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  #1  
Old 07-07-2019, 10:06 AM
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Question Intro - New owner of E53 with a bunch of little issues.

Hi all,

I'm an Audi owner but wanted something that was more capable offroad, since the lowered A4 S-Line tends to bottom out here on the back roads of Montana.

I drove this thing and it was smooth and stable in a nasty rutted farm road at 40MPH/65KPH. Body is in great shape. Interior is okay - not great.
Mechanically sound, just a few things wrong. I've gone through the first few pages of this forum and will continue to dig, but if anyone wishes to offer pointers for a first time BMW owner, I'd appreciate it.


To the issues -

I got this 2 days ago for $1100 under low Bluebook for a reason...this was used as a hotel - for mice. An old couple had this vehicle and it was parked out at their ranch for a while. Mice moved in. They had a suite under the amplifier, a shared bathroom under the dash where it meets the floor at the firewall, a spa in the cabin air intake under the hood and their kitchen in the engine air intake box.

I tore everything out of the rear down to metal and wiring, vacuumed (wearing a mask - hantavirus is nasty stuff) and scrubbed with bleach water. Washed down the carpeted panels I had removed. I've got a rented ozone generator running overnight for 2 nights in a row. I took it out yesterday after the first night of treatment and the smell is much diminished. Part of that's been the removal of the fecal material and scrubbing.

I worry that there may be another nest inside the dash but haven't started to pull it apart as I don't have a manual just yet. After cleanup and air out, will see if it still smells, but the AC has a mouse piss stink to it that might be another home.


There is a brake squeak in reverse. Wondering if this is the parking brakes. Pulled a rear wheel off (had to use a sledge hammer and a block of wood against a rim - hit it almost 10x to get it to finally pop loose. Looked at the brake/hub assy. Looks like pulling the rotor/hub should be pretty easy as long as the rust isn't too horrible. Put it back together for now.


Parking brake does nothing. I haven't quite figured the path out for the cable. Could be the above brake squeak issue.


I bought it with a quarter tank of fuel. I filled it up and went for a drive. Now smell gasoline. Not really strong, but like a tiny leak somewhere. Wondering if there might be an issue with the canister system.


Hazard light switch does nothing. Is it supposed to depress like any regular button?


Air Bag light is lit. I use VAG-COM with my A4. Guessing there must be something for the BMW world that allows me to connect a USB to OBD II cable and have software that reads everything. Guess I can go to Local Parts Shop and borrow their scan tool for now. Hmm, wonder if this is related to the rattle in the steering wheel horn button...


Display on the stereo is missing pixels. Mostly readable - is this a common issue with these old units?


One key FOB. It looks like it's locksmith programmable so if I get one off sleeze bay, it should be okay. Right? Audi requires a dealer visit (there's one dealer in the state of Montana).


Best factory service manual? I have an AllDataDIY subscription for the A4, I might add the E53 to this as AllDataDIY is more thorough than the 2" thick manual I got for the car. Except electrical diagrams are a pita to locate online.


Front doors rattle. Sounds like the glass/regulator isn't secured in place. Sometimes rolling up the driver window it moves a fraction of an inch/few mm, then sticks. Open door, shut door, it pops up a bit and I press up again. Repeat 4/5 times then the window shuts just fine. I'm guessing there is some kind of common issue here.


Has a U-Haul hitch and trailer wiring adapter. They spliced into the taillight wiring using the blue splice/IDC connectors. I don't like them because it breaks the integrity of the PVC insulation on the wiring and I've seen them fail too many times when I did this decades ago. Now, if I'm cutting in, I cut, strip, solder, heat shrink. It looks like there is a factory adapter with factory hitch package. I'd consider replacing it with a factory one out of a boneyard. U-Haul hitch is rated at 6000/600 LBS, so more than sufficient for my needs. Thoughts or comments?


Looking for some load/cross bars for the roof rails. Did BMW make any factory ones (like Subaru does?) or do I just drop $500 on a pair of Yaks?


Looking for a jack tiedown strap. For Audi I'd go to wolf auto for boneyard parts (they only do VAG cars). I found some places that don't include X5. Is there such a place for X5s?


I played with the silly assist for the spare tire. Kind of cool way to lift a tire instead of all muscle, but there is some gate support bar that's missing.


The horn rattles. If I stick a finger tip between the wheel and the horn button, it stops, but it is pretty loud if not.


The trim rings on the door locks (the ones on the top of the door card) are missing on the front doors. Someone must have taken the door cards off at some point and lost them. Wonder where to find those.


