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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • redflearedflea Posts: 16
    Most insurance companies will replace your windshield if it's been "sandblasted" enough over time to make visibility an issue when the sun is low...
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,403
    Really, I'll have to look into that.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Thanks... sounds like replacement will be less than my deductable. Need someone who understands how to do the e39, as the r.v. mirror is attached to the windshield. Will start looking for good glass houses in the ATL area. BTW, I did have some pits repaired a couple of years ago - some sort of epoxy process, I believe. Pits were filled in and smoothed over, but there are little opaque spots. Will just replace the whole thing this time.

    Assuming you can't tell your glass was replaced by looking at it up close?
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    Assuming you can't tell your glass was replaced by looking at it up close?

    No, it is not at all detectable.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,403
    I am considering driving out to Arizona this fall from New Hampshire in my '00 528iA.
    The car is in good shape and drives beautifully and reliably at 106K miles. I'll probably pick up another 2000 or so miles before I set out on the 2500 mile trek.

    The car got a prophylactic radiator replacement at 94K as well as the Inspection 2 service. V-belts and PS hoses were also replaced and the A/T was serviced. pads, rotors and fluids were done as well.

    I'll plan to change the differential fluid before I go and have the brakes bled again. I'm wondering if I should replace the water pump as these seem problematic on some E39s.

    Any opinions on that or any other precautions?

    PS, the car has a fresh coat of wax, I've seen what that AZ sun can do to a finish, the ultraviolet dulls the paint something fierce.
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    I'd replace both the water pump and the thermostat while I'm at it.

    My '03 540 is about due (148K on the clock) and I'm doing all that before the end of the summer, in addition to a bit of a brake upgrade.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Is this your 1st PS hose replacement? I have 59K (in-service date - 1/03) on my '03 530SP odo and the dealer recently "suggested" replacing both PS hoses. Could you ballpark the cost where you live (I'm in Georgia)? Taking to an independent for a 2nd opinion and, hopefully, a new service relationship!

    Dealer also suggested replacing main drive belt, but said there was "no immediate danger"! I want to trust them, but...
  • timbmwtimbmw Posts: 2
    I have a 1998 528i. I can not open the lid on the storage compartment between the front seats. It has a factory phone which which locks into the top out side of the lid. I'm wondering since the phone is there does that somehow cause the factory to seal the lid?
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,403
    I dunno PS Hoses were ever changed before I got the car but it's my first set in the 4yrs and 62K miles I've had it.

    As for the "main drive belt", assuming it's the V-belt that drives the alternator, w pump etc, a replacement at 60K miles doesn't sound unreasonable. :)
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    OK, so this evening the 540 decided that it was not going to start. Drove fine all day, in some 90 degree weather, quite a bit of stop/go/slow traffic, with no problems. I park for a bit (about 30 minutes) and when I try to restart, nothing. I don't believe it is the battery, since I replaced that a few weeks ago, and everything else operates as normal (windows, lights, horn etc). I don't believe it's the alternator, since I replaced that about 10-15K ago, and there was no gradual degradation, charging light etc. I was able to roll start the machine (manual tranny) and drove around for another 40 minutes, with all accessories off, just in case. Back in driveway, shut off, immediate attempt at restart... nothing.

    Any other thoughts besides starter? (Which, BTW, I've NOT ever replaced).
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,031
    Any other thoughts besides starter?

    I'd load test the battery(could be an infant mortality) and make sure that all cable connections are clean and tight.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    Thanks Road, for reminding me of the basics.... always start with simplest, cheapest option ;)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,031
    Back in the '80s one of my friends spent the better part of a day diagnosing a similar problem on his E12 528i. He even pulled the starter. The culprit was a bit of corrosion on the engine to body ground cable. He wound up describing the experience in a Roundel article...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Thx for the feedback. I'm getting a 2nd set of eyes to take a look next week and will report back regarding the PS hoses and main drive belt. Guessing labor will be the major cost element if the work needs to be performed. Assuming the PS hoses must handle fairly high pressures, which may account for slightly higher material cost for them...
  • hihomikehihomike Posts: 111
    I'm frustrated and disgusted. I've owned a new 5 series BMW for each of the last 5 years. In June, 2007, I took delivery of my new 535i Sedan equipped with Premium, Comfort Access, Rear Electric Shade, Logic 7, HD Radio and Sirius. From the onset, whenever it rained heavily for 4 or so hours, the next morning I would start the car and get the message "High Battery Drain When Car Stopped". My dealer could not resolve the problem for almost 8 months. BMW finally decided to replace my vehicle, so I ordered an identical vehicle. I took delivery in June, 2008, and guess what? Same problem.

    They now have my new vehicle at service for 4 days, and they said it is the same error message they get out of my computer when they plug in their reader as the other car. They said they are waiting for BMW to come up with a fix, but in the meantime, 2 in a row???? I have to believe others have had problems like mine because the odds of it happening only to me are astronomical. BMW says it hasn't happened on any other vehicles. I don't believe that. What should I do? I requested that they replace my vehicle again, but no response.

    As the problem ages, the car gets harder to start as the battery keeps discharging, and only in heavy rain. They've repalced every conceivable part, still not solution. And now I have the same problem with the brand new one with 230 miles on it.

    Thanks All.
  • uniqoneuniqone Posts: 1
    I should a buy the bmw 530ix awd or the Lexus gs300awd. Which one cost less for maintenance :blush:
  • scolmenascolmena Posts: 1
    Hi, I am in the market for 02 540. Saw one with 50k and one with 100k. The latter is all around in nicer shape and cheaper. The 50k miler was a theft recovery with major interior damage, apparently mechanically sound. I am looking for reliable weekend car. What should I look to replace right off the bat on the 100k and at what cost? Tires and brakes are in good shape. I see some posts here regarding water pump, belts and hoses. I would be paying way below kbb by the way.

    Thanks all
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,403
    You'd better be paying way below book for a theft recovery. I doubt a trashed interior would be cheap to fix. I'm not sure how it could cost more than the 100K car (if I'm reading your post right).

    I wouldn't buy either without a thorough inspection by a BMW specialist who should be able to tell you what maintainence and replacements are needed.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Yeah, that's like asking, "Should I sleep on a bed of razor blades or should I swallow needles." I wouldn't touch either one of those because either one could put you in a world of hurt (financially) if something goes wrong. Then again, if the theft car is being offered at 15 grand or less... I also have a coworker who bought a '99 (I think) 540i Sport with a buttload of miles (>100K) on it and he hasn't had any problems that I know of...

    I, on the other hand, have a brand-spanking new 550i Sport and have had to have the engine wiring harness replaced. So, as always, it's still a crap-shoot w/ German cars. :sick:
  • Is this "theft recovery" under salvage title. If so, you can throw KBB away, as you are looking at a severe market devaluation for salvage title.

    On the 100K car, that's just about time for suspension work (getting tired), control arm bushings, and of course cooling system problems as we all know.

    Looks like an '02 in decent but not spectacular shape with 100K miles should be selling privately for around $12,000 retail.
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