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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • mtjohnmtjohn Posts: 34
    The brake pad light just came on in my '01 530ia SP(33K mi but outside free maintainance). What's the approx. cost of a brake job? My understanding is that they will replace the pads and rotors at the same time. Also, back brakes normally wear more slowly--I assume that this will be a separate job down the road. When I made my appt. they said that I have 20% left on the pads when the light comes on. Should I try to squeeze out a few thousand miles or just get the job done? Shipo also mentioned some great pads that don't create so much dust--not sure if I can get aftermarket pads installed at the dealer or if I should go to a good independent (warrantee issues?). Any input appreciated.

    Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 report:
    When I first mounted these 3K mi. ago, I was a little worried that I wouldn't like them as much as my Continental Contisport Contact 2s. They felt "grabby" with noticeably more sidewall flex. Now that I have broken them in a bit and gotten used to them--they are Fantastic! Once warmed up they are highly predictable and almost impossible to break traction. Yes, still slightly more sidewall flex but noticeably more comfortable ride. I really think they needed to get the outside edges softened just a bit. They feel like the perfect tire for the 530i SP setup. Great on wet roads too for a summer tire. No appreciable noise--I mean none(yet)compared to the howling that I was getting from the Contis before I retired them.
  • mtjohnmtjohn Posts: 34
    One other note:
    The Goodyear Eagle F1s are extremely sensitive to tire pressure (as are most high performance summer tires). In my opinion, they needed 2-3 psi front & back over factory recommendation (32 psi. fronts 35 psi. rear). I tried several variations and this seems to do the trick to minimize sidewall flex.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The dealer wants to replace the rotors at every pad change because there is a possibility that the rotors will wear beyond the minimum thickness prior to the second set of pads wearing out. My wife's 1997 528iA eats a set of front pads every 20K or so. I change the rotors every other pad change and have had no problems as a result of following that regimen. The pads you want are the Axxis Deluxe Plus; excellent performance and minimum dust:
    More than a few E39 M5 owners use the Deluxe Plus for their street pads.
  • jasjas Posts: 115
    Here is another suggestion for Brake Pads. I am not sure how they compare to the Axxis.

    This recommendation comes from my neighbor who is a BMW modification freak and has done alot of mods to his M3: The pads are Hawk HPS (High Performance Street) pads. They are low-dust, rotor friendly and quiet - as well as a huge stopping improvement. Supposidly, they where a little noisy while they broke in, but after a few days they where as quiet as the OEM pads. According to him, they are on the expensive side, but well worth it.

    I am thinking of changing my pads just because I HATE brake dust - let me know what other info you find out.
  • jasjas Posts: 115
    div2 was right on the money with the Axxis Deluxe Plus. Best for dust and noise. Supposedly, you loose a little of the initial 'tactical feel' of the stock pads, but overall braking is not compromised.

    Question to div2 - did you notice this difference with the Axxis?

    Secondly, the Hawk HPS is a little higher performance. Dusting is a little bit more but still very tolerable. It is a more high performance pad that will be in between the Axxis and the OEM pads with regard to the initial braking feel, but you need to be more conscious about the bed-in to maintain a good dust level on the rotor to minimize any low speed noise.

    E60 owners - Axxis Deluxe Plus are not available at this time and probably won't be for awhile.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I ran a set of the original Deluxe pads on the E39 and really couldn't tell much difference in pedal feel. When those wore out I had to go back to OEM pads because I didn't have enough time to order the Deluxe Plus. As before, I noticed little-if any-difference in braking feel. I'm looking forward to trying the Ultimates on the Club Sport; that's the car that I usually drive in a "spirited" fashion...;)
  • jasjas Posts: 115
    Thanks for the feedback. It is nice to have some user feedback before purchasing something like this.

    I will give them a try as soon as they are available, which may be awhile. For now, I guess I will just have to stock up on a few more used towels.

