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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 09-13-2014, 08:28 PM
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JDeGraff89 JDeGraff89 is online now
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Mein Auto: 04/1997 528i Auto,
I think I need an E39 break.

I'm doing too much work.. Too much research.. Too much DIY. Owning a E39 is like having a second job.. I now work 7 days a week because of it.. Anyone selling a cheap running non german car?? If it runs and has a working heater I'll take it.. I need a second car that doesn't take half my pay and all of my free time. So PM me or something
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2014, 11:30 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
I hear ya. Get a Subie.
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  #3  
Old 09-14-2014, 12:26 AM
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Nigel720 Nigel720 is offline
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Certainly sounds like it is well past it's best. Dare I suggest retiring it and find another that is not so demanding a mistress.
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  #4  
Old 09-14-2014, 01:32 AM
Nfs021 Nfs021 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel720 View Post
Certainly sounds like it is well past it's best. Dare I suggest retiring it and find another that is not so demanding a mistress.
+1 If the car is taking up that much time and money then it may be best to put the old girl out to pasture and buy another car. How many miles you got on it?

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Old 09-14-2014, 03:40 AM
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Mein Auto: '98 528
I have to say after over 10 years of BMW ownership, there have been times where it seems like its all work. Then it will go for a year or more with nothing but an oil change. As far as Subarus go- No likey. I got both my sons Subaru's and I maintained them. They are so flimsy they way they are constructed when you get under them. I wont be buying one again. Two STi's blew their engines on the track this weekend. Just sayin'
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  #6  
Old 09-14-2014, 07:09 AM
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Mein Auto: 04/1997 528i Auto,
Quote:
How many miles you got on it?
143,030 as of this morning. Doesn't seem too high.. But there's always something going wrong...
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  #7  
Old 09-14-2014, 07:19 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Interesting because mine is 1998 528i with 145K and zero problems.
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  #8  
Old 09-14-2014, 07:31 AM
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Mein Auto: 04/1997 528i Auto,
I don't want to retire the car.. Unfortunatly I love the car. But I'm just kind of tired of it right now.. You know? Next week I'll be "fixing" the SAS. And today I'm trying to clean my heater valve... I need to read up on trans fluid changes because it hasn't been done under my ownership. Nor do I know if its ever been done. In cold weather it doesn't want to leave 1st gear.
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  #9  
Old 09-14-2014, 08:14 AM
Dean e39 fan Dean e39 fan is offline
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Don't give up on her bro, it's wants love. You give it the love and it will always run.

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  #10  
Old 09-14-2014, 08:16 AM
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Guys. I'm not giving up I want this car to hit at least 200k.. But I need to step away for a while keep it on a minder with a tank of stabil. The problem may be I rely on this car too much.. And its no longer fit for duty as a daily driver.. Its pretty much an arthritic horse..
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:27 AM
Bkancharla Bkancharla is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i
Never ending maintenance on e39 with low miles

Got my 2001 530i with 36k miles in Nov 2003. Have 101k miles now and during approx. 11 yrs of ownership have spent $6k (and counting) on maintenance.
Around 45k, I had to replace blower motor FSU, drvr side power window regulator/cable strap, PS hoses. Luckily, this was covered under CPO.
At 85k alternator failed, At 90k water pump failed. Got stranded both times and ended up spending about $1,100 to get these fixed.
Since then, with a lot of help from this forum, I took on DIY projects...
cooling system (radiator, fan+clutch, hoses, t.stat, exp. tank, sensors)
drive belts, tensioners, pulleys,
valve cover gasket,
spark plugs,
oil filter housing gasket,
vanos seals, vanos oil line,
ps reservoir + hoses (again!)
CCV.
I know there are many other preventive stuff that needs to be done. I have not touched the suspension yet, or the transmission / differential fluids and I am due for a set of tires and front brakes. This week I noticed a slow coolant leak t.stat/water pump area. The rear sun visor is stuck (dealer quoted $1,100+ to fix this!)
Rather than enjoying the car, I now drive it worrying about the next thing that's going to fail.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:31 AM
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Mein Auto: 2002 540i 6 speed Sport
I come from the point of not having any sort of attachment to cars. Don't get me wrong, I am a BMW nut, I enjoy the looks and driving dynamics of these cars. They are getting long in the tooth now but there are still some very good one's out there. I do not use mine as a daily driver and put it to bed for the winter, having said that I have done 10000 kms so far this year.

