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I am a new member and look forward to my membership w/bimmerfest.
I live in NJ but I was able to locate a clean, 90k, 1998 540ia in Florida.I bought it for $7200.The car is a one owner,mint condition /beautiful looking car, inside & out. No accidents,norust,the interior is in unreal condition.The oil/filter just changed.I drove the car back last week, 1200 miles from Miami to NJ.The engine ran great but I am (deeply)concerned about noises and some hissing/vibrations/small rattlings coming from the transmission area ESPECIALLY at the lower speeds. It shifts smoothly from gear to gear but it makes the sounds as if it needs lubrication or an adjustment of some kind.The car has no leaks.Is it lack of transmission fluid? Is there a transmission dipstick somewhere? Separately, the "Check coolant" warning lamp comes on periodically after the engine has been running for about 10-15 mins.It disappears after approx. 10 seconds.The car passed strict NJ inspection the day after I drove it back to NJ...I checked the coolant levels and its where it should be...any comments wud be greatly appreciated...thx in advance...Slip.
 

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Give Bill at Bimmerclinic a call. He's in Elizabeth and he'll be able to look your car over and give you some diagnosis. 732 218 7632

As you'll come to find out, the auto trannys on these cars are one of their weak points. There is no dipstick and no way of making any adjustments to it mechanically, short of replacing the 'lifetime fill' fluid (do a search on this for a ton of info).

Hope this helps.
 

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Just a Gigolo
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...Separately, the "Check coolant" warning lamp comes on periodically after the engine has been running for about 10-15 mins.It disappears after approx. 10 seconds...Slip.
You have a bad "valley pan gasket" (do a board search). Remove the plastic cover from the top of the engine and look down into the middle area at the back of the engine. You will see dried coolant that has leaked into that area.

Good news... its always a very small slow leak. Just top off the overflow tank when the "Check Coolant" light comes on. Mine has been a problem for about 7 months now. I add about a 1/2 a liter every two weeks. My mechanic says he can change it whenever I get tired of topping it off or until the leak does get worse which it should.
 
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