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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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  #1  
Old 03-21-2013, 12:27 PM
rtl1369 rtl1369 is offline
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Location: Stokesdale, North Carolina
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: 2001 530 sport
Inconsistent interior heat - slight antifreeze smell

Hi,

2001 530 125,000 miles. Replaced the cooling system 5,000 miles ago. My interior heat is inconsistent. At times hot air blowing from the driver side only, then cools down to barley warm. Recently noticed a very slight antifreeze smell, but no slimy interior windows or other evidence. Car runs at normal operating temp, has not overheated.

No leaks after being parked. My thought is the heater core is going bad. Called my local shop and they said heater core is very uncommon, and probably something else.

Advice to help diagnose much appreciated. Any helpful links to change out a heater core, if turns out to be the problem.

Thanks

Tim
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2013, 12:36 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9,065
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Damp carpets? Does the coolant level drop? Intermittent heat can signal air in the system, which can enter via leaks.

Heater core failure on the E39 is very rare, except for those cars not properly maintained.
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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.
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