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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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  #26  
Old 05-29-2012, 08:38 PM
766jack 766jack is offline
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which fuse from the DME fuse pack was shorted out? there was 5 when i looked..

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Originally Posted by borahatch View Post
One more thing. Be sure to check the DME fuse pack when you take your DME out. You'll see a little pack of 5 fuses above the DME. I had a couple of those blown. I'm sure yours will be similar.
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  #27  
Old 05-29-2012, 08:40 PM
766jack 766jack is offline
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how do you take the wood trim off? im trying every direction but dont want to break it!! lol

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Originally Posted by borahatch View Post
I just looked at my old DME and it has numbers all over. Easy to get confused. There should be a smaller tan colored tag. That tag's bottom number will be your DME program number. Also, I think I remember seeing instructions on the rpm site about getting to the EWS. If not, however, it's simple enough. All you have to do is take off the wood trim to the left and right of your steering wheel. You'll see a couple of screws that hold the lower dash in place. Remove those. I believe there are screws/clips near the peddles that help hold on the lower dash piece. Once all those are removed, it easily slips out of the way. You'll see a little white box with a wire harness attached. That is your EWS. When you actually start to take it all apart, it'll be easy to see everything I'm talking about.
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  #28  
Old 05-29-2012, 08:42 PM
borahatch borahatch is offline
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I had two burned ones. I think they were number 2 and 3. To this day, I still don't know what caused my DME to burn.

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Originally Posted by 766jack View Post
which fuse from the DME fuse pack was shorted out? there was 5 when i looked..
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  #29  
Old 05-29-2012, 08:46 PM
borahatch borahatch is offline
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I just grabbed it and pulled it! I started at the edge and worked my way from one end to the other. Each piece of wood is held on by two clips towards the middle. Basically don't be scared
Lol.
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Originally Posted by 766jack View Post
how do you take the wood trim off? im trying every direction but dont want to break it!! lol
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  #30  
Old 05-29-2012, 09:01 PM
766jack 766jack is offline
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just yank it? lol what kind of clips are behind it?

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Originally Posted by borahatch View Post
I just grabbed it and pulled it! I started at the edge and worked my way from one end to the other. Each piece of wood is held on by two clips towards the middle. Basically don't be scared
Lol.
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  #31  
Old 05-29-2012, 09:28 PM
borahatch borahatch is offline
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I've worked on many different cars and realized they're all basically put together the same, so yeah I just yanked the trim right off. If you want to be more cautious, you can take a flat head screwdriver and gently pop the trim off with that. Same idea, just start on one end and gently pry the trim up until you hear/feel the clip disengage.

As for the type of clip... You got me there. I'm not sure.
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just yank it? lol what kind of clips are behind it?
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  #32  
Old 05-30-2012, 08:32 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 766jack View Post
dude i totally found the DME and pulled it out, checked it, and saw the coolant that leaked into it... the middle harness was the one that caused it!!!! (thermostat wiring)
Can someone tell me how coolant gets all the way up into the DME via a wiring harness?
How does the wiring harness get coolant on it?!!! It is nowhere NEAR the engine!
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  #33  
Old 05-30-2012, 09:50 AM
borahatch borahatch is offline
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I'm curious about that as well.

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Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
Can someone tell me how coolant gets all the way up into the DME via a wiring harness?
How does the wiring harness get coolant on it?!!! It is nowhere NEAR the engine!
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  #34  
Old 05-30-2012, 10:14 AM
766jack 766jack is offline
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<--- Super Curious!!!!

I really need to find the source of the coolant leak and how this happened.
I just spoke to the RPM Motorsport company that has remanufactured DMEs for my car.
He was a really cool guy that informed me of the process. they sell about 6 kits a day and he said that this is a very common problem with the BMWs. I told him my DME was short circuited, he automatcially goes, "cooolant?" haha I was like yeah..

I told him the rest of my story (*thermostat melted causing coolant to leak onto the DME short circuiting it*) at which he then said,

"I have heard very similiar stories, and you could get a new DME and whatever, your car will start, but then who knows 2 months, maybe 2 years down the road, this could happen again unless you find the source of how the coolant is leaking. Obviously it is happening a lot to BMWs so somebody out there probably knows how to deal with it, and I wish I had asked more questions about HOW people fixed these 'coolant leaks' and whatnot. I would ask if they solved the issue with the leak and customers would just say Yeah"

It made me really think the problem isnt just replacing the DME, but figuring out WHY the thermostat melted in the first place and how to avoid this in the future so I dont every have to go through this again.

