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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 03-02-2016, 10:10 AM
phantom32 phantom32 is offline
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I'm about to give up!

First off I am a new BMW owner. So I buy my car 528i from a guy that purchased it at a police auction and I test drove it and everything was going great...until im 50 miles into my trip home and the engine revs up doing 7000 rpms and then shifts hard into the next gear and the service engine and tranny safe mode comes on. So naturally I call the guy and he also sent text after I left his house which I missed due to driving. Heres the text.

I'm calling you because I forgot to tell you that you need to bring the car to the mechanic shop on Thursday to have the 4th gear shift solenoid fixed is already paid for... And basically what it is it happens every now and then hasn't happened in a few days but if I shift funny and you take off of be really slow it's basically Transmission going into safe mode but its only a solenoid and I paid for it already all you have to do is bring the car.

So, naturally I don't worry at first until I take the cat to a reputable BMW mechanic near me. He runs some test and tells me that I may need a new tranny which naturally got me really worried. I literally spent my bank roll on this car and don't have another car. Also.. Now the steering wheel and seats will not adjust.

So here is a list of things i have noticed wrong.
Tranny problem...
Steering wheel and seat adjustment
No AC unit
Heat will not turn off
Driver window will not roll down
Sun roof will not open
Front passenger speaker blown
Does not lock on the first time
Dented hood and bumper
1 fogged over light
New bumper needed
1 Discolored door handle
1 drivers side rear window not tented like passenger side
Outside temp gage not working shows -40 (I'm in California so ...)
No spare tire ...he took it ($600 spare)
Tires and rim value $2000+

There maybe other problems just don't know yet

Should i just get my money back?
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2016, 10:11 AM
phantom32 phantom32 is offline
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Also half way threw registration but cant get it because smog will not pass.
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  #3  
Old 03-02-2016, 10:44 AM
777-300ER 777-300ER is offline
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You bought a USED almost 20 year old BMW, with no service history from a police auction... AND HAVE NO %***$ING MONEY FOR REPAIRS!? OR DIDN'T EXPECT TO HAVE PROBLEMS?? Get rid of the car. Just get rid of it. How much did you spend on it?
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'03 540i ///M-Sport
Topaz Blue / Grey 6MT
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Last edited by 777-300ER; 03-02-2016 at 10:47 AM.
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2016, 10:49 AM
clkwork clkwork is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 777-300ER View Post
You bought a USED almost 20 year old BMW, with no service history from a police auction... AND HAVE NO %***$ING MONEY FOR REPAIRS!? OR DIDN'T EXPECT TO HAVE PROBLEMS?? Get rid of the car. Just get rid of it. How much did you spend on it?
Honestly, this. Unless you are doing the work yourself and creative with sourcing the parts the repairs will soon exceed what you paid for the car. Cut your losses sooner rather than later.
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  #5  
Old 03-02-2016, 10:51 AM
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TheAngryBear TheAngryBear is offline
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First, follow HHGTG: Don't Panic

I believe if this is an internal CA sale, the seller is responsible for smog.

Prior use your list on
1) safety/emissions- get past these
2) operations - spare, AC
3) cosmetic/convenience- sunroof, bumper

So what is failing on the smog? Codes and descriptions please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom32 View Post
So here is a list of things i have noticed wrong.
Tranny problem...
Steering wheel and seat adjustment
No AC unit
Heat will not turn off
Driver window will not roll down
Sun roof will not open
Front passenger speaker blown
Does not lock on the first time
Dented hood and bumper
1 fogged over light
New bumper needed
1 Discolored door handle
1 drivers side rear window not tented like passenger side
Outside temp gage not working shows -40 (I'm in California so ...)
No spare tire ...he took it ($600 spare)
Tires and rim value $2000+

