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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • 530bmw530bmw Posts: 130
    Thanks for your input on this. I, too, suspect that it could be the road not the brake that causes the car to pull occasionally. So far it only happens when I drive on a black top road, it feels as it is dipping instead of pulling as described by you. I will pay closer attention when it happens the next time. Your theory makes sense about the fact that if it is something other than the road itself it would pull every time I hit the brake, not occasionally.

    You said "If you have the sport package, the front tires are fairly wide (235's), and will pull into road grooves and dips especially as you slow down and the car's forward momentum vanishes". Please explain in more detail for me so I can understand it better. No, it has nothing to do with your writing, my brain lost a few screws at the moment.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    What I meant is, wider tires have a greater tendency to be affected by road imperfections, since they cover more real estate. When you're moving along at speed (e.g. 45 mph), you won't notice minor potholes and grooves (or if you do, they'll feel like small bumps). But at slow speeds (as you brake towards a stoplight, for example), if a front tire falls into a groove in the road or hits the side of a small bump, you'll feel the car pull in a that direction.

    But, these are usually sharp and distinct monentary pulls, not a gradual fade to one side as you brake.
  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    Drove home from Wurzburg last night, through 200+ miles of downpour. The rest were ok, but the rain was really coming down. You have to give the credit to the road engineers here. I saw perhaps 4 or 5 puddles the whole way. Water just drains away from the road surface. I slowed down and thought I was doing about 40 to 50, but I was still at 75. No hydroplaning. Not sure if that is due to the tires (Contisports), or the road, but whatever it was, the car was quite stable. I remember hydroplaning around 65 in the US with Goodyear RSAs.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    If there's been a sudden and noticeable decline in sound quality, I'd guess it might be either a loosened wire that has rendered one (or both) of the subs useless, or perhaps a blown cone.

    But more likely, you've just become accustomed to the system and have grown dissatisfied with it. Audio quality has a large subjective component to it, and can vary widely on the type of music you listen to (e.g. treble-laden vocals sound much better on the system than earth-shaking rap songs). If you want to keep things "OEM," you can spring for the upgraded subs from the M5 audio option (see, but if you really want to recreate symphony hall in your cabin, be prepared to spend some money and head over to an experienced mobile audio shop in your town.
  • colt007colt007 Posts: 64
    snagiel, congrats man! Gettin hitched was one of the smartest things I ever did! I also visit Puerto Rico regularly & felt your pain when reading of your rental. Went to the beach (Cero Gordo - north side) on Mrs. Colt's b'day & they stole the airbags out of our rental (Mitsubishi Mirage)! Yes, another horrible rental car but as you said when you drive nirvana, nothing else will do.

  • colt007colt007 Posts: 64
    john01 - glad to hear you drive was safe. I also have the Contisports & didn't understand why they're so maligned. They feel excellent in wet or dry (especially dry!).

  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    So fare I only have 6100 miles on it, but some people commented how it started going south after 6~7,000 miles. Increased noise, less grip, etc. So far I can't say I either like it or dislike it. I guess I will find out.

    Love driving on the autobahn, and the car, too. I will have to go drive some more.
  • plasticmdplasticmd Posts: 9
    Anyone with any ideas on hands free cell phone kit that will work with 530i. Totally not worth paying for BMW cell phone/kit/voice set. Over 2K and then return it after 3 yrs (if you're leasing). Besides you get a Timeport which will be obsolete very soon. I'd like to set up something that will look good and function well. Anyone with any ideas??

  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    If, as your sig suggests, you're a plastic surgeon, you probably harbor the dexterity involved in a DIY job. Check out a couple of the articles at The more elaborate ones do pipe the sound through the car speakers, but I don't think I've seen any that make full integration using the voice-activated dialing the OEM option has.
  • sambeamsambeam Posts: 13

    I'm thinking if I buy a car for EuroDelivery
    through a dealer in ANOTHER state, and do all
    paperwork thru them.

