Whorse is offline
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Mein Auto: e30, e39
Dont let the vanos code throw you off, Ive seen a bad fly wheel magnet/sensor throw a vanos code. And no i wouldnt replace them all unless i had the money to waste. my v8 had a misfire in cyl 3 last year and i just replaced it with a cheap aftermarket ebay coil. all the others are still working great. 215k miles
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Queens NY
BMWCCA# 186796
86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
00 540is 6spd 215k (daily driver) new motor at 214k due to chain guide failure
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  #6  
Old 12-23-2014, 07:18 AM
crobmw crobmw is offline
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Location: Rovinj Croatia
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 530I E39
Head gasket issue on 100k miles ? Strange...:O
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  #7  
Old 12-23-2014, 10:06 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whorse View Post
And no i wouldnt replace them all unless i had the money to waste. my v8 had a misfire in cyl 3 last year and i just replaced it with a cheap aftermarket ebay coil. all the others are still working great. 215k miles
The choice of coils is often debated here, similar to FSUs, expansion tanks, etc. While I have no first hand personal experience with replacement coils, others have had issues with non-OES coils. I'd suggest you search this issue before deciding on what coil to use as a replacement.
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2014, 07:42 PM
BavarianE31 BavarianE31 is offline
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Mein Auto: '03 BMW 530i Sport Auto
Yeah, I have a really lengthy story about how I got my car. Short of it is that the PO lied to me telling that the cooling system was replaced as preventive maintenance when in fact that it was due to a catastrophic failure of the expansion tank which led then to a headgasket replacement since he didn't stop driving the car.

I only found out after my purchase when I asked BMW for the service records (was under the impression I had to prove ownership when in fact BMW dealerships operate under their own standards). This dealership was very nice. Wouldn't bought the car if I had known.
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  #9  
Old 12-24-2014, 05:32 AM
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ztom ztom is offline
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Location: Thousand Oaks CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Coil & plug probably not issue but do swap, also look for oil in plug well. Losing oil & #3 also may point to CVV
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  #10  
Old 12-25-2014, 06:26 PM
BavarianE31 BavarianE31 is offline
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Mein Auto: '03 BMW 530i Sport Auto
I tried to troubleshoot the issue today. Swapped coils, but she fired up perfect twice so far so the problem is intermittent.

Pulled all the plugs and they look old, but not terrible. I'm going to replace all the spark plugs while keeping coils #3 and #4 swapped. I also think I lost quite a bit of oil too. I topped off less than a month ago and it seems like I lost a quart!
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  #11  
Old 12-27-2014, 03:47 PM
occhis occhis is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528iA
Maybe cam position sensor. When mine went bad it also threw a misfire code. Replaced the sensor and cleared the codes. All good.
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Last edited by occhis; 12-27-2014 at 03:49 PM.
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2014, 04:24 PM
BavarianE31 BavarianE31 is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
 
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Mein Auto: '03 BMW 530i Sport Auto
Thanks for the idea. I'll try it out if the coils don't seem to appear to be the issue since it's a simple DIY for both sensors.

Otherwise I'll have to do my CCV and VCG... Then I might as well redo my VANOS.
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