There maybe other problems just don't know yet

Should i just get my money back?
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  #6  
Old 03-02-2016, 10:53 AM
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TheAngryBear TheAngryBear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 777-300ER View Post
You bought a USED almost 20 year old BMW, with no service history from a police auction... AND HAVE NO %***$ING MONEY FOR REPAIRS!? OR DIDN'T EXPECT TO HAVE PROBLEMS?? Get rid of the car. Just get rid of it. How much did you spend on it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by clkwork View Post
Honestly, this. Unless you are doing the work yourself and creative with sourcing the parts the repairs will soon exceed what you paid for the car. Cut your losses sooner rather than later.
See, I was trying to take a more positive approach but there are rather valid points here...
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2016, 10:58 AM
777-300ER 777-300ER is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAngryBear View Post
See, I was trying to take a more positive approach but there are rather valid points here...
Wasn't trying to be a jerk or anything, but I mean COME on. Even though you can afford the car, doesn't mean you can afford the car. It aggravates me, I could rant about this for hours.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2016, 11:13 AM
veery veery is offline
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Blowing your bankroll on any 12-17 year old car probably means that you really didn't have very much to spend, so if you could only afford that amount (you never said what it was), it would have been wiser to buy a car with a higher reliability record for an old car than a BMW. IOW, a Honda or a Toyota or the like. You undoubtedly fell for the BMW because you were enamored with the idea of driving such a nice car - I think we all can understand that. However, buying an old BMW is a mistake for someone without their own workspace, tools, and experience, or a strong desire to learn, or lacking those things lots of extra money. Even much newer ones which are out of warranty can be very costly to maintain. If the seller indeed has the onus of passing smog inspection, you should try to return it. Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2016, 11:55 AM
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TheAngryBear TheAngryBear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 777-300ER View Post
Wasn't trying to be a jerk or anything, but I mean COME on. Even though you can afford the car, doesn't mean you can afford the car. It aggravates me, I could rant about this for hours.
Agreed but not knowing the specific position of the OP...
I for one say unless you have $3k+ available don't bother with our e39s... They can bleed you dry, even with that reserve....
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2016, 12:19 PM
phantom32 phantom32 is offline
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Thanks for the lack of optimism thank you for all of your input most of everything on the list I am or rather was willing to fix... I mean I didn't spend my entire bank roll but it was enough to make me regret it... Not to mention the guy didn't tell me about **** till i was already an hour away... I had no idea about the tranny until it was way to late..
Ill try to return it but i really don't think he will take it back
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2016, 12:19 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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I gathered from the seller's text he had already paid a certain shop for the parts/labor on the trans solenoid....

Anyway, here's a stab at some of the things you found (after purchase?):


Tranny problem...

Steering wheel and seat adjustment -- [Check under left side cover of driver's set to see if the plug connector into the seat control module has popped out (it also affects steering wheel adjustments...]

No AC unit
Heat will not turn off
Outside temp gage not working shows -40 (I'm in California so ...) [Look under front right corner in front of the wheelwell and you should see a little temp sensor in its pocket. If it's broken or missing, the AC and heat won't run right ...]

Driver window will not roll down [Probably broken window regulator, or clips at bottom of the glass pane have slipped off ... You have to remove the interior door card to check, but before you do, look around here or google on BMW e39 window regulator repair to find some DIY write-ups.]

Sun roof will not open [Might be just a fuse blown ...]

Front passenger speaker blown [You mean the larger one in the door? Not a huge loss as they are fairly weak to start with. Easy to replace with the cheapest/most expensive of your choice. But again, have to remove door card to get in there. Search/google for e39 speaker upgrade write-ups.]

1 fogged over light [Probably the gasket seal on the clear cover is worn out. Or the cover itself has been sandblasted by years on the road ... Try to fix condensation issue with a sealant, otherwise if it's sandblasted, try one of the lens restoration kits.]

Does not lock on the first time [This could be a failing door lock actuator or central locking system issue. You need to get THIS ONE fixed sooner than later or it might lock you out ... or in, as the case may be ....]

New bumper needed
1 Discolored door handle
1 drivers side rear window not tented like passenger side
Dented hood and bumper [You bought it that way, right? These are cosmetic things most folks notice at first glance .... You can't really blame the seller on these ....]


No spare tire ...he took it ($600 spare) [Try to get it back ...]
Tires and rim value $2000+ [Is this an issue?]

There maybe other problems just don't know yet

Should i just get my money back?[/QUOTE]
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2016, 01:16 PM
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TheAngryBear TheAngryBear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom32 View Post
Thanks for the lack of optimism thank you for all of your input most of everything on the list I am or rather was willing to fix... I mean I didn't spend my entire bank roll but it was enough to make me regret it... Not to mention the guy didn't tell me about **** till i was already an hour away... I had no idea about the tranny until it was way to late..
Ill try to return it but i really don't think he will take it back
Part of the issue is you stating you "literally spent my bankroll". One aspect of forums is that the written word rules unless modified (emoticon, animation, lol, etc.). So you can't really fault anyone for reading your words as they are written.

