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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 10-19-2011, 09:23 AM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Is there a list of valves, sensors, and such that should be cleaned periodically?

In various post I see the fix to some issues is to clean a valve or a sensor. Is there a compiled list of valves and other items that should be cleaned periodically coupled with a DIY link?

ex:

Clean the following:

Idle control valve (ICV) - 80k then every 30k - RR at 150k (DIY)
Mss Airflow sensor (MAF) - 75k then every year - RR at 100k (DIY)
XXX sensor -
XXX valve -

.
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2011, 09:29 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
Is there a compiled list of ...items that should be cleaned periodically coupled with a DIY link?
I do not know of a compiled list of items that should be periodically cleaned so this is a GREAT IDEA!

Almost certainly, we have each of the items covered in the bestlinks by now... but from wholly different angles such as:
  • Fluids to be refilled/replaced/flushed
    • e.g., When to replace the dozen E39 fluids, with what, and what volumes to use (1)
  • Parts to be inspected, replaced if needed
    • e.g.,Typical BMW E39 150K mile maintenance issues (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
  • Maintenance checklists
    • e.g., A BMW CPO PPI inspection checklist (1) (2)
    • And, an official BMW CPO retailer operations manual (1) (2)
    • And, a BMW certified preowned pre purchase inspection brochure (1) (2) (3)
    • And, a BMW service/maintenance schedule with checklists I, II, and III (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
    • And, a classic E39 inspection I, II, III DIY (1) (2) (3)
  • etc.
So, I'd like to limit my contribution to collecting together items that simply need to be CLEANED.
And I'd ask the all-knowing tribe to add to that list what is missed by any one person.

ITEMS RECOMMENDED FOR PERIODIC CLEANING:
Note: These are not yet in any particular order ... but we ask the tribe to pitch in with ideas ...

ENGINE & MECHANICAL:
  • ICV
    • How to clean the idle control valve ICV in the E39 V8 (1) & I6 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
  • MAF
    • How to clean the E39 MAF mass air flow sensor (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & how 'not' to clean your MAF (1)
  • SAP valve
    • How to clean the BMW E39 SAS SAP valve secondary air pump system (1) (2) (3)
  • PSF filter
    • Recommendation to replace power steering fluid at every oil change & periodically clean the PSF filter (1) (2)
  • Combustion chamber cleaning
    • How to clean your combustion chamber (1) (2)
  • Fuel injectors
    • How to clean your fuel injectors (0) (1) (2)
  • Engine air filter
    • How to clean and replace the engine air filter (1)
  • Cabin air filter
    • How to clean and replace the activated charcoal cabin air filter (1) (2) (3)
  • Cabin air filter housing drain vents
    • Unclogging cabin air filter drain vents (1)
  • Alternator air ducts
    • Why you want to clean out the air-cooled alternator air duct & cooling vents (1) (2) (1) (2)
  • Idler roller & belt tensioner bearings
    • (need to find cn90 DIY for repacking bearings)
  • Oil dipstick unclogging
    • (need DIY ... probably part of a CCV repair)
  • Evaporator coils
    • What to use to rid yourself of the BMW gym sock stink (1)
  • Gas gauge sending units
    • Decent Techron "soap for gasoline" thread (1) & how to clean your gas gauge sending unit (1)
  • ? what is missing ?
CABIN & BODY:
  • Undercarriage vent tubes
    • What to use to rid yourself of the BMW gym sock stink (1)
  • IHKA control panel fans
    • How to remove the IHKA air conditioning control panel to clean the circuit board (1) (2) (3) (4)
  • Wheels
    • The best products for cleaning wheels (1)
  • Engine bay
    • External engine degreaser, engine bay cleaning & engine compartment detailing (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
  • Glass
    • Window glass cleaner fluids & cloths for the inside window & windshield glass (1)
  • Interior cockpit
    • Interior cockpit & dashboard cleaners (1)
  • Carpets
    • Suggested carpet cleaners (1)
  • Floor mats
    • Suggested floor mat cleaning & shampooing (1)
  • Headliner
    • Recommended solvent for cleaning the headliner mouse fur fabric (1)
  • Seat leather & cloth
    • How to reupholster or repair or re-foam or dye worn leather or cloth BMW seats (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14)
  • Door seal drains
    • Door seal drain cleaning procedure (1)
  • Sunroof drains
    • How to unclog sunroof drain tubes (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
  • ? what is missing ?
Request the tribe to improve as needed!

