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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 04-15-2011, 05:36 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, JimLev confirmed in post #5 over here that only the E39 V8 has a drain plug on the bottom of the power steering pump; the E39 I6 does not have a drain plug anywhere.
- HELP!!! Power steering pump drain plug locatation for bleeding

Also, I confirmed ithat 8 ounces (250 ml) of fluid can be suctioned out of the power steering fluid reservoir, in post #12 over here:
- How much volume of power steering fluid do we have in the E39?

And, I confirmed a single magnetized T20 Torx driver will remove the bolt holding the screen down so you can access it better for cleaning in that same post above.

And, Jimmys 530i kindly confirmed the 2-quart volume for the power steering fluid in post #12 here:
- HELP!!! Power steering pump drain plug locatation for bleeding

Based on a discussion of ATF for the power steering fluid today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Cloudy ATF in PS resevoir

I point users to this Wikipedia statement on Dexron III:
Quote:
All DEXRON-III licenses expired at the end of 2006, and will not be renewed.
And, to this article reference on the rollout of Dexron VI in April 13, 2005:
- GM Rolls Out Dexron-VI, By Tim Sullivan

Quote:
Changes also have been made to the licensing program. Rather than licensing fluids directly, GM will license chemistries that meet the specification's requirements, leaving it to additive companies to issue sub-licenses for approved finished fluids. Afton, currently the only company with an approved chemistry, said it will not charge separate licensing fees. GM charges an annual fee of $3,000 per product under the old program.
As for the difference between Dexron III and Dexron VI:
Quote:
GM claims that Dexron-VI delivers more than twice the durability and stability in friction tests than do existing fluids.
Note: The article doesn't say what "existing fluids" means though; you are left to 'presume' that means Dexron III; but that might not be the case.

The implication is that Dexron VI will
Quote:
"perform more consistently in extreme conditions and that would degrade less over time"


And, that the difference is that GM
Quote:
"raising requirements for oxidative and shear stability, foam performance and protection against pitting"
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Last edited by bluebee; 04-28-2011 at 08:44 PM.
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  #27  
Old 08-01-2011, 11:00 PM
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I just updated the tribal recommendations for the dozen fluids in your BMW E39 (plus various cleaning fluids):

- Glovebox printout: BMW E39 fluid summary printout for your glovebox (1)
- Motor oil: BMW approved motor oils (pdf) & tribal motor oil recommendations (1) (2) (3) & gravity oil change DIY (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & vacuum extraction DIY (1) (2) (3) & drill pump DIY (1)
- Gasoline: Engine fuel & octane (1) & "The Gasoline FAQ" & top-tier gas stations (1) & Techron additives (1) & how to clean your gas gauge sending unit (1) & mpg calculations (1) how large is the fuel tank and reserve in the E39 (1) & what gasoline to use (1) & how much gas should be left to cool the fuel pump (1) & how to siphon the fuel out of the tank (1) & what is the cost differential between 87 & 91 octane AKI (1)
- MTF: Manual transmission fluid (1) (2) & manual transmission fluid-change DIYs (1) (2) (3)
- ATF: Automatic transmission fluid (1) (2) (3) (4) & automatic transmission fluid & filter DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & torque values (1) & how to find the hidden E39 transmission fluid level dipstick (1) & why ATF gushes out of the fill hole (1) & ZF 5HP19 facts (1)
- PSF: Power steering fluid (1) (2) & power steering fluid flush DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) & volumes (1)
- Coolant: Coolant, for engine, automatic transmission, power steering, and AC evaporator cooling (1) & various methods for refilling (1) & bleeding the E39 cooling system (1) (2)
- Brake & clutch fluid: Brake & clutch hydraulic fluid (1) & recommended E39 brake job "fluids" (1) & how brake bleeding DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
- A/C: Air conditioner refrigerant & PAG oil (1) & how to refill your A/C system (1) (2) (3) (4) & what to use to rid yourself of the BMW gym sock stink (1)
- Differential: Rear differential hypoid gear oil (1) & differential fluid change DIYs (1) (2) (3)
- Battery: What battery (1) & what battery maintenance (1) & battery electrolyte (1) & battery replacement DIY (1) (2) (3) & how NOT to change the battery (1) (2) (3)
- Windshield fluid: Windshield washer fluid (1)
- Intensive cleaner: Intensive cleaning system fluid (1)
- Windows: Window glass cleaner fluids & cloths for the inside window & windshield glass (1)
- Tire air: Recommended tire pressures (1) (2) (3) & the claimed benefits of nitrogen gas (1) (2)
- Wheels: Best product for cleaning wheels (1)
- Interior: Interior cockpit & dashboard cleaners (1)
- Carpets: Suggested carpet cleaners (1)
- Floormats: Suggested floor mat cleaning & shampooing (1)
- Headliner: Solvent for cleaning the headliner fabric (1)
- Vapor barriers: Sealant for door panel vapor barriers (1) & sizes for the adhesive (1)
- Engine cleaner: External engine degreaser, engine bay cleaning & engine compartment detailing (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
- BMW list of lubricants, sealants, & thread lockers (pdf) (shrunk gif) (original-size jpg)
- Fundamental BMW decision-making religious camps (1) & motor oil Petrolism (1), coolant decisions (1), & gasoline dogma (1)
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  #28  
Old 08-01-2011, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I just updated the tribal recommendations
And, if you have better inspection I, II, and III checklists, please let me know so I can update them also as I just did in this thread today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > 1998 540i inspection two

Quote:
- BMW service/maintenance schedule & checklists I, II, and III (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & an archived BMW CPO PPI inspection checklist (1) & a classic E39 inspection I, II, III DIY (1) (2) (3) & tips for BMW E39 150K mile maintenance issues (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & a glovebox printout for replacing all fluids (1).
Likewise, for a canonical thread for the most common E39 issues:
Quote:
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  #29  
Old 08-02-2011, 04:50 AM
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5W-30 for 1999 and later, as per Bentley 020-11, p 43. I agree this this section is confusing and does list seemingly different weights for the same engines, but I've always used 5W-30.
__________________

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"Mods": driveshaft, cooling system, Vanos, CCV, PSR, VCG, FSU, spark plugs, buncha belts-n-hoses, & other things I'd just as soon forget

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  #30  
Old 08-03-2011, 09:40 AM
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Based on research for this thread today (where the question was what "freon" smells like):
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > bad odor from a/c.. what to do?

