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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 03-01-2011, 02:25 PM
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doru doru is offline
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What's the wheel bearings life expectancy?

In normal driving, no tracking.
What is a realistic mileage for them assuming you have no duds?
I have no issues now, but I am curious at what mileage to look out for?
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2011, 02:33 PM
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530iman 530iman is offline
03 540i now
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Mein Auto: 2003 bmw 540i E39
I replaced my fronts at 155,000 when the right started to make noise I think the rears have been replaced
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  #3  
Old 03-01-2011, 04:38 PM
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bcbp14 bcbp14 is offline
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The front bearing on my 99 528i lasted until 160k, rears are just fine at 195k.
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  #4  
Old 03-01-2011, 05:38 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 530 Sport Twins
i guess 150-200k miles as a minimum

my cars dont have this kind of issue at ~100k miles

Last edited by champaign777; 03-01-2011 at 05:41 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2011, 09:27 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
I gotta have more cowbell
Location: Thousand Oaks CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
My left rear failed at 200k. Others ok
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  #6  
Old 03-02-2011, 07:44 AM
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doru doru is offline
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OK, thanks guys.
Some other cars have bearings that fail close to the 100 k mark, some sooner. Other car makes last about 150 k.
So it's fair to say that our wheel bearings are good quality and will last 150 - 200k miles?
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2011, 08:15 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Mein Auto: 99 528iA
Zeckhausen says to replace them preventatively around 80k in his brake DIY. I'm thinking 150k miles would be a better number though.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2011, 11:02 AM
Pensioner Pensioner is offline
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You guys are scaring me. My car has now done 211k and I have never even looked at it. Brake rotor and discs last about 75k. It pays also not to race from red light to the next red light.
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2011, 11:49 AM
540nj 540nj is offline
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My front bearings both went before 70K miles, maybe because 540 is heavier? Also I like to push the limit on sweepers...

My indy says cars that track regularly need frequent bearing replacement.

dave
03 540i6
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2011, 06:11 PM
helpmyfive helpmyfive is offline
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I bet the life depends GREATLY on proper alignment. Even 1 degree off and you are putting continual pressure on them.
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2011, 07:45 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
I gotta have more cowbell
Location: Thousand Oaks CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by 540nj View Post
My front bearings both went before 70K miles, maybe because 540 is heavier? Also I like to push the limit on sweepers...

My indy says cars that track regularly need frequent bearing replacement.

dave
03 540i6
+1 I think the front bearings will last longer if not a lot of fast tight turns. My car has 220K miles and the front bearings have no play.

I had to replace my driver's side (left) rear at 200K but not the right rear. My theory is that cars make more tight right turns then left ones, like at intersections. When my rear bearing went, it went from "Hmm I hear a noise" to "I need to replace that" in a period of about 4wks driving.
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2011, 07:57 PM
ElwoodBlues ElwoodBlues is offline
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I think mine have been questionable since I bought the car at 130K.

I'm not 100% sure its bearings, but the front left has a definite change in tone depending on steering. (Straight = some noise, left turn = less noise, right turn = more noise) Back seat passengers think there is excessive noise from the rears, but I suppose that could be the differential also? Tried to inspect them all but couldn't find anything conclusive.
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2011, 09:11 PM
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bricas45 bricas45 is offline
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Mein Auto: '01 540i6, '94 325is
My fronts failed at just under 120k on my 540
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2011, 09:23 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
I gotta have more cowbell
Location: Thousand Oaks CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElwoodBlues View Post
I think mine have been questionable since I bought the car at 130K.

I'm not 100% sure its bearings, but the front left has a definite change in tone depending on steering. (Straight = some noise, left turn = less noise, right turn = more noise) Back seat passengers think there is excessive noise from the rears, but I suppose that could be the differential also? Tried to inspect them all but couldn't find anything conclusive.
As diagnosis, on my rear left bearing the noise would go away if I made the slightest turn to the left, takes the load off the left. I think in advanced case of front bearing wear, a high turn will push the rotor and when you brake there's a little delay as the caliper piston pushes back onto the rotor. I did a write up when I changed my rear bearing, can do search.
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  #15  
Old 09-27-2013, 06:53 PM
Jim Scott Jim Scott is offline
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137K on my 2009 335i and I seem to be hearing a little humming. I'm just looking at the blog wondering...bearings or brakes. I know I'm due for front pads and maybe rotors. Any sure fire ways to tell?
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  #16  
Old 09-27-2013, 07:24 PM
mucho mucho is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 528i and 2012 X5
What's the wheel bearings life expectancy?

My 99 528i at 181k and drive the canyons every day (65 miles round trip) and still going strong.


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  #17  
Old 09-28-2013, 12:10 PM
dvdlkd dvdlkd is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528
I just replace my front bearings at 263k miles (97 528). They were still tight (no play) but they were dry. I could hear the roller ball bearings clicking over the top when the brake caliper was removed for brake pad replacment.when The rear bearings are still original. ZBOT, if you get back to this thread, what indications told you your right rear wheel bearing was going bad?
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