Last edited by bluebee; 10-19-2011 at 09:05 PM. Reason: Updated as new information arrived ...
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2011, 09:44 AM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I second the motion.

Almost certainly, we have each of the items covered in the bestlinks, for example ... but not in a comprehensive list.

However, we 'do' have checklists which cover inspection & replacement of 'some' of the items ... so I'd limit it ... for now ... to items cleaned only ... (not replaced, not repaired, not fluids refilled, etc.) but just simple cleaning (since everything else already ex

Let's start one, based on yours above (and let tribal incrementalism improve it over time)"

LIMITED TO ITEMS TO BE CLEANED:
  • Idle control valve (ICV) - 80k then every 30k - RR at 150k (DIY)
  • Mass Airflow sensor (MAF) - 75k then every year - RR at 100k (DIY)

Blubee, we need a concensus on the intervals from the experts. I just made the numbers up in the examples above.

Also, I linked the DIY for the MAF to my post. If there is a better one I have zero qualms in linking to it instead or as well. I'll let you make the calls on that. I do suggest bolding the working links though.


- EDIT - I was working on this post while you were refining yours above. Great job! Feel free to ignore the above.


.

Last edited by seemyad; 10-19-2011 at 09:46 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2011, 10:26 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
we need a concensus on the intervals from the experts.
To get a basic outline of the items to be cleaned, I searched the bestlinks for 'clean' and listed above (in no particular order) what I found.

I'm sure there are a dozen items missing ... so ... I would ask the tribe to look at the list above, and improve as needed.

In the end, it would be a nice list to have for those of us who find their round tuit one sunny day & decide to 'really clean' our beloved bimmers!
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2011, 01:21 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
To get a basic outline of the items to be cleaned, I searched the bestlinks for 'clean' and listed above (in no particular order) what I found.

I'm sure there are a dozen items missing ... so ... I would ask the tribe to look at the list above, and improve as needed.

In the end, it would be a nice list to have for those of us who find their round tuit one sunny day & decide to 'really clean' our beloved bimmers!

Sunroof drain holes - http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=573457
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2011, 01:34 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
Good catch!

In some cases, the drain hose can simply be unclogged:
- How to test & fix moonroof leaks (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

I'll add this to the second post.
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2011, 03:36 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Blubee,

FYI - #2 and #6 of the ICV links go to the same place. Thanks to this post I will make that my next MINOR project with MAJOR gains in return.

Also, does one clean the CCV or is that a repair only item?

Last edited by seemyad; 10-19-2011 at 03:40 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-19-2011, 05:49 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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it can be nice if someone can create some excel with year / miles / part replacement
I am sure blue can do it
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  #9  
Old 10-19-2011, 08:10 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
it can be nice if someone can create some excel with year / miles / part replacement
I am sure blue can do it
+1 and keep the DIY links active in the spreadsheet.

Blu! Blu! Blu! Blu! (chanting)


.
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  #10  
Old 10-19-2011, 09:10 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
#2 and #6 of the ICV links go to the same place.
Thanks. I 'try' to check all links ... but I do make mistakes so it's good to know someone else is actually 'clicking' on them!

I should make mistakes, on purpose, to test whether people are actually using them (and therefore, whether or not I'm wasting my time!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
does one clean the CCV or is that a repair only item?
I left the CCV out because it's my assumption that it's so very much work to just get to the CCV, that to not replace it would be a crime.


Plus, people 'have' asked if you can take it apart, and, while anything can be taken apart ... it's not 'designed' to be disassembled and cleaned.

