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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I wouldn't let a little thing like an injury sway your decision regarding the 5-Speed. I too have been athletic since well before I could drive, and in the thirty years since I got my first license, I have only been injured enough to prevent me from driving with both legs for a total of 16 weeks. That works out to only a little over two weeks a year on average. Fortunately for me, both times (I have now broken both legs, 28 years apart) I had a car with an Automatic at my disposal. Come to think of it, even if a "Fortune Teller" told me that I would break yet another leg next year, I would still insist on driving a car with three pedals. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Anyone know if cmr530 is back from her trip to SF? I check in everyday here and haven't seen anything. Anxious to hear about the trip up here from So Cal.
  • the_heidithe_heidi Posts: 17
    Is the 525 still fun to drive or do I need the 530? I have driven both. With and without an automatic. I'm a fairly conservative driver. Will I regret the 525? Is the 530 worth the $$? With or without automatic? I would appreciate any opinions.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    the_heidi... Both are nice cars. You won't go wrong with either, though if I went 525i I'd want a manual transmission and Sport Pkg. I'd say take both out for serious test drives on the type roads and times you normally drive. Get what you can live with. (Sounds like 525i should work, so would 530i, but only you'll know for sure.)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Since you have driven both, what do you think?

    My personal opinion is that the 530i is worth the extra $3,500 over the 525i. To me, that's a lot easier to justify than the $10k+ difference between a 530i and 540i. On the other hand, I agree with riez - equip the 525i with a manual transmission and sport package and you may not have the fastest car on the block, but certainly one of the best handling and looking.
  • bimmer12bimmer12 Posts: 72
    With a manual, I think this debate is a toss-up and preference for power. With an automatic, the 525 engine works harder and often finds itself in higher revs... Add three passengers and it will struggle somewhat... Gas performance is not much difference so if you have the finances, go with the 530, you won't regret it. 525 w./ manual is nice and adequate though!
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Too bad the 3 Series has falled to below average reliability, but, at least the 5 Series is still recommended, if with only average overall reliability.

    In answer to those who wonder if getting the first MY is a potential issue, overall annual ratings for E39 5 Series:

    1997 Below average
    1998 Average
    1999 Above average
    2000 Average
    2001 Average (w/no problem areas)
    2002 Average (w/no problem areas)

    Their methodolgy is interesting. The 1999 gets the best rating, being called a "reliable used car", but the 2001 and 2002 have no problem areas and both beat the '99 in three areas.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Naturally, a 2002 car is going to have very few (if any) "problem areas," which I think CR defines loosely as areas where the car exhibits higher-than-average (within the class) failure rates. So, even unreliable cars (e.g. Corvette) aren't likely to have many trouble areas in their first year or two.

    Therefore, a 2001 5-series will have fewer trouble areas than a 1999 5-series, by virtue of its lower miles and younger age. But, compared to all 2001 premium cars, the 2001 5-series exhibits only average reliability, whereas among all 1999 premium cars, the 1999 5-series exhibits above-average reliability.

    But I agree that this rating system can be misleading if construed in the manner in which you pose.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    snagiel... There is no guarantee that a car will improve over time, either overall or in any one particular area. Just look at the 3 Series.

    My wife has a MY 2000. It scores WORSE than the MY 1999 in 4 areas--cooling, body integrity, power equipment, and body hardware--but has a BETTER rating in 4 areas--fuel, ignition, electrical, and brakes. The MY 1999 3 Series is rated overall "average" whle the MY 2000 is rated overall below average.

    The MY 2001 also gets a below average overall rating. Thankfully, the MY 2002 gets an average overall rating. CR says the 2000-2001 3 Series are "used cars to avoid".
  • mod62mod62 Posts: 38
    10,000 miles since the end of October and skiing every weekend. I wash my my 525iT 5speed at least once a week, but would like to wax it especially after the winter in the New York area. Is there a certain amount of mileage or time that I have to wait for?

    Thanks,
    Mike
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    the water no longer beads up on the car surface. Actually, you can wax it as often as you want as long as you use a "non abrasive" wax like Zymol. The multi purpose "cleaner/wax" should be used with caution because they can damage the clear coat that protects the paint.

    Hope this helps...JL
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    I didn't say that a model's reliability improves over time, only that--all else being equal--a newer model should be statisically more reliable than an older model. Obviously, if a manufacturer switches suppliers or relaxes tolerance specifications, a model may decline in reliability over time. But remember, too, that these "reliability" and "problem area" ratings are judged in the context of all other cars in a category. Therefore, if a new reliable car emerges in the same category (e.g. the Lexus IS), it may re-center that category's average reliability.

