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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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  #176  
Old 11-20-2010, 07:54 PM
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Location: Madison WI
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,520
Mein Auto: 1998 323is
174,900
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  #177  
Old 11-20-2010, 07:58 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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Location: Oshkosh Wisconsin
 
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Posts: 6,007
Mein Auto: 2010 M3
116K and I purchased it new.
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94 530i sold (That was difficult for me)
01 530i >144,500+ miles SOLD
06 330XI winter's especially fun drive (SOLD)
10 M3 Sedan (sweet)
13 Nissan GT-R Black Edition
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  #178  
Old 11-21-2010, 06:58 AM
E39swagwag E39swagwag is offline
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Location: Long Beach
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 29
Mein Auto: E39 wagon
137,000 - 525iT 2002

Drive train is still going strong and she's always in her element and purring between 85-90mph. Here are my predictions.

* cup holder
* stereo pixels
* leather quality
* hydraulic trunk hinge
* front wheel well covers
* foglight



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02 525iT sport M pkg (187k mi)
09 328i convertible sport (50k mi)
12 Acura MDX advance
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  #179  
Old 11-21-2010, 07:57 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,248
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by E39swagwag View Post
Here are my predictions.
My mileage?
91,241 ... 91,242 ... 91,243 ... 91,244 ... 91,245 ... 91,246 ... 91,247 ... 91,248 ... 91, 249 ... 91,250 ... 91,251 ... 91,252 ... 91,253 ... 91,254 ... 91,255 ... 91,256 ... 91,257 ... 91,258 ... 91, 259 ... 91,260 ... 91,261 ... 91,262 ... 91,263 ... 91,264 ... 91,265 ... 91,266 ... 91,267 ... 91,268 ... 91, 269 ... 91,270 ... 91,271 ... 91,272 ... 91,273 ... 91,274 ... 91,275 ... 91,276 ... 91,277 ... 91,278 ... 91, 279 ... 91,280 ... 91,281 ... 91,282 ... 91,283 ... 91,284 ... 91,285 ... 91,286 ... 91,287 ... 91,288 ... 91, 289 ... 91,290 ... ... ...