But, I did cover cleaning the dipstick tube which gets clogged with 'mayo' ...

More details here.
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2012, 08:36 AM
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JimLev, over in this post today, suggested a critical drain hole to clean:
- Flooded Cowls? Draining the Brake Booster of Water without Removing it

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
The key issue here is to keep the drain hole in the bottom of that compartment clear so water will always drain out.
The drain hole is hard to see, look under the master cylinder towards the engine side of the compartment.
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  #12  
Old 06-02-2012, 10:54 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
we need a DIY for unclogging the oil dipstick
It took me a few failed attempts to come up with the idea but here's a neat way to clean the CCV concentric drain tube at the bottom of the dipstick guide:
- How can we clean out a clogged oil dipstick tube (connection to CCV)?

I'm not sure how often these need to be cleaned but mine (2002, 110k miles) was jam packed solid from two inches below the start of the CCV metal guide down to two inches from the bottom of the concentric dipstick drain tube.



EDIT: This isn't piano wire. I just realized it's leftover wire that came with the REI or Western Mountain Sports kit to replace the elastic in the tent tube poles for camping.
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-02-2012 at 11:11 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-21-2012, 05:20 AM
turtle525i turtle525i is offline
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use some speedo cable. works much better. flexable and cleans sides of tube as well
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  #14  
Old 02-18-2013, 08:32 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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A nice list of maintenance items was posted here today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
People always come on and ask "What should I service on my new E39?" Or, say you bought a car that simply was never serviced beyond oil/tires/brakes. Sometimes, people want to do one "huge ball off wax" servicing of pretty much anything likely to break sooner or later on most E39 BMWs. Here are some ideas:

Engine:
  1. Air filter
  2. Cabin air filter
  3. New wipers
  4. New Battery
  5. New tires
  6. Change all fluids: Differential oil, transmission oil, flush power steering fluid
  7. Cooling system; water pump, radiator, thermostat and housing,
  8. Sepentine belt, tensioners, pulleys, fan, fan clutch
  9. Oil leaks: Oil Filter Housing Gasket leak, Valve Cover gasket leak.
  10. Replace broken headlight adjusters
  11. New brake pads and rotors
  12. Bleed brake fluid
  13. Replace all vacuum lines
  14. Spark plugs & boots
  15. Fuel filter
  16. Replace power steering reservoir and hoses
  17. Replace entire front suspension: Struts, control arms, thrust arms, sway bar bushings, etc.
  18. Change DISA value (flap breaks)
  19. SAP valve (Secondary Air Pump)
  20. Engine and transmission mounts
  21. Replace VANOS seals
  22. Fix cluster pixels

Things you can replace before they fail:
  1. MAF Sensor
  2. O2 sensors (pre-cat)
  3. Intake boots
  4. Alternator
  5. Fuel fump
  6. Replace coils
  7. Camshaft and Crankshaft Position Sensors

Set aside money for these possible failures:
  1. Fix ABS Module
  2. New Window Regulators
  3. FSU (Final Stage Unit) Errant blower motor
  4. CCV - Gets clogged. Rough idle
  5. Center support bearing (CSB)
  6. Guibo
  7. Rebuild transmission
  8. Catalytic Converters
  9. New exhaust
  10. A/C compressor
  11. Broken sunroof

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...5&postcount=14
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...4&postcount=11
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  #15  
Old 04-14-2013, 06:49 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this response today, in another thread, may be useful to others:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DomS View Post
what other components (precautionary maintenance wise) do you think I should consider replacing?
Start with the broken stuff, such as:
Behr cooling system leaking
Plastic DISA valve breaking & destroying the engine
Cluster pixel tape lifting
MID pixel tape lifting
Hella PBT headlight adjusters breaking
Power steering cap & hose leaking
Trunk wiring loom fraying
CCV clogging
Bosch ABS control module frying
Cupholders breaking
I6 VANOS seals deteriorating
V8 valley pan gaskets leaking
GKR/BMW/Valeo FSU/FSR dying
Thrust arm bushings leaking
Ambient temperature sensor breaking
Window regulators breaking
Vapor barrier adhesive leaking
Jack pads falling off
Windshield cover molding crumbling
Driver's seat control switch breaking
Rear center brakelight socket melting
Seat cables fall out causing seat twist
Windshield washer tanks & pumps leaking
etc.

