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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Errr, yikes, we can hear you. Please, there is no need to shout!

     

    You might want to try Pacific BMW as they also have online sales of parts.

     

    http://www.pacificbmw.com/new/parts/frame2.asp?prodid=108&mod- elid=506

     

    Best Regards,

    Shipo
  • Just curious to know why every one is suggesting buying snow tires with wheels.

     

    Do the snow tires perform better on other rims other than the OEM from BMW?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    juniorbmw... Check out the "recommended" Winter Tire/Wheel packages at places like The Tire Rack for various BMWs.

     

    Taller, narrower tires work best on snow tires. So most people go from 17" to 16" of 16" to 15". If you do this, your OEM wheels won't fit the snow tires. Plus winter is hard on alloy wheels. Salt, washings, etc. Cheap steel wheels are a great way to go. Why destroy your nice OEM wheels during slushy winter season? Wheels don't tend to look nice during winter anyway.
  • I was planning to buy the 530i AWD version - understand it will be available as a 2006 model. How much more is it expected to cost, and when will it be available for Euro delivery?
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,246
    While many here question whether it's worth the bother to replace tire/wheels twice a year (I don't, by the way, having lived in Edmonton & other such places), almost no one thinks it's a good idea to remount four tires twice a year on the same set of wheels.

     

    The wheels on these cars are a bit delicate, relative to old-school steel wheels, so the winning cold-weather compromise is to have a set of winter tyres mounted on a separate set of wheels.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,054
    1) Ease of swapping out (you can do it yourself, if winters are mounted on separate wheels).

     

    2) Less wear and tear on the bead of the tire.. mounting and dismounting tires (both your summers and winters) up to six times is not good for the tire..

     

    I bought a set of used BMW alloys for mine.. I like the idea of the car looking good all year round. And, no... I don't swap them myself.. But, I get the job done much quicker, since mounting, balancing isn't necessary.

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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Reason #4 for buying a second set of wheels: $$$

     

    Add up the cost of mounting and balancing vs. just rebalancing your wheels once per year (one set one year, the other set the next), and you will find that a couple of years of labor costs for the re-mounting more than eats up the money saved by not buying the extra wheels in the first place.

     

    Using my 2002 530i as an example; a spare set of Borbet alloy wheels costs $396 from TireRack.com. At the same time, according to TireRack, the shops in my area charge between $25 and $32 per wheel for mounting and balancing compared to the $10 that I pay just for balancing. So, if I was to have used my OEM wheels year round, my cash outlay would be at least $200 per year for the remounting/balancing vs. $40 for just the rebalancing. Hmmm, let's see, @ $160 per year of savings, it took me less than 2.5 years to justify those wheels. Of course this does not even take into account the extra time required for the remounting process (more money in lost productivity) and the more expensive/less effective wider tires that I would have to use on OEM wheels.

     

    To my way of thinking, I more than paid for those wheels the first year just based upon the screwing around time that I didn't have to spend waiting around for someone to remount the rubber. Yeah but what about the time I spend waiting for my wheels to get rebalanced? Hehe, I drop them off at my local shop for rebalancing before I do the wheel swap. Almost zero time lost as that shop is in my normal area of travel.

     

    All things considered, I can only think of a single argument for not buying the extra wheels; you only plan on driving the car in question for a single winter season.

     

    Best Regards,

    Shipo
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    Folks,

     

    Could someone please comment on the availability timeframe for the 530Xi? I was planning to take euro delivery and am looking for any information that might be available on pricing and availabilty.

     

    Th in advance.
  • jim53jim53 Posts: 109
    What would be considered a good deal (over invoice or under MSRP) on a 2005 545? I just started shopping but am definetly leaning towards this car. Also, what is everyone's thoughts on the Steptronic vs the SMG transmission. I'd opt for the manual but my wife will only drive an automatic. Can teh SMG be driven in "automatic" mode?
  • I was told by two separate dealers that the XI should be available sometime late spring/early summer. The cost increase- above the RWD 530i- should be $1500-2000 more. For those who wish to lease, the residual #'s will likely be a point or two lower on the Xi models.
  • khoonkhoon Posts: 85
    Tx. I've been eagerly awaiting feedback on the availability and pricing for the 530Xi.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    If you are thinking about SMG, I would suggest making sure your wife drives it and likes it. SMG is all sport and anti luxury.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,054
    And.... most people hate it...

