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Fudman 01-12-2012 06:25 AM

How To Easily Find Information on Your E39 Topic Before Posting a New Thread
Having been a member of this forum for awhile, I have noticed that many newer members post up a thread regarding their issue, question or problem without doing any research on their topic. Often times, these topics have been repeatedly addressed in the past and the responses are well documented (see the wiki). Long-time frustrated forum members often respond to these same questions/topics :banghead: with a sarcastic or curt response (Do a search!), which then makes the new member feel unwelcomed :cry: and may hinder future contribution. This is counterproductive to the long term quality of this forum which relies on contributions from anyone to reach the "best" answer, which often is not the same for everyone.

What I would like to do here is to provide some short, clear guidance for new members on how to best search for the information/answer they are seeking. If these methods do not result in a satisfactory result, then feel free to post up a new thread. While these tips may seem to be common sense for most folks, I suspect that many new members are unaware of how to best find information on the e39. Given that I have somewhat limited computer skills, I invite everyone, especially BlueBee, to add to this thread to provide their tips and tricks for others to find their answers.

1. Searching this Forum Pretty much every topic regarding the e39 has been addressed in one form or another already. Much of this information, including DIYs are located in the wiki. Top search this forum:
a. Click the search tab arrow on the black bar above.
b. Click on Advanced Search
c. Identify any specific keywords you want to find in the Keyword box. Use "quotes" to find a specific phrase like "secondary air pump" or "Vanos seals".
d. If you know the user name associated with the thread or post, input that under User Name box.
e. In the Search In Forum box, scroll down to E39 (1997-2003) and highlight it.
f. You can limit your search by specifying constraints in the Find Threads With or Find Posts With boxes.
g. Click Search Now and it will generate your results.

2. Searching the Web Google is your friend. A search will yield other BMW forums that may provide a better answer to your question. I personally think the 'Fest is the best, but that's just my $0.02.

I would like to ask that folks do not post any comments (good or bad) on this thread other than adding to the list of ways to find an answer. This will keep the thread shorter and more focused and efficient. If you have any comments or criticisms to what I am doing here, please start another thread and flame away :flame:!

Thanx! :roundel:

AnotherGeezer 01-12-2012 07:03 AM

Sticky please!

CSMBlack-540i 01-12-2012 08:19 AM

For me, I have found google searching better than forum searching and if you want to google this specific site use the following in the google search field: with your search word and it will confine the search to this site only. i.e. secondary air pump returns any results with secondary or air or pump. Whereas, "secondary air pump" with the quotes yields ONLY those three words consecutively within a thread/post.

Also, I find less is more for the first search i.e. search for "pump" first before searching for secondary air pump. Sometimes people refer to the secondary air pump as S.A.S., SAS. The same can apply to the FSU aka Final Stage Unit aka blower resistor aka Final Stage resistor.

Finally, I find the first search should not be limited to the E39 forum as there are common issues and parts across the model lines that sometimes you can find M62 issues in the E38 forum and M52/M54 issues in the E46 forums.

Problem I see with the suggestion above is many newbies don't know this about cross platforms or what some things are called.

Another problem at times is when we suggest do a search, the future posts of certain members say, "don't ask me to search or google it in the first line of their post. Stating "what is the point of interacting on the forum if all I need to do is search? I want to interact with you guys" So, they feel it is their right to ask the same question even if it is for the 1000th time. Followed by stating, if you don't like the question, move on and don't answer the thread. :dunno: So lately, I do just that, ignore the thread and move on so someone else can deal with it.

bluebee 01-12-2012 01:52 PM

Always search the bestlinks first, before posting a new thread!
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Please make your 1st search a simple /keyword click within the bestlinks thread BEFORE posting a new thread!

Note: This fast & efficient technique searches 'only' within that one thread.

It takes about two or three seconds to find the best of the links on any topic!

You'll know right away if it's a common subject or not - and - if it's common, you'll know exactly what everyone else knows & says about that subject. Better yet, if it's not a common subject, you'll know that too (by the dearth of links).

