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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • hoehnjchoehnjc Member Posts: 41

    I am not very familiar with the 97 model but here is a starting point for its reliability etc. that you may want to view.


    Good luck!
  • fronobulaxfronobulax Member Posts: 23
    Reliability of 98s has been better than 97s, which was first model year. I think its the usual culprits for German luxury cars--electrical and hardware. But you should check consumer reports for specifics.

    Good luck. Tons of 528s out there for sale, and a lot cheaper than new.
  • mgdavismgdavis Member Posts: 5
    It all boils down to engine stress and lifespan. When one wrings out 100HP/L, the stresses on the engine are far greater, and the HP peak is usually at stratospheric RPM to boot. A larger-displacement engine turning the same horespower (i.e. lower HP/L) will, generally, have a longer life.

    I have, however, always thought that the 282 number is a bit understated. In stock form the 540i/6 has been clocked at 5.7 seconds to 60mph, by C/D or Automobile I think. 282 HP seems a bit low for that low a time in that heavy a vehicle. HP/weight ratio is around 13.5lb to one HP (incl driver and minimal gas), which feels way too high to move that quick.

    Just $.02 more to toss into the pot.

    97 540iA
  • killer3killer3 Member Posts: 13
    A question for all the 528 owners out there:
    Do you find that your car seems to attract both large and small dents? MY new '00 528i seems to be getting more than its fair share...beginning with a doe running into my side the second week I had the car, to soon thereafter a little ding in the middle of the hood, to now a pair of dings in the side of the car. All my previous cars never had issues like this...either major damage or none at all, and surprisingly the best car I have had with respect to this was my '91 Taurus, on more than one occaision it was rammed, poked, and prodded without damage.

    Has anyone tried 'Dent Wizard' to fix their dings? two of my three current dings should be good candidates.

    It seems to me that the outer-skin of this car is a little thin, probably to help crinkle correctly in major crashes, but somewhat annoying in the parking lot.

    Thanks for any posts.
  • jccsscjccssc Member Posts: 44
    I am not sure how big your ding/dent is. But my experience with my new 00' 528i (just 1 1/2 month old) is it just HAPPENS - no matter how careful you are. My last car - 96' Acura RL got a ding when it was 1 week old.
    Well, my 528i got its first ding at 2 weeks, no paint damage and just about a dime's size, "Dent Wizzard" came to my office to fix it - they did a GREAT job; after they are done, I cannot find a trace of the ding on my driver's door!! (see my post in "Ding Prevention). Now just this morning when I was cruising on the freeway (in Los Angeles), some small rock hit my windshield and cracked it - it was not big - just the size of a small mosquito. At first I thought it was a bug committing suicide, but when I parked the car and checked it - there it is, a fresh crack!! Funny it is shaped like a mosquito too, about the size of a dime. I am trying to call a windshield "fixer' to see if they can fix it - at least fill up the hole, and keep the crack non-noticable.
    Well, i guess that's part of life having to drive the new car around. : (
  • dl7265dl7265 Member Posts: 1,381
    funny thing every new car ive had in the last few years has broken or cracked with the smallest of rocks or pebbles, i can't say i ever had this problem before. and if anything roads have improved, i never remember getting broken windshields on older cars even driven or gravel roads, what gives ?
  • hoehnjchoehnjc Member Posts: 41
    The dealer finally confirmed that my 530 produced 9/19 IS on a boat scheduled to arrive NJ/NY 10/6 and SHOULD arrive home 10/11. It was never printed on the BMW status sheet.

    I am installing a protective coating (Xpel) on the vehicle to minimize the chips etc on the hood and bumpers. That should be arriving any day also.
  • hukkfinnhukkfinn Member Posts: 3
    am considering buying a '97 528i.

    dealer: $37,000

    blue book: $36,000

    edmunds: $29,000

    any comments on what kind of price i should seek? the thing is fully, completely loaded except it's a stick.
  • hukkfinnhukkfinn Member Posts: 3
    also: it has 28,000 miles. i'm buying from a dealer. getting the 2 yrs / 50,000 mi. extra warranty.
  • killer3killer3 Member Posts: 13
    Prices always rest on supply and demand, in the northeast (Boston) there seems to be lots of used 528i in the '97-98 vintage, and $37,000 is more than they are advertising. Also look at build date, the '97 year actually started earlier in '96 than usual (as I understand it there was no '96 5 series). If this car came off lease the residual on it was probably around $30,000, so BMW financial/dealer has some wiggle room. The peace of mind of the BMW extra warranty is worth something, which you should add to the Edmunds price, I might try offering the dealer $33,000 and see where you get. Also, if you are not putting lots of miles on your car you may be better off leasing a new one, the leasing on these cars tends to be very competitive. Good Luck!
  • hukkfinnhukkfinn Member Posts: 3
    thanks for your response, killer3.

    it's hard to price-compare when BLUE BOOK gives $36,000 and EDMUNDS gives $29,000 for the same car.

