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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    div2's Helpful Hint of the Day:
    Always TEST DRIVE a car before you lease/purchase it.
  • As an idea, would you consider trying the sheepskin wool seat covers advertised in the buff books? Or, for a far out solution, installing a Recaro type seat that you would take out atlease end?
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    Could be ingition coils.
  • jasjas Posts: 115
    I have a 2004 545 six-speed (manual). 95% of the miles are freeway (70-80) with a few hard accelerations around town. I am getting 20-22mpg actual, but my computer says 25-27mpg.

    I took delivery at the end of August. I was going to wait for a 2005, but they told me the 545's would not be available until late November and I did not want to wait -when did you pick yours up?
  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    Picked it up in Munich on 4 October and shipped it the same day. It arrived at my dealer's in Maryland on 30 October. The car was actually built and stored in a garage by about mid-September. I ordered it on 5 August and I imagine that if you had done the same thing, you'd have had it sometime early last month.
  • jasjas Posts: 115
    FYI: Lumbar support on the 545i was on option in 2004 and standard in 2005. I guess BMW figured out it should be standard. However, there are only about 12 options for the 545 as most things are standard and it is pretty clear in the options list. BTW - the lumbar support is great, you adjust the position up/down as well as how much support you want.

    I would check with the dealer to find out if a lumbar support seat could be swapped for your seat - it may not be cheap.

    If it is really that uncomfortable, I would check with a body shop to see if you could put shims under the seat mount to raise it - this is something I am sure the dealer would not do because it has liability issues.

    I agree with div2 - if you are purchasing or leasing a 65k car, I would think you would do a little more research on the options and time for the test drive. I had been to three different BMW dealers over the coarse of my research and everyone of them had a comfort seat car.

    For someone like me who is 6'3" the BMW cockpit is one of the few that is roomy enough, unlike my wifes Volvo. The thigh extenders are very usable allowing the seat to adjust from someone who is short to someone who is tall.

    My wife, who is 5'7" does not have any problem with the seat adjustments. You have to realize, a BMW cockpit is not designed to have your head in the roof, you do sit lower.

    The tone of your email is what prompted me to write this response. Possibly, that is why the dealer will not return your calls. I would try a new approach with the dealer to find a solution: Can a lumbar support seat be added to your car. can the seat be chimed, what aftermarket products exist.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    If you're uncomfortable you're uncomfortable, but I'm 5'8" and I love the seats in my 545 (and I do use the thigh extension as well). That's only 3 inches taller than you. I just drove the car about 1,500 miles in three days and like the seats on the 330xi I used to have I have never found any cars seats that I find more comfortable (note: I like more firm seats so maybe that's where we differ). My fiance is 4'10" and she loves the seats. So I don't think it has to do with height really. Not sure what to tell you, but it's not a design flaw because you're the only person I've heard mention this. I'm not saying that you're wrong, but just that I don't agree.
  • I apologize if my tone sounds bothered regarding my uncomfortable seat problem. I have been sitting on a wedge shaped pillow since I got the car, as cassidym so kindly suggested. It helps a lot to be lifted up those 3 extra inches. My upper back and neck strain go away, my head rests back comfortably into the headrest. I'm not that happy with driving around on the wedge in my 63K car, especially when it comes to the valet (and my friends) laughing at me. I don't look as cool as I thought I would in my new 545...

    I did test drive the car several times, but I was more worried about how rough the ride was on run-flat tires, whether I would be able to deal with idrive, and trying to decide between 530 and 545. I scoured these boards and learned all about the dirty brake dust and even read one on squeaky comfort seats.

    I made some assumptions that turned out to be wrong. I figured that BMW would have the same basic luxury items in the cabin that my other cars have had (like a comfortable seat??). Only after I got the car did I come to learn that feminine ergonomics is not a BMW priority. There is no sunglass holder, no decent usable center console storage (you have to open 2 doors to get to a very small compartment). The door pocket is the only convenient place to put my sunglasses, extra keys, garage door opener, cell phone, etc. The glove box is too far away to reach even when I'm hiked up on my wedge.

