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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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  #26  
Old 07-28-2009, 01:21 PM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
How are each of your cars configured...could it be that one of you has the low instrument cluster and the other has a high instrument cluster?

You can't get the message "CHECK COOLANT LEVEL" if your instrument cluster doesn't have the 20 digit alpha/numeric display and you have the "Graphic Display" instead.
Yes, I have the high cluster and the OEM Navigation system and the OBC. But still, if there is a place for a sensor... ???? The OP says he has "check engine oil levle". So your's doens't do that either?

mw
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  #27  
Old 07-28-2009, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
Yes, I have the high cluster and the OEM Navigation system and the OBC. But still, if there is a place for a sensor... ???? The OP says he has "check engine oil levle". So your's doens't do that either?

mw
E39 owners that have the LOW instrument cluster...have a Graphic Display for some of their warnings....then the "idiot" lights on the cluster turn on for "oil" problems. Depending on which color (yellow or red) the light is...determines the issue:



This is the low instrument cluster's Graphic Display:
Those that have the HIGH instrument cluster...the Check Control system will put up text warnings that are either Priority 1 or 2:


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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

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  #28  
Old 07-28-2009, 01:59 PM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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I have the low cluster...
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  #29  
Old 07-28-2009, 06:14 PM
LMSenus LMSenus is offline
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I have the high instrument cluster with the text display.

The verdict from the dealer was they couldn't find anything wrong, except the oil level was down about half a quart. They said there were no codes lurking on the computer, and they saw no obvious leakage. They added a quart of oil and didn't charge me for anything.

I'm still not convinced something isn't strange. There's no evidence of leakage, but we've had to add 2 quarts of oil in the last two weeks (only 5 weeks after an oil change)

I guess we have to keep an eye on it and see if the oil level holds...
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  #30  
Old 07-28-2009, 07:06 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Whatever you do, find a good local BMW mechanic and go there for a second opinion to rule out sludge.
And if you have not done so, change your oil every 4-5K. When it comes to oil change interval, do not listen to the dealer.

Just Google "BMW Sludge"and you will alot of pics on it:
http://syntheticlubricants.org/BMWsludge.jpg
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  #31  
Old 07-28-2009, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMSenus View Post
I have the high instrument cluster with the text display.

The verdict from the dealer was they couldn't find anything wrong, except the oil level was down about half a quart. They said there were no codes lurking on the computer, and they saw no obvious leakage. They added a quart of oil and didn't charge me for anything.

I'm still not convinced something isn't strange. There's no evidence of leakage, but we've had to add 2 quarts of oil in the last two weeks (only 5 weeks after an oil change)

I guess we have to keep an eye on it and see if the oil level holds...
Damn $tealer! Having the audacity not to charge you for checking your car, and adding oil DO NOT TRUST THEM. Something is not right.

2. Some cars just burn a lot of oil. See how many miles for you to add 1 quart, and post back here?

How many miles on your car?

mw
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  #32  
Old 07-28-2009, 07:18 PM
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BMWs shouldn't burn oil….at least at reasonable mileages assuming oil has been changed….
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  #33  
Old 07-28-2009, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
BMWs shouldn't burn oil….at least at reasonable mileages assuming oil has been changed….
But many do burn oil. Mine doesn't burn anything. Zero. But there are others that burn quite a lot.

mw
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  #34  
Old 07-28-2009, 07:50 PM
LMSenus LMSenus is offline
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Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
Damn $tealer! Having the audacity not to charge you for checking your car, and adding oil DO NOT TRUST THEM. Something is not right.
Agreed. My woman's intuition is telling me something isn't right. Or they're just being patronizing. You know the deal. "Oh she's a woman. What does she know about cars?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
2. Some cars just burn a lot of oil. See how many miles for you to add 1 quart, and post back here?

How many miles on your car?

mw
Car has 43,115 miles on it as of today. Last oil change was at 39,350 or thereabouts. Call it 4,000 miles since the last oil change (June 10) and it was down a quart and a half.

Anybody know a good BMW mechanic in western Hunterdon County, NJ?
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  #35  
Old 07-28-2009, 08:16 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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LMSenus,

Has anyone other than the BMW dealer changed your oil?
Are you the original owner?

Get some popcorn and Coke and read through this thread, it is like a comedy show by reading through the posts by "dambro24". Pay attention to Post #64:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=349741

As it turned out the Oil Filter Cap has a broken part, the one in the following pic with the 36-mm socket on top of it:



With the broken part in the Plastic Oil Filter Cap, the oil pressure is not registered properly ---> "Low Oil Pressure" Warning Light.
A new Plastic Oil Filter Cap is about $28 at dealer.
It is a piece of cake to replace right in your driveway, provided this is your problem. It may not be the case, but just a thought.
You don't know until the Plastic Oil Filter Cap is removed and compared against a Brand New part.

