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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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  • rwolprwolp Posts: 11
    I am now the proud owner (lessee) of a brand spankin' new 540iM, my first BMW (sterling grey, black interior, prem sound, sunshade, upgraded M wheels). It is truly an amazing car. While I had some cupholder issues this morning (my Lexus had amazing cupholders), the performance cannot be matched. My question to those of you who drive manual trannys: What is optimal shift RPM? I was driving 80 in 6th and the car seemed to want to be in 5th, but I would think that at that speed 6th gear should be optimal. Also, I was getting passed, which normally does not happen when I was driving those speeds in my old car, which makes me think the speedodometer may be off. Any thoughts out there?
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    Yesterday I was at the local dealers, again.... and on the floor they are trying hard to promote a 2001 white/beige 530i 5spd. (They seem to have a hard time with manuals and so rarely have them available.)

    The car has cold weather and premium, but no other options. As I was fondling it, Lois (one of the sales staff) said "I know you're interested in a manual. If you're interested in that car I think we can sell it for invoice or pretty close."

    If anyone is interested in pursuiing this one, I can give you the location, etc., for the dealership: jwilson1@net1plus.com

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,577
    ED lease makes sense...Shipo is leasing his ED 530i. Either way you do ED, you come out on top. There are many benefits to leasing ED (Please no Buy vs. Lease discussions). Your payments will still be lower due to the fact that the capitalized cost of the lease is lower (In the case of Shipo's deal, he got what equates to $5200 off US MSRP). The residual value of the car is still the same after 3 years. So maybe at most you burn 1-2 month's lease payment while your car is on the boat. Think of it as saving the mileage on the leased car and so instead of saving $5200, you save $4000 off US MSRP.

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,577
    I saw a Silver/Black M5 this morning. That's 2 in the last 3 days!

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,577
    Congrats on your new 540iM! Keep buying the manuals people! We need to make sure the stick shift does not die;)

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

  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Congratulations on the new car.

    First, the abbreviation for your model is usually "540i6" or "540i6sp", not "540iM". The "M" is reserved for those rarified Motorsports-cars (even though it is inconsistent with the "5xxiA" for automatic versions).

    Second, "optimal" shift points is about as vague as "best way to invest money." It depends. When the engine is cold (and you're still in the break-in period), keep it under 4k rpm's. As you pass the 1200 mile mark, you can gradually (it took me about 2 days!) increase engine speeds to accelerate quickly, but that certainly comes at the expense of fuel economy. But with a 540, I'm assuming performance was higher on your priority list than fuel economy. As for sixth gear, it is indeed rather tall (0.83 ratio). BMW added it mainly to help keep fuel economy to respectable highway levels, since the V8 is such a guzzler. It'll keep your RPM's low, but for passing with any sense of urgency you'll need to downshift.

    As for the speedometer error, BMW's are notorious (in fact, there's an article in this month's Car and Driver about it). When indicating 70, you're actually going about 67. When showing 80, it's more like 76. You can get a more accurate reading by setting cruise control (to keep the speed steady), and reset your trip computer's "average speed" setting. In a second it'll show you far more accurately your true speed.

    But I've found the speedo error helps keep me from going way too fast (which is all too easy in my 530...85 feels like 65 in my last car). It's like setting the alarm clock 10 minutes fast.
  • rwolprwolp Posts: 11
    I am now the proud owner (lessee) of a brand spankin' new 540iM, my first BMW (sterling grey, black interior, prem sound, sunshade, upgraded M wheels). It is truly an amazing car. While I had some cupholder issues this morning (my Lexus had amazing cupholders), the performance cannot be matched. My question to those of you who drive manual trannys: What is optimal shift RPM? I was driving 80 in 6th and the car seemed to want to be in 5th, but I would think that at that speed 6th gear should be optimal. Also, I was getting passed, which normally does not happen when I was driving those speeds in my old car, which makes me think the speedodometer may be off. Any thoughts out there?
  • rwolprwolp Posts: 11
    ...having browser issues.
  • vishnu11vishnu11 Posts: 59
    Reports on the bimmer boards indicate that the analog speedo is a 4-6mph off indicating speed above the actual speed. In a sense, this helps in the case of speed traps (guess the speedo error is the right direction!). There is a way to use the OBC to get actual speed, or if you have the GPS (which you may have).
  • jhammelljhammell Posts: 38
    Just completed the first fill up for the 2002 530i and was able to pump in 18.77 gallons without topping off. The rated capacity is 18.5 gallons but know from previous experience that my 1985 VW GTi holds over 15.0 gallons despite a 14.5 gallon rating. My question is how much have other owners been able to place in the tank and what kind of real mileage range can I expect under "normal conditions" which to me means keeping up with traffic under break in conditions ?