I read @Crowz Seicane thread. I might just go with a Grom adapter for now
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d9-waBRt4k - unless I can find an aux in hack like I did on my B7 A4 Concert II (then I replaced the HU and have Wireless Android Auto and don't use it. :|


The badge on the hood is pretty much a black circle. Would like to replace it with something that looks better.


I know I went a little long - I do appreciate any input.
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2019, 10:27 AM
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99% of what you need to do/check can be done with a Foxwell NT-510 or NT-520 (120-150 USD) code wise also you may want to post your ViN so everyone knows model/year/options which can help with questions.

Use pelican parts and realoem.com for diagrams and part numbers not to mention fcp.

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Old 07-07-2019, 10:35 AM
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Willkommen!

Buy yourself a Foxwell 510/520 scanner. Will do most things. Also a Bulgarian guy on fleabay sells the software/OBD Dongle real cheap.
Bentley Manual is the best. I just picked up some of those rings on fleabay for $18 for 4. FCP Euro are great for parts among many others.
Below are some useful links.
https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/select?product=P&archive=0&series=E53
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e53-x5-3.0i-sav/
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  #4  
Old 07-07-2019, 11:05 AM
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Thanks - And Rain Sensors...

Thanks for the replies so far @EODguy and @Zulu95.

I shop ECS Tuning and have browsed FCP euro for the A4. New parts are easy enough to find.

I already found Pelican Parts and newtis.info, but looking for community knowledge that comes from trends (like the Audi B7 A4 HPFP camshaft issue that I had to deal with). Means hours of reading and browsing forums. I have the Bentley manual for the A4 and really don't like it. Better info off of AllDataDIY. I suspect the Bentley manual will be similar for the X5.

Another thing. Lot's of rain yesterday. When turning on the intermittent wiper, I get a couple of wipes, but that's it. Wipers don't do anything after that until I manually wipe or put it into slow wipe.

Turning the dial on the stalk to adjust sensitivity does nothing.

Guessing a new/used sensor is in order. Or maybe not - there must be a way to test. I see there is an "Initialize Rain Sensor" process, but requires BMW software. Or perhaps the Barvarian? Being Montana, I'm guessing the windshield was replaced at some point. Lots of rock in the gravel they put down on dirt roads and use in the winter. The current windshield is cracked anyway.

I guess this is going to be my running list of things I find and how I address them.

D

Last edited by DacidSalin; 07-07-2019 at 11:24 AM. Reason: Umm, add more text...
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  #5  
Old 07-07-2019, 11:46 AM
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Intro - New owner of E53 with a bunch of little issues.

The hitch hold bar can be found on eBay. I lost one of mine and was about to buy a replacement when I found it. It's a key help in moving the 75# tire in and out.

Odoban is your friend: kills almost any kind of bug/germ. Also look into the procedure for cleaning the evaporator. It involves drilling some holes to get access to the evaporator from the engine bay and spraying through the holes.

Key is only made by one place in USA. You can get a key blank cut that will open the door and remote fob but it won't start the car. Expect to spend about $200 on a replacement key. You need the title and a driver's license to order one.

You referred to removing the hub you really just meant rotor. The hub is permanently pressed into the bearing and removal means bearing replacement.

The rear rotors are also the drum for the parking brake. They will usually be worn in to the point you need to loosen the adjustment before the rotor can come off. You probably have a broken cable if there is no function.

There is a reset/learn procedure for the rain sensing wipers. Search for the procedure online. If the windshield was replaced and no sensor or sensor not working the sensor wipers won't work properly.

If the sensor is missing and you go through the reset procedure you should end up with intermittent wipers which is better than constant or nothing.
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Last edited by andrewwynn; 07-07-2019 at 11:59 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2019, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
The hitch hold bar can be found on eBay. I lost one of mine and was about to buy a replacement when I found it. It's a key help in moving the 75# tire in and out.
Is the tire that heavy? It is a little awkward with the tailgate. Found the "Trunk Lid Support" for $5 and about the same to ship. Thanks for the clue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
Odoban is your friend: kills almost any kind of bug/germ. Also look into the procedure for cleaning the evaporator. It involves drilling some holes to get access to the evaporator from the engine bay and spraying through the holes.
I have some. There's just no good way to get to the carpet under the center console at the firewall. Vacuum nozzle doesn't even reach in well. Wondering if I should pull the entire center console, but could be quite a hassle with the trans selector and parking brake lever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
Key is only made by one place in USA. You can get a key blank cut that will open the door and remote fob but it won't start the car. Expect to spend about $200 on a replacement key. You need the title and a driver's license to order one.
Brits can re-program the EWS on the spot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oepgl7lcduA

