Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-20-2012, 11:09 AM
Darren1231 Darren1231 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 212
Mein Auto: 2001 e39 525i
Just turned over 143,000 miles!

Bought her with 80k flat! It's been a journey that I hope to be apart of for years down the road! Any way the point of this thread isn't to just give a status update. In aware the lot of you don't care lol. Anyway I'm wondering where I find service info. No service records are available from when I bought her at 80k miles but all I have had to do is change the thermostat last month. Got me wondering what other precautionary things I should do to keep her running forever. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 06-20-2012, 11:55 AM
Fudman's Avatar
Fudman Fudman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sudbury, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,238
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Replace your cooling system. NOW!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-20-2012, 12:04 PM
dunne44 dunne44 is offline
Banned
Location: mass
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 268
Mein Auto: 540i6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Replace your cooling system. NOW!


Im doing mine soon. It seems pretty easy to do yourself in a weekend. Saving me 500 in labor

Last edited by dunne44; 06-20-2012 at 12:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-20-2012, 06:19 PM
Darren1231 Darren1231 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 212
Mein Auto: 2001 e39 525i
You mean more than the thermostat? Like radiator as well? Say btw anyone know anything about electric fan upgrade oppose to the belted factory one?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-20-2012, 06:41 PM
Fudman's Avatar
Fudman Fudman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sudbury, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,238
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
I mean radiator, water pump, thermostat, expansion tank, belts, idler pulleys, tensioners, etc. Any one of these can fail and cripple your car. About $650 in parts and 4-6 hrs labor. I just did mine a few weekends ago at 102K. The single most important thing you can do to preserve vehicle reliability. This should not be considered preventive maintenance. It is required maintenance as all evidence indicates a cooling system is on borrowed time after 100K.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-20-2012, 07:07 PM
Darren1231 Darren1231 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 212
Mein Auto: 2001 e39 525i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I mean radiator, water pump, thermostat, expansion tank, belts, idler pulleys, tensioners, etc. Any one of these can fail and cripple your car. About $650 in parts and 4-6 hrs labor. I just did mine a few weekends ago at 102K. The single most important thing you can do to preserve vehicle reliability. This should not be considered preventive maintenance. It is required maintenance as all evidence indicates a cooling system is on borrowed time after 100K.
I have been hearing a lot about a metal water pump upgrade, supposed to be the most durable pump for the M54 motor. Any ideas what that is all about? I was actually thinking about replacing my tensioners because I was screwed on my previous vehicle when my timing tensioner failed and I needed a head job. I won't let that happen again!!!! Is this all some thing I should do right away or is it cool to do little by little? And what do I do with the good parts? E
eBay and try to get some sort of return on my investment? Lol
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-21-2012, 05:19 AM
Fudman's Avatar
Fudman Fudman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sudbury, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,238
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
There are multiple WPs with metal impellers (Graf, HEPU, etc.). Stewart is considered the gold standard of WPs. However, most folks don't think it is worth the 3X-4X cost differential. Especially if you preemptively replace your WP at set intervals. SomeWP failure modes are pump blade failures. If you do a search, I believe most WP failures are related to bearing degradation.

Used cooling system parts are worthless, at least to any knowledgeable person. Thay can be kept in your boneyard of used parts, in case you suffer premature component failure during normal use. The average lifecycle of an M54 cooling system is probably more than 100K. Some folks recommend system replacement as low as 80K, some over 100K. Most failures appear to occur in the 120K-150K range.

The bottom line is that any one component can fail, at any time, which can cause complete failure of the system (e.g. your previous tensioner issue). Since you cannot predict which component will fail, you should replace all components. This maximizes vehicle reliability. And your peace of mind.

The opposing school of thought, which minimizes cost, is to be ever vigilant regarding operating temps and system integrity. This approach replaces failed components at the first sign of failure. Watch your temp gage like a hawk and look for any signs of coolant leakage. However, that approach will likely leave you stranded by the side of the road at some point. And unless you replace it all, you MUST remain vigilant for the life of your car.

