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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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Old 02-24-2013, 04:27 AM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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Location: Finland
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,228
Mein Auto: E39 540i
Originally Posted by flight203 View Post

I have a 2001 530I . It ran hot while on the highway. I drove the car an additional 3 miles, when I got to my job the car was hotttt. I drive a truck so I went on out on the road assuming the engine was done. When I got back five days later. I added coolant , the car started and ran normally. ( no codes ) one thing I noticed the resivor was cracked. I had the resivor replaced and the car ran fine didnt over heat or anything. a month later its running hot. Is this a head gasket ? Now Ive heard that it is better to replace the engine in BMW vs doing a head job ? is this true ? Thank guys in advance ! ps the car has 125000 on it.
Since the expansion tank was cracked it typically means your in for a full cooling system rebuild. When one part starts to fail other will soon follow. Are there any leaks? Are you losing coolant? Do you have sweet smelling exhaust? How is the oil, does it look normal? You should check the water pump (known to fail), fan clutch, belts, thermostat, aux fan..
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:56 AM
flight203 flight203 is offline
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2001, 530I
I have let the car sit for a month now. I checked the oil and it is milky, meaning coolant in the oil. But the car does run great it dose not over heat at idle for hours. I drove the car to my fathers house 15 miles and it did not over heat but the temp did rise at red lights ?
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:58 AM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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Location: Finland
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,228
Mein Auto: E39 540i
Since you got coolant in engine oil I wouldn't drive it before it is repaired or engine replaced. How much have you driven it since the coolant became milky? If the head is warped threads could be stripped, because the block is aluminium on m54. So you could get lucky and get it fixed with new HG, but it might not. You could first check are the threads on the block stripped. Will you be doing the HG yourself? So it's pretty hard to say which way to go. It depends on many things.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:55 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25,236
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Here is information that was designed to help the OP:
- Summary advice to provide users who suspect a major engine repair due to overheating (1) (2) (3) (4) & how to test an engine for a blown head gasket, cracked heads, a warped block, stripped head bolt threads, cam seizures, contaminated bearings, coolant hydrolock, or piston, ring, or valve damage (1) (2) & what are the major factors in deciding whether to rebuild the engine, replace the engine, or sell the car (1) & a DIY for replacing the I6 M54 head gasket (1) (2) & replacing the V8 M62TU head gasket (1) & why these engines are so prone to heat-related damage in the first place (1) & welding the crack between cylinder #3 and the water jacket on the exhaust side (1) & what engine swaps are most recommended (1) (2) (3) & where to obtain a new or rebuilt head (1) replacement short block or long block (1) (2) & how to lift & remove the engine (1) & the most recent real-world results from the last 50 people faced with similar blown engine problems from which this advice came from (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) (25) (26) (27) (28) (29) (30) (31) (32) (33) (34) (35) (36) (37) (38) (39) (40) (41) (42) (43) (44) (45) (46) (47) (48) (49) (50)
Please read the suggested threads and add value, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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