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The factory jack for my 97 528i is a joke, my first flat, the rear passenger tire, I pulled of the road and place the parking brake on,chucked the front wheel, I loosened lug nuts, and then proceeded to jack car up, i have a habit of placing the flat tire under the vehicle thank god i did, because as soon as i started to mount the spare the Jack just gave way, it just bent luckily the flat tire was under the car. this oem jack sucks, If you still have one invest in a better jack.
 

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The OEM jack IS serviceable, if properly positioned on the plastic jack pads. Perhaps yours are gone, not uncommon.
 

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Looney Tuner
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I've used my OE Jacks on all my e39's over the years on gravel, dirt, hills, etc and never had one slip. I think more important than OP saying "never use the jack your provided," say instead "if your using your oem Jack make sure you have e brake set, car is on level surface, have your spare out and ready, and place flat under car while installing the spare. Better instructions on how to properly use the Jack is better than scaring all e39 owners away from changing their own spares with the Jack that has not only been provided, but has worked successfully in hundreds of thousands of spare changes, just because you had a bad experience, which could've been your fault. I'm not trolling here. I just don't want people to have fear about a Jack that so many people have used and never had issues. Just make sure when you use the Jack to follow the instructions provided in your owners manual the first time so your familiar with the right procedure for it to be safe.
 

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Sorry to hear this happened...but glad you did mention that you chocked the front end. As other's have already stated...the oe jack must be used with thought of how it's made and where you are lifting.

It has a very small foot print...thus concentrated weight in a small space. If the surface is loose or soft...then this could present an issue. Also if the vehicle is not on a level surface (yes, this may be difficult to get around in a roadside emergency)...as well as if you're lifting the rear of the car.

When the rear of the car is being lifted...there is nothing to prevent the vehicle from rolling forward...the parking brake secures the rear axle...and if the vehicle is an automatic and in PARK...then the park pawl is also only preventing the rear axle from moving. There is NOTHING to prevent the front axle from rolling forward UNLESS you chock the vehicle when lifting the rear end. So any slight movement or bump can cause the vehicle to move forward...and the oe jack will act like a pivot as the weight of the vehicle moves forward...and if the ground is soft or loose...this makes it even worse. :(

I carry an extra 6"-8" square of plywood to use as a platform for the base of the jack to sit on...in case of emergency and the ground is wet or soft....this will disperse the weight over a larger area. And asphalt isn't much better...because on a very hot day...it can soften enough to cause a jack to tip over. Many motorcycle owners carry a kick stand pad because their bikes can fall over if the asphalt gets too soft.
 

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the e39 OEM jack is known as the "suicide jack" because it is known to blow out. The threaded rod goes through a nylon thread plastic nut at the pivot which is obviously not the appropriate material for something so important. The first time I used mine I had the car up in the air and it collapse just as I put the jack stand under the car narrowly avoiding severe injury.
 

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Hydraulic Floor Jack (the 2-ton type sold for $25) is great for jacking the car. However, the downside is oil leak, if you are not careful, oil may leak out the fill port (rubber plug), messing up the trunk interior.

The factory jack, if you look carefully, has a small metal plate acting as the "nut", surrounded by plastic. It is a very dangerous design, basically deadly. Very stupid engineering, which is surprising coming from BMW, a reputable car mfg. I threw the E39 factory jack away.

I now use a Honda Odyssey "scissor-type jack", which is all metal: no plastic!
 

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I travel with a hydraulic jack. I've had issues with the OEM one. Still wish my Buick scissors jack would work, they made it with a lip on it and there is no place to use it on the E39.
 

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BMW ****ie
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I keep a set of these in my car

FloTool 11930MI Heavy Duty Wheel Chocks
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BQYH6Q?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

I do not recall ever using my jack. I may have used it once four years ago in my garage but not sure.

This is a good thread because a jack is something you never think about (at least I don't) until you need it. Car jacks are typically buried in the trunk. Out of sight, out of mind. Thanks to this discussion, I will give some thought to the best course of action (keep the OEM jack or replace it).

We sometimes become complacent, which can result in serious injury. Other times we are forced into a situation where we have little or no experience. I have not changed a flat tire in over a decade. I just assumed that when the time comes it won't be very challenging to do (complacent).

On another safety related topic. I intend to change my fuel filter. Before doing so I will purchase a fire extinguisher to have on hand. I have one for the condo I live in. It's one of those break the glass to use in an emergency. I don't have one in my garage or my car. Again, complacency can be deadly.

All of the comments here have been very useful for me :thumbup:. Some flats occur on perfect days and newly asphalted, flat roads. While other flats occur during a rain or snow storm on uneven surfaces. The question to be asked is:

Is the jack safe enough for a novice to use under worst case scenario road conditions?

It may work wonders in good weather. As they say. hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

PS I keep a really nice reflective triangle in my trunk that also has oscillating LEDs that flash and move around the perimeter.
 

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@seemyad,

To answer your question, the factory jack is "somewhat safe" IF one follows these recommendations:

- One does not crawl underneath!

