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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 07-22-2016, 11:58 PM
03-525iBMW 03-525iBMW is offline
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Rough idling

My 2003 525I has been idling roughfor bout two days. I thought maybe I had put bad gas n pumped some high octane gas from shell but the problem continued. I had a diagnostic test done at autozone n they said my #5 spark plug needed replaced. I plan on replacing all 6 but I ordered the plugs online so for the mean time I bought the 1 plug to replace the #5 till the plugs come. Also prior to this I had no check engine light but now it's on. I had no clue which plug was #5 so I did a lil research online n seen that the plug underneath the oil cap is #2 so the 2nd to last towards the windshield must be #5 n replaced it w the recommended spark plug from autozone. Still the car idles the same. Were did I go wrong? 1st beemer I ever owned n first car i ever worked on . Can someone plz help. Am I suppose to reset something? Any advice is good.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2016, 12:07 AM
edjack edjack is online now
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Beemers are motorcycles, and, as such, have two cylinders.

Bimmers, OTOH, can have many more cylinders. The 525i has six cylinders. Number 1 is at the front of the engine, and number 6 is at the rear.

Get the codes read again, and report back.
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2016, 12:42 AM
03-525iBMW 03-525iBMW is offline
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So then I did replace the correct spark plug but the car still runs the same. I replaced the #5 cuz thats what the autozone diagnostic said to replace. Was I suppose to do anything else? Like unplug the negative post on the batteryvor something for a reset on the check engine light? But like I said the car still idles rough. Am I suppose to let it run awhile....idk.....
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  #4  
Old 07-23-2016, 12:44 AM
03-525iBMW 03-525iBMW is offline
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By the way thanks for clearing the bimmer n beemer thing. Save me some confusion in the future
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2016, 04:40 AM
BennyT BennyT is online now
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Move your #5 ignition coil to another cylinder and have the codes read. Sounds like you might have a bad coil. If that one's bad, the cylinder misfire code will follow it. While you probably could benefit from a plug change, I kinda doubt that's your problem.
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2016, 08:29 AM
03-525iBMW 03-525iBMW is offline
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Thank you man. Bout to get on that rite away
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2016, 10:59 PM
03-525iBMW 03-525iBMW is offline
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Had the codes read again n now it said for me to clean my fuel system. The guy at autozone suggested I use chevron complete fuel system cleaner w techron n I went to a chevron station n filled her up w the most expensive gas they had. They car ran a lil better n has more power of course butvthe idle is still a lil rough. Only in park though or at redlights. On the freeway she runs just fine. But the autozone guy insisted that I had to unplug the battery for a good while n that would reset the codes for the spark plug. Like I mentioned before idk much about engines. So is that true or is he full of it lol.
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  #8  
Old 07-23-2016, 11:00 PM
03-525iBMW 03-525iBMW is offline
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Like I said at the moment the car runs good just has that rough idle. Starts right up just fine though
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2016, 03:45 PM
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mattmar1 mattmar1 is offline
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did you swap the coils and see what the codes said?lots of things can cause a rough idle, vac leak etc. i dont know of a code that says "clean the fuel system" what you need to see is a Pxxxx code to help pinpoint.
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  #10  
Old 07-25-2016, 06:10 AM
hbluthi hbluthi is offline
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FYI, auto store guys shouldn't give you any advice. If they do, don't take it. They told you spark plug, next they would've told you the coil, then the fuel filter, then this and that.



What was the code that came up when they scanned? P0305?
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  #11  
Old 07-25-2016, 08:26 AM
edjack edjack is online now
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Worn VANOS seals can cause a rough idle: www.beisansystems.com.

Rather than running arouind having the codes red, buy your own scan tool. You'll also avoid misleading AutoZone diagnoses.
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Last edited by edjack; 07-25-2016 at 08:28 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2016, 09:52 AM
MKJS MKJS is offline
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The Chevron fuel system cleaner (bout $12.00) has a very good reputation. The Chevron gasoline will take much, much longer to clean your fuel system.

Replace all your spark plugs, check your coils and also wouldn't hurt look for any possible vacuum leaks. Those little rubber hoses tend to break down over time and cause immense problems.

Jim
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  #13  
Old 07-25-2016, 10:17 AM
andlloyd andlloyd is offline
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Had similar sounding problem on my E39 and it was ignition coil on one of the cylinders.
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  #14  
Old 07-26-2016, 12:24 PM
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Normdude Normdude is offline
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Check for vacuum leaks. Mine was running rough. I spent six bucks on new hoses and it's run on so nice now.
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2016, 09:04 PM
03-525iBMW 03-525iBMW is offline
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Thanks everyone I will be attempting all the advice given here to fix the rough idle. Car still runnin great though. Drove it store today. :-)
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  #16  
Old 07-27-2016, 05:43 PM
HolyToledo HolyToledo is offline
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It would help to get a specific code and go from there. You probably had a misfire in #5, but you might want to investigate what caused the misfire?
Many problems are caused just by vacuum leaks. Even if you think the car runs great now, it could run even better.
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  #17  
Old 08-22-2016, 02:28 PM
03-525iBMW 03-525iBMW is offline
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New plugs n coil packs n now its running so good :-) also no vacuum leaks, and now no check engine light. Thank you everyone
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  #18  
Old 08-22-2016, 04:08 PM
hbluthi hbluthi is offline
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If I'm not mistaken coils either work or do not work (completely dead cylinder) whereas spark plugs can have a weak spark, causing roughness from different weaknesses of sparks from plug to plug). I'd be surprised if your coils were bad.

BUT, glad you got it running like it should! Feels nice doesn't it.
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  #19  
Old 08-22-2016, 04:35 PM
03-525iBMW 03-525iBMW is offline
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I replaced the plugs n they it still idled rough n I already had checked for vacuum leaks n there were none so I was told to start car n disconnect coil one at a time till I heard a change n idling to find the bad one if one, I did n I found only one coil that did not make a diff like it was doin nothin lol so I replaced just that one w a $30 coil from part store n ran just fine.
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  #20  
Old 08-22-2016, 04:37 PM
03-525iBMW 03-525iBMW is offline
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And yes it does feel good to see no check engine light lol. Real good :-)
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  #21  
Old 08-25-2016, 06:57 PM
hbluthi hbluthi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03-525iBMW View Post
I replaced the plugs n they it still idled rough n I already had checked for vacuum leaks n there were none so I was told to start car n disconnect coil one at a time till I heard a change n idling to find the bad one if one, I did n I found only one coil that did not make a diff like it was doin nothin lol so I replaced just that one w a $30 coil from part store n ran just fine.
very good my friend
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  #22  
Old 08-25-2016, 09:03 PM
03-525iBMW 03-525iBMW is offline
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Thank u its a great feeling when ur car runs great again :-)
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  #23  
Old 08-27-2016, 09:28 AM
vpower1989 vpower1989 is offline
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I agree with the guys mentioning to get a code reader. I got a Creator one on Ebay for 50 bucks or something. Thing is great. I had a rough idle and ticking noise. Code said I had some misfires in my cylinders and something about high gas to air ratio ( can't remember wording). Anyway did some research and it was the DISA valve which was a very simple fix.

Also used the thing to troubleshoot my wheel speed sensors. Definitely a worthwhile investment if you plan on keeping your bimmer for a while.
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