My predictions?
- COOLING SYSTEM CATASTROPHICALLY FAILS: brittle plastic expansion tank, radiator, & thermostat housings that blow up due to faulty plastic mostly at the upper hose neck but also in the expansion tank and thermostat housing (1)
- MID PIXELS SLOWLY DIE: press-fit pink connection tape lifts up over time on MID causing dead pixels (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) [MID removal instructions (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)]
- CLUSTER PIXELS FAIL LINE BY LINE: press-fit pink connection tape lifts up over time on the instrument cluster causing dead pixels (1) [cluster removal instructions (1) (2)]
- HEADLIGHT ADJUSTERS CRUMBLE: brittle plastic headlight adjusters that simply crumble over time causing the lights to point downward (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) & options available (1)
- FAN CONTROL GOES HAYWIRE: poorly ventilated fan-control (FSU/FSR) modules that are practically sure to go haywire due to poor heat-sink design (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) ... Autopsy (1) (2) ...
- BATTERY DRAIN OVERNIGHT: due to FSU/FSR problem above (1) (2) (3)
- AMBER ABS/DSC/BRAKE LIGHTS: tack-welded steel resistance-welded Bosch 5.x ABS control module power wires that break off their gold contact because of being too close to engine heat and vibration (1) (2) (3) ... Abs control module autopsy (1) (2) ... why the diagnostic tools fail (1)
- I6 VANOS SEALS DETERIORATE: they're made out of the wrong materials so that they harden and leak over time causing degraded performance (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10)
- V8 VALLEY PAN GASKETS LEAK: poorly designed V8 valley pan gaskets that leak coolant (1) (2)
- REAR DOOR VAPOR BARRIER FAILS CAUSING WATER PUDDLES: improper adhesive used on rear door vapor barrier seals that allow rain water to fill the rear footwell (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
- WINDSHIELD MOLDING CRUMBLES: heat labile rubber windshield & back window molding that crumbles in three years due to poor choice of recycled materials (1) (2)
- JACK PADS FALL OFF: plastic jack pads that fall off the underside of the frame due to poor latch design causing jack failures & wind noise (1) (2) (3)
- AIR CONDITIONING ODORS: poorly designed cabin-filter housing drain hoses to clog which leaves causing gym-sock smells from the AC (1) (2) (3)
- BMW ROUNDEL PAINT CHIPS AWAY: cheaply painted BMW emblem roundels that wash away in the car wash over time (1)
- TRUNK WIRING FRAYS ATROCIOUSLY: a badly designed trunk loom wiring harness certain to chafe causing all sorts of light and fuse blowing and locking problems (1) (2)
- FRONT SHOCKS FAIL PREMATURELY VIOLENT SHUDDER WHILE BRAKING: OEM Sachs shocks fail causing violent shudder upon front-wheel braking on bumps (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
- POWER WINDOWS SUDDENLY STOP WORKING: low-quality rear-window regulators that stop the windows from closing (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12)
- AMBIENT TEMPERATURE SENSOR BREAKS OFF: low mounted ambient temperature sensors practically designed to be ripped off on a parking curb (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
- CUPHOLDERS BREAK EASILY: front and rear (nearly useless) cupholder replacement strategies (1)
- POWER STEERING RESERVOIR CAP LEAKS OILY MIST: constantly wet power steering reservoirs due to poor O-ring design (1) (2)
- POWER STEERING HOSE DRIPS ATF ONTO ALTERNATOR: power steering hose clamps practically guaranteed to leak (1) (2)
- ALTERNATOR FAILS PREMATURELY: most say this premature failure is due to power steering leaks just above it so do a rebuild BEFORE your alternator fails catastrophically on you (1) (2) & how to prevent leaves in your alternator air-intake duct (1)
- WOOD TRIM CRACKS SPONTANEOUSLY: wood trim whose varnish cracks and whose cd cover doors rattle (1) (2) (3)
- PLASTIC VENT TRIM CRACKS SPONTANEOUSLY: plastic trim around the air vents which invariably crack at the corners (1) (2) (3)
- SEAT & STEERING WHEEL CONTROLLER BREAK OFF: seat covers that don't protect switches for both the steering wheel tilt & driver's seat control (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
- SEAT CABLES BREAK: seat cables that fall out causing seat twist (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) & accidental airbag light fix (1)
- WINDSHIELD WASHER RESERVOIR PUMP LEAKS: windshield reservoirs prone to leaking due to an ill-fitting pump o-ring gasket (1)
- CCV FAILS: crankcase ventilation valve diaphragm tears, freezes (1), &/or clogs (1), necessitating CCV replacement (M54,M54,M54) (M52,M52) (M52TU) (M62,M62) ('99 528i) ('98 528i); raising pressures, often causing the OFH oil filter housing to leak (1); frequently blowing the VCG valve cover gasket (1); and sometimes the head gasket (1); often causing vacuum leaks (1) (2) (3)
- SAP CLOGS or FREEZES (1): the secondary air pump (SAP) valve (aka diverter valve) clogs, taking out the SAS (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
- IGNITION SWITCH FAILS: ignition switch that fails causing electrical problems (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10)
- MAF CLOGS: the mass air flow sensor (MAF) and idle control valve (ICV) require periodic cleaning (1) (2)
- THRUST-ARM BUSHINGS TEAR: fluid-filled thrust arm bushings that crack and tear causing vibrations at speed (1) (2) (3) (4)
- DISA VALVE FLAP BREAKS: the DISA valve flap breaks, sometimes with parts sucked into the intake manifold (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
- CENTER CONSOLE CAUSES PAIN: a nearly useless console design that just begs to be replaced (1) (2) (3)
- BASIC CAR/KEY SETTINGS COST about $100 at the dealer to modify basic user settings, e.g., automatic door-lock settings (0) (1) (2) & Easy-DIS unlocking (1)

Last edited by bluebee; 11-21-2010 at 09:08 AM.
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  #180  
Old 11-21-2010, 08:14 AM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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Location: Oshkosh Wisconsin
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,007
Mein Auto: 2010 M3
Blue, simply amazing.
Now I gotta order a BMW roundel as mine is chipped. It cost me poiints on the evaluators sheet at the BMW national Octoberfest.
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94 530i sold (That was difficult for me)
01 530i >144,500+ miles SOLD
06 330XI winter's especially fun drive (SOLD)
10 M3 Sedan (sweet)
13 Nissan GT-R Black Edition
14 Porsche Cayenne Platinum Diesel

BMWCCA 4215
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  #181  
Old 11-21-2010, 08:16 AM
UltimateDriving UltimateDriving is offline
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Posts: 880
Mein Auto: A Car
Around 65k kilometers here
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  #182  
Old 11-21-2010, 08:59 AM
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JC540I JC540I is offline
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Location: N.H.
 
