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Seek to understand,^Value
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25,378 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What typical SYMPTOMS point to a classic SOLUTION for your E39?

BACKGROUND:
People keep asking "what should I fix"; or "what goes wrong"; and I wonder if it would be useful to have a general SYMPTOM:SOLUTION thread.

For example, people keep talking about the weak links in the E39 such as 'vanos' and 'cooling' or the sach's 'shocks', etc., but I generally wouldn't even know the problem if I didn't know what syptoms to look for.

Some are obvious (e.g., ABS indicators); yet some are subtle (e.g., violent shudder upon braking).

Would it be useful to have a thread of common symptoms and their typical solution?
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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25,378 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's one for starters (taken from MatWiz's crusade to edify the unwashed):

SYMPTOM:
Your E39 shudders violently upon braking on rough roads ...

TYPICAL SOLUTION:
Replace your front shocks.
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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25,378 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's another, taken from my own experience:

SYMPTOM:
One license plate light is out and it's not the bulb or your trunk lock is erratic.

TYPICAL SOLUTION:
Check your trunk loom & splice in new wires.
 

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Registered
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4,987 Posts
Symptom--car shakes and doen't idle well on cold mornings
Fix---Repalce the Vanos seals--if you have a inlne six with single or double Vanos
replace the seals--you'll love what that one mod will do for your car.
 

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6,962 Posts
SYMPTOM: Check engine light on a cold start with no other symptoms
POSSIBLE CAUSE: Check secondary air pump (SAP) or valve function, check vacuum line for leaks

SYMPTOM: Excess oil consumption, occasional black smoke in exhaust
POSSIBLE CAUSE: Check CCV and related hoses for "mayo" (oil vapor condensation) buildup.

+1 on what Poolman says, no symptoms need be present. If your car has more than 30K-50K, you definitely need them.
DEFINITE FIX: Replace VANOS seals

SYMPTOM: Empty bank account
PROBABLE CAUSE: Stop spending money on that car!
 

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^^^Worst Username Ever!
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1,480 Posts
SYMPTOM: Steering wheel shakes between 45 and 55 mph, especially when decreasing (braking) from speeds in excess of 60 mph.

TYPICAL SOLUTION: Worn Thrust arm bushings. Replace bushings with HD (heavy duty) bushings or replace entire thrust arm with HD bushings.


P.S. This thread has potential to become a sticky. I hope it does.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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6,455 Posts
Symptom: Your <non E39 wheels> don't fit on your E39
Solution: The hub sizes aren't compatible. You will need hubcentric rings or a few mm bored out

Symptom: Odd squeaks and rattles from the doors
Possible Solution: The door seals *may* be causing this. Try using Gummi-pflege (rubber restorative and lubricant) to repair this

Symptom: Check Engine Light (CEL, MIL) is illuminated
Solution: There's literally thousands of reasons this light can go on. Check the gas cap for tightness, and visit Autozone or a local mechanic to have the codes read. If a charge is involved, you can purchase a Peake Research scanner for a comparatively reasonable price (http://www.peakeresearch.com/products.htm)

Symptom: Your car overheated
Solution: Around 100,000 miles, the cooling system gives out. You can replace the part that is at fault, and replace the rest in the next few days, or you can replace the entire thing for a reasonable price (DIY) all at once, and rest easy for another 90,000mi. (General information here http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/199986)
 

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504 Posts
Symptom: You just installed a third party vendor HID lighting package and your bulb out warning lights up on your display.

Solution: Purchase bulb out warning cancellers from DDMtuning.com or any other site sponsor.


Symptom: On startup, you hear what sounds like a jet engine sound coming from the passenger front of the car for 1 minute or so, then it stops.

Solution; Replace secondary air pump, air pump valve, and hose.


Symptom: Power Steering fluid leak directly under PS reservoir and on to 2 hoses coming from reservoir.

Solution: Cut 1/2 inch of each hose under PS reservoir and re-attach with screw clamps, or replace hoses altogether and use screw clamps. (CN90 has a great wite up on this)
 

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WTB - your E39 M5
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6,520 Posts
SYMPTOM: park on incline, pull hand brake, put car in neutral, car starts rolling back down the hill

SOLUTION: new handbrake
 

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Technical Graphite > ALL
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454 Posts
SYMPTOM: Sluggish acceleration.

SOLUTION: You may have an inline 6.

:)
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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25,378 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
SYMPTOM: Steering wheel shimmy upon braking at any speed, linearly shaking the faster the speed

TYPICAL SOLUTION: Re-bed the brakes to wear off high-spot deposits
 

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1,135 Posts
SYMPTOM: Steering wheel will not automatically reposition itself upon starting the car.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Replace your battery within two weeks. It will fail! I found out this the hard way, after everyone else left the house for the day!
 
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