    Thanks.

    JH
  • jhammelljhammell Posts: 38
    Just completed the first fill up for the 2002 530i and was able to pump in 18.77 gallons without topping off. The rated capacity is 18.5 gallons but know from previous experience that my 1985 VW GTi holds over 15.0 gallons despite a 14.5 gallon rating. My question is how much have other owners been able to place in the tank and what kind of real mileage range can I expect under "normal conditions" which to me means keeping up with traffic under break in conditions ?

    Thanks.

    JH
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I recently bought a DeLorme GPS for my laptop computer to use as an occassional navagation system. A little inconvenient looking over at the passenger seat, but the Dell 15" Ultra-XGA screen sure beats any in dash system for resolution and detail. It also shows speed and distance traveled.

    Over the past few weeks, I have now "checked" the speedometers of our Nissan Maxima (reads 70 mph going 66.7), our Isuzu Trooper (reads 70 going 69.2), our Honda S2000 (reads 70 going 70.0) and a friends 540iA sport (reads 70 going 65.6). Clearly, the BMW was off the most.

    Even the odometer seemed slightly off on both the Nissan and BMW. Considering that "extra" miles on a lease are usually charged at 10 to 15 cents, I would be complaining to BMW if the odometer was reading 2-3%+ high. Over 40,000 miles, that's an extra 1,000 miles that you haven't really driven. Do I smell a class action in the works??

    For a car company that can get it right with engine tolerances down to 1/1,000th of an inch, you would think that an acurate speedometer and odometer would not be that much of a challenge. Although it is an interesting way to reduce 0-60 times.
  • vishnu11vishnu11 Posts: 59
    The bimmer boards seem to indicate that the odometer (showing mileage) is run via the OBC and NOT the analog speedo. So even if the analog speedo is off, the mileage should not be affected. That means that if your analog speedo goes kaput, your mileage counter will keep ticking as usual. You won't end up with 0 miles even if you are tearing down the highway at 0mph..:-)
  • ek5ek5 Posts: 33
    Hi - Anybody know if you can get a package without something you don't want? We want to get the heated seats, but hate those little black squares(headlight washers)on the front bumper. They look fine on darker cars, but we're planning to get white and they just detract from the look of the front. I seem to remember reading way back that someone special ordered a request like this. I know it's picky, but it's such a blemish to the look of the front end.
  • vishnu11vishnu11 Posts: 59
    Ek5:

    I tried ordering the cold package without the headlight washers. It used to be possible to special order this, but no longer. Even if you able to special ordered this, the difference was about $30, miniscule really. Guess if it really gives you angst once you get the car, you can take if off.
  • ts530ts530 Posts: 6
    I've had my 530ia for a week and had it on a 3 hour trip which included a lot of interstate driving. At 75 I was getting passed by a few when before 75 kept me with the flow. Tried to do a mile marker test @ 60. The result was 1 mile in 62 seconds. Nothing scientific... I wish it wouldn't be off, but since it's to my adv. it could be a good thing. The car is better than I could have imagined.(except for those #$%@ cupholders!)
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,577
    So you can overcompensate for it and it looks to you like you're going really fast!

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

  • jgwaltneyjgwaltney Posts: 39
    '01 525ia (sport/prem pak and single cd in dash) w/ 27k mi for $36.5K vs '01 gs-300 (prem. pak, s/r, cd changer, chrome wheels, heated seats) w/ 21k mi for $35K - looking for objective feedback on both the comparison and ask price (fyi - tend to keep my cars for 75-100k mi)
    thx folks - you have the most informative forum on edmunds
  • rwolprwolp Posts: 11
    I didn't think about the odometer issue when I was asking about speedo, but now that I think about it, my odo registered 28.3 miles on my approx. 27 mile trip from work to home last night (my maiden voyage). This could definitely add up on mileage charges, especially for me because I anticipate going over. I am going to try to test out with another car and see the difference. Will let you know.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    rwolp... Glad to know you are enjoying your 540iM. Just make sure to follow the break-in recommendations, no matter how hard that may be at the time. It'll be worth it in the long haul.

