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BMW 5 Series, Electrical, Engine, Sedan, Wagon
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Jan 24, 2011 (9:05 am)
Hi all. Had both PS hoses and fittings replaced on my '03 530i in July 2008. Bought the car new, so it took 5+ years for any leaks to appear.
Had a total cooling system overhaul with all components replaced. Radiator, fan, shroud, expansion tank, water pump, thermostat, etc. all replaced. SInce I had this done in Nov 2010, I have noticed a pretty good leak from the PS hose from the lower fitting.
Question is whether or not the PS hoses must be disconnected in order to perform the cooling system replacement. Given the nature of this current leak, the techs at my indie BMW shop would HAVE to have noticed something in November. I noticed the PS fluid on the floor in mid December. Fluid dripped onto the under engine "tray" for some period before it was of sufficient quantity to make it to the floor of my garage.
Taking it into the indie shop tomorrow, as the dealer that performed the original work while under CPO Warranty wnated to charge me $159 just to put it on the rack to look at it. At least my guys did not charge me to find the problem and even topped of the ATF fluid. Don't want to "accuse" them of not sufficiently tightening the pressure clamps on the hose (if that is the prob), but if these hoses needed to be disconnected to do the cooling overhaul, then I want them to do the right thinkg by me.
Any thoughts as a sanity check before I take the car in tomorrow will be greatly appreciated! Thank you.
#2590 of 2735 Re: BMW 530i 2004 water leak!! 
Feb 07, 2011 (5:03 am)
...This is exactly what happened to me...it rained and all of a sudden the car smelled like stagnant water...like it was submerged in a swamp...It was driving me nuts . I checked the floorboards and the front passenger as well as the rear compartment carpet was soaking wet. I took my car to a local shop specializing in bmws and they drained a bucket of water out of the front passenger area ( I didn't see exactly from where ). They told me that some drainage channels were clogged with debris and it caused the water to overflow into the interior of the car , pretty much. So, to the tune of about $120, they drained some water out of the car that should not have been there in the first place . I know that german engineering can do better than this... I mean if some debris causes this kind of problems...ummm...i'm going back to a civic.
#2591 of 2735 Re: BMW 530i 2004 water leak!! [usdbimm]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Feb 07, 2011 (8:38 am)
Probably a clogged drain in the fresh air vent system---pretty typical. Leaves or other organic matter get past the screen in the cowl vent (under your windshield wipers) and eventually form a "goop" that plugs the vent drain---and then you have a fishtank in there, which will eventually spill through the firewall (which is not meant to be a fishtank) into the passenger or driver area.
it's really not the fault of the car. It's more of a maintenance issue and where you park and live.
#2592 of 2735 Re: BMW 530i 2004 water leak!! [Mr_Shiftright]
Feb 08, 2011 (9:41 am)
Is there a simple way to check for risk of clogging before we find water in the carpet?
How do we unclog the vents? I'm guessing we remove the screen cover and try to drag the debris out of the vent cavity?...
Is there a simple way to access the drain?
#2593 of 2735 Re: BMW 530i 2004 water leak!! [mhutchinson]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Feb 08, 2011 (11:20 am)
I'm not sure exactlyl where the drain exits on your car---probably down low in the middle of the firewall, in the engine bay---and perhaps you can run a wire up that drain and unclog it.
otherwise, you have to pop the cowl vent off and peer down in there.
#2594 of 2735 Thanks for the quick response as usual
Feb 08, 2011 (9:20 pm)
You're the man. Thanks
#2595 of 2735 Re: PS hoses... [lovemyclk]
Feb 09, 2011 (4:17 pm)
Good news, as it turns out that the pressure clamp on the PS hose had loosened somehow... most likely during the cooling system overhaul. No leaks and and all appears well (knock on wood!)
8 years/84000 miles and the 530 runs and drives just beautifully. Sport Pkg still allows for crisp handling and no suspension issues to deal with yet. Imagine some bushings and shocks may need attention soon, however.
#2596 of 2735 Strange sound under the hood
Mar 19, 2011 (8:34 am)
I have a 1998 528i and the other day I started to hear a strange ticking sound. It kind of sounds like cards going throught the spokes of a bicycle.
Any ideas on what this might be?
#2597 of 2735 Buying used 530i
Mar 28, 2011 (3:19 pm)
I am thinking into buying a bmw 530i. So far I have found two of them. Both of them are from 2003 model. One has 155,000 mi on it which costs $7995 and the other has 111,798 mi which costs $10,990.
I have been reading a lot of consumer reviews about the reliability of the 5 series and nearly half of them state no problems while others had reliability issues with high maintenance costs. I haven't test drove these vehicles yet, but I have test drove a 2001 525i the other day. However, judging the reviews even on edmunds I would like to know your opinion.
This is first I am looking into a european car. I have another car in mind - 1998 mercedes e300 turbo diesel and I have test drove it with 193,000 mi on it and it drives fantastically.
#2598 of 2735 Re: Buying used 530i [auaq]
Mar 28, 2011 (4:24 pm)
It's really hard to say without the repair records and being there to observe the actual condition of the vehicle. No car will last a long time without careful maintenance. With it, it could last 500K miles or more. Most people don't or won't perform the required maintenance, but if you find one that has had it, it could be a quite reliable vehicle.
One thing to consider, though, is that while they may work fine, one recommendation is to replace all of the airbags at 10-years. This could be more cost than the vehicle! While they may work, and you hope you never need them, they may not. Then, most, if not all, rubber components may be toast at that age. Plus, electronics may last a long time, there may not be replacements available depending on how long those parts were made, and when they stopped. A modern engine without a computer module is a boat anchor - and an expensive one at that.
So, buying old is a risky proposition. Often, except for common repair parts, you may have to wait a long time to find those rare parts that die. If you can accept that it may be out of service for awhile, then it can be a fun, maybe inexpensive (but probably not!) purchase.