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About Stevenrl

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  1. Stevenrl

    Bmw 535d non starter

    I’d bet on the glow plugs being the issue. it’s getting colder, so harder to start. With a battery that’s in really good condition, you might get the car to start, but as it gets colder the battery has more work to do. Eventually, you get to the stage during cranking where the high pressure fuel pump is running slowly, and not generating enough pressure to sufficiently atomise the fuel, which prevents the car from starting, but also explains why it starts OK on easy start. As you have errors on all 6 glow plugs, it’s pretty certainly the controller (£60 or so, I think). I would also replace the glow plugs at the same time (about £10 each).
  2. Stevenrl

    Egr valve m47

    Keliuss: Older swirl flap assembly used metal pins & screws etc that don't agree with the engine when it ingests them - that's part nr: 11617787318 That part was superceded on all M47 engines sometime in 2005 by part nr 11617800577 which has larger spindles etc, so doesn't fail. Mike: as your car is registered 06, it could well be an early one (might even have been made in '05), so well worth checking the part number on your intake - if you find one of the above numbers you know you've found the right thing. Do try cleaning the EGR valve - under 2k rpm is the range it normally operates in, so sounds like it might be the culprit. As for how to tell if your car is doing a regeneration - it's hard to know without some form of diagnostic kit, but if you know the car well enough, sometimes I can spot mine doing it by looking at the fuel consumption. iReaper: I didn't say BMW put them there because they wanted them there. I said BMW put them there for a reason - and yes, that reason is emissions. BMW had to put an EGR valve (and DPF, and swirl flaps etc) in so they could still sell the car under ever tightening emissions laws. The idea of feeding exhaust gas back into an engine has been used for years now, and most engines don't suffer that much from it. Even our M47 engines put up with it for a long time before showing any problems. In any case, all these things worked absolutely fine when BMW put them in there. 100,000 miles or so later, when there's a bit of soot in the works, things start to go wrong. It's obvious to me that if you take the bits off and clean them thoroughly (like how they were when new) then it should all still work as intended, hopefully for another 100,000 miles or so.
  3. Stevenrl

    Egr valve m47

    Mike, I think there would be a point, but so many folks on here would disagree. My argument is that BMW put it there for a reason, and if you don't understand the consequences of what you're doing, you shouldn't be doing it. EGR valves work in harmony with swirl flaps and DPF's. When all 3 are in good condition, things work well. When one of them develops an issue, people have a tendency to remove it, but that'll just cause more problems. EGR valves only work at low revs, because that's the time they're needed. Around idle speeds combustion isn't very efficient, and a lot of soot is produced. The EGR directs some of the exhaust gas (50-60% from what I've read) back into the inlet - in other words, it's taking soot and unburnt fuel back through the cylinders for another go at combustion. If you take the EGR out, you're letting all that soot and fuel straight through to the DPF, which will then clog up quickly, and force itself to regenerate much sooner than it would. Regeneration takes a considerable amount of fuel. A DPF in good condition needs a regen once every 500 miles or so. Without the EGR, you're shortening that interval considerably, particularly if you spend a lot of time in traffic. Same kind of issues with swirl flaps - they get a bit sooted up, stop working effectively, and instead of replacing them, people just blank them off. They're there to improve combustion at low engine speeds (by blocking off half- the air intakes at low speed, the air running through the remaining half has to go twice as fast, thus it 'swirls' more in the combustion chamber, giving better mixing with the fuel. At higher engine speeds the flaps open to allow the engine to suck in more air). So of course, removing swirl flaps also seems to have a temporarily good effect. In reality, again we're pumping more soot down the exhaust due to inefficient combustion, leading to the same problems at the DPF. So of course, the next thing the hapless owner does is to remove the DPF, letting all the crap that their inefficient engine produces loose into the atmosphere, giving all diesels a reputation for being polluters. This is usually closely followed by remapping in an attempt to get rid of all the problems caused thus far. Of course, they've recently made it illegal to interfere with these pollution controls, so anyone with an honest MOT tester will soon find problems. It's never good to whinge about something without offering something constructive, so my take on all this is to keep it all in working condition: Take the EGR off and clean it - it really isn't hard. Check it functions by applying a vacuum to the hose - you'll see the valve going up and down. Swirl flaps - if you have the old ones, replace with the newer type that don't destroy the engine when they fail. Clean them and the inlet tract once in a while to keep things working. DPF - should look after itself, all other things being equal. They do have a finite life though - BMW specified 125,000 miles on the older ones, although they now don't specify a life for the newer ones - wouldn't imagine they do much over 200k though. If you have diags, keep an eye on how often the DPF regenerates. It does depend on driving style & usage, but less than every 250-300 miles indicates a potential issue. Any keep an eye on your exhaust - the inside of mine is pretty clean - so I figure the DPF is doing it's job. Steve
  4. Stevenrl