    1) Since it is shipped to US, can I get it shipped to my LOCAL dealer or other place

    OR it HAS TO GO to the delaer who ordered it?

    2) Else I guess cross-country shipping will cost
    at least $1000 isn't it? Anyone done
    something like shipping or the Euro Delivery to anotehr delaer type deal?

  • sambeamsambeam Posts: 13
    I called BMW USA and they said :
    " We do NOT have ANY info on specs. We do NOT
    have any prices from Germany. we do NOT know
    when we will get. It can be late December!"

    One of the local dealer says:
    " Earliest we will know is September and that's when he can place order! So car can be ready in Nov-Dec timeframe! He can NOT take orders
    right now bcoz they will START building the cars ONLY in Sept."

    I am so surprised that everyone's info is
    different and why they make such a big deal about
    info being available!!!
  • bluewater5bluewater5 Posts: 55
    I had promised more on my driving experiences in Europe during my ED pickup, but I have been catching up on many things after vacation. I have been driving an old Subaru wagon, not a 3-series or other upscale car, so I have a different incoming perspective than some, but I have driven various rentals and other cars.

    I fully enjoyed nearly all aspects of the 5-speed, non-SP 530. The one surprise was how the steering felt. It seemed precise and responsive, but it did not have the "feel" I expected. After getting back in my Subaru, I realized that I am used to feeling every small bump in the steering wheel. I did not get this feedback in the 530.

    Any comments? Would the SP make a difference? Am I just too used to an economy car feel?

    My 530 should hit port July 23 or 24, so I hope to see it early August. More later.
  • nycanyca Posts: 232
    What do you want to know about the 2003 specs, I think I've posted the answer to that question 3 times now. No information on prices however.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    It is my understanding that the car needs to be shipped back to either the ordering dealer or to BMW's factory in Spartansburg. Where I think they let you take it for a spin on their test track.

    Why would you need to ship it cross country? I looked at getting a ED car through a dealer about 350 miles away who would do it at $1,200 over ED invoice. I would have driven it back myself. But cross country???
  • platypusplatypus Posts: 192
    You can buy a ED car from any dealer you want (out-of-state) and have it shipped to a local dealer. This will require some legwork on the part of your salesperson, but it is not that difficult. It will also entail a nominal "courtesy delivery" fee that usually ranges between $250-$500. The fee is set by the local dealer who actually delivers your car.

    I can speak to this because this is what I did a year ago. I was living in Texas and ordered a ED car from a dealer in NJ. I gave my salesperson a list of 4-6 dealers that were within a couple hours drive from my place where I would be willing to pick up the car. He contacted them, and one of them agreed to do the courtesy delivery for $250. This was well worth it given the savings I gained from buying from the NJ dealer.

    You'll have to evaluate if it makes sense in your case.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Call my salesman Mike Weber at Park Avenue BMW in Maywood, NJ at 201-843-7900. Mike is offering all takers the same deal he gave me, which is $1,500 over ED invoice. So far, two folks (that I know of) here in the TownHall have taken him up on that offer, including an individual from Colorado. Said Colorado resident did in fact opt for the "Courtesy Delivery" that Platypus spoke of, and Mike was more than happy to set it up.

    Good luck, let us know what happens.

    Best Regards,
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Yes, I detected some loss of steering feel between the non-sport and the SP-equipped 530, but it's not a huge difference (whereas body roll and overall handling precision ARE greatly enhanced with the sport package).

    The only Subaru I've ever driven was a Legacy Outback, which had good steering but nowhere near as telepathic as my 530's. What model do you have?

    In general, a lighter car with a rack-and-pinion layout with minimal (or no) power assistance will offer the greatest road feel (or "feedback"). Anyone who's driven a go-cart will know what I mean. On the other extreme, a heavy vehicle with a huge power-boosted recirculating ball steering setup will offer minimal road feel (e.g. a Kenworth tractor trailer).

    In addition, the 5-series' refinement, noise and vibration dampening, and well-controlled ride conspire to make the car at first feel more detached from the driver than it really is. But over the past 7 months since I've had my 530, I've grown increasingly impressed with the car's capabilities, and it seems to me the steering wheel communicates surface imperfections and traction conditions perfectly.
  • nycanyca Posts: 232
    Here is a comprehensive link for all BMW models:

  • chesdin4chesdin4 Posts: 22
    I, too, ordered an ED 530 then picked it up out of state. (It made a nice little vacation.)

    Maybe I'm missing something, but why would a dealer do an ED courtesy delivery for a distant dealer? Wouldn't they rather sell the car itself? (Presumably the buyer would have given them the chance, since they're close by.) It doesn't come out of their allocation, so why not cut a deal and get the sale?

    I guess this is a rhetorical question... my local dealer (Kelly BMW in Columbus, OH) wouldn't BUDGE on ED price. Maybe they don't see the bigger picture, here...!
  • platypusplatypus Posts: 192
    Often wondered that myself. I generally don't like fooling around and playing the pricing game with dealers. Through a web referral, I had made contact with a NJ dealer who had offered $1300 over ED invoice on an '01 330i. When I contacted the salesperson, he was happy to give me the same deal - no haggling required - very straight forward. Didn't try giving me some story about it being a one-off deal and how he couldn't do it again.

    Anyway, then I contacted my local dealers, and asked them what they could do for me. Checked with three different dealers. Each of them said that buying through ED was great since I could save about 7% off MSRP. Told them I already knew that, and asked them what they could do for me that was better than the published ED MSRP. That's when I got a bunch of ifs, ands, buts, and general sales BS. Told them that they would lose my business if they wouldn't give me a straight-up deal up-front. Since none of them could deliver, and were insistent on talk and playing games, I simply decided to go elsewhere.

    Funny thing is that when I went to pick up the car, the saleswoman asked me why I didn't do the deal with them. Wake up darlin! Ya had yer chance and blew it!
  • I've been lurking on this board for a while, thanks to everyone for your great input.

    chesdin4, platypus, and others:

    I've been thinking of doing what you've done, doing ED through a non-local dealer. Can you comment on your experiences when you needed service from your local dealers? Do they treat you poorly because you didn't buy from them? This is the only thing that concerns me about doing ED through a non-local dealer.

  • platypusplatypus Posts: 192
    My experience has been positive. In '97, I was living in CA and bought a Z3 from a local dealer. Moved to TX in '98, and had no issues with my TX dealer. Even got a loaner car, although they had a chintzy program set up with Enterprise where you would typically get a Corrola or Hyundai Accent.

    When I bought my 330 through ED last year, the local TX dealers were using the service argument as a reason to buy from them, "hinting" that I would receive preferential treatment. I knew I was moving back to CA at the time, and told them that their argument carried no weight with me.

    Since I've been back in CA, my local dealer has treated me just like any other customer. I can get a loaner car, but I have to make the appointment early.

    I would give your local dealer a chance to make the sale. There is probably some premium worth paying to them, but only you can decide what that premium is. In the end, don't be afraid to go elsewhere!
  • musafirmusafir Posts: 27
    Here's my experience at my dealership: INSKIP in Rhode Island. Test drove the 530i,
    slaes person : What do you think.
    Myself: Love it.
    SP: What can we do for you
    M: This what I wann't to pay (basically 1500 over European invoice).
    SP: Let me talk to my manager two minutes go by, SP comes back and says it's yours.

    Had a great experience at both my dealership here and taking the ED on 7/3/02. Also, I payed only 2 and a half weeks in advance.

  • bluewater5bluewater5 Posts: 55
    Thanks for the response. It is a Subaru Loyale wagon with on-demand 4WD. It is smaller and has a firmer ride than a Legacy.

    Another factor could be that German roads have fewer bumps to feel than American ones. I will have a better comparison when I drive the same roads I drive every day.

