With today’s advances in fuel economy in new BMW models, those of us driving older models will try almost anything to squeeze out a few extra miles per gallon for our daily drivers. Keeping the tires properly inflated, ensuring fresh synthetic oil is flowing through the veins, and rebuilding those vanos units are the tried and true methods for maintaining better fuel economy.
How do you tell if your BMW has a bad thermostat? Thermostats fail in one of two ways; they either fail stuck open or fail stuck closed. When they fail in a closed fashion its usually easy to tell because your car will likely experience severe overheating problems with the temperature needle buried in the red. This is the most dangerous type of failure because an overheating engine can cause major damage, including head gasket failure and cracks in radiators and cooling system components. In more severe cases, head bolts can strip the weak threads in the aluminum block of an M54 model engine.
Changing the shocks in your E39 is one of the most rewarding upgrades that you can do. Replacing old blown shocks with new ones is immediately noticeable and will restore the factory handling and comfort to your car. Just check out this video to see the difference between a new shock and a blown one! The downside to doing this job is that it can be quite tedious and time consuming, especially so on E39 models.
If you have just made the leap into E39 ownership, congratulations on your new car! If you don’t already know, the E39 generation 5 series is one of the greatest BMW models ever produced. Today, this model is still celebrated for its handling, styling, whisper quiet interior and excellent build quality. They say this is the last of its kind before the road feel was all but eliminated by BMW’s new model designs.