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
You referred to removing the hub you really just meant rotor. The hub is permanently pressed into the bearing and removal means bearing replacement.
Yes, meant rear rotor. Have replaced hubs before - Not an issue here. Wrong word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
The rear rotors are also the drum for the parking brake. They will usually be worn in to the point you need to loosen the adjustment before the rotor can come off. You probably have a broken cable if there is no function.
Since I'm pulling the center console apart as much as I can (to get to the carpet), I'll take a look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
There is a reset/learn procedure for the rain sensing wipers. Search for the procedure online. If the windshield was replaced and no sensor or sensor not working the sensor wipers won't work properly.
Just happens that I have the Plinkington replacement windscreen discussed here. Wonder if it ever worked.

The adhesive looks like the last photo here.

This looks like I need INPA or a specific scan tool.
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2019, 05:25 PM
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Welcome!!! You've come to the right place!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by DacidSalin View Post

Hazard light switch does nothing. Is it supposed to depress like any regular button?
Yes, it's supposed to push down and latch. Another push un-latches it and it pops up. Not hard to replace if it's failed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DacidSalin View Post
Air Bag light is lit. I use VAG-COM with my A4. Guessing there must be something for the BMW world that allows me to connect a USB to OBD II cable and have software that reads everything. Guess I can go to Local Parts Shop and borrow their scan tool for now. Hmm, wonder if this is related to the rattle in the steering wheel horn button...
Probably the driver airbag - once it's sorted, you'll need to reset the SRS to see if the error stays gone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DacidSalin View Post
Display on the stereo is missing pixels. Mostly readable - is this a common issue with these old units?
Yep, it is. There's a couple of repair options - either a display ribbon replacement kit or a new LCD that includes the ribbon. Not a hard DIY but it take LOTS of patience and care. There's many folk online who will do this for you too.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DacidSalin View Post
One key FOB. It looks like it's locksmith programmable so if I get one off sleeze bay, it should be okay. Right? Audi requires a dealer visit (there's one dealer in the state of Montana).
Dealer only sorry... for the whole key... while the system IS programmable, it's not really practical for 99.9% of us....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DacidSalin View Post
Has a U-Haul hitch and trailer wiring adapter. They spliced into the taillight wiring using the blue splice/IDC connectors. I don't like them because it breaks the integrity of the PVC insulation on the wiring and I've seen them fail too many times when I did this decades ago. Now, if I'm cutting in, I cut, strip, solder, heat shrink. It looks like there is a factory adapter with factory hitch package. I'd consider replacing it with a factory one out of a boneyard. U-Haul hitch is rated at 6000/600 LBS, so more than sufficient for my needs. Thoughts or comments?
Try to get the factory trailer module (BMW #61356955253) to sort the electrics- it's so much better. The module plugs into a connector near the battery and the trailer loom then attaches to a connector near the bumper (inside the spare tyre well). Use of this module allows the car to monitor brake lights etc. and disable rear parking sensors when a trailer is attached. It also modifies the ABS/DSC settings when a trailer is attached.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DacidSalin View Post
Looking for a jack tiedown strap. For Audi I'd go to wolf auto for boneyard parts (they only do VAG cars). I found some places that don't include X5. Is there such a place for X5s?


I played with the silly assist for the spare tire. Kind of cool way to lift a tire instead of all muscle, but there is some gate support bar that's missing.
Jack rubber tension strap is BMW #51717033682



Tail gate stay bar - BMW #51717009683 - which is used when removing spare, is sitting in the floor tray, to the forward right...



Good luck!
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:31 PM
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Not awkward at all once you realize how the lift works. The key is you lift the strap and hook it into the top of the lower tailgate. Then pull down and it lifts the tire flat so you can drag it out. The prop rod holds the tailgate down.
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
Not awkward at all once you realize how the lift works. The key is you lift the strap and hook it into the top of the lower tailgate. Then pull down and it lifts the tire flat so you can drag it out. The prop rod holds the tailgate down.
'zactlly…

Watch out you don't loose the two little rubber bumpers in the tailgate latch slot when removing the lift handle (when done) - they often pop out when pulling out the handle. Then the trunk lid rattles....
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:49 PM
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You can buy a fleabay switchblade key fob (get correct mhz) and program it yourself with the AK90 programmer although you must take the ews out and plug it into the AK90/laptop setup. Total cost key, programmer about 100 USD.

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