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Old 10-22-2007, 06:37 PM   #1
emas
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E39 540i

Hi,

Suggestions/comments would be appreciated on buying 1997 540i Auto, 150k km on it.

What to look out for? Weak spots/Recalls/Common repairs.

Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:31 PM   #2
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-make sure the rad has been replaced, the original rads tend to crack at the plastic necks.
-rear window regulators will eventually go for no reason.
-valve cover gasket leaks.
-camshaft sensor.

there are more common problems, but I can't remember at the moment, and also, not all applies, there are slight differences between 97 & 98, and again with the 99+ models.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:44 PM   #3
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Here's a link with a lot of the common e39 probs
http://www.540i6.com/probsfixes.html

The only prob I've had so far on my '97 540i is a leaky vapour barrier (I've only had the car for a couple of months).

Last edited by roachboy; 10-22-2007 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack View Post
-make sure the rad has been replaced, the original rads tend to crack at the plastic necks.
-rear window regulators will eventually go for no reason.
-valve cover gasket leaks.
-camshaft sensor.

there are more common problems, but I can't remember at the moment, and also, not all applies, there are slight differences between 97 & 98, and again with the 99+ models.
yea, i know all about the rear window regulators and valve cover gaskets
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:41 AM   #5
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my window regs went too, pretty expensive to fix
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:15 PM   #6
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150k is nothing for that car. you can easily double or triple that with regular oil changes.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:36 PM   #7
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97 540i probs

Only big issue is the radiator and or expansion tank which I highly recommend replacement if it hasn't been done already.

Rad should be available at dealer for under $350 (part only)

any good mechanic should be able to replace rad and expansion tank for under 2 hours along with coolant (use bmw only collant... blue stuff)

Cheers and have fun with it.

Fern
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:07 PM   #8
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Hey all,

I too recently acquired a 97 540iA - a California origin car - that now has 77,000 miles. I have noticed that an exhaust-like smell comes thru the vents when we come to a stop at a stoplight. I was just wondering if this is similar to what Roachboy describes:
"The only prob I've had so far on my '97 540i is a leaky vapour barrier (I've only had the car for a couple of months)."

I don't know what a car vapour barrier is, but I've checked the cabin air filter box for leaks/holes but saw nothing.

Thanks for any help.

SF
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
Hey all,

I too recently acquired a 97 540iA - a California origin car - that now has 77,000 miles. I have noticed that an exhaust-like smell comes thru the vents when we come to a stop at a stoplight. I was just wondering if this is similar to what Roachboy describes:
"The only prob I've had so far on my '97 540i is a leaky vapour barrier (I've only had the car for a couple of months)."

I don't know what a car vapour barrier is, but I've checked the cabin air filter box for leaks/holes but saw nothing.

Thanks for any help.

SF

maybe your valve cover gaskets are leaking, most likely at the back of the engine, it's leaking oil onto the exhaust manifolds causing the burning smell, most noticable when you're stopped.
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:26 AM   #10
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weak spots

Intake gasket remove and replace. They are common on V8's.

Make sure they've already been done. @ 150k? maybe, maybe not.

You could be in for an expense if not.
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:54 PM   #11
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How much does the dealerships usually charge to change the valve cover gaskets?
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:32 PM   #12
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How much does the dealerships usually charge to change the valve cover gaskets?
$500+ at the dealer for the 540's. But really it's a DIY job for the most part, just takes a few hours. Not like the good old days of the e30's 15min and your done
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:21 PM   #13
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Here's a link with a lot of the common e39 probs
http://www.540i6.com/probsfixes.html

The only prob I've had so far on my '97 540i is a leaky vapour barrier (I've only had the car for a couple of months).

Very good post, thank you!
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:16 AM   #14
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Very good post, thank you!
You thinking of getting a 540 Mani?
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:36 AM   #15
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Seems you're having an effect on people chromius.. Get one Mani!!
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