I personally want to enjoy my driving experience. I want to have maximum confidence in my vehicle, which I do. Since the cost of cooling system parts (~$650) is not excessive, I chose to replace it all. DIY will save you over $400-$500 in labor (labor rates here are $120+/hr). Others may say that $650 is a LOT of money. It is. But then again, these are BMWs and not Hondas. If you want a cheap ride, get a cheap car. If you want a premium ride, you must pay the price. I have spent an average of less than $700/year over 4.5 years, mostly for preventative maintenance. I find that to be a tolerable cost for driving the Ultimate Driving Machine.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-21-2012, 07:35 AM
Nline6's Avatar
Nline6 Nline6 is offline
Slip slidin around town
Location: Portland, OR
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,344
Mein Auto: E36 M3
I just picked up a 528it with 90k on it, drove from Seattle back to Portland and that drive created enough stress (car was parked in the garage for quite a white) to spring a tel tail crack in the upper neck of the radiator. That leak was just the tip of the issue because a day later the entire neck snapped off. I was planning on doing a cooling system overhaul anyways, but the car let me know I couldnt procrastinate any longer. Listen to words of wisdome when you hear people say that 80k+ is barrowed time for the cooling system. I replaced the radiator, t stat/housing, water pump (mine was a original BMW with a stainless impeller) and the hoses and expansion tank. Took me a few hundred bucks and a afternoon of my time. Reward? piece of mind.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-21-2012, 08:23 AM
Fudman's Avatar
Fudman Fudman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sudbury, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,238
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
I think that people need to consider both age and mileage, as well as engine type and risk tolerance when determining the proper change intervals. I don't think there is any clear formula to calculate the appropriate change interval. If your car is over 10-12 years old, you should definitely be changing at intervals below 100K. But if you are a high mileage driver, you can probably go on the higher side of 100K. Clearly, the V8s requires a shorter change interval because of higher engine compartment heat. Since some folks stay closer to home, the risk of being stranded is somewhat mitigated by proximity. Long distance drivers are at greater risk for more severe consequences should they get stranded hundereds of miles away from home. Ultimately, everyone needs to make the choice. My personal view is: Learn from others instead of being a lesson to others.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-21-2012, 08:59 AM
tmvE39/E53/Z32's Avatar
tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Seattle --> Atlanta
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,884
Mein Auto: 03 540, 06 E53 4.8, Z32TT
^Listen to one of the best advisor/contributor on this forum.
__________________

FS 2001 ///M5
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=791509
2000 Dinan S1 //M5 (my DD) 06 DINAN E53 4.8iS (wife's DD), 90 Straman Z32TT (my pride & joy ride)

Gone, but not forgotten: 01 E53 3.0i, 01 525i Sport, 03 DINAN 540i MSport and 91 Z32TwinTurbo
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-21-2012, 10:20 AM
1BADBM's Avatar
1BADBM 1BADBM is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Providence RI
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 329
Mein Auto: 530i
Fudman is giving you good advice! I bought mine 6yrs ago with 74,000 miles, today I have 167,000 miles. Once you do the necessary service and keep up with maintenance she will treat you well.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-21-2012, 10:35 AM
Darren1231 Darren1231 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 212
Mein Auto: 2001 e39 525i
You guys have good automotive philosophy and I'm going to do the replacement probably this weekend. The only problem I have is where to find the part numbers so I get exactly what I need. BMW has too many variants of the exact same parts and I want to make sure I'm handling it with out getting the run around and avoiding the cluster f**ks. I'm sort if looking for an itemized list of sorts.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-21-2012, 10:46 AM
harryhchen harryhchen is offline
Registered User
Location: California
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 78
Mein Auto: 2001 325i / 2002 530i
I just replaced the cooling system for my son's 325i (E46) and will do the same for my 530i (auto). There is a transmission thermostat (for auto only) sitting under the expansion tank for E46 which often break when taking the expansion tank out. I have never seen people mentioning that for E39s. Do we have that thermostat? thanks.