I updated the glovebox printout for the air conditioning by adding the chemical name for the R134a and linking to a datasheet for both the R134a and for the polyalkaline glycol oil mixed with the refrigerant in the E39.

Quote:
- Air conditioner: Refrigerant 134a (aka R-134a, 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane) with poly alkylene glycol oil, sometimes referred to as poly alkaline glycol oil (aka PAG refrigerant oil). Bentley book II, 640-2 & 640-3 & 640-23. The PAG oil is known by other names such as ND8, PAG46, and BMW PN: 82.11.1.468.042 and travels with the refrigerant as a mist. Best to empty and then refill refrigerant by total weight; second best is the evaporator temperature method (i.e., in the shade, ambient temperature less than about 75F and relative humidity below about 60% - then add R-134a until the evaporator exit air temperature with A/C set on max at 60F is 4C/39F or colder - the best you can do without MoDIS is probably the center-dash vent at something like 10C/50F); third best is the pressure method (i.e., add refrigerant until the low-pressure side is 25 psi to 45 psi ... aim for around 32 psi (assuming shade, ambient, & humidity listed prior); worst is by can weight (e.g., adding a 12oz by weight can or a 16oz can by weight but the AC is a critical-charge system that won't tolerate refrigerant quantities much outside + or - .05 kg). [Volume: E39's built up to 12/97 contain 1,225 grams +/- 25 grams (2.70 lbs +/- 0.05 lbs) of R-134a; E39s built after 12/97 contain 750 grams +/- 10 grams (1.65 lb +/- 0.03lb) of R-134a. The amount of PAG oil misted in the system is said to be about 1 ounce by volume.] Replacement Interval: Lifetime charge.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf msds_pag46.pdf (43.8 KB, 194 views)
File Type: pdf msds_r134a.pdf (68.5 KB, 120 views)

Last edited by bluebee; 08-03-2011 at 09:54 AM.
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  #31  
Old 08-04-2011, 04:33 PM
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I realized, based on the answer to this thread today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > 2000 E39 Power Steering Fluid

That the power steering fluid section above needed improvement.

Here is what we have so far:
[quote]
- PSF: Power steering fluid (1) (2) & power steering fluid flush DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) & volumes (1)

- Power steering: Dexron III ATF Bentley page 020-20. (realistically, that means Dexron VI ATF because all GM Dexron III licenses expired at the end of 2006 & were not renewed by GM). Note: The E39 I6 (i.e., rack and pinion steering attached to an aluminum subframe) does NOT have a power steering drain bolt on the bottom of the steering pump; the E39 V8 (i.e., recirculating ball and nut attached to a steel subframe) power steering DOES have a drain bolt on the bottom of the power steering pump. Replacement Interval: Bentley says it's "permanently filled"; but most of us would replace the hygroscopic power steering fluid at 30,000 miles; some recommend removing the 8 ounces (250 ml) in the reservoir at every oil change - and removing the T20 Torx bolt on the permanent reservoir screen every 5 years to clean the circular filter more thoroughly to prevent cavitation - and to replace the power steering cap o-ring every five years to prevent misting. [Volume: about 2 quarts to replace; otherwise about 1 quart to flush the reservoir twice & clean the filter screen; the fluid level should be between the MIN/MAX marks on the dipstick].





Last edited by bluebee; 08-06-2011 at 01:58 PM.
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  #32  
Old 08-06-2011, 01:45 PM
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For the gory record, see what happens, posted today, if you do NOT clean your power steering filter!
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > 2002 E39 525i - Power steering whine solved in detail



See also this nice cutaway of the filter inside the power steering fluid reservoir:
- BMW Tech Tips - Power Steering Problems/Failure
- Recommendation to clean your power steering fluid reservoir circular wire mesh filter



And, here is a good thread for a DIY to replace all the power steering hoses:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > DIY: Power Steering Hoses on your 540i


Last edited by bluebee; 08-10-2011 at 05:22 PM.
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  #33  
Old 09-29-2011, 09:24 AM
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This is slightly off topic but it may be helpful to others that RDL and I came up with a nice procedure to create a custom glovebox printout of the DTC diagnostic PCodes for any particular ECU.

For example, from this thread, kindly supplemented by RDL:
- Where are ENGINE-specific BMW P1xxx trouble codes?

