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Thread: ***E39 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)***

  1. #1
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    Exclamation ***E39 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)***

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______

    FORUM RELATED
    How many posts do I need before I have access to certain privileges?
    Once I have the required number of posts, how do I post a photo?

    TECHNICAL
    Where can I find a list of BMW technical acronyms and abbreviations?

    E39 KEYS
    How do I program a BMW key?
    What kind of key do I have, what types are available and what are their functions?

    FLUIDS AND SERVICE
    How do I get my E39 "ready" for inspection in terms of drive cycles?
    How do I reset the Oil and Service Inspection lights?
    How do I reset the Oil/Service Inspection lights without a special tool?
    How do I interpret the BMW Service Interval Light System (BMW Service/Maintenance Schedule)?
    I have reset the Oil/Service Inspection lights before, but why isn't it resetting for me now?
    What is the easiest way to change my Oil?
    Are there any tips for changing my Oil?
    What kind of Engine Oil should I use?
    What kind of Oil Filter should I use?
    What's written on your oil bottle (5w-30, LL01, etc.) and what does it mean?
    What kind of Automatic Transmission Fluid should I use?
    What kind of Manual Transmission Fluid should I use?
    What Fluids are approved for use in the Power Steering system?

    MODEL, OPTIONS AND CAR INFORMATION
    Where can I find an owner's manual for my E39 (2000-2003)?
    Where can I find a complete list of Equipment and Options for my E39?

    What are the car memory options for the E39?
    Where can I find Model Information for my 5 series?
    What BMW "Wheel Style" do I have?
    Where is the location of the paint code label?
    How do I find out the date my radiator was manufactured?

    ENGINE
    Should I warm up the engine before driving?
    What is VANOS?
    Does my engine have VANOS/single/double?
    What is the 52*i/ 530i double vanos problem?
    What is causing the ticking sound from my engine?
    What is the firing order and cylinder positions on a E39 V8/i6 engine?
    How can I tell if my spark plugs need to be replaced?
    Where can I find cheap OE sparkplugs?
    Is a Cold Air Intake (CAI) worth the money and if so, what kind should I get?
    Does a misfire at 3-4k RPM's indicate bad cats?
    Where is the Secondary Air Pump (SAP) located?

    COOLING
    How do I bleed the cooling system?
    How do I test for a bad fan clutch?
    What kind of cooling system parts should I get?
    What are some cooling issues I should be aware of?
    How do I find out the date my radiator was manufactured?

    TRANSMISSION
    What is the Trans Failsafe Program (Limp Mode) and what could be causing it?
    Do I have a ZF or GM Automatic Transmission?
    Do I have a ZF or Getrag Manual Transmission?
    What kind of Automatic Transmission Fluid should I use?
    What kind of Manual Transmission Fluid should I use?

    SENSORS AND MODULES
    How can I tell which module is causing my problem (Bus Topology)?
    Where is the External (Ambient) Temperature Sensor located?

    Why is it important to repair/replace the External (Ambient) Temperature Sensor?
    How do I clean my Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor (540i) to improve engine performance and gas mileage?
    Where can I get O2 sensors other than the dealership?
    Why does my alarm keep going off for no reason?
    How much farther can you go once the brake wear sensor light is triggered?
    I changed my brakes pads and lining sensors, but how do I clear the brake linings error message?
    Why are my Traction Control (ASC/DSC), Anti-Lock Brake (ABS) and Brake lights illuminated?
    Why did my power seat and steering column stop working?
    What is ASC-T/DSC Halfway Mode and how do I use it?

    ON BOARD COMPUTER (OBC)
    How can I tell if I have the High or Low OBC?
    How do I unlock the OBC (Low and High)?
    How do I change the Ambient/HVAC temperature scale from Celsius to Fahrenheit?
    How do I program a BMW key?
    Is there a security feature that will prevent my car from being started even with a key?

    ON BOARD DIAGNOSTICS II (OBDII)
    Where can I find a list of OBD/DLC fault codes?
    Is there a way to read/clear the fault codes?
    How do I reset the Oil and Service Inspection lights?
    How do I reset the Oil/Service Inspection lights without a special tool?
    I have reset the Oil/Service Inspection lights before, but why isn't it resetting for me now?
    How do I get my E39 "ready" for inspection in terms of drive cycles?

    WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES
    What is the correct tire pressure for my BMW 525i, 530i, 540i, touring (no info for 18"+)?
    Why does my car shimmy/ vibrate at between 45-50 mph?
    Are my rotors warped?
    Is there a way to eliminate uneven braking, brake squeal and vibration?
    What is DSC and how does it work?
    What BMW "Wheel Style" do I have?
    Is there a way to see what a certain wheel will look like on my E39?
    What do I need to look out for if I want to slam my e39?
    How much farther can you go once the brake wear sensor light is triggered?
    I changed my brakes pads and lining sensors, but how do I clear the brake linings error message?

    SUSPENSION
    Where can I find comrehensive suspension and ride height information about E39s?
    Why does my car shimmy/ vibrate at between 45-50 mph?
    What do I need to look out for if I want to slam my e39?
    What kind of springs/shocks/struts are recommended for lowering my E39?
    How do I fix a mushroomed/splayed front strut tower?

    LIGHTS
    Which wires do I use to power my aftermarket CCFL Angel Eye rings?
    Why does my headlight point down too low and why can't I adjust it?
    What does the warning light in the instrument cluster that shows one car behind another mean?
    How do I know if I have Xenon headlights and what should I look for in an upgrade?
    How do I refinish cloudy headlamps so they can look like new!!!

    BATTERY AND ELECTRICAL
    What's causing my car to have wierd/strange electrical problems (gremlins)?
    Where can I find wiring diagrams for my E39?
    How do I vent my car battery to the outside?
    What kind of replacement car battery should I get?
    What are the symptoms of a failing Ignition Switch?
    How do I stop the buzzing noise coming from my dashboard?
    Why did my power seat and steering column stop working?
    Where can I find fuse guides for the glove compartment and trunk?
    If my battery is dead and the doors and trunk are locked, how do I get into the car?

    AUDIO
    How do I install a sub amp if I have DSP?
    Is there a way to add an auxiliary audio port to my OEM Head Unit?

    EXHAUST
    Can I put an M5 exhaust on a 540?
    What does the exhaust "Rear" resonator, "Muffler" delete sound like (528 M52)?
    What does the exhaust "Y" resonator, "Rear" silencer delete sound like (540 M62)?

    BODY AND EXTERIOR
    Can I change my chrome trim to the shadowline trim?
    Where can I find the best price on M-tech/M5 bumper conversions?
    Can I get a tow hitch for my E39 (Touring and Sedan)?

    INTERIOR
    Where can I find decent cup holders?
    What does the REST button do?
    What's the best way to remove the sticker from the visors?
    Why did my power seat stop working?

    WINDOWS
    What % window tint is legal for my state?
    How do I get the electric window, automatic raising/lowering function to work (reset)?

    PARTS
    How can I find the lowest price on parts?
    Where can I find salvage parts for my E39?
    Where can I find cheap OE sparkplugs?
    What kind of cooling system parts should I get?
    Where can I get O2 sensors other than the dealership?
    Where can I find the best price on M-tech/M5 bumper conversions?

    MISC
    How do I get the hood open if the hood release lever or cables have broken, and what parts do I need for the repair?
    What places on the underside of the car are safe jack points?
    What is ASC-T/DSC Halfway Mode and how do I use it?
    Why does my passenger side sideview mirror tilt down when the car is in reverse and how do I stop it?

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______
    E39 LINKS
    Furiousmethod
    Bimmer DIY
    BMW Tips'n Tricks
    www.e38.org/e39
    BMWdiy.INFO
    Bavarian Autosport Newsletter which includes "how to troubleshoot your car when it won't start" (Page 4).
    the VERY best of E39 Links
    BMW Abbreviations
    BMW-planet

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______
    Common E39 Problems
    Common problems and fixes
    E39 Problems Checklist

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______
    Major online parts databases
    penskeparts
    realoem
    bmwfans
    bmwmobiletradition-online

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______

    Special thanks to Qsilver7. I can't count how many times I've linked to Q's posts.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 01-21-2014 at 02:37 PM. Reason: Added: Where can I find an owner's manual for my E39 (2000-2003)?

  2. #2
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    awesome post, thanks.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    http://pdftown.com/BMW-528i-and-540i-Owner-Manual.html

    Not sure how long it will be up, so you may want to download a copy if you need one.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliaw540 View Post
    http://pdftown.com/BMW-528i-and-540i-Owner-Manual.html

    Not sure how long it will be up, so you may want to download a copy if you need one.
    aliaw540,

    Thanks for posting the link. I'll check it out.

  6. #6
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    Manuals for 2000 to 2002 e39's and 2000 e46 are here.
    http://www.bmwtips.com/OwnersManuals/manuals.htm

  7. #7
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    If you think of a question that is asked often but is not in the FAQ, please post it here.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 02-26-2009 at 02:25 PM.