And, then move on to the cleaning:
- parts to periodically clean

And fluids:
- Check and replace all fluids

Then, run through the checklists:
-150K mile maintenance checklist

Here's a list of parts to start stocking:
O-rings & gaskets & bulbs & vacuum hoses & fuses & wiper blade inserts & belts & bearings & oil filters & cabin air filters & engine air filters to stock

And, here's the set of tools you'll need, over time:
Common tools needed for the E39 & an obdii DTC scanner & an SRS reset tool & accurate measurement tools & specialty cooling system tools

Bearing in mind, the tools are free:
- Why the tools are free when you DIY (1)
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  #16  
Old 04-15-2013, 08:47 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Since the title of this thread is about a list of sensors and/or valves that should be cleaned periodically, I can attest to cleaning the wheel speed sensors once every 2-3 years. The crud that accumulates there together with small iron shavings (from braking) can give erroneous speed readings (attested on different forums). I cleaned them about 2 years ago, after reading said posts, and was amazed at the amount of dirt that found it's way in there. Very easy DIY.
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2013, 11:14 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This update today suggests an important place to clean periodically:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbaue View Post
Hi all, I want to give a warning to everyone concerning some easy but important maintenance that often gets over looked but can be devastating if not done.

Spring is here, the rainy season! Its very important Make sure that the water drain tube on the cabin filters are cleared out and free of debris. The drains are small and can get clogged with leaves easily. A Clogged drain on the drivers side will cause the water to back up inside the housing and leak down and puddle underneath the brake booster. The brake booster (sitting in water) sucks in the water and in turn sends it to the vacuum line then gets sucked into the intake naturally by the engine. Has it rained? Is your brake pedal very stiff? Car running rough? White smoke out of the tail pipe? Check the filer drain!! The brake pedal is the dead give away! Don't run the car until you clean out the water. The more it runs the more its sucking water in.

I have a 2000 528i that that wouldn't start. Among many other probs, it had Water inside the intake boots and inside the throttle body which killed it by the way. It was a mystery to me how it got there until today. This is the second time it's acted like that on me. Both times it rained heavily. First time it cleared itself out so i didnt worry anymore. This time it didnt so i Checked and of course the drain was clogged. Cleared the drain, removed the water around the booster and after a little while the everything was back to normal running condition.
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  #18  
Old 11-24-2013, 07:18 AM
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Another thread was posted on cleaning the brake booster drain hole:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Brake Booster! Water logged
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  #19  
Old 07-12-2014, 02:59 PM
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A thread today was opened on cleaning the idle control valve:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > A post in favor of cleaning the idle control valve

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHoffmeyer View Post
I've had my '99 528i for 20 months and always noticed how heavy it felt. "Hates city traffic," I would tell passengers as we crawled away from stops at intersections. On the highway, no problem...but that city driving outed my car as an Autobahn baby.
Cleaning the MAF, new plugs and ignition coils as a matter of regular maintenance made slight improvements. At cold idle, the engine would quickly dip every 15 seconds, but catch itself. Once warmed, everything was good.
At 237,000 miles, I figured it had an excuse.
Last summer, I heard a whistle at idle that remained through the fall. Though it never threw a code, I figured I had the beginnings of a vacuum leak.
The intake boots didn't look bad, but I ordered a set recently and set about replacing them last night.
While in there, I cleaned the throttle body, pulled the ICV and thoroughly cleaned it out, replaced the DISA valve O-ring (which was torn in two places) then put it back together with the new boots. Attachment 451303
What I test drove afterwards last night is basically a new car. No single round of maintenance has made such a large improvement in its performance. The whistle is gone too. Total cost, about $50.




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