We came up with this glovebox-printout customization procedure:

Quote:
Luckily, the original 220-page PDF in post #21 from RDL still works:
- BMW-Pcodes[1].pdf

Using the aforementioned conversion procedures, I again converted that hard-to-use 220-page PDF to Adobe Acrobat 4 changeable format so that we can at least cut and paste out the relevant sections for our vehicles.
- all_BMW_pcodes_unprotected.pdf

By way of example, for my 8-page glovebox printout, I then deleted all the pages which were not relevant to my particular 2002 BMW 525i E39 automatic (built 11/2001):
- bluebee_2002_525i_vehicle_codes.pdf

This I saved to Microsoft Excel format & cleaned it up a bit and PDF'd it back again to create this nice glovebox printout of all relevant PCodes for my vehicle:
- bluebee_2002_525i_vehicle_codes_spreadsheet.pdf
My suggestion for glovebox additions:
- The dozen fluids
- All relevant PCodes (I also keep my $22 scanner in the glovebox)
- Tire pressure & lug nut torque (garage guys don't bother to look 'em up)
- Spare cell phone with camera & charger cord (for 911 calls & traffic accident documentation)
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  #34  
Old 09-29-2011, 12:51 PM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
This is slightly off topic but it may be helpful to others that RDL and I came up with a nice procedure to create a custom glovebox printout of the DTC diagnostic PCodes for any particular ECU.
... stuff deleted ...
Well, I'm flattered, but BB is waaay too generous here.
My sole contribution was to stumble across a P code file then post it.
She did all the real work.
And good work it is too. A nice idea to have this info handy if one ever breaks down and needs help from a garage that isn't familiar with BMWs.

Next step - a USB key with a plug & play disk image of WDS, TIS & Easy DIS intalled & able to run on any old computer in any shop half way beyond the middle of nowhere that is your only hope of getting your car running again. And oh yes, KSD so that you don't get overly screwed on the labour.

Regards
RDL
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  #35  
Old 10-04-2011, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
Next step - a USB key with a plug & play disk image of WDS, TIS & Easy DIS intalled & able to run on any old computer in any shop half way beyond the middle of nowhere that is your only hope of getting your car running again. And oh yes, KSD
That was such a nice idea that I just now opened a new thread so that others may benefit from the ideas:
- What handy items would you put in your BMW E39 glovebox for quick reference & use

Back on topic, Fudman's recent ATF thread has nice suggestions:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > ESSO ATF Alternatives Update

So I think it's time to update the automatic transmission section above to something like:

- Automatic transmission (green sticker): BMW PN: 83.22.0.024.359 or Texaco ETL 8072B or Shell LA2634 (the Bentleys list different fluids and volumes on page 020-10, 240-6, & 240-8). [Volume w/o torque converter/with torque converter, see reference charts]. Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 240-6); but the user-recommended replacement interval for the fluid and filter is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles. Apparently Pentosin is the OEM oil but FEBI also works. Note: Mixing ATF types will cause transmission failure (Bentley 240-6). My 2002 525i with the ZF 5HP19 (aka A5S 325Z) transmission (6.2 liters/8.9 liters or 6.6 quarts/9.4 quarts) has this green sticker.
- Automatic transmission (black sticker): Dexron III ATF (realistically Dexron VI ATF) BMW PN: 83.22.9.407.807 or Exxon LT-71141 which seems to also be called Esso LT-71141) (Not: the Bentleys list different fluids on page 020-10 than on page 240-6). [Volume w/o torque converter/with torque converter, see complex reference chart]. Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 240-6); but the user-recommended replacement interval for the fluid and filter is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles. Note: Mixing ATF types will cause transmission failure (Bentley 240-6). Some users suggest Castrol Import MV ATF, Valvoline Maxlife ATF, Royal Purple, Amsoil, Mobil Super Multivehicle ATF, & Pentosin ATF, all of which are said to meet Esso/Exxon LT-71141 specifications. (Note: Take special care with Mobil1 as explained here.)


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  #36  
Old 10-04-2011, 10:44 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
... stuff deleted ...

So I think it's time to update the automatic transmission section above to something like:

- Automatic transmission (green sticker): BMW PN: 83.22.0.024.359 or Texaco ETL 8072B or Shell LA2634 (the Bentleys list different fluids and volumes on page 020-10, 240-6, & 240-8). [Volume w/o torque converter/with torque converter, see reference charts]. Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 240-6); but the user-recommended replacement interval for the fluid and filter is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles. Apparently Pentosin is the OEM oil but FEBI also works. Note: Mixing ATF types will cause transmission failure (Bentley 240-6). My 2002 525i with the ZF 5HP19 (aka A5S 325Z) transmission (6.2 liters/8.9 liters or 6.6 quarts/9.4 quarts) has this green sticker.
- Automatic transmission (black sticker): Dexron III ATF (realistically Dexron VI ATF) BMW PN: 83.22.9.407.807 or Exxon LT-71141 which seems to also be called Esso LT-71141) (Not: the Bentleys list different fluids on page 020-10 than on page 240-6). [Volume w/o torque converter/with torque converter, see complex reference chart]. Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 240-6); but the user-recommended replacement interval for the fluid and filter is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles. Note: Mixing ATF types will cause transmission failure (Bentley 240-6). Some users suggest Castrol Import MV ATF, Valvoline Maxlife ATF, Royal Purple, Amsoil, Mobil Super Multivehicle ATF, & Pentosin ATF, all of which are said to meet Esso/Exxon LT-71141 specifications. (Note: Take special care with Mobil1 as explained here.)

... stuff deleted...
BB
According to ZF ATF reference, green labels are LT71141 and black label are Dexron. LT71141 and Dexron are not the same. None of the black label units are LT71141.

What colour are the GM tansmission labels?

SD92-113 notes transmission by brand and model by BMW model and year/month along with ATF type.

Regards
RDL
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ZF_Oil_Reference_Guide[1].pdf (88.7 KB, 125 views)
File Type: pdf SD92-113.pdf (104.2 KB, 116 views)
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  #37  
Old 10-05-2011, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
None of the black label units are LT71141
Maybe I got it wrong (or the Bentleys got it wrong). I will need to check again. If it's reversed, no wonder I'm so confused!
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  #38  
Old 11-05-2011, 06:31 AM
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In helping out someone with their oil change today, I belatedly realized we do not have a volume listing for the older E39 I6 engines in our glovebox printout section on motor oil:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > If the Brake light is on, How can i determine if it is front or back breaks needed???

