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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    Look at the usual sites and get an average (Edmunds, KBB and NADA for car values in US dollars.) Based on a quick glance at the cars on Ebay, that seems to be a pretty good price with the tires and warranty you sound like you are good to go. I just bought a jet black 1998 528i 5sp, PP, CWP, moonroof, new tires, CPO 6/100k warranty and I love it. It is the best car that I have had even though someone ripped my driver side mirror off on Monday and just last night, my my right brake light burned out. It was no biggie though, I bought one at Pep Boys for $2 and is took two seconds to replace it. Man that was easy, no screwdrivers.
  • They typically don't last, or sometimes the indicator light in the dash comes on eventhough the bulb still illuminates. Just a word of caution. The bulbs (OSRAM brand) at any BMW dealer are about $2 also.

  • jmezzjmezz Posts: 36
    could anyone please advise. i am thinking of leasing 525(non sport) with stick but i wanted to hear about how well/bad this car does in snow. i might switch to all wheel drive 330. also lease deal seems great, 547/mo 12k yr 39 months only 110o up front but 4500 deposit which i get back at end of lease. please help, thanks
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Well, where do you live? If I lived in, say, Minneapolis or Buffalo, and needed a dependable daily driver, I'd probably only look at Audi's and potentially the 330xi. But otherwise, a RWD 5-series with swapout winter tires/wheels will handle all but the nastiest icy/snowy conditions without much problems, as long as you don't live up any steep hills. Check out the winter wheel/tire packages available at the; you can order a set and swap them out with your regular wheels/tires in the winter months. (By the way, the "all-season" tires that come standard are decent but not ideal for winter driving. I'd suggest you get the sport package, since it really sharpens the handling and makes the most of the chassis.)
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    So sorry to hear about your mirror. It is amazing what jerks there are in the world. When my 530 still had its dealer tags on, someone strung fine threads of chewed bubblegum from the front to rear tire along the driver's side when parked at Dodger Stadium. Needless to say, it was the last game I drove that car to. Hope your car gets repaired quickly and to your satisfaction.
  • Not to disagree with the venerable snagiel, but I DO live in (suburban) Minneapolis right now and drive a 530i every day, although it's only five months old and 'snow moments' so far have been limited to a couple of excursions to northern MN in the past month. Even with the sport pkg (which I have), as long as you're willing/able to pony up the bucks for good winter tires, you shouldn't have any problem. For the past two winters, I drove a 323i (non-SP) with Blizzak LM-22s. The first of those winters was pretty snowy (~85" overall that season, as I recall) and the RWD 3er handled snow and ice with aplomb. And, as my moniker suggests, my main hobby is racing and winter camping with sled dogs, so I tend to find myself on roads that are pretty much unplowed while enroute to mushing events.

    With the new 530i, I bought another set of LM-22s and dedicated winter wheels, and I have no trepidation about driving this car anywhere that I'd be willing to drive a FWD or 4WD vehicle. In fact, given the overall control derived from a 5-speed, DSC, Blizzaks and BMW engineering in general (e.g. 50/50 weight distribution, etc.), I prefer to take my car out in a snow storm rather than my wife's FWD Nissan mini-van or my daughter's FWD Buick LeSabre, both with automatics and no appreciable traction control.

    So, don't hesitate to buy the car due to winter-related concerns. But, as snagiel suggested, I heartily encourage you to get the sport package, regardless of what model you select. It's the single most compelling feature of my 530i, and I wouldn't own a BMW without it again.
  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159
    With the 530/Sport - what do a good set of snow tires cost on average, and do most of you also buy another set of rims for them (if so at what cost) or can the snow tires go on the Sport Rims?
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    I bought a set of Dunlop Winter Sports with 16” steel rims & hubcaps for ~$600 for my 325I with SP. The 530 may require 17” rims that might not be available in steel. Aluminum rims will run another $200. I still think this is a bargain compared to AWD which costs $1700 and only works when your foot is on the gas.

    I would advise against using the same rims for winter & summer tires. I can change the tires over in under an hour which could come in handy if we get hit with an unexpected, early snow storm. The extra cost and hassle of having a tire dealer change the tires makes the rims worth it.

  • I think the Blizzaks were ~$120/each. I also bought a pretty nice set of alloy rims for ~$200/each as I intend to keep this car for a while, so I'm willing to pay a bit more for nicer wheels (that are in use 40 - 45% of the time where I live). Check out, which has a great selection, reasonable prices, useful information about their products, plus they'll mount your tires and ship them either to you or to whatever tire retailer you specify (and they even install a BMW roundel logo in the hub of each wheel!). My total outlay for everything was ~$1400 w/ tax, locking hubs, etc., but you could probably get by for $800 - $1000 if you're willing to go with cheaper steel wheels.