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Posts: 1,191
Mein Auto: 95' 540ia-orient Blue
Blue,I agree that is amazing, and thanks.
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"Straight roads are for fast cars, turns are for fast drivers." -Colin McRae

Owned/own:
1995 M3-cosmos black(E36)
1998 528I-schwartz black(E39)
1999 328IS-steel blue(E36)
1995 540IA-orient blue(E34) 5/6 speed swap soon.
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  #183  
Old 11-21-2010, 09:22 AM
525man 525man is offline
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Location: swaziland
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 86
Mein Auto: 540iA Individual
267k km.
Automatic transmission-no reverse and then rebuild.
Cooling system.
CCV and hoses.
Valve cover gaskets and check valve cover for possible cracks (burning oil smell).
Vanos seals.
Oil filter housing gasket.
Shocks, Control arms, miscellaneous suspension parts R&R.
Cd changer, if applicable.
Rear subframe bushings (Wagon).
Headlight adjusters.
Frayed trunk cable harness.
Driver door master window module (good clean-up of all contacts).
FSU.
Power steering pump and related hoses, clamps,etc.
Angle eye bulbs (facelift headlights).
Leather restore (Leatherique works great).

Most, if not all this was done after 100k miles (160k km).
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  #184  
Old 02-11-2011, 11:16 AM
vetaldj vetaldj is offline
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Location: Orange Co
 
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Posts: 299
Mein Auto: 2010 X5 35d
1997 528i, now 111,250 miles, bought a week ago Enjoing so far but has CEL and SRS light on to go...
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  #185  
Old 02-11-2011, 11:48 AM
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energizedmortal energizedmortal is online now
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Location: Manhattan, New York
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 621
Mein Auto: 2003 530i
12/2002 530i with 155,000

oil housing110 k
oil pan gasket 110 k
bmw belt cured tensioner whine belts ,140k
spark plugs 115k
disa valve failed in engine clicked gave CEL and was replaced 120k
alternator,120k
battery,115k
brakes 120k
power steering hoses,125k
thrust arm bushings,125k
control arms, 125k
tie rods 125k
pullies, 140k
radiator, reservoir and cap, hoses 115k
faulty alarm, 115k
tires, 110k
sealed vapor barrier,115 k
cluster from ebay (matched vin in ike), 130k
welded exhaust console hanger above front sway bar 135k
windshield washer jet 130k
sway bar links 135k
metal bleed screws
besian vanos seals 140k
valve cover gasket 140k
fuel filter 140k
right thrust arm with HD bushing 140k
water pump, 130k
radiator 140k
thermostat, 140k
upper radiator hose 140k
lower radiator hose 140k
fan clutch and blade 140k
side marker housing 142k
coolant flush 140k
oil and differential fluid change 142k
Motor and transmission mounts 142 k
Bilstein HD struts mounts pad 144k
Conti dws tires/alignment 144k
fsu spare140k
hd bushing spare 140k
front brakes 143k rear spares
O2 sensors spares 9/13/10
H7 auto illumination and bulbs 9/13/10
Expansion tank, cap spare 9/30/10
Gatorback Belts spare 10/12/10
Rotors spare 10/12/10
CCV system spare 12/24/2010
Ball joints, rear sway links 1/18/2010
Rear bilstein mounts pads 1/18/2010
caulked rear tail lights to stop rain from leaking in 150k
angel eye leds went out at 150k

and yes you read correct the radiator is cheap enough that I bought one at 115k and had to do it again at 140k (i think my old motor mounts were vibrating the radiator)

with no rattles, leaks, or indicators its a dream to drive

Last edited by energizedmortal; 02-11-2011 at 12:03 PM.
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  #186  
Old 02-11-2011, 12:55 PM
Spike Holmes Spike Holmes is offline
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Location: Frisco, TX
 
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Posts: 500
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Mein Auto: 525i, G35, Subway
107,811 and counting.
Cooling system @ 97K
Master Cylinder @ 99K
Tranny Range sensor @ 101K
DSC Compressor @ 107K
Still drives like a charm