See bold red below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post

- Engine oil (E39 1999 & later): 15W40 LL-01 mineral oil BMW PN: 07.51.0.017.868 (amazingly, only one SAE weight is specified! Don't be confused because Bentley page 020-11 lists only SAE 15W40 while page 020-9 confusingly lists only SAE 5W30 & SAE 15W40 but page 020-11 appears to be the specific listing to follow). Various dogmatic camps differ on 'opinions' (1) but there is only one BMW-approved list (1). [Volume: I6=6.9 quarts, V8=7.9 quarts]. Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary by lighting the yellow light and indicating "OIL SERVICE". On average, most seem to change oil & filter (Mann, Hengst, or Mahle only!) & 36mm 6-point socket oil-filter cap o-ring (91x4mm) & copper crush washer roughly thrice a year at about 4,500 miles; most replace the smaller lower oil-filter-post o-rings every five years or so (7x2.5mm). Keep a spare 17 mm drain bolt handy on the I6 as it's hollow and can break from over tightening (M12x1.5x18mm). Torque filter cap to 18 ft-lb, drain bolt to 21 ft-lb. Note: Mixing oil types (mineral vs synthetic) is permissible; but bear in mind "synthetic" is an advertising term and quite a few oils labeled as such are not PAOs or diesters (1). Best to use either the oil-pan gravity-drain method or the MityVac vacuum-extraction method (don't use the Motive vacuum extractor). Most replace the oil filter & oil-filter-cap o-ring on every oil change and the lower small o-rings on every other change. Keep a spare oil drain plug handy, especially in the I6 as the bolt is hollow and prone to breaking when over torqued.
- Engine oil (gas, E39 1997 & 1998): Synthetic 5W-30 LL-01 (aka long-life 2001) BMW PN: 07.51.0.017.866 (amazingly, only one SAE weight is specified! This is confusing because Bentley page 020-11 lists only SAE 5W30 while page 020-9 confusingly lists only SAE 5W30 & SAE 15W40 but the 020-11 appears to be the specific listing). Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary. Note: Mixing oil types (mineral vs synthetic) is permissible. On average, most seem to change oil & filter roughly thrice a year at about 4,500 miles.
- Engine oil (diesel): I can't find anything in the Bentleys; but the euro owners manual lists on page 152 "ACEA: A3/B3 or ACEA: A3/B4" specifications which all long-life-01 oils meet (according to that owners manual). Most people here say to use LL-04 approved oils (1). Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary.
Are the 6.9/7.9 quarts oil volumes in the gas, E39 1997 & 1998 E39s the same as in the rest?
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  #39  
Old 11-05-2011, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Are the 6.9/7.9 quarts oil volumes in the gas, E39 1997 & 1998 E39s the same as in the rest?
Over here, just moments ago, QSilver7 kindly confirmed this is the case:
- If the Brake light is on, How can i determine if it is front or back breaks needed???



Here is the update:


- Engine oil (E39 1999 & later): 15W40 LL-01 mineral oil BMW PN: 07.51.0.017.868 (amazingly, only one SAE weight is specified! Don't be confused because Bentley page 020-11 lists only SAE 15W40 while page 020-9 confusingly lists only SAE 5W30 & SAE 15W40 but page 020-11 appears to be the specific listing to follow). Various dogmatic camps differ on 'opinions' (1) but there is only one BMW-approved list (1). [Volume: I6=6.9 quarts, V8=7.9 quarts]. Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary by lighting the yellow light and indicating "OIL SERVICE". On average, most seem to change oil & filter (Mann, Hengst, or Mahle only!) & 36mm 6-point socket oil-filter cap o-ring (91x4mm) & copper crush washer roughly thrice a year at about 4,500 miles; most replace the smaller lower oil-filter-post o-rings every five years or so (7x2.5mm). Keep a spare 17 mm drain bolt handy on the I6 as it's hollow and can break from over tightening (M12x1.5x18mm). Torque filter cap to 18 ft-lb, drain bolt to 21 ft-lb. Note: Mixing oil types (mineral vs synthetic) is permissible; but bear in mind "synthetic" is an advertising term and quite a few oils labeled as such are not PAOs or diesters (1). Best to use either the oil-pan gravity-drain method or the MityVac vacuum-extraction method (don't use the Motive vacuum extractor). Most replace the oil filter & oil-filter-cap o-ring on every oil change and the lower small o-rings on every other change. Keep a spare oil drain plug handy, especially in the I6 as the bolt is hollow and prone to breaking when over torqued.
- Engine oil (gas, E39 1997 & 1998): Synthetic 5W-30 LL-01 (aka long-life 2001) BMW PN: 07.51.0.017.866 (amazingly, only one SAE weight is specified! This is confusing because Bentley page 020-11 lists only SAE 5W30 while page 020-9 confusingly lists only SAE 5W30 & SAE 15W40 but the 020-11 appears to be the specific listing). [Volume: I6=6.9 quarts, V8=7.9 quarts]. Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary. Note: Mixing oil types (mineral vs synthetic) is permissible. On average, most seem to change oil & filter roughly thrice a year at about 4,500 miles.
- Engine oil (diesel): I can't find anything in the Bentleys; but the euro owners manual lists on page 152 "ACEA: A3/B3 or ACEA: A3/B4" specifications which all long-life-01 oils meet (according to that owners manual). Most people here say to use LL-04 approved oils (1). Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary.
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  #40  
Old 11-15-2011, 11:07 AM
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 automatic
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
According to ZF ATF reference, green labels are LT71141 and black label are Dexron. LT71141 and Dexron are not the same. None of the black label units are LT71141.
I think I (or the Bentleys?) had the green and black reversed (???) so is this update now correct (at least for the automatic transmission fluid)?