    The other broad option is to buy just the tires and have them remounted twice a year on your original wheels. While this eliminates the initial outlay for a second set of wheels, most experts would discourage you from de- and re-mounting your tires so often. And once you've invested in the second set of wheels, swapping them out is much easier.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Indeed, I would recommend 16" winter wheels. They (and 16" tires) are cheaper than their 17" brethren, and 16" tires--all else being equal--will perform slighly better in the snow, since they are narrower.

    Note to some: 525's have slighly smaller rotor and caliper hardware, but the 530's and 540's larger units preclude the use of some 16" wheels; check with to ensure compatibility.

    musher2: I'm glad to hear your review, and apparently stand corrected. I grew up in Boston and have had many white-knuckled experiences driving my mother's old (RWD) Mazda 929 around our hilly neighborhood during the snowstorms. My recommendations, then, relied on such anecdotes and what I've read elsewhere in forums. (One guy on reports marked winter traction improvements by switching out the standard open-differential in his 540 with a limited-slip unit from the M5, but obviously this isn't something most will attempt.)

    Nevertheless, I will say this, without too much fear or being refuted by Minnesota residents: Tires are more important in improving traction than AWD.
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    I agree with the other responses. Winter tires on dedicated rims gives you the flexibility of switching when you need to, and eliminates the possibility of cosmetic wheel damage that can occur any time you change tires on existing rims. As Snagiel points out, the narrower tread on a 16" wheel is marginally more effective in snow than the wider tread on your 17" sport wheel. For my '01 530i SP, I bought a set of Dunlop Winter Sport M2s, 225/55HR16, mounted on Mille Miglia MM11-2 5-spoke wheels, 16x8, from Tirerack for just over $1,100 delivered, including torque wrench. When snow threatened last week, I took them out of storage and swapped out the Michelin Pilot Primacies on the 17" sport wheels in fairly short order. The combination worked just fine, including a standing start up a snow-covered grade that confounded several other vehicles.
  • What was the outcome of your airbag light and non-functioning steering wheel controls?
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    Spyderred: The bulbs that I bought at Pep Boys are Sylvania bulbs, they were $3.99 for two, they only came in pairs. I figured that is a decent name in light bulbs, and yes, when I opened the back panel, it was quite evident which bulb had burned out. It was black. I was still quite impressed as to how fast and easy it was to replace that bulb. Man, other automakers should take note of this. Someone told me that it is so easy because I will have to do it a lot though, I just laughed and said, hey that is a small price to pay for such a nice ride.

    Cmr520i: Yeah, I was really pissed about the mirror. It doesn't make sense to me to just destroy someone elses property. I have to admit, when I was young and destructive I did my fair share of TPing houses and stuff, but never did any damage that would cost someone money. That is just plain wrong. I have wanted a BMW since I was about 16, now 14 years later, I am able to afford one and take car of it and someone just comes by in one night and breaks my car for no reason. It is just senseless.
  • Time goes fast! The 2002 530i is a year old today. I took it to the dealer for the first time yesterday for oil change, even though the service indicator still has 2 green lights. Mileage: 6600 only (7 mile commute and my long trips are all by plane). Problems: None at all. I do not use the cupholders, therefore they are still in one piece.
    Expenses: Winter tires with dedicated wheels. This summer I upgraded the standard stereo with after-market components and now it sounds great.
    Summary: I love this car.
  • Alcards- Which radio system does your 530i have and what after market upgrades did you make ?

  • sb55sb55 On an Island in VermontPosts: 321
    My 530i (5 speed, PP, CWP, xenons) is 1 year + 2weeks old and has about 27,000 miles with absolutely no problems at all! The oil was changed the 1st time at 5,000 miles (without resetting the light)and then not until the service light came on at around 18,000 miles. This is the only time I have been to the dealer. I hope that the service light will come on before 36K, so I will get it done before the end of the warranty period. Great car.

    2007 Miata PRHT, 2014 BMW 535d X-drive, 2017 Chevy Silverado LTZ Ext. cab with 6.2 V-8

  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159
    I'm curious if you do not mind sharing?

    Sounds as if neither of you got the Sport Package. If not - why not, and do you somewhat regret it?

    As I plan to drive my new 530 (PP, SPort, CWP, Xenon's) either 15K per year (meaning I keep my 98 Maxima GLE and use for many highway trips) or 30-35K miles per year (I sell my Maxima) - I am wondering how long with the Sport Tires last with mostly highway non-aggressive driving beneath them!! Could some 528/530 Sport Package drivers respond with their treadlife experience?

    Manual vs. Auto - my other dilemma!! Yes - I have driven both and like both. I am not the "true enthusiasts" who has to drive a manual, and am concerned with so much driving - 2 Cell Phones, coffee, taking notes, etc........but the manual is fun!
  • hssahuhssahu Posts: 26
    Good day all!

