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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 06-29-2013, 12:02 AM
zersys zersys is offline
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Mein Auto: 02' E39 530i Executive HL
Bought an e39, what's this?

Hi all. My six month search for my first 5er is over, I just dropped a deposit on an e39, was a great price with low milage (100,000km). Everything seemed pretty right with the car, a few issues here and there that the stealer ship will be fixing before I pick it up. But one thing I noticed which I wasn't sure about was something in the coolant. A friend told me it might be the water pump impeller on its way out which I understand is common, here's a pic.

I'm REALLY hoping its not chemiweld/car-go seal up, but in my experience that usually leaves no glittery sort of residue, just a brown looking coolant.

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:01 AM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
Freude am Fahren
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Mein Auto: 2003 540i/6 //m-tech
Yep, that looks like someone put Bars Leak in it.
chiefwej 2003 540i ///m-tech 6-speed
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:16 AM
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mjalloul11 mjalloul11 is offline
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Yes that is a stop leak chemical . It could be a blown head casket , major, or a small leak in the radiator .In either case it is alarming.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:21 AM
zersys zersys is offline
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Mein Auto: 02' E39 530i Executive HL
Excellent. Why the glitter then? Whenever I've seen a car with stop leak in the coolant it usually just dissolves into brown goo.

I hope it's just a leak in the rad though, or somewhere other than the heater core or head gasket, as I'm going to be replacing the cooling system. I understand they are quite brittle and inevitably fail after 100,000km or so. Hopefully a leaky rad is just what previous owner didn't want to deal with, and ended up trading to buy a new model.

Thanks for the help guys! Shame to start my first BMW experience with this, but ah well, live and learn I suppose.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:11 AM
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rexgo rexgo is offline
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Location: Chicago
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Mein Auto: 97 528i
Probably used a product like this:

Liquid Copper™ Block Seal Intake & Radiator Stop Leak

'97 528i, 99k DD
'91 CRX Si, 114k
'83 Supra, 109k
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:07 AM
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DHoang DHoang is online now
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Mein Auto: '98 528i, '82 323i
THey did a quick fix to probably hide something more serious.
Hope it's not to hide a blown head gasket.
On the M4 all alum motor, blown head gasket leads to
the motor's death sentence.
Pull the dipstick and check the oil for coolant migration. If the oil looks brand new, then
it's harder to detect coolant migration.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:42 PM
zersys zersys is offline
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Mein Auto: 02' E39 530i Executive HL
This isn't good to hear. I don't particularly want to walk away from this car (especially if it turns out to be a small leak), as it's quite difficult (sixth month searching) to find a neat 530i in Sydney; not to mention for a reasonable price. If I managed to convince them to have it inspected by a good Indy, will he be able to indetify if its blocking up something minor like the rad or something more major?

Last edited by zersys; 06-30-2013 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:19 PM
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Flybot Flybot is offline
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I wouldnt panic yet. Everyone always goes full-on doom and gloom. Although the suggestions above are certainly possible, it was probably a minor leak that the PO just wanted a quick cheap fix. I would go by evidence and not wild guesses. Drive it and monitor the oil for signs of coolant, and loss of coolant level. Sniff for combustion smell in the coolant. Those are common signs of a head leak, which I dont think a "stop-leak" type of product would fix. Look around the entire cooling system and cylinder head for any tell tale sign of white, dried coolant. That may help ID the previous leak. I would drive it for a month and monitor before putting money into an all new cooling system. Thats a short period of time for a car. If it seems ok after that time, then I would start putting money into it.

EDIT: I missed where there was only a deposit on this car. Unless the PO has a good story on why there is stop leak, I would keep looking for another.


Last edited by Flybot; 06-30-2013 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:20 PM
kutcht1 kutcht1 is offline
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I would say a second opinion would be a good choice. As if it is indeed fix in a bottle my thoughts would be to keep looking, those never end being good.
2002 530iA Sterling grey Metallic 97,000 miles
2006 Volvo XC70 Blue/tan 133,000 miles
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:42 PM
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hh3uunp hh3uunp is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 Dinan m5
Hey there's always another e39. Rather pass on this one and cough up an extra $2000 for one with a good engine. I would ask the owner WHAT THE Fudge. If he's been driving with that crap in there it's probably not very good for the engine

These additives can clog up ports and never help an engine. It probably was a small radiator leak and the PO just threw this crap in there. It still doesn't make it any better.

P.S. if he doesn't let you get let you get it check out by an Indy walk away

P.P.S. maybe your idea of a reasonable price isn't reasonable. If all the good ones are going for more than the market has spoken
If first you don't succeed you must try again, and then again
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Last edited by hh3uunp; 06-30-2013 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:24 PM
Kam2g Kam2g is offline
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Can make a cylinder compression test to see if there is a blown head gasket..
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:12 AM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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Run, don't walk... not worth the worry.

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Old 07-11-2013, 10:42 PM
zersys zersys is offline
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Location: Sydney
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Mein Auto: 02' E39 530i Executive HL
Bought an e39, what's this?

Pre purchase inspection revealed some serious ****.

The engine number doesn't match the one on the registration, nearly every panel has been painted, there was once a big hole in the boot that's been filled and painted, where there is supposed to be sump and valve cover gaskets there is silastic, the air filter looks like it was changed once a long time ago (with a non genuine one), it has never been touched by BMW, it's a big lemon!

Deposit back no questions asked, and walking!

However, funnily enough, compression tests came out great! And there did not appear to be any loss of coolant at the time, but there was massive coolant stains around the bottom hose and expansion tank area.

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