- Automatic transmission (black label): BMW PN: 83.22.0.024.359 or Texaco ETL 8072B or Shell LA2634 (the Bentleys list different fluids and volumes on page 020-10, 240-6, & 240-8). [Volume w/o torque converter/with torque converter, see reference charts]. Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 240-6); but the user-recommended replacement interval for the fluid and filter is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles. Apparently Pentosin is the OEM oil but FEBI also works. Note: Mixing ATF types will cause transmission failure (Bentley 240-6). My 2002 525i with the ZF 5HP19 (aka A5S 325Z) transmission (6.2 liters/8.9 liters or 6.6 quarts/9.4 quarts) has this green sticker.
- Automatic transmission (green label): Dexron III ATF (realistically Dexron VI ATF) BMW PN: 83.22.9.407.807 or Exxon LT-71141 which seems to also be called Esso LT-71141) (Not: the Bentleys list different fluids on page 020-10 than on page 240-6). [Volume w/o torque converter/with torque converter, see complex reference chart]. Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 240-6); but the user-recommended replacement interval for the fluid and filter is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles. Note: Mixing ATF types will cause transmission failure (Bentley 240-6). Some users suggest Castrol Import MV ATF, Valvoline Maxlife ATF, Royal Purple, Amsoil, Mobil Super Multivehicle ATF, & Pentosin ATF, all of which are said to meet Esso/Exxon LT-71141 specifications. (Note: Take special care with Mobil1 as explained here.)

- Manual transmission (yellow sticker): BMW PN: 83.22.9.408.942 or MTF-LT-1 (manual transmission fluid, lifetime, I'm not sure what the "1" means) Bentley page 020-10 & 020-30. [Volume: See chart below.] Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 230-6). A user-recommended fluid is "Royal Purple Synchromax 1512 manual transmission fluid" & Redline MT-90; also recommended is Redline D4 ATF or Redline MTL or Mobil1 Synthetic; the user-recommended replacement interval is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles.
- Manual transmission (orange sticker): The Bentleys, on page 200-4, simply say "ATF" (aka ATF-Oil). Nothing more. Note: This orange sticker is not mentioned in the Bentleys page 020-10 & 020-30 but is noted on page 200-4. Replacement Interval: Lifetime oil (Bentley 230-6); but the user-recommended replacement interval is roughly 5 years or about 60K miles.

- Power steering: Dexron III ATF Bentley page 020-20. (realistically, that means Dexron VI ATF because all GM Dexron III licenses expired at the end of 2006 & were not renewed by GM). Note: The E39 I6 (i.e., rack and pinion steering attached to an aluminum subframe) does NOT have a power steering drain bolt on the bottom of the steering pump; the E39 V8 (i.e., recirculating ball and nut attached to a steel subframe) power steering DOES have a drain bolt on the bottom of the power steering pump. Replacement Interval: Bentley says it's "permanently filled"; but most of us would replace the hygroscopic power steering fluid at 30,000 miles; some recommend removing the 8 ounces (250 ml) in the reservoir at every oil change - and removing the T20 Torx bolt on the permanent reservoir screen every 5 years to clean the circular filter more thoroughly to prevent cavitation - and to replace the power steering cap o-ring every five years to prevent misting. [Volume: about 2 quarts to replace; otherwise about 1 quart to flush the reservoir twice & clean the filter screen; the fluid level should be between the MIN/MAX marks on the dipstick].

- Air conditioner: Refrigerant 134a (aka R-134a, 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane) with poly alkylene glycol oil, sometimes referred to as poly alkaline glycol oil (aka PAG refrigerant oil). Bentley book II, 640-2 & 640-3 & 640-23. The PAG oil is known by other names such as ND8, PAG46, and BMW PN: 82.11.1.468.042 and travels with the refrigerant as a mist. Best to empty and then refill refrigerant by total weight; second best is the evaporator temperature method (i.e., in the shade, ambient temperature less than about 75F and relative humidity below about 60% - then add R-134a until the evaporator exit air temperature with A/C set on max at 60F is 4C/39F or colder - the best you can do without MoDIS is probably the center-dash vent at something like 10C/50F); third best is the pressure method (i.e., add refrigerant until the low-pressure side is 25 psi to 45 psi ... aim for around 32 psi (assuming shade, ambient, & humidity listed prior); worst is by can weight (e.g., adding a 12oz by weight can or a 16oz can by weight but the AC is a critical-charge system that won't tolerate refrigerant quantities much outside + or - .05 kg). [Volume: E39's built up to 12/97 contain 1,225 grams +/- 25 grams (2.70 lbs +/- 0.05 lbs) of R-134a; E39s built after 12/97 contain 750 grams +/- 10 grams (1.65 lb +/- 0.03lb) of R-134a. The amount of PAG oil misted in the system is said to be about 1 ounce by volume.] Replacement Interval: Lifetime charge.

