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Discussion Starter #1
How about taking a moment to form a consensus on common E39 deficiencies to date, so that we can complain to our respective dealers en masse and get the recall machine rolling. I'm sure I've overlooked plenty; please feel free to contribute. I'll compile a final in a few days.

- Outside temperature sensor
- Real wheel well / tire problem
- Sporadic nav system performance
- Vanos noise at idle
- Titanium shift knob flaking
- Initial oil consumption in general

Alps
 

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I agree nearly with your list. I got a dozen other major problems in addition. But here're my 0.02$ on your topics:

- Outside temperature sensor
This is an general issue were BMW will be unable to solve. They already positioned the sensor itself at the best position they could find, but the engine just heaten everything around.
- Real wheel well / tire problem
What do you mean by this???
- Vanos noise at idle
BMW should have already send an internal technical letter to the dealers to exchange this. My Vanos will be exchanged for free next week.
- Titanium shift knob flaking
This is an known issue and has been resolved by BMW. Kick your dealer to exchange it for free to the new part.
- Initial oil consumption in general
All M models have kind of race engines inside and all of them are eating oil during the first 5000 miles. If you want a sport car which doesn't eat oil, than buy an Porsche.
 

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Here're my nits to pick.

Pronounced "whine" under light acceleration. To hear it, close sunroof and windows. turn off stereo. drive in any gear from 4th to 6th, depending on road and speed. let off throttle and coast, then just lightly apply throttle.

Rear seat armrest pops down if you drive with sunroof and windows open, and ski sack unfurls into car.
 

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Is the whine a problem or just engine noise? My old M whines also and I once had a passenger ask if it was a turbo. Another E34 owner had his friends nickname his car "the jet." Personally, I love it.
 

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Good idea. Here are my thoughts

Outside temperature sensor
I have this "issue" also. I agree, this might be completely unfixable since the car makes a lot of heat- after a 20 minute drive, when I get out I can feel literally a nice "ploom" of heat around the car. Well, at least in winter the car will say its like 80 degrees!


Real wheel well / tire problem
Ive read about this, but I have yet to experience it. I had a full car yesterday and even going over bumpy roads I did not notice this.

Sporadic nav system performance
Have not encountered this at all.

Vanos noise at idle
Ive got the diesel sound also

Titanium shift knob flaking
dont know as I have the wood.

Initial oil consumption in general
I think this is something all M engines will do.

heres one Ill add:
correct tire pressures
the door says one thing, the manual says another, and the dealer says yet another. Who is right?

ME
 

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Discussion Starter #6
NB that these are issues I've scanned and compiled from the board and not problems with my car...I only mention them because of their apparent consistency.

Alps
 

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I think the whine sound is a problem, as the car didn't make the sound at all until after 3000 miles. If your car were doing it, you'd know. It's definitely NOT normal engine sounds (although it is coming from somewhere in the drivetrain, neither I nor my dealer could find it). It has been reported to BMWNA, and they've had other reports of the same sound, but no imminent fix.
 

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I had the aluminum coating flake off but my dealer replaced all of that for free since BMW made a production change to solve the problem. Also, I had the car's timing in the 5th cylinder screw up which caused the engine to work against itself, luckily I was only 500 yards from my dealer when this happened. I do have the diesel soudn but thought that that was normal for the car, and as for the oil consumption, the technicians at the BMW performance center said that the pistons are designed slightly smaller than the block so that when they expand and settle over time, a perfect fit will occur and engine damage will be avoided.
 

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My fellow M5ers and I asked most of these questions at the Spartanburg program, and here are the answers I got:

Oil consumption: exactly what D. Wiggs said.

Diesel sound: normal. This was beautifully described by Richard, the head technician at BMW NA, but here's my poor rendition: Caused by the fact that the head of the piston (which is smaller in length than normal design) has room to slightly vibrate while running, and the sound will vary from car to car, based on the intricacies of the specific engine and how the piston is seated. There is nothing wrong with it, and it might go away after the engine has "aged" properly, but if it doesn't, there's nothing wrong with it.

Tire pressure: Maximum pressure is recommended.. 44/48 I think.. not positive, but whatever it says on the tire.

Titanium: the cars that I saw in Spartanburg were all flaking on the knob, and I have heard they replace these with new ones. I have wood as well, so I can't comment on my car.

