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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 07-02-2010, 02:58 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 automatic
What are the ingredients of the BMW high-intensity intensive action washer fluid?

Other than buying two 500ml bottles of BMW "high intensity" intensive-action washer fluid (PN 83 12 0 410 745) at the stealer to fill the 1 liter reservoir, what other just-as-good fluids do you use to fill your "intensive washer" fluid reservoir?

Same question (only asked differently) is:
Q: What are the ingredients of the BMW high-intensity intensive action washer fluid?

I suppose it's a nearly 50:50 mixture of an alcohol that doesn't dissolve paint and a surfactant that won't come out of solution to clog jets but the question would be which alcohol and which detergent at which concentration?

I suppose the requirements are:
- Not freeze (although for me in California, that's not of great concern)
- Contain bug-dissolving detergent (almost any surfactant, I would think, should suffice)
- Contain alcohol (almost any alcohol would work, I would think, as long as it's safe for the paint & lowers freezing point & won't ignite)
- Not destroy paint (see above)
- Not clog the filter screen (at the bottom of the pump) and sprayers (on the hood and on the bumper for the headlights)
- Not burst into flame from the 2-second heaters (I would think this is an extremely minor risk but I state it just in case)
- ??? any other requirement ???

REFERENCES:
- What is in the BMW intensive washer fluid
- Poured windshield washer fluid in the wrong hole
- Put antifreeze in the intensive washer fluid reservoir
- What is intensive action washer fluid
- Intensive fluid washer DIY
- Intensive washer fluid

USE MODEL:
- Pull the washer/wiper stalk toward you to run the regular washer cycle.
- Push the end of the stalk in towards the steering column to activate the intensive washer cycle.
Note: There is a large arrow with an "S" in it on top of the stalk pointing to the steering column to indicate the proper direction.



Last edited by bluebee; 07-02-2010 at 05:31 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2010, 04:43 PM
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spydrz spydrz is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 X1 xDrive35i
I put regular washer fluid in mine, and watch it run right out of the tank. I don't think it's held fluid since 2003. But I'm not bothered, my regular tank is fine.
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2010, 05:07 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 automatic
Quote:
Originally Posted by spydrz View Post
I put regular washer fluid in mine, and watch it run right out of the tank.
My tank leaked also but I had it replaced under warranty. Looks like a bad pump bracket design according to this DIY, but easy enough to fix the leak.

Like you said, I expect most to say they either use the BMW intensive cleaner (concentrated alcoholic detergent?) but some will use regular blue stuff (dilute alcoholic detergent) ... yet ... the hope is that a genius out there (not me) will have already come up with an ingenious solution we hadn't thought about ...

I'm sure there is a good drug-store or auto-parts-store 1:1 replacement for the intensive cleaner ... so I'll see what people come up with.

All it has to do is:
- Not freeze (I think -17°F is the advertised freezing point)
- Contain bug-dissolving detergent (I suppose almost any surfactant will work ... but others may know better than I)
- Contain alcohol (I suppose that's the same as not freezing ... but others might know WHICH alcohol doesn't destroy paints)
- Not destroy paint (see above)
- Not clog the filter screen (at the bottom of the pump) and sprayers (on the hood and on the bumper for the headlights)
- ??? any other requirement ???

Seems to me, a 50% mix of any cheap clear alcohol + any good soluble detergent - would suffice ... but I'm too chicken to try it myself until I get more datapoints from the users!
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Last edited by bluebee; 07-02-2010 at 05:24 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-02-2010, 07:31 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Location: Northeast Indiana
 
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Posts: 5,393
Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
The BMW washer fluid is a concentrate...so depending on if you're filling the regular reservoir or the intensive reservoir...you dilute with more water when filling the regular system.

Without seeing the "ingredients" of the BMW washer fluid concentrate...I would assume that it probably contains a small amount of ammonia. And if this is true...then one could probably make their own "brew" by starting scratch...or by adding a small amount of ammonia to a ready made solution. I would also only purchase a ready made solution that is appropriate for the climate one lives. If you live in an area where winter temps can get way below zero degrees...then make sure you buy a pre-made solution that can handle those temps...since you may not use it all up during the warmer months of the year.

If I remember correctly...I think my grandmothers window cleaning "brew" was made with 1 oz of ammonia for every quart of water. But don't take this as an endorsement...these comments are just speculation...I would definitely recommend finding out what the ingredients are for the BMW washer fluid concentrate first.


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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
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Last edited by QSilver7; 07-03-2010 at 06:44 AM.
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