Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-26-2009, 10:23 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,835
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
DIY: Windshield Washer RESERVOIR Leak Fix

My Windshield Washer RESERVOIR Leaks a bit at the Filler Neck (where the Tubing joins the Reservoir), so I decided to freshen things a bit! If your Windshield Washer has been leaking, the good news is all this can be fixed for approx. $10.

Expanding Rivets x 3: PN: 51478166992 ---> $0.66/each
Grommet w/ Strainer: PN: 61667006063 ---> $4.24/each
Grommet: PN: 61311369343 ---> $3.13/each


It can leak at the:
- Filler Neck (where it enters the Reservoir)
- Windshield Motor
- Level Sensor

Time: 1 hour.

PROCEDURE:

1. Passenger's Front Wheel removed, car on Jackstand.

2. Remove the Plastic Wheel Liner. I did it the "lazy" way and lift it up just enough to do the job.
- 8-mm screws hold the Plastic Liner.
- The three (3) "Expanding Rivets", don't even try to save the old rivets, they break when coming out, using a flat screwdriver and gently lift it out, and cut with a pair of snippers.

3. Using a Flat Screwdriver, gently lift the Windshield Fluid Motor UPWARD (Yellow arrow).

4. The Level Sensor comes STRAIGHT out (Yellow arrow).



5. Remove the two (2) 10-mm Nuts holding the Reservoir and remove it for cleaning. My fine mesh screen broke from the rubber grommet and was inside the Reservoir. Easy to remove it. Then rinse the inside the Reservoir and empty all water.

6. Tips when re-installing new parts:
- Tiny amount of grease on the Filler Neck for a good seal. Factory has no zip ties. Mine leaks right here, so after a bit of grease (very thin smear) and 2 zip ties, it is nice and tight, no leak!
- Tiny amount of grease (very thin smear) on both grommets.
- Tiny amount of grease for the Expanding Rivets makes it easy as well.

Congrats on a job well-done and now you have a leak-free Reservoir!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	WWReservoir.jpg
Views:	42347
Size:	112.3 KB
ID:	202848  

Last edited by cn90; 09-26-2009 at 10:33 AM.
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 09-26-2009, 12:15 PM
Darkflame808 Darkflame808 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Honolulu, HI
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 101
Mein Auto: 1997 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
- The three (3) "Expanding Rivets", don't even try to save the old rivets, they break when coming out, using a flat screwdriver and gently lift it out, and cut with a pair of snippers.
Um I am not sure what type of expanding rivets you have but when I did my regulator replacement you just take a thumb tack and press the center rivet in, It will fall into the side fairing and you can remove the rivet. When I popped out all three they fell into the little |_/
dip. it's the part where the side lower fairing meets the side upper fairing.

Anyway I just used my finger to pull it out. Three == pieces and three =0 pieces. They pull out without force once you pop them out and you don't need to buy new ones.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-28-2009, 11:15 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,835
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcash from bimmerboard

- About those expansion rivets. It is easy to push the small centre pin through the rivet and then the outer part easily lifts out and and can be reused. The only "trick" is to find the centre pins after you remove the liner - they should be sitting along the inside of the fender.
But yes - not a bad idea to have some spares just in case.

- There is another source of leaking that only occurs when you fill the reservoir to the top of the fill tube. On the top left of the reservoir tank there is a breather valve. It allows air to escape when filing and also allows air back in as the fluid is used. There is a tiny float inside it that closed to prevent fluid escaping when you fully fill the tank.
If you get some fluid on the floor just after filling the tank then this is probably the source of the leak - the float is not sealing. Best to replace that breather float unit....
Follow-up,

I am quoting Jim Cash's reply from bimmerboard as above.

1. Yes, the Expanding Rivets can be re-used, just gently tap the center inward and it will fall down. Just retrieve them when the plastic liner is lifted up.

