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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • stl540stl540 Posts: 67
    Thanks for the reply on the winter tires.

    I live close to your old stomping grounds. You may remember the rolling hills just SW of Chesterfield which is now called Wildwood (Wildwood was recently incorporated in 1995). We have 'city' streets (Manchester, Clarkson, Clayton, etc), but we also have very fun 2-lane roads. I sometimes take the boring, quick drive home. Other times I will take the low-traffic two lane road that is much more fun in the 540i. It is an absolute joy to drive the 2-lane roads!! :)

  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    I just received a notice from BMW saying that a defect exists in certain 2001 5 series vehicles in which the airbag control module's microprocessor could cause one or more airbags to deploy when placing the key in the ignition ON position, or when starting the vehicle. Owners are to contact their BMW centers immediately to have the necessary repair performed ASAP.
    Geez, I'd hate to have that smack in the face first thing in the AM!
  • rtboonrtboon Posts: 21
    I have a 97 528i with 106,000 miles and am hearing a tinny sound from under the center of the car. Sounds like metal vibrating at idle. Had the dealer look at it and he says my catalytic convertor is starting to go and will need to be replaced at a cost of $1400. Anyone had a convertor go on them and what was the cost to replace? How long is one supposed to last?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,101
    that vibrating could be something as small as a heat shield, hence replacing the cat converter a waste of money. Bring th car to an independent mechanic and have he/she check it out.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • Any opinions about putting only rear winter tires on vs all wheels? I have 03 530 with SP.

    I don't do a lot of long winter drives but live in NE - Boston area. Anyone kept the standard conti tires on all year around? Can you share what I can expect in the snow?
  • rtboonrtboon Posts: 21
    I live on the Cape and have used the Conti's year round. Last year I was stuck three times in snow. Without snow tires you just don't go! I have even tried filling the trunk with weight, it doesn't help.
  • Are BMW parts two to three times more expensive than Toyota, or Lexus?
  • sergeymsergeym Posts: 262
    That's exactly the setup I have on my 02 540ia. After 1 winter (3K miles) M2s still look like new. Snow traction is very good. I was able to keep up with most SUVs on the road during 2-3 snowy days we had last winter. They not as good on ice though. For icy roads you need studded tires. But since you were able to go through the last winter on 2000Es I assume that you are not dealing with that much ice, mostly light snow. So M2s should be OK for snow. As to the dry road performance they are decent but not even close to 2000Es or any other HP tires. So for 3-4 month you will have to drive somewhat conservatively. M2s also have better breaking at low temperatures (below 40F)even on a dry road.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    I live west of Boston. I use Michelin Pilot Alpin for winter tires. Did not get stuck once last winter and that is saying something.
  • Thanks for the good reading, everyone. I just got back from a deployment and enjoyed catching up. I also wanted to slightly brag that I just found out that I am going to Germany on my new assignment. Driving my 02 E39 for 3+ years on the autobahn should be a blast. Thanks again to Shipo on his advice on what to do with my car when I left it for several months.

    As a veteran of this board since the 1200ish message (mostly a reader, with an occasional post), a lot has changed in the discussion.

    Here are some thoughts:

    1) I thought bmwseller was bmwwife back on page 392. I think we caught him when he slipped up on his log-ins. My only thought is why doesn't he put his money where his mouth is and buy one?

    2) I also bought my 02 525 when I saw the pictures of the new one. I just saw the E60 in person and it wasn't that bad actually. Would you agree that it would look a lot better looking if they just changed the trunk and headlights only? Seems the best looking sports sedans are now the new E series MB and the Alfas.

    3) As for the I Drive. I grudgingly admit it may be the future in cars, but I agree with the guy who dislikes it on safety grounds. How many of us want to be passed by the individual who is yapping on their cell phone, eating fries, disciplining their kids in the back seat, and then wants to change the air temperature? I think the only way I Drive will work is if they put the display on the windshield like they do with HUDs in jet fighters. In addition, you have to put that joystick on the steering wheel to minimize distractions to your driving position on the road.

    4) Anyone who wants to research BMW for a possible 5 series purchase ought to sit down one afternoon with a notepad and read this forum from the start. This is an excellent information source. Many thanks.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    DO NOT put winter tires on just one axle! You will seriously compromise the handling of your car. I suggest that you buy a set of winter wheels as well as tires as it eliminates the mounting/remounting hassle. It takes me all of 45 minutes to make the changeover on my E39, and it also gives me a good opportunity to inspect the brakes and suspension components.
  • ...And a couple of comments:

