Last post on Mar 25, 2013 at 4:00 PM
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BMW 5 Series, Electrical, Engine, Sedan, Wagon
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#2395 of 2734 Need advise on recently purchased 1997 BMW 528 i
Nov 17, 2009 (6:23 pm)
I just purchased a BMW 528i. A couple of issues have arisen with this car. First, I believe there is a problem with the thermostat. It takes forever to heat up when I drive it short distances, but on the highway it heats up fast. Secondly, it run rough for a few minutes when iI first start it, after it has ran a few minutes, it runs perfect. Also, I noticed it has strong exhaust oder when running rough. Thirdly, the wiper fluid is not coming out of the wipers, should I hear the pump running and if I dont could it just be a fuse? Or it needs a new pump? I was wondering what the cost would be to fix these problems if I need to take it in for repairs?
#2396 of 2734 Re: Need advise on recently purchased 1997 BMW 528 i [someblueflower]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Nov 17, 2009 (8:22 pm)
You may be right about the thermostat. BMWs of this era have notoriously tempermental cooling systems.
As for the strong exhaust odor, it sounds like your plugs are fouling on start up---either due to a dripping injector, or leaking valve stem seals. Do you burn some oil, or you don't know yet?
Probably the pump is shot, another typical problem. You can test the pump with some wires off your battery or putting a test light on the connections and flipping the switch.
#2397 of 2734 Re: Need advise on recently purchased 1997 BMW 528 i [someblueflower]
Nov 17, 2009 (9:46 pm)
No doubt you have a bad thermostat; I have a 2000 528i and it warms up very quickly
even in winter driving. That's a cheap fix and so is a replacement wiper motor but check the fuse first.
Don't know why yours runs rough on startup, perhaps the EFI isn't making the mixture rich enough, could be a bad sensor or bad coil. If the odor you're getting is sulfurous, you might have a plugged catalytic converter.
#2398 of 2734 Re: Need advise on recently purchased 1997 BMW 528 i [Mr_Shiftright]
Nov 18, 2009 (6:48 pm)
No, I dont think it's burning any oil...I'm taking it in for an oil change and to have the thermostat replaced on Friday...and I'm going to check the fuses for the washer pump first and my mechanic said he'll check the pump. How do I tell if it is burning oil?
#2399 of 2734 Re: Need advise on recently purchased 1997 BMW 528 i [someblueflower]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Nov 18, 2009 (6:52 pm)
Well if you have worn valve guides or hardened valve stem seals, what happens is that overnight some oil left on top of the engine, in the cylinder head, drips down past the valves and the seals (which it normally should not do) and then collects in little drops on top of the piston.
So you start up first thing in the morning, and your spark plug momentarily fouls due to the oil on it, and you'll get a few puffs of blue smoke. Once the engine runs for 30 seconds or so, it smooths out and the smoke disappears, because the oil has burned up.
Can oil still drip from the valve stems while you are running around town?
Yes but only under conditions of "high vacuum", which generally means letting off the gas while in gear and letting the engine drag the car's speed down---then, when you step on the gas again,----POOF!---another quick burst of smoke.
#2400 of 2734 Re: Need advise on recently purchased 1997 BMW 528 i [andys120]
Nov 18, 2009 (6:58 pm)
I dont think the odor is sulfurous. I'm going to have it checked out, just to play it safe. Winter is right around the corner and I want my car running smoothly when the snow finally starts here. I'm just curious, why would it be rough just on start up, but not when I'm driving it?
#2401 of 2734 Re: Need advise on recently purchased 1997 BMW 528 i [Mr_Shiftright]
Nov 18, 2009 (7:02 pm)
What exactly will my mechanic do to check this issue? And if this is the problem, is this a pretty expensive repair?
#2402 of 2734 Re: Need advise on recently purchased 1997 BMW 528 i [someblueflower]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Nov 19, 2009 (8:45 am)
If you wanted to check for worn valve stem seals or valve guides?
A cylinder leakdown test tells you a great deal about the internal condition of an engine.
Generally on a car as old as yours, you live with it. It can be an expensive repair (the valve guides themselve I mean). Replacing just the valve stem seals is a lot cheaper to do, but on an older engine, perhaps not as successful.
If you aren't seeing lots of blue smoke on start up, this is probably not your problem anyway.
#2403 of 2734 Re: Need advise on recently purchased 1997 BMW 528 i [Mr_Shiftright]
Nov 19, 2009 (5:02 pm)
I havent seen any blue smoke, so maybe it's just the EFI. I think I can just live with it. I do have a questin about the washer pump fuse. Is it just one fuse or is it two? Can you tell me if I can use regular ATC fuses or do I have to have special fuses for it? Can you tell me what amperage I need for the fuse? Thanx
#2404 of 2734 Re: Need advise on recently purchased 1997 BMW 528 i [someblueflower]
Nov 19, 2009 (5:13 pm)
Also is it wise to have the oil changed? I bought the car from a private seller and I have no idea when and if the oil was changed...If the answer is yes can you tell me what kind of oil, it does say 5w30, but would that be a sythentic oil? I appreciate any help, Thanks again