    Egr valve m47

    Could also just take the EGR off, clean it and put it back on, which should also get things running as BMW intended.
  5. Stevenrl

    E60 520d exhaust

    I run cheap supermarket sludge occasionally (when I have to!) - doesn't affect my exhaust (which, similar to Jim's, is inexplicably clean). I wouldn't have thought it would be the fuel - I'd be looking for something that's different in the engine. Jim - any changes in how the car drives? Do you get any slight hesitation at particular rpms? Does the car feel less powerful below a certain rpm? Any change in mpg? Do you have the ability to read the fault codes? Working backwards through your car....: The exhaust is sooting up, where it wasn't before So that means something is dumping so much soot in there that it's overwhelmed the DPF's ability to remove it The DPF might have a sensor on it - I can't remember on N47's. If there is, and it's faulty, it'll be feeding back rubbish info, which will affect the fuelling, possibly creating more soot. Heading forwards, the next possibility would be the catalytic converter - if that's got a problem, it would fail to burn some of the soot off, clogging up the rest of the system, but they don't often fail (no moving parts!) And next up is the engine, so is we still have a problem at this stage, it's down to incorrect combustion - previously mentioned: EGR, swirl flaps, injectors etc Easiest one is definitely the EGR, so let us know how that goes. Otherwise, it's time to look for faults stored in the computers. Afterthought: it could be that the DPF itself is dead. They do seem to have a finite life. What year is your car, and how many miles are on it?
  6. Stevenrl

    E60 520d exhaust

    Carmadjim - how long was it spotless for? If it's only a matter of weeks, then the other posts here are likely correct. If it had been spotless for many thousands of miles, that says to me that everything was working as it should do (EGR, swirl flaps and DPF functioning correctly). If it then suddenly gets sooted up, something has caused it ie. something has changed - there's an issue with one of the trio of pollution controls that everyone seems so intent on removing. The first one to go is usually the EGR - nice thing is it's simple (ish) to remove and clean. Next suspect would have to be swirl flaps, but that depends on which version of which engine you have. Is it the M47 or N47 engine? And what year? Either way, just getting to the swirl flaps means removing a lot of plastic bits. None of it is hard, but you'd want to allow quite a bit of time if you haven't done it before. The latest incarnation of the swirl flaps shouldn't give too many problems - earlier versions are a nightmare. If you have the earlier ones, replace with later version. Less likely causes: improper combustion - look at air filter (when was it last changed?) or fuel injectors. Have you checked you car's running coolant temps? Stuck thermostats are common, and lead to the car injecting more fuel in an attempt to warm things up, which then causes more soot etc.
  7. Stevenrl

    Routine service, noticeable improvement

    Ah, I've seen this kind of thing before. In theory, those Bosch plugs are great - the spark takes the lowest resistance path out of the 4 electrodes, thus creating the fattest spark and biggest bang. I tried some of these plugs in an old Peugeot 20 odd years ago, and they made it really go a lot better than the old ones. Sadly, you've seen the reverse effect - and you're not the only one to mention it - I've seen on several forums over the years where these Bosch plugs didn't perform as well as single electrode plugs. I'd hazard a theory here that as there's 4 of them, the electrodes aren't getting hot enough to burn off deposits, whereas you concentrate the same heat into just one electrode and it will get hot enough. Just because they're the recommended plugs, doesn't mean they're the best. In fact, they're probably the recommended plugs because they're German... rather than because they're the best for the car! The plugs in the photo look fine - in fact pretty much ideal, apart from the one on the far right which looks a bit dark (maybe just the lighting?) The insulator isn't as clean as the rest of them, but still nothing to worry about. If you want to check your own sanity, you could always put the Bosch ones back in for a day (it's the only way to prove the theory!), but I think it's a strong chance that you've installed better suited plugs. Sit back and enjoy!!
  8. Stevenrl