    Do I dare continue on this forum??? I really don't want to offend anyone with my tone or whining. I do love the way the car drives, steers, handles and brakes. That's why I got it. But the premium stereo really lacks sound quality. Too tinny. No matter how the equalizer, balance, bass and treble are adjusted. My jaguar stereo was full with great bass. The car's stereo rocked. I miss its rich full sound. Having bass tones blare at me from the BMW windshield speakers is awful. Turning down the front speakers turns off nearly all the bass.

    Also, the inside lighting is way too harsh and the plastic cover looks really cheap. Turn on those overheads at night and the photophobic response is unbearable. Best to not ever have to turn any of those lights on. The small infrared light beam is pretty useless. The mercedes e320 has much more elegant dimmer lights, just enough to read something without being overbearing.

    Finally, the idrive computer is too slow and cumbersome. I am already backed out of my drive and down the street before the park distance control comes on, rendering this feature useless. When I slide the button to select an option, it takes many seconds to respond. In this computer age, I am accustomed to a computer responding much faster, and think this would be important and a priority while operating a car.

    I was referred by bmw general manager's assistant to service. Nobody else has this problem, I guess, they never heard of it either. They had nothing to offer to resolve the seat problem, (and I was really sweet when I explained my problem). I will look into replacing the seat, Recaro? You can bet, in 35 months, the next car seat is going to be incredible!
  • I just bought a new 530i and was wondering does the bluetooth work with cell phones or does it require some additional hook ups? Any help is appreciated. Verizon sells a Motorola bluetooth and before I purchase it I wanted to see users experiences.
  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    Carlook, here's a list I just got from BMW North America that shows all the cell phones that are compatible with the 5-Series bluetooth

    AT&T Wireless
    Motorola V600
    Sony Ericsson T616
    Sony Ericsson T637
    Sony Ericsson T68i (phone is discontinued) Siemens S56 (phone is discontinued)

    Motorola V600
    Sony Ericsson T637
    Sony Ericsson T68i (phone is discontinued) Siemens S56 (phone is discontinued)

    Sprint PCS
    Sony Ericsson T608

    T Mobile
    Motorola V600
    Sony Ericsson T610
    Sony Ericsson T68i (phone is discontinued)

    Verizon Wireless
    Motorola V710 *No

    *Note: The Verizon Wireless Bluetooth phone (Motorola V710) launched in September of this year. This device is not fully supported by BMW’s Bluetooth option. The phone is expected to be compatible with BMW’s Bluetooth option before the end of this year, when Verizon implements new software.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Wow. I don't think I've ever heard anyone hate a car that they actually took home as much as you seem to. I don't know what you're talking about with the stereo. Maybe something is wrong with your's because mine has tons of bass. Logic7 is widely considered to be one of the best factory car stereos out there. It certainly blows the stereo that was in my 330xi out of the water (and it was premium as well). I don't really get it; you seem to love your Jag and Mercedes so why did you switch to a BMW? A place to put your sunglasses? How about that small compartment right above the ash tray??? Fits my sunglasses just fine (possibly some additional option takes this space up???). My iDrive is on about 2 seconds after the car is started. I really don't know what to say about the lighting. Seems fine to me. I just can't believe you actually drove the car before you got it. Yes, I'm sure you focused on the ride quality, but does that mean you paid no attention to ANYTHING else about the car? I mean, did you know what color it was before you got it home??? Sorry, but it's really odd that you would complain about so much when you decided to get the damn thing.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    One additional thought about the stereo. Are you sure you have Logic7 turned on? I have mine set on concert hall and have tons of bass (with the equalizer set up as well). Also check the regular (non-equalizer) settings for bass and treble. I have both set in the middle so to equalizer is doing most of the work.
  • glakerglaker Posts: 49
    The discussion about jlapcat's problems sounds like the ones my wife and I have, e.g. "There's no place for my water bottle (which is the liter size, of course)" - response: "You're supposed to have both hands on the wheel while you're driving - not eating and drinking at this speed"; or ""There's no place for my CD's" - response: "Turn the radio off and listen to the music of that engine growl".
    Come on!!! Like most other European marquees, BMW is well designed to drive hard while you concentrate on the road conditions, the traffic and the sound of the car. If one wants to drive around with living room type amenities (which certainly distract from your ability to concentrate on your driving) then he/she should look to buy a van or a Japanese auto.
    (But I do feel bad that jlapcat is stuck with a new 545 for another 3 years. Maybe someone will volunteer to take "the piece of junk" off her hands for the right deal??)
  • jasjas Posts: 115
    I will agree with you about the interior light covers, they do not look as elegant as some. However, I like the bright light when I need to read something. One thing you may want to look into is lower watt light bulbs.

