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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    manual transmission. If you need the auto, go with the 325i or 530i.

    Hope this helps...JL
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I agree... a lot of kids (not all, but a LOT), tend to take the lazy way. I personally feel that when you are driving a manual, at least part of the grey matter has to pay attention to what the car is doing.

    With an automatic, I find myself going into auto-pilot and not really paying attention. Having the manual encourages me to pay attention. As a result I enjoy the drive that much more.

    My daughter learned on our Jeep Grand Cherokee (an auto). With this, she had to control her speeds (especially in turns), but she could focus on driving and the rules of the road. She now has her own Jeep Wrangler, which is a manual. She was able to learn it pretty quick because she didn't have to worry so much about the rules of the road, as they've become part of her habit (for the most part :) ).

    She's now learned skills like transmission braking downhill, using the transmission and gearing to affect how she accelerates, and stuff like that. She told me, "You can't really do that with an automatic!" Good girl!

    Despite her music being played too loud, the manual is forcing her to pay attention.

  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Check out in the main menu for Edmunds under Ownership, then scroll down to Safety Tips to the link " Defensive Driving School for Teenagers" which is jam packed with excellent information for a young driver just starting to drive. I would have posted the hyperlink for you but can't do it with this browser. Cheers.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
  • colt007colt007 Posts: 64
    Thanks for that post. Some want to believe since you (& I) have no stick, life is incomplete. Hello??! I guess my Dad wasn't cool enuf to teach me to drive a stick (hell he didn't even teach me to drive, another story), so I don't even know what I'm missing. However, I do know what I have: the best sport sedan (next to the 540 or M5) on the road & when the step is used properly (IMO) the growl of the engine as you whip thru turns & off ramps at twice the speed limit (sport pack) is quite satisfying. I could have got the 540, but alas, wife was having no part of manually shifting, which is a shame since most of our driving is highway. I don't eat or drink or chat on the phone while driving 'cause at the speed I drive, you must pay attention! Sorry about the rant; just tired of the auto-bashing. I do agree that all should learn stick first, then make a decision on what you want.

  • hoopsrefhoopsref Posts: 140
    I agree. Though I have not had to drive a manual transmission in a while, I find the Steptronic in "sport mode" on my 530iA with SP, fun to drive. I may change my mind when I feel the need for an M5! I am going to enjoy the 530 for now..only 200 miles on it for cryin' out
  • hoopsrefhoopsref Posts: 140
    For those of you who don't know, BMW does travel the country doing their "driving schools" like the ones they do in Spartansburg, SC. Check the web site in the events secton for places and dates. The PDE is a FREE 2 hour course with prof. race car drivers. You drive their cars on course and learn about the car, driving, braking, safety... I just did the one in the Boston area and man was it fun. It gave me even more appreciation for what these cars can do as well as a new respect for what a professional driver can do with the dame car I am driving! These guys & gals were great. You can even test drive several cars that part of their brest cancer donation program. BMW gives $1 for mile driven. THese is a great way to check out new models, SMG, Z4's... Sign up weeks in advance if possible, 'cuz they fill up quick. Have fun!
  • This may have been discussed before, but with winter not too far away (at least in Canada), I'm looking for 16" wheels and tires for my 2003 530 with SP. Any suggestions regarding manufacturers and designs? Are certain wheel spoke designs better for snowy winters? What would be the appropriate offset? Best winter tires?

  • gongligongli Posts: 2
    Just bought a BMW 525i, dealer stated the first oil change is due at 15,000 miles. Is that O.K. or should the first oil change be earlier. It can take me 2 years to drive 15,000 miles. Please help.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    Your best bet is to check out the for compatible wheels and tires.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    First, oil should be changed yearly regardless of mileage. So that may answer the question for you.

    People differ on oil change mileage intervals. Some say every 5k with synthetic. Some say every 7.5k. Some say every 15k is fine.

    I would use the 5k or 7.5k interval unless I did a used oil analysis to insure myself that the oil can do the job for 15k in your car.

    Happy Motoring,

  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    I don't put too many miles on my 530 either, and was reluctant to wait (potentially) years for the first oil change. However, synthetic oils do permit the change interval to be stretched considerably from the old "3 months, 3,000 mile" rule of thumb.

    I've always believed the 1st oil change on a new engine should be much sooner than the suggested interval, call if superstition, old wives tale, whatever, I always envision all those newly ground off pieces of metal floating around. So I changed oil the first time at about 3,000 miles, and will now do it less frequently. But it seems to me that at least annually makes sense, even if it doesn't correspond with the recommended mileage interval. This is one of the cheapest forms of preventive maintenance affecting some of the most costly components of you car.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    the legth of your trip and driving habits have a lot to do with your oil's condition. Many short trips (under 3 - 5 miles) will not allow enough time at operating temperature to burn off condensation. So, lots of short trips, few long trips, maybe use a 5k interval. Mixed, mabe a 7.5k interval. Lots of long trips on the highway and 15k is probably doable.

