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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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Comments

  • tbrown12tbrown12 Posts: 18
    I am leaning toward a low mileage 2000 528 sport. A friend then suggested that I look at a 2002 LS8 sport because I could pick one up with lower mileage (10k-15k) and for a lower cost. I have not driven the LS but loved the 528i sport. A 540i is out of range. Looking at 28k or less in price.

    What is your take between those two exact models given they are in my budget? Factor annual maintenance, performance, quality, etc as I plan to keep for awhile- at least to 75k.

    Be honest please.
  • guapingguaping Posts: 6
    srmcgee, I have just waxed my 3-week old 530 using products from www.zainobros.com (there's a discussion in the town hall devoted solely to it). I'd say it's a bit laborious and time consuming (you have to apply several alternating coats), at least for the initial process, but man, you'll be amply rewarded. I think I'm hooked; but then again, that's the anal side of me.
    I also waxed my 5-year old 4Runner using products from www.griotsgarage.com, and it did a great job, too, and less time consuming.
    Hope this helps.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Coming back from a business trip I pulled my 540i6 into a gas station to fill up and get a car wash. When I pulled out of the car wash there was a guy wiping down his M3. Pulled up to him and recognized him as one of the Service Advisors at my local BMW dealer. We chatted briefly about our cars. He loves his '95 M3. He bought it a year ago from a good customer. Had only 22K miles. I was glad to know he loves cars and drives a slightly older BMW. I'd never thought to ask the Service Advisors what they drive. (Afraid they might be paid poorly.)
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    tbrown12... Is the '00 528i Sport an automatic? The LS8 came/comes only in automatic. (The '00-'02 LS6 Sport could be ordered with a 5-speed manual.) I think if you are driving an automatic, both would be enjoyable cars to drive. LS8 slightly roomier inside. Don't forget that the LS8 and Jag S Type share platform. But if you want a manual, 528i more fun to drive.

    You should take both for a thorough test drive. You might also pull out old copies MT, R&T, C&D, etc. to see the old published test reviews and comparison tests.

    Get whichever one meets your needs, fits your budget, and puts the most smiles on your face.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I recommend Maguires Professional #19 (liquid).

    I have used it on my 1995 Maxima and 2002 Honda S2000 with excellent results. I am in DC, but formerly from PA, so I know your winters well.

    Twice a year should be sufficient. However, the Maguires is so easy and relatively quick, I've been known to sneak in a third wax on a Saturday morning in under two hours start to finish, including washing and vacuuming the insides.
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    These are very similar cars on the outside. I have driven a coworkers LS v8 and I don't think the front is as roomy as the 528. I am not sure about the back because I haven't rode in either car in the back seat. I can tell you that everyone who has rode in the back of my car has said it is one of the most comfortable cars because the seats envelop you and hold you in place. I do feel based on my coworkers experience that the LS is not up to the standard of the 5er in terms of fit and finish and reliability. He has had to have his oil pan replaced twice due to leaking among other maintenance things under the hood. He has also had a few recalls but his was the first MY it came out so I am sure Ford has picked up the reliability on the car. One thing I did notice is that they do have very good handling. In my opinion not on par with the 528 but still very good. I personally like the simplicity of the climate control and radio on the 5er rather than the all electronic screen on the LS. To me that is just one more expensive thing that will break later down the road.

    Definitely drive them both, preferably back to back and see what you think.

    Mark
  • ndegroatndegroat Posts: 8
    I too, live in the mountains (and I hate hills!) Ice is always the enemy to me! I was hit on the interstate this winter by another car and it spum me every way except over the bridge (Thank God!)So anyhting alittle more nimble in inclement weather is an investment in teh peace of mind category....It turns out a friend of mine can't take her drive today so, I will be able to drive the Z4 as well. Even though a convertible is not in my purchasing horizon, it will be fun!
    BTW, Decision Fairy, I go to the bank today for my loan on the 528i. Yeah!
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    I can't say from experience because I haven't purchase them, but there are several members on this board who swear by winter tires. It only makes sense that a winter tire would be able to go, stop and handle better in the snow than an all season tire and definitely better than a performance tire. That being said, I think there are some really good all season performance tires. I was happy this past winter with my Dunlop Sport A2's but I think I will be purchasing some Continental ContiExtreme's to replace them. They got a better rating in every category on Tirerack.com. And congrats on the 528i, it is not only the best car I have ever owned, it is the best car I have ever driven and I use to be a valet at a ritzy restaraunt in the early 90's. Well, Ok, maybe not the best car I have ever driven. I really liked the Acura NSX and the Nissan 300ZX twin turbo.

    Mark
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Just stay away from this if performance is on the short list. The clutch is horrible, I don't care if you are coming from a Prelude or an F350. With an automatic? I have operated better performing lawn equipment.
    A buddy has a 330xi with a stick....reasonable..that clutch though? BMW folks are brainwashed. The thing offers zero feedback & catches about 2 inches from the end of the pedal travel. Not my idea of ultimate driving.
  • srmcgeesrmcgee Posts: 2
    Folks:

    I posted a question a couple of days ago regarding car wax/polish recommendations for my 4 month old silver 2003 530i and, when I picked up the wax at the local auto parts emporium (thanks, by the way, for the advice!) I saw that they had orbital buffers for about $40.