  8. #8
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    Very informative post! Thanks jamesdc4.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z06 DREAMING View Post
    Very informative post! Thanks jamesdc4.
    Thank you, and you're welcome!

    I've been wanting to categorize the FAQ list but haven't had a chance to do it until today.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the hard work. I'm sure it will be greatly appreciated by the whole community.

  11. #11
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    Word. Reading through a few articles right now... great work must have took a lot of time to organize it but well worth it to the E39 community

  12. #12
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    Thanks for putting everything together. Very useful.
    The BMW wheels link is pretty old though.

    The one in my sig has a lot more rims and is maintained.

    HTH

    Cheers

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fooljam View Post
    Thanks for putting everything together. Very useful.
    The BMW wheels link is pretty old though.

    The one in my sig has a lot more rims and is maintained.

    HTH

    Cheers
    I'll change it to the newer one.

    Thanks, fooljam!


  14. #14
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    00Sport/03M-Sport 540iA

    Thumbs up Agreed Bro...nice job on the entire section.

    Quote Originally Posted by fooljam View Post
    Thanks for putting everything together. Very useful.
    The BMW wheels link is pretty old though.

    The one in my sig has a lot more rims and is maintained.

    HTH

    Cheers
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdc4 View Post
    I'll change it to the newer one.

    Thanks, fooljam!

    Keep 'em both because that link doesn't allow you to see a larger version of the rim (at least I can't). I've already had a couple comments about being able to see a larger pic since I posted the older link in another thread...

    '00 540iA with 235k+ on the original TCG's, Vanos and transmission...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12CoolDude View Post
    Keep 'em both because that link doesn't allow you to see a larger version of the rim (at least I can't). I've already had a couple comments about being able to see a larger pic since I posted the older link in another thread...
    That's a good idea. I'll have to dig up the old link from a saved archive then I'll create a post with the two links.

    Edit: Done.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 08-04-2009 at 08:25 PM.

  16. #16
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    one of your links is bad James, the one with **** in it. Also you need to add EAC to your list of parts suppliers please.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by e39dream View Post
    one of your links is bad James, the one with **** in it. Also you need to add EAC to your list of parts suppliers please.
    Mark,

    Thanks. Fixed and done!

  18. #18
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    Thank You!

  19. #19
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    FYI the "CONTACT ME" link above (top) does not seem to work, just says I don't have any privileges..

  20. #20
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewCrewOf2 View Post
    FYI the "CONTACT ME" link above (top) does not seem to work, just says I don't have any privileges..
    You've met the post requirement for gaining Private Messaging (PM) privileges, but you may not have met the time requirement.

    How many posts do I need before I can....?
    10 posts and 7 days of registration = PM option becomes available.
    15 posts - they get the ability to use images, smilies & URLs
    10 days - they get off-topic access
    25 posts - something else happens
    > 100 posts - you get an avatar (image under username) option

    After you've been registered for 7 days, you should have the required permissions to access the "contact me" link.

    Thanks for the heads-up and welcome to the forums.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 11-29-2009 at 05:24 AM.

  21. #21
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks man. That took a lot of work on your part. Great job.
    1985 Euro M6
    1990 535i
    2000 528i

  22. #22
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    I didn't see this mentione din the cup holder section. I bought one of these and it works awesome. It's a little cheap looking but not that bad. Plus it's easy as hell to install. Just two screws.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-E...item19bbefef9d

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by e39alpine5 View Post
    I didn't see this mentione din the cup holder section. I bought one of these and it works awesome. It's a little cheap looking but not that bad. Plus it's easy as hell to install. Just two screws.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-E39-5-SERIES-CUP-HOLDER-525i-528i-530i-540i-M5-/110527246237?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories &hash=item19bbefef9d
    It has been mentioned in a couple of recent threads that I can think of and in a positive way. Thanks for posting.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 10-08-2010 at 01:35 PM.

  24. #24
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    nice links



  25. #25
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    Hi, im new to this and have recently bought a '97 528i. All the posts about defective fan clutches etc refer to over heating probs. Well heres mine........ When starting from cold the engine etc runs beautifully. Once engine is at normal operating temp, you hear the fan kick in (loud whoosing when engine revs rise). The thing is, the temp never rises but the fan also never cuts back out, thus serious lack of engine power!!! coolant levels are fine but having owned a '98 323i for 2 yrs with the m52 engine, i never had this problem with that car. Any ideas or is this normal?!

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