    These ratings, then, become complicated when you start comparing models from year to year, because there are many variables involved. But, in general, I think it's fair to assume that a particular model (barring any major changes) should be relatively consistent in its reliability; consequently, a more recent model will be more reliable than an older one.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I do not think you have to wait any period of time to wax a new car. I have waxed my last two (Nissan Maxima and Honda S2000) within 2 days of bringing them home, with no ill effects. They both have clear coat finishes similar to BMW.

    Also, the two ultra premium products: Zymol and Zaino are excellent for those willing to take a fair amount of time. However, I can also heartily recommend Maguires Professional #26. I have been using it on my Maxima every 4+/- months since 1994, and the finish still looks outstanding. It was recently in for its first ever minor body repair and the shop (which specializes in BMW/Mercedes/Porsche) also commented on the superb quality of the finish for an 8 year 135k mile car. When I mentioned that I use Maguires Professional, they indicated it is the wax they recommend to their clients. The other advantage with Maguires is it's ease and quickness of use. I can wash and wax my Nissan and S2000 in about 75 minutes each. With 2 young kids, I don't have the luxury of spending 4+ hours applying a two or three step system, especially when it doesn't last as long as Maguires.

    Good luck.
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Unfortunately I am still here in SoCal :( working clear until the end of June (teacher). I will be driving your way this summer probably in late July or August. I will take my 530 and stop for a day/night in Santa Barbara and then continue on. If you have any suggestions for places that are a must see please let me know. I haven't had the time yet to plan a detailed itinerary so I am open to ideas. Thanks for asking and hope all is well with you and your 5er.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    This morning on the way into the "Office" (it is 11:50 AM on Wednesday morning here), I saw a local Highway Patrol car. Said patrol car was a late model 520i, white and done up with lots of orange stripes and such; I will try to get a picture of one later this week.

    Not that it is terribly relevant, but I also saw an older (E34) 520i with a "V6" tag on the front fender. Heaven Forbid!

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • athorpeathorpe Posts: 8
    Looking for some input on price for the E60.

    I'm at the top of the local dealer's list for the 2004 5-series and they are about to start taking deposits. They are telling me price will be MSRP flat. This is clearly a big number, and clearly higher than the general price talk on this board for all types of 5-series - in particular it sounds like new 530s range from invoice +$1500-2000 these days, which is probably MSRP minus ~$1.5-2k I think.

    A new model, being first on the list, etc clearly means I'm going to go to the cleaners on this one. Question for the group is whether MSRP strikes you as crazy/obscene/unjustified or just plain high/silly/self-indulgent (which it clearly is)? Is MSRP normal for new BMW models? (I suppose I should check the 7-board as well, does anyone have data on that?). I know all of this depends on 32 factors which someone will be nice enough to detail for me, but what I'm really interested in is the sanity check from those of you more knowledgeable than I.

    For what its worth, I'm probably going to get a 545i auto (yes, heresy I know - wife + commute = auto unfortunately).

    Thanks for your input.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    MSRP is the norm with some BMW dealers even with established models, let alone new ones. About 18 months ago I went into the dealer in Dallas, TX (John Roberts or something like that), and the salesman told me with a straight face that he'd sell me a 530i (one he had on the lot) for MSRP, not a penny less. I laughed and left.

    With the E60, I'm sure many dealers will ask above MSRP at its introduction, and I'm sure there'll be suckers lining up gladly to pay it. If you want to be the first on the block with a new toy, yes, you'll pay.

    So...if you want a deal, be prepared to wait. Which will probably help reduce early production gremlins as well.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    AThorpe,

    Ditto what SNagiel said, exactly.

    To both of y'all,

    What are you two doing up so late? ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    athorpe... I concur with snagiel's assessment. And you might want to keep in mind that the new 745i has been selling like hotcakes. If the new E60 5 Series is a market success, that will just be all the less need for dealers to deal in the first year or so. (I'm prepared to wait. I'm thinking I might shoot for an '05 CPO 545i in '07. I've got to see the new Pontiac GTO first as well as the upcoming 6 Series.)

    This might be one of those times where ED makes sense? A new hot selling BMW is hard to negotiate off MSRP. But then it might also be hard to negotiate off ED MSRP, too.
  • sirtigersirtiger Posts: 38
    I have posted earlier that I am a new owner of a 2003 530I and had some questions which some of you may know....Any insight would be appreciated.

    1. how do you move that seat belt up & down?

