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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    My 1997 528i overheats while idling or city driving.

    Check the fan clutch as well as the auxiliary fan.
  • Gradual, low speed overheating is an AIR circulation problem, not a water circulation problem.

    Your mechanic can easily test for exhaust gases in the coolant. He doesn't have to guess about a bad head gasket.
  • I just purchased my first BMW...a 2004 530i (CPO). It seems to be in very nice condition but has 43K miles on it. Thus, I have about 7K miles to get it in for any service/warranty work that I need/want done. I was told with a "wink" by the salesperson that they cannot just give the car a top-to-bottom inspection in the service department for warranty work, but rather can "respond" to any and all complaints made by the customer, whether a problem is ultimately found or not. Therefore, I am wondering from some more experienced owners...what sorts of "complaints" should I be making just prior to the 50K mile mark so as to hopefully discover and rectify as many issues as possible within very brief new car warranty period that I have left. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
  • Also, they gave me a print out of the service record for the car since it was a lease through the same dealership, but I don't know what any of the numerical service codes mean. Is there anywhere I can go online to get an interpretation of these codes??
  • Okay, I know it's an old car and it'll have issues, but I've changed the fuel filter and used fuel injector cleaner. If it were the fuel pump, wouldn't it die when I GIVE it gas, not when I let up? Anybody know what I can do to fix it?
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    google for the codes, you will find them. There are a few around on the net.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    The car: 02 530 5-speed, PP, SP, 58,500 miles, Leased and then purchased it CPO.

    Time for Inspection II.

    * Inspection II ($650)
    * Coolant Flush ($275)

    Declined the following recommended by dealer:

    * Front control arm bushings (leaking) ($481)
    * Rear wishbone ($990)
    * Alignment ($255)
    * Alternator belts ($429)
    * Brake fluid flush ($375)

    1. Are these type of repair recommendations normal for a car under 60K miles?
    2. Are these type and expense of repairs what I should expect in the coming years with the car?
    3. Dealer said none of the items fall under the CPO warranty. Anyone know differently?

    I do plan to get a second opinion on the dealer recommended items.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hey Pen, long time... ;-)

    - I would absolutely get the Brake fluid flushed from a good Indy (every two years regardless of the mileage). You can find a list of good Indy shops from BMW-CCA.
    - I'd take a pass on the suspension parts and have a good Indy take a look-see.
    - The drive and accessory belts are probably a good PM idea (as with any car of this age and mileage), however, I suspect that a good Indy will cost you a whole lot less.

    Best Regards,
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379
    I'll second the recommendation for a good Indy, they'll charge less and should be able to do a competent job.

    Look for one in your area @

    Control arm bushings seen to be a weak point on E39s so you're probably getting the straight scoop on those.">link title
  • It seems like the extended maintenance plan would have paid off for you..

    It probably would have covered Inspection II, coolant flush, brake flush, and the alternator belts.. Not sure about the other items, though..

    You are still my hero for pulling off that CPO repurchase of your car for less than the residual value!!


    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    The front arm bushings will eventaully cause shimmy in the steering. BMW recommends the arm and the bushing to be replaced together, and it does require a press to put the bushing in place. However, some members in the yahoo e39 group have replaced just the bushing. You can probably find a write up someone did.

    $375 for a brake flush? I knew they would charge a bit, but that is high.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Thanks kyfdx, you have a very good memory about the CPO purchase. I have not posted here for a while and (shipo noticed), but have tried to keep up with the discussions.

    I try to always do my homework when dealing with car purchases and repairs. The inspection II cost more at the dealer (no surprise), but it was more convenient (I got a loaner BMW, a car wash, it was on my way to and from work and I had to do a lot of extra driving that day, so why not put the extra miles on a loaner). So the extra they charged for it was worth it to me.

    The other recommended items I will have checked at a local BMW indy. I did ask as to whether the extended maintenance contract would have covered the alternator belts and the other items and was told that it does not. Only maintenance items such as the coolant flush and brake flush. It was a tempting decision at the time as to whether or not to get the maintenance warranty at $1400. I knew the brakes were not a problem (they are still almost new - I had convinced the service writer back at 35,500 miles and while the car was still covered, that the car needed new brakes). So it was inspection II ($650), two oil changes ($200), coolant flush ($275) and brake fluid flush ($375) that would have to be done. That is $1500. However, if an indy would perform the items, maybe $100 or so less, so it is break even. I just hated to pay for it upfront.

    By the way, I used my BMW-Club membership to get a 10% discount on parts.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    Extended maintenance coverage was also discussed on the M5board and it turns out you can negotiate the price on these. I have heard $1690 from my SA, but some have reported $1200, and it can be bought from any BMW dealer in the country.
  • rworrellrworrell Posts: 151
    Pen, I saw this reply from kyfdx:

    "You are still my hero for pulling off that CPO repurchase of your car for less than the residual value!!"

    and I tried searching but couldn't find your story--can you tell me more about this, please? I have a 2004 330i that I like a lot, but I'm worried about buying it out of its lease. I've purchased/leased 3 BMWs from this dealer, but all 3 salespeople are now gone (long and sad story)--could you give me a pointer to your story, or a recap, please? What you did is exactly what I hope to accomplish--thanks in advance.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    I'm flattered. See post 1215 of BMW - prices paid board.

    At that time I discovered that I could negotiate and purchase the car at the AUCTION price, which for my E39 was well below the buy-out price of my lease contract (and also the kelly blue book wholesale price). I also researched and found out how much it cost the dealer to CPO the car. Now all I needed was a dealer willing to take the bite.

    At the same time the 3 year/36,000 mile maintenance free warranty was expiring on the car. So I convinced the dealer to service the car and change the brakes and fix a few other things (such as the broken cup holders and the windshield wipers) so the car was in top condition (all free of course). I also purchased new tires (negotiated a killer deal at a tire store) so that it would pass CPO requirements.

    All the dealer had to do was check the boxes on the inspection and issue me a CPO certificate, make his few $100 and that was it. I also insisted on a complete detail of the car and had them waive the over-mileage and other fees. Later I also collected money from the BMW Club of America because I was (and still am) a member.

    Ok, I am both a CPA and attorney and I negotiate for a living. However, anyone can do this with a little research. Knowledge is power. Also, and most importantly, I must give lots of credit to the many fine members of this board who I learned so much from.
  • I just purchased a 540i 2001 from a private party...great car. However the company that I hired to tint the windows left the doors open while they worked on the tint which in turn caused the battery to go dead....and I guess they had to "jump-start" it. After I was driving away, I noticed that my on-board computer, fuel gauge and tachometer are not working. Could this be related to the battery being low....or might it be something else. Thank you to whom ever can give me a little peace of mind.
  • Here is the link to pen101's great deal

    Read on through the thread for more information..

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • rworrellrworrell Posts: 151
    pen101 & kyfdx:

    Thanks to you both for the info and the direct link. I'm going to go read all I can on the transaction. Thank you!
  • doc159doc159 Posts: 5
    Has any one had any experience in adding a backup camera and mp3 player to 2004 BMW 530i?
  • doc159doc159 Posts: 5
    Hi, Any one know where to get aluminum dash trims for BMW 2004 530i. I like the interior like M5. Thanks, Adam
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