E39 Engine coolant: phosphate free (for Europe's high-mineral-content water), amine & nitrite/nitrate free (for USA long-life requirements), & low-silicate or silicate free (for Japan requirements) 50:50 mixture of ethylene glycol & water (the Bentleys say distilled water (Bentley 020-11), aka de-mineralized or de-ionized water, some call it purified water, and the BMW AG TIS 12.11.2007 18:56 specifies water with a pH from 6.5 to 8.0, maximum total hardness of 3.6 mmol Ca++/liter, maximum chloride content 100 mg/liter, and maximum sulphate content 100mg/liter; interestingly the BMW TIS says "potable tap water usually fulfills these requirements". EPA reports show San Jose & NYC tap water easily fulfill these requirements. The BMW TIS expressly states additives are not helpful and are not recommended. BMW lists a score of recommended coolants in their BMW AG TIS 12.11.2007 18:55 which meet the BMW N 600 69.0 standard, some of which are BMW PN:81.22.9.407.454 1.5-liter; BMW PN:88.88.6.900.316 1 gallon; Castrol Anti-Freeze NF; BASF Glysantin Protect Plus G48, & Havoline AFC (BD04); but most of which are not easily found in the USA. Many Bimmerfesters recommend BMW coolant; however other Bimmerfesters recommend Prestone Extended Life 5/150, Valvoline Zerex G-05, and Service Pro Universal Formula. Others (e.g., chiefwej, aioros), have tested Evans NPG+ but be aware propanol entails a different maintenance philosophy than the aqueous fluids listed above and is not compatible with them. [Total Volume: 1997 I6=10.5 quarts (2.6 gallons), 1997 V8=12.0 quarts (3.0 gallons), 1998-2002 I6=11.1 quarts (2.8 gallons), 1998-2002 V8=12.7 quarts (3.2 gallons), 1997-2002 V8 with latent heater=13.5 quarts (3.4 gallons)]. Prestone says the only reason for phosphate free is the extremely high mineral content of water in Europe - and that in the USA, it's not needed. Replacement Interval: Every three years (Bentley page 020-9) or every four years (aforementioned BMW AG TIS) starting from date of manufacture (except for M-Power vehicles which have 3-year intervals). Note: Mixing BMW-recommended coolant brands is permissible; but mixing types is not permissible unless it's an emergency.

- Engine oil (E39 1999 & later): 15W40 LL-01 mineral oil BMW PN: 07.51.0.017.868 (amazingly, only one SAE weight is specified! Don't be confused because Bentley page 020-11 lists only SAE 15W40 while page 020-9 confusingly lists only SAE 5W30 & SAE 15W40 but page 020-11 appears to be the specific listing to follow). Various dogmatic camps differ on 'opinions' (1) but there is only one BMW-approved list (1). [Volume: I6=6.9 quarts, V8=7.9 quarts]. Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary by lighting the yellow light and indicating "OIL SERVICE". On average, most seem to change oil & filter (Mann, Hengst, or Mahle only!) & 36mm 6-point socket oil-filter cap o-ring (91x4mm) & copper crush washer roughly thrice a year at about 4,500 miles; most replace the smaller lower oil-filter-post o-rings every five years or so (7x2.5mm). Keep a spare 17 mm drain bolt handy on the I6 as it's hollow and can break from over tightening (M12x1.5x18mm). Torque filter cap to 18 ft-lb, drain bolt to 21 ft-lb. Note: Mixing oil types (mineral vs synthetic) is permissible; but bear in mind "synthetic" is an advertising term and quite a few oils labeled as such are not PAOs or diesters (1). Best to use either the oil-pan gravity-drain method or the MityVac vacuum-extraction method (don't use the Motive vacuum extractor). Most replace the oil filter & oil-filter-cap o-ring on every oil change and the lower small o-rings on every other change. Keep a spare oil drain plug handy, especially in the I6 as the bolt is hollow and prone to breaking when over torqued.
- Engine oil (gas, E39 1997 & 1998): Synthetic 5W-30 LL-01 (aka long-life 2001) BMW PN: 07.51.0.017.866 (amazingly, only one SAE weight is specified! This is confusing because Bentley page 020-11 lists only SAE 5W30 while page 020-9 confusingly lists only SAE 5W30 & SAE 15W40 but the 020-11 appears to be the specific listing). [Volume: I6=6.9 quarts, V8=7.9 quarts]. Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary. Note: Mixing oil types (mineral vs synthetic) is permissible. On average, most seem to change oil & filter roughly thrice a year at about 4,500 miles.
- Engine oil (diesel): I can't find anything in the Bentleys; but the euro owners manual lists on page 152 "ACEA: A3/B3 or ACEA: A3/B4" specifications which all long-life-01 oils meet (according to that owners manual). Most people here say to use LL-04 approved oils (1). Replacement Interval: The instrument cluster Service Interval Indicator (SII) will determine when necessary.

- Brakes (9/1998 and later): "low viscosity" "high performance" DOT 4 (while the Bentleys clearly specify both "low viscosity DOT 4" on page 340-9 and "high performance DOT4" on page 020-11 and just plain old "DOT 4" on page 020-24, some recommend DOT4 ISO6 (aka Class 6, ISO 4925) low viscosity brake fluid over just regular DOT4, especially in colder climes). While the Bentleys do not specify what viscosity they consider to be "low"). Further inspection reveals a viscosity of 700mm^2 at -104F can be considered "low viscosity". However any good DOT 4 brake fluid can be used; but most recommend ATE Super Blue DOT 4 or "Original ATE SL.6" brake fluid. Many recommend alternating amber and blue colors to ascertain when the flush is complete. [Volume: Most people use about 750 ml or about 3/4 quart to flush the four wheels manually and slightly more than a liter to pressure bleed, depending on technique; so buy at least a liter (or quart) to power flush your entire brake system.] Replacement Interval: Every two (2) years (Bentley page 020-9) starting from date of manufacture. Best to use the pressure method, e.g., Motive pressure bleeder; but the two-man push-and-open method still works.
- Brakes (up to 8/1998): "high performance" DOT 4 (nobody seems to know what "high performance" means in practical terms; but the Bentleys clearly specify "high performance DOT4" on page 020-11 and just plain old "DOT 4" on page 020-24 and again on page 340-9). Replacement Interval: Every two (2) years (Bentley page 020-9) starting from date of manufacture.
- Hydraulic clutch (manual transmission only): Uses the same fluid & reservoir as the brake fluid, Bentley 020-26.