If, after reading the best links found, you still need help, you can read focus your followup post on your variant in that existing well-attended thread.

Besides having subscribers, these focus threads generally have plenty of pictures and cross references. Many of the odd-ball whacko ideas & misconceptions have already been culled out by sheer numbers of eyes viewing these threads (many have over fifty thousand viewers, and some have over one hundred thousand viewers!).

In practice, even if the quoted links aren't 'the best' (at first), with inevitable additional cross-threading, picture posts, & thousands upon thousands of visitors, these links tend to become, over time, a one-stop-shopping resource!

The 'trick' I use in Firefox to instantly find the best of the links is: /keyword (F3).

That is, I simply press /keyword in that bestlinks thread; and then I repeatedly press the "F3" button to move forward to successive matches ("shift F3" to move backward).

Use "control F keyword" in Internet Explorer.
Use "command F keyword" on the Macintosh.
Linux is the same as Windows.

  • /cooling system overhaul (F3)
  • /secondary air pump (F3) <== abbreviations also work (e.g, SAS, SAP, etc.)
  • /headlight adjusters (F3)
  • /window regulator (F3)
  • /replacing shocks (F3)
  • /power steering (F3)
  • /spark plug diy (F3)
  • /fan clutch nut (F3)
  • /diamond key (F3)
  • /vacuum leak (F3)
  • /white smoke (F3)
  • /overheating (F3)
  • /trunk lock (F3)
  • /motor oil (F3)
  • /homelink (F3)
  • /abs diy (F3)
  • /wheels (F3)
  • /brakes (F3)
  • /misfire (F3)
  • /seats (F3)
  • /giubo (F3) <== various spellings work (e.g., guibo, gweebo, etc.)
  • /fluids (F3)
  • /tires (F3)
  • /disa (F3) <== the /search is case insensitive (e.g., DISA, disa, DiSa, etc.)
  • /inpa (F3) <== finding INPA also finds Carsoft, GT1/DIS, EDIABAS, Peake, etc.)
  • /fuse (F3)
  • /mpg (F3)
  • /.pdf (F3) <== finds scores of the best PDF files ever posted to the forum!
  • /gdo (F3)
  • /ccv (F3) <== various nicknames work (e.g., osv, pcv, pvv, cvv, cpv, etc.)
  • /fsu (F3)
  • etc.
In practice, it's best to set your posts-viewed to the maximum allowed so a single search finds all:
  • User CP -> Edit Options -> Number of Posts to Show Per Page -> 80 -> Save Changes
Note: So that others find this thread more easily, I'll add it to the bestlinks in a keyword-rich sentence of the ilk:

- Hints from the experts for newbies on searching before posting in order to find common E39 information (1)

agent15 01-13-2012 07:35 AM


Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer (Post 6557051)
Sticky please!

This. Well done Fudman.

bluebee 01-14-2012 08:04 AM

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I received a PM from an experienced user who wasn't aware of the multiple ways to do a search 'within' a thread.

This screenshot was drawn to help in show two ways to search within any thread for a keyword within that thread.

bobdmac 01-14-2012 10:47 AM

Thanks, Fudman. I'm sure many of us will be linking back to this thread. Also, Bluebee's suggestion to use the browser search function within a page or a thread is helpful. For the Mac users among us, the key combination "command f" brings up the search function. In Safari, it's a little search window at the top of the page with forward and back arrows. In Firefox, it appears at the bottom of the screen.

mhobryan 01-15-2012 08:33 AM

Bump ... Sticky please. As a newbie (to this forum) this is extremely valuable. I think most folks do spend sometime searching before posting; if they can do it intelligently it will reduce the number of repeat questions.

jayster0966 01-15-2012 09:12 AM

Definitely great information to know! Must be made a sticky. Glad to know that I am not the only one with low searching skills.

