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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 10-08-2017, 09:56 AM
Andylarry Andylarry is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i
High Mileage 530i 262,000mi

I know that isn't a record, but I thought that I would make a post now. Bebe is our 01 e39 M54 530i automatic sedan. Purchased used in 2004 with about 55k. She was a BMW off-lease buy at Manheim Auto Auction. My wife's everyday driver and family road trip car. With my wife newly retired, and promised a NEW CAR, Bebe is being shuffled down to me and thus will not be driven nearly as much. Nearly trouble free (will explain below), averaging 24+ mpg with close to 30 mpg seen on long trips. With no slow driving! Always maintained by me, a semi retired import auto technician with a small shop and lift at home. In all of these miles and years, she has never had to be towed home.
A brief history of service and repairs:
Just shy of 100k, on a very cold PA winter night, I was following my wife home on the interstate when all of a sudden, from the BMW, blue smoke and oil billowing onto me. I signaled her to pull over. The CCV froze shut and the valve cover cracked and blew-out the gasket dumping oil onto the exhaust manifold. Limped the last 2 miles home, glued the valve cover, replaced the gasket and the CCV components. Subsequently replaced the CCV stuff about 100k later.
At about 150k she started tramping over bumps on the RF. RF strut shaft could be pushed down with a finger. Found LR coil spring broke a lower coil, too. 4 new struts, rear coil springs. New car ride again!
The big one was at about 165k. Auto trans would only creep-along in reverse. Broken snap-ring land on the "D" drum. This is a known problem with the ZF box. I removed the trans and had a local BMW indy repair it. Even though he said that the the internals looked like they could go another 100k, I decided on installing a rebuild kit and rebuilt torque converter. After, trans works no better no worse, still great.
Of course, I replaced some front and rear suspension components, a leaky (side tank) radiator, one water pump, 2 upstream oxygen sensors (codes), cam sensor...
NGK spark plugs every 60k, trans fluid dump and refill every 50 k, or so.
Began to use about 1qt every 800-1000k 5w-30 full syn at about 125k. Switched to 15w-40 Rotella diesel oil for 3 seasons, and 20w-50 in the summer. That was more than 125k miles ago. Consumption is now (at 262k) about 1qt every 1500 miles.
In my profession, I have driven and repaired-maintained many similar sedans. IMHO this is as good or better than any midsize sedan of it's era and beyond.
Our new 2018 Alfa Giulia (when it arrives) will have large shoes to fill.
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2017, 10:35 AM
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davekara3 davekara3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 BMW 525i
I loved reading this! I love when one is so into their car, and they respect it. I also LOOOOOVEEE the new Alfas!!!! Theyre a lot of them over here in new york!

