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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Mike you live in New Jersey, the land of the crumbling roadways. Need I say more? Did you hit any potholes lately?
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    The recommended tire pressures for the E39 are 29F/33R. Bent rims are not uncommon in the northeast, especially this winter. Better bent rims than suspension components.

  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    I might be wrong but I believe BMW recommends, for the 530i anyway,
    F:33 and R: 41. I carry F:33,R: 36
    since it is either one person or 2 max
    95% of the time.
  • sel3sel3 Posts: 33
    I noticed the shake during the break-in period. Took the car to the dealer, they balanced the tires; 99% of the shake has disappeared. I maintain the 33/41 tire pressure.
  • mod62mod62 Posts: 38
    Thanks for all your responses.

    Yes, I have hit many potholes this winter. If I tried to avoid someone that I wanted to, I would have been in an accident! It is like an obstacle course in NJ. The whole tri-state is the same IMO.
    I do remember one particular pothole that made me cringe that probably did the trick on my right side front and rear rims.
    The dealer has seen a ton of bent rims this winter. It thought the one advantage of Non-SP over SP would be ability to withstand these impacts better because of the higher profile tires.
    Yes, better than suspension.
    Tire Pressure:
    I kept high because I thought I would get better feel for the road (read on this board) since I have regular suspension.
    Does BMW recommend: 33/41 or 29/33 (both responses above)and should it be less if there is only one passenger?
  • I've found the much coveted 530i in my area for sale. It's a 2001 model with 24k miles and apparently has the PP and SP.

    I have not seen the car personally yet, but I've seen pictures posted on the net. I'm confused that it has SP, but the seats do not look like the seats that are available in the 330i SP--no thigh support! According to BMW, there are 4 different seat configurations available: (1)10-way power driver's seat with power headrest (2) 12-way power sport seats with adjustable thigh support (3) 14-way power front seats (4) 16-way Comfort Seats.

    I don't think I've never seen a 5 series with "adjustable thigh support." Also, how do I physicall tell whether the car has the standard 10 speaker audio system, or the premium 12 speaker w/DSP system? Do the head units look different? Where can I find all the speakers?
    Also, how can tell if the car has xenon lights if see it in the daytime. Do the standard and xenon lights look different under the hood?

    BTW...what the heck is "shadowline trim?"

    I know I've got lots of questions, but hopefully someone can answer them!
  • asteinbergasteinberg Posts: 138
    I was impressed with the BMW530 and with inquiries found a dealer at cost+$1000; BUT, given the 5-series will change in the fall, I went with the Lincoln LSV8Premium Sport, with navigation, nicely discounted due to holdbacks. It has lots of updated changes, and it combines sports and luxury suspensions, with nice traction system. A comparable BMW 540 would have run me at least $16K more. I never thought I'd buy a Lincoln (I've had performance European cars).
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Good luck with your vehicle. While one could debate the LS interior, which is very nice, BTW to the 540, there is no comparison in performance between these two vehicles. In my opinion, not having driven both and looking at specs on paper, a LS V8 will be left in the dust by a 540. As it is a V8 with one additional liter is needed in the LS to marginally beat a 530i.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I can answer some of your questions:

    If I am not mistaken, there was a "Sport/Premium Package" available for the 530i in 2001 (for at least part of the model year), and that package did NOT have the sport seats, which were an extra charge option.

    I have a 2002 530i 5-Speed, PP, SP, Xenon and Premium Audio, and the seats do in fact have an adjustable thigh support.

    Regarding the Xenon headlights, I have noticed that on both of my BMWs that have had them (former 1999 328i and current 530i), when the lights are turned on, they briefly (as in like a quarter of a second) flash REAL bright, and then settle down to their normal intensity, regular Halogen lights turn on directly to their normal intensity.

    Regarding the Premium Audio, I am not sure about this one, however, I think that the top right button next to the display will say "Audio" if the car does not have DSP, and it will say "Audio DSP" if it does have it. A further test would be to turn the ignition on (DSP is not changeable when you turn the audio system on with the ignition off) and press the DSP button. When activated, you should see "CONCERT JAZZCLUB CHURCH MEMORY1 2 Off" across the bottom display if in fact that car has DSP.

    I hope this helps.

    Best Regards,
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Shame on snagiel and riez for biting on that bait!

    However, had the price been something like $45-50k, that's a "buyer beware" sign. I looked at a 2000 Jaguar XKR convertible that was priced $15k+ below wholesale. The seller looked professional, lived in a nice neighborhood in a $2+/- million house and indicated he was selling since he was going to be returning to Europe and his company told him to liquidate it (business car) quickly. Something smelled funny. A couple of weeks later my wife went by the house and saw an IRS padlock on the driveway gate.