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  • jim53jim53 Posts: 109
    What exactly do they hate about it?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,054
    It is hard to be smooth, like with a normal manual... and, it makes a poor substitute for an automatic transmission.. rough shifts, even in automatic mode...

     

    That seems to be the general consensus.. I'm sure some people like it...

     

    regards,

    kyfdx

    MODERATOR
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  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    Jim53, I've driven an M3 with SMG (so not the latest version in the E60), but it was hard to see the attraction. Not nearly as smooth as an auto, especially during stop and go, yet couldn't be controlled for smooth shifts (or otherwise), like a regular manual, with judicious use of the clutch. So after a few minutes, the novelty sort of wears off, and you stick it in "auto" mode, and then you realize that you probably would have just been better off with an regular automatic, with that power-robbing, but oh-so-smooth torque converter (ie, fluid coupling).

     

    And this is completely apart from stories of service/reliability problems with SMG.

     

    Get a regular auto, maintain marital bliss, maintain resale value, get something else for yourself with a stick.

     

    Re "good deal", a 545 has at least several thousands of dollars of mark-up, but depending on supply, I don't think you can expect much more than a thousand or two off the list, they seem to be selling pretty well.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Sdg380, well said. I believe that was one of the most sober posts I have ever read around here. I say this with utmost admiration and respect for the other distinguished faculty members ;-)
  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    jim53, drive an SMG yourself before making up your mind. I drove a 530 last year with SMG and thought it would have been a decent compromise if I had to share the car with an automatic driver. But, you need to try it and also listen closely to people who've driven one for a while. I gather from some of the posts that people who have driven them for an extended period aren't that happy.

     

    I bought 2005 545 six-speed (SP, CWP, NAV, HUD, SAT Radio)last September. Initiallly the salesman quoted me about $62K. I counteroffered $2K above invoice and he accepted. I also did the Eurpopean delivery which save about $5K
  • jim53jim53 Posts: 109
    Thanks. Is that 2K over US invoice or ED Invoice (I assume they are different)? I am looking at the SP, Nav, sat radio, and CWP. MSRP is around 63K. Invoice (per Edmunds) is 57,500. What price range should I be targetting? I want a good deal but don't necessarily want to drag this out over a few hundred dollars. I'd prefer to give 3-4 dealers a take it or leave it offer.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    “I'd prefer to give 3-4 dealers a take it or leave it offer.”

     

    Yep, that’s the way to do it. First, don’t waste their time, but make them sure that you are a serious buyer, then lowball. Even if it is too low, they’ll make a comeback offer knowing you WILL be buying, and if they all make an offer, you can get them to compete each other down. The problem is that 545s seem to be in high demand with low inventory so you probably won’t be getting a steal. It can happen though.
  • jim53jim53 Posts: 109
    how low would you go? Again, I want a good and fair deal (not looking to rake these guys over the coals as everyone is in business to make some money).
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Well, I know what you’re saying and I am exactly the same way. It’s nice to see everyone prospering. However, my wife is a good negotiator and I’ve watched her work. If the dealers are getting at least 2K over invoice, I’d offer them invoice. If they get insulted or laugh, all you have to do is play ignorant to disarm them, you know “I thought this is what people are paying” then make sure you welcome the counteroffer. When this happens the other dealers become their competition, not you. The key is to get the counteroffers from all of them and only quote them the lowest. Phone and fax is best. “I’m a busy man, can’t come in.” Also, let them know you WANT this car, but you’re not a sucker, not desperate and are willing to walk. Finally, charm, confidence and respect always works wonders.

     

    On the subject of dealers making money. I have a friend in another type of business where there is a lot of negotiation. He tells me that some people often walk away with very close to dealer cost. I asked him how he can allow them to do this. His answer is that it doesn’t always happen but when it does, his and other dealers' attitude is “I can walk from New York to Chicago and not make a dime. If I make a quarter here I’m ahead.” Well, catch a car dealer who subscribes to this and you’ve got yourself a bargain. This is why I say your chances are much better if you don’t make him labor with you, and at the same time are willing to walk, or at least give him this appearance.

     

    BTW, the friend I was taking about? He’s loaded. Obviously there are more than enough people who don’t want to rake him over the coals. The world is nice place indeed.

     

    ;-)

      
  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    THat was $2K over ED invoice. I had alreday established that ED would knock $5K off the price. That was when the salesman offered me MSRP and I countered with $2K above invoice. I know this salesman well and he knew that I was verey serious about buying the car. After we agreed on price, he said he wanted to buy my car ('86 325eS). I told him he could have it for a dollar as long as he'd add HUD to my new car at no cost. He readilly agreed. That saved me another $1K.

     

    Had you considered ED? The money you save more than pays for the trip. Lufthansa has a deal with BMW that allows a companion to fly for free. Picking up the car in Munich is effortless and you can either drive it around Europe and ship it from any of a dozen locations or ship it right there in Munich.

     

    You'll love teh SAT redaio, CWP, NAV and SP.

     

    Please let us know what you finally do.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    In case anybody hasn't noticed, we've had a bit of snow here in the Boston area over the last couple of weeks. ;-) Last week, during a "little" eight inch event, Mrs. Shipo decided that she NEEDED to go into work for a few hours. I felt that she would be much safer in my Arctic-Alpin shod 530i as compared to her beloved Caravan (yeah, she actually likes driving it), so off she went. Unfortunately she is used to the ride height of her Caravan and as such just went barreling through the berm at the end of our driveway left behind by the snow plow. I was watching her from the window and winced as she went through; I just knew that she had hurt something on my car.

     

    That evening when the 530i was safely tucked back into the garage, I went out and took a look-see. Yup, she had basically destroyed the front bottom of both inner fender liners. Today I needed to pick up her Caravan from its 36K service appointment, and since the local BMW dealership is just down the street, I stopped in to see about some new fender parts. Right in front of me was a guy buying the new (and very cool) "BMW Approved E39 Cup Holder" which fits under the arm rest where the little rolling door covers a basically useless tray. While he was waiting for his part, I inquired about the fender liners, and when he saw what I was asking about, and that the price was something like $17 per side, he told the parts guy to get him a set as well. When the parts came out, the guy behind us (who had just come up to the line) saw them and asked for yet another set. Hmmm, it seems that these parts are either too delicate for the job and/or were deliberately designed to be sacrificial parts, thus saving other more expensive parts from damage. Either way, for $35, it will be a cheap fix. ;-)

     

    Anybody else have torn up E39 fender liners?

     

    Best Regards,

    Shipo
  • I had a 2005 525i/Automatic loaner when I had the oil changed, tires rotated and balanced and the shift lever/gates inspected on my 2002 530i. First I will admit I liked it more than I thought I would. It handled and accelerated more than I was led to believe it would. But...

     

    Is a MPG gauge more important than a temperature gauge? And, although I could use the i-drive without running off the road and without reading the owners manual first (and I am sure there are short cuts I did not find in one night) but is rotating the knob for stations, using the steering wheel buttons for volume and a mute button on the dash really an improvement over the previous system. I still believe i-drive is an answer looking for a question.

     

    On another note, my 6'5" son could not get comfortable in the passenger seat, he can in my car, and what are all the chimes that go off apparently at random, not seat belt or outside temperature?

     

    Just miscellaneous ramblings.
  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    You can go through your preset stations via a steering wheel button as well. Also, if you have NAV, you can use voice command.

     

    As most iDrive owners will tell you, yes the damn thing is counter-intuitive but, most of the settings are one-time affairs. And you can assign a lot to the steering wheel. The things you use iDrive for regularly are fairly easy and become automatic.
  • Shipo,was your dealership the one in Nashua?

     

    I think the cupholder you saw is probably the TEC unit.

     

    http://www.tecaccessories.com

     

    It's a bit steep at just under $100, but given the cost of replacing the stock things a couple times, it may be worth it. I'd like to see it in person though and it may be worth a trip up to Nashua.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yup and Yup again. ;-)

     

    The only difference is that the one sold through BMW dealerships actually have "BMW" stamped into the metal cup base instead of "TEC". I got the impression that you could order this cup holder from any BMW dealership as BMW is now officially considering this one of the E39 accessories. In my case, as I didn't even know my car had cup holders until a few weeks ago (from this forum no less), I am obviously not much of a candidate for buying one of these goodies. That said, if I found myself tooling around with cups of flaming hot coffee on a regular basis, I would certainly pop the "C" note for one of these.

     

    Best Regards,

    Shipo
  • After previously telling me the 2006 525 and 530xi's would be out this spring (in the US), my dealer just informed me that now the AWD versions wont be available until the fall.

     

     :'(

     

    Anyone heard anything differently?
  • jim53jim53 Posts: 109
    My Dealer said they would have their first in May.
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