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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    I had a similar problem with my 2003 530i, new in late July. About three weeks after I took delivery, I washed the BMW and my wife's Mercedes E320. By habit, I left all the doors of both cars open while I dried the inside door frames, etc., and vacuumed both cars.

    I pulled both into the garage, and the next day the BMW had a dead battery. Roadside Assistance provided a jump start, and I took it back to the dealer. They kept the car for two days and could find nothing wrong with the alternator, charging system or the battery.

    But my salesman intervened and insisted that the Service Dep't. put a new battery in the car. The Service manager agreed, saying that often a new BMW will sit for days or weeks on either side of the Atlantic, and the battery goes bad but often checks out as being okay.

    We've had no problems since! We even were on vacation for almost 3 weeks in late September-early October, with the cars sitting without being started or driven. Got home, and both started without a hitch.

    Bottom line -- insist that your dealer put in a new battery, even if it checks out okay in their tests (and assuming the alternator and charging system check out okay). One service advisor tried to blame the "no start" problem on the many computer chips and systems in the car, and the car not being driven enough to keep the battery charged. That was horse-hockey!

    Let us know what develops.
  • Any suggestions for all-season tires that will handle well in wet AND dry conditions? Here in Maryland, I won't need snow tires, but am not looking forward to commuting in the occasional snow because my current tires have a hard enough time gripping in the rain: the DSC indicator lamp comes on frequently (for a second or two) when I corner in the rain. The tires are Toyo Proxes which, according to Consumer Reports, are supposed to offer the best blend of wet/dry traction. Even the ContiSport Contact 2s are rated below them.
  • I own a 1998 528i,and Im having an intermittent problem with wiper washer. Sometimes only the washer works, then other times it doesn't work at all, there was no signs of the wiper motor breakdown previously it just stopped. As my vehicle didn't come with and owners manual, and I would like to change the fuse or either the relays before I take it into a dealership for the repair. Can anyone tell me where I would find the fuse for wiper/washer and the relay?
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    On my '03 530 the fuse panel is in a drop-down lid inside the glove box at the top. There are a couple of twist catches that release it. The wiper fuse is # 1.

    Yours might be the same, worth a look anyway.
  • Details: My car is 1999 528i (Manual) which I had it for almost two years.
    Problem: In the morning (after a chilly night - usually below 35 degrees) when i start up the car and leave it for warm-up, it starts with no problem but dies out after few minutes and I had to restart it after which it stays on. I had been to multiple dealers who replaced Vanos system twice and the problem still persists.
    Any solutions or suggestions are welcome and appreciated. - Thanks
  • after convincing my wife that it was a good idea to spend substantially more for a five year old 528i than a late model Camry...the passenger interior door handle broke right off in her hand when she tried to open the door. It looks like cheap plastic. Is there a way to purchase and replace the handle without spending a fortune? Are ther special tools required? (It certainly is hard to explain how the Camry is perfect after 12 years and 125k miles but that's another story) Thank you.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The door handle fix is simple and inexpensive: Your CCA discount should help as far as the price goes.
    The E39(like most new BMW models) suffered from several glitches in the first few months of production. The good news is that BMW corrected most of those problems and once fixed they tend to STAY fixed. I know of several owners who have had to replace the door handles but I haven't replaced one in 3 years and 50K miles. Between the CPO warranty and and myself we fixed the half dozen or so problems that our early-build 5er suffered from. The past 35000 miles have been problem free, with the exception of a dead windshield washer pump(one hour and @$35)
    And yes a Toyota appliance is more reliable. It is also the equivalent of vehicular Novocane-also spelled B-O-R-I-N-G. We had the particular misfortune of being forced to accept a rental Camry when my wife's 3er was in the body shop recovering from a run-in with a moron-operated minivan. Now, my wife is not an auto enthusiast nor is she status-driven(how could she be-she drove a Buick when we were dating). Nevertheless, she HATED the Camry. She only drove it to and from work-she said that if she could drive a stick she would have taken my 3er and made me drive the Toyawnta. The rest of the time we left the despised appliance in the driveway. Everyone sets their own automotive priorities, and for us the occasional glitch is vastly outweighed by the superlative driving experience and capabilities of the 5er.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    I use Michelin Pilot Sport A/S. Excellent in dry/wet and decent in snow.
  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    The other day after completing a trip the "Check Engine Oil Level" message came up on the dash. I check the oil pretty regularly and have determined the burn rate (one quart every 3700 miles or so) so I was not suprised to see that it was only about 1/2 quart low (per the indicator marks on the dipstick). Nonetheless, I added a half quart to bring it up to the top mark.

    The warning message continues to come up at the end of every drive though. The oil level is not low, and I have no other problem indicators. Can't get into the dealer for two weeks - any way to clear this?
  • I purchased my 03 530 in April and many times the car would have a mind on its own and the seats would reset to other settings once I unlocked the car. The dealer tracked it down to the control module still in transport mode and then, replaced the memory control module. I have not had a problem since - 3 month.
  • I bought a 98 e39. Is it recommended to use Mobil1 even if the car never did before? The car has 80k on it. Would Mobil1 be better for longevity of the engine?
  • Hey Div2, thanks. Door panels are off with no damage.
  • Hey ManyBMWs, thanks for the reco on the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S; I'll check them out. By the way, does anyone know off-hand whether a faulty turn indicator bulb/lamp is covered under the 3/36K warranty? Thanks.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Some folks believe that you shouldn't switch to synthetic on higher mileage cars; I've done it with no problems. In my opinion you should be OK.
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    The main reason that you wouldn't want to switch is that the engine seals will have shrunk on a higher mileage car and synthetic can leak because it's much finer. I'd give it a shot but check your oil level very regularly. If you find you're losing oil switch back.

    Good luck.
  • rgwlrgwl Posts: 9
    Has anyone ever had the problem on the 2002 530I where the fan shuts off and doesn't turn back on even when I adjust the temp setting or increase the fan speed. This happens if the A/C is on or not. Is the thermostat defective ? Sometimes after a minute or 2 it kicks back in. Sometimes everything seems to work when I shut the car and restart it. ?????
  • rgwlrgwl Posts: 9
    Does anyone know how to reset the daytime running lights back on ? I had to dealer turn them off when I purchased my 2002 530I. but now I want them back on ? Dealer wants to charge me for it. Am wondering if it's simple to turn back on .
  • MY 03 530 sp, 5 sp received the check oil warning light after the first 5,500 miles. I happened to go to the dealer for my memory seat issue (see my earlier post) so they refilled the oil. However, the light is suppose to reset itself but in my case it did not. The dealer had to reprogram the LCM module. I haven't had a problem since. However, I was told these engines do consume extra oil. I am keeping an eye on this. Weird, in my Honda days I never bothered checking the oil stick....I guess it comes with the privilege of driving BMW

    Good luck.
  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    rgwl: There is a bad part in the fan control unit. TSB on this. Dealer will be aware of this one. As for the DRL's: are you saying that your's are consistant? I'd settle for that. As it is, mine randomly think they are DRL's sometimes and non DRL's other times. I'll ask the dealer to choose one or the other - I don't care - just want some predictability.

    george: I suspect I have the same bad LCM. Thanks for the insight.

    So, anyone else have driver side vanity lights that come on whenever the visor is moved to the side? Supposed to come on only when the mirror is opened, but I suspect I have a short in the visor switch.

    Worst visor in any car I have ever had BTW. Ergonomic insult.

  • sykusyku Posts: 7
    Well, it happened again. The battery went completely dead. I'll follow mbdriver's adivice and take it back to get a new battery.
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