    2. is there really a first aid kit in the car (the manual claims there is)

    3. do most people buy a new gas lid with a lock? I found this unusual that the lid just opens up...and if the gas situation gets worse there may be some siphoning going on...

    4. Is it worth using that on board computer to lock your ignition with the key pad security?

    5. does any new owners have a trunk mat (for all that money I spent, I found it surprising that there is no trunk mat!!)

    6. Why does the computer dings with that temp. thing every time I start to drive? It's starting to irritate me....

    7. Anyway to turn off the auto dimming feature manually?

    8. Does going in the electrical system void warranty?

    9. For those who bought the car new, did you get a 20% coupon for buying accessories? (Some of my friends did 2 yrs ago).

    10. Do you think most owners buy mudguards? (I find myself wiping that area more than I would like)

    So far the car is excellent. Only grip is that there is only one cig. lighter for my gadgets, lack to interior storage and the of course... the lousy cupholders....
  • jhox85jhox85 Posts: 35
    where do you buy that Maguires Prof. #26 wax?

    Local stores? Thanks for your help.
  • ii31ii31 Posts: 24
    Hello,

    Last week, BMW service folks found a faulty
    air mass flow sensor in my car. It's on special order now.

    Yesterday morning, while accelerating from 5-10 MPH speed,
    my car stalled! No power steering, completely
    dead. I safely pulled it to the right, re-started
    the car. It started ok, no warning lights etc. It's almost
    as if nothing happened.

    It's a 2000 540ia with 28k miles. I bought
    it used from a local BMW dealer. Thank God
    it's still under warranty.

    Anyone else faced similar stalling?
    Could faulty air flow sensor be responsible for
    stalling? Pardon my mechanical ignorance :=)

    Thanks

    I.I.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Is sold in local auto parts stores here (DC area). Pep Boys, Auto Zone and the like.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    I know some of these:

    1. how do you move that seat belt up & down?
    You can't; it automatically adjusts based on the seat position (fore and aft).

    2. is there really a first aid kit in the car (the manual claims there is)
    Are you sure there isn't an asterisk next to it in the manual indicating it's not standard equipment? Either way, it's only available in Europe. The kit apparently has some items which violate some regulatory ordinances (FDA, I believe), so instead of jumping through hoops to qualify it BMW just leaves it out for US models. Some dealers might allow you to special-order one from the Fatherland, but it'll cost you. If, however, you had bought the car through European Delivery, the kit is there while you're in Europe (they remove it at the US port of entry), so if you remember, you can remove it and bring it back yourself.

    3. do most people buy a new gas lid with a lock? I found this unusual that the lid just opens up...and if the gas situation gets worse there may be some siphoning going on...
    It's only accessible when all doors are unlocked (using the central unlock button or the one on your key fob). If the car is locked and you can still open it, have a dealer inspect.

    4. Is it worth using that on board computer to lock your ignition with the key pad security?
    Whoa, I didn't even realize that was possible. Time for me to go re-read the manual (it's amazing how many things I learn every time I leaf through it). Nevertheless, it sounds like a pain to me.

    5. does any new owners have a trunk mat (for all that money I spent, I found it surprising that there is no trunk mat!!)
    No mat comes standard, but you can order one through the dealer or an after-market one like WeatherTec.

    6. Why does the computer dings with that temp. thing every time I start to drive? It's starting to irritate me....
    I assume you're referring to the 37-degree chime. It's there to remind you that it's cold enough for some icing conditions. Just wait a couple of months, and you won't be hearing it again until next Winter. I don't think it can be disabled.

    7. Anyway to turn off the auto dimming feature manually?
    On the rearview mirror? Sure: put some electrical tape over the sensor.

    8. Does going in the electrical system void warranty?
    What are you planning to do? Theoretically, a dealer has to prove any modifications you do are directly related to any warranty claims you make, but in reality I've heard of many folks facing a lot of denied warranty coverage for highly unrelated things when they start fiddling with any number of components (electrical or mechanical) in their vehicles.

    9. For those who bought the car new, did you get a 20% coupon for buying accessories? (Some of my friends did 2 yrs ago).
    No, but joining BMWCCA (which I recommend) saves you 10-20% at many participating dealers for parts and accessories.

    10. Do you think most owners buy mudguards? (I find myself wiping that area more than I would like)
    I don't see them on the majority of 5-series, and I'm not sure how effective they are. But they're relatively inexpensive and are probably at least somewhat helpful.

