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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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Old 01-09-2013, 02:28 PM
DomS DomS is offline
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Location: New Zealand
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Mein Auto: BMW 2002 (E39) 530i
Are these considered to be serious problems?

Hello everyone at the Bimmerfest community.

I am new to this community! I look forward to getting familiar with this forum and learning about BMW's.

I have just purchased my first Bimmer, a 2002 530i. I've never owned a BMW in the past so this will be a new experience for me. I love the car but it's been a shaky start.

I purchased the BMW a week ago. I brought the car to an authorized BMW dealer in my area because I noticed the oil service was due (should have really been done at the dealers before sale), and the service engine soon (canadian models only [according to manual]) orange light turned on (looks like an orange outline of an engine).

Unfortunately, to my horror, BMW have found problems with my car while performing the oil service:
-minor oil leak rocker cover gasket
-Solenoid valve faulty to be replaced: apparently causing service engine soon light to come on.
-Leak in coolant expansion tank
-Apparent large crack in radiator? - being fixed, don't know much about this particular problem.

Under the consumers' guarantees act in NZ, I am lucky that the car dealer is now legally obliged to pay for the repairs on my car. It's getting done at a "european car specialist", not at BMW themselves. I'll be taking it back to BMW to make sure they've done a good job of the repairs.

Information about car:
-1 Japanese owner, NZ new

My question to experienced BMW owners here: Are these fairly common problems or are they serious problems? I hope I haven't acquired a lemon?

Any thoughts on what I should look out for, any advice at all?

Thank you very much.

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:40 PM
E36 Phantom's Avatar
E36 Phantom E36 Phantom is online now
I Am The Machine
Location: Somewhere Between The Valley & The Bay
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Posts: 20,930
Mein Auto: Dreier, Fünfer & Siebener

Those are incredibly minor problems, and very common. Neither difficult not expensive to fix them, so just enjoy the car!

You will find BMWs take more tlc than Asian cars to keep in top shape, but you're amply rewarded when you drive it.

Sent from my LG Revolution 4G using BimmerApp
// Chad //
// 2006 BMW 330i Sport 6MT // 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid //
// 1997 Range Rover 4.0 // 1994 Range Rover Classic //
// 1997 Land Rover Discovery // 1998 Land Rover Discovery //
// 2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 // 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250 //
// 1999 Chevy Tahoe //
Ok...this is getting ridiculous. Someone come buy a few of these things.

Originally Posted by SlimKlim View Post
You're a derbanana
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:50 PM
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King 5 King 5 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 528i
Typical e39 cooling system

1997 BMW 528ia 2/97

2004 BMW 330ci 4/03

2008 BMW 335i 3/08
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:32 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Welcome to the 'Fest. These are routine issues. You have a great car that will give you years of exceptional driving experience if you take care of it.

Do you plan to perform the service on this car yourself or send it out? Search this forum as it has virtually every DIY service you could need. The procedures are well documented with photos. For problem diagnosis, search this forum too. It is a great resource. Good Luck!
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:53 PM
NZ BMW NZ BMW is offline
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All common, my car has had all of these repaired. Except the valve which it is going in next week to have sorted.

I would advise that you replace the rest of the cooling system as well as mine started to fail bit by bit until I did all of it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:18 PM
DomS DomS is offline
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Location: New Zealand
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Mein Auto: BMW 2002 (E39) 530i
+1 on the cooling system. Mind you, I've read that 100,000 miles is around the time for it to be replaced... 90,000kms too soon?

Last edited by DomS; 01-09-2013 at 11:19 PM.
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