That said, pleiades has given some advice and I made some recommendations and asked a question. If you are serious then start trying advice and answering questions.
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2016, 01:51 PM
phantom32 phantom32 is offline
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Thank you for all of the insight i will try the things you suggested
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2016, 01:58 PM
phantom32 phantom32 is offline
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The smog wont pass because the check engine light is on.. I had the codes checked and they said the codes are making the engine light come on and it automatically fails if the engine light is on...
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  #15  
Old 03-02-2016, 02:10 PM
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TheAngryBear TheAngryBear is offline
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That is certainly the case. We will need the codes to be able to assist though. Without specifics then we will rapidly run through your money without solving anything.
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  #16  
Old 03-02-2016, 02:11 PM
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TheAngryBear TheAngryBear is offline
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You can get the CEL codes read for free at autozone or pepboys or advance auto and the like.
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  #17  
Old 03-02-2016, 02:16 PM
phantom32 phantom32 is offline
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Ok thank you bear I will do so also how do i reply to individuals instead of just posting?
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  #18  
Old 03-02-2016, 02:26 PM
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TheAngryBear TheAngryBear is offline
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You can use the quote button or use the name of who you are replying to.
Once we get the codes then we can assist in getting this resolved.
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  #19  
Old 03-02-2016, 02:35 PM
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TheAngryBear TheAngryBear is offline
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And when you get the codes: identify the P# and the text description. We need both, use our knowledge and not our time looking up stuff for you. Additionally use the search function on the codes (individual and combos) to see what others have done
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  #20  
Old 03-02-2016, 02:44 PM
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TheAngryBear TheAngryBear is offline
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Second homework assignment: do a search on "code reader" on the boards. Check the reviews and search for pricing. See what you can get cause you oh will need it if you are keeping this vehicle.
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  #21  
Old 03-02-2016, 02:55 PM
phantom32 phantom32 is offline
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Bear should i wait till after i get the part replace tomorrow or do it asap?
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  #22  
Old 03-02-2016, 03:01 PM
avu3 avu3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAngryBear View Post
You can get the CEL codes read for free at autozone or pepboys or advance auto and the like.
Actually in CA you can't. No auto parts store in CA will do it for free.

And when you DO get the codes fixed/cleared, keep in mind it needs 3 drive cycles to complete before it will pass the test. That's Cold - Hot - Cold. Not just 3 start/stops. I forget all the terminology, but its basically in a "pending" state till it finishes the 3 cycles. This prevents people from clearing the code and then immediately driving to the smog shop before it has a chance to set again.

Last edited by avu3; 03-02-2016 at 03:03 PM. Reason: Added a note about clearing codes.
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  #23  
Old 03-02-2016, 03:05 PM
ProRail ProRail is offline
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[QUOTE=pleiades;9557349]I gathered from the seller's text he had already paid a certain shop for the parts/labor on the trans solenoid....

Anyway, here's a stab at some of the things you found (after purchase?):


Tranny problem...

Steering wheel and seat adjustment -- [Check under left side cover of driver's set to see if the plug connector into the seat control module has popped out (it also affects steering wheel adjustments...]

No AC unit
Heat will not turn off
Outside temp gage not working shows -40 (I'm in California so ...) [Look under front right corner in front of the wheelwell and you should see a little temp sensor in its pocket. If it's broken or missing, the AC and heat won't run right ...]

-40 is the standard reading when the outside sensor is missing, faulty, or disconnected. It affects not only the HVAC system but also the operation of the engine. Get it replaced before you mess with anything else.
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  #24  
Old 03-02-2016, 03:32 PM
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Brandon002 Brandon002 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 777-300ER View Post
You bought a USED almost 20 year old BMW, with no service history from a police auction... AND HAVE NO %***$ING MONEY FOR REPAIRS!? OR DIDN'T EXPECT TO HAVE PROBLEMS?? Get rid of the car. Just get rid of it. How much did you spend on it?
I agree with this 100%
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  #25  
Old 03-02-2016, 03:42 PM
ca2014mp2 ca2014mp2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 777-300ER View Post
You bought a USED almost 20 year old BMW, with no service history from a police auction... AND HAVE NO %***$ING MONEY FOR REPAIRS!? OR DIDN'T EXPECT TO HAVE PROBLEMS?? Get rid of the car. Just get rid of it. How much did you spend on it?
+1 dump it... you are WAY out of your league. How do you go from I have a blow tranny to my seat wont adjust.. Look I have no idea your skill set but that jump in logic makes me say you know nothing about your car and you really need a honda..

if you're in the south bay I can come over and help..
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Series E39 Vehicle code DP63 Model 528ITA Engine M52TU
Body type OTHER Catalog model USA Production date 1999 / 06
Transmission Automatic Steering Left Catalyzer YES

Production FROM : 1998/09/01 TO : 1999/08/31
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