194449 01-15-2012 10:45 AM

This has probably already been mentioned, but the advanced search feature, in addition to giving you the option of searching for keywords by thread titles or all posts, also has a couple checkboxes at the bottom of the search screen that give the option of filtering the hits by "threads" or "posts" that contain all keywords. I find this particularly useful.

Fudman 01-15-2012 10:49 AM

Thanx, Propellerhead for stickying this thread! :thumbup:

Using the tips and tricks mentioned above, I would suggest that folks start their searches with:
1. the VERY Best of E39 Links
2. E39 faq

This information is also complemented by the View the E39 Wiki in the header above.

These three areas contain virtually every major DIY and discussion on relevant problems and topics WRT E39s. If you can't find what you need there, these links may help you to better understand the complexities of your problem or issue so that when you post your next thread, it can be more specific. Don't forget to add E39 model, MY, mileage and any other relevant info when you start a thread :typing: so that other folks can better understand the situation and hopefully better help you out! And lastly, PLEASE post a conclusion to your threads so that you add to the collective experience and we can all learn from your experiences. :beerchug:

Drive on! :roundel:

bluebee 01-15-2012 10:57 AM

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Originally Posted by Fudman (Post 6563742)
I would suggest that folks start their searches with:
1. the VERY Best of E39 Links
2. E39 faq
3. View the E39 Wiki


These five search approaches work well (links provided below):
1. E39 Bestlinks
2. E39 FAQ
3. E39 Wiki
4. Bimmerfest Search (see efficiency-details below)
5. Google Search (both on & on
  • Search Term: BMW E39 keyword(s)

bluebee 01-15-2012 11:20 AM

Regarding the "Bimmerfest" search ... Here's an efficient-search technique I often employ:

While most issues have at least one 'canonical' thread listed in the bestlinks or the wiki or the FAQ - each of which has had thousands of eyes on it ... 'some' issues are not (yet) listed in the easily-found locations.

When that happens, what "I" often do next is a ...
Bimmerfest-only E39-only Title-Only search:
  1. Select "Search->Advanced search"
  2. Enter your keyword(s), e.g., "giubo"
  3. Select "Titles Only" (helps focus if there is too much information otherwise found)
  4. Select "E39 (1997 to 2003)" (again, helps focus)'
  5. Press "Search Now"
  6. In Firefox, I right-click on each of the finds, opening each in a separate tab
    • Then I skim each of them, killing all which are of little value
    • What's left are the threads that I read for information!
    • HINT: I use this setting in Firefox to keep the tab-kill [x] button from jumping around!
Optionally, select "Find Threads Started by User" and then type a well-known user's ID such as any of the following who write excellent DIYs & comments:
Optionally, select "Find Posts by User" and then type a well-known user's ID such as any of those below who are known for detailed and accurate posts on a wide variety of subjects:
Note: For the better good, I risked listing logins which inevitably leads to accidentally omitting some; so please PM me for helpful login additions which I can make as edits here! This list is merely to help others (who are new to the forum participants) figure out how to search better.

And, below, I list the firefox settings I use for efficient tab handling when culling out the riffraff from extensive search results:

bbabin 01-31-2012 02:38 PM

You are unsociable and should keep your opinions to yourself!

bobdmac 01-31-2012 04:27 PM


Originally Posted by bbabin (Post 6600451)
You are unsociable and should keep your opinions to yourself!

Is this directed at anyone in particular, or did you post it in the wrong thread by mistake?

OhioBMW 02-09-2012 06:13 PM

Got it.

bobby1985 03-07-2012 09:11 AM

Hey ohbmw what city are u in ?

Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer App

bluebee 07-12-2012 09:39 PM

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I realized a new technique today to 'save' for later the results of an extensive search.

Let's say you've run a search and found, oh, let's say a dozen or more articles of interest (which is typical).

In Firefox, there is no longer a menu item to save all open tabs to a bookmark folder.

