Question re: 175K-180K maintenance - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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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 10-16-2019, 05:22 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Question re: 175K-180K maintenance

My 1998 528i 5spMT is now at 176K miles.
Up-to-date with cooling system, front/rear suspension, brake, oil changes, OFHG, vanos etc. etc.

I have a spare Bosch alternator and a spare Pierburg Fuel Pump lying around....

My questions are related to "high-mileage preventive maintenance":

1. The alternator: when did yours go south?
Is it a good idea to replace it, even though it is working fine?

2. The fuel pump, same questions...when did yours go south?
Is it a good idea to replace it, even though it is working fine?

3. The heater hoses (from rear of engine ---> firewall, from reservoir ---> engine, auxillary heater hoses)...How long do these heater hoses last?
Right now, they are 22-23 yrs old with 176K miles.

4. The body work: the skirt areas on both sides are slightly rusted from years of winter.
I do not plan to fix these rusty stuff...too expensive.

Plus I do NOT know how much longer I am keeping this car...
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2019, 10:43 PM
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TheHockeytowner TheHockeytowner is offline
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Location: Detroit, MI
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 525i
I replaced my alternator at 173k and my fuel pump at ~183k. They both failed at that mileage, but it's likely that it was the voltage regulator on the alternator and not the alternator itself.
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Last edited by TheHockeytowner; 10-18-2019 at 10:08 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2019, 02:30 AM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Mein Auto: e39, e83, e60
Im still on my oem alternator @ 250k

fuel pump went around 175k (*just wait for it to die, and replace it)

heater hoses, just wait for that... they might never break

and body work.. If you love the car, grind it off.. and spray bomb it.. Dont let it eat.. you will loose the car
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2019, 04:56 AM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 E39 540i
1. The alternator: when did yours go south?
Keep it until it breaks. Mine went south and was replaced at 155 K miles.

2. The fuel pump, same questions...when did yours go south?
I never touched or replaced my fuel pump. I did replace the fuel filter/regulator a couple times.

And I am still with the original heater hoses.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:56 AM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 E39 540i
1. The alternator: when did yours go south?
Keep it until it breaks. Mine went south and was replaced at 155 K miles.

2. The fuel pump, same questions...when did yours go south?
I never touched or replaced my fuel pump. I did replace the fuel filter/regulator a couple times.

And I am still with the original heater hoses.
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:10 AM
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energizedmortal energizedmortal is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i
1. Original alternator failed at 125,000. Replacement alternator was fine at 211,000.
I would not replace it if it is working get more time and money out of it, especially if you have a working spare ready.

2. Original fuel pump failed at 176,000.

3. Original heater hoses orings started to leak at 191,000.

4. What Burning2nd said.

If you are going to travel a long distance, put the alternator and fuel pump in the trunk with the few tools needed.

Last edited by energizedmortal; 10-17-2019 at 08:04 AM.
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  #7  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:29 AM
effduration effduration is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 528i, '03 530i '06 X5
CN90 - BTW Thank you for your EXCEPTIONAL DIY write-ups and documentation - here and on other forums. I recently showed your E53 brake line piece to a buddy who runs a tech company and he wants to hire you....PM me if interested.

Both the alternator and fuel pump are stranding items. If you frequently venture far from home, a preemptive replacement is not unreasonable. Rob Siegel (aka Roundel "Hack Mechanic" ) had the alternator go on his '99 528i wagon while his wife had it on a trip 400 miles away. He was forced to pay a mechanic $600 to replace it. If you don't travel far from home, you can probably wait for them to fail. Also, the Alternator will often just stop, while the Fuel pump might act strangely as a warning. If you don't replace the alternator, I would begin bringing it and maybe the fuel pump along on long trips.

I would begin to think about replacing those heater hoses, but they are also not likely to just burst catastrophically (few if any reports of this). If you have a future need to remove intake, maybe wait until then. I assume you have already replaced heater pipes? I just did an in-car head gasket on an E53, replaced the heater pipes and OFHG with intake off, and left the old heater hoses in place to save $$. I now regret doing that.

Last edited by effduration; 10-17-2019 at 07:33 AM.
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2019, 01:53 PM
haolibird haolibird is offline
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Location: san diego
 
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Mein Auto: 03 540, 03 M5, 98 540
Cam,

Nice to see you're still poking around.
As stated, Thank You!
My best contribution was a tag-along of your "Iron Pipe" thread...(DSP I believe)

If you have personal contact with BlueBee, thank her as well for many years of outstanding DIY help.
I hope all is well with her, too.

Very Best,
Tom
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2019, 01:59 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
My 1998 528i 5spMT is now at 176K miles.
Up-to-date with cooling system, front/rear suspension, brake, oil changes, OFHG, vanos etc. etc.

I have a spare Bosch alternator and a spare Pierburg Fuel Pump lying around....

My questions are related to "high-mileage preventive maintenance":

1. The alternator: when did yours go south?
Is it a good idea to replace it, even though it is working fine?

2. The fuel pump, same questions...when did yours go south?
Is it a good idea to replace it, even though it is working fine?

3. The heater hoses (from rear of engine ---> firewall, from reservoir ---> engine, auxillary heater hoses)...How long do these heater hoses last?
Right now, they are 22-23 yrs old with 176K miles.

4. The body work: the skirt areas on both sides are slightly rusted from years of winter.
I do not plan to fix these rusty stuff...too expensive.

Plus I do NOT know how much longer I am keeping this car...
My old 2001 E39 now is with 2nd owner and 200k miles. Alternator, fuel pump, heater hoses are all still factory parts.

NorCal weather is mild so there is no rust, and paint still looks great with regularly clean + wax(no fancy polish/cleansing tough). Interior black leather fades at side bolsters, and wood trims are now 2 to 3 tones based on sun exposure.

The 2nd owner just put another $1.5k for misc. fixes. His intent was to sell back to me for $2k, but now his plan probably is to keep driving till engine blows or something like that.
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2019, 06:38 PM
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mattmar1 mattmar1 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 5281 5 sp msport
alternator went south about 160 k miles, preemptively replaced the original fuel pump at around 190 k miles
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  #11  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:19 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Mein Auto: M550i, 540M-Sport, Scud
I'm at 305,000 miles. M62TU engine, so slightly different experience. Bosch alternators; I'm on my second replacement, both lasted around 115k to 130k miles. Fuel pump went at around 240k miles. I preventatively replace all coolant hoses at 100k miles (there is around a dozen of them). According to Mike Miller, the technical adviser for Roundel magazine, the BMWCCA (bmw club) official magazine, he says factory oem BMW coolant hoses are typically good to around 150k miles.

Too bad about the rust. A garage and regular washing makes a huge difference. Though we don't get a lot of snow, all the bridges and overpasses are sprayed with anti-freeze crap all winter long around Seattle...terrible stuff. I try to wash at least every other week through winter. I don't have a speck of rust, anywhere.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 10-18-2019 at 07:11 PM.
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  #12  
Old 10-18-2019, 03:37 PM
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Nfs021 Nfs021 is online now
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Mein Auto: 2003 M5, 2002 540i RIP :(
If both the alternator and fuel pump are original, then I'd say do it as prevenative. Or just keep new parts in the car with the proper tools so you don't get stranded

Never really seen anything on the rear coolant hose as far as issues with them go. I'd wait it out on those.

Sucks about the body work. I'd fix it as well to prevent further problems. But I get why your not concerned with cosmetics at this point on a car of that age, mileage and uncertainty of how much longer you'll own it. Though I say you should keep it until the wheels fall off.

Sent from Uranus with Love
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  #13  
Old 10-23-2019, 07:26 AM
scottalexander scottalexander is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 bmw 528i
Regarding alternator proactive steps:

While replacing the serpentine belt recently, I pulled out the alternator (4 minutes).

I spent $25 and installed a new voltage regulator in the Valeo alternator (5 minutes). The brushes were about 50% depleted.

What was a valuable exercise was cleaning the slip ring which was extremely dirty and cleaning the surrounding area inside the alternator. There's something to be said for having clean contacts from the slip ring to the voltage regulator.

For $25 and 10 minutes of work go ahead and replace the voltage regulator and get piece of mind.
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