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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 01-29-2012, 08:49 AM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
bum used tranny

My question is: though the used tranny i had put in over the summer did last beyond the 3 month warantee--yet only lasted about 3-4k miles--should i hunt down the provider of this bum tranny and make demands?

A local shop put the $1800 POS in for $600 and is now looking it over. I presume though that the beast is dead as there is no reverse, the car drives forward in neutral and there appears to be only one forward gear (making it difficult to back the car out of the garage)

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  #2  
Old 01-29-2012, 09:20 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
This sounds like a Trans Prog Failsafe error. Have the tranny reset (needa GT-1 or equivalent scanner) and it may be fine. TPFs can be triggered by alternator, battery or sensor issues.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2012, 02:23 PM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
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I did have a battery issue associated with the tranny failure this summer. At the same time i lost all the gears i also had no power. the car coasted to a stop and would not crank. When the used tranny was put in I also replaced the battery. I never was able to explain the rather odd coincidence.

The first signs of a transmission issue occured a few weeks ago, cruising at 80 down the highway. I felt a slight slipping sensation--unnoticed by other occupants in the car--that felt almost like being buffeted by the wind. Then a week or so later a noise started that covaried with engine speed whether or not i was in gear.... a whirring sort of sound that almost could have been a bad idler bearing (from serpentine belt).

The relation between the battery and transmission is perplexing. I had no warning lights come on with this most recent tranny failure. I don't have a good indy to help with this, only a generic transmission shop, and would appreciate any info, suggestions...

thanks
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2012, 05:08 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i (E39) 120k
Bluebee, is there a thread that talks about battery failure and tranny problems?
It would suck to replace a tranny when it's not even broken!
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2012, 07:19 PM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
the transmission shop tells me today that the tranny they put in late this past summer is T O A S T (and tells me basically "tough luck"). I think i am out of the game. I don't have a good indy here that can diagnose the battery/tranny issue to justify putting in a new one. I love the car and hate the thought of no longer being a BMW owner but my finances and growing irritation with one nagging issue after the next (with now several BIG i$$ues in a short span) has mounted to the point that it is making me sick.

What is the car worth at this point (a silver 2000 528 touring wagon) that is otherwise in nice shape (165k miles)? I don't think i want to put in the effort required to part it out myself (listing item after item on eBay, removing and shipping, etc...).

Is there a market for what i have left? anyone interested?
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2012, 03:53 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i (E39) 120k
Bag,
Can you list out all the nagging problem$$ (and costs) you've had with this car?
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2012, 07:47 AM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
front shocks seem to pester me. i've replaced them with bilsteins ($300?)...those went bad and i had bilstein rebuild a pair for me $200 or so. plus alignments

i've had traction control module issues and still have ABS kicking in a low speeds on dry roads. $300 to rebuild (with lifetime warantee). i have a speed sensor still in the bag.

i replaced noisy secondary air pump some years ago (maybe $200 for used) and i now need another one.

underbody shields should be replaced.

power steering leaks fluid, albeit slowly

i've replaced some bushings, large and small and more needs to be done. (ffew hundred, more if i hadn't spent many hours under the car doing some of the work myself)

a few months back i had misfire codes in multiple cylinders...an easy fix: turned out to be old spark plugs

alternator replaced with aftermarket unit (my labor) $150?

tires (despite replacing rear "ball joints") still seem to be wearing faster than i would like

replaced radiator ($150?), water pump (stealer charged some crazy amount)

what is the deal with the price of wiper blades? (i've been jamming in replacement inserts [just the rubber part] for years now)

rear tailgate issues need to be addressed (a difficult hydraulic fix so that the glass stays up) i did fix wiring in hinge at one point--proud of that one.

door seal, hood badge, fog lamps, floor mats (i know i am being nit-picky here), cabin air filters, etc...

idler bearing is getting increasingly noisy

the windshield needs to be replaced ($500+ if i want the rain sensor to continue to work)

Oh, and that Bleepin' tranny!


i had a nissan maxima and honda prelude that both ran to 225k miles without such headaches (the nissan is still running for its owner i presume). I know they're inferior cars but you would wish that the superior car (BMW) was superior in all ways, namely in reliability. They are very expensive new, so you would expect the parts to be better, more longevity...but no.

Last edited by bagodonuts68; 01-31-2012 at 07:59 AM. Reason: computer is doing odd things (needs work as well)
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2012, 04:43 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i (E39) 120k
How did you know the front shocks were bad?

What was wrong with the secondary air pump?
Is this a common failure? Was it an easy DIY?

Power steering reservoir replacement and cutting the hoses is an easy DIY.

I paid $35 for my new set of wiper blades.
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2012, 10:50 AM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
shocks were bad because they had sort of seized. they would move but only after a clunking sensation as they became unstuck. When the secondary air pump fails it becomes very noisy... odd sounds (wheezes, whirrs, jet plane noises, etc). Steering hoses are not, in and of themselves a big issue. on top of all that is happening...its too much.
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2012, 07:23 AM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 wagon (silver 528)
UPDATE i ended up having a rebuilt tranny put in that came with a 30 month warrantee. I think i paid about $3500. i'm happy i did. Now I am working on replacing tailgate struts.
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2012, 03:14 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
How did you know the front shocks were bad?

What was wrong with the secondary air pump?
Is this a common failure? Was it an easy DIY?

Power steering reservoir replacement and cutting the hoses is an easy DIY.

I paid $35 for my new set of wiper blades.
Tischer BMW, who sells a LOT of parts online, has wiper blades for only $2.35 ea.
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2012, 02:54 PM
gomolka30 gomolka30 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i
The bums on trannies are often times used. I wouldn't go near one.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2012, 02:59 PM
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the540wgn the540wgn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomolka30 View Post
The bums on trannies are often times used. I wouldn't go near one.
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  #14  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:29 PM
aspensilver540 aspensilver540 is offline
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I think the moral of the story is that Tranny shops will provide a warranty for about as long as they think it'll definitely last. 3 month warranty, 4 months driving. 3 year warranty, maybe 3 1/2 yrs
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