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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 01-31-2006, 06:46 PM
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2003 E39 Alarm Issues

Anyone heard of any E39 alarm issues? I have had my "new" 03 Touring for a couple of weeks now and the PO reported the alarm going of for no reason, but the BMW Store could never reproduce the problem. I just figgered it was operator error.....ceptinfer it's starting to happen to me now....maybe she wasn't nuts (but she still had issues putting fuel in the tank, so who knows). Shortly (from 30 sec to about 5 min) after I locked the car the alarm went off - this happened 3 times today.

Help please........
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2006, 07:45 PM
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hawk2100n hawk2100n is offline
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I just pulled the fuse on my 528 today for the alarm because it wouldnt stop going off. It is in the trunk by the battery. I have heard it everyday this week, and I am within earshot for about 2 hours a day. I dont want to know how much it went off when I am not there. Now, the car locks like normal, and only the parking lights flash like normal. No annoying beep.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2006, 12:25 PM
NeoCole NeoCole is offline
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After my car accident my central unit failed. Causing the alarm to go off at random while driving the car, or while the alarm was disabled.

When they replaced my central unit, I had a problem where when I went to unlock the car, it would go off. As if it were going into Panic mode (holding down trunk release.) I decided to recode the keys since my wife's key wasn't with me when they replaced the unit and needed to be coded anyways. I haven't had a problem sence.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2006, 01:20 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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If you leave your cell phone on in the car, it has been known to trip the alarm on E39s.

Pull out your cell and see if the problem goes away.
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2006, 02:21 PM
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I found out that many things around the house can make your alarm go off. Everytime I turn on my microwave, there she rings. The dealers did not find anything wrong with the alarm so I went crazy and disconnected the siren.
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2006, 10:45 PM
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Turns out it was the hood switch, either faulty or out of adjustment. It's disconnected and I love my car once again, and the neighbors are MUCH happier with it! Next Saturday Pacific will attempt to correctly the problem permanently.
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2007, 08:48 AM
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TimeOut TimeOut is offline
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It seems, I'm having the same issue now.

Last night, it was the first time my E39 was ever left parked outside overnight. Our garage is full of stuff because, we just sold our home and we're moving out next week.

It is a very quiet neighborhood and this morning with no apparent reason, the alarm just went off. I unlocked/locked the car with my remote and few minutes later, the alarm went off again. I again unlocked/locked the car and the alarm went off few minutes later.

I'm going to check the battery and hood sensor. Also, Is there a way to disable the motion sensor?
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  #8  
Old 03-23-2007, 09:35 AM
juaclark juaclark is offline
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Same issue here. I've read that pressing the lock button a second time within 15 seconds of the initial press disables the tilt and motion sensors. I've been doing this for about two weeks and haven't heard it go off erroneously - but maybe just I missed it. I usually wait several seconds before the second press, as the system doesn't seem to recognize closely spaced pulses. You can watch the mirror LED indicator go on solid during the second press suggesting it has recognized the signal.
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2007, 02:45 PM
DallasBill DallasBill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeOut View Post
........... Also, Is there a way to disable the motion sensor?
Yup.... see page 43 of the owner's manual. That's the book sealed in plastic in the glove box...

Press button 2 twice, or turn the key in the door lock to the right twice. Indicator lights will light up briefly, then flash to indicate it worked.
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2007, 06:39 PM
Falcontech Falcontech is offline
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My 03 540i was doing the same thing before the radiator side split last week.

I would leave the car, and it was OK for several hours and then go off for no reason, or I could be gone for ten minutes and it would go off.

I haven't done any troubleshooting yet, since I have to deal with the radiator fix first.
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  #11  
Old 04-06-2007, 06:49 AM
darcher darcher is offline
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I am having similar issues but mine go a step further. The car alarm will go off much like yours but recently it has been setting itself to transport mode. This is the mode used by the factory so they can load them on the boat or into trucks. When this happens no interior lighting works, the key fob doesn't open the doors. The interior button doesn't open the doors and you cannot set the alarm at all. The dealer was baffled and reset the system.
A week later the car seemed to go into kill mode where the car would not start at all. It has been it the shop for a week now and they are still scratching their heads. My alarm problem has been going on for over a year now.
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2007, 04:34 AM
Deadzone Deadzone is offline
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I was having this problem in my 03 540i and have determined that in my case it was definately the hood switch. The alarm was going off consistently before disconnecting the switch about 2-3 weeks ago. Has not gone off once since then. Will probably replace the switch soon.
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2007, 07:41 AM
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TimeOut TimeOut is offline
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Do you guys know where is the hood switch located? and What is its part number?

Last night the damn alarm went off like three times. Disabling the motion sensor didn't help.

At the end the alarm stopped going off after I opened the hood looking for the hood switch which I couldn't find.
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2007, 09:42 PM
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TeaRex714 TeaRex714 is offline
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I think the hood switch must be the main cause of these erroneous alarms on the 5's. It's mounted right in front of the drivers side cabin air filter under the hood. You can just unplug it to see if the problem goes away (it probably will.)
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2007, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaRex714 View Post
I think the hood switch must be the main cause of these erroneous alarms on the 5's. It's mounted right in front of the drivers side cabin air filter under the hood. You can just unplug it to see if the problem goes away (it probably will.)
I swear I've been looking for the damn hood switch everywhere under the hood.

