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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 01-15-2011, 09:41 AM
Steveoreo Steveoreo is offline
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Location: Georgia
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 540iA
Weird-Transmission failure protection

BMW 540i 1999
Can anyone help me figure out why my transmission failure protection failure light comes on randomly. Bare with me, sometimes it comes on and my radio also turns off. I can be driving and then radio will turn on, then maybe the two yellow lights come one denoting braking system problems. I can pull over, re start a couple of times and it goes away. Then this issue disappears for a week, then it reoccurs.
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2011, 09:53 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Location: Sudbury, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,354
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Check your alternator or battery. These have been known to trigger the trans failsafe lamp.
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2011, 09:25 PM
Steveoreo Steveoreo is offline
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Location: Georgia
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 540iA
I went to advance auto parts and they tested both and said both were fine, but I have a feeling that might not be good enough. Actually I tested it a O'reilly auto parts yesterday, and in both cases, both said the battery was fine, but needed recharging, which I thought was weird especially since before I got to O'Reilly I had been driving for over one hour.

Some one tell me what is the best way to test the battery and alternator?
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2011, 04:55 PM
Steveoreo Steveoreo is offline
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Location: Georgia
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 540iA
Guess what, I found out in another forum the problem was the ingnitin switch. $90 dollars and 45 minutes and voila, it was fixed.

Another bimmer dude was having similar problems with gremlins, mirror lights cutting off on and , rear window shade rising or lowering when opening the slide on the Courtesy mirror, and more.

Here is the link....To repair it.


http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/244045
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2011, 06:04 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Location: Back in Oaktown, Yay Area
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 3,017
Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6, '90 BMW k75s
Nice find. I wonder what percentage of the seemingly random electrical issues can be traced to the ignition switch
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2011, 09:30 AM
Steveoreo Steveoreo is offline
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Location: Georgia
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 540iA
I bet dozens...............a member of another forum showed how it rolled his rear window shade up and down, crazy.

Last edited by Steveoreo; 03-26-2011 at 09:31 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-26-2011, 02:06 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22,051
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Dunno ... but this might help:
What is the Trans Failsafe Program (Limp Mode) and what could be causing it?

As might this:
What are the symptoms of a failing Ignition Switch?

As might this:
- DIY how to test a BMW E39 battery & alternator
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