- Engine fuel (gas): The sticker on the inside of the fuel filler specifies the octane rating to use; most E39s in the USA specify unleaded 91 AKI (the AKI is the average of the RON & the MON). Lower octane ratings can be used as the two piezoelectric knock sensors will retard timing if they sense detonation vibrations which may adversely affect performance but which won't damage the car under normal circumstances. [Volume: 70 liters (18.5 gallons) with a reserve capacity of 8 liters (2 gallons) in the 525i & 530i and a reserve of 10 liters (2.5 gallons) for the 540i]. We're not sure the algorithm for the small round yellow fuel-warning light, but most people say it goes on approximately at 40 miles remaining fuel; chime sounds at approximately half that (need more data). Replacement Interval: Monthly, as fuel reputedly goes "stale" after 30 days; also it's reputed you should fill by the 1/4 to 1/8 mark in order to better cool the fuel pump. Fuel can't be siphoned out due to siphon restrictions 4 inches in but can be bled using other methods.
- Engine fuel (diesel): On page 23 of the Owners Manual, it lists "Diesel oil DIN EN 590", whatever that is. It specifically says not to use rapeseed oil methyl ester (aka RME), or bio diesel oil. Replacement Interval: As needed?

- Battery: A charged battery is 33.5% (volume/volume%) sulfuric acid (4.2 Molar H2SO4, ) & distilled water (Bentley 020-23) with positive plates containing lead dioxide (PbO2) and negative plates of lead (Pb), both mixed with calcium (Ca) to minimize gassing (i.e., loss of water) and other elements (such as tin, antimony, & selenium to harden the plates and simplify manufacturing) in a polypropylene case. In the discharged state, both plates turn to lead sulfate (PbSO4) as the electrolyte loses its dissolved sulfuric acid and becomes primarily water (which can freeze in cold temperatures and the lead sulfate may form insoluble crystals which, over time, reduce the capacity of the battery if it is not recharged immediately after discharge). [Total Volume: unknown but users have reported adding about 20 ml per cell after two years of use]. Replacement Interval: Lifetime fluid (top off only if needed, after removing steel strap, two stickers and then unscrewing the six cell caps, and filling to the fill line which is 1/4 inch or 5mm above the top of the plates at the very bottom of the internal black plastic depth indicator). The OEM battery has built-in hydrometer where green indicates a charged battery and black indicates a discharged battery, and yellow indicates a defective battery. Better to test at 27C/80F by loading battery with 15 amperes for 1 minute (or just turn headlights on w/o engine running) and then perform a 1.265 specific-gravity hydrometer test of each of the six cells (add or subtract 0.004 to the hydrometer reading for every 10F/6C above or below 27C/80F respectively); and a 12.6 volt open-circuit voltage test across the battery terminals (Bentley 121-5, 121-6). OEM specs are BMW 61.21.8.381.762, USA 729905-10, EN 12V 90Ah 720A, SAE 160 RC 720 CCA. Often recommended aftermarket batteries (watch out for the vent hole rearrangement) are Duralast 49-DL, Duralast 94-R, NAPA #7549, Deka 649MF, Interstate MTP-93; must have side vent and a stamped date code within the last couple of months.

- Differential (conventional, i.e., non-limited-slip E39s): The Bentleys specify "BMW SAF-XO synthetic final drive gear oil" which doesn't exist (it's Castrol). The Bentleys don't specify the weight (it's SAE 75W-90); and the Bentleys don't specify the quality (it's API GL-5 hypoid gear oil). Given that, suitable replacements are Amsoil Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid (MTF) API 75W90,Mobil1, Royal Purple Max-Gear, & Redline SAE 75W90 API GL-5 synthetic gear oils. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell which of the three (3) different differentials you have w/o looking at the numbers molded into the metal. Bentley page 020-11 & 020-26 & 331-6. [Volume: Type G=1.7 quarts, Type 188 Compact=1.1 quarts, Type 220/215 Compact=1.5 quarts.] Replacement Interval: Lifetime fluid (but most recommend replacing differential fluid at the same time you replace transmission fluid, which is about 5 years or roughly 60K miles).
- Differential (limited-slip E39s, such as the M5): BMW SAF-XJ API GL-5 SAE 75W-140 synthetic hypoid final-drive gear oil (aka Castrol SAF-XJ). This requirement is not listed in the Bentley manual; it is gleaned from the Castrol literature and from what is stated about the M5 in this thread below (please correct if necessary). Replacement Interval: Lifetime fluid (but most recommend replacing differential fluid at the same time you replace transmission fluid, which is about 5 years or roughly 60K miles).

- Windshield & headlight washer system: surprisingly, I can't find a specification in the Bentley; it should be in book II section 611, Wipers & Washers; but it's not; the Owners Manual, page 150 (Washer Fluid), it says to use "water" and "screenwash when required" (whatever "screenwash" is). [Volume: 3.7 quarts (0.9 gallons, 3.5 liters) or 6.3 quarts (1.6 gallons, 6.0 liters) with headlamp washer system]. Replacement Interval: When needed.
- Intensive cleaning system: The Owners Manual (page 150, Washer Fluid), says to use "BMW intensive cleaning agent", BMW P/N: 83.12.0.410.745 (500ml bottle). [Volume: 1.1 quarts (1.0 liters)]. Replacement Interval: When needed.

