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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    BMW did build a prototype variable displacement version of their M30 inline six, but it was decided that the complexity of the system-as well as a few other quirks-outweighed the small fuel savings.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    Yah, I saw a commercial for it recently; there's an idiot light on the dash telling you whether you're in eight cylinder or four cylinder mode. That's what reminded me about what I had been told about BMWs.

    But when you go into four mode the impala catches up with you. So what good is it? :P
  • smooth50smooth50 Posts: 4
    This will be the third summer I will be facing without good air flow through my vents. Also, my compressor needs to be replaced. Dealership mentioned having to take off my dash board and fix the vents. They are talking about $3000. Is there a book or how to CD I can refernce? Can anyone advise me. I can't do another summer baking in a black BMW. Bake even while the windows are down... HELP!!!
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    From another forum populated by many DIYers:

    "The Bentley Manual has instructions with pictures and arrows, and walks you thru the disassembly process - including the other stuff that needs to be removed before getting to the thing needing replacement. I think the manual is a must if you're going the DIY route..."
  • marcsbmarcsb Posts: 1
    I just purchased a used 2004 525I, and I am very pleased with the ride and handling of this vehicle!! Power is lacking but I didn't purchase it for that.

    I am trying to find out exactly what options this vehicle does or doesn't have. Is there a way to search using the Vin number to find out exactly what this car came equipped with??

    Thanks in advance!!
  • falcon13falcon13 Posts: 1
    I have been actively looking for a 2000-2003 540I, any advice on this car as far as what to be aware of? Any concerns on common mechanical problems?

  • smooth50smooth50 Posts: 4
    Is the Bentley very much like the BMW 5 series? Also, if I were to take the car to be fixed, how much should I expect to pay?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Is the Bentley very much like the BMW 5 series?

    I'd only consider a Turbo R.
  • dmakodmako Posts: 5
    I have been concidering buying a late model used sports sedan. Require 4-doors, manual trans, and good handling.

    So BMW comes to mind. Now I'll tall 6' 2" all legs. I got to sit in a 3 series, and hand enough leg room so I'm guessing as much or more in a 5 series?

    Also like the previous post any thing to look for in a late model 5 series? VANOS issues etc?

    Does the 5 really offer more passenger room than a 3? Comments from tall persons?
  • jabroltajabrolta Posts: 32
    Contact BMW NA (800-831-1117) with the VIN number and they should be able to tell you the options on your car.
  • hullhull Posts: 10
    The 5 series was redesigned in 2004. The old 5-series (which would include the 528 you speak of) was not much roomier than a new 3-series (redesigned in 2006).

    My '06 525i is very roomy with significant headroom, legroom, and shoulder room in the front, and acceptable in the back. The newer 3 series and the old 5 series are not too cramped, but not quite as roomy. The old 3 series feels cramped to me.
  • dmmakoskidmmakoski Posts: 72
    But apples to apples say, 1998 328 vs. 528, 528 offering more room for driver and front passenger?
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    The 1998 528 (E39) has more interior room than the 328 (E36). I owned a 1993 325i (E36) and replaced it with a 2003 530i (E39).

    Hope this helps...JL
  • flbmwflbmw Posts: 6
    If you can provide me with the last 7 digits of the VIN, I'll look it up for you. That should be two letters followed by 5 numbers.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,322
    I'm 6'2". All legs.
    Definitely more legroom in my 2005 545 than in my 2002 325-not a lot-maybe 2 inches but it helps. Still far from ideal.
    The only BMW that totally satisfied my legroom requirements was the X5 which I had the pleasure of driving about 6 months ago.
    Also try to get the comfort seats. Much better than the standard seats.
  • jabroltajabrolta Posts: 32
    I have a 2005 545i. I went to the dealer to have a software upgrade and my day time running lights are not working. Is there a option in the iDrive to turn it back on or do I have back to the dearlership? Thanks.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    That is something the dealer needs to set, usually at time of delivery.

    Are the DRL's not working and they used to? Or are you just wanting to turn them on?

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,322
    Most people seem to want to turn the DRL's off.
  • jabroltajabrolta Posts: 32
    The DRL were on prior to the CIP update. VOB BMW service department are idiots!!!! They never seem to get anything right!!!!
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Then you hopefully won't get charged.

  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    The Bentley I refer to is a repair manual.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    The Bentley I refer to is a repair manual.

    To elaborate, here's a link to the Bentley he's referring to: Bentley Publishers
  • jbf5jbf5 Posts: 32
    Has anyone had experience (good or bad) shipping your 5 series cross country?

    I'm moving from Maryland to California, and the relocation people want to ship my 03 530i on an open truck.

    Is there a better way?
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    Have you considered driving the car yourself? If you can't, I would insist on an enclosed transporter. My brother moved from NYC to SF and the moving company put his E36 in the same trailer as his belongings. If the relocation folks can't/won't provide an enclosed transporter, try to get the money they are being paid and find your own transporter. You might have to cover any price difference, but you'll have peace of mind. Do a Google search to find a transport service in your area.

    Good luck...JL
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I shipped a jeep from Cali to Alabama. It was on an open trailer, but I insisted (due to the soft top) that it be placed on top.

    When it got here, it was just fine, albeit a little dirty. Other than that, it was completely fine.

    If you can swing it, enclosed would be the way to go, but open isn't so bad if you can keep it on top.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Ms. Shore would roll in her grave, but:

    "See the YOU ESS A, in your Bimmer-a" -- woo woo!

    Driving across America would be (or could be) fun if you had the time to make it a bit of a sightseeing trip.

    All those times I've flown over the US, I have wondered "what would it be like" to actually see the country at ground level.

    Otherswise get it shipped covered and insured out the wazoo, where-ever the wazoo is!
  • jbf5jbf5 Posts: 32
    Thanks all. I'd love to drive, but I can't take the time from my new job.

    This company looks promising:

    The trucks are enclosed and the bays are level and shock-absorbed.

    Has anyone used them?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    This discussion might be helpful: Car Transport Companies.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    Is there any topic that doesn't have its own dedicated forum? :P
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    LOL! You know, maybe not. We certainly do have tons of information on all things automotive. :)
  • jabroltajabrolta Posts: 32
    Does anyone know if the HD radio (2007 option) can be retrofitted into any e60 models? I have a 2005 545i and I would like to have HD radio in my car. Thanks.
  • smooth50smooth50 Posts: 4
    I searched on Ebay and found the The Bentley Manual on CD for $9. The book cost around $90. Thank you for the tip...
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    Glad I could help. Good luck playing with your baby! :shades:
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    You must live where there is ample HD content.

    I went through the AM Stereo phase some time back.

    I am now convinced that Sat Radio (my wife and I both have Sirius in our cars and XM at home) beats FM and for "local" talk and stuff, plain ol AM mono is fine.

    If you ripped out my AM and FM, but not my Sirius, I would probably go for a long time without missing them.

    HD radio seems to be "better fidelity" radio -- but the programming and content limitation continue and the range is hardly universal as it is with Sirius and XM.

    Anyway, like so many other things, you can probably (eventually if not immediately) get an adaptor for your car, but one of two things will happen: it will be way way way too expensive or it will be frequency limited due to circumstances and economic incentives to the producer of the hardware.

    Even the aftermarket Sat Radio is both Frequency Response and Dynamic Range limited (which is pretty much the story for Sat Radio overall, with several exceptions.)

    Try Googling or DogPiling and see what you see.

    Good luck.
  • jabroltajabrolta Posts: 32
    I'm thinking of getting Sat radio, but not sure since I am getting the iPod retrofit in my car this summer. I am going to ask my dealership if they can retrofit the HD radio. I do not want to buy aftermarket parts if I can get it with BMW and have a seamless integration. Thanks for the info.
  • jo2jo2 Posts: 41
    I have a 2006 530i and I recently had the ipod jack put in but was told that the retrofit would not work since my car had navigation. As a result I have a direct jack into the speakers but cannot control the ipod on my steering wheel.

    Also I had Sirius radio put in and love it. However, I have to say that since I have sirius I NEVER use my ipod in the car. I think they cancel each other out, except for times when you absolutely need to listen to something you put on your IPOD.

    Sirius is fantastic... whatever kind of music or talk I'm in the mood for its there. I have not listened to either AM,FM, or the IPOD, since I got the installation.

    That being said it was freaking pricey... around 1100 for both the IPod jack and the Sirius radio, I hear the price is different wherever you go so you might be able to get a better deal at different dealerships. I'm just glad I don't have to deal with any extra antenna's or wires and the signal is crystal clear.

    Hope that helps...
  • jabroltajabrolta Posts: 32
    Thanks for the info. My car has to be serviced next week. I will ask the SA about the iPod retrofit. My car has NAV and it would be pointless if I could not control the iPod via the steering wheel or iDrive. However, I found some information on the BMW web site that shows how the iPod integration works. The car has a NAV system. Check it out (iPod). Maybe your dealership might have provided you wrong information. Nevertheless, I will report back when I talk to my SA next week if the iPod integration is possible for cars that have Nav.
  • monacobmwmonacobmw Posts: 8
    I apologize if this question was addressed in earlier messages. I ordered a 530i without sports package in early April (at the time, I wanted a smoother ride coming from a Mercedes). It is arriving next week.
    I think that the 17" base wheels (5 star) on the 530i are not that attractive.
    Does anyone know where I can go to find some good replacement wheels? I saw a place that had 17 x 8 BMW wheels that looked like the sport package version (I think that the wheels were for an older 3 series), but the 530i is 17 x 7.5. I don't want to have to pay for new tires.
    Does anyone have any ideas here?
    Best regards,
  • low_ball_88low_ball_88 Posts: 171
    I was in the same situation as you. I decided to get the SP because for $2550, it is a pretty good deal since you get the bigger tires and the 20-way seats. As for the ride, it is quite comfortable and was not as rough of a ride as I thought. I think I made a great decision. As for you circumstance, I would try ebay or craigslist and get some used 18's and some will have both tires and rims combination. The BMW's stock 17's are simply undersized for the wheelwells and the size of the vehicle. good luck.
    BTW, mine 07 530 will be here in 6 weeks with SP, PP, Nav, Rear sun shades, park distance control, Auto. Can't wait!
  • jcd14jcd14 Posts: 7
    I'm interested in buying a used BMW 5 series and I am wondering what years and models have been the most reliable? Are there models/years to stay away from? I'm thinking of the 525 2000 year model as a starting point. 2002 and older please.

    Opinions greatly appreciated.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    The 525i and 530i models didn't debut until 2001, in 2000 the only 6-Cylinder model was the 528i (and 1997-1999).

    Having driven each of the six cylinder models (all with a 5-Speed manual), I would personally rank them in order of engine size, the larger the engine, the more desirable. Said another way, each of the three models has the following characteristics:

    530i -- Most powerful engine with decent low end torque. This car has a beefier manual transmission than the 525i, and brakes from the 540i (i.e. larger diameter/more capable).
    528i -- Power and low end torque are not the equal of the 530i but not far from it either. This car has the same manual transmission as the 530i but smaller brakes.
    525i -- To me at least, this car feels rather anemic, enough so that I wouldn't be happy driving this car on a daily basis. Mechanically it has the smaller transmission from the 325i and the smaller brakes of the 528i.

    As far as what you should look for, I'd drive each of the three and determine for yourself what you can live with on a price/performance basis.

    Best Regards,
  • jcd14jcd14 Posts: 7
    Thanks for the input. In your mind an '01 or '02 530 would be your choice?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Yes, unless price and condition was taken into account. If it turned out that I couldn't quite swing a 530i with the options I want and in the condition I require, then I'd back my search down one notch and start looking for a 2000 528i over a 2001 or 2002 525i.

    Best Regards,
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    There are plenty o wheels to choose from.

    There are BMW "exact" replicas -- even down to the center caps.

    I would upsize to 18" were I you and go with a UHP A/S tire if you live where it ever gets cold (below 40F for days on end.) They are OK for light snow too.

    If you don't care about a factory looking wheel your choices are way way way off the scale, limited only by your time and money.

    I would, however, pay the "premium" to have the dealership mount and balance and install the "system" (tires+wheels), this way the dealer will "for free" provide BMW maintenance on them which is part of the 50K program that comes with these cars. (N.B.: the wheel itself will NOT be covered, but the balancing will be -- our dealer also offers an extra cost wheel warranty which, in OHIO, is worth it since we seem to be a magnet for potholes.)

    The BMW replicas (German or Italian made) should specify they are "German" spec wheels which is worth something vs an otherwise good looking wheel that is NOT German spec.

    18" wheels and tires of course can be purchased through the dealer but the price is -- well, OVER priced.

    Google, ASK or DOGPILE the wheels or go to a BMW blog site (perhaps here too) and "ask around."

    My only regret with my current Audi A6 is in NOT getting the sport suspension -- I see that seems to apply to the cars from Munich as well (My wife DID get the sport suspension package on her 2005 X3.) :shades:
  • jcd14jcd14 Posts: 7
    I may look for the 528 or 530 then. Is the brake size the only real difference between the cars? Thanks.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "I may look for the 528 or 530 then. Is the brake size the only real difference between the cars?"

    From a mechanical perspective, I believe the only real significant differences between those two cars is engine size and brake size (although there might also be some slight differences in the base (i.e. non-SP) suspension).

    That having been said, BMW performed a very mild but visually obvious cosmetic "Face Lift" between the 2000 and the 2001 model years that, to my eyes at least, took the E39 from "Nice" to "Wow".

    Best Regards,
  • jcd14jcd14 Posts: 7
    Agreed. Thanks so much for your input.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    My $.02. The 528 (if auto equipped) will seem pretty anemic power wise. Even with the stick (which is THE way to go) both of the 5 series above seem underpowered.

    Come to think of it though, the comparable Merc and Audi models were pretty weak accelerators. The Audi middle child, which was priced a bit below the Bimmer, was a 2.7T (turbocharged) model -- which was quite the spirited performer and if you can find one of them as a 2003 or 2004, it will probably be certified to 100K and it will be very strong in terms of power.

    On the other hand, the BMW is exquisitely balanced and will handle better at the extremes since it will understeer less and later than the other Germans.

    The BMW's seemed to come with stark black interiors frequently, too -- but if you like black, they are hardly cheap interiors, but they lack the "jewel-like" qualities of some other models and brands.

    If you want the Bimmer, you will not be disappointed if you go with the stick shift version (and you may find one that is better equipped and will sell for a lot less money since for some reason sticks are not in favor much here on this side of the Atlantic.) Go with the biggest numbers after the 5 you can find though if you want power and refinement. The engines improved (and did again last year) with each iteration.

  • jcd14jcd14 Posts: 7
    Thanks. Wish I could afford the newest version. It seems in Colorado that most resales are auto, not stick.

    I was considering Audi as well but haven't spent the time researching them yet. What models do you like as a comparison to the Bimmer?

    Thanks much.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    What about the 540i? :)

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