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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 01-16-2014, 05:34 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Location: Eugene
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Mein Auto: '99 528i/5-spd M52TU
Washer fluids and pump corrosion

A generic subject but I'm wondering, are there any washer fluid blends on the market that do not contribute to washer pump corrosion? Or is this a non-issue?

Somewhere I was reading that the fluid brands with assorted alcohols, methanol etc. are corrosive to automotive washer pumps, eventually causing them to fail.

1. Is that true?

2. If yes, are there any alternatives to the store variety?


[Yeah, I think my pump failed about a month ago, during one of our rare cold snaps here. I assume it's failed because nothing comes out when I pull the wiper stalk, and the car hasn't instructed me to check the fluid level....]
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2014, 06:05 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 103K miles
The factory VDO pump lasts me about 15y/130K or so.
I'd not worry about the fluid.
These pumps are cheap and only last that long.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2014, 06:19 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 528i/5-spd M52TU
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
The factory VDO pump lasts me about 15y/130K or so.
I'd not worry about the fluid.
These pumps are cheap and only last that long.
Hi cn90. I already ordered a Febi so I hope it will be good enough. My curiosity about the washer fluids and whether any are noncorrosive was piqued by some pics from another forum showing just how rusted out the motors can get.
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2014, 07:03 PM
CitizenOfDreams CitizenOfDreams is online now
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 740i
The washer fluid is not supposed to get inside the motor. If it does, that means the shaft seal is worn and leaking. At that point the motor is done for, no "noncorrosive" fluid is going to save it.
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  #5  
Old 01-16-2014, 07:15 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 528i/5-spd M52TU
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
The washer fluid is not supposed to get inside the motor. If it does, that means the shaft seal is worn and leaking. At that point the motor is done for, no "noncorrosive" fluid is going to save it.
Makes sense but wouldn't corrosive fluids help compromise the seal?

Okay, I guess this thread can die now....
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2014, 07:41 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 automatic
See also:

- What windshield washer fluid to use (1) (2) & what intensive cleaning system fluid to use (1) & how to adjust windshield washer spray nozzles (1) & where to get OEM VDO/Conti windshield washer pumps (1) (2) & windshield washer reservoir & pump DIYs (1) (2) (3) & specific issues of windshield reservoirs prone to leaking due to an ill-fitting pump o-ring gasket (1) (2) or to hose disintegration (1) (2) or to leaks in the main reservoir (1) (2) (3) or leaks in the intensive wash system (1) (2) or the pump itself goes bad (1) (2) & further debugging hints (1) & one users windshield washer leak experience (1)
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Note: Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need, in seconds!
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2014, 06:41 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Location: Omaha NE
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 103K miles
Most seals die at 15y/150K or so.
The VDO pump is $19 at autohausaz.

Remember this pump is submerged in fluid for 15 years!
If you have a house, then you will know the basement sump pump only lasts that long...
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  #8  
Old 01-17-2014, 01:21 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift arms
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
yeah.. I got about 193k out of my 328's pump.. but it died after i let it empty for a while...


They are cheap and eazy to replace... the tanks also split in time as well..

new tank new pump new seal cost less then 50$
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