Restoring a lightly used 2002 BMW 525iA back to it's stock beauty one part at a time, with a modern touch!
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2017, 05:32 AM
Andylarry Andylarry is offline
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Location: Central Pennsylvania
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i
In my first post I listed many of the areas that I have had to service.
I have all of the service records from new, so I can tell you what is original going back to 2001.
VANOS has never been touched.
Fuel pump is original.
AC has never been touched and cools to 36-38 degrees on the hottest summer days.
Complete exhaust, never touched.
All seat motors, working great.
Front and rear crank seals, still dry. (oil pan gasket does leave a drop, every now and then)
The windows in the doors go up and down.
Both key remotes, still clicking.
At this point, with her position in the fleet, it might take awhile, but I see no reason that she won't hit 300k.
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  #4  
Old 10-13-2017, 11:03 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Mein Auto: 525i station wagon
370,000 on my 525 touring and still going strong. I have replaced the engine and trans though. The car handles better than new and has been my daily driver as my sales car since purchasing the car new in 2003. Haven't found anything better out there and hope to add many more miles in the future. Great Cars
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2017, 07:05 AM
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TheHockeytowner TheHockeytowner is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 525i
Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
370,000 on my 525 touring and still going strong. I have replaced the engine and trans though. The car handles better than new and has been my daily driver as my sales car since purchasing the car new in 2003. Haven't found anything better out there and hope to add many more miles in the future. Great Cars
Not to hijack, but when did the original engine and trans give up the ghost? Hopefully not at the same time
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:31 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Mein Auto: 525i station wagon
264,000 miles, the engine let go by burning the exhaust valve in #4 cylinder. My indy installed an engine and trans with 55,000 miles at that time. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Now I'm wishing he had installed the 530 engine,,just for the grins.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2018, 07:24 AM
Andylarry Andylarry is offline
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Location: Central Pennsylvania
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i
Happy New Year everyone.
2018 update: Right now, we are just north of 267,500.
She is still operating perfectly through the single digit temps that we have had this winter.
With the 15W-40 Rotella engine oil, she cranks over a bit slowly, but always starts right away. I allow the engine to idle for 5-10 seconds and then hold the RPMs at about 1000-1200 for about 30 seconds and then drive off. Oil consumption holding steady at about 1 qt. every 1500 miles.
Preparing for an approx. 1500 mile road trip in December, I had her on the lift to change the (conventional) engine oil (every 5-6k), and give her a thorough check over.
I found, while pulling on the right rear wheel, an excessive amount of in-out "play". And I mean EXCESSIVE. About a half inch (or more) of play in each direction with a loud klunk with each pull. Interestingly, I had not experienced any odd feelings or noises while driving. This failure was not present at the last oil service. After a bit of inspection, I determined that the fault was with the lower ball joint (cross axis joint).
Using a specialized C-Clamp style ball joint press and a slightly modified sleeve, I was able to press-out - press-in the new part. As you can see from the attached images, I opened the old component. What I believe happened is that the plastic (nylon?) wear surface broke apart and one of the detached "vanes" slipped aside and thus allowed the "ball" to have excessive movement in the "cup". It also looked like it suffered from a lack of lubricant. If only it had a grease nipple and could have been routinely lubricated, it may has lasted longer.
After our return, we averaged almost 28 MPG with typical highway speeds of 80-85 MPH and extended stints of 100-130 MPH driving.
The snow wheels are now on with Dunlop Graspic tires and 3 bags of tube sand (180lbs) strapped against the rear seat in the trunk.
Wishing everyone happiness and health in 2018.
Andy
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2020, 08:36 AM
Andylarry Andylarry is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i
Hello everyone, and Happy New Year. Gosh, it's been almost two years since my last post. My how time flies. Well, Bebe is still alive and running well. She has recorded 295,5xx miles to date. While we are certainly not adding miles like we used too, she gets driven almost every day. Our 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Q4 Lusso rests warmly in the garage and is (usually) only used on dry days, clean roads. We have had Gigi about 25 months now and she has recorded just less than 10k mi. Before I continue with my updates to the 530i, I want to gush a bit about our Giulia. For the driving enthusiast, this is one, fun, car! The integration of the engine and transmission and steering and suspension is fabulous. I have upped the performance with an ECM (PCM) tune and an induction tube upgrade. This tune (with a cat back exhaust, that I DO NOT have) claims 390HP - 440TQ (314WHP - 375WTQ). Folks on the forums, with this tune are claiming 0-60 in the low 4's and 1/4 mile in the low 12's. Other than a few software recall - updates, and a Park Assist Module that failed after an update, I have had NO other problems.
Ok, back to the 530i update.
My last post was January of 2018 and 267,500 miles. Since then I have just a few minor issues that I will detail below.
5-2-18 272k miles I replace the L&R rear upper suspension arms.
6-4-18 273k miles I replaced #3 Ignition coil for intermittent miss fires. It set codes, and I could feel it.
12-7-18 280k miles I replaced the remaining 5 coils for the same (above) reasons. I also replaced all 6 spark plugs using NGK BKREQUP, as I always do.
5-28-19 287k miles I replaced the electric radiator cooling fan assembly. One day, the motor became REALLY noisy.
8-3-19 290k miles I had to remove and clean and REGLUE the cracked valve cove that broke when the CCV froze shut 200k mi ago. Used QBond this time. Put a new gasket on too.
11-9-19 293k miles I replaced L&R front sway bar links (klunks), LF inner tie rod, coolant temp sensor in lower hose (leaking), and the power steering suction hose from the reservoir to the pump.
Of course there were many oil changes (still using Rotella 15W-40 in the winter, and 20W-50 in the summer). Oil consumption is now about a quart every 800=1200 miles depending on driving habits. I use more on the highway, than in the city. All in all, we still trust Bebe to go on trips out of town 3-4-5 hours each way. Average MPG is about 23-24. My goal is reach 300k. Fingers crossed.
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2020, 02:04 PM
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mattmar1 mattmar1 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 5281 5 sp msport
only expecting to get another 4500 miles out of it?
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  #10  
Old 01-10-2020, 04:23 PM
Andylarry Andylarry is offline
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Location: Central Pennsylvania
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattmar1 View Post
only expecting to get another 4500 miles out of it?
Well, Nert, turning over 300,000 miles would be milestone, for me. After that, I'll be ready to move her on to her next owner. I do believe that there are quite a few more miles in her.
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  #11  
Old 01-13-2020, 01:18 PM
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W.S. W.S. is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i/5
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Originally Posted by Andylarry View Post
Well, Nert, turning over 300,000 miles would be milestone, for me. After that, I'll be ready to move her on to her next owner. I do believe that there are quite a few more miles in her.
Awesome! Thanks for posting such a great thread!
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1997 528i/5M, Aspen Silver over Black
1997 528i/5M, Aubergine over Sand Beige