If anybody has any information on THERMOSTATS MELTING and COOLANT LEAKS ONTO THEIR DME, please please please please please please SHARE with me how I can fix this and avoid getting burned again....

Thanks!!!

p.s. I was gonna call my bmw dealership that did the 2-hour diagnosis with follow up questions.. but my problem is the guy that handled my BMW is on vacation in Disney world for the next week... just my luck FML




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I'm curious about that as well.
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  #35  
Old 05-30-2012, 10:47 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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The heater in the t-stat housing is potted with some type of goop which has been known to leak. The coolant is under pressure so it follows the tubing the wires are encased in all the way back to the DME plug. Coolant and electricity start to short thing out and the DME fries.
If your lucky just the fuse will blow.
I used an exacto knife to put a slit in the tubing so if mine ever does start leaking it won't make it to the DME.
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  #36  
Old 05-30-2012, 11:02 AM
borahatch borahatch is offline
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Thanks for the explanation. I was thinking it was something along those lines. That's a good idea you have there. I'll be doing that. I'll take it a step further and add a dab of silicone inside the wire insulation a little further up from the slit so if coolant did leak, it would hit a physical barrier.

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Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
The heater in the t-stat housing is potted with some type of goop which has been known to leak. The coolant is under pressure so it follows the tubing the wires are encased in all the way back to the DME plug. Coolant and electricity start to short thing out and the DME fries.
If your lucky just the fuse will blow.
I used an exacto knife to put a slit in the tubing so if mine ever does start leaking it won't make it to the DME.
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  #37  
Old 05-30-2012, 11:11 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borahatch View Post
I'll take it a step further and add a dab of silicone inside the wire insulation a little further up from the slit so if coolant did leak, it would hit a physical barrier.
Good idea, I'm going to do that to mine right now.
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  #38  
Old 05-30-2012, 11:41 AM
766jack 766jack is offline
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Seriously guys... I should have never even went to the dealership and wasted my $$$

you guys are so smart I should have turned to BIMMERFEST before going to the dealership!!!

So the RPM Motorsport dude who sells the DMEs told me a solution for my t-stat harness...
but lemme know if this is something you've heard of...

he said to boil water as if im making tea, put hot water into a tea cup and soak the harness in the hot water for about 5 minutes.... he said to repeat this about 3-4 times and then take an old toothbrush and start brushing away at the corrosion. he said this should handle the corrosion on the harness.

IS THIS SAFE? he sounded pretty confident thats what I should do...

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Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
Good idea, I'm going to do that to mine right now.
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Last edited by 766jack; 05-30-2012 at 11:50 AM.
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  #39  
Old 05-30-2012, 11:49 AM
766jack 766jack is offline
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Hi JimLev, thanks for the great explanation! I have a few follow up questions...

What do I do now that my t-stat wiring IS leaking? I intend to clean the harness by dipping it into hot water several times and then brushing it with an old toothbrush and then replacing my old DME with a new DME from RPM MOTORSPORT....

But how exactly can I avoid this issue happening AGAIN in the future besides the slit in the wiring tube?

Am I supposed to replace the t-stat entirely as well?
If the housing is known to leak, why doesnt BMW have an answer to this?
basically, is this type of sh*t unavoidable (tstat melting) ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
The heater in the t-stat housing is potted with some type of goop which has been known to leak. The coolant is under pressure so it follows the tubing the wires are encased in all the way back to the DME plug. Coolant and electricity start to short thing out and the DME fries.
If your lucky just the fuse will blow.
I used an exacto knife to put a slit in the tubing so if mine ever does start leaking it won't make it to the DME.
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  #40  
Old 05-30-2012, 12:26 PM
borahatch borahatch is offline
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I have no firsthand experience with that method, so I can't comment. Another solution would be a simple can of CRC electric parts cleaner. I've always used that stuff with excellent results.