    BMW's have always been ding ed on their interiors, although I think they did a better job on the E60. Of course, don't ever expect to get a decent cup holder.

    The center console is not great. But, I actually like the two compartments to separate things. I am sure the top compartment can be removed (it has to be replaceable if it ever brakes) and this is something you could have the dealer do.

    I have found the side door panel works great for sunglasses, cell phone ear piece and wallet. I do not have the Nav, so I have a holder above the ash tray which works great for the cell phone.

    I would really check with a good body shop or custom shop about remounting the seat to raise it. I think this would be worth the cost and time and would be more comfortable than sitting on a wedge.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Ah, so you do lose that little compartment if you have nav (sorry jlapcat, I don't have it either so I wasn't aware of that). My car is getting satellite radio installed today so I wonder if I lose it for that (My guess is that I do). If I do end up losing that compartment I agree that it isn't great because I do like putting my sunglasses there. Guess I'll have to find another place for them; no biggy.
  • jasjas Posts: 115
    I think you only lose it for nav - that is where the CD-ROM drive is located, so your sunglasses should be safe.

    The satellite should just be a module tucked away somewhere.

    Let me know what you think of the satellite. My car is wired for it. I am starting to think of it because I am not thrilled with the radio reception on this car. I guess it can be attributed to the compact antenna.

    Has anyone else noticed poor reception compared to other cars that have a full size antenna?
  • jasjas Posts: 115
    Does anyone have any experience with a bluetooth phone in the E60's? Is it worth upgrading my cell phone to take advantage of the features?

    I have had Nokia phones for a long time, but since they are not bluetooth compatible, is it worth switching to a Motorola?
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    You're right. The satellite radio didn't take up the compartment. Obviously I've only had it for a few hours, but I think it's great. It ended up costing about $500 for parts and labor, but BMW picked up the first year of Sirius coverage. I didn't expect that actually, but when I called to active the radio they aid the first year was paid for. No complaints here! Yeah, the reception on my regular radio is not great, and it wasn't great in my 330xi either.
  • OK, well, I really do like my BMW, I enjoy driving it. But this forum is called "problems and solutions" and I am looking for some help to better my experience. I like jas' idea of getting dimmer light bulbs for the interior lights. I didn't know that would be an option. And I will take it in this weekend to see if something can be done to raise the seat. I've even looked into having a pad/wedge custom made to fit the dimensions of the seat, and I've found a headrest on the internet that attaches to the front of the seat's headrest, allowing for more support. I probably will look like a 40 year old invalid with all my attachments, but I will save on masseuse costs.

    I do have the nav and wasn't able to get satellite radio in the 2004 model. I was told they weren't compatible, but might become so in the future. Because of this, the cars with nav weren't prewired for satellite radio. Does anyone know if this problem has been resolved and the 2004 model can have satellite radio installed? I do use the nav quite a bit and like its projection on the head-up display. I find the radio reception to be weak and would love to get the satellite radio. Has anyone gotten an aftermarket satellite radio installed? I see them for sale at Best Buy, etc.

    Also, I have fiddled with all the settings on Logic7 stereo and find Concert Hall setting to be the best, would upgrading the speakers improve the sound? This was recommended on an earlier post.

    Thanks all.
  • Picked up my new 2005 E60 last week. Brought my new Motorola V600 phone (one of the compatible phones on BMW's list) and asked the dealer to set it up. Unfortunately they were not able to get it to work and said they would have to go back to BMW North America to get further instructions on how to set it up. I was the first person who got a 2005 E60 and wanted to use the Bluetooth so they admitted they didn't yet have any experience with setting the phone up. They were very anxious to get it set up properly since they know there will be many more customers after me who want the phone set up. Hopefully they will have the fix this week. Unfortunately there is always the possibility the problem is in the phone, but they are focusing on the system in the car. When it is in working order I will post the info.
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