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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 05-31-2014, 06:56 AM
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idjit idjit is offline
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Vanos with beisan seals gone again?

e39 i525 M54

I was getting 10.1 L/100km. I replaced my vanos seals with the Beisan ones that are supposed to last and my fuel consumption dropped to 9.1 L/100km.

Eight months later and not a lot of excessive miles I'm back up to 9.7 L/100km and slowly climbing (according to the dash and I doubt I've put on 60,000 KM). I've checked for codes and their are none.

This happened fairly fast--over the period of a month or so and I assume there's some averaging on over time going on with the calculation so maybe something happened suddenly and the readout on the dash slowly averaged it out to what I see now.

The car is basically running like it did before the vanos seals were repaired. Seems sluggish in the lower RPM's again. Given that the baisan seals are supposed to last I'm looking for a best guess and maybe how to diagnose that guess.

Thanks! -Bob
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2014, 09:35 AM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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since you have the double vanos, you could unplug the intake solenoid plug before your first start of hte day and see if the issue recurs or not.
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  #3  
Old 05-31-2014, 09:46 AM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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I would look for a vacuum leak. Sometimes you can have a leak that is too small to set a code but can effect fuel mileage. What is the condition of your spark plugs?

I'm assuming that you followed the Beisan procedures exactly when you replaced the Vanos seals. I'm saying that because I've replaced these seals in our 3 E39s and have never experienced a fuel mileage drop like yours. I experienced more low end torque and no decrease in fuel consumption.

Edit-+1 on Helmet's suggestion above.

Last edited by johnstern; 05-31-2014 at 09:49 AM.
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  #4  
Old 05-31-2014, 10:05 AM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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John makes a good point: do you hear a hiss from the engine? you may have bumped something just enough to cause a leak but not visually noticeable.
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  #5  
Old 05-31-2014, 10:45 AM
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idjit idjit is offline
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Well I did the vanos job 8 months ago and mileage improved immediately and held for a good 6 months, so I think I did OK on the seal replacement. I followed the instructions exactly with immediate performance and mileage improvement, until lately. My understanding of the Beisan seals is that I probably should never have to worry about them again.

I didn't think a vacuum leak would cause poor mileage. I was thinking it would more likely run lean and actually get better mileage, but run hot and throw codes. I'll look around for air leaks starting with the filter intake.

As for unplugging the intake solenoid, what am I looking for? Mileage/performance improvement? Other than poor mileage and low RPM performance I'm not having any rough idle , codes or anything.

Last edited by idjit; 05-31-2014 at 10:46 AM.
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2014, 12:15 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Your initial post indicates that your gas mileage dropped (10.1 to 9.1) after replacing your Vanos seals. It then began to climb back up. This post indicates your mileage improved after immediately replacing your seals. Which is it? Conflicting symptoms will generate an incorrect diagnosis. And yes, your seals are fine. Your drop in gas mileage can be due to any number of issues. Most likely non-Vanos related.
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2014, 12:35 PM
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idjit idjit is offline
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Well that's Liters/100KM. 10.1 to 9.1 is good. That's less fuel used per 100KM. The initial post said fuel consumption dropped, not gas mileage. Sorry for the confusion, but that's how it is expressed in Canada.

BTW. Johnstern asked about the plugs. New last year about the same time and are the correct plug for the car.

Last edited by idjit; 05-31-2014 at 01:59 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05-31-2014, 02:40 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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Is your car idling rough on cold start in the morning? If it is and you disconnect the intake solenoid, it can smooth it out. If there is no change, the problem isn't vanos. And a vacuum leak will kill your fuel consumption. If you have unmetered air getting past the maf, the oxygen sensor will add more fuel to the mixture and report it to the ecm. Your idle will generally raise also
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  #9  
Old 05-31-2014, 03:01 PM
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idjit idjit is offline
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Helmet75, I replaced all the usual vacuum hoses two years ago so I started right after the MAF on the intake. Looked a little rotty here and there. Then I squeezed it slightly to expose a 1.5" crack in the area that is designed to flex. This the intake hose (about 3 or 4 inches diameter?) between the MAF and the second section--then into the intake. Interesting because my ex-mechanic had found this a couple of years ago and taped temporarily while waiting for a new one to arrive. Do they rot this quick or did he put a used one in it? I wonder.

Anyhow, I taped it (electrical tape) till I get a new one. My ex-mechanic is why I do my own work now.

Thanks! Hopefully this cures it.

Last edited by idjit; 05-31-2014 at 03:04 PM.
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  #10  
Old 05-31-2014, 03:26 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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If the hose is of decent quality, they wont fail quickly. they should last more than 10 years, however, heat, cold, moisture, dry air, etc all play a role in how fast they crack or become brittle.

If I had to hazard a guess, that hose was never replaced and is your cause.
you can get 10 inches of transmission cooler line for about 2 bucks at your local parts store and will work perfectly.
make sure its 3/8 and replace that cracked hose.
It will cause your problems and if you have one bad one, you have more.
good luck and I hope you get them replaced.
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2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GT- Traded in to get GTP. Electrical Hell.
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  #11  
Old 05-31-2014, 03:28 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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oh wait, sorry. my bad. the boot is cracked. it is the lower intake boot more than likely.

it will look like one of these:
lower boot with ICV boot.

