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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 12-24-2013, 10:24 AM
boyoonko boyoonko is offline
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Location: Memphis
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Overheated...what areas to check?

So, I decided to purchase 97 528i from a owner who said the car's battery's dead at the moment and need to jump it. After car started, the owner let the car idle for awhile. After 20 minutes or so, car was overheating and white smoke out of the hood. The owner later tells me that it's been overheating in idle, but drives fine (sound like fan clutch problem?). Now, I'm undecided if I should still go ahead and purchase the car. What could be damaged if you see white smoke out of the hood?
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2013, 10:55 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
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Head gasket, and complete cooling system overhaul. I wouldn't buy it unless I can get it real cheap.
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03 DINAN 540iA M-Sport (my DD), 06 DINAN E53 4.8iS (wife's DD), 90 Straman Z32TT (my pride & joy ride)
Gone, but not forgotten: 01 E53 3.0i, 01 525i Sport and 91 Z32TwinTurbo

FS: E39 Technical Graphite trim kit http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...46#post8062746
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  #3  
Old 12-24-2013, 11:47 AM
boyoonko boyoonko is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
I see. If there's no coolant leak or white smoke out of exaust, could it still be gasket problem and/or requiring complete cooling system overhaul?
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  #4  
Old 12-24-2013, 11:47 AM
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Fudman Fudman is online now
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Unless you have a substantial budget for maintenance (like equal to the purchase price) and love to deal with problems, turn and run away. White smoke from under the hood is a major warning sign. I'd find a better example of the e39 to buy. This one screams that it was not maintained properly.
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  #5  
Old 12-24-2013, 12:09 PM
Rgol Rgol is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 528i Sport 5-spd
Under the engine cover, there are a number of hoses along with your CCV system. I experienced the same situation and found a number of hoses that were leaking anti-freeze. Because they were on or near the top of the engine, the antifreeze was pooling under the cover and then burning off. I could not figure out why my car was overheating until we found them Once replaced, we solved the problem and found that my heater worked much better as it was obvious some of the hoses circulated ant-freeze through the heater core.
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Old 12-24-2013, 02:01 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 automatic
As Fudman said, expect at the very least, if you do all your own work, to put in the price of the vehicle in parts.

If you have a mechanic do it, expect thrice what the car costs, to repair it.

For all the places where the E39's cooling system can (and does) leak from, see this thread:

- Pictorial look at typical E39 cooling system failure modes (1)

If you don't run a compression test, you'll be sorry ...
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need, in seconds!
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  #7  
Old 12-24-2013, 07:56 PM
boyoonko boyoonko is offline
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Thanks for the link. I will study the thread.
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  #8  
Old 12-25-2013, 12:48 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyoonko View Post
Thanks for the link. I will study the thread.
Bear in mind, here are just 50 of the people who ruined their E39 engines due to overheating ... (i.e., I stopped at 50 years ago) ...
(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)
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need, in seconds!
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