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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    For my car at least, the only thing that the new software fixed was the throttle response, the performance (always extremely good) did not change. That makes me wonder if the old (maybe older than the standard issue in my car) software in "Hnn's" car was seriously flawed.

    If you go to your BMW dealer for a software upgrade, do NOT expect a blazing performance boost. While it may well happen on a certain series of cars, my bet is that most cars will simply have their drivability improved, and that is it.

    Best Regards,
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    I am curious. What are the build dates of your cars ? Does anyone know how "current" the BMW software upgrade you are referring to is ? Was is just released recently ?

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The build date of my car was March, 2002, and with that software, my car was very fast and ran great. My car entered the USA, during the third week of May, 2002, and once here, either the VPC or the Dealership "Upgraded" my software with the "Bad/Downgraded" code. During late October, 2002, my car was upgraded again with what was then the latest code. My best guess is that it was an October, 2002 release of code.

    In all cases, my 530i was fast, way faster than my former 328i. From my point of view, the only real problem was the throttle response, which was absolutely rotten with the second code version.

    Best Regards,
  • hnnhnn Posts: 34
    srfast/shipo, my 530i built date was Jan 2002. I may have an older version of the software vs shipo's. The dealer forman told me that he received this new code on 2/11/03. I do not know the version number. Hnn
  • I have an appointment, with Tulley BMW, to upgrade the engine control software. My 530ia was built in Dec 01.

    Chris M
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    This weekend my wife and I had a birthday party for our son who turned nine years old last Thursday. The party started as a "Sleep Over", where my son had four of his buddies over on Saturday night, and then on to an establishment that has three very large multi-lane slot car tracks on Sunday. The party itself came off very well (the Mom and Dad didn’t get too much sleep, but other than that…), and all of the boys enjoyed the racing immensely.

    Being the car junkie that I am, as the parents did the drop-off/pick-up thing, I was keeping track of their automotive hardware, which went something like this:

    Boy #1: Mom – Mercedes-Benz ML430 & Dad – Hummer H2
    Boy #2: Dad – Chevy Suburban
    Boy #3: Mom – Toyota Sequoia & Dad – Land Rover Ranger Rover
    Boy #4: Dad – Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie Quad Cab Long Bed 4x4 (Cummins Diesel)

    On the way up to the slot car tracks (riding in our lowly Dodge Caravan), they were all bragging about the cool "Cars" that their parents drive, and my son chimed in, "My dad drives a 5-Series."

    The instant response, in harmony no less, was, "What's a 5-Series?"

    My son said, "A BMW, of course!"

    I don’t know who said it, but someone actually said, "Oh, you mean a CAR!"

    They then changed the subject; it was like my son had noisily passed gas at a Royal Wedding or something. Later, after all of his buddies had left, my son said, "Daddy, they just don't get it, do they?"

    "No son, they don't."

    Best Regards,
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025

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  • hnnhnn Posts: 34
    chrism124, let us know your feedback after your engine controller software upgrade. Hnn
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,338
    Great story about your son. You obviously are "grooming" him well.
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    OK guys, you have me thinking. My 2003 530i has a build date of 11/12/02 and I took delivery of it 12/13/02. I am wondering if it has the latest code available or if there is a newer version. I have a call into my dealer contact to check it.

    Thanks for all your input...JL
  • I am scheduled to have the update on 2/27. I will post the results.

  • I'm getting curious, too, though I can't say I've noticed any problematic throttle response. My 2003 530i 5 sp was built early Oct. 2002, maybe 5 weeks before your 530. I'll be interested to hear what your dealer tells you.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My bet is that you have the same software as I have now, which I find quite acceptable. That said, the next time I am in (for my 1 year service), I will have them tweek the software again.

    Best Regards,
  • mod62mod62 Posts: 38
    My car was built in August and I took delivery at the end of OCtober. Should I ask the service department if they made the upgrade before I took delivery?

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Describe how your throttle response is when transitioning from part throttle to say three quarters throttle.

    Best Regards
  • stl540stl540 Posts: 67
    I purchased a 'Seat Saver' from Babies R Us to protect my seat from indentions. It is overpriced (~$20), but I prefer to pay it than have the indentions. The 'Seat Saver' is a rubber mat that is contoured to fit the base and back of seat, while leaving room on the sides for the seat belts or LATCH belts. After five months of use, neither car has indentions from the car seat. You can probably use a normal rubber mat rather than the $20 Seat Saver.

    Federal law states that any new car and new car seat sold (or manufactured - can't remember) after Sept 1, 2002 must have the LATCH system. I bought the MDX in Dec 01 and the 540i in May 02 and both have it. Both are MY2002, which is why both of mine have the LATCH.

    Both are very nice cars. The 5-Series is definitely more fun to drive. Of course, the MDX wins in the ability to carry people (babies, in your case) or 'things'. I absolutely love my 540i. It is an absolute blast to drive.

    Happy driving!!
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    My contact ran my 530i's VIN through BMW's service database and reported that there were no current "BMW service campaigns" or upgrades for the car. The build date is 11/12/02 and I suspect it is the most current level of SW and that it is just being distributed to dealers now.

    Hope this helps...JL
  • ksqrdksqrd Posts: 21
    stl540: I'll look into the seat savers! It looks like we have very similar cars (MDX+E39). I envy your 540, though I'm feeling very fortunate to be driving my 530iA.

    Others interested in car seats: I found an outstanding link for info about car seat questions, including summaries of others' experiences with placing three seats or boosters in various cars:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Great news from my Orthopedic Sturgeon today, my right leg is "Almost healed". Off came the rigid fiberglass cast, and on went an "Aircast", which is kind of a funky Go-Go boot with three big Velcro straps and foot print that gives "Gun Boats" a whole new meaning. ;-)

    Better still, my range of motion at my ankle is a whopping 10 degrees, I know it doesn't sound like much, however, my OS said that it was very good, and that I should be almost completely recovered within 4 to 6 weeks (strength however, is another issue).

    With any luck (and some good PT), I will be back in the drivers seat of my 530i in three or four weeks, which is about three MONTHS earlier than I had initially hoped. In the mean time, I will still have to live vicariously through y'all.

    Best Regards,
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    ..(range of motion) recovery is a slow and sometimes painful process, and I wish you all the best Shipo! Like you said, good physiotherapy is the key.

    To keep my post on topic, it will be a goooood feeling getting "back in the saddle" of your 530 I bet.
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Yesterday took in 530IA in for first oil service, even though I still have two lights showing. I only have 12,500 miles and when I called the technician said bring it in. They changed oil,and filter and added 7 qts of synthetic oil.Drained the brake fluid and refilled and bled the air out, and changed windshield wipers. All in all, very painless. I was in and out rather quickly and it was all covered by BMW, The BMW dealers in the San Francisco Bay area have been much maligned but I must say they treated me extremely well, When the two remaining lights go out I will take it in again for the scheduled maintenance which is also covered by BMW.I noticed that the car "seems" to drive much better and the steering is lighter and the ride is much better, I can't explain why exactly it just seems to .
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    You guys left out a few observations from the C&D test. As for the options on the test vehicles you can only blame the mfrs - they supplied the vehicles.

    It seems that one car outperformed the 2nd place 530 in EVERY acceleration and handling test and outperformed the 1st place E320 in everything except skidpad where it was only .01 g's behind. And it did all this with all season tires.

    Since the cars in the C&D test were not comparably equipped I did a cost comparison on similarly equipped models using Edmunds TMV. The 530i sport was $48K. The E320 sport was $53K. This car was $40K. This car also has considerably more interior room than the 530i and just a bit more than the E320.

    This car is the 2003 Lincoln LS V8 sport. Surprised?

    I'm not saying it's a better car nor do I wish to debate the quality of the interior or any other subjective issues like styling. And yes - the 530i can be had with a stick while the LS and E320 can't. I just find it exciting that an American sports sedan can finally run with the top dogs from an acceleration and handling standpoint - and do it for a lot less money. The CTS, while a good first step, isn't there yet. But at least they're trying.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    When you get into cars in this price range they really should be equipped similiarly. The BMW could have been a 525 and really get creamed. But I think a fairer comparison, would have been the E430, against the 540i against the Lincoln. You could say the Lincoln would have won on value, but Ford had to put an engine almost 1 liter bigger, or they could have used the 3L model. Either way I think the results would have been way different.

    About interior room, I've been in both cars and the 530i feels bigger to me. It may be the better interior ergonomics of the BMW, but I did not get the impression the Lincoln *was* bigger.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    All this software talk got me curious also, so I called the dealer to run the VIN's on my 530 manufactured 11/2001. The dealer said that there are no current service campaigns or upgrades available for the car. But shipo's software upgrade was made in late 2002, so what gives?
  • sergeymsergeym Posts: 267
    Are you saying that your BMW dealer did a free oil change at 12.5K miles with two green lights still remaining? And they drained the brake fluid?
    That's great. I had to pay for oil service at 7.5K myself.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    BMW releases new software every so often, however, that does not mean that the old software NEEDS to be replaced. The car was certified with whatever software it came with, and unless there is a drivability issue (my car), there is no overriding requirement for the dealership to upgrade it. That said, if you push, they will probably do it, they just don't HAVE to do it.

    Best Regards,
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Yes , they did not charge me anything. You are entitled to one free oil service per year even ifyou still have lights lit. They also changed the windshield wiper blades .
    I checked with the service technician and he told me they had checked for TSB and any software upgrades and on my copy under those headings it said NONE. Like I said my car runs really great and it is very,very quick.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    One correction - the 530i had a quicker 5-60 time, probably due to the faulty transmission in the LS (or better gearing in the 530i - not sure).

    The LS is closer to the previous generation 740i than the 5 series in interior room. A lot of the extra room is in the back seat.

    As for engine choices, I would venture that the BMW 3.0L V6 probably cost as much or more as the LS 3.9L V8 so I think it's a fair comparison.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Are we comparing what the kind of car you get for a specific dollar amount, or are we comparing the kind of performance you get with engines of similiar displacement? I would expect the mags to compare performance. I'm not disputing C&Ds methods - for it is their comparison. When I shop I might shop for cars for a specific dollar amount, or I might shop similiar engines, or I might shop interior room, etc. As sweet as the 3L engine is, is does have it's limits, when compared to engines with more cylinders and bigger displacements. One V8 vs 2 6's? What does that really say? Might as well compare an SVT and call it the winner.

    I'm all for the comparo because it shows strengths and weaknesses of each car. But I think a comparison more along similiar engine lines each optioned out equally in terms of performance options, would have been the 3.0L Lincoln vs a 3.2L Mercedes vs a 3L 5 series.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Today the clutch went out. The car will not go into gear. Had it towed to the dealer. BMW roadside assistance was very helpful.

    Here is the rub. My 530i has but 14K miles on it. The service adviser tells me that unless it is a manufacturer's defect (highly unlikely), I have to pay for replacing the clutch ($1000). He says the wear looks like it is from abuse. What?

    How can this be? I have been driving stick shift for 23+ years (Japanese cars) and have never had a clutch go bad after just 14K miles. Usually about 80K to 120K miles. I am the only one who drives this car and I purchased it new.

    Although I have had difficulty getting used to this clutch from day one, I do not believe I have abused the clutch. I rarely make quick starts necessitating slipping the clutch and rarely do I down-shift coming to a stop. Most of the time my shifts are smooth (even the 1-2 shifts). I have driven this car in a similar manner as my previous stick shift cars. So where is the abuse?

    If and when (tomorrow) the dealer tells me that it was from wear and tear (normal?) and/or abuse and BMW does not cover this, do I have any recourse?

    By the way, if I had purchased the car from this dealer, they would have given me a courtesy loaner car. But because I did not (they were over $2,000 higher than my purchasing dealer), I get nothing. I have to find my own ride at my expense. They told me that it may take 3 working days or more to get the parts and replace the clutch.

    Again, my questions are:
    1. Does needing a new clutch after 14K miles seem very unusual? How could this happen? How long does a typical BMW clutch last?

    2. Is there any recourse when they say that I abused the clutch and therefore it is not covered?
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