    Routine service, noticeable improvement

    My theory.... It could be symptomatic of an underlying problem. If the old plugs were fouled (sooty, oily etc) due to some issue, then new plugs are obviously going to give better combustion and therefore performance. Of course, the underlying problem could just be a dirty air filter or something. Or.... It's all in your head! (I've come to this conclusion several times in the past in similar circumstances) Do you still have the old plugs? Can we have some photos? Do you know which cylinder each one was from...?
  9. The battery you’re after is a VL-2020 - a rechargeable lithium one. Problem is, they’re next to impossible to find in a decent brand, with the pins in the right places (at 90 degrees to each other). There’s quite a few on ebay, but they’re from China, and i bet they’ll last 5 mins if they even arrive at all after 4 weeks. I got a Panasonic battery, with the pins in the right places, delivered overnight for around a tenner from: https://www.smallbattery.company.org.uk/ but I can’t find it on their website anymore. It’s worth asking them though. As for the case, again there’s lots of dodgy ones around, I couldn’t find anything of the quality I wanted. Luckily, I didn’t damage my case, so I superglued the original case back together - it’s an invisible repair, so I’m happy with it. Good luck!
  10. Stevenrl


    Give us the full story then! What was the fault code? Did it record any fault codes from the 2nd time it happened? 525d's from 14 years ago are rarely still intact... does it still have: a DPF? EGR valve? Swirl flaps? & how many miles are on it? Where are you from? (we might be able to recommend a good specialist etc) The more info the better!
  11. Stevenrl

    Battery/electrical issue

    Had similar issues with overnight date/time reset etc with my 520d - was most certainly the battery. Replaced that and everything works perfectly again. Definitely the first place to start if the battery is any more than a couple of years old. Remember though - it's not a straightforward replacement. The new battery must be registered with the car, and it'll need to be coded if you have changed the battery type or capacity - I did the coding on mine as I changed from 80Ah to a 110Ah battery (because the 110 was cheaper in Halfords!!).
  12. Stevenrl

    Oil for e60 535d

    Yup, I’ve got that stuff in my 520d right now - works fine, costs less! That said, I had decided before it went in that I am going to change the oil every 10k. Might as well when it’s that cheap.
  13. Stevenrl

    Slightly bigger brakes

    Hi everyone, My 520d has the standard brake discs (ie 310mm) at the moment, and both they and the pads are getting on a bit. Listed on many parts sites are other sized discs (324mm), which from a quick look at realoem are for either 'special' or 'government' vehicles (in my head, they're brake discs especially for James Bond only.... in reality, I guess they're for plod cars!). I'm not up for spending huge amounts on massive M5 discs etc - I simply don't need it. But slightly better brakes would be nice. So question is, to use these larger discs, what else do I need to change? So far, I'm figuring discs & pads (which I was going to do anyway), and calipers (which I don't mind doing), and caliper mounting brackets. Looking at the 2 versions on realoem, these are all the differences I can see. Can anyone confirm (or deny) that's all that needs changing? Anything else I should be looking out for? Secondary question: in a similar vein, are there other sizes of disc available? I understand that larger discs were used on the bigger engined cars - would it be a similarly simple case to upgrade to one of those? I still need to run the bog standard 17inch alloys. Many thanks to anyone kind enough to share what they know! Cheers, Steve
  14. I was also looking at an N47 5 series a few months ago, but the timing chain stuff was enough to put me off. It's a couple of grand if you catch it before it snaps, and nearer £6k (depending on how much damage it caused) if it has snapped - hence why so many of them are written off when it goes. I got the rarest of beasts instead: a 2007 520d LCI with the M47 (TU2) engine, that doesn't have timing chain problems. Between March 2007 and (roughly) August 2007, BMW were selling the facelifted 520d, but with the old engine rather than the new one. It's the last and best of the old engine (no problems with swirl flaps either - they were fixed by then), combined with the updated looks. And it's a manual gearbox... And I absolutely love it. It has enough power to be fun, but also enough fuel economy (absolutely critical for me) that I can live with it. Over a 600 mile trip last week I averaged 57.8mpg on the clock (which will be nearer 55 in reality, measured by the brim-to-brim method). I'll be keeping this car until I can afford a late 2015 5 series with the B47 engine, thus skipping the N47 completely. BMW did make changes to the N47 in later life (2011 onwards - for the most part a longer chain tensioner!), but there's still plenty of them that snap their chains to keep me worried. To end on a constructive note, for anyone reading that already has one of these engines, there's a couple of things you can do that might help: Change the oil twice as often as recommended - a lifetime of doing so is nowhere near as expensive as changing the timing chain Disable STOP/START (biggest stress on the timing chain is starting the engine) Take it to a garage as soon as you hear a mechanical tinkering from the back of the engine (might be best to tow it there...) Take out BMW extended warranty (which will be more expensive than on other BMW diesels....I wonder why)