    I certainly enjoyed the car while I had it. With more experience, I will no doubt become more used to a larger, refined sedan than something closer to the go-cart scale.
  • chesdin2chesdin2 Posts: 19
    No difference in service from the local dealer, even though I didn't buy from them. I've been in twice, once for an oil change (oops: "Inspection I"), and for the fan recall. Great service both times, including ease of getting an appointment.

    I can think of at least two things that will keep them honest: a) the mfr's service surveys that go out to the customer asking how things went, and b) service business is quite the profit center for any dealer, for warranty work as well as customer-pay.

    Finally, I think all the dealer can see in the system is where the car was purchased. Who's to say you didn't actually LIVE elsewhere when you bought the car...!
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    I once worked for a large car dealership (not BMW) as the business manager/controller. Believe me, they want your warranty business no matter where you bought the car. The service and parts managers/departments survive on warranty work. The line of bull they might feed you in the sales department about poor service if you buy elsewhere is nonsense. In some cases, a loaner car may not be offered, but I suspect that could be negotiated as well. 9 out of 10 buyers will never look past one or two dealers to buy and they know it, so they hold their price, even on ED.
  • hssahuhssahu Posts: 26
    Hi all,
    Just wanted to share my experience so far with my
    new 530i 5-speed (non-sport). I have had the car for about two weeks now and driven close to 900 miles. The very first impression (I had written earlier) was a solid, sturdy much bigger (than my integra) car. Also, little demanding manyal tranny with a pretty long clutch.

    Then, in the meantime, I have gotten used to these and have taken it to some really nice, hilly, winding roads in bay area (posted speed limits ranging from 25 mph to 55 mph). I wouldn't say, I have driven the car "hard" yet!

    But, yes, now I am starting to see the real "bmw" :
    - As much big and heavy as the car feels normally, that much nimble and agile it feels, on those winding roads. It is really unbelievable, unless you experience it yourself
    - Enough passing power in practically ANY rpm
    - I find the steering extremely precise - (with just enough assist)
    - And of course, cruising at 80/90 is only the most natural thing that can happen to the car - without a bit of shakeing or vibration.

    And, then not to mention about the comfort of the seats (I have lumbar) - I never feel the journey, I only enjoy it!

    Even though I had lot of second thoughts about having the SP (after I had put the order without it), I have not really missed it yet. May be once I cross the break-in and drive much more harder, I will feel the need for the SP.

    Nevertheless, it's a great experience to drive this car - Wanted to share it in this forum. I really enjoy reading the viewpoints expressed here.

  • hssahuhssahu Posts: 26
    After posting all the great things about my experience so far, here are couple of things which I feel were not as "fully refined" as everything else in the car:
    - The transmission shift from 2nd-to-3rd does NOT feel as smooth and refined as that from let's say 3rd-to-4th. Now, is this what everybody feels? I showed it to the dealer. The service person took for a test drive and said it is absolutely normal and smooth!

    - Very occasionally, while pressing the clutch, I hear a minute clicking noise, about half way through. When I went to the dealer this morning, (as murphy's law suggests), it wasn't there! :(

    Do let me know if you have similar view / experiences.

  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    I'm not sure what the clicking sound on the clutch pedal is, but you're right that the manually shifting the 5-series--despite the stick's precision and clutch's linearity--is not always the smoothest and most intuitive system. I graduated from a VW Passat 1.8T (employing the Audi A4 clutch), and that was much smoother and easier to manipulate. I find the 1-2 shift on my 530i the most difficult to nail smoothly (especially when accelerating hard), and many others have commented on this as well. Rest assured, it's normal. Several guys on the forums have reported success by drilling out or removing the "clutch delay valve" (CDV), but I'm personally skeptical about rendering a factory clutch-life-protecting device useless.
  • hssahuhssahu Posts: 26
    Hi Snagiel,
    Thanks for the response. I think, the clutch clicking noise comes only when I happen to press it, such that there is slightly "sidewise" pressure (instead of being fully vertical).

    Otherwise, yes, I am getting used to the transmission. It's fun!

    Even, I would not like to make any changes to the factory setting of the clutch...
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