Last edited by harryhchen; 06-21-2012 at 10:47 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-21-2012, 10:55 AM
NoWayJose's Avatar
NoWayJose NoWayJose is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: RI
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 779
Mein Auto: 00 528ia Sport
the best place for oem parts other then the dealer
http://www.autohausaz.com/
and great prices!!
__________________
00 BMW 528ia Sport
M5 F+R Bumpers, M5 Mirrors with OEM setup, M5 rear sway bar, Cluster Rings, 03 Business player with AUX input, HID fogs slim, OEM 01+ Hella headlights, Euro Lens, EAC Aluminum Adjusters, FX-R low beam retrofit, Umnitza Orion halos, Hella Euro Celis Retrofit Kit, Koni yellow shocks with H&R Sport Springs, 19" M6 Reps, Full LEDs.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-21-2012, 11:50 AM
johnstern's Avatar
johnstern johnstern is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Cape Neddick, Maine
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,008
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 528iT/5, S/C
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren1231 View Post
You guys have good automotive philosophy and I'm going to do the replacement probably this weekend. The only problem I have is where to find the part numbers so I get exactly what I need. BMW has too many variants of the exact same parts and I want to make sure I'm handling it with out getting the run around and avoiding the cluster f**ks. I'm sort if looking for an itemized list of sorts.
The place to get the correct parts (& part numbers) for your car is www.realoem.com. You enter the last 7 digits of your vin and go from there. The site takes some 'getting used to' as far as layout and the way BMW categorizes their parts, but the learning curve is not steep.

As far as a list of what you should replace, go to 'Wiki' at the top right of the forum pages and you'll find that list.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-21-2012, 12:19 PM
Fudman's Avatar
Fudman Fudman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sudbury, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,238
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Go to RealOEM.com and input your VIN. Then go to the section 11 Engine, and then subsection 35 Engine Cooling and subsection 18 Belt Drive system. These diagrams identify the exact parts and part numbers you will need.

Behr is the OEM alternator. Nissens is an acceptible non-OEM alternative. The Zionsville is the Stewart equivalent of the radiator.
Behr is the OEM expansion tank. Get yours from the dealer. Accept no substitutes. Do a search for why.
HEPU and Graf are acceptable non-OEM water puimp alternatives.
The pulleys and tensioners should stay OEM (Ina). I have a spare new hydraulic tensioner left at a great price. PM me, if interested.
Belts should be a name brand (e.g. Conti).
Hoses can be any brand.
Use BMW antifreeze (dealer).

Last edited by Fudman; 06-21-2012 at 06:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-21-2012, 05:18 PM
Darren1231 Darren1231 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 212
Mein Auto: 2001 e39 525i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Go to RealOEM.com and input your VIN. Then go to the section 11 Engine, and then subsection 35 Engine Cooling and subsection 18 Belt Drive system. These diagrams identify the exact parts and part numbers you will need.

Behr is the OEM alternator. Nissens is an acceptible non-OEM alternative. The Zionsville is the Stewart equivalent of the radiator.
Behr is the OEM expansion tank. Get yours from the dealer. Accept no substitutes. Do a search for why.
HEPU and Graf are acceptable non-OEM water puimp alternatives.
The pulleys and tensioners should stay OEM (Uro?). I have a spare new hydraulic tensioner left at a great price. PM me, if interested.
Belts should be a name brand (e.g. Conti).
Hoses can be any brand.
Use BMW antifreeze (dealer).
I may take you up on that tensioner! My god you are an extremely helpful person!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-21-2012, 06:01 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: in my mind
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 955
Mein Auto: 2001 530i (E39) 140k
Enter the part number at www.furiousmethod.com to find the best price.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-21-2012, 06:26 PM
Fudman's Avatar
Fudman Fudman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sudbury, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,238
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Furiousmethod.com is a great way to shop for best price but some parts must be OEM and for many others, it is important to get a reputable brand. The biggest mistake is to buy cheap parts, pay an Indy to install them and then have to pay again to replace the cheap part. The expansion tank must absolutely positively be OEM (Behr made in Germany) A huge number of Behr tanks, made in China, failing prematurely.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms