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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 12-05-2008, 04:41 PM
koogie21 koogie21 is offline
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Thermo Needle Moving All Over The Place...

When I am idling at a stop light or stop sign, my thermo needle slowly starts moving up. When I get going the needle goes back to the middle (normal). As soon as I stop or idling it raises.

My thoughts are....

1. Air in the system
2. Something more sinister.

FYI - Had the radiator, t-stat and hoses replaced about 6 months ago. 98 528i with 121k miles on it

This just happened about an hour ago (12/6/08 at 4:00pm pacific) so I am going to take a look at the car in about an hour...

Thanks for your advice in advance.
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2008, 04:51 PM
Garrison5 Garrison5 is offline
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Just curious if you replaced the thermostat when you replaced the other parts?
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:25 PM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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First check the level and bleed the system. Top off as necessary. If that doesn't solve it then you have a fan problem. But start with the bleeding.
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:43 PM
koogie21 koogie21 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan M View Post
First check the level and bleed the system. Top off as necessary. If that doesn't solve it then you have a fan problem. But start with the bleeding.
I want to learn how to do it...any DIY with pics?

Thanks
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:44 PM
koogie21 koogie21 is offline
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Update.....

I went to my garage and started to check things out around the coolant system. I checked the expansion tank it was REALLY low...so I said...there is it. Filled it up with 50/50 Preztone coolant. Turned her on and proceeded to drive. Everything looked good, needle was at 12 o'clock...perfect. Cruising along and I get a call. I pull the car over to receive the call. End the call. Decide to go home and then the needle goes haywire and to the bad. In the red. Pissed.

So I figured a thing out...I need to bleed the system. Where are the bleed points? Does anyone have pictures? I need to get this done.
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:14 PM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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You can bleed it by idling the car after it reaches operating temperature. While the car is idling, turn on the heat to about medium fan speed, temp set to max. This will circulate heat through the heater core and allow any bubbles inside to be bleed out. Now, after you turn on the heat, pop the hood and locate your expansion tank (seems like you already know where that is). Now, next to the cap where you fill the system, you will see a screw that looks like a + sign. Crack this screw open with a screwdriver and a rag. Be very careful, the system will be hot and can scald you. Steam and bubbles should come out. Close the bleed screw and repeat. You are done when only liquid comes out, and no steam or bubbles/air. Keep an eye on your temp gauge since you are having an overheating problem. It would suck to overheat it while you were bleeding the system. Have a buddy sit in the drivers seat while you do this. After you are done bleeding, let the car cool completely, and check the level. Don't be surprised if it is low again. Top off as necessary. You may need to bleed the system 2 or 3 times, so my suggestion is to do it at night before you retire for the night, that way you can check the level in the morning before the car has been started and it will be stone cold. Good luck and hope this helps.
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