See also:
- Old school maintenance schedule for BMW E39
- Glovebox printout: BMW E39 fluid summary printout for your glovebox (1)
- Motor oil: BMW approved motor oils (pdf) & tribal motor oil recommendations (1) (2) (3) & gravity oil change DIY (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & vacuum extraction DIY (1) (2) (3) & drill pump DIY (1)
- Gasoline: Engine fuel & octane (1) & "The Gasoline FAQ" & top-tier gas stations (1) & Techron additives (1) & how to clean your gas gauge sending unit (1) & mpg calculations (1) how large is the fuel tank and reserve in the E39 (1) & what gasoline to use (1) & how much gas should be left to cool the fuel pump (1) & how to siphon the fuel out of the tank (1) & what is the cost differential between 87 & 91 octane AKI (1)
- MTF: Manual transmission fluid (1) (2) & manual transmission fluid-change DIYs (1) (2) (3)
- ATF: Automatic transmission fluid (1) (2) (3) (4) & automatic transmission fluid & filter DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & torque values (1) & how to find the hidden E39 transmission fluid level dipstick (1) & why ATF gushes out of the fill hole (1) & ZF 5HP19 facts (1)
- PSF: Power steering fluid (1) (2) & power steering fluid flush DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) & volumes (1)
- Coolant: Coolant, for engine, automatic transmission, power steering, and AC evaporator cooling (1) & bleeding (1) (2) (3) or refilling DIYs (1)
- Brake & clutch fluid: Brake & clutch hydraulic fluid (1) & recommended E39 brake job "fluids" (1) & how brake bleeding DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
- A/C: Air conditioner refrigerant & PAG oil (1) & how to refill your A/C system (1) (2) (3) (4) & what to use to rid yourself of the BMW gym sock stink (1)
- Differential: Rear differential hypoid gear oil (1) & differential fluid change DIYs (1) (2) (3)
- Battery: What battery (1) & what battery maintenance (1) & battery electrolyte (1) & battery replacement DIY (1) (2) (3) & how NOT to change the battery (1) (2) (3)
- Windshield fluid: Windshield washer fluid (1)
- Intensive cleaner: Intensive cleaning system fluid (1)
- Windows: Window glass cleaner fluids & cloths for the inside window & windshield glass (1)
- Tire air: Recommended tire pressures (1) (2) (3) & the claimed benefits of nitrogen gas (1) (2)
- Wheels: Best product for cleaning wheels (1)
- Interior: Interior cockpit & dashboard cleaners (1)
- Carpets: Suggested carpet cleaners (1)
- Floormats: Suggested floor mat cleaning & shampooing (1)
- Headliner: Solvent for cleaning the headliner fabric (1)
- Vapor barriers: Sealant for door panel vapor barriers (1) & sizes for the adhesive (1)
- Engine cleaner: External engine degreaser, engine bay cleaning & engine compartment detailing (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
- BMW list of lubricants, sealants, & thread lockers (pdf) (shrunk gif) (original-size jpg)
- Fundamental BMW decision-making religious camps (1) & motor oil Petrolism (1), coolant decisions (1), & gasoline dogma (1)

See also canonical threads on miracle fluids:
- What is Seafoam motor treatment, what does it do, where do you put it, and how does it work (1)
- What is Techron anyway, what does it do, where do you put, and does it work (1)
- What is Marvel Mystery Oil and what does it do in an E39 (1)

Last edited by bluebee; 11-15-2011 at 11:12 AM.
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  #41  
Old 07-25-2012, 12:05 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, the 'fluid' to use on the oil pan gasket is covered in this thread today:
-> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Oil pan gasket!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
TIS says to use sealant at 4 joint points. See attached screen shot.
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  #42  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:16 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I'm not vouching for what is said in this video (after all, it's put on by a magazine collaborating with a coolant manufacturer); but it's an hour all about coolants, which contains some interesting information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chansta View Post


lets put this age old question to end. long video but very informative.
PS: Since there are three religious sects when it comes to all BMW fluids, you'll never put the argument to rest - all you can do is figure out which sect you personally belong to.
1. Only BMW recommendatrions
2. BMW recommendations plus anything that meets BMW standards
3. BMW recommendations plus anything meeting BMW standards plus logical alternatives
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  #43  
Old 12-19-2012, 05:34 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, there is, amazingly, one fluid that we apparently missed 'till now:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Electric Seat Malfunction

Apparently there is an as-yet-unknown fluid in some E39 seats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelgk View Post
The "Drive, active seat" is what appears to be the match for my car and is listed at USD 1168 . Looks like we cannot replace just the bladder and fluid.
If anyone knows 'what' fluid is in that active seat, & if it's possible to DIY a replacement, and what volume is needed, please let the team know over there.
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  #44  
Old 01-26-2014, 03:48 PM
Bossman963 Bossman963 is offline
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Mein Auto: 92 525
Bluebee and others as I thank you very much for info- but have 1 stupid question as its stated that check tranny for sticker- green or- black sticker
These stickers would be on side of tranny ?
thx again to all
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  #45  
Old 01-26-2014, 04:41 PM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossman963 View Post
... stated that check tranny for sticker- green or- black sticker
These stickers would be on side of tranny ?
...
Either on the side or a rear facing surface. Visible once you're under the car, although you may have to wipe off grime to see them and the colour

Come to think, I have a vague recollection that on one of the colours you must read the transmission type exactly to get the correct ATF reference. (I'm assuming you are refering to an automatic)
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  #46  
Old 01-26-2014, 04:47 PM
Bossman963 Bossman963 is offline
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RDL thanks much as will check for colors or info tomorrow
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  #47  
Old 01-26-2014, 10:21 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossman963 View Post
These stickers would be on side of tranny ?
It might not be obvious, but for EACH of the dozen fluids, there is a canonical thread, just for that fluid (which is shown as a link at the name of the fluid in the summaries above).

So, I just clicked on that canonical thread for the automatic transmission, and there are many pictures of the stickers in those threads.

Here is a picture, for example, of "my" transmission from that thread:



Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
Either on the side or a rear facing surface. Visible once you're under the car, although you may have to wipe off grime to see them and the colour
The colors matter greatly because you can't mix fluids!
Some stickers are more visible than others, so here's another picture from that thread:
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