    Any car being sold for more than 5-10% under dealer wholesale warrants very careful due diligence. More often than not, it's been in a wreck, been stolen (or has clouded title), or the seller isn't heading to Europe, but rather to jail.
  • 2ndmb2ndmb Posts: 72
    I'm not clear on proper tire pressure for the 17" wheels on the SP models. The sticker on the door jam is confusing too. Is the correct pressure 29f/33r ? Thanks for the help!
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    Based on the 2003 5 Series owner's manual, the "recommended" tire pressures for all tire sizes are:

    29F/33R - Max four (4) passengers
    33F/41R - Max five (5) passengers + luggage

    The 540i has different pressures for different tire sizes and transmissions.

    Hope this helps...JL
  • Hey guys. Got a question. A reader e-mailed me and told me the 540 steering had gotten very overboosted much like the 330 in 2001. He said feel had pretty much left the room. I was until then considering buying one. If this is true what model did this start with? I want responsive feel with a good amount of effort which is rewarded by rapid movement of the wheel in the direction in which I want to go. Lets discuss driving "feel" in the steering and handling as most of us in a suburban setting will never test the limits of speed and are limited to fairly lower speed fun in handling. By the way, the 330i steering was corrected in 2002 due to many complaints.
  • 2ndmb2ndmb Posts: 72
    I have an 02 540i with the SP and the steering is anything but light. Firm with good road feel even slightly heavy.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Damn. I'm bad at detecting ruses in person, let alone online. Just for that, I demand you let me take your M5 out for a spin.
  • zhangqjzhangqj Posts: 15
    I have to say I am a little disappointed with the engine sizes of 525 and 530. I would trade active steering for more horses.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    So, coming Monday being the last day to order the E39s, my sales guy is throwing in a bit extra to make me sign the paper for an M5. Even with the duty and shipping, it is going to save me quite a bit over buying through US dealer. (we are posted in Germany, and I can only claim duty free import on 1 car, which is sitting in our garage) With the economy as it is, it is probably not the smartest thing to do, but I still can't get the v-8 sound and grin off my face.

    Well, just a few more days........
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    You're welcome to hold out for the 330HP V8, should the 6's not suffice. I wonder if the once-rumored 3.8L twin-turbo 6 is still in the works. Remember, though, that the cars will be about 150 pounds lighter (almost as light as the E46). Lighter weight, in my opinion, is more important than more power.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Wow...I bet it would be cool knowing you'll own one of the last-produced M5's (or E39's, for that matter). Hopefully you'll continue to relish that even as the mostrous 500hp E60 M5 debuts in late 2004.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    Having seen the production model pictures, I am more attracted to the E39 now than ever. If we did not already own a 530, I would have signed the papers long ago, but 530 is just so nice. I am talking myself out of it and back in again about 100 times a day.
  • ksqrdksqrd Posts: 21
    Having just recently bought a CPO 2001 530iSport/Premium, I can answer a few of your questions:

    1. In '01, the SP (or Sport/Premium) did not include the adjustable thigh support, which became standard with the Sport in '02. It was certainly a nice addition, having driven an '02, but not something I miss terribly.

    2. Shadowline trim: Black, rather than chrome around the windows.

    3. Xenons: Shouldn't this be obvious? Yes--there is a fluctuation in intensity after they're turned on. Also, the light is very white (in contrast to the yellow of the halo or fog lights). If you don't notice an obvious difference, they probably aren't Xenons.

    4. DSP: I think Shipo is right--there should be a DSP button near the head unit. If not, you have the standard 10-speaker audio. Ask to see the manual (there's a separate one for the audio system) and you'll see pictures of the standard and upgraded audio system.

    FYI, I paid just under $36K for the same car, SP/PP/Xenons in showroom condition, 13K miles, CPO warranty included, around 2 months ago.

    Hope this helps.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I've seen the new 5 pics. I'm holding judgment. When I saw the Z4 pics, I didn't like it. Then I saw and drove one. That changed my opinion right there.

    The back end looks a bit Altima/Maxima'ish in the pictures.

    I'll wait and drive one since I can't get an E39 right now anyway. It'll be a few months, and by that time, it will either be the E60 or Z4.

  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159
    Find me that car, add Heated seats, and I'll buy it as well. I have been looking for the following CPO car in the Midwest (Chicago) for a while and can not find the right one:

    2001 - maybe a 2002
    PP, SP, Xenon, CWP
    Less than 20K miles and CPO
    36K and I'll buy it! 02 will cost 40K

    BTW - not to cause a ruckus here, but I did drive a 2002 and a 2003 Lincoln LS the other day on test drives. Drove them both very hard and thorough - and they were both great cars, especially the 03 with the Sport Package. Would I rather have a BMW - yes!!!
  • sean2gsean2g Posts: 17
    Does anyone know when the 5 series line will begin to get discounts because of the new 2004? Also does anyone know the latest you can order a 5 before they are discounted? Thanks
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Given the current strength of the E39 sales and the looks of the new E60 that DON'T have folks "OOOHHHing and AHHHHHHing", I would be surprised if there were ANY discounts at all on the current cars. To take it one step further, you might find that folks decide that the E39 is so much more desirable than the new E60 that they rush right out and buy up all of the remaining E39s, and the price might actually go up!

    Some might laugh at that last comment, but last year when I was considering whether to extend the lease on my perfectly good 1999 328i with only 40K miles on it, or get a new E39, I got the E39. Why? So that I wouldn't be forced to consider the E60, which based upon the (then) available spy photos, I found totally revolting. Here we are a year later, and the "Official" pictures of the car are out, and its lines have indeed been softened, however, no matter how much "Kabuki" makeup they put on Mr. Bangle's design, it is still rather disjointed and homely in my book. Am I glad that I have the E39? Oh Yeah!

    Best Regards,
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Shipo makes a good case, and I, too, wouldn't expect significant discounts in the forseeable future. However, once the E60's start filling up the dealer lots, you can be sure prices on E39's will drop. I remember E38's (the previous generation 7-series) were going for $5k-$10k below sticker once the E65's showed up.
  • sirtigersirtiger Posts: 38
    I was in the similar boat as Shipo....

    I didn't need a car until late 03 but when I saw pics of the E60... I had to get my E39 sooner than expected. Its a shame it sat inside my garage during most of the snowstorm since my purchase in Jan.

    During my search, I has specific taste... which the car must be 530/540 silver exterior, 60/40, SP & Xenon which was impossible to find. Then I settle for an added PP & CWP. One thing I can tell you about the 5+ dealers in the NY area is that the inventory is quite lean, (awaiting for the E60?) so I doubt there is much discounting. Each dealer had about 2-4 models on the lot. There may be some wiggle room for the few 45K-60K+ cars sitting on the lot. You mind as well get a car you really like b/c the 200 dollars extra discount to take the one on the lot was not convincing for me.

    I really love the styling & shape of the E39. I found out I have two other friends who bought one with the same reasoning I had. So I bet there is a small bump in people getting on the last call for the E39. It did initially bothered me bit that I was getting a little older technology wise and may drop more in value in the near term future. Funny thing is that all 4 of my cars were in it last yr production and have been flawless! Generally last yr production cars will give long term owners the most bang for the buck in terms of quality. I also kept in mind that the E60 will take a few years to work out the Gremlins in the car. Bottom line is that I was going to buy a car that I enjoyed for the long term.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    In the past I have been critisized about my stance regarding my reactions to the look of the E60. Someone even went so far as to say, "Shipo, just face it, you don't like change." Grrrrr, given that as a systems designer I have been creating new things and implimenting "Change" for over 25 years, "Change" is not the issue. In addition, back when I was doing a project at MB-USA in the winter of 1995/1996, the folks down the street at BMW-USA brought over one of the early production E39s (a 528i) which we sat side-by-side with one of our early prototype W210 E-Classes. I have to say, I loved both cars, but the E39 simply took my breath away, I had to have one.

    Best Regards,
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    E39 simply took my breath away

    When we test drove the w210 (last gen E class) and the 530, separated by a week, my wife had the same reaction. Both times I parked the cars in our garage and had her come down to see them. With the E, she said, "nice" and drove it, and said, "nice". With the 530, "this is it!" were her first words even before she sat down in the car. Guess what's sitting in our garage.
  • pecclespeccles Posts: 52
    I was a little bit surprised that the valvetronic
    technology from the 4.4L V-8 didn't get on the
    2.5L and 3.0L for the '04 series. That
    would have added about 10% more HP not sure if
    torque is increased also plus better fuel
    economy. Maybe they are waiting for the E90
    for the '05/'06 MY. Would be nice if they
    introduced the direct fuel injection technology
    from the 6.0L V-12 at the same time. I would
    figure that coupled with valvetronic would yield
    about a 260HP 3.0L and 210HP 2.5L.
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