    I've put over 4,000 miles on my CPO '98 540iM in the 13 weeks I've owned her. An absolute joy to drive. And a relaxed cruiser on highway. You get the best of both worlds. Awesome acceleration & top speed as well as great highway fuel economy. I averaged about 24.5 mpg on my 800 mile roundtrip this week. About 90 percent of time was doing 74 mph on interstate with cruise control on.

    Enjoy the relaxed cruising in 6th on interstate. Just downshift to 5th or 4th if you want to accelerate or pass. Of course, you can cruise in 5th if that is your desire. :)
  • chesdin2chesdin2 Posts: 19
    That price seems rather high for an '01 w/ 27K miles. Also, that's on the high side of miles for 1 to 1.5 yrs, in any case. Just my $.02, not very scientific!

    (Refer up a couple of dozen posts about how ridiculously high used prices sometimes seem vs. new...)
  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    While at the dealer last week, I sat in a Mini for the first time. It is a cute little car, and surprisingly roomy in the front. However, the back is a joke and the way the hood is shaped, it is hard to judge where the corner is.
  • jgwaltneyjgwaltney Posts: 39
    Thx - you're right about the miles, car was a bmw regional exec car (fr south carolina) driven on the road - Re new vs used, I've set my "limit" at basically $35K and always purchase as lease doesn't work for my situation (can't write off, corp job, etc) - what are best $35K options in your opinion trying to stay in '01 model to have max warranty period (typically drive 10-12k mi/yr and keep a car to 100k+ miles before changing
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    If you buy a 2002 525i, with PP via the ED program, you can (with just a little shopping) get a $1,500 over ED invoice deal, which would amount to $34,835 plus airfare (I just got mine for $447 round trip).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ek5ek5 Posts: 33
    Thanks for the info on cold weather w/o washers. It's too bad you can't order it like that...they should at least be color coded!
  • sec1sec1 Posts: 16
    Just curious, I have 6800 miles on my 2001 530I and my oil indicator has come on in. Checked the oil and I need to put some in. Any feedback on what type of oil I should use or all synthetic 5w-30 about the same quality..Is this normal to happen at 6800 miles?? Consider me naive, but wasn't expecting anything until my "annual service needed" light came on. To ease my worries, I should dish out the cash and have the oil changed every 3 or 4 thousand miles...Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks. Totally love this car!
  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    BMW synthetic, which is Castrol should be fine. Since you are adding, I would stick with the BMW oil, but when you change, you can use Mobile 1, Redline, etc. Some dealers will not use other oil, but BMW's Even on a brand new car, you should keep an eye on your oil level. There are those who will follow the BMW's recommendation of following the computer, and then those who will change every 3000~5000 miles. Me?, I have 1000 miles and have not decided.
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    I've had my 2001 530 in twice for other issues(fan recall and fluid/tire pressure check before a long road trip) and both times the dealership added about a quart of oil. (Total cost of less than $5.) They told me a new car tends to go through oil more rapidly at first. The indicator light never did come on in my case, they just happened to check it as part of their routine. I have one "green" light left at 10K miles before its first service and will have oil changed then.
  • ek5ek5 Posts: 33
    Hi - Just to tell you all, we just got back from Prestige BMW in Ramsey, NJ and here's the deal we got: 530i with PP, CP, Prem. Sound, Steptronic (sorry no stick, guys). Invoice: $42,555 Price: $43,544 plus tax. We got it for $989 over invoice. I think this is a great deal! What do you think?

    Thanks to all on this board who were so helpful!
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    That's the best deal for a new 530i I've heard of. Was it an ordered car or one in stock?

    Any idea if they would do a comparable deal at $1,000 over European Delivery invoice??

    Congrats again.
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