2. The "Breather Valve" sits on TOP of the Reservoir, if this "Breather Valve" fails, you basically have 2 options:
a. Replace "Breather Valve".

b. Or if you are too busy and have no time to replace the Breather Valve, then LEARN a new habit and do not pour Windshield Washer Fluid above the Blue Arrow and you should be fine. From the Engine Compartment, this is down the filler neck where it is just about to enter the Engine Bay:

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	WWReservoir-02.jpg
Views:	35885
Size:	70.7 KB
ID:	203047  

Last edited by cn90; 10-04-2009 at 07:40 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-04-2009, 02:48 PM
87vert's Avatar
87vert 87vert is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Pittsburgh,PA
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 339
Mein Auto: '02 BMW 525i
Man, I gotta do this, having to put in washer fluid like every 3 weeks to get the warning off the dash is killing me. LOL

hopefully we get a nice weekend before it starts snowing.

Thanks for the DIY.
__________________
'02 525i - Titanium Gray
Blitz Safe AUX Audio Connector

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-04-2009, 07:41 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,835
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Quote:
Originally Posted by 87vert View Post
Man, I gotta do this, having to put in washer fluid like every 3 weeks to get the warning off the dash is killing me. LOL

hopefully we get a nice weekend before it starts snowing.

Thanks for the DIY.
I am not sure where your leak is, but since you invest on time and effort, you may as well replace the "Breather Valve" (I did not). Just a thought.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-03-2009, 12:26 PM
ill_kuma's Avatar
ill_kuma ill_kuma is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: NYC
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 729
Mein Auto: 2001 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I am not sure where your leak is, but since you invest on time and effort, you may as well replace the "Breather Valve" (I did not). Just a thought.
I too have a leak...seems to be washer fluid. The puddle sits right next to the inside of the passenger tire. How do I find out if its my "breather valve"? Where is the "breather valve" and how do I replace it? What is the part # so I can see how it looks in a diagram from realOEM.com...Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-19-2009, 07:03 PM
handyman john handyman john is offline
Registered User
Location: Raleigh, NC
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 2003 525iT
finding the leak

your best bet is to follow the instructions above and remove the tire and wheel well liner and look for the leak. I would guess that the breather is the problem less than 10% of the time. The grommets are notoriously bad.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-05-2009, 01:18 PM
clemshirlee clemshirlee is offline
Registered User
Location: Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2001 525i
Thanks to C90

What a great post. Had I not found it I doubt I would have had the nerve or motivation to fix my 2001 525i windshield washer which stopped spraying. My wife was pretty impressed that I could fix the car because I am not mechanically inclined. Everything was just as you said and the pictures "paint a thousand words". Autozone had the replacement motor with a grommet for $13 but the level sensor grommet had to be ordered. Don't know for sure but I am guessing my local mechanic would have charged $100 for the job that didn't take me very long. Many thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-11-2009, 03:10 PM
Kel Kel is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 213
Mein Auto: BMW 5
Thank you for great thread ! It seems that the Reservoir container is rarely the problem. But it seems not too many places carry it. What would be cheapest / best place to buy it and the parts mentioned in this thread?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-12-2009, 07:29 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,835
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Check the local dealer. These are not expensive enough to shop around online.

Another option is "Crown Auto" or "Crown BMW", basically a BWM dealer selling parts online.
For small inexpesive parts, go to local BMW dealer because you don't have to pay shipping!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-28-2010, 08:57 PM
tspeed tspeed is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: N. California
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 105
Mein Auto: 04/98 528
quick fix when leak is from breather valve, but don't have a new replacement valve

Thanks cn90 for yet another excellent DIY.

I had the puddles after filling the resevoir and this time I followed this post to
locate the leak as I filled it with water.
I saw right away the leak from the breather valve.

Assuming the leaks were due to bad rubber grommets, I didn't order a new breather valve but just two new rubber grommets.
So I decided to take the valve apart (used needle nose pliers to remove the float) and added a little support to the tired rubber seal by placing an O-ring (ID 3/8", OD 1/4", CS 1/16") around the base of the red rubber seal.