Haven't had any trouble with the nav system.

I haven't tried listening for the whine yet, but haven't heard anything as of late, and I am quite nit-picky about how the car feels and sounds.
Hope that helps somewhat.
 

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The thing about the pressures is this:

the tires say "max pressure=51psi"

the door says "44/48"

the manual says "35/38"

my dealer says "32/39"

so whats right? I tried 44/48 and thats too high- I can see the tire wear is not across the entire tire surface. I decided to kind of average these to 40/42. The front seems right but the rears still dont have wear to the edge- its about 1/2" from the edge.

Ive always been of the mindset to use the pressures on the door, but when I called BMW NA, they even couldnt give me a straight answer.

ME
 

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The Porsche also uses quite a bit of oil -- 1 quart per 2,000 to 5,000 miles, depending on driving habits and types of driving.
 

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If the piston skirts are indeed that short, the diesel sound amounts to "piston slap" or the piston cocking side to side in the bore. That can't be good for the cylinder walls! I guess it happens at idle since the piston doesn't have the inertia to "straighten" itself out?
 

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heres an interesting one: the lighter- I used the adaptor for my cell phone (the bmw phone is backordered) and it almost pulled the metal "skirt" out of the socket!

ME
 

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I occassionally have one or more of the computer readouts dissapear off the screen. They do return without altering their previous readings. I also have the rear arm-rest problem, a quart every 1200-1500 miles, squeaking from the rear decklid and some tapping from the engine on start-up.
 

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Here is my list;
Air Temp Sensor:It doesn't work very well.
Rear Wheel Well:I have not had any problems.
Sporadic NAV System:It has happened about 6 times.
"Diesel Knocking" Noise:Mine does it at cold or hot idle.
Shift Knob Flaking:No problem-mine is wood.
Oil Consumption:No problem-1 liter in 4500 miles.
Whining:No problem except when I fill it with gas(I am the one whining).
Paint Chipping:This is one that I want to add to the list. I have more chips on my car in 6 weeks and 4500 miles than my '66 Corvette has in 10,000 miles and a 6 year old paint job. I have Zaino on the car which shold do as good a job as any protection system for the car, but it seems as though it is extremely easy to chip my Titanium Silver paint.

John
 

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I forgot to add that even though it isn't perfect, the M5 is an awsome machine!

John
 

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why is everyone so concerned about the "vanos noise?" I think it sounds good. Are you worried about damage to the engine or do you just not like the sound?
 

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Just to post my $0.02, based on 10K with my M5 delivered Dec 15, 1999:

<UL>
[*]Outside temperature sensor - No problem
[*]Real wheel well / tire problem - Some evidence that the body has touched the edge of the rear passenger side tire
[*]Sporadic nav system performance - Once had the women's voice change tone! Must have been a spurious thing with the audio system. A couple of times I've lost all the settings in the computer such as fuel consumption, distance, range etc. If you go too far off of the suggested route the NAV seems unable (or unwilling!) to suggest an alternative route.
[*]Vanos noise at idle - mine turned out to be the fan touching the cowling which I was told happens quite often on 5 series.
[*]Titanium shift knob flaking - no problems, still looks like new but I don't wear rings.
[*]Initial oil consumption in general - now about 2000 miles/Quart and probably getting better. Biggest gripe is having to pay for oil top ups ... I think that it should be included. The model I like is that of teh Acura NSX ... the last time I looked at an Acura NSX they were including coupons for three sets of tires as tire wear is higher than competition (5-12K)
[*]Unique to mine - Brake pad retaining clip was missing from one front brake on delivery causing a brake shudder. Fixed on warranty despite the fact that I had painted the calipers giving thedistinct impression, I'm sure, that I had lost it during the painting process (untrue, honest Gov)
[/list]
 

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[*]Unique to mine - Brake pad retaining clip was missing from one front brake on delivery causing a brake shudder. Fixed on warranty despite the fact that I had painted the calipers giving thedistinct impression, I'm sure, that I had lost it during the painting process (untrue, honest Gov)
[/list][/B][/QUOTE]
Okay, now I'm interested. Was it difficult to paint the calipers? I have not even had the wheels off yet, so I have no idea how difficult it would be. Respond by e-mail if you can.
Mark
[email protected]
 
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