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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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  #1  
Old 06-26-2010, 10:23 PM
Alex-G Alex-G is offline
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Location: Rockville MD
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: '01 525i, '02 330ci vert
01 525i runs rough after driving 20+ minutes

I have a 01 525i with 158K miles on it.
Symptoms started like this...
Was driving up hill on the highway around 60 mph on a hot day when it felt like the transmission slipped. 4th and 5th gear seemed to be real jerky. Drove it straight to my mechanic. Later in the drive the lower gears at lower speeds were affected. Smelled a burning smell when I pulled up to my mechanic.

I was sure it was the trans, but BMW indy mechanic said it was probably the traction control causing the trans to act up (I knew the traction control wasn't working before, but hadn't previously caused any noticeable issues). He replaced the control arm, and the traction control light went off, but this didn't help with the rough ride. Took car to trans shop, who said transmission was fine.

The car seems to jerk when I am driving esp. up hill above 40. Every couple seconds, the car will jerk as if it loses power for a brief second. If I drive it for a while, it will be affected at lower speeds as well. But usually nothing happens until I drive for at least 15-20 minutes and the car heats up. Also, the car seems to have little power and be struggling a bit more than usual.

My check engine light was on (had been on for some time), and these codes are coming up:
o2 sensor
cat converter
cylinder 5 misfire

Just bought 2 new pre-cat o2 sensors (bosch) which I will swap out shortly.
Could the o2 sensors be related to the cat converter and the misfire codes coming up?

I am wondering what else could be causing these issues.

Thanks for the advice...
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2010, 10:37 PM
Alex-G Alex-G is offline
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Location: Rockville MD
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: '01 525i, '02 330ci vert
Just to clarify... feels almost like "hickups" when driving at higher speeds, esp up hill.
Also the engine now gets loud/makes a howling noise when I accelerate.

Sorry guys I am a bit on a newbie when it comes BMW problems.

Last edited by Alex-G; 06-27-2010 at 08:16 AM. Reason: clarification
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2010, 01:30 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9,425
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Swap cyl 5 coil with another cyl. If the misfire follows, the coil is bad. There have been a few coil failures on later models.

The cat code may be due to a bad post-cat sensor. Replace both pre- and post-cat sensors, clear the codes, and see what happens.

And no, a bad O2 sensor won't cause a misfire.
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Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.
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  #4  
Old 06-27-2010, 01:52 PM
Alex-G Alex-G is offline
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Location: Rockville MD
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: '01 525i, '02 330ci vert
Thanks Ed I will try that and report back what happens...appreciate the help
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  #5  
Old 06-27-2010, 02:12 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Location: martinsville va
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,932
Mein Auto: 525i station wagon
If you haven't as of yet--try replacing the fluid and the filter in the tranny---the filter is a media type filter
and can become clogged with tranny debrie.
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2010, 03:19 PM
Alex-G Alex-G is offline
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Location: Rockville MD
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: '01 525i, '02 330ci vert
Poolman thanks. That was my first thought... got that taken care of but problem persisted. Now I am thinking maybe the jerkiness was due to misfires at higher speeds.... so may be a bad coil like Ed said
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