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What exactly are the components of the BMW E39 cold weather package?

15489 Views 16 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  TheHockeytowner
The alternator amperage discussion in this thread today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > HO Alternator?

Also discussed the cold weather package (CWP) and its effect on the alternator output.

Doing a quick E39-only search for cold weather package in the title finds only three Bimmerfest threads, which discuss confusingly whether the steering wheel (among other items) is heated in the CWP.
- Cold Weather package question, by MKBASS
- Cold Weather Package Question, by jj4302
- 2003 525i E39 Cold weather package question, by ATREYES


Just curious, since I apparently have the CPW sans a heated steering wheel ...

Q: What exactly is in the BMW E39 cold weather package?

  • Heated steering wheel ?
  • Heated passenger-side outside mirror ?
  • Non-heated headlight washers *
  • Heated windshield washers *
  • Intensive cleaning package *
  • Heated front seats *
  • ?
Note: Items with an asterisk (*) are in my non-sport 2002 525i automatic.

Note: Graphic below kindly supplied by QSilver7 in the referenced threads ...

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1 - 17 of 17 Posts
I can only comment about the 1999 sedan, sport wagon's and 2001 sedan's. Q might have additional insight.

The following information is taken from the factory brochure for those two years.

1999 Cold Weather Package - 528iT and 540iT
Headlight cleaning system, heated steering wheel, heated seats.
Footnote: It is not available in combination with the Sport or Sport-Premium Package.

Heated sideview mirrors and heated windshield washer jets were standard on all E39's listed under the Exterior and aerodynamics heading.

Heated seats were a single line item option listed under the Comfort and convenience heading for the 1999 tourings, but by 2001, it was included in the optional CWP for all E39's.

I do not have the brochure for the 1999 sedan, but my black sedan has the Sport-Premium package and heated seats. Therefore the above information from the touring brochure would appear to be correct.

2001 Cold Weather Package - 525i, 530i, 540i, and 540i 6-speed
Heated front seats, high pressure liquid headlight cleaning system.
The heated steering wheel was not available with the sport steering wheel, but was a free standing option with the four spoke wheel if the Cold weather package was ordered.

I'm not certain, but this may mean that with the post facelift era, you could have ordered the sport-permium, cold weather package and the 4 spoke heated steering wheel. If someone out there has a car optioned this way please verify.

Blue, my wifes 530 is similar to your E39; it has the CWP without the heated steering wheel.

I hope this helps.
I wonder what the logic is of not offering the CWP for sport vehicles?

It is not available in combination with the Sport or Sport-Premium Package.
Heated sideview mirrors and heated windshield washer jets were standard on all E39's
Hmmm... How would I know if I have 'heated sideview mirrors'?

Do they say they're heated on them (mine don't appear to say anything other than 'objects are closer than they appear').

my wifes 530 is similar to your E39; it has the CWP without the heated steering wheel
Does it also have the heated sideview mirrors?
For my '03 530 sport pkg the CWP consist of heated seats and headlight washers. That's it. The mirrors and anything else is standard. No heated wheel available on sport wheel and I doubt you could ever order a sport pkg with a non sport heated wheel.
Just to be clear, the headlight washers exist, but they're not heated. Right?

(We covered it in another thread where there are wires going to the heated windshield washers but no wires going to the headlight washers.)

For my '03 530 sport pkg the CWP consist of heated seats and headlight washers.
The mirrors and anything else is standard.
Interesting. That must mean I have heated outside mirrors. I never noticed it (it doesn't ever get cold here).

No heated wheel available on sport wheel.
Ah, that makes sense. It's the fact that the steering wheel is different and that this different steering wheel didn't have the heated option.
I do not know, but by model year 2001, the CWP was available. As I indicated before my black '99 has the sport package and heated seats, but no headlight cleaning system.

I wonder what the logic is of not offering the CWP for sport vehicles??
Hmmm... How would I know if I have 'heated sideview mirrors'?

Do they say they're heated on them (mine don't appear to say anything other than 'objects are closer than they appear').
When the snow around the mirror melts! Actually somewhere around 35 degrees plus/minus. You probably will not have this issue in your neighborhood, but if you happen to be over in Lake Tahoe........

Does it also have the heated sideview mirrors?
Yes, it does.
Bluebee, I should have been more clear. These are based on my '03. I don't know about other year/models.
Mine has the CWP. Heated sidewiev mirrors, heated windshield spray nozzels, heated seats. Headlight washers not heated.
No heated steering wheel.
I have the same deal as goru. But where is the button that turns on the heated steering wheel, if an E39 had one?
lol, nevermind, I see it in the pic.
The contents of the CWP changes through the production run...so just like the sport pkg...it is NOT a one-size-fit-all package. Someone with a 2003 540i/6 CWP....may have different content from someone with a 2001 525iT CWP...which may have different content from someone with a 1998 528i CWP. Heated seats were also offered as a stand-alone-option sometimes...so the fact you have them does NOT indicate that you have the CWP (see the link to the PDF below for all standard & optional equip from 1997-2002)

An old forum member (NickAD) put up a document that included all the standard & optional features of the (US imported) e39s from model year 1997-2002 (sorry 2003 owners). Here it is in all of its PDF glory...for some model years, you may have to refer back a year...especially if it say "continued" or "carried over" from previous model year:


The reason why some "sport pkgs" couldn't be combined with the CWP is due to the 3-spoke M Steering wheel. If that wheel was part of your models sport pkg...combining it with another pkg that included a "heated" steering wheel was impossible since there WAS NO heated 3-spoke M steering wheel for the e39.