Last edited by cn90; 07-28-2009 at 08:32 PM.
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  #36  
Old 07-28-2009, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMSenus View Post
Agreed. My woman's intuition is telling me something isn't right. Or they're just being patronizing. You know the deal. "Oh she's a woman. What does she know about cars?"



Car has 43,115 miles on it as of today. Last oil change was at 39,350 or thereabouts. Call it 4,000 miles since the last oil change (June 10) and it was down a quart and a half.

Anybody know a good BMW mechanic in western Hunterdon County, NJ?

You are not too far from us. We are exit 50b on 78. Its worth the trip. We know these cars inside and out.
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hahaha.. at least they forgot about the flower wheels and richard simmons pic... I'll be a fruit loop instead of a flower weilding exercise guru..
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  #37  
Old 07-28-2009, 08:29 PM
LMSenus LMSenus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
LMSenus,

Has anyone other than the BMW dealer changed your oil?
Are you the original owner?
I am the second owner. I did get the entire service history on the car prior to purchase, and it was only ever serviced by a BMW dealer. As it was still under the CPO, I had the oil change in June done by my local dealer.

The only other thing to note is the original owner only drove about 6,000 miles a year and only had the car serviced annually. I don't know if that makes it more likely to have a sludge problem or not.

Now I'm going for the popcorn and settling in for some (apparently) entertaining reading
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  #38  
Old 07-28-2009, 08:36 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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Where do you find the oil capacity. Don't see it in the mannual for 2001 530i.
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  #39  
Old 07-28-2009, 08:39 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
Where do you find the oil capacity. Don't see it in the mannual for 2001 530i.
Approx. 7 qts.
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  #40  
Old 07-28-2009, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
BMWs shouldn't burn oil….at least at reasonable mileages assuming oil has been changed….
All cars burn oil, many not enough to notice on the dipstick but every single car on the road does burn some oil. Oil lubricates the piston rings, and of course some is left of the cylinder walls. BMW's are in face known (esp the M cars) to burn more oil than any other car on average.
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  #41  
Old 07-28-2009, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMSenus View Post
Car has 43,115 miles on it as of today. Last oil change was at 39,350 or thereabouts. Call it 4,000 miles since the last oil change (June 10) and it was down a quart and a half.
That is a VERY reasonable amount of oil to be burned over that period. I wouldnt even give it a second thought unless there is an obvious leak.
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  #42  
Old 07-28-2009, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
Where do you find the oil capacity. Don't see it in the mannual for 2001 530i.
7 quarts.

mw
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  #43  
Old 07-28-2009, 09:09 PM
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Guys,

M54 3.0 engines are notoriously known for consuming oil. Every M54 engine I know burns at least a quart of of oil per interval.

Replace the CCV will help decrease the amount but not completely.
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  #44  
Old 07-28-2009, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
Where do you find the oil capacity. Don't see it in the mannual for 2001 530i.
Look again...you should find it under CAPACITIES: below is the fluid chart from the owners manual for the 528i/540i...and the 2nd image is from the manual for the 525i/530i/540i...see Engine Oil Filter Change...


************************************************** *******************************

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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 07-28-2009 at 09:23 PM.
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  #45  
Old 07-28-2009, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMSenus View Post
I am the second owner. I did get the entire service history on the car prior to purchase, and it was only ever serviced by a BMW dealer. As it was still under the CPO, I had the oil change in June done by my local dealer.

The only other thing to note is the original owner only drove about 6,000 miles a year and only had the car serviced annually. I don't know if that makes it more likely to have a sludge problem or not.

Now I'm going for the popcorn and settling in for some (apparently) entertaining reading
Learn how to check your oil using the dipstick every morning before you turn on your car.
Keep an eye on it and see how many miles per quart you are losing.
Do not wait for the car oil sensor to tell you that you neglected your engine.
DO NOT over fill your oil above the maximum line. Not even 1 millimeter.
Only use the 5-30 full synthetic oil you buy at your BMW dealer. (Yeah I know - everybody is going to jump on me and turn this thread into a "what is the best oil for..." So forget that - this is only for your little experiment until you figure out what is going on - if anything at all.)
That 1cm between the lower line and the top line on the dipstick is 1 quart. - Don't overfill.

....and of course report back so we can give advice.

Oh, and I was joking about your $stealer. If they didn't charge you, they are ok.

mw
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  #46  
Old 07-29-2009, 07:51 AM
LMSenus LMSenus is offline
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Dutifully checked the dipstick this a.m. so we know exactly what our baseline is.