    BTW, if you do a lot of short trips, it's good to take it out for a long run (1 hour) on a regular basis.

  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    I had about 11,000 mi. on my bimmer early in the year and still had two green lights but the car was two years old and hadn't had an oil change. I was advised by BMW in San Francisco to bring the car in for the change and I did, the service manager told me the oil was "clean as a whistle" BUT that I should have it changed yearly at least since I don't put many miles on the car. BTW, I didn't have any out of pocket expenses for this. I'm waiting for the last green light to extinguish to take it in for Maintenance 1, the car is just a blast to drive and I enjoy it more than any other car I've had. Also, at oil change the oil was down 1/2 qt and I had only added about 1/4 qt after a 3600 mi trip to Colorado and New Mexico and back to CA. Cheers.
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Thank you for the links! I will explore the info with my son later today. I also have literature on the BMW driving school in Spartansburg. Thought it might make a great vacation next summer for both of us. (BMW offers a women's and teenage course in addition to others.)
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    As jb_shin suggests, is a good source. I used them to order a set of Dunlop Winter Sport M2 mounted on 16x8 Mille Miglia MM-11, which got my '01 530i SP through a worse than average D.C. winter quite well. The tires also did very well on dry roads.
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    pap5: Please double check to see if you have 16x8 wheels. I was told 16" wheels would not fit on a 2001-2003 530i because of brake caliper size. The 530i uses the bigger 540i calipers & rotors and this would present problems with 16" wheels.

  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    16 inch rims do fit 530 fine, even with the larger brake caliper size. It may depend on the shape of the wheel (the curvature), but I also use standard 530 (from non-sport) wheels as my winter set.
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    There may be clearance problems with some 16" wheels, but the MMs fit just fine on a 530i, including those with SP. You can verify with Tirerack.
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    I agree that the BMW driver training program is great stuff. I took the Advanced course (a full day) back in April. We were given 330's and taught skid control, high speed maneuvers etc. it was excellent.

    Last week I went on the Perfection course which is done in M3's - WOW! This was just a blast and we got the chance to put all of the things that we had been taught to practical use in an autocross competition. These courses are not cheap but they are worth every penny.
  • Thanks to all for your thoughts. A wheel supplier in my area also suggested that 16 inch wheels would not fit the 530 with SP because of the caliper size. My concern with 17 inch wheels is the greater possibilty of damage if one were to hit a pothole (lower profile tires).

    Has anyone used 17" wheels with winter tires and if so, what have been your experience?

    Thanks in advance
  • gongligongli Posts: 2
    With auto climate control on, temperature set at 70F. Even if inside the car is hot, the air condition will not turn itself on (unless I press the AC button). Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

    Please advise.
  • phmphm Posts: 4
    Anybody knows how to clean the dashboard (black color). It looks dirty but I don't know what appliance to use for it. Thanks.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    Your supplier is wrong. My 530i SP has no clearance problem with 16 inch wheels, which were sold by my local BMW AG dealer (Berlin). In fact, the only winter pkg BMW AG offers for 540 and 530 are with 16 inch wheels. The only 17 inch winter wheels are for M3 and M5.

    As suggested before, can show you the list of 16 inch wheels that will fit any 5-series models
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Thanks for that link.
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    You're not doing anything wrong, the a/c needs to be turned on manually. It seemed a bit strange to me at first because on every other car I'd had with climate control, the compressor came on automatically.

    The BMW approach seems pretty intuitive once you get used to it and I prefer it.
  • Hi,

    Enjoying the posts here. Is there any major changes in terms of engine and technologies between 2001 530A model and 2003? I came across an 01 model with PP,SP 30,000miles for $32,000. Any inputs are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • I checked with my local BMW dealer today and yes, last winter they only sold a 16" wheel package wither either alloy or steel wheels for the 530 SP. I believe he said the OEM alloys were the BBS cross spoke design . They ran out of supply early because it seems that more people are buying the the sport packages these days.

  • sergeymsergeym Posts: 267
    I would not get them from a dealer. Too expensive. I've got a set from for about $1,000. They fit perfectly well on my 2002 540 sport. Dealer’s price was something like $2,500.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    One advantage of being in Germany, other than the autobahn, is that the winter wheel/tire pkg was surprisingly inexpensive from the dealer last year. It cost me about $1200 and that was only about $100 more than Tirerack price. Due to the current exchange rate it would be more likely about $1400 now.
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