Last edited by Spike Holmes; 02-11-2011 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Spelling
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  #187  
Old 02-11-2011, 03:27 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Location: Champ
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,050
Mein Auto: 2003 530 Sport Twins
My Black Berry :

2003 530i Sport Blk/Blk 90k miles , stock body

in last 10k :
Custom sway bar
New M5 rear sway bar
New OEM T-T
New OEM Water pump
New Vanos seals
New pan gasket
Oil housing job
New 3 tesntions
New air intake boot
New vacuum lines
BMW Black Plate Frame
New OEM Full Brake Job front/rear
New Winter Michelin tires on 17" BBS 42 Style wheels
New Summer Conti 245/40R18 tires on new BBS 5 style wheels
New Second Air pump
New Engine belts
New Xenon Headlights bulbs
New Check Value Gasket set
New Interstate OEM battery
New OEM plugs
New OEM left driver door actuator
New batteries in both remote keys
New OEM Fuel filter
New OEM Salon filters
Recent ATF steering , Pensoil engine oil
Cooling system flashed with BMW green coolant
Brake system flashed with DOT4
New OEM Cap Holders
New Steering Hoses ( no leaks on my cars )
New OEM engine mounts
New OEM trunny mounts
MAF cleaned
Disa valve sealed
OEM CW CCV with all houses
New dipstick $$$
New OEM tranny fluid
New Mobile 1 differential fluid
Rear doors vapon barrier fix !
New OEM BMW floor mats
New OEM BMW trunk mat
New ACS Style trunk Carbon Fiber Spoiler
New ACS Style roof Carbon Fiber Spoiler
DICE i-BMW SilverLine iPod Adapter

Full suspension tuning in last year - ( all Lemfoerder parts )
Front :
New front thrust arm bushing
New front tie rods
New right front low arm
New front stabilizers
Rear :
New left - right rear upper arms
New rear stabilizers
Recent wheels balancing
Recent alignment

Last year trips :

Key West - 5k miles
Smoky Mountains- 2k miles
W DC - 1.5k miles

This Bimmer is a joy to drive

Last edited by champaign777; 02-11-2011 at 04:38 PM.
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  #188  
Old 02-11-2011, 05:58 PM
fedup fedup is offline
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Location: mass
 
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Posts: 149
Mein Auto: 2000 bmw 528i
148469 miles 2000 528i. COOLING SYSTEM OVERHAUL / VALVE COVER GASKET/ SPARK PLUGS/ MANIFOLD GASKETS / REBUILT ABS MODULE. / ALL 4 SPEED SENSORS BRAKE PADS AND ROTORS/ ALL NEW EMERGENCY BRAKE / PRE CAT O2 SENSORS. AND STILL RUNNING A LITTLE ROUGH ALONG WITH POOR GAS MILEAGE, MUST HAVE A VACUUM LEAK SOMEWHERE. OH WELL TO COLD TO WORK ON NOW I'LL WAIT TILL SPRING.
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  #189  
Old 02-11-2011, 06:50 PM
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rexgo rexgo is offline
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Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 215
Mein Auto: 97 528i
'97 - All stock - 64k - was a weekend only car - now my DD.
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'97 528i, 99k DD
'91 CRX Si, 114k
'83 Supra, 109k
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  #190  
Old 02-11-2011, 06:54 PM
Jax540 Jax540 is offline
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Location: New Hampshire
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 25
Mein Auto: 540i
540i
Year: 01
Mileage: 169,000

Repairs: Alternator, radiator, water pump, thermostat, coolant resevoir, plugs, wires, front/rear rotors and pads, front suspension, rear suspension (New England roads are horrible in winter), fuel pump, fuel filter, CCV. Aside from that, she runs and looks like it came off the showroom floor.
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  #191  
Old 02-11-2011, 08:39 PM
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first540i first540i is offline
my first bmw
Location: SGV, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 338
Mein Auto: e39
I doubt anyone has more than me...
260k

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  #192  
Old 02-11-2011, 09:36 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Location: Back in Oaktown, Yay Area
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,542
Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6, '90 BMW k75s
I guess this is as good a spot as any for me to jump in as a new forum member. My first post is here

My newly-purchased 540i 6-speed has about 158,000 miles on it. Looking back at the previous owners' (plural) records, I can see that it's had a new radiator, fan and fan clutch installed, auxilliary water pump, camshaft speed sensor (twice), intake manifold gasket, instrument cluster, speed sensor (twice) valve cover gaskets, valley pan gaskets, power steering line, DSP stereo amplifier, water pump, and thermostat replaced, as well as driveshaft repaired.