    --525, stock with a Tiptronic. Nothing fancy.
    --The handling is, as usual, outstanding. As good or better than the E39. Didn't bother with the Sport package because I don't much care about it. The handling without the Sport is plenty good.
    --I-drive is odd, but I got used to it quickly. Not bad to learn -- took about 3 minutes of fiddling around. Issue is, who needs it? Gadgets for gadgets sake, that did nothing, repeat, nothing meaningfully better than the old way. Only reason I can see it is to get a screen installed and allow for nav systems and rear cameras as standard in a few years as the costs comes down. So, it isn't a distraction, or overly complex -- just a waste of engineering. But, since its the only way to go, so be it. A waste of time to argue about it. It was acceptable, I suppose.
    --Air handling is fine, but cheap looking dash knobs that feel flimsy.
    --Poplar trim makes a big difference in the esthetics of the dash; aluminum just looks cheap, never stylish. With a good wood trim, the dash becomes balanced and I warmed to it quickly enough.
    --Seats are not as form-fitting as the E39. I think they've widened them for the heavier population. Kidney support was loose.
    --Six-speed tiptronic is very smooth, but oddly enough, even the (admittedly mild) kick on low-gear accelleration in the E39 525 doesn't seem to be there in the E60. Very smooth acceleration, to high speeds quickly, but the low-gear torque is different for some reason. Wonder if there's an attempt to widen the perceived accelleration difference between the 525 and the 530 -- after all, it's an easy $5K in the pocket for nothing more than 50 HP if the 530 seems noticiably different. Probably they were able to de-tune the 525 in the chip at no cost, or adjust the tranny shift points a bit. Never really felt the power difference between the E39s, but clearly noticed a low-end torque advantage for the 530 in the E60 s.
    --Parked my E39 next to the E60. The E60 looks oddly smaller, hunched (humpbacked?) from the side. Not nearly as imposing, if that's the right word. Stretching a visual, the E39 looked like the Sphinx sitting there, all four feet on the firmly on the ground. The E60 looks like a hunched housecat, about to jump two feet straight up.
    --The raptor lights look hokey, like BMW was trying too hard to make a statement, but not offensive. A bit silly, I suppose, like putting a spoiler on a Civic.

    So, all that said, the biggest difference between the 5 and everything else I've driven is the handling; and the handling is so much better than anything else that its almost worth it to grit my teeth and learn to tolerate the mistakes BMW made in the styling.

    Still, I want to try an E320 with the sport package and see if it is a better overall car.

    My two cents.....
  • Hi All. Haven't posted in a very long time.
    I passed 20,000 miles last week on my 2002 530i (Silver, Gray Leather, SP, PP, Steptronic, Xenons). The driving experience is wonderful. I look forward to my 20 mile commute to work everyday. The leather has held up great. I condition it every 3000 miles. Probably next week or so, I will condition it again. I use the Lexol products to take care of it. Have had no problems for the year and a half I have owned it. I would recommend this car to everyone.

    I have not driven the new E60 5 Series. I would purchase one when my 02 runs out of steam but I do not like the I-Drive. I will have to go to my dealer and see If I am able to test drive one and learn how to use it.

    One question though. I am about to purchase new tires. I think I will try to see how all-seasons are. If I do not like them however, I will just switch back to summer and winter tires. Any suggestions?
  • In a follow up to BMW2 mess. I too have a 530 w/all the options (PP, SP, Xen.,CW) and 18K miles on it. Am close to replacing tires and inquired about rotating them before I make the purchase. Was told I cannot rotate them since I have SP and rear wheels are wider than front. Anyone else hear this? It makes a little sense since visually, they are wider, but can I do anything to rotate them and delay this impending financial hit? Like BMW2, I cannot say enough about this car.....still gives me a rush everytime I even look at it.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    530 w/ sport pack have the same size front and rear from the factory. The 540 sport has wider rears. You can rotate tires although BMW discourages it. Guesses as to why vary. Since a 530 is not going to break the rears loose very often, wear will be fairly even, front to rear, if all is balanced and aligned properly.

    Happy Motoring,

  • I know it's been discussed, but how do you remove the rear model emblem?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    In one word - carefully. :)

    Here is what I found:
    To remove the badges, hook one corner of it with dental floss. This will not be easy, but it’s the safest way to avoid scratching your car. Do not use a screwdriver or any other tools to remove a badge. If you slip, you will damage your car.

    Coat a section of the floss with liquid dish detergent. Slowly saw back and forth with the floss to cut the adhesive. It is recommended you saw all the way through the adhesive and do not pry whatsoever.

    Once the badges are removed, you must remove any adhesive residue before installing the new ones. Start with a mixture of hot water and liquid dish soap. Soak the adhesive spots well and use your fingernails to carefully pick off adhesive bits. Rinse and dry the area thoroughly. Once dry, prepare the surface for cleaning with some rubbing alcohol, then apply a coat of wax over the area.

  • bmwmrcbmwmrc Posts: 66
    Thanks for the great advice on how to remove the emblem badge.
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