    As previously noted, I'm not a car freak. But this new car is a big investment and I'd like to keep it looking nice. I figure if waxing it is really easy, I'll wax it more often. So here's the question: are orbital buffers (especially the $40 variety) safe to use on my car? Will it make the process faster and easier? Or am I just thinking about accumulating junk (in which case counseling may be in order).

    Your advice is appreciated.

    Regards,
    Scott
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    I have never used it, and only have secondhand story. However, it seems most "affordable" buffers can cause more damage than it does good. Another forum I sometimes read has many users using Porter Cable Orbital Buffer, which supposedly CANNOT burn your paint even if you tried. The only down side is the price, at around $200.

    Personally, the wax/polish I use take no effort at all, so I just didn't bother getting one.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    w/ jb_shin.

    I've heard one or two horror stories about permanant swirl marks, etc. when used improperly. Probably "urban legends", but I'm not taking chances.

    With Maguires #19, my arm works just fine and I can at least feel like I got a little exercise in the process.
  • a10drivera10driver Posts: 8
    The military is shipping me off for at least 5 months. That means my car (2002 525) will be parked at home unused for that time. What do you guys recommend? I have already worked with the dealer to get the oil changed early. Should I arrange to have it driven and started or will it be fine?

    Regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Hmmm, in the GA community, we "Pickle" engines when they are not going to be used for a while. I seriously doubt that there are Pickling kits for a BMW I6 though. I wonder if the desiccant plugs that replace the spark plugs from an old Contenintal boxer 6 will fit our engines. Not too likely.

    I think if I were in your shoes, I would be inclined to have someone drive it at least 10 miles every other week. That way you can be assured that all of the internal components are washed with oil that is above 212, and that any condensation water has been evaporated out of your engine.

    Back to the GA community for a moment. One of the interesting tidbits of information that the GA folks discovered about synthetic oil is that due to its greater stability under high heat, it does not cause varnish to collect on many non-contact surfaces inside your engine. So this is a bad thing? Actually, yes. For an engine that sees many periods of inactivity, such as your typical Cessna engine, said varnish actually protects against corrosion during those periods of inactivity.

    Another tidbit from the GA community; synthetic oil runs off the internal engine components and back into the sump faster than conventional Dino juice. Unfortunately, oil sitting in the sump ain't doin' nothin' to protect the critical components of the engine. This is why the bulk of GA engines are still running with Dino juice, and the rest run with a Synth mix.

    Back to your car. It has a factory fill (and subsequent dealer fills) of synthetic oil. As such, your engine will be more susceptible to the effects of condensation from the daily cooling/heating cycles. Hence my suggestion for you to arrange for your car to be driven at least bi-weekly.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    forget the buffer if you never used one. If keeping your freshly leased bucket of bolts all shined up is a priority, spend a few bucks, support the economy and give it to the pros for a few hours.
    Btw...for those wax on wax off ham and eggers, try Zymol, stuff works great. Stick to the directions though.
  • jay108jay108 Posts: 52
    An entertaining writer, never boorish or long winded. Usually has good advise on BMWs.
  • polo2928bpolo2928b Posts: 21
    My 00 528 has about 48000, and the AC works but it increases blowing speed without any reason, and it is not in auto, nor is there any reason, but it goes up and down in blowing speed without explanation, any one had a problem like this?
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    If your fuel tank is not going be cycled through for 2-3 month, I'd put in a bottle of fuel stabilizer with a full tank.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    if you are going to leave an engine sit for a period of time, warming it up completely by driving the car for 30 minutes/30 miles will drive most of the moisture out of the oil/crankcase. Then when you park it, it should stay dry. In winter, a longer drive would be better.
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    How would condensation not get into the engine if you drive it once for 30 min or 30 miles and then let it sit for 5 months. Isn't the condensation created when the engine cools? Wouldn't the actual change in temperature of the engine be the root cause of the condensation? I am just asking these questions out of curiosity. I have no known knowledge of these things. I am basing it on the minimal bit of science that I do know.

    Mark
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "Then when you park it, it should stay dry."

    Not true. In almost every 24 hour cycle, the ambient air temperature and pressure changes, and as such, there are minute amounts of air moving in and out of all non-operating engines. The worst-case scenario is during the summer time when warm moist air enters the engine during the daytime, then during the night as the temperature drops, and the engine cools, small amounts of condensation collect on the inner surfaces of the engine.

    Corrosion caused by daily heating/cooling condensation cycles is a very well known and well-documented phenomenon, and the folks who own/operate small aircraft with reciprocating engines are well aware of it. The reason that aircraft are more susceptible to internal corrosion is that they are not (as a rule) used frequently like an automobile. As such, their engines suffer from this problem FAR more frequently than the engines in our Daily Drivers.