    Let us know what you think of the Ultimates.
  • mtjohnmtjohn Posts: 34
    Thanks for the info re: Axxis. I am going to try them. I'll

    probably have them installed on the back brakes as well even though

    they prob. don't need servicing yet. Not sure what my BMW service

    dept. will say. I wonder if I am better off going to an independent

    shop to have the brakes done?
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    I have experienced the same problem on my 530i. Haven't been in for 15K service yet.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    As soon as my current set of pads wears out I'm installing the Ultimates and rotors on all four wheels. I'll report on the outcome after they get bedded in.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I can guarantee that your BMW service advisor will say something along the lines of: "Oh, those aftermarket pads are vastly inferior to the BMW pads so we can't install them because they are so dangerous, blah-blah-blah." Find a good independent BMW tech or do the job yourself-it's really not that difficult.
  • Hello people! Many Many thanks to all those who provide advice and wisdom. Problem: I put my 1998 528i in second gear, I ASSUMED it was in gear, then all of the sudden BOOM!!! The gear pops out and makes a tremendous noise, scared the crap out of me, it happend few times before, maybe 2-3 times,very infrequently. Did I not put the gear all the way in? Or another problem? Did that incident mess up my engine? transmission? It still rolls fine, but just worried that something may be screwing up. Thanks for your help. - john
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,398
    wasn't disengaged all the way. I've done it and suffered no permanent damage.

    You don't want to make a habit of it, tho. Make sure your clutch pedal is all the way down before you shift
  • mtjohnmtjohn Posts: 34
    Yep, regarding installation of Axxis pads: BMW service advisor said "we can't be responsible for any damage caused by aftermarket parts and therefore will not install them." It seems the only potential warrantee issue would be if I had an independent shop install aftermarket parts which then caused damage which would then not be covered by my CPO warrantee (i.e. front rotor disintegrates and penetrates my engine block : ) ). I'm cancelling my appt. and going to a good independent to get the Axxis pads and new rotors installed.
  • rcs525ircs525i Posts: 7
    Hello - I have a 94 525i. The car is in great shape inside and out. I am smelling gas fumes while driving or sitting idle. Look for your expert wisdom and advise.

    Much Thanks!
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Since your car is 10 years old I suspect it is a deteriorating fuel hose. Pull the rear seat bottom cushion and check to see if fuel is leaking from the hoses or gaskets associated with the fuel pump/sending units. Under the hood, check the fuel rail and all pressurized fuel lines. Inspect the evaporative emissions canister and the related hoses and connections. You really do need to isolate the problem and correct it as soon as possible. Fuel leaks do not improve with age and you run the risk of turning your nice E34 into a rolling barbecue.
  • Okay, we can buy a 97 528i 5-speed for $5500. Problem is, according to the dealer, cylinder #3 is out. Otherwise the car is in good condition with a few age-appropriate scratches. It has 90,000 miles. Is this car cheap enough to warrant buying it and fixing it. We have three other vehicles so this car would more or less be a nice back-up car if any of our primaries are out of service. It would replace a 94 LS400 that has only had 10,000 miles put on it in the last 3 1/2 years.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,398
    the E34 is a wicked nice car but I don't think I'd swap a perfectly good low miles LS400 for anything with a duff engine.

    Given roughly the same age and condition I'd get the Bimmer every time but that's not the case here.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ummm, I suspect that the car here in question is an E39 not an E34. I would be interested to know why the cylinder is bad. Valves? Rings? Ignition? Hole in the piston? Those things have very different price tags associated with them. A leak down compression test and a bore scope should easily be able to identify if there are any actual mechanical problems with the mill. After all, 97K really isn't that many miles.

    Best Regards,
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I agree with Shipo; the first thing you need to do is find out EXACTLY what is wrong with the motor. The M52 inline six is a very robust design that can go over 200K miles when properly maintained(my wife's 1997 528i has over 106K on the clock and uses absolutely no oil between 8K mile changes). I'd want to know why the engine failed at such a low mileage-poor maintenance? abuse? If the engine wasn't serviced properly then then you can be sure that the rest of the car was neglected as well. The car in question would likely be an excellent project for an experienced DIY owner. That said, it won't be much of a bargain if you have to pay a professional to correct all the problems...
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