I tested this valve by slipping on the grommet and place it over a small water bottle (perfect fit) and confirmed proper action of the float by gently squeezing the bottle (a strong squeeze definitely closed the valve but I don't think there is that much pressure present.)

I'll see how long the O-ring support works in the float before I order a new breather valve.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	washer reservoir 002.jpg
Views:	511
Size:	80.8 KB
ID:	223758   Click image for larger version

Name:	washer reservoir 009.jpg
Views:	477
Size:	61.0 KB
ID:	223759   Click image for larger version

Name:	washer reservoir 010.jpg
Views:	456
Size:	58.7 KB
ID:	223760   Click image for larger version

Name:	washer reservoir 011.jpg
Views:	445
Size:	52.8 KB
ID:	223761   Click image for larger version

Name:	washer reservoir 012.jpg
Views:	471
Size:	53.5 KB
ID:	223762  

Click image for larger version

Name:	washer reservoir 004.jpg
Views:	457
Size:	102.4 KB
ID:	223763   Click image for larger version

Name:	washer reservoir 007.jpg
Views:	401
Size:	74.3 KB
ID:	223764   Click image for larger version

Name:	washer reservoir 008.jpg
Views:	454
Size:	72.9 KB
ID:	223765   Click image for larger version

Name:	washer reservoir.jpg
Views:	555
Size:	112.2 KB
ID:	223766  

Last edited by tspeed; 03-28-2010 at 09:08 PM. Reason: add pic
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-29-2010, 09:05 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,835
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Good Job! I didn't know the breather valve can be "rebuilt". But for $2.43 I'd go for a new breather valve:
PN: 61608255245 $2.43 ---> Part #5:




I took this pic from another website so people can see the breather valve sitting on top of the reservoir:

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	WinshieldWasherResevoir2.jpg
Views:	27946
Size:	99.2 KB
ID:	223799  
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:29 AM
tspeed tspeed is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: N. California
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 105
Mein Auto: 04/98 528
Thanks, but for my 04/1998 build date, that part is, 61668361370, and jumps to $33 from local dealer and had to be ordered.
So I was stuck using the old part...it's not a true fix but works for now.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:44 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,835
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
The breather valve is BMW engineer's overkill thingy!
Many many cars (Honda, Toyota) w/s reservoir has no breather valve.
The filler neck (where you fill fluid) is itself a breather valve.
Worst case scenario, if you don't want to spend $33, then simple use a rubber cap and cap it shut and see what happens.

PS: The main purpose of the breather valve, as the name suggests, is let's say your reservoir is empty.
You fill with washer fluid, the filler neck is now filled with fluid, the the breather valve allows air to escape.
Once fluid reaches the top, the floater floats up and prevents fluid loss.
Conceptually it is like the toilet tank floater idea (not the same but similar in concept).

So if you block the breather valve with a rubber cap, when you filled with new fluid, air will instead come out of the filler neck.
You will see bubbles coming up the filler neck, no big deal anyway.
Again, this device (breather valve) is over-engineered!

Last edited by cn90; 03-29-2010 at 11:53 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:56 AM
tspeed tspeed is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: N. California
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 105
Mein Auto: 04/98 528
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. If this leaked again, I would plug it w/ a rubber stopper and put a pin hole or two on the plastic filler cap and fill it to couple of inches from top.

I guess those BMW engineers had too much time on their hands after perfecting the cup holders.

Last edited by tspeed; 03-29-2010 at 11:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-29-2010, 12:03 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,835
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Actually the fill cap already has a hole in there I think. Plus it is not a perfect cap so air can always get around it anyway, so no need to make a hole in the cap.

