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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, 28K to 38K miles? Wow! I doubt that I will get even 22K on mine. That said, I live on a rather winding and hilly road that I just LOVE to push the limit on. In one three mile stretch there are four separate hills where the road transitions from curving one way to the other right at the crest, and unless you know the road, your cresting the hill at speed will generate a very nervous correction once you can see the road again. ;-)

    A time or two I have taken a couple of the crests fast enough to have at least one of the tires lift off of the pavement and then chirp and they reconnect. I've shared all of this as a possible suggestion as to why my tires have not cupped or worn unevenly in the inside. They have however worn much faster than the folks getting 28K plus miles.

    Best Regards,
  • ...when I turned in my lease after three years. However, the rear didn't pass the depth test, while the front were fine. $200 to replace the rear pair.

    Suggestion to anyone on lease: at about 15K miles, swap them front to back. Have the dealer do it so they're torqued right. That way you'll turn it in without the charge.

  • Shipo: I've got a 530i. Pretty sweet deal...

    Bentleyfam25: I've got that CD track 1 problem too and have not yet received the upgrade. Was scheduled to bring my ride in to the dealer this week, but called beforehand to see if they had the upgrade yet and was informed they did not. Was going to get the radio amplifier replaced then, as well, but opted to wait and get it all done at once.

    Yesterday, I noticed a new glitch. My steering wheel column has stopped raising up out of the way when I take the key out and exit the car. Have you been blessed with that little wonder, yet?

  • On the CD, if you get any specifics, let us know. I'll do the same.

    Can't answer on the wheel. I like to see the gauges, and the thick (heated) wheel blocks them except in the uppermost position. I leave it up there unless I'm on a long drive, and so haven't experienced the wheel repositioning. I tend to place the seat position high anyway, so I find that wheel postion comfortable.

    Perhaps others have dealt with it--

  • I made a big mistake and drove the M5. I loved it! It made the 540i I drive--a great car by any measure--seem a little grandmotherly. Lots of kick and great handling--and that was in early rush hour traffic. God know what it would be like with fewer cars on the road.

    I also drove the M3 with SMG. I did not find the SMG as objectionable as some. I had heard that shifting in or out of auto mode was like getting rear-ended. That was definitely not my experience, though it was certainly rougher than a true automatic. I never fully mastered the manual mode. Unlike my 2000 steptronic, you push it up to downshift. I kept wanting to do the opposite. It also redlines at different rpms in different gears. I did not feel the car had that much kick (no comparison to the M5). Whether that was due to the car design, the particular car I drove, or the fact I had not gotten used to the SMG, I could not say for sure. I think some of the low 0-60 times could be due to the paddle shifting on the steering wheel which would save a lot of time in shifting. In other words, the car needs less zip to get to 60 in a given time with paddle shifting than a car without paddle shifting.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    ...what's it going to be?

    My vote is of course the M5. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • blamiblami Posts: 2

    I have just purchased a slightly used 1998 540i with 36,000 miles on the odo. The car is equipped with the standard suspension with 16" wheels (Conti all season tires), and automatic transmission.

    The car will be used 90% of the time on public roads (in the Pittsburgh area that means bad roads with plenty of potholes and frost heaves).

    I do plenty of track days in a Caterham Super 7 but I will occasionally be taking the 540 to lapping days, mostly at BeaveRun, and possibly Mid Ohio and Watkins Glen.

    I'm considering upgrading to 17" wheels and dedicated performance tires and I also plan on doing the Dinan engine and transmission software download.

    I probably will not do anything right away with the suspension because I want to preserve a reasonable street experience.

    What can I expect from the stock brakes? Should I plan on a pad upgrade and if so, does anyone have any recommendations.

    Is there anything else that I should consider?


  • The steering wheel column on my 99 540i has been screwed up for about 2 years. The dealer replaced the motor, but to no avail. It only moves up about 1 inch, unless I manually move it up, and then it won't come down next time unless I push the memory button. I just gave up.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,107
    Interesting that you track your car and went with the Auto/Standard Suspension.

    As far as wheels go, you may want to stick with the 16" and just upgrade the rubber. Increasing the wheels to 17" (for track use) will actually add unwanted unsprung weight to your 540iA.

    Good luck and congrats on your car!

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

  • Test drive a CTS-V, then you will see the real difference in performance, Tourque and crisp handling.

    The CTS V is sooo refined, It makes M5 look ordinary
  • blamiblami Posts: 2
    The choice of an auto trans and non sports suspension is not so odd when you consider that my 540 will see limited track use; perhaps 5 days a year.

    The Caterham Super 7 is my serious track day car and it will be used on the track 25+ days per year.

    Owning a car like the Super 7 has made me very conscious of both unsprung weight and rotational mass.

    I will check with TireRack before buying the 17" wheel/tire combo for my 540 to make sure that I am not adding significant unsprung weight and rotational mass vs the stock 16" wheels and Conti Tires.

    Are there any other points that anyone feels that I should consider?

  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    Test drove two 530Is yesterday. One with SP and one without. There was too much traffic congestion to get a feel for the Active Stabilization but I was able to compare Active Steering against regular steering extensively.

    And I liked the Active Steering. It does take getting used to (I bumped into a curb coming back into the dealership at low speed) but I was impressed. Seems like this would be an especially useful feature (along with PDC) for maneuvering around a crowded parking garage or similar situation.

    Salesman says he owns a 540 with SP and doesn't switch to winter tires and has no trouble but I expect he'd have said anything he thought I wanted to hear. For example, he waxed eloquent over the heads up display but when I pressed him he couldn't really explain what was so good about it (at least apart from the fact it would move $1000 from my pocket to the dealer's).

    He did acknowledge that the $1800 audio upgrade is not a very good deal unless you are really really into music.

    Now I just got to make up my mind
  • "Test drive a CTS-V, then you will see the real difference in performance, Tourque and crisp handling.

    The CTS V is sooo refined, It makes M5 look ordinary"

    ... About as rediculous a statement as has been made here in some time! Care to expand on the "ordinary" nature of the M5 for everyone?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    mbukuk... The CTS-V is a nice car. Look back above and you'll see where I point out a recent comparison test between the CTS-V and the M3 & M5.

    But GM needs an awful lots of engine displacement (a huge 5.7L engine) to even begin to compete with the smaller engines in the M3 and M5. Just compare HP per L.

    The CTS-V is a ton of nice car for the money. BUT it is NO M3 or M5 beater. Still rough around the edges. Performance not quite up to what GM thought it would be. Yet, a great first attempt. Will be nice to see if GM spends the development time, effort, and money like BMW has with its M line. Can't wait to see an 2010 CTS-V vs M5. Thinking the M5 has been around for about 20 years. The CTS-V has hardly been around for 2 months.
  • About to take the keys to a 525. Anything I should be aware of? Specifically, warranty items etc?
  • HI rmmirish,
    1. You need to check to odometer if it matches with DMV doc printed out by Finance dude.
    2. Check for scratch paint. Make sure you pick up your car during daylight so that you can see ANY scratch and dent.
    3. Work on every single feature to see if there is any unexpected behavior.
    4. Make sure saleman go over the features.
    5. Go over "QUALITY CERTIFICATION I (2004 5 Series, 7 Series" doc filled out by dealer's technician. This is an important checklist.
    6. Wish you have fun with your 525 :)
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,107
    While I do like the 745i & Li (from a styling standpoint) with their optional 19" wheels, the Z4 is the drop top I would get if shopping for a roadster in that price range, the E60 5ers are growing on me (slowly, I saw a beefy looking 545i6 at the dealer today), I'm with shipo with putting the 645Ci on my wishlist of $70K cars! I saw one today with vehicle mfr plates (silver) and it is breathtaking.

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

  • Shipo, I agree with you. I plan to go with the M5. I don't like the M3 that well size-wise, the M5 is more practical and has more kick (perhaps because of the extra torque?).
  • I ventured into the BMW Tips and Tricks Site and saw a little article on an outlet in the glove box which accepts the male end of a portable CD player or iPod cord. I have an '03 530i and could not locate this outlet. Anyone else hear of this or have this? Please let me know!
  • As I noted above, I recently test drove the M3 and the M5. The M3's times are, if anything, better than the M5's, but the M5 definitely seemed to have more "kick." I was told that was because the M5 had more torque. I have never been really clear on the difference between torque and horsepower. Can someone enlighten me?
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