When I bought it, a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection by Bavarian Professionals (authorized Dinan distributor) in Berkeley showed it needed the driver's seatbelt pretensioner, coolant reservoir and headlight adjusters replaced––all now done, thanks to the amazing DIY's here. The combination of a nearby, reliable independent mechanic and the knowledge from this forum overcame my concerns from the daunting pile of repair records that confronted me.

EditForgot to mention various suspension bushings and such.

Last edited by bobdmac; 02-11-2011 at 09:40 PM.
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  #193  
Old 02-11-2011, 09:46 PM
ebarona61 ebarona61 is offline
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Location: Brooklyn, New York
 
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Posts: 155
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 540i
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  #194  
Old 02-11-2011, 10:12 PM
Roy AT Roy AT is offline
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Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 116
Mein Auto: 1997 528i
25K

1997 528i

owned since 15K

No repairs at all yet
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  #195  
Old 02-12-2011, 08:13 AM
THEO703 THEO703 is offline
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Location: Fairfax VA
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: 98 528i
170k


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  #196  
Old 07-24-2011, 08:30 AM
Jimania Jimania is offline
Jimania
Location: Atlanta GA USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 39
Mein Auto: 1997 528i Montreal Blue
A few items that will give you an inconvenient surprise >>

tensioner pulley for the main belt may fail
(stop immediately and DO NOT let your car get into the red!)

window regulators will fail so go ahead now and find 2-3 sources to get them quick, unless you like your windows permanaently down

various plastic clips will break

rubber may tear away from your door sill panels

I love my car but there are times I have to lay back my head and look at the sky!
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My BMW 528i is the perfect image for my internet marketing company in Atlanta

E-39 1997 528i * Voxx Maglia 18" wheels, staggered 8.5/9.5, BMW center caps * Dunlop Direzza Tires 225/40R-18 & 275/35R-18 * Montreal Blue Metallic * Bavarian Soundwerks Stage 1 Audio Pkg * M5 Bumper & Fog Lights * Clear Headlights, Sidemarkers, LED Tail Lights * LED Interior Lights * New Body Side Moldings, Window Moldings, M Grills, 528i Badge & Roundels . . . . it's only money, lol
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  #197  
Old 07-24-2011, 08:38 AM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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Location: Oshkosh Wisconsin
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,007
Mein Auto: 2010 M3
Lots of easy fixes 160,XXX miles 5301 2001
__________________
94 530i sold (That was difficult for me)
01 530i >144,500+ miles SOLD
06 330XI winter's especially fun drive (SOLD)
10 M3 Sedan (sweet)
13 Nissan GT-R Black Edition
14 Porsche Cayenne Platinum Diesel

BMWCCA 4215
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  #198  
Old 07-24-2011, 08:49 AM
YOST YOST is offline
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 66
Mein Auto: 2000 540i
2000 540i with 240,000 km
was running great until chain guides went!
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  #199  
Old 07-24-2011, 08:59 AM
ptaylor_98 ptaylor_98 is offline
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Location: Baltimore, Md
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10
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Mein Auto: 1999 e39 540i
I have a 99 540I with 82K in great shape. Needs to put on the road for a long drive.
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  #200  
Old 07-24-2011, 08:43 PM
JCSandoval JCSandoval is offline
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Location: Los Angeles,CA
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: E39
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by atrovarious View Post
Just curious what I can expect. My 97 Blackie has 180k on her (80k of them are mine) and while I have not done much other than the cooling system, new wheel bearings and I need to fix a oil filter housing gasket leak.... and while she does seam to get much more poor gas economy especially cold.... even with 0-40 oil ... ( run about 19mpg in city traffic and 24 with city and highway combined)... I'm wondering:

What is your odometer at?

What year?

Any major drive train repairs?

Any guesses on what will go next on mine?

My 01 has hit 168K 100k up and down the highways Water Pump,Thermostat, ABS sensors,Alternator,Power steering pump leak, I just replaced that oil filter housing that was a good 600 bucks along with a cooling pipe?? Now the sunroof wont open but, but she still runs like a champ..
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