    Checked the latest car and driver (Jan 2003) issue. The 10-best does NOT include E39 :-(((
    (Of course, E46 is there).

    The list:
    Acura RSX, BMW 3, Ford Focus, Accord, corvette, 350Z, G35, Mazda 6 S, Boxster and Subaru Impreza WRX.

    I wonder, if G35 replaces E39!
  • I had the stock system (non DSP). I replaced the amplifier with two JLAudio units. A four channel for the cabin and a 500 mono for the subwoofer (also JLAudio). The stock speakers were replaced with MBQuart Q in the front and MBQuart Ref in the rear. I did the work myself except for the board to mount the amps and the sub box which I had a local installer build for me. Naturally, I kept the stock radio head unit because it is good and also because it is integrated with the MID and steering wheel controls. I feel that the sound is better now than what the optional DSP offers.
  • I drove the sport and decided that with our roads and snow in Northern Indiana, the standard non sport was a better ride, yet the handling and cornering were still better than any other sedan of this size I ever drove. Height of the chasis was another consideration, since I have gotten stuck in the snow more often as a result of a car being too low than bad tires etc. If I had lived in a place with good mountain roads and no snow, then the sport package would have been preferable. Besides, if I get the itch, I can replace the shocks and springs with tuned after-market components and get the same result.
  • Thanks for the information. I have the DSP system in our 2002 530i which sounds better than the stock unit we heard when we ordered the car. I have thought about upgrading the speakers as a start. If you don't mind I would like to know how long did it took you to upgrade the speakers, what are the model numbers of the speakers and what was the approximate cost ?

  • The research took me a month or more. The actual labor was two weekends. I have model numbers and invoices in a folder at home. Will post those details tonight.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    I know it's tempting to look at the list, see a couple of newcomers, and conclude they "kicked off" the dearly departed--5-series and Audi A4, and perhaps one or two others. But that's not how the list works. C&D editors give each contestant an overall score, 0-100 points. But they judge in the context of a car's class and its competition, not in an absolute sense (or otherwise the Focus, Accord, and Mazda 6 would probably have been long gone.)

    While some car shopping folks might consider both a 5-series and the G35, they really aren't in the same class, so I doubt the 5 got bounced because of the G. Rather, I think that the new Mercedes E-class made very impressive strides, and since this is the last year for the 5-series, the editors may have (consciously or not) preferred to give the honor to some new and compelling choices. For the money, it's hard to argue the Z and G35 are impressive.

    Essentially, it's not that the G35 directly beat out the 5-series, but rather that, within its own class, it shines brighter than the 5-series does in its class.
  • Excuse me if I'm redundant, but several months ago I saw lists of car care products for our babies. Can someone repeat/repost the recommendations? Specifically, I'm looking for cleaners, protectants, especially for the dash & interior surfaces. Thanks
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Well, there are as many opinions as there are enthusiasts, but here's my list, heavily based on the unbiased suggestions from the nice folks at

  • jccsscjccssc Posts: 44
    I had to get a new set of tires (2000 528i with sports package) at 25000 miles. The sales person did warn me about the life of low profile tires when I purchased my car new in 2000. Some price you have to pay for looks and performance. And I do not drive the car aggressively (40% city/60% highway in S. Cal)
  • e210se210s Posts: 3
    I'm in NYC area. Would like to purchased a used 528i -- either a '99 or '00. I've been told the "wholesale" price is around $25M. Does that sound right? Has anyone had any experience in this? Any help will be welcome. Thanks.
  • mod62mod62 Posts: 38
    Good insight on the snows. I got mine as part of the sale, but did not get rims. I have a three lease. Should I sucked it up and buy rims or jsut switch them the six or so times?
  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159
    I hear you - I live in N. Illinois so our weather conditions are the same. However - I love the look of the Sport Rims!!

    Since treadlife is not the greatest with the Sport Tires - and since I like the Sport rims - could I keep the Sport Rims, and put on some 17in wheels (that may not be sport rated) that will have a longer tread life. Granted - I may lose some performance, but I can live with that! Not sure I like spending $1000.00 every year on tires!!
    Plus I'll be buying the winter tires as well!
  • The replacement speakers I used are: at front MBQuart Q series, QSD 213 components: 5 1/4" woofer and separate tweeter. In the rear: MBQuart coaxial RKC 113, also 5 1/4". These are driven by a JLaudio 300-4 amp. The subwoofer is a 10W6V2 JL audio, driven by a JLaudio 500-1. Total cost for this hardware was $1,700.00. With the box, board, wires, connectors and fuse it rounds up to $2,000.00. But I love it.
    Advice: since you have the DSP system, it is my understanding that the most reasonable upgrade is to add M-audio BMW subs. I would do that first and tackle other changes only if that proves unsatisfactory (I don't think so). You will save a bundle, too. Remember, you already paid for an upgraded stereo, even if you are not impressed with the sound.
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