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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,304
    Here's an excellent final stage unit DIY.
    I've never had to deal with a rear wiper on a touring; perhaps this parts diagram will be of some help.

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

  • I am currently looking to purchase a 05 or 06 5 series, either the 6or 8 cyl. I am wondering about the reliability of the cars and I'm looking for any and all experiences, opinions, and imput.
  • my545my545 Posts: 2
    i have 2005 545i its making a whinng noise from the tranny .and sometimes delayed shifting between 1 and 2 gear ,
  • my545my545 Posts: 2
    i have a 2005 545i its one of the best cars ihave every had
  • gardisgardis Posts: 185
    has there been any technical issues with navigation? Im looking at a CPO 2007 530i (29K miles) that has nav, and all the packages (sports, premium, cold, and one more can't remember) car is beautiful asking $34,900 for it, with negotation some wiggle room. I just want to be sure I'm not looking for a problem with the navigation which I don't even care about, but the vehicle has it. Car is really loaded, would hate to pass it up.

    Also another one 2007 530xi, 18K miles, warranty expires Apr 2014. Asking $36,900 dealer won't budge. That's another 2 grand, but warranty goes longer. Am torn, don't know what to do. I'm leaning toward the $34,900 one, has more. Dealer says his 530xi is competitive in price. I could care less about all wheel drive.
    That extended warranty is tempting however.

    Any advice?
  • Hello all,

    Living in Germany, I just bought a 1996 520i Touring with 200,000 kilometers (German specs). It's idling at 1,000 rpm, hovering over 4,000 rpm at 35 mph in third gear, and redlining just above 6,000 rpm in fifth at 80mph. But, it's not running hot and it doesn't feel or sound like the engine is straining. The fuel gauge is broken (reading empty at all times) but the speedometer and temperature gauges seem to be operating normally. This is my first BMW (when in Germany....) so I'm not sure if they typically run at higher rpms, if maybe the tachometer is malfunctioning, if there's some kind of "adjustment" I can make, or if it's simply a mechanical problem. It's getting a tune-up in a couple of weeks, but should I be concerned about driving it on the autobahn until then?

    Any comments are greatly appreciated!
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,593
    Are you saying your car will redline in fifth @ 80mph? That seems odd, I don't know if your 520iT is a four or a six but I wouldn't recommend spending a lot of time on the Autobahn cruising at redline. BMW engines will run smoothly at high rpms but aren't designed to cruise @ redline AFAIK.

    Other than that the rev ranges you're quoting are similar to what I get w my '00 528iA except for idle speed which sounds a tick high. How's your gas mileage?

    I'm sure the guy who does your tune-up can help you sort it out.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Hey, thanks for the reply.

    Yep, it's a 2.0 six cylinder and it redlines in fifth at 80mph. At least that's what the tach is telling me. I'll keep it under 80 until I sort this out, but that kinda defeats the purpose of having bought it in the first place.

    Today was my first day driving it so I can't speak to the gas mileage the inop fuel gauge is going to make that calculation a bit dicey.

    My only concern with the tune-up is the dealer who sold it to me is performing the service. It's a condition of the limited warranty I get (free labor, pay for parts--which are pretty cheap and plentiful in Bavaria). I'm hopeful they'll take care of it, but I wanted to fish for red flags, silver bullets, and general thoughts before engaging the dealer.

    Thanks again for your comments.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,593
    it redlines in fifth at 80mph

    That can't be right, BMWs are made to cruise at high speeds. In fact very few cars will reach redline in top gear at all, they're usually geared so that you can only hit redline in the lower gears and are actually faster in fourth than they are in fifth (5-speed trannies).

    My 528iA ('00 E39) is doing about 3000rpm @ 80mph in fifth (5sp-Steptronic). I think I'd have to go down to second to redline it at 80.

    Now you've piqued my curiosity. Let us know what they say.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Makes no sense. Your engine would sound like the bats of hell at 6000 rpm. You couldn't even carry on a conversation at that level of mayhem. Tach must be busted.


  • Thanks again, guys. Yeah, it does not sound or feel like it's running at high rpms. I'm hoping it' just the gauge.

    It might be moot at this point--I drove it in to work for the first time today and after I parked, it wouldn't shut off and the steering wheel locked up. I turned the key back and forth without "catching" anything and it just wouldn't shut off. After about 10 minutes of pushing, pulling, turning the key, I sat there unsure of what to do. Then, for no apparant reason, it shut off on its own. Now when I turn the key, it doesn't engage the ignition and it won't start. Sounds like there's a whole lot of bad something going on with the entire steering column and dash.

    The dealer's 300 kilometers away, but I'm going to try today to get them to come put it on a truck, take it in and fix whatever's going on.....or refund my money and I'll start over again. I'll let you know how it turns out......
  • gardisgardis Posts: 185
    Hi guys,
    I have a 1996 328i, 106K miles, yesterday I was driving and had problem with the driver's power window. It sounded like it was breaking the glass and wouldn't bring the window back up. I was able to coax it up to about 2" from the top, and left it alone. I drove it to BMW dealer this morning with no appt. They told me it would probably be the window regulator, figure about $375 for it. I also told them to go ahead and do an oil change since I hadn't had one since last svc which was exactly one year ago. Haven't spent a dime on the car since last year.
    They told me they probably wouldn't even look at the car until late today, possibly even Tuesday.

    Within one hour of arriving at work (they gave me a ride) they called me. Yup, window regulator, $375, oil change $160, had a break lite out, they replaced bulb.
    I thought that was pretty good service.

    Just my luck, I'm searching for another CPO, and I'm within weeks probably of getting one. Here I had to spend this money, but you know what, I couldn't go to a dealer and trade in a car with an inactive power window, now could I. As it is, they're going to give me nothing for the car probably, I'll be lucky if they give me $500 for it.

    I always use BMW for oil changes. Valvoline confuses me, tries to upsell me on stuff I dont' understand (synthetic oil, etc, is that OK to use? I don't have a clue). I figure take it to BMW, it's their vehicle, they know exactly what to do. So it costs me double. I have peace of mind, and that's priceless to me.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Yeah that's expensive but at least they probably won't strip out the oil pan plug, forget to put oil in, or use oil filters from Sri Lanka.


  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Regarding your oil, yes, you MUST use synthetic oil in your engine. That said, just because any given oil is "Synthetic", that does NOT mean that it is good enough to run in your car. The oil that gets put into your car should meet the BMW LongLife-01 oil specification, and the only oils available here in the States that are generally available are as follows:

    - - BMW 5W-30 (typically available only from the dealer
    - - Mobil 1 0W-40 (typically available at AutoZone, WalMart, and NAPA)
    - - Castrol Syntec 0W-30 (often available at AutoZone, however, you may need to order it)

    Valvoline oils (since you mentioned using them for oil changes):
    - - Valvoline Synpower 5W-30 MST (I've never found this in any store)
    - - Valvoline Synpower 5W-40 HST (I've never found this in any store)

    Since you are inclined to use the dealer for your service, the above may be useless information; however, if you ever find yourself needing an oil change and your dealer isn't convenient, then you're good to go.

    Best regards,
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,304
    $160 is outrageous for just an oil change. The oil and filter cost less than $60 retail. You are right to avoid Valvoline(and any other quicky lube joints- I've seen/heard way too many horror stories), but a good independent BMW tech should do the work for 20%-30% less. I'd also recommend joining the BMW Car Club, as most dealers and indie shops offer significant discounts to members.

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

  • gardisgardis Posts: 185

    Thank you guys for that advice. Shipo, I always use the dealer, so I don't have to worry about it. But I made a note of those specs for future reference just in case.
    Really appreciate it. Thanks so much.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,252
    Now all the windows work and the light is fixed and the oil is changed. Not bad at all for a years worth of maintenance/repairs on a 96 with 100+k miles. You should be able to get 2500- 4500 for your car retail.Price depends on condition and how it runs. The question is how clean is it? Ripped seats? Stains? Grungy carpet? Dings, dents. scratches? Year old lobster roll wrapper under back seat? You should get a lot of interest in that price range -- especially if you have it detailed. The dealer will wholesale it out so what you need to do is take it to a used car dealer and see if he will take it to auction for you. You get the auction price minus fees. Should be better than the dealer in trade but who knows. Put an ad in the paper and see what happens or drive it for a few months to get that fresh oil circulated. Number one factor is how clean is your machine.
  • jrzdvljrzdvl Posts: 5
    I am a first timer here, so please be gentle. I have a 2000 528 which, while a great car, has an occasional quirk or two. My wife was driving the car the other day when all the instruments went out. She said nothing on the panel was working, gas gauge, tach, speedo, all lights, etc. The only thing working was the lighted "D", the transmission indicator. The car was working normally, however. The problem is, the next time I got in the car, everything worked fine. Any ideas on what might cause that condition, other than the wife, of course?
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,593
    You've probably got a short somewhere in the instrument wiring, I'd follow Roadburner's advice and take it to a good indie BMW garage. I doubt it's anything serious

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • gardisgardis Posts: 185
    Pursuant to my above servicing, I have been having also a problem with the ABS light illuminating on the dash whilst driving. I told the BMW tech about it. They took the car out for a test drive before working on it, and noticed nothing wrong. Then when the car was done, they took it out for a second test drive (seems like a lot for just an oil change and power window regulator repair, doesn't it?) and then they did notice the light. The light I'm referring to is a circle with a triangle inside. All of a sudden, it will illuminate while I"m driving.
    I don't know why.

    They told me make another appt. and bring the car in, they couldn't address the issue today.

    Any ideas what that could be? The total of the above job, btw, was $639.00 Not cheap by any means, but again, that's all I spent on that car in the past 12 months.

    Jayrider, thanks that sound advice. I hesitate to sell it personally, because I don't like the idea of surrendering my identity to someone. If something goes wrong with the car, I don't want them showing up at my doorstep over it, you know what I mean? What do you think I could get as a trade in on a CPO?
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