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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 07-05-2012, 09:34 AM
Tim McLean Tim McLean is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 540i
2001 540i air pump

my car failed air care. The codes were P0491 /P0492 (Air system insufficient flow bank 1&2
Can anyone direct me to a good site to purchase an Air pump?
thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2012, 09:42 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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May not be the pump; could be the valve. You need to examine the system, which is behind the right front fender liner.

Search here for more info.

"air care?"
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2012, 10:14 AM
Tim McLean Tim McLean is offline
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Thanks, Air Care is a Government Agency that requires vehicle to be inspected prior to receiving insurance. The pump was becoming very loud and then shutting down after a few min. of warming up. The it stopped making the noise and is not coming on now, so pretty good suspicion it is the pump.
thanks for your help.

My car also has that problem with the LED dash board gauges where there are lines coming on and going off, I understand that to be a common problem? I have only owned this car for one year.. thanks
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2012, 10:16 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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The SAP is very pricey ($400+). Better to find a used one. And as Edjack says, make sure of what is the problem before attempting a fix. It could be as simple as the vacuum line to the SAP valve has cracked, preventing enough vacuum from opening the valve. Listen for the pump to start up a a COLD start. It should run for 90 seconds or so. If you don't hear it, check the fuses. If you hear it, the problem is elsewhere (valve, vacuum pump, etc.)
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2012, 10:26 AM
Tim McLean Tim McLean is offline
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Thanks for the information, will check out the vacuum lines to ensure that is the problem.
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2012, 11:49 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Your latest post seems to pretty well characterize the sounds made by a dying SAP pump. Remember to replace your SAP valve as well as the pump. A failing valve allows exhaust gas to backflow into the pump. Those gases condense into water, which drain into the pump which cause bearing/shaft corrosion (those loud pump noises) which then eventually kills the pump. This is the most likely culprit for your pump failure.
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2012, 12:00 PM
Tim McLean Tim McLean is offline
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Thanks for the extra information I appreciate. I found a pump which i believe is correct (Pierburg airpump) at "The Parts Bin.com" price is $301.95 does that sound correct?
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  #8  
Old 07-05-2012, 03:03 PM
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Topaz540i Topaz540i is offline
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Try pelicanparts.com they usually seem to have the best pricing.

A member here created furiousmethod.com which will actually comparison shop for you if you know the part number.
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  #9  
Old 07-05-2012, 04:45 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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AutohausAZ has it for $297. Don't forget the valve!!!!
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2012, 09:43 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Is the Vacuum Check Valve serviceable?
Can you clean it to extend its life?
http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...03&hg=11&fg=45
#1 on the Real OEM diagram:


Thanks!
Jason
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2012, 04:58 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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JimLev has done it. I believed he soaked in something that will remove carbon deposits. I just replaced mine for the first time at 103K. After the cost of everything else, better safe, than sorry. My previous e39 spit out four SAPs in 45K! Why? Who knows? This one has been troublefree for 40K so I want to keep it that way.
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2012, 05:31 AM
WDRAcing WDRAcing is offline
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What causes the code to be thrown? By that I mean, can I install a resistor between the SAP and the ECU to prevent the failure signal from reaching the ECU and throwing the code? Then I could disable the system. Not that I need to, I just like knowing I can. I'm all about deleting unnecessary items from the motor.

AFAIK, the air pump just helps the cat's light off faster during initial warm-up. Not much function after that though.

Am I off base here?
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2012, 08:19 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDRAcing View Post
What causes the code to be thrown? By that I mean, can I install a resistor between the SAP and the ECU to prevent the failure signal from reaching the ECU and throwing the code? Then I could disable the system. Not that I need to, I just like knowing I can. I'm all about deleting unnecessary items from the motor.

AFAIK, the air pump just helps the cat's light off faster during initial warm-up. Not much function after that though.

Am I off base here?
You are spot on. However, many have tried and none have succeeded, to my knowledge. By having a SAP pump simulator, you might in theory, fool the computer to thinking it is fired up for the 60 seconds at cold start. Once it shuts down, it becomes deadweight. However, noone is completely sure how the entire system works. If the computer is receiving signals from the pre or post cats that there is insufficient air in the exhaust system, then a SAP simulator would not work.

All in all, this is a better approach than exhaust gas recirculation. My old Lancia used EGR to reduce emissions. My old Italian mechanic used to say "How fast could you run if you had a tube stuck in your ass and it went into your mouth?" He removed my EGR.
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  #14  
Old 07-06-2012, 08:29 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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at Fudman's comments....!

Thanks!
I found Jim's thread:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=624461

Good Stuff...!

I am going to clean the Air Check Valve this weekend...!

Thanks!
Jason
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2012, 12:35 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
JimLev has done it. I believed he soaked in something that will remove carbon deposits. I just replaced mine for the first time at 103K. After the cost of everything else, better safe, than sorry. My previous e39 spit out four SAPs in 45K! Why? Who knows? This one has been troublefree for 40K so I want to keep it that way.
+1, OP, get yourself a new valve and protect your new air pump. Even if your current valve works, consider it preventive maintenance. At around 35k miles, my valve stuck open and took out the air pump. Fortunately under warranty. Dealer replaced pump, valve, some vacuum lines and seals.
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  #16  
Old 07-06-2012, 02:15 PM
WDRAcing WDRAcing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
My old Italian mechanic used to say "How fast could you run if you had a tube stuck in your ass and it went into your mouth?" He removed my EGR.
That gave me a good laugh
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  #17  
Old 07-10-2012, 06:51 AM
sipde sipde is offline
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Mein Auto: 540i
I just went through this on my '02. When the valve is bad it lets water back into the pump and the pump locks up. If you don't replace the valve I'm guessing you will go through pumps
pretty quick. Oh, and when the pump locks up it most likely takes out the #107 50 amp fuse. That was fun to track down..It is under the passenger seat. After replacing the pump, the valve and the fuse I had to drive about 300 miles before the monitors would reset so I could get the car inspected here in NY.
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