    As for the cupholders, check out www.ultimatecupholders.com for an alternative.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    If you need another power outlet, you can buy an adaptor and use the spot where your flashlight is. Or you can an adaptor which will convert your cigarette lighter to three inputs from Bavarian Autosport www.bavauto.com
  • sirtigersirtiger Posts: 38
    Snagiel, thanks for your answer as they were quite helpful. I will take a look at these misc things when bring my car out this weekend....

    4. Is it worth using that on board computer to lock your ignition with the key pad security?

    Whoa, I didn't even realize that was possible. Time for me to go re-read the manual (it's amazing how many things I learn every time I leaf through it). Nevertheless, it sounds like a pain to me.

    I was watching this feature in the BMW VHS video that came with the car. It has some numeric code you can set to secure your car. I haven’t tried it out yet but it was intriguing. That on-board computer has several interesting features but still a pain to go maneuver (makes me glad that I didn’t go for the NAV)

    7. Anyway to turn off the auto dimming feature manually?

    On the rearview mirror? Sure: put some electrical tape over the sensor.

    Electrical tape? That would make it the mirror dim even more!! LOL!!

    8. Does going in the electrical system void warranty?

    What are you planning to do? Theoretically, a dealer has to prove any modifications you do are directly related to any warranty claims you make, but in reality I've heard of many folks facing a lot of denied warranty coverage for highly unrelated things when they start fiddling with any number of components (electrical or mechanical) in their vehicles.

    Nothing too serious but I was planning to hardwire some toys like radar, entertainment sys., etc. into the car.

    10. Do you think most owners buy mudguards? (I find myself wiping that area more than I would like)

    I don't see them on the majority of 5-series, and I'm not sure how effective they are. But they're relatively inexpensive and are probably at least somewhat helpful.

    Its an option for BMW just like the trunkmat...its an option as well. I guess I take my Toyota Camry for granted when it came with mats, mudguards, 60/40 split, etc. I observed many luxury cars and noticed that many cars don’t have the mudguardst. I have been wiping by the rear tire every so often which I was wondering if everyone is doing the same thing.
  • spyderredspyderred Posts: 137
    I too got tired of the area behind the wheels. I ended up buying a set (front and rear) and installed them. They work great and make a huge difference. I like them. Some people don't. Personal choices.

    Good luck,

    Spyderred,
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Mirror: My suggestion was in jest, obviously, but taping over the sensor would render it blind to bright headlights from behind. The mirror dims when it senses concentrated bright light, not darkness. (I believe that's how it works, at least.)

    Electrical system: I've hardwired my detector, as have many others, without any problems. Just be sure to tap the correct wire. As for "entertainment system," this can get hairy. Installing new speakers is one thing, but redoing the head-unit, amp, etc. can get complicated, especially if your car's got the DSP amplifier. Since the car's electrical components operate over a proprietary "I-Bus" network, it's possible to render a fair degree of damage if you're not aware of what wires you're cutting, splicing, or otherwise interfering with. I suggest you do a lot of homework and get comfortable with the electronics first, or pay a visit to a quality audio shop experienced with the 5-series (i.e. not Circuit City).
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    While I did not get a coupon when I bought my 530 in 2001, my sales person did accompany me to the parts/accessories dept. of the dealership and had the sales person there give me a good discount on the front windshield sunshade, which I thought was a nice touch. Perhaps a phone call to your sales person is worth a try.
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    My 5er is very good ,thank you, and if it is OK then I an OK ! Seriously, coming up Highway 1 from LA to Santa Barbara is scenic and great for driving that Bimmer. Santa Barbara is worth an overnighter so that you can tour the city, that's a must. I don't know how you will be traveling,how many people and their ages,etc.
    But, a tour of Hearst Castle near San Simeon is doable , even on a tight time schedule. There are several tours and timetables for each tour. Big Sur is beautiful and well worth spending some time there and the rest of the coast up to Monterey is peaceful and beautiful.
    Be sure to spend as much time as you can in Monterey and Carmel it is well worth it. Might be worth it to make this an overnighter. The little town of Cambria just before you get to San Simeon is delightful and worth at least a rest stop there. From Monterey to SF I suggest
    you take 101 instead of staying on the coast and pass San Jose and on to San Francisco.
    Your tour book will outline the many things to do in SF. Don't miss the many fine dining opportunities in the City. You and your 5er will enjoy this DRIVE. If I might, I would suggest going back home via 101, it is fairly scenic and the nice thing is you run into towns all the way down about every hour so it breaks up the trip considerably and nicely. By the way, San Jose is worth seeing, especially the revamped downtown which is quite nice!
    .
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