    The following is a quote from some documentation I have regarding Exxon Elite Aviation Lubricants, and can also be read in the PDF at the following link:

    http://www.exxonelite.com/exxon_lubes/elite/pdfs/rust.pdf

    "When your aircraft sits on the ramp or in the hangar, the engine heats up during the day and cools down at night. The cooling process condenses water vapor in the engine, forming moisture, which drains into the oil. This moisture can, of course, lead to rust on engine components"

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    If you run the car on a short trip just before parking it for the next few months, then you will have some moisture in the oil. If in fact, you have been using the car for some period of time on short trips, there will be moisture in the oil. Running the engine for a while (an hour is better) will get the oil up to operating temperature (probably near 200 F) and the water will boil off when the oil runs through the hotter engine parts. And your positive crankcase ventilation system will draw this moisture off. So when you park the car, with the engine hot, it should be fairly dry inside.

    I further assumed that you would park it inside where the temperature would not vary a lot. But, if your parking this car for 5 months, I would suggest an oil change first, then get it hot before parking it.

    My point was that you should not start it up for 5 minutes (with a cold engine) and move it to the long term parking place and then just leave it there. Warm it up good first.

    One good thing is that gasoline is mostly lead free now.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 113,421
    How come none of you good samaritans has offered to drive his car for him, while he is gone? I'm truly disappointed...LOL

    regards,
    kyfdx

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    If I remember correctly, I suggested that Mr. WartHog Driver get somebody lined up to drive his car at least 10 miles every other week or so. Needless to say, I of course would be more than happy to help out. ;-) A 10-mile drive should be more than enough to bring the oil temperature up to about 180 or so (pan/sump temp.), which is the threshold where water will vaporize while passing through the (much hotter) engine.

    As a side note, while it has been a while since I turned a wrench, my bet is that most cars these days will have average maximum oil temperatures of about 190, and only in heavy traffic with the A/C on at that.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "So when you park the car, with the engine hot, it should be fairly dry inside."

    Ummm, at the risk of repeating myself, not true. Internal combustion engines are in the business of making water. There is no way around it, water is a by-product of said combustion, and as such, water vapor is everywhere inside an engine (even very hot ones) when it is shut down. It is true that a hot engine will have LESS water in it (as the vast majority of the water in the oil will have already been vaporized), but the fact remains, as the engine cools, water will condense on the internal components, and eventually, coupled with the daily accumulation of even more water, cause rust.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    Most of that water you are making in inside the cylinders and goes out the exhaust. There is some blowby of course, and this is where water in the crankcase come from. This water forms acids in your oil and this acid is a source of water for condensation on various engine parts when they cool. I will have to inspect the inside of my oil cap tomorrow morning after the engine cools overnight.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 113,421
    My wife's lease is almost up.. She could drive that car at least 50 miles per day. That should solve any condensation problems.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Yes, BMWs can be expensive to own, especially if you run to the dealer for every hiccup. OTOH, if you find a good independent BMW specialist who offers a BMW Car Club discount you'll find that upkeep costs aren't bad at all. For example, on my 528iA the Inspection I(minor service) costs me @$150. I paid $450 for the major(Inspection II)- and that included the use of Mobil 1, new front pads, a tie rod, and a four wheel alignment. I bought an oil extractor and perform the oil changes myself. With a BMW filter and seven quarts of Mobil 1 the cost is under $35.

    As for the LS, it is a nice car; certainly the best handling domestic sedan ever. The 2003s have a badly needed interior upgrade as well as engines that-finally-make decent hp numbers. The LS is a tremendous bargain as well, largely due to the fact that Lincoln can't figure out how to market the car properly(most Lincoln dealers prefer dealing with the one foot in the grave AARP crowd and can't be bothered with car enthusiasts who still have their own teeth).
     
    That said, you'll find that 99% of the world wide automotive press considers the 5er to be one of, if not THE best sedan in the world. It's not just hype, it's a fact. Another advantage of BMW ownership is the huge(over 72500 members) national club; see: www.bmwcca.org .

    My advice would be to take an extended drive in each car and buy the one YOU like best. There are few really horrible automotive choices any more(GM and KIA products excepted).
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    Where did you get it and how do you like it? I usually crawl under the car, but now with a 530i and an X5 to maintain, and the oil filter up top, the Oil extractor looks interesting.

    Jack
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I got my oil extractor here: http://www.griotsgarage.com/catalog.jsp?&SKU=10122 It cost @$65. You can get it for $15 less at places like overtons.com . Mine works great; no complaints. I still drain my Pathfinder and Wrangler the "old fashioned" way since I can access their drain plugs without raising the car-that's not possible with the BMWs. In my experience the extractor gets 99% of the oil out of the sump. FWIW, BMW uses the same process at their VPCs and Mercedes is doing the same at their dealers. In fact, I've been told that OEM Benz filters no longer come with a drain plug gasket.
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