BMW engineers design cars over beer and Bratwurst!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-29-2010, 06:17 PM
Kel Kel is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 213
Mein Auto: BMW 5
On either the E39 or 60 can the leak problem be fixed without taking the tire off?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-30-2010, 10:14 PM
topgear454 topgear454 is offline
Registered User
Location: The Woodlands, TX
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 61
Mein Auto: 2000 528i 5 speed manual
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kel View Post
On either the E39 or 60 can the leak problem be fixed without taking the tire off?
Perhaps, but it would be a royal pain in the ass. Just jack the thing up and remove the wheel. Spend 5 minuets and save 30.
__________________
Since I don't work on 'em anymore, I can finally afford to drive one...
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04-05-2010, 06:25 PM
Kel Kel is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 213
Mein Auto: BMW 5
CN--Thank you for your super posts. Would you happen to know:
1--E39 and E60 have same grommets?
2--Do you usually need both the grommets ending 6063 with strainer and 94423 are needed , or usually just one of them?
3--If it is only the grommet to replace : should repair shop charge 30 minutes, or 45 or 60?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-05-2010, 06:47 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,835
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
I don't know about E60.
Use realoem.com to cross-check part numbers.

If you can change tire, you can do this except that you also need a jackstand to be safe.

They can charge one hour because: jacking up, tire removal, remove fender liner.
Take the reservoir to rinse it (not needed but since you are there, you may as well rinse it).
Then-re-install.

Not that hard if you want to do this.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 04-06-2010, 01:04 AM
mnepitjr's Avatar
mnepitjr mnepitjr is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: North Alabama
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 304
Mein Auto: 2002 525 2000 M5
Thanks for the help on this. I did this repair to my 02' this past week. Make sure before you button everyting back up that you don't have another leak. I had replaced all mine per this write up and thought I should make sure I don't have another leak. Sure enough, I did. My washer pump was cracked causing fluid to drip out of it.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04-06-2010, 05:18 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,835
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Yep, 1+.
Always test the system before buttoning it back up. This means:
- Pour w/s fluid until it reaches the top of the neck....there should be no leak.
- Operate the Pump (ask someone else to do it for you) and observe the pump for leak.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tspeed View Post
...I'll see how long the O-ring support works in the float before I order a new breather valve.
Hey tspeed,
Is your "red neck" engineering thingy holding up nicely...?

Last edited by cn90; 04-06-2010 at 05:23 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 08-03-2010, 03:02 PM
87vert's Avatar
87vert 87vert is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Pittsburgh,PA
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 339
Mein Auto: '02 BMW 525i
I wanted to do this fix this past weekend but the dealer did not have the parts I needed. So I ordered them, they came in today. Grand total of 6.16 after my BMWCCA discount. Will do this this weekend. Hopefully now I won't have to listen to the beep everything I start the car telling me I need washer fluid. LOL.
__________________
'02 525i - Titanium Gray
Blitz Safe AUX Audio Connector

Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 08-03-2010, 03:18 PM
borderchris's Avatar
borderchris borderchris is offline
Ich liebe meine Funfers!
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 628
Mein Auto: 550i and E34 530i
Make sure you do a test pump prior to bolting everything back together- I did this job 3 times before I figured out that the leak was coming from the side breather of the fluid pump itself...
__________________


550i . Sport . Nav . L7 . Sirius . Cold . Eibachs . Bilsteins . 19" TSW . K&N . MTech V3
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 08-09-2010, 04:16 AM
87vert's Avatar
87vert 87vert is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Pittsburgh,PA
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 339
Mein Auto: '02 BMW 525i
My filler hose actually had a crack in it. Mine is also different as it goes inside of the tank as opposed to outside of the neck so a zip tie would not do any good. I wrapped it in tape and it helped stop the leak. It is leak free once it gets below that pipe though.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...51&hg=61&fg=45

Any idea what #4 is? and how do I buy the hose? Is it part of #3?
__________________
'02 525i - Titanium Gray
Blitz Safe AUX Audio Connector

Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms