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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Also, be sure to plug in your model before searching for wheels, since not all 16" wheels are roomy enough for the 530/540's caliper hardware.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
  • Thanks for the info so far. A couple of follow-up questions...I've been looking at various used BMW 16 x 7 alloy rims. Is there a secret decoder ring to determine which will or will not fit on my 530? For example, will 16 x 7 alloys off a 3-series work on my 530? Will any 16 x 7 alloys off another 5 series be compatible? etc., etc.

    Thanks Again
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    Not all wheels are interchangeable between 3/5 series cars because of offset. If you want to see the current selection of BMW factory wheels, check out the website. The BMW wheel catalog can be found under "PARTS." The wheels can be viewed by car series or if you just select a wheel, it will list the cars they will fit.

    Hope this helps....JL
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    Non-sport pkg wheels from 530 will fit just fine, that is what I have on mine for the winter.
  • I have an opportunity to buy a 1997 528 with 70,000 miles. The car appears to be well cared for with complete service records, no collision history. It has had the 60,000 mile inspection. I am estimating approximately $2000 maintainance per year. Is this realistic? Can I get 45,000 miles out of this vehicle if it is properly maintenaned over the next three years? I've heard about elecrtical problems with the 97's. What problems should I be looking for? The car drives and looks wonderful, I'm just looking for a point of reference. Happy motoring.
  • spyderredspyderred Posts: 137
    '01 525i/5 Speed, Sport, DSP, Leather, Moonroof, 11,000 miles, Built 3/01, stock, under warranty and CPO'd.

    Going home two nights ago in the carpool lane of the 91 Freeway, Southern California. Traffic is solid in the right lanes bumper to bumper, Concrete median to my left, cruising at about 60 mph. Notice a 3'x3' piece of styrofoam floating in the air on the way back to earth. Visual check to my right, no place to go, solid wall of cars going about 20 mph, left side is concrete barrier. Looks like my car will meet this piece of styrofoam. Hit the brakes just a bit, hoping the styrofoam would land on the ground before I hit it, without having the car behind me end up in my trunk. No luck, still hit the POS Styrofoam. I hear some un-nerving crunching sounds, few seconds later I check my rearview mirror and see the styrofoam piece in several pieces. Figure I would check the damage to my car when I get out of the carpool lane, several miles downs. Can't be too bad, it is a piece of styrofoam, Right? Stopped, turned off my car, Bumper grill cracked in a couple of places. I figured not too bad. Then I started my car, and I hear this really loud noise, kind of like a jet engine being started or a car with really loud exhaust. I Look over next to me and a couple of cars were there. I thought it was one of the other cars. I figure turn off my car and see if noise goes away. Sure enough, it does. Started my car again and noise comes back. Turn off my car, noise disappears. I am in disbelief. My car is making this horrific sound. Pop the hood open and Started the car up again and I hear the noise coming from the area near the auxillary fan.

    I guess that piece of styrofoam got jammed between the front bumper grill and the road before breaking into pieces. It cracked the bumper grill, looks like it broke some of the netting(shroud) covering the auxillary (aux.) fan and may have bent some of the aux. fan blades. Hence the noise from the aux. fan.

    Curious, are the blades on the aux. fan plastic or metal? It was late at night and I had to leave early in the morning before sunrise so I left my car at home and carpooled with my co-worker. Until I figure out what to do.

    I talked to someone at one of the parts dept of local BMW dealer and he said that the Aux. fan is an assembly which will have to be replaced entirely if the blades are bent or the netting/shroud is broken. Also I may need to replace the entire front bumper if the brackets/mounting points for the bumper grill are broken.

    I got a quote for the bumper grill ~$30, and the aux fan ~$250 for parts only. Need to add labor cost. Now, if I need a new front bumper ~$1,100 (BMW dealer) which includes painting. If bumper is intact and just needs to be painted then it is ~$750 (same dealer).

    I know I need to take another look and check if the front bumper mounting brackets for the grill are intact. If they are, then a new bumper grill and maybe an aux. fan is all I need.

    I contacted my insurance company - State Farm. They indicated that this would be covered under my Comprehensive portion. Long Beach BMW is one of their preferred repair facility. If I decide to use LB BMW then they can do all the repairs necessary and bill State Farm directly without the involvement of a claims adjuster.

    If I decide to use another repair facility, I was thinking about Shelly BMW, then an adjuster will be involved and I am sure that there will have to be some negotiations/ haggling over what needs to be repaired and how much they will pay for the parts/labor for this work.

    The reason I was thinking about Shelly for the repair is that I typically maintain my cars there. They are a lot closer to me than LB and they have been excellent to deal with for the last year and a half. Only thing is Shelly doesn't have their own body shop. They contract their body work with Spectrum Collision in Irvine.

    I feel more comfortable having LB BMW do the repairs, since they are a BMW Dealership and have their own bodyshop on premises. My car is CPO'd and I am planning on keeping it for about 5 years, until CPO runs out. The only thing I was thinking about that, in the future when I have a mechanical warranty claim, and I take my car to Shelly, I don't want to have Shelly say that, "Oh, this part failed because you had your accident and it should have been replaced then, or This wasn't repaired properly, etc..."
    Don't like playing the finger pointing game.

    Sorry for the rant, just had to get it off my chest,

    Has anyone had any experience with either Long Beach BMW or Shelly BMW/Spectrum Collision for body work?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts/opinions,

  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Sorry to hear of your woes. It's hard to believe something as light and insubstantial as a chunk of styrofoam could do much harm, but at 60mph I suppose you've got some force. A year ago I was driving a Pontiac Bonneville rental car at night and I struck a partial tire tread (which I couldn't see until the last second). I doubt it weighed more than a few pounds, but it damn near tore off the lower bumper molding and completely smashed one of the foglight assemblies.

    Anyway, is there any chance your car is eligible for one of the aux fan recall campaigns?

    Sorry, I don't know anything about those dealers, but if it were I'd probably go with the path of least resistance (i.e. LB BMW). Fighting the insurance company is rarely fun or entirely successful.
  • spyderredspyderred Posts: 137
    going with LB BMW. I already checked on the Aux. fan recall, and my car doesn't qualify for it. I knew it was a long shot, especially since there is other body damage, scraped bumper, broken bumper grill, and broken aux fan shroud/netting.

    I still would have to do something about the body work, so since the insurance will be involved anyway, I may as well have them pay for all of the repairs.

    My other option, that is if the bumper mounting brackets are still intact to mount a new bumper grill, is to buy the aux fan and grill and have one of my mechanic friends put it in for me.

    This car has been my baby and I just want to make sure that it will be repaired properly and also so that I don't have any future problems with CPO warranty claims.

    Lookslike going with LB BMW is the safest bet right now, least amount of headaches with insurance company and at least my car will be repaired by a BMW dealer. If any issues come up later w/CPO claims, I will deal with them then.

    Thanks for your input,

  • sel3sel3 Posts: 33
    Has anyone tried using the clear protective covering for the front of their BMW?

    Does it work?

    Does it look good?


    I am going to drive my new 525 from TN to AZ later this year and do not want any damage from rocks and bugs.

  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    3M offers several different thicknesses of the protective films in bulk sheets, and in turn there are a number of firms that cut templates for certain cars and/or install such kits.

    BMW offers one such kit, which I think costs around $150-200 for all of the pieces. Following the advice of a gentleman who's installed a number of these kits, however, I went the kit cut by Xpel ( It's more expensive (just over $300 for the headlight, hood, bumper, fender, and side mirror pieces), but the fit is surprisingly better than BMW's own cut and includes fewer pieces for better protection and appearance.

    Self installation (which I chose to do) is certainly viable, but it does take some skill and a lot of patience to do it right. A pro will probably charge another $200-300 for the installation. For those who are paranoid, I know of a shop here in Atlanta (I'm sure there are similar ones elsewhere) that custom cuts pieces to cover the car even more extensively: the A-pillars, around the doors, behind the wheels, etc.

    I've had the film on for about 11 months now, and it's definitely helped prevent a number of scratches or dings in the paint from pebbles and other small road debris, and has protected the headlights from cracking (XPel offers a headlight guarantee just in case).

    As for the appearance, its edge is certainly visible from certain angles, but considering the alternatives (a traditional fabric bra or paint damage) it's the best choice.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    spyderred... Not exactly sure why, but I tend to have more respect for dealerships that advertise in BMW-related publications. Hoping maybe they are more dedicated and more in tune with enthusiast's needs and desires.

    Noticed that two Long Beach BMW ads take up about 3/4ths of page 37 in February 2003 issue of Bimmer magazine. And a Long Beach BMW ad takes up a quarter of page 100 in January 2003 issue of Roundel (BMW CCA) magazine. (I'm not sure where Long Beach is, but noticed that the Pacific Region of BMW CCA has chapters in LA and San Diego. You might contact them to see what they think of this dealership.)
  • sel3sel3 Posts: 33
    Thank you for your input, it was very useful.

    After looking at a few web pages, XPel seems to have the best product.

    I will also install the kit myself, any lessons learned?

  • jeffryjeffry Posts: 36
    I'm considering European delivery of a 04 530. I'm confused as to pricing. Several postings reference $1k to 1.5k over E.D. pricing--does that mean over the $2.8k savings BMW US references? Even at MSRP - $2.8k, it hardly seems worth it given that with a lease there is 2-3 mos. payment w/o a car??? (Except for the wks driving in Europe). What am I missing here, besides nothing if the Europe trip is not that important.
    Several postings I have seen seem to indicate about 3k off MSRP on a 530.
    What are common 36 mo lease pmts for a 530 with an MSRP of about $46k?
    Thanks for such a wealth of great info. Jeff
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    If you haven't already done so, go to "" for European Delivery invoice pricing on the 530i.

    Although most dealers will initially tell you that ED prices are not negotiable, they are. Shop around and you should be able to find a dealer that is willing to sell the car for $1,200 to $1,500 over ED invoice. That's equal to roughly $1,500 under US invoice. There is more paperwork for them, but the car does not come out of their US delivery allocation and is counted towards their sales targets / bonuses.

    You are right, there is a delay of several weeks between picking up the car in Europe and receiving it bakc in the states. I haven't done it yet, but I think the delay is more like 4-6 weeks, not 2-3 months. And, since I will be paying cash and keeping my current car until the new one arrives here, I am not incurring finance or lease costs before actually driving the car. (Given the way my stock portfolio has performed, I'm not giving up any opportunity cost either, unfortunately).

    It may not be for you, but I'd look into it further before ruling it out.
  • sta2sta2 Posts: 19
    I posted a bit ago questioning the differences between the 01'>03' 530i.

    Thanks for the responses. The Bmwusa site is handy, but it only lists 01', and the options listed don't seem complete.

    Are there any technology differences between the 01'.03' 530i??
    Were split fold down seats an option in 01'?

    I love the alloys for 98'>99' Sport package; are these the same wheels that are standard on the 01'>03' 530i, or??.....The 98'>99' wheels look different, but what do I know??

    Thanks for the post on the Xpel coating!

    Looking forward to a 530i.

  • cheekscheeks Posts: 67
    I couldn't belive my eyes when I noticed a small ding on the c-pillar. I can't begin to imagine how it got there. Can anybody recommend a good paintless dent remover in the New York City area or Westchester?
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    Can you be more specific ? There are no major "performance" changes, but changes to the the options and "packages." The moon roof became standard in 2003, but was part of the Premium Pkg or a stand alone option in 2001 is an example. I recently took delivery of a 2003 530i and will be to answer any questions you have.

    Hope this helps...JL
  • Sta2, ...maybe your local dealer has kept their marketing brochures for the years past as a reference and be an easy way for you to research. If they are pack rats, you'll be in luck.
  • sta2sta2 Posts: 19
    Thanks for the responses. Hey JL, hope you're having a blast :-}

    I was really interested to find out if the technology was different between the 01' > 03' 530i; apparently they're the same car.

    As far as options/packages, I've spent some time in an 03' 530i and many of the options for the 01' & 02' cars, are standard on the 03'.

    I'll figure the alloys out as I go along, but neither dealer here is able to tell me if the split fold down rear seats was even an option in the 01' 530i, nor did they know if it was an option on the 97' > 00' 528i-no old brochures, service didn't know, etc....? The CPO page on Bmwusa doesn't list all options.

    Does anyone know?

    Also, any major problems/issues with the 01' > 02' 530's?


  • kchanuskchanus Posts: 26
    I have a 2001 5 series brochure with me, and yes the spliting seats is a option. Hope it helps.
  • jeffryjeffry Posts: 36
    I've got a 2001 brochure. The fold down seats were an option then--$645. (I recently test drove a CPO '99 540i w/ them & they squeaked-probably fixable). The main differences seem to be the std. sunroof now where it was part of the premium pkg in 2001-about $2100, I believe. The SP/Prem pkg was $3100 in '01.

     What are you finding CPO prices to be on the 2001 530s? Ones I've seen around the SF bay area seem to be $40-42K!!, not sure why anyone would any one buy that vs a new 525 for less and a new 530 for a just a bit more w/ some shopping??
        Hope this is helpful.
  • jeffryjeffry Posts: 36
    Thanks for your info. Are you saying then Europe delivery prices thru or hard negotiating would be about $2500 less than even the BMWUSA web site lists as euro delivery prices?? So, if MSRP is $46,500 bmwusa eruo is about $43,700; US dealer's invoice about $42,650, the car could conceivably be picked up in Europe for about $41,150?? If its a $5400 svgs, then I'm interested in going to Germany.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I've been quoted $1,500 over ED on a 530i by at least two dealers in the greater DC area. I recal others on this board that have gotten as low as $1,200 over ED invoice.

    It's probably not going to be $5,400 in savings, since you can generally get a US delivered model for $1,500 to $2,000 over US invoice, but going to Europe should still save you at least an additional $3,000.
  • hssahuhssahu Posts: 26
    I have been enjoying driving it from the very day I got it and every mile. It has been pretty flawless.

    Occasionally, I hear a rattling noise (pretty minor) from both side B pillars. Is it normal? Nothing annoying though - but then, I want to hear only the tire noise and audio sound and nothing else while driving my car :)

    Am I becoming too paranoid?
  • sta2sta2 Posts: 19
    Thanks kchanus & jeffry-just the answer I needed.

    39-41k for 01' 530i's here in AZ.

    Personally, after driving them both, I'd spring for the 3.0 vs the 2.5.

    Other than the posted TSB's, are there any real issues/problems with the 01' or 02' 530i's?

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    It is in my best interest to tell you that $39-41k for a 2001 530i is a good deal, since I'm considering buying a new one. But it isn't.

    I've priced out a very well equiped 2003 530i for under $42k through discounted ED (5-speed, SP, Xenons, Hi-Fi, etc.). Doesn't count the trip to Europe, but I'll either go cheap for a weekend (under $1k), or take my wife and kids for a nice little vacation and still end up well ahead.

    Why in the world someone would pay any more than $33-35k for a two year old 530i when a new one can be purchased for $42k through ED is beyond me. Even at $32k, that is less than 25% depreciation over two years for the original owner. I'll split the difference with you right now. I'll agree to sell you a 2003 530i in 2005 for $36.5k. It will be pampered. You'll think you got a good deal and I will have driven a 530i for about $250 per month in depreciation.

    Don't get me wrong, the 530i is a great car and if any sedan deserves to have great resale, that's the one. But that's also a good reason to buy new.
  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159
    Sorry to re-hash this over again - but can someone who really knows ED, or even how it is priced - verify the pricing I am looking at. I went to, under the BMW 530 2003 page, and looked under "Confidential Wholesale" pricing!!

    2003 530 through Munich Pick-up:

       455 Xenons
     2,095 Sport Package
     2,095 Premium Package
       545 Cold Weather Package
       695 Shipping

    40,650 Total Price
     1,500 US dealer at $1500 over invoice

    42,150 Is that correct?
    If it is, does anyone someone in the Chicago area that will take that price?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Price is correct. Sorry, don't know Chicago dealers but, if it's like DC, you should be able to take your information around and find someone willing to do the deal. Once the cat is out of the bag that you know the ED invoice prices and that they are negotiable, the dealers ability to claim otherwise is shot.

    Especially since you can point out to them that they make the same amount as a US delivered car without losing one from their allocation (this was an issue when the 530i's were hot and the dealers didn't want to discount, since they couldn't get as many as they could sell t or near MSRP).

    Good luck.
  • sta2sta2 Posts: 19
    I was simply passing along prices for someone else who asked; believe me, I'm a long way from paying 40k for a 1yr. or 2 yr. old car.

    Many thanks for the ED info!! I didn't realize so much could be purchased for so little.

    Other than, what other sites can you point us to for info..

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