And as others have already mentioned...heated mirrors & heated windshield washer jets are NOT part of a CWP because they were standard equipment on ALL BMW e39s imported to the USA/Canada. And heated mirrors aren't only required to melt snow & ice...they also prevent your side view mirrors from fogging up and clears away condensation. Bluebee...that would definitely include your part of the country...rumor has it that the SF area is prone to fog. :)

In fact, if the heating element hasn't burnt out...your mirrors heat up all the time...and if your ambient temp sensor is reading -40...the heating element is on just about all the time...which is another way to burn out the heating element. :nono

Heated Side View Mirrors:




Heated Windshield Washer Jets:


I go to the snow a few times each winter ...

Here's my pic from a windshield washer thread about my trip to Soda Springs a few months ago (North Lake Tahoe). The snow piles at the side of the road were reputedly up to 25 feet high earlier in the winter. Here they are at Emigrant Gap near Donner Pass at about six feet high on I80 on March 28th:


Next trip to Tahoe, I'll check the mirrors for heating!

but if you happen to be over in Lake Tahoe........
Mine has the CWP. Heated sideview mirrors, heated windshield spray nozzles, heated seats. Headlight washers not heated.
No heated steering wheel.
Mine too (assuming heated sideview mirrors).

And as others have already mentioned...heated mirrors & heated windshield washer jets are NOT part of a CWP because they were standard equipment on ALL BMW e39s imported to the USA/Canada.
I guess I have 'em too then! :)

Bluebee...that would definitely include your part of the country...rumor has it that the SF area is prone to fog.
Heh heh ... you are right about that! We get fog all the time, especially when I head over the mountains to Santa Cruz. I'll snap a picture of my mirrors next time I waft through a big cloud!

your mirrors heat up all the time...
Wow. You're a wealth of knowledge! The chart was instructive.

I wonder what it means to be on, say, 25% of the time.

Does that mean if you drive for, say, one hour, that the heated mirrors go on and off continually such that during that hour, 15 minutes in toto were spent in the heated condition, while 45 minutes overall were spent with the heater off?

Pic is of the car in front of me in Soda Springs, a few months ago, March 28th, 2011:
My 2000 540 Consists of heated mirrors and seats. Thats about all I have.
Anyone know how to test if they are working? other than them not freezing ;-)
The contents of the CWP changes through the production run...so just like the sport pkg...it is NOT a one-size-fit-all package. Someone with a 2003 540i/6 CWP....may have different content from someone with a 2001 525iT CWP...which may have different content from someone with a 1998 528i CWP. Heated seats were also offered as a stand-alone-option sometimes...so the fact you have them does NOT indicate that you have the CWP (see the link to the PDF below for all standard & optional equip from 1997-2002)

An old forum member (NickAD) put up a document that included all the standard & optional features of the (US imported) e39s from model year 1997-2002 (sorry 2003 owners). Here it is in all of its PDF glory...for some model years, you may have to refer back a year...especially if it say "continued" or "carried over" from previous model year:


The reason why some "sport pkgs" couldn't be combined with the CWP is due to the 3-spoke M Steering wheel. If that wheel was part of your models sport pkg...combining it with another pkg that included a "heated" steering wheel was impossible since there WAS NO heated 3-spoke M steering wheel for the e39.

And as others have already mentioned...heated mirrors & heated windshield washer jets are NOT part of a CWP because they were standard equipment on ALL BMW e39s imported to the USA/Canada. And heated mirrors aren't only required to melt snow & ice...they also prevent your side view mirrors from fogging up and clears away condensation. Bluebee...that would definitely include your part of the country...rumor has it that the SF area is prone to fog. :)

In fact, if the heating element hasn't burnt out...your mirrors heat up all the time...and if your ambient temp sensor is reading -40...the heating element is on just about all the time...which is another way to burn out the heating element. :nono

Heated Side View Mirrors:




Heated Windshield Washer Jets:


I don't want to hijack the thread, but does anyone know if post-facelift E39s came prewired for the heated steering wheel?

For the record, mine is a 2003 525i, with the usual heated side mirrors and heated windshield washer nozzles, but also with headlight washers and heated seats.
Original 2003 540i window sticker

It looks like the CWP for post-facelift E39s consisted of headlight washers and heated seats. The MT link below seems to corroborate this.

EDIT: MT has a bunch of information re: the various packages on 5-series cars; here is the '02 model year page, but you can certainly look at a lot of different years if you play around with it a bit. Check it out! The 2003 year option page seems to suggest that the heated steering wheel was only available in conjunction with the CWP.
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