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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 05-11-2013, 05:38 PM
alexjust alexjust is offline
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Question Hello to fellow BMW owners!

Hi guys,

I'm new to the forum and look forward to get to know more about the bimmers and share what I can share

Just bought a 2002 BMW 530i with sport package, 109k.

Took it to a mechanic who inspected it thoroughly and found the following issues, which are to be repaired at some point within foreseeable future:

1. Minor leak in the pan gasket - $500 (can wait)
2. Alternator - $500 (possibly)
3. Both rear upper control arms - $600 (can wait)
4. Belt tensioner - $300 (now)
5. Radiator (never been replaced) - $500 (now)
6. Front control arm bushing - $400 (can wait)

The previous owner replaced the tranny at 80k and invested around $10k into the car, serviced it at Dinan (!) and generally seems to have taken care of the car.

Another issue I am concerned with: I hear nasty squicky sound when I shift to R, but only if brake pedal is not firmly pressed, he said it was not the tranny and something about the torque, no idea really - the sound seems to come from the rear side of the car, but he was confident it was nothing to worry about. Anyone experienced this?

Also, what do you think about the prices? I live in SF Bay Area, nothing is cheap here, but is this within reason? If anyone local here and can recommend honest and reasonably priced good mechanic, that'll be great (although the guy who checked the car seems to be quite alright, just don't want to spend more than I have to).

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2013, 06:00 PM
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King 5 King 5 is offline
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Hello to fellow BMW owners!

If your radiator needs to be replaced, and never has been before, then you should overhaul the entire cooling system at this time to save money in the long run. 100k miles is the time limit for the time bomb of a cooling system.

None the less, welcome aboard and fie choice of car with the sport package as well!

Cheers, Vinnie


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  #3  
Old 05-11-2013, 06:02 PM
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16valex 16valex is online now
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Mein Auto: 530I/5SC 97-528/5
Quote:
1. Minor leak in the pan gasket - $500 (can wait)
Probably NOT, more likely your oil filter housing gasket or valve cover gasket leaks down. You can do this both job for a total of 50 bucks in parts

Quote:
2. Alternator - $500 (possibly)
No way, don't replace the alternator, just replace the voltage regulator for 55 bucks and you can do this with the alternator in the car.

Quote:
3. Both rear upper control arms - $600 (can wait)
These arms hardly go at that miles, you need a second opinion.

Quote:
4. Belt tensioner - $300 (now)
easy to do by yourself.

Quote:
5. Radiator (never been replaced) - $500 (now)
Another easy job you can do yourself for $200

Quote:
6. Front control arm bushing - $400 (can wait)
Just for the bushings, that's ripped off. other mechanics will do the whole arms for that price.
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  #4  
Old 05-11-2013, 08:39 PM
SeanPhang SeanPhang is online now
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Mein Auto: 02' 530iA@143k
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexjust View Post
Another issue I am concerned with: I hear nasty squicky sound when I shift to R, but only if brake pedal is not firmly pressed, he said it was not the tranny and something about the torque, no idea really - the sound seems to come from the rear side of the car, but he was confident it was nothing to worry about. Anyone experienced this?
Had the same issue for a long time now, especially when cold. But it has been with the car for a long time now, I am not too worried about it. I was under the impression that it was caused by the drive shaft.
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06/10: rear shocks
08/11: cooling overhaul, O2 sensors
09/11: auto transmission drain & refill
09/12: alternator, VANOS seals, differential oil change
04/13: 2nd auto transmission drain & refill, changed fuel filter
12/13: OFH gasket
05/14: Aux. fan
09/14: CCV
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2013, 08:45 PM
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mark_m5 mark_m5 is offline
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That sound when you put it in reverse worries me. Check the flex coupler / flex disk...
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  #6  
Old 05-12-2013, 04:27 PM
alexjust alexjust is offline
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Thanks guys, appreciate the replies. The battery died today, the seller said the battery was new and I didn't check. In fact it was from 2005, surprised it lived that long. Bastard
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  #7  
Old 05-12-2013, 04:55 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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16valex: Is the voltage regulator replacement on the alternator only a DIY that applies to the water cooled alternators?
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  #8  
Old 05-12-2013, 05:06 PM
AH673000 AH673000 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 528i
Alex...

Welcome .... Couple questions

Will your car be garaged? Will you be willing or able to do some work yourself?

Here is the very first thing I would do. Lubricate your hood latch good and use it often. This car is new to you... Pop the hood every couple of days and observe everything . Look for noises, water seeps, etc . Do not ignore stuff that doesn't seem correct. Drop us a post . Big problems on these cars result from denial .... Stuff rarely goes bang in the night... Instead you get some small hints .

If this car is a San Francisco car , you will not have failures as fast as Southern cars or East Coast cars. Hoses and belts last far longer ... And rust is a none issue.

GL
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  #9  
Old 05-12-2013, 05:10 PM
AH673000 AH673000 is offline
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An eight old battery is about the time they go.... My first one lasted eight years and my second one lasted eight years. Both BMW OEM battery's .

Your battery dying and the fact your voltage regulator or alternator were flagged makes sense.
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  #10  
Old 05-12-2013, 05:36 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King540i View Post
16valex: Is the voltage regulator replacement on the alternator only a DIY that applies to the water cooled alternators?
No, see this:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=583423
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  #11  
Old 05-12-2013, 05:54 PM
alexjust alexjust is offline
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Location: SF Bay Area
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 2002 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by AH673000 View Post
An eight old battery is about the time they go.... My first one lasted eight years and my second one lasted eight years. Both BMW OEM battery's .

Your battery dying and the fact your voltage regulator or alternator were flagged makes sense.
Makes sense in the sense that the issue was likely to be solely with the battery rather than in alternator/regulator?
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  #12  
Old 05-12-2013, 06:07 PM
alexjust alexjust is offline
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Thanks,

Its close to SF, yes, as per CarFax the car has been in California all along. It will be in the covered car park, but not garaged.

In terms of DIY: at the moment, I'm pretty useless with anything other than replacing cabin and engine filters and stuff like that But I want to learn, this is not the cheapest car to run so some DIY will certainly help.

I have a Toyota as a second car - its unimaginable how different these cars when it comes to handling and just a pleasure of driving, but the difference in costs is also something I will feel. This is my first BMW so hopefully it will not be a negative experience and things will not be falling apart Well, that is why I'm here - to learn and share the experience and, with time, some knowledge.
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  #13  
Old 05-12-2013, 06:59 PM
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Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
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Welcome. I used to own a 2001 530 sport 5 speed, great car. Just keep researching and learning -- you'll be surprised how much you can do yourself. A trusted indie is a must for the rest. Try and find local enthusiasts, and maintenance get togethers.

Agree with cooling system - the water pump and clutch fan should be changed along with radiator if not done. Here's story on the cooling refresh of my E36 M3 -- the E39 530 has similar layout. See also the video on common cooling issues: http://chrisparente.com/2012/07/31/c...-on-my-e36-m3/
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Last edited by Edgy36-39; 05-12-2013 at 07:01 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-12-2013, 07:51 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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Thank you fudman!
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