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Originally Posted by 766jack View Post
he said to boil water as if im making tea, put hot water into a tea cup and soak the harness in the hot water for about 5 minutes.... he said to repeat this about 3-4 times and then take an old toothbrush and start brushing away at the corrosion.
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  #41  
Old 05-30-2012, 12:54 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 766jack View Post
Hi JimLev, thanks for the great explanation! I have a few follow up questions...

What do I do now that my t-stat wiring IS leaking? I intend to clean the harness by dipping it into hot water several times and then brushing it with an old toothbrush and then replacing my old DME with a new DME from RPM MOTORSPORT....

But how exactly can I avoid this issue happening AGAIN in the future besides the slit in the wiring tube?

Am I supposed to replace the t-stat entirely as well?
If the housing is known to leak, why doesnt BMW have an answer to this?
basically, is this type of sh*t unavoidable (tstat melting) ?
Yes, you need a new t-stat housing. The leak isn't that common. In the last 12 years I've had my E39 and been on these boards I think I've only seen 3 or 4 of these problems. More common is the heater shorts out and burns up the wiring all the way back to the DME as well as blowing the fuse.

Boiling (or close to it) water will clean up the connector. I'd also use some alcohol to help absorb the water after you have cleaned it. Let is dry for at least a day or more before you plug it back together and power things up.
You will most likely have to do the same thing for the DME connector.
Have you opened up the DME to see if it's toast inside too?
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  #42  
Old 05-30-2012, 01:49 PM
766jack 766jack is offline
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Ok your attached picture is of the entire Thermostat right?
Do I need to buy a new thermostat or buy new housing? im not sure exactly where the housing is in relation to the t-stat..

could you tell me where I can find this in my car and take a look at it?

as far as the DME, I have not opened it up, no... should i?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
Yes, you need a new t-stat housing. The leak isn't that common. In the last 12 years I've had my E39 and been on these boards I think I've only seen 3 or 4 of these problems. More common is the heater shorts out and burns up the wiring all the way back to the DME as well as blowing the fuse.

Boiling (or close to it) water will clean up the connector. I'd also use some alcohol to help absorb the water after you have cleaned it. Let is dry for at least a day or more before you plug it back together and power things up.
You will most likely have to do the same thing for the DME connector.
Have you opened up the DME to see if it's toast inside too?
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  #43  
Old 05-30-2012, 02:19 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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When you buy the t-stat you get what is in the pic I posted above, the t-stat and housing come as one piece.
It mounts here and the lower radiator hose connects to it.
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  #44  
Old 05-30-2012, 02:33 PM
766jack 766jack is offline
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Hey Jim, excellent pics, very helpful... but where is this exactly? is this shot taken from top or from underneath the car?

Can I do this job myself? Do I need any special tools to remove and replace?

How much does this part cost around?

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Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
When you buy the t-stat you get what is in the pic I posted above, the t-stat and housing come as one piece.
It mounts here and the lower radiator hose connects to it.
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  #45  
Old 05-30-2012, 03:04 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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A 10 mm socket is needed to remove the t-stat.
Pic is taken from the front top with the MAF and intake tube removed.
You will need to bleed the cooling system after replacing the t-stat.
Do you have a Bentley manual? If not you should get one, it's worth it's weight in gold if you are going to DIY.
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  #46  
Old 05-31-2012, 11:18 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Can someone take a video or photo and show me what wire/hose is the one that somehow draws coolant all the way up to the DME....??
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  #47  
Old 06-01-2012, 08:10 AM
766jack 766jack is offline
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Hi I posted pics before but dont know what happened to them. I will re-post them again for you as soon as I get home later today bro. i was flabbergasted myself when I heard about this crap...

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Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
Can someone take a video or photo and show me what wire/hose is the one that somehow draws coolant all the way up to the DME....??
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  #48  
Old 06-01-2012, 09:25 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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More specifically, not the DME, but THE PATH the coolant takes to get to the DME
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  #49  
Old 06-01-2012, 12:34 PM
766jack 766jack is offline
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Ok I will be doing more investigating so I'll take a bunch of pics

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More specifically, not the DME, but THE PATH the coolant takes to get to the DME
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  #50  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:11 AM
borahatch borahatch is offline
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Any updates?
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