The e39 five-series from BMW was a popular luxury car in the United States during its distribution period of 1997-2003. The 5-series included the 525i, 528i, 530i, 540i and M5, and were the most state-of-the-art Bimmers at the time. The e39 series had Flexible Electronics Design which allowed for upgrading of in-car technology, and it was the first car ever to be equipped with Cornering Brake Control (CBC).
The handling and control of this series were superior to many other luxury cars on the market. But even the best vehicles have some inherent troubles. Below is a list of some of the common problems found in the BMW e39, some of which can be caught during the BMW 1 and and BMW 2 Inspections before they become serious. If you experience any of these problems seek repairs from a trained German auto service expert.
Cooling System: The water pump and thermostat have been known to fail, and in some rare cases the radiator is faulty. Look for the “Service Engine Soon” light to illuminate and also keep your eye on the temperature gauge.
Window Regulators: High-mileage e39 Bimmers may begin to have the front and rear windows stop working. The window regulators could fail due to age and wear and tear. Be sure to keep your windows clean, and the tracks and guides free from debris.
Computer Readout / LCD Display: The LCD display on the instrument panel conveys important information to the driver, like mileage. But out of nowhere, the computer readout could drop pixels and turn into a jumbled mess of letters and numbers. This could be due to a faulty ribbon cable or on-board computer.
Thrush Arm Bushings: Sometimes referred to as Thrust Arm Bushings, these rubber units are part of the suspension system. They have been known to fail around 75,000 miles, or sometimes as early as 40,000. Symptoms include loose-steering, as well as jittering when you brake.
Leaks in the Hoses and Lines: Some areas of the high-performance e39 engine begin to leak, including the power steering holes, oil valve cover and other lines. Look for fluid deposits on your driveway or garage. Also be aware of difficulty steering or handling, and listen for misfires as oil or other fluids can collect in the spark-plug wells.
These are complex problems that are best repaired by someone trained and experienced. Contact an independent BMW repair expert for assistance.
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