Gone, but not forgotten: 1997 BMW 528i/5M, Aubergine over Sand Beige
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  #12  
Old 01-13-2020, 07:13 PM
dmaisenh dmaisenh is online now
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Mein Auto: 99 528iAT
Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
370,000 on my 525 touring and still going strong. I have replaced the engine and trans though. The car handles better than new and has been my daily driver as my sales car since purchasing the car new in 2003. Haven't found anything better out there and hope to add many more miles in the future. Great Cars
273,000 on my original engine and trans. Runs good, slight vibration that I think is my fault when I put a new center support bearing in. I think I may be a tooth or two off when the shaft went back together. Or I may need new engine and trans mounts.
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  #13  
Old 01-14-2020, 02:10 AM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is online now
Under the lift arms
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Mein Auto: e39, e83, e60
Im in eastern pa... Let me know when your saying good bye, Id entertain

we would have to get the e39's together first see if they mate make lil bmw babys
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2020, 11:33 AM
leiniedude leiniedude is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 Z3. 2.3, 5 speed.
Happy to hear you are racking up big miles Andylarry. Going to look at a 1999 528 this weekend with about 150K on her now. I hope the smaller engine is just as reliable. Best of luck on your journey! Take care, Mike
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  #15  
Old 01-16-2020, 10:52 AM
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W.S. W.S. is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i/5
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Originally Posted by leiniedude View Post
Happy to hear you are racking up big miles Andylarry. Going to look at a 1999 528 this weekend with about 150K on her now. I hope the smaller engine is just as reliable. Best of luck on your journey! Take care, Mike
Hey Mike,

Plenty of info about the M52TUB28 here. They have similar sore points but are less prone to oil consumption issues. Read up about them and you'll be happy with the ownership experience.
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1997 528i/5M, Aspen Silver over Black
1997 528i/5M, Aubergine over Sand Beige


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  #16  
Old 01-16-2020, 11:48 AM
leiniedude leiniedude is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 Z3. 2.3, 5 speed.
Thanks for the encouraging words W.S.! I grew up in Janesville Wisconsin, at the time, home to a Chevy plant. I cant remember seeing a BMW until out of school, except for a couple of bikes. i am a late bloomer to the BMW bug. But after having my Z3 for a couple years I am really taking the dive head first. I will keep researching the car and hope it does not snow to hard Saturday so I can check the car out! Thanks again, Mike.
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  #17  
Old 01-19-2020, 09:35 PM
Bossman963 Bossman963 is offline
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Location: S. calif
 
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Mein Auto: 92 525
525

not trying to brag or anything but had a 1992 525 and it went 468K before I sold it and the only motor work was blowing a timing belt @ 75K and of course had to rebuild the tranny 1 time
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  #18  
Old 01-20-2020, 05:49 PM
leiniedude leiniedude is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 Z3. 2.3, 5 speed.
Great job Bossman963 ! That is amazing. You must be the maintinance King! Was the tranny stick or auto?
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:09 PM
Bossman963 Bossman963 is offline
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Mein Auto: 92 525
it was an auto and I try to maintain all my cars and fix them as soon as theirs some problem

thx again
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  #20  
Old 01-20-2020, 09:40 PM
leiniedude leiniedude is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 Z3. 2.3, 5 speed.
Once again, great job!
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  #21  
Old 01-25-2020, 08:35 PM
Cptnhoek Cptnhoek is offline
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Mein Auto:
Rejoined with my new email to come say hi and congrats on this achievement so far - I've got a 2000 323iT (sport wagon and yes she's a 5 speed) that just rolled 160k - planning to roll her into the garage and get some much needed future proofing (and go fast parts done) becauseeeee..


We just scored an E60 2006 530Xi Sport Wagon with 117k (N52) on a very good deal.. Came for inspiration and I got it from ya - Chicago winters are brutal and sloppy hence the need for AWD otherwise I was on the hunt for an E39 touring but to keep the misses happy.. keep us updated for sure!

Last edited by Cptnhoek; 01-25-2020 at 08:55 PM. Reason: Clarification
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