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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 05-09-2013, 04:36 PM
DHoffmeyer DHoffmeyer is offline
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Thumbs up Original fuel filter change at 229k

Going down my list of maintenance items for my recently acquired '99 528i, I changed my fuel filter today and was shocked to see a Feb. 1999 date stamped on the side of the original Kayser. After changing it, I noticed a very slight increase in responsiveness, but nothing overwhelming. Relieved more than anything.
I wonder if this is close to some kind of record?
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2013, 04:52 PM
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musa musa is offline
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It's possible the item was installed long after the manufacture date which is likely the date you see stamped on the item itself. The item is not necessarily the original one that came with the vehicle.

Last edited by musa; 05-09-2013 at 04:54 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-09-2013, 05:11 PM
DHoffmeyer DHoffmeyer is offline
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That is possible. All four clamps had BMW markings, one hose had a BMW mark on it, so a filter change could have been done by a dealer using a NOS Kayser/ BMW filter years later. The car is an April '99 unit. Hard to tell for sure. It seemed the gas coming out the "IN" side was fairly dirty though, so good riddance.
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  #4  
Old 05-09-2013, 05:26 PM
DHoffmeyer DHoffmeyer is offline
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The car


The BMW hose


Date stamped on the filter


New Mann and old Kayser filters
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  #5  
Old 05-09-2013, 06:15 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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I always compare fuel filters by blowing into both new and old, and observing the difference. Blow in the direction of flow.
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  #6  
Old 05-09-2013, 08:33 PM
mucho mucho is offline
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i have 99 528i 176K

i got mine brand new in 99 and still have'nt change the fuel filter, and still getting
approx 480 to 500 miles to a tank.
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  #7  
Old 05-09-2013, 09:14 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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A clogged filter has nothing to do with fuel mileage. It DOES have to do with engine performance. At some point the filter will clog up and begin limiting engine performance. If it gets bad enough, you'll need to call AAA to drag the car home.

BMW now begrudgingly allows a 100k mile service interval.
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  #8  
Old 05-10-2013, 01:43 PM
DHoffmeyer DHoffmeyer is offline
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Edjack is correct, plus anything that keeps your fuel pump from having to push fuel through a backed-up slog is worth an hour and a few bucks.
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  #9  
Old 05-10-2013, 02:52 PM
AH673000 AH673000 is online now
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My bet is it is original, and my bet is it will give us all a great insight if you cold cut it open and unfold the filter media. Mine is original ( 16) years.... 99% run on Chevron or Mobil gas .

The condition may tell you how your tank and fuel pump might look .
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2013, 05:06 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AH673000 View Post
My bet is it is original, and my bet is it will give us all a great insight if you cold cut it open and unfold the filter media. Mine is original ( 16) years.... 99% run on Chevron or Mobil gas .

The condition may tell you how your tank and fuel pump might look .

+1, it probably is original. Everyone's use is a bit different. While replacement of the filter is best done by 90k miles, if you go by statistics and the "bell shaped curve", there are extremes at each end, where a filter plugs up in 20 to 30k miles and people that can go 200k plus with no issue.

Obviously trying to test the extreme end is not advisable, as we have seen on this forum several folks who never changed their fuel filter and end up changing both the filter and expensive fuel pump at high miles, as the plugged filter took out the pump from all the strain it caused...

That would be the reason for a prudent fuel filter change every 90k to 100k to prevent fuel pump failure, as well as a plugged filter simply stranding you on the side of the road. That is why it is called "preventive maintenance".
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  #11  
Old 05-10-2013, 06:51 PM
AH673000 AH673000 is online now
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Increased Fuel filter longevity = never allowing tank to going below 1/4 full + use only quality gasoline from a tier three supplier .

Never have experienced a fuel pump or fuel filter failure in 50 years of driving ..... And the BMW filter is huge.

Filter failure is directly attributable to the owners breaking one of the above rules.

There I said it.....
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  #12  
Old 05-10-2013, 09:43 PM
AV8R4AA AV8R4AA is offline
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I always change the fuel filter on a new-to-me car.
Since the one coming out is saturated, and the new one is bone dry I always
thnk "wow I changed this just in time"
I think saturated fuel filters always seem hard to blow through.......
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  #13  
Old 05-10-2013, 09:49 PM
DHoffmeyer DHoffmeyer is offline
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Yep, well the old Kayser fuel filter is drying out so I'll eventually get it open and photograph the contents.
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  #14  
Old 05-11-2013, 05:26 AM
helpmyfive helpmyfive is offline
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I don't think mine was changed (the PO didn't do crap!) and I'm up to 274,000 now. I think I should change mine just because. If I remember to I'll post back.
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  #15  
Old 05-11-2013, 10:38 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
I always compare fuel filters by blowing into both new and old, and observing the difference. Blow in the direction of flow.
Comparison is only meaningful if both filters are dry, or wet. Wet will always be much harder to blow any air through, but waiting for the old filter to dry out completely could be a matter of weeks.
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  #16  
Old 05-11-2013, 11:09 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AH673000 View Post
Increased Fuel filter longevity = never allowing tank to going below 1/4 full + use only quality gasoline from a tier three supplier .

