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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The two engines that I saw had both been filled in a "Full Service" lane by an attendant, and both had at least a quarter of a tank of gasoline when the fill-up event occurred.

    Thinking further about this, it seems logical that when the car was started, and when the owner pulled out of the station, the engine was still running on gasoline that was in the carb bowl(s) and in the fuel lines, so it's possible that both cars were up to speed before the diesel started making its way into the engine.
  • Mr. Shipo and Mr. Shiftright,
    I appreciate your responses. I will take your ideas to my mechanic. He's independent but works on many BMWs. The "event" actually happened last August, so it was warm. Situation. After work, drove .25 mile to get "fuel". Then drove about .5 mile when the car started lurching, whereby I put in the clutch and coasted to a stop. Hasn't run since.
    I'll try to see if the mechanic can take some photos of the cylinder walls. I've seen the walls, not pretty.
  • jkaudia6jkaudia6 Posts: 77
    edited February 2010
    Hi Re: I'm thinking of purchasing 1991 525i [kturner00]
    I just parked my 1990 5 Series with 287,000 Km's, that's about 200K Miles.
    Got tired of putting more money in to it.
    With a current market value of about 1400 Euro's at that mileage
    130kilometers you can count on repairs.
    But to answer your questions:
    Control Arms in the front will be a repeat repair.
    Wheel bearings in the rear tend to rust and if you wait to long
    they have to be Torched out.
    Valve train ( lifters or vanos will eventually start making noise.
    The only repair for that is replacement.$$$$
    The end muffler I replaced 4 times in twenty years (ever 5yrs.)
    One clutch disc in twenty years.
    One water pump.
    The list goes on, but you get the picture.
    Let me just say in closing, I kept that car in top shape for twenty years
    but it bleed me to death.
    That should answer your questions about gasoline, I think.
    Best regards
  • iwseiwse Posts: 27
    Just received a letter today from BMW corporate acknowledging problems with high pressure fuel pump (HPFP) problems on 2008/2009 535i models, and as such is extending the warranty on the HPFP from the normal 4 years/50,000 miles to 10 years/120,000 miles, whichever comes first. I'm saving that letter for any unfortunate future reference.

    My HPFP went at 17,000 miles on my 2009 535i x-drive. Dealer knew immediately the cause, though did not acknowledge any known problem when I questioned them on it. Surprise, surprise. Otherwise, the car has been problem-free and one sweet ride.

    I wonder if the recent Toyota debacle has given the entire auto industry a wake-up call. I certainly hope so for the sake of both the industry and us consumers. The cost of recalls and extended warranties pale in comparison to the cost of a damaged brand.
  • gardisgardis Posts: 185
    Hi Guys,
    wow after reading about these 535i problems, I'm so glad I didn't go with the one I saw at Bridgeport BMW (CT) last year! Something just told me to not go with a new model (turbos) instincts were right. Anyway..........have a beautiful 2007 530i, just had it serviced under the warranty 30K......came through with flying colors, didn't cost me a CENT. Service tech said see ya next year, but I'm wondering, an oil change every 15K miles, does that sound correct? It just seems like a lot of miles to go between oil changes. Guys thanks. I've learned so much from these boards.

    Gardis - CT
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,020
    I'm wondering, an oil change every 15K miles, does that sound correct? It just seems like a lot of miles to go between oil changes.

    There are lots of opinions on the proper oil change frequency. I change it every 8,000 miles in my wife's 2004 X3 2.5, primarily because used oil analysis indicates that the oil's additive package is almost depleted by that mileage. Other have good luck with the @15,000 mile interval, but not me...

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

  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    It depends on the type of driving you do. Lots of cold starts and city driving and 15K might be too long. Mostly highway, it might be okay. Also depends on the oil they use (Mobil 1?) and the volume. I have an Infiniti that I've been using synthetic in and having the oil analyzed. 11K on my engine is about near the end of useful protection with a 60/40 mix of highway/city. Their service interval is 3750miles, but analysis shows that that is way overkill unless it was hot/dusty/short severe service.
  • kevin530kevin530 Posts: 25
    I just never felt right about a 15,000 mile interval, seems way too long, for a high compression engine. For new cars under warranty that offer free maintenance, like BMW, if you say change the oil at 15,000 instead of say 7,500 or 10,000, the cost savings are obvious for the company and the car is out of warranty most likely before any major damage is evident. My gut tells me that a 7,500 mile interval with synthetic oil is reasonable and that is what I have been doing. Valvoline does it for about $90 with the extra oil required.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    The one sure way to tell is to spend the $25 or so and send in a sample of the oil at your 7500 mile interval to see how much life is left in it. Then, you have a valid assessment of the life left in the oil. If it saves an extra $90 oil change, and confirms the oil's good, or bad, then you have a basis for discussion with the dealer about what needs to happen.

    Many of the synthetic oil companies offer their own warranty if you use their oil and follow their recommendations - Mobil 1's recommendation is 12000 miles or one year, whichever comes first.

    A car that is designed for extended oil changes usually has more oil in the sump than a more 'normal' engine. This means a larger reservoir of addatives and often, a longer change interval.
  • My 2006 BMW 525i keeps giving me warning "low coolant" about a week after I filled it up. I took it to a local shop. The technician tested it (blowing air to the coolant openning) and he found no leaks at all on the tubes and radiator, although we saw water leaks to the bottom tray. He then open the engine oil cap and said the water must have leaked to the engine because the oil color has changed to light brown. He susggested to take it to the dealer for further testing and repair. My questions are:
    1) Was his diagnostic correct?
    2) If he knows what's wrong, why didn't he accept the job to fix it?
    3) How big a job to repair the problem when coolant mixing engine oil?
    4) What shops (in Orange County, CA) are good to repair the car besides the dealer to reduce the cost?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,667
    This doesn't sound like a diagnosis at all, but rather a guess based on an oil cap??

    There are very conclusive ways to test for head gasket failure or even oil separator (BMW's fancy PCV valve) problems, so yeah, you need to go somewhere that knows about BMWs.

    If in fact you have water + oil extensively distributed throughout your engine, you'd better pour yourself a stiff drink. I think not, but you need to have this properly diagnosed and stop driving the car until you do.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,020
    I'll bet it's either the water pump, t-stat housing, or the expansion tank.

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

  • petecastro99petecastro99 Posts: 1
    edited March 2010
    I have a very similar issue with lights coming on and going off intermittently. Also have my horn and radio sometime not work, then start to work again.
    I'm assuming it's the computer module but curious as to what you found when you had it serviced.
  • The mechanic I use doesn't know how to reset the error light on the idrive. Can anyone explain how to do this? I have tried pushing the trip odometer and turning key to accessory but do not get any reset ability.

    Frustrated in Wisconsin.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    I have not written here in a long while. I still have my car that I purchased new in December, 2001. I love the car and will probably keep it a few more years.

    While on the freeway, a rock or something hit the windshield and now there is a long crack across it. My car, '02 530i has 89K miles. It has the premium-sport package which comes with the rain sensor on the rear view mirror. My insurance deductible is higher than the replacement cost so I will pay for it my self. Question is, I received quotes from a few highly recommended glass shops. It comes down to whether I want to have installed a BMW windshield ($650) or an after market windshield ($350). Each shop claims that the aftermarket windshield is just as good as the BMW part, except it does not have the BMW logo on it. Considering the age and mileage of the car, would it be a mistake to use the after market windshield instead of the BMW windshield?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited April 2010
    Hey Pen, long time... ;)

    How's that "new" clutch holding out for you?

    Regarding the windshield glass, the only thing I've ever been warned about regarding replacement glass is the actual thickness; I've "heard" (but never experienced) that some aftermarket glass makers skimp on the thickness, and as such, the new glass cracks and pits easier.

    I've taken a different route regarding the one broken windshield I've had to deal with on a German car, namely a used windshield. My insurance company told me they'd actually waive my deductible and pay for the entire glass replacement if I'd agree to a used part. Needless to say I agreed. ;)

    Best regards,
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Shipo, you have a great memory. Same clutch, works great. Only other non-standard maintenance issue is that the drivers door window-lift gave out. Oh, and I have been through 3 cup holder sets, couple sets of brakes, lots of tires (standard Pilots lasted over 40K, but then I used PS2's and they lasted about 25K each set), a few bulbs here and there, a new front Bumper (a parking curb pulled the old one out) and a new rear bumper (was rear ended). The car is great (you know that) and I expect to keep it a few more years (feels good not have a car payment) before I get the 2012 5-series (always avoid the first year).

    Based upon your comments, I will research the aftermarket glass option a little more carefully. Maybe I could find a used windshield replacement instead. The bottom line is that I want to make sure it does not have distortion, is thinner or causes added wind noise compared to a new BMW windshield.

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,667

    1. Turn ignition to Terminal 15. (if equipped with 'Keyless Start' insert remote in ignition slot but do not start engine)
    2. Press and hold the Instrument Cluster Set/Reset button for 10 seconds.
    3. The upper display in the Instrument Cluster will be illuminated with a Service Item (example: An oil can is the designation for Oil Service). The lower display in the Instrument Cluster will indicate the remaining time or mileage left for that Service Item (example: 14000). Pressing the button repeatedly will allow the display to scroll through all of the Condition Based Service Items.
    4. Press and hold the Instrument Cluster Set/Reset button again and the lower display screen will indicate "OK" or "DUE".
    5. Pressing the Instrument Cluster Set/Reset button again will allow the "RESET" to appear in the lower window for that service. Releasing and reapplying the button one more time will reset the service displayed in the upper window only. Repeat the procedure for any additional service reset needs.
  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,919
    hey pen101..

    Weren't you the one that re-purchased your car after your lease, CPOed, for less than the residual?

    I replaced a windshield on our '03 325i... The prices were much lower then, and we went with factory glass at the time, because they were the only ones that had the rain sensor.

    I wouldn't be worried about the after-market glass, as much as the shop having experience with replacing BMW glass... Ours had a special sealant that had to cure overnight... otherwise, they would have come to my office to do it..


    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    edited April 2010
    Thanks Kyfdx, great memory. I got lucky on that one. Credit lots of research and talking to the right people.

    Both shops that gave me quotes come highly recommended. I'll let you know which way I decide to go and whether I am satisfied with the result.

    Also add to my above list of non-normal maintanence items replaced: control arm bushings. That's it. Hopefully this list won't grow too much in the coming years.

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