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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    designman... The 2-door, 2-seat roadster Porsche Boxster, with limited utility, does NOT compare with the 4-door, 5-seat sedan 5 Series, with backseat and full trunk.

    Now add a full trunk and backseat to the Boxster and we can talk. Oops, that was the (unlamented?) 928! And which one has survived the test of time? The M5!!!

    The Z4 competes with the Boxster. The Z8 with the 911. Porsche has no car comparable to the 5 Series or M5.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    in his post acknowledged that the 5 and Boxster are different animals with different missions. His point was simply that for pure driving pleasure ("the ultimate driving machine?"), the Boxster trumps the 5. Does anyone disagree with that limited assertion?
  • vizviz Posts: 50
    Thanks for your postings.
    My car does not have SP. It has contitouring Contact tires (Made in Germany). I live in northeast ohio; snows around 4 inches max. Last year my 1998 model met with an accident during winter; it started to wobble and brakes were of no use. Still confused as to why it happened.
      For a 3 year lease I am still not able to decide whether I should buy the rims. Rims are expensive and what should I do with them when I return my car after 3 years.
       Are the contitouring tires any good in winter ?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    warthog... The comparison is still Z4 to Boxster. And if you like roadsters, the smart buyer saves a fortune by buying a Miata or an S2000.

    Of course, there is always a penalty to be had with a sedan. Backseat and trunk add weight. That is why you can't compare a full-size sedan to a roadster.

    The M5 is a most awesome sedan.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I too am on a three year lease with my 530i (although with the look of the new E60 5-Series, I will probably buy my car next year at lease end), and I bought the entire tire and wheel package. My rational was that I would just about break even in cost when comparing buying the more expensive 235/45-R17 winter tires for my SP equipped 530i rims. That said, since you have the narrower rims, you will be able to save over $50 a tire, meaning that buying the full package will cost you about $200 more over the three years when compared to just buying the tires and having them remounted and rebalanced twice a year.

    The only thing not considered in the above equation is that when you give your 530i back, you will have a nice wheel and tire package that you can sell on RoadFly or EBAY. A quick check on EBAY shows used wheel and tire package for BMWs running between $400 and $750 depending on the tire/wheel/car mix. Compare that to ads for just used snow tires for $50 for all four tires.

    From where I sit, any way you look at it, buying the wheels is the more cost effective way to go.

    Best Regards,
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "And if you like roadsters, the smart buyer saves a fortune by buying a Miata or an S2000."

    You win Riez. I'm trading in my Boxster and 530 today for a Miata and Corolla. What's more, I'm hoping this decision keeps me in contention for the Nobel Prize for Economics.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    designman... You wrote, "Leftover 03 Boxster Ss are now going for roughly $43K to $48K... The $42K I paid for my leftover 02 has more than I need or want... With regard to the sport package on the 530. After driving over a week now with the S, my 530 w/o SP feels like a DeVille and I know SP would have made no difference. Furthermore, one of the best car decisions I ever made in my life was not buying the M5 I was considering last month."

    All I did was point out that comparing a 530i to a Boxster is NOT a fair comparison. The Z4 is. And it was all the less fair given that it doesn't even have the Sport Pkg. There is a huge world of difference between 530i non-Sport and 530i Sport. Nor is it fair to compare the M5, though it isn't fair to compare the M5 to your 530i. Your 530i non-Sport pales in comparison to the M5. If you can't understand all this, then I concur, sticking to economics would be appropriate.

    And keep in mind that it was warthog who wrote, "His point was simply that for pure driving pleasure ("the ultimate driving machine?"), the Boxster trumps the 5." First, notice he doesn't mention the M5, which is the "ultimate" sedan. Second, for pure driving pleasure, one can't beat the simplicity and value of either the Miata or S2000. These are two cars that do much better compete with the Boxster and Z4. I'd take the S2000 over the other three today but look forward to the upcoming supercharged Miata. Affordable, reliable, simple, pure driving pleasure?
  • rfkflrfkfl Posts: 2
    Have 2 questions. (1) The passenger seat headrest does not go up/down. I took the back of the seat off and the motor works but I think the cable is not working properly. The thing I cannot figure out is how to disconnect the cable. Any ideas? (2) When I push the button for the seat to lean back, only one side goes, the other seems to be “stuck”. Again, any ideas?
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    My reference to the BMW slogan was a bit of sarcasm attempting to emphasize designman's point that a BMW 3, 5, M or whatever, is not truly the "ultimate driving machine," however good they are at what they set out to do. The true ultimate driving machine, currently I suppose, is something like the Enzo. We all know the 5 vs. Boxster kind of comparison is invalid. You don't need to tell us again. But maybe you need to re-read designman's original post and consider what he actually said.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    What designman said was this:

    "I am well aware of the satisfaction BMW owners get from our sport sedans and how they fill the all-around family/business needs, but if anyone is really into the thrill of driving there is only one answer... sports car."
  • jav27jav27 Posts: 7
    Perhaps someone out there can recommend a good set of snow tires as this evening I could not make it up the hill to my house and had to turn my 2003 525i around and take an alternate route with a smaller incline.

    Or should I have purchased a 325xi?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Get Bridgestone Blizzaks or Michelin Arctic Alpins. The Blizzaks are better on ice but the Arctics are much better in the dry and wet. I bought four Arctics from Tire Rack along with a set of steel wheels. I also ordered some BMW E39 Wheel covers. It's an easy 45 minute job to swap them.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    warthog... You cite designman's comment that "if anyone is really into the thrill of driving there is only one answer... sports car." Don't agree. Sure our motorcyclist friends would argue that a 2-wheeler is the only way to go. And a plethora of serious driving machines can give you a ton of legitimate thrills: serious sport sedans like M5, small roadster like Miata, pocket rockets like the Subaru WRX/STi, etc. You don't have to have a "sports car" to enjoy the thrill of driving. A 530i 5-speed manual with Sport Pkg will provide plenty of driving thrill.

    How much does the Enzo cost? But I'm not sure a Ferrari is the ultimate driving machine. Ever notice how many low mile used Ferrari there are out there? The drivers don't seem to put much driving time in them. What thrill is there in owning something you hardly drive? They are more like the ultimate spectator machines. (Not to mention reliability concerns.)
  • I own 03 E39 530 SP and a while ago I was also deciding about the purchase of winter wheels. Thanks to this forum and first snow in Boston I quickly realized that the original tires ARE NOT for winter driving. Although I have driven RWD cars all my life (with the exception of my previous Honda Accord EX) I could not say I was safe on the road. I purchased a set of tires Michelin PA2 and wheels thru tirerack. The tires are excellent and I would recommend them to anyone. The whole package came to about $1000. I was able to mount them myself in 30 minutes using the original tools.
  • jav27jav27 Posts: 7
    Thanks Gentlemen. I'll check out the site. So, the advise is keep the 525 and change the tires.
  • vizviz Posts: 50
    Thanks you all for sharing your opinion. I am finally convinced I need winter tires for my 2003 530i. Now please help me choose a tire ; I have 2 options ( I would prefer smooth ride on dry road)
    Dunlop winter sport M2 : Performance Winter

    Michelin Arctic-Alpin : Studless Ice and Snow

    Which one is better for north east ohio; It does snow here but it not severe - But you never know :-(

    I am also getting fox sport wheels.

    Is there a way to get $0 shipping from ?
    Please advise.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Due to the fact that the Michelin Arctic-Alpin tires are generally acknowledged as being one of the best (if not the best) winter tire in non-winter conditions (ie. dry and wet roads), I would suggest them. My guess is that like here in New Hampshire, the majority of your winter driving will not be on snow and ice.

    Best Regards,
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I second Shipo's advice.
  • The same thing happened the Roundel on my '01 530i as to chesdin2. One morning the paint was gone and it was bright silver with little black left. Wife said it was from leaving it out in the cold overnight instead of the garage, but I assured her that it is colder in Germany than NJ.
  • jbf5jbf5 Posts: 32
    We had some posts a few weeks back on mounting wheels with the BMW tool set. If you look at the installation instructions on Tirerack's website, you'll see that they recommend using a torque wrench (and tightening in a star pattern). The risk you take with using the tire iron alone is apparently that you get unbalanced tension on the lug nuts and warp the brake rotors. That has to be expensive to repair.

    Sears has torque wrenches up to the task for around $70. You'll also need a 17mm socket, and, depending on your wheels, a socket extension to keep the wrench from scraping against the wheel as you torque.
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