- Limit tire change to 15 seconds: in other words, get the spare out first, verify that it has air (> 30psi), set the spare right there and get ready to swap.

- No passenger or heavy cargo in the car. No kids jumping up and down inside the car!!!

- Solid surface like concrete is best. If not use QSilver7's advice of having a small piece of plywood as a platform on softer surface.

- As mentioned above, chock both the fore and aft part of diagonally opposite tire with wheel chocks. If replacing RR tire, chock the fore and aft parts of LF tire.

- Now loose the lugs and jack the car up.

- The time the car has no tire should NOT be more than 15 sec, i.e., quickly swap tires.


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See video below on E46 jack, which is the same as E39. It shows you the "nut" as a combo of steel plate and plastic:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyZ88tcu1Wg
 

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If you look carefully at the design...

- White Plastic Plug is basically a "filler".

- When car is up in the air, the downward force (from the weight of the car) acts on the steel rod screw, which acts on the steel "nut", pushing the steel nut into the steel frame (BLUE arrow). So it is "OK" (not that bad). But the steel nut is the weakest link here because it is flimsy design!

So, as long as people swap tires quickly in an emergency, then it is fine...



 

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BMW ****ie
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@seemyad,

To answer your question, the factory jack is "somewhat safe" IF one follows these recommendations:

- One does not crawl underneath!

- Limit tire change to 15 seconds: in other words, get the spare out first, verify that it has air (> 30psi), set the spare right there and get ready to swap.

- No passenger or heavy cargo in the car. No kids jumping up and down inside the car!!!

- Solid surface like concrete is best. If not use QSilver7's advice of having a small piece of plywood as a platform on softer surface.

- As mentioned above, chock both the fore and aft part of diagonally opposite tire with wheel chocks. If replacing RR tire, chock the fore and aft parts of LF tire.

- Now loose the lugs and jack the car up.

- The time the car has no tire should NOT be more than 15 sec, i.e., quickly swap tires.
Great intel! Good, clear instructions. :thumbup:

I don't even know if the jack boots are still attached to the bottom of my car. Thanks to the video, I can go and take a look, and buy new ones if they are missing.
 

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So, as long as people swap tires quickly in an emergency, then it is fine...



lol sure its safe as long as your fast, I like that. Fast enough to change the tire before the jack blows out without any warning, the car comes crashing down and kills you. THINK FAST!
 

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I don't even know if the jack boots are still attached to the bottom of my car.
There is a thread I saw that is pages and pages about the jack pads with pictures of what happens when you use the oem jack without them.

You should find that thread.
 

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What are some recommended viable substitutes that are sturdy enough for the job yet do not take up much more space than the OEM jack?
 

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As mentioned above, good alternatives are:

- Honda Odyssey scissor jack, about $30 on ebay.

- Volvo XC90 jack, also about $30 on ebay.

You can also find them at local junk yard.
 

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lol sure its safe as long as your fast, I like that. Fast enough to change the tire before the jack blows out without any warning, the car comes crashing down and kills you. THINK FAST!
Yeah, my OEM jack failed on me once (wheel wasn't yet removed when I got interrupted leaving it holding the car up) and since then I'm always careful with it not to leave it too long supporting the vehicle. But actually floor jacks too have the same caution.
 

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@seemyad,

To answer your question, the factory jack is "somewhat safe" IF one follows these recommendations:

- One does not crawl underneath!

- Limit tire change to 15 seconds: in other words, get the spare out first, verify that it has air (> 30psi), set the spare right there and get ready to swap.

- No passenger or heavy cargo in the car. No kids jumping up and down inside the car!!!

- Solid surface like concrete is best. If not use QSilver7's advice of having a small piece of plywood as a platform on softer surface.

- As mentioned above, chock both the fore and aft part of diagonally opposite tire with wheel chocks. If replacing RR tire, chock the fore and aft parts of LF tire.

- Now loose the lugs and jack the car up.

- The time the car has no tire should NOT be more than 15 sec, i.e., quickly swap tires.


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See video below on E46 jack, which is the same as E39. It shows you the "nut" as a combo of steel plate and plastic:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyZ88tcu1Wg
Sounds great!

Early morning in winter, dark, raining, I defy anyone to change a wheel in 15 seconds, even with loosened wheel bolts and the spare standing by!!
 

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Sounds great!

Early morning in winter, dark, raining, I defy anyone to change a wheel in 15 seconds, even with loosened wheel bolts and the spare standing by!!
I'm going to order the Honda Odyssey jack. The Volvo jack has the long, zig-zag shaped arm that I don't care for (its the arm that you turn to jack up the car). Some people prefer it though. I have long arms so it feels a little awkward to me.

I have used fix-a-flat years ago on other vehicles. Of course that left a mess on the wheel inside the tire.

I keep a can of fix-a-flat with me on road trips for GPs. I'd use the spare before the fix-a-flat. However, if it were raining cats and dogs and lightning was striking all over the place, I'd use the fix-a-flat as a quick fix (of course unless the tire was ripped or shredded).
 
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