Maybe I'm panicking over nothing. The car is still new to me, and I'm still learning what's "normal".

Thanks for your help and encouragement.

Quote:
Get some popcorn and Coke and read through this thread, it is like a comedy show by reading through the posts by "dambro24". Pay attention to Post #64:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=349741
That was pretty comical (if a bit painful) to read. (Why, oh why, can't people write decently anymore? "u" and "r" by themselves are not words! And would somebody please buy this guy a capital letter, and maybe a punctuation mark or two? ) Still, the lesson is important: check the simple stuff first. It's usually the $0.25 washer or the like that's the source of the problem.
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  #47  
Old 07-29-2009, 08:20 AM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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LMSenus,

Most 530 and 330 that has the M54 3.0 engine consume a bit of oil, believe or not dealer will tell you a quart per 1000 miles is acceptable.
Have you done the CCV system in your car? I would suggest to have it done it will cut the amount of oil consumption in half if not better, plus your engine will love you for it.
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  #48  
Old 07-29-2009, 10:02 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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LMSenus,

Back to that comical thread:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=349741
It took us a long time to diagnose the problem for "dambro24". The interesting part about that thread is that I thought it was a defective Oil Pressure Sensor, and since it was a $5.00 part (aren't you pleasantly surprised there is such thing that costs only $5.00 in a bimmer....), I told "dambro24" to replace it.
In the process of removing the Oil Filter Plastic Cap (that needs to be removed to get access to the Oil Pressure Sensor), "dambro24" discovered that his Oil Filter Plastic Cap is missing a part, maybe from the many times the oil is changed, the previous mechanics accidentally broke something off. Then "dambro24" never bothered returning to post a follow-up. I had to send him a PM to tell him please post a F/U so all of us can learn from it and voila.....see post #64. It was a valuable lesson for everyone to see how a small little part can wreak havoc.

Since engine oil is the lifeblood of the car (no engine oil pressure is like having a heart attack, the car engine will seize in 1-2 minutes = $5-6K repair!), if I were you, I'd do the following for peace of my mind:

I use EACTuning dot com for many of my cars, so here you go.

1. Change the Oil Filter Plastic Cap. Use only BMW part:
Part# : 11421744000 = $25.00
http://eactuning.com/parts/product_details/11421744000

2. Go and buy 7 qts of good synthetic oil (I use Valvoline Syntec). At 4K miles, you are due for an oil change anyway.

3. Get a new Oil Filter. You can use either brand from here:
PN 11427512300 = $5.90; I use "Mann" for all my bimmers, Volvo.
http://eactuning.com/parts/product_details/11427512300

4. And lastly get a new Oil Pressure Sensor (aka Oil Switch).
This is basically a switch: On-Off type, which means when oil pressure falls below a pre-set value, let's say 3-4 psi rather than 7 psi at idle:

Then this Oil Switch will trigger a warning light on the Instrument Cluster, which may even shut your car down to protect the engine.

PN 12617568480; Get TRW-MERA (OEM) $6.50
http://eactuning.com/ssf/part_number_search/12617568480

The Oil Switch fits right behind the Oil Filter Housing:



Then go for the oil change, at the same time, swap the new Oil Filter Plastic Cover and then install a new Oil Switch (changing the Oil Switch is a 5-min job).

All in all, this next oil change only costs you an additional $30 (Oil Filter Plastic Cover and Oil Switch) and you will have eliminated these 2 items as a culprit should the warning light came back later (I doubt it).


Good Luck and this is the joy of owning a bimmer!
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Last edited by cn90; 07-30-2009 at 08:30 PM.
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  #49  
Old 07-30-2009, 06:48 PM
LMSenus LMSenus is offline
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Alrighty, then! I've got some homework, apparently. You guys will be amused by this: my husband (who has worked as a mechanic) insists that I work on my own car. He helps me, but he insists that I do as much as I can (with his help) and learn what's what under the hood. So this is my project.

Checked the oil level tonight, still holding steady.
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  #50  
Old 07-30-2009, 08:23 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Originally Posted by LMSenus View Post
Alrighty, then! I've got some homework, apparently. You guys will be amused by this: my husband (who has worked as a mechanic) insists that I work on my own car. He helps me, but he insists that I do as much as I can (with his help) and learn what's what under the hood. So this is my project.

Checked the oil level tonight, still holding steady.
1+!!!

You will soon realize that 90% of the routine maintenance (oil change, air filter change, spark plugs change, brake job etc.) is within the scope of a Saturday mechanic willing to learn.

The heavy duty stuff (muffler, clutch, strut etc.) can be left to a shop as you don't run problems very often.

Welcome to the Saturday Mechanic Club!
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