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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 08-30-2019, 05:44 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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540i Expansion Tank

Hello everyone!! The time has come for yet another expansion tank. I cant remember what brand I used last time. Over $140 I don't remember for an OEM BMW tank. I norm get my parts from FCP as the warranty is the chit but didn't get it there last time. They have one for a fraction of the price but the reviews are shaky as its a China made part. Also this part includes a new sensor as the OEM BMW does not. https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...-17111741167-1
What ya'lls opinion? Also should I replace the cap,bleed screw and sensor as well? Thank you for any info offered.
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Last edited by thecushion; 08-30-2019 at 05:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2019, 10:37 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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I continue to use Behr, and have had no issues with them. Yes on replacing the cap and bleed screw (I use the brass aftermarket one). Sensor is fine, but as noted, it can hang up. I didn't realize until reading the reviews just now, that excess flashing on the stick is the reason, may have to look at mine again, and take care of that.
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Old 08-31-2019, 01:30 AM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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I also use Behr -it is actually made in China for Behr !
Replaced the cap and the bleed screw, and expect it to last a couple years, or about 20 K miles....Your mileage may vary.!!
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Last edited by Chedley; 08-31-2019 at 01:45 AM.
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  #4  
Old 08-31-2019, 10:55 AM
atobe atobe is offline
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Yeah replaced mine few weeks ago, Behr/Hella from FCP saids made in china but stamped 04/2019 so it's fairly new. I kept getting the check coolant level error, old sensor was going bad. Where'd you get the brass bleed screw from? I felt like I was going to break it installing it onto the new tank.
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  #5  
Old 08-31-2019, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atobe View Post
Yeah replaced mine few weeks ago, Behr/Hella from FCP saids made in china but stamped 04/2019 so it's fairly new. I kept getting the check coolant level error, old sensor was going bad. Where'd you get the brass bleed screw from? I felt like I was going to break it installing it onto the new tank.
https://www.autohausaz.com/pn/17111712788AFT

I have had my brass bleed screw for about 10 years now. I noticed recently it started spitting/leaking coolant. Condition looked fine, including the o-ring, though the o-ring did look rather flattened upon closer inspection. I replaced o-ring with a new nitrile o-ring from one of those assortment kits from Harbor Freight I had in my tool drawer, and it is working great again.

I think the plastic bleed screw is totally fine. You just need to replace it (along with the cap) each time you replace the expansion tank. Problems arise when you try to reuse the cap and screw.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 08-31-2019 at 12:16 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-31-2019, 12:44 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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Thank you for the info buds
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2019, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atobe View Post
Yeah replaced mine few weeks ago, Behr/Hella from FCP saids made in china but stamped 04/2019 so it's fairly new. I kept getting the check coolant level error, old sensor was going bad. Where'd you get the brass bleed screw from? I felt like I was going to break it installing it onto the new tank.
So I just fixed my 5 month old Behr expansion tank that would give me a "low coolant" warning every month...from reading the reviews on FCP Euro (others having same issue), I found the problem is a tiny bit of excess plastic flashing on the float stick, reported by one observant user. This catches on the guide, which then holds the stick down, causing the warning. So today I did a check, and looked more closely and sure enough, saw the same problem. I played with the stick to confirm I could make it stick, and hang up on the bit of flashing. So I pulled the stick up, and using a long bladed, sharp knife, I trimmed that crap off and fixed!! Friggen Chinese quality control. Otherwise the Behr seems to work just fine, just watch out for this production issue.
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540 M-Sport package (Canadian market), factory Bluetooth phone integration, factory M-Audio 10" dual voice coil subs, Homelink, Eibach front and rear anti-roll bars, M5 rear traction rods, H&R 15mm wheel spacers, ST X (KW) coilovers, Strong Strut front upper stress bar, BMP strut tower reinforcement kit, Stop Tech ss brake lines, Akebono Euro Ceramic brake pads, Zimmerman rotors, Dinan Stage 1 software, USA Spec Ipod/Iphone integration.

Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 09-06-2019 at 06:42 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-05-2019, 09:46 PM
sealbeach740 sealbeach740 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
https://www.autohausaz.com/pn/17111712788AFT

I think the plastic bleed screw is totally fine. You just need to replace it (along with the cap) each time you replace the expansion tank. Problems arise when you try to reuse the cap and screw.
Just to add my $.02 about the brass bleed screw(s) is the first time you try to tighten or loosen the plastic bleed screw & the head comes off, but not the threads, you'll switch to the brass one & never go back. My vote is just to buy a brass one & forget about it forever. Oh, until it's time to replace the expansion tank & you need to grab the brass screw from the old one & put in the new one.
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2019, 08:14 AM
Santaclaus4 Santaclaus4 is offline
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Originally Posted by sealbeach740 View Post
Just to add my $.02 about the brass bleed screw(s) is the first time you try to tighten or loosen the plastic bleed screw & the head comes off, but not the threads, you'll switch to the brass one & never go back. My vote is just to buy a brass one & forget about it forever. Oh, until it's time to replace the expansion tank & you need to grab the brass screw from the old one & put in the new one.
Completely agree with this.
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  #10  
Old 09-06-2019, 09:44 AM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
So I just fixed my 5 month old Behr expansion tank that would give me a "low coolant" warning every month...from reading the reviews on FCP Euro (others having same issue), I found the problem is a tiny bit of excess plastic flashing on the float stick, reported by one observant user. This catches on the guide, which then holds the stick down, causing the warning. So today I did a check, and looked more closely and sure enough, saw the same problem. I played with the stick to confirm I could make it stick, and hang up on the bit of flashing. So, pulled the stick up, and using a long bladed, sharp knife, I trimmed that crap off and fixed!! Friggen Chinese quality control. Otherwise the Behr seems to work just fine, just watch out for this production issue.
THX for the info. Parts just came in today. Will check my tank for that plastic on stick. Cant wait to drove my baby after sitting for a week
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X5d ~ Akebono Euro Pads l Zimmerman Rotors
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  #11  
Old 09-06-2019, 04:24 PM
atobe atobe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
So I just fixed my 5 month old Behr expansion tank that would give me a "low coolant" warning every month...from reading the reviews on FCP Euro (others having same issue), I found the problem is a tiny bit of excess plastic flashing on the float stick, reported by one observant user. This catches on the guide, which then holds the stick down, causing the warning. So today I did a check, and looked more closely and sure enough, saw the same problem. I played with the stick to confirm I could make it stick, and hang up on the bit of flashing. So, pulled the stick up, and using a long bladed, sharp knife, I trimmed that crap off and fixed!! Friggen Chinese quality control. Otherwise the Behr seems to work just fine, just watch out for this production issue.
Interesting, if that's the case then I'll have a spare exp tank. I'll have to check both of mines. It was giving the error once a week or something like that.
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  #12  
Old 09-06-2019, 06:43 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecushion View Post
THX for the info. Parts just came in today. Will check my tank for that plastic on stick. Cant wait to drove my baby after sitting for a week
Let us know if you spot this fault or not...
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atobe View Post
Interesting, if that's the case then I'll have a spare exp tank. I'll have to check both of mines. It was giving the error once a week or something like that.
Mine was more intermittent, but do report back your findings from inspecting the float stick
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:16 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Let us know if you spot this fault or not...
THX bud for all the help. All parts installed,up and running again I could not find the spot tank failed. If helps any I spotted the leak from under the tank after full warm up. It was a flowing leak. That being said the leak started a few moths ago but did not know where I was losing coolant. Thank you again buds
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:13 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Originally Posted by thecushion View Post
THX bud for all the help. All parts installed,up and running again I could not find the spot tank failed. If helps any I spotted the leak from under the tank after full warm up. It was a flowing leak. That being said the leak started a few moths ago but did not know where I was losing coolant. Thank you again buds
By "fault" I was asking you to look for the manufacturing "fault" or defect in the float stick, that has the molding flash as pictured in my post above...
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:46 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
By "fault" I was asking you to look for the manufacturing "fault" or defect in the float stick, that has the molding flash as pictured in my post above...
Yes I can confirm the fault in my float stick. Not only did it look like your picture but other sides at the same place where also fault. Thing is I never got a bad reading because of that. Also I could not find a date code. I hope this helps.
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X5d ~ Akebono Euro Pads l Zimmerman Rotors
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  #17  
Old 09-10-2019, 06:48 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Originally Posted by thecushion View Post
Yes I can confirm the fault in my float stick. Not only did it look like your picture but other sides at the same place where also fault. Thing is I never got a bad reading because of that. Also I could not find a date code. I hope this helps.
Thank you, just wanted to confirm there is an ongoing manufacturing defect in this part. At least it is a simple fix.
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  #18  
Old 09-10-2019, 06:58 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Thank you, just wanted to confirm there is an ongoing manufacturing defect in this part. At least it is a simple fix.
Thank you for all your help through the years of ownership bud~~~Hats off!!!!
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