But ... if you simply right click on any one of the dozen open tabs, you will see a menu item called:
- Bookmark All Tabs

A form will pop up asking you for a folder name.
This way you can save the results from your searches for use later. Works for me, mainly because I read dozens of references on any particular topic of interest ... but YMMV, as always.

bluebee 07-16-2012 07:56 PM

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In addition, I just realized another useful technique to most efficiently narrow the results of a bimmerfest search when the bestlinks has nothing to offer the users.

Take the 'engine failsafe' error that "540 M-Sport" had today:
-> E39 (1997 - 2003) > 2001 540 "Engine Fail Safe"

I ran a quick "/engine failsafe" in the bestlinks, only to find, much to my chagrin, nothing was found! (oh, the horror!)

So, I ran a quick "advanced" selecting E39-only title-only search for "engine failsafe", which found 23 threads of interest.

To zero in on the 'best' thread, I sorted the results by number of views. The assumption is that a thread with only, say, 10 to 100 views might not have had enough 'eyes' on it to fully flesh out the problem or to weed out the inevitable bad advice. However, a thread with, say, ten thousand views, should have most of the bad advice weeded out and most of the good advice suggested.

As always, YMMV.

JohnathanDM 07-16-2012 11:34 PM

never understood Why people Are Sarcastic.I was always Thought If i have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all..We are all here for the same reason.

snchmon 07-17-2012 03:36 PM

good suggestions. thanks!

bluebee 11-08-2012 05:29 PM

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Saw this animated GIF in a thread today, and figured it would be useful in the future over here:

Originally Posted by tmvE39/E53/Z32 (Post 7183269)
And next time

The topic had been covered many many times.

bluebee 12-22-2012 06:04 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Just for the record, the position of the forum stickies changes depending on which thread has last been updated - but - since there are only 3 stickies overall - it shouldn't be too hard for people to find 'em! :)


Originally Posted by Fudman (Post 7264378)
Refer to the stickied thread (3d thread) when you open this forum. It gives explicit directions for searching for anything you would need about e39s.


Originally Posted by Fudman (Post 7264379)
Refer to the stickied thread (2d thread) when you open this forum. It gives explicit directions for searching for anything you would need about e39s.

EDIT: By way of example, this post brought the sticky back up to the top of the three:

bluebee 01-01-2013 04:21 AM

Just for the record, by now, most topics are represented in the bestlinks, so what I've been doing strategically, to maintain the links with new information, is:
a) I choose one thread on bimmerfest to be 'canonical' (this is a subjective decision which is not infallible)
b) The reason the canonical thread must be on bimmerfest, is so that we can cross reference to all the other existing threads
c) If the canonical thread is not on Bimmerfest, then I CREATE a thread on bimmerfest, referencing the canonical thread elsewhere <=== in practice, this rarely happens simply because Bimmerfest has most topics covered by now
d) In addition, as new information comes in, I cross reference BACK to that canonical thread.
e) I make sure, at least in the canonical thread, that all links (e.g., to Ebay or Amazon) have persistent SCREENSHOTS
f) So, that way, at least that one thread references all other threads, and the important things are captured for posterity.
g) In the event that the one thread wasn't the BEST, it soon becomes so, simply because it has everything easily linked to it.
h) In general, that canonical thread is the FIRST in the list of references in the bestlinks (e.g., - How to do blah blah blah (1) (2) (3) <=== The canonical thread is (1)).

Note: In the past, when new links came about after the 60-day editing period expired for a post on the bestlinks, I merely reproduced the reference with new numbers [e.g., the reference grew from "- How to do blah (1) (2) (3)" to "- How do do blah (1) (2) (3) (4) (4) (6)"]; but repeating links grew too repetitive and cumbersome over time - so that's why I implemented the new system described above, which eliminates the need for new links.

Omen6_karl 01-29-2013 01:58 AM

Google searche
If a person honestly can't google searche a specific malfunction/desire/question than they really need to learn what "keyword" search is. PLEASE! For the life of us all, learn KEYWORD SEARCH. Whether it is on google or within a forum. :mad:

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