Does anybody have a picture?
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  #16  
Old 05-06-2007, 09:29 AM
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Ok, I found it. I wasn't looking for it "right" in front of the driver's side cabin filter plastic box.

It is the part number: 61 31 8 352 229 which RealOem.com shows as discontinued and replaced by part numbers: 61 31 4 158 205 ($18.64) and 61 31 9 119 057

I couldn't find any of these new part numbers in online stores so, I'm paying a visit to the stealership tomorrow Monday.
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  #17  
Old 05-06-2007, 11:32 AM
2002_530i 2002_530i is offline
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Before you spend the $$$, just unplug the harness from the hood switch, like TeaRex said. The connection will then be "open", and is the same as what happens when the switch is being held down by the closed hood. This completely takes out any variables and removes the hood switch from the equation. If you have no more issues with the hood switch disconnected, then that is for sure your problem. If the problem continues, then it is something else.

If the hood switch is your problem, there may be another thing causing it, other than a bad switch. The cabin filter housing front mounting point is height-adjustable. If it is mounted too low, the hood may not be pressing enough on the switch, and will cause an intermittent problem. Once you look at it, it will make sense. There is a pin with slits cut into it. The cabin filter housing has a clip that catches in the slits.

My car had the same alarm problem, until I disconnected my hood switch. Then I remembered that the last thing I did before I had the alarm problem was bleed the brakes, which means I messed with the left cabin filter housing. Resetting the height to where it originally was fixed that.

Chris
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  #18  
Old 05-11-2007, 10:01 AM
zboewer zboewer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darcher View Post
I am having similar issues but mine go a step further. The car alarm will go off much like yours but recently it has been setting itself to transport mode. This is the mode used by the factory so they can load them on the boat or into trucks. When this happens no interior lighting works, the key fob doesn't open the doors. The interior button doesn't open the doors and you cannot set the alarm at all. The dealer was baffled and reset the system.
A week later the car seemed to go into kill mode where the car would not start at all. It has been it the shop for a week now and they are still scratching their heads. My alarm problem has been going on for over a year now.
Hello,

I seem to have a similar issue with my 2002 bmw 540i. It keeps triggering the alarm then you have to enter a code to deactivate, after you can start the car and all is fine. I have taken it to BMW service 4 times now and we are still looking for the solution. Theyt tried replacing the NAV unit as the dash and Nav screen are on the same ibus connection back to the main computers.

I was wondering if you have found a solution to your problem?

Thanks
Zach
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  #19  
Old 05-11-2007, 11:45 AM
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TimeOut TimeOut is offline
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I replaced the hood sensor last Monday ($25) and it was so far so good untit last evening when the alarm went off right before a nasty thuderstorm arrived. While I was damning myself for wasting $25 on the stupid car, I decided to leave the car with the alarm On but, with the motion sensor disabled. Nothing happened after that.

This morning, I found my hardwired radar detector hanging off the windshield (stupid suction-cups). So I'm now thinking that the alarm was triggered by the motion sensor when the radar detector fell off the windshield. But, the jury is still out.
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Last edited by TimeOut; 05-11-2007 at 11:49 AM.
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  #20  
Old 08-06-2007, 02:26 PM
annapolis77 annapolis77 is offline
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Angry 1999 528 Motion Sensor Problem

I have not seen any new posts in this section and am hoping that when I disconnect mt hood sensor the problem is solved - BUT - if does not solve the problem can I disconnect the ceiling mounted motion sensor without causing any other problems? I am tired of the battery getting drained (new battery as of last month) and the neighbors getting ticked!!!!v
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  #21  
Old 11-18-2007, 11:22 AM
pedro pedro is offline
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This is a super common problem. The guy who lives across the street from me also has an E39 (his is a 530, mine is a 528) and sure enough, his alarm goes off all the time. I've actually resorted to simply leaving my drivers door unlocked (and with no valuables in sight!!) so that the alarm is just not on. I've had it for 2 years in New Haven, CT with no problems, but I'm going to disable the hood sensor and see if that does the trick. I suspect that the problem is heat related. The hood sensor overheats and sets itself off. I"ve noticed that the alarm problem happens in the summer, but not in the winter.
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  #22  
Old 03-30-2008, 11:28 AM
lada461 lada461 is offline
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e39 alarm problems

I have a 2002 m5 and have the same proble. The alarm only goes off when I use the remote lock but when I lock it with the key in the door it does not arm the alarm. Like the last post, I seem to have a collection of electrical problems in the summer as opposed to the winter. During the summer my park distance control does not work properly and neither does my interior reading lamps and glovebox lights.
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  #23  
Old 03-30-2008, 12:08 PM
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Quackers Quackers is offline
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Common outcomes seem to be the bonnet switch (or hood switch to you guys) or a failing battery in the siren which causes a voltage drop sometimes.
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  #24  
Old 04-25-2008, 09:36 PM
ccymgr@hotmail. ccymgr@hotmail. is offline
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Smile Thanx To All!!!

Thank you everyone!! This was a great help. I started having the problem discussed and went to look at the switch, and the mount was loose!! Unplugged, problem solved. Thanx again!!
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  #25  
Old 04-25-2008, 10:37 PM
pankaj3536 pankaj3536 is offline
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My alarm started to go off because of the car freshner thing hanging on my rear view mirror and it would only happen when I pull my car in the driveway and lock it, took the freaking thing off, its just fine now.
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