If it becomes expensive to keep, it will be gone very quickly.
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  #13  
Old 09-14-2014, 09:37 AM
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Mein Auto: 04/1997 528i Auto,
My car has a name..... Lol

I'm trying to find a Lada right now. I figure if I can find one it may not be enjoyable to drive but it will always work.
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  #14  
Old 09-14-2014, 12:03 PM
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You want a prime example of why I'm so damned frustrated at this god damn car?! This photo was taken two minutes ago.. I'm driving my kid to grandma's house and now I'm stuck in a subway parking lot waiting for it to cool.

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  #15  
Old 09-14-2014, 12:41 PM
MKJS MKJS is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 540i
I had a 2800CS, and for many years it was bullet proof, but then the landslide began, it was one thing after another. Bout the time I thought nothing else could go wrong, something always did. Sold it. All the problems don't have to be my problems. "You got to know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em, know when to walk away, know when to run..."

doc
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:59 PM
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I had a 2800CS, and for many years it was bullet proof, but then the landslide began, it was one thing after another. Bout the time I thought nothing else could go wrong, something always did. Sold it. All the problems don't have to be my problems. "You got to know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em, know when to walk away, know when to run..."

doc
I Kenny Rogers that!
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  #17  
Old 09-14-2014, 02:12 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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Seems like it is time to get rid of it. Yes, these cars are enjoyable, but there is more to life than cars.
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:40 PM
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I was having the same feelings last winter. Constantly had issues.

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Old 09-14-2014, 03:48 PM
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Mein Auto: 04/1997 528i Auto,
I just swapped my radiator... Now I'm on the road seeing how the temps and pressures hold.. I went with an emergency U pull it one.. Because I need the car to run a little while longer.. Its some cheap after market bull**** probably already broke but its in.. The hose had some of the old mating space left inside of it. And I couldn't get it to hold tight enough.
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:58 PM
FutureFuzz 26 FutureFuzz 26 is offline
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Mein Auto: 00' Imola Red 528i Sport
216k miles with more problems than money, still wouldnt trade it for anything. seems like I spend one weekend per month with tools in my hand fixing something on it.

(currently working on finding the source of the grind, rattle from the rear end, replacing the FSR, and tracking down a pesky intake leak)

I hope all goes well in your quest for an E39 replacement.
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  #21  
Old 09-14-2014, 04:20 PM
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Hey on a Bher radiator. The green paper sticker is the build date right?? Mine reads 11/04/97. My cars build date is 17/04/97... So has anybody else ever made it 143,100 miles on an original rad?
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:04 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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Yes, not unheard of. Honestly, cooling system failures are overblown on these forums.
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  #23  
Old 09-14-2014, 05:07 PM
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Hey guys, what is the little black box that connects to the fan shroud? It has wires going to it so I'm guessing a sensor of sorts. I can't get it back onto the shroud so it hiding under my air box.
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:36 PM
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Also guys.. The next car will not be a replacement.. I'm keeping the E39 no matter. I just need a second more reliable thing to get me to and from work.. Then I can get the E39 up to snuff with out having to worry about it inbetween. The E39 can become my fun project while what ever else I get is my reliable work horse. I think I might buy a dodge neon. Don't hate there's thousands on the road and if its cheap enough I'll run it with out maintaining it.. Run it until it dies.
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  #25  
Old 09-14-2014, 07:12 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
I have a 1998 Volvo S70 with 165K, runs well, drinks a bit of oil (probably from loose valve stem seals at this mileage) but it is a work horse.

There is a 1998 Volvo S70 for sales now for $2000 in Omaha Nebraska, this one is a good buy, make sure the Timing Belt has been done:
http://omaha.craigslist.org/cto/4667822574.html


Stay away from 1999-2003 Volvo models...
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