Upper:
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2000 528i- Current Daily Driver and Project Car
2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Comp G- 3.8 Supercharged. Sold to buy the BMW. Chipped, 27MPG, tons of torque.
2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GT- Traded in to get GTP. Electrical Hell.
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  #12  
Old 05-31-2014, 03:34 PM
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Yup the upper. I have it off now and the air adjuster out to inspect the lower. Lower looks ok but he didn't tighen the clamp on at least the small hose that branches off.
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  #13  
Old 05-31-2014, 03:45 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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is there a crack in it? also, check the lower very closely. the ICV connector is notorious for cracking. it is an odd bend which puts it under a lot of stress and will crack easily.
that will cause massive vacuum leaks.
to remove it from the car, you will need to remove the DISA valve. It has to bolts (torx 40 I think) and one electrical connector.
here is a picture of a cracked one
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2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Comp G- 3.8 Supercharged. Sold to buy the BMW. Chipped, 27MPG, tons of torque.
2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GT- Traded in to get GTP. Electrical Hell.
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  #14  
Old 05-31-2014, 03:46 PM
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you can get new ones for about 20.00 (US) each if you shop around. My lower boot was 19.34 at the local BMW stealer.
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2000 528i- Current Daily Driver and Project Car
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2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GT- Traded in to get GTP. Electrical Hell.
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  #15  
Old 05-31-2014, 03:49 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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BTW, idjit.... with that name, you really need a picture of Bobby Singer
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Looking for Parts for my E39- PM Me for wishlist and to deal!
2000 528i- Current Daily Driver and Project Car
2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Comp G- 3.8 Supercharged. Sold to buy the BMW. Chipped, 27MPG, tons of torque.
2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GT- Traded in to get GTP. Electrical Hell.
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  #16  
Old 05-31-2014, 04:00 PM
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idjit idjit is offline
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Lower looks great like it must have been replaced at some time, but not new so I figure I'll replace them both. My experience is pelican parts usually has everything I need at a given time and including shipping and duty I can get OEM or OEM manufacturer parts for about 1/3 the cost of BMW here. I get the latter whenever I can cause I don't need BMW stamped on the parts, but I avoid aftermarket. Already have the DISA out for the inspection. Just about to put it back in and she'll be re-assmantled and ready to go.

When I was a kid my best friend called me Idjit. Long time ago and I don't remember how I earned it, but I'm sure it's valid.
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  #17  
Old 05-31-2014, 04:08 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Your seals are OK--I put over 150k miles on mine before the engine blew--you have a number of vacuum leaks and you need to address them--start by studing the following link as to where they occur

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...eaks+revisited
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  #18  
Old 05-31-2014, 04:12 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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I agree with poolman: the vanos seals are okay. your issue is strictly vacuum.
If you see visual cracks in the boots, I would try to fashion a patch for it using duct tape or silicone rtv until you get new boots installed.
you will notice an immediate difference in the way it runs if you can patch them.
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2000 528i- Current Daily Driver and Project Car
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2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GT- Traded in to get GTP. Electrical Hell.
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  #19  
Old 05-31-2014, 04:36 PM
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idjit idjit is offline
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I taped the upper intake as identified in post #9. I have no reason to expect other hoses at this time as I replaced all that about 18 months ago. This upper intake hose was supposed to have been replaced by my ex-mechanic so I hadn't looked at it plus I didn't expect an air leak to use more gas. Helmet 75 explained (thank you), I found the crack and taped it. I just took it for a run and it could be my imagination but I think the power at lower RPM is back. I'll watch the mileage on the dash to see if the number starts looking better.

For now I'm ordering a new upper intake hose to replace my "tape job" and calling it fixed. "Thanks" to all of you.
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Old 05-31-2014, 04:40 PM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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idjit - congrats on finding and fixing your problem. I totally agree with Helmet that the boot was probably never replaced. Because of the accordion shape of these intake tubes, they can be torn/cracked for a long time and basically don't leak much. Even over bumps when the cracks open a bit, the ECU won't generate a fault code unless the fuel trim is out of range for 10 seconds or more.

Plus your choice of Pelican Parts is a good one. They don't mess around with substandard junk parts. And thanks for posting your findings. You'd be surprised at the number of people who ask for help but never post what was wrong. Thanks again.
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  #21  
Old 05-31-2014, 05:00 PM
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idjit idjit is offline
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I've seen how many don't and I always make it a point. It is frustrating when the last post in a thread is "Wonderfull, what did you do to fix it?"
Thanks.
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  #22  
Old 05-31-2014, 05:23 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Call it fixed if ya want too,,but unless you address the other areas that were outlined in my write up,,it'll come back ta haunt sha--there are more than just vacuum hoses to address
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  #23  
Old 05-31-2014, 05:37 PM
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idjit idjit is offline
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I'll check out your link. It's just that at the time off the ccv replacement just about anything that sucked air was replaced. The upper intake hose was taped and was to have been replaced. For the most part, if dealing with the big gaping hole I found fixes it then I'm not going to worry to much more, otherwise I'll dig deeper and maybe return to this thread. Thanks
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:41 PM
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I'm glad to see you found the culprit and have a plan of attack for it going forward. I too would follow poolman's advice and address other areas of concern just to be safe.
running lean is a horrible thing to do on a car and it can be a nightmare to track down and repair.
However, the consequences are catastrophic if neglected.

either way, glad to see you are back to normal- at least somewhat normal. please let us know if you have any other areas of concern.
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2000 528i- Current Daily Driver and Project Car
2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Comp G- 3.8 Supercharged. Sold to buy the BMW. Chipped, 27MPG, tons of torque.
2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GT- Traded in to get GTP. Electrical Hell.
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:53 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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The back of the intake nnear the fire wall on the driverside of the car--you'll need a flashlight and a small mirror to check around back there--replace the vac hoses and the vacuum caps that are on ports back there as well--even the caps will leak air over time--then the distribution unit on the top of the intake--there are 6 ,,0 rings that should be replaced--and then the DISA valve--if it's working good--I use a silicone sealent on mine where it goes into the inake housing--those are just starters---
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