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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 11-25-2012, 05:02 AM
crj10536 crj10536 is offline
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Location: new york
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 2003 540i
new bmw owner

Good morning all:

I just purchased my first BMW......a 2003 540.....I have only driven it for 25 miles and so far I love it.

I generally do my own work and am looking to purchase a service manual for it. Any suggestions on a source for a good service manual?

First question is about the headlight ballast (ignitor). My drivers side low beam is intermittent and the previous mechanic suggested that the ignitor is on its way out.

Thoughts from anyone would be helpful before I tap into this repair....

Also, I live in new york, an hour north of the city.....Any suggestions for a source of used BMW parts?

Best Regards

Chris
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2012, 06:52 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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Location: Ontario, Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,100
Mein Auto: 530i 2003
Bentley publishes a paper manual @ around $100. Check Amazon, eBay, etc.
This online link for factory service manual (TIS) and wiring diagrams (WDS)
http://spaghetticoder.org/
WDS and TIS can also be found on the internet, downloaded and installed on your computer. The downloadable TIS is more complete than the online version.

Check the best links threads here on B-fest and on B-forums for a plethora of DIYs, which are often better than the service manuals for DIY guys.

Your headlight problem could be the ignitor/ballast or the bulb. Try swapping one or other side to side to see if the problem follows the moved component.
Possible, but much less likely is an LCM (light control module) fault.

With a car new to you, there are some things you should check ASAP. The most important is probably the cooling system. See the best links for a comprehensive list.
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Regards
RDL
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2012, 05:43 AM
crj10536 crj10536 is offline
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Location: new york
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 2003 540i
thank you for the insight.....have a great day
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  #4  
Old 11-26-2012, 09:43 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9,425
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Scan Tool

You'll also need a good scan tool, one that decodes and displays the text meaning of the code, as well as clear the code. It should also have a real-time multi-line display, so you can monitor engine parameters whilst driving.

There are other systems that are laptop-based. Browse the Stickies.
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Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.

Last edited by edjack; 11-26-2012 at 09:44 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-26-2012, 01:02 PM
Reuvers Reuvers is offline
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Location: The Netherlands
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 139
Mein Auto: BMW e39 540i '97
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
You'll also need a good scan tool, one that decodes and displays the text meaning of the code, as well as clear the code. It should also have a real-time multi-line display, so you can monitor engine parameters whilst driving.

There are other systems that are laptop-based. Browse the Stickies.
I wish they made the '97 e39 with OBD 2 over here in Europe. I can only use a simple scanner on the 20 pin connector. But my OBD2 scanner with real time and i/m doesnt seem to work...
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