Never have experienced a fuel pump or fuel filter failure in 50 years of driving ..... And the BMW filter is huge.

Filter failure is directly attributable to the owners breaking one of the above rules.

There I said it.....
Top tier supplier or not, many gas stations have issues with their tanks and other variables well outside the car owner's control. I rarely have ever had my tank go below 1/4 full and rarely if ever, stray from a top tier gas supplier, but I STILL replace the fuel filter at a reasonable interval. It is hardly worth testing the limits to me. But everyone is allowed their opinion.

Seriously, never change a fuel filter? 16 years? Do you believe the filter is designed to last the "life" of the car, whatever that might be? Your sample of one is hardly definitive of your practice...and there have been more than a few threads of folks here and on bimmerforum replacing a fuel pump that had the original filter fuel filter as well (the filter did not necessarily fail, it was actually doing its job of trapping contaminants and finally plugged up and burned up the fuel pump). And filters do break down simply from age. Ever seen an oil filter that has been in service for too many years, even though the miles may not be that great? The paper breaks down...
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 05-11-2013 at 11:12 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-12-2013, 12:09 PM
AH673000 AH673000 is online now
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Ok , so I called my son ( 07-528) and asked him if he saved the gas filter he changed recently with his fuel pump.... 175k original stuff .

We cut it open . Filter had exactly zero rust , dirt , or other debris in it. What it did have was a thin coating of black powder like deposit on the paper. The paper filter was in excellent condition .

Reporting from Philadelphia ..... Changing fuel filters at 50k is bunk....
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  #18  
Old 05-12-2013, 12:49 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AH673000 View Post
Ok , so I called my son ( 07-528) and asked him if he saved the gas filter he changed recently with his fuel pump.... 175k original stuff .

We cut it open . Filter had exactly zero rust , dirt , or other debris in it. What it did have was a thin coating of black powder like deposit on the paper. The paper filter was in excellent condition .

Reporting from Philadelphia ..... Changing fuel filters at 50k is bunk....
The black coating is on the "outer" side, and I'm told it's like that new.
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  #19  
Old 05-12-2013, 01:59 PM
AH673000 AH673000 is online now
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First a typo correction... Son's car is a 1997 528i ....

Thanks for the info on the thin black powder coat on the inlet side of the filter..... Looked like activated charcoal or something.

The BMW filter media is huge..... Compared to older type gas filters it must have maybe 50 to 100 X more area.

My guess if a filter plugs it would be a singular event .... From a low volume station with old equipment or a some other one time event.

This filter was clean .... Was made in Germany.... Had BMW on it .... A date .... And was quality made. Inside was a plastic distribution baffle at the inlet... It also was spotless .... No deposits.
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  #20  
Old 05-13-2013, 12:27 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AH673000 View Post
Ok , so I called my son ( 07-528) and asked him if he saved the gas filter he changed recently with his fuel pump.... 175k original stuff .

We cut it open . Filter had exactly zero rust , dirt , or other debris in it. What it did have was a thin coating of black powder like deposit on the paper. The paper filter was in excellent condition .

Reporting from Philadelphia ..... Changing fuel filters at 50k is bunk....
Okay I agree with not changing at 50k.

I change at 90k. I am currently at 195k miles....changed at 90k and 180k. Never cut one open...the peace of mind is enough for me....
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  #21  
Old 05-13-2013, 12:36 PM
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MOPAULY MOPAULY is offline
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Original fuel filter change at 229k

I can't believe any car going that many miles on the original filter.


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  #22  
Old 10-13-2013, 07:58 PM
DHoffmeyer DHoffmeyer is offline
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Original fuel filter change at 229k

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/pic...ictureid=44320
Could have been a NOS replacement, but so much of this car is original, I think the filter was as well. Power steering pump was original. Much of the suspension is original

Last edited by DHoffmeyer; 07-13-2014 at 12:02 PM.
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  #23  
Old 10-14-2013, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MOPAULY View Post
I can't believe any car going that many miles on the original filter.


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There is about 3 feet x 10 inches of filter paper in those things. They are good for a long long time.
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  #24  
Old 10-14-2013, 07:38 AM
professorman professorman is offline
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I just added fuel filter change to my 'to-do' list. I am feeling lazy... Is there a link to instructions for filter change? Part number for replacement?
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  #25  
Old 07-20-2014, 08:26 PM
DHoffmeyer DHoffmeyer is offline
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Better much later than never on this, here's the interior of my old fuel filter. Be back under there tomorrow because there is a substantial gas leak in the same general area.
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