    Any thoughts? of COURSE the dealer is using kelly blue book.
  • hoehnjchoehnjc Member Posts: 41

    I am not sure if the 01' in dash will fit the 528 or not. I think a lot of people are asking the same question now. I do know that the changer you refer to from Pacific BMW is very easy to install. Probably take 30 minutes tops. The car is pre-wired in the trunk for that specific unit. Installation instructions are included with the installation kit you purchase with it.
  • hoehnjchoehnjc Member Posts: 41
    Yes, try www.bimmer.org series 5(E39) very active board. http://www.bimmer.org/5series/messages/

    LOTS of INFO AND Opinions
  • dl7265dl7265 Member Posts: 1,381
    i belive BMWUSA.com web site quotes 0-60 in about 8 ticks
  • jls21jls21 Member Posts: 40
    Has anyone priced out a monthly lease payment on a new 525iA or 530iA? I am contemplating purchasing a used 528iA (1997-1999), but would consider leasing a new one. Any input is appreciated.
  • brucec35brucec35 Member Posts: 246
    I know this is a maintenance question, but it's impossible for me to find the right area to post it there...so....

    I have a '97 540i whose check engine light came on during a fairly hard acceleration to pass someone. My mechanic said it was a thermostat problem and repaired it/reset the light. A couple days later, it came on again during hard acceleration by my wife passing someone. What problem is this generally? Catalytic converter? Throttle position sensor? EGR valve? Bad MAF sensor?
    We're sending it back to the mechanic, but I'm concerned that they should be able to get a code or something on this, not hunt and peck changing parts. Any ideas?
  • hoehnjchoehnjc Member Posts: 41
    I FINALLY have it!! Picked it up at 6:00. It didn't fall into the river after all. Drove it home on the back roads. Not taking it on the highway until I install protective coating tomorrow a.m. Will post pics as soon as I figure how to post them on the board

    01 530IA
    White/Gray, Heated steering wheel, cold weather package, lumbar, xenon, in-dash CD, split rear seat, Electric sunshade (too cool), PDC (Does have on/off switch), convenience pckge, premium pckge,
  • cb44cb44 Member Posts: 87

    Congrats on the car!

    Drive for a while and give us an update (if you ever stop).
  • mgdavismgdavis Member Posts: 5
    Re: seems that more recent cars get the w/s chips.

    I think it has to do with the lower Cd of newer cars. My last vehicle, a Dodge Ram with a monster grilleguard had a HORRIBLE coefficient of drag. Never saw a chip except the one time I was too close behind a gravel truck that hit a pothole. Gravel sprayed everywhere. My 540 is a LOT slipperier through the ait, and I notice that the airstream does virtually nothing to small pebbles, etc.

    Just a theory.

  • hoehnjchoehnjc Member Posts: 41

    First do you mean buy or lease?? If you buy, you may not find the 528 that you exactly want. If you lease, you will most likely trade in when lease expires. BIG difference. Personally, I just bought a 530 and would suggest that you consider shopping around for a dealer who is discounting the 530's. There are some who might make it in your price range if you are consdiering a discounted 528 now. Something to think about.

  • java513java513 Member Posts: 1

    Thanks for your response. I am interested in buying one because of the high miles that I drive each year and a lease would not be practical.
  • docwalldocwall Member Posts: 1
    I'm going to buy a 2001 sport wagon with a nav. package. What's the best (cheapest!) way to go about it?
  • steve233steve233 Member Posts: 2
    does anyone have any experience with the software/power chip upgrades for a 97' 528? the dealer here is quoting me $790 for a 10 h.p. upgrade and better acceleration/transmission performance. sounds o.k. but don't know if its really worth it although the service guy says you really can tell the difference at > than 3K rpm.
  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    Check out: www.turnermotorsport.com/catalog/catalog_injector.htm This is the hot ticket for OBD II BMWs.
  • steve233steve233 Member Posts: 2
    got into the bavarian autosport website and the tms to look at their upgrades. both look real good although since i have a automatic there are some limitations as to what i can do. pricing is a lot better than the dealer. thanks again
  • srayersrayer Member Posts: 11
    I have a '97 528i 5spd, and other than this
    strange door lock problem I have had absolutely
    no problems what so ever in this car with 45k
    miles on it. Here's what's happening:

    When locking the doors by pushing the lock
    button inside sometimes the passenger side door
    lock (ie the one next to driver) does not go
    down. If I unlock and re-lock the doors it
    finally will. It's like the lock is stuck
    in unlock position even though the rest of the
    door locks go down. Has anyone seen a similar

    Other than that I love my car! I had the chance
    to get the car European delivered and picked it
    up July '97 in Munich. It was one of the
    greatest experiences of my life to drive my car
    on the Autobahn. Best experience was on the
    A8 from Munich to Salzburg Austria. I hope you
    get to experience this great drive someday
  • lerxst2lerxst2 Member Posts: 1
    I apologize if asked before, but are there plans for all wheel drive for the 5? I could see it competing too much with the X5, but we've got one SUV/SAV in the family and the better half would rather our next purchase be a sedan. We're in NJ, how does the 5 handle in the snow and ice? My father-in-law has the 740i and complains every winter, but loves the car too much to go to anything else.

    Thanks in advance.
  • dl7265dl7265 Member Posts: 1,381
    While getting my car serviced today i wondered over and looked at a 525i in the showroom,i didnt realize they were available yet. the salesman says yea nothing has changed except the power is up from 170hp to 184 hp. and the price is lower,,

    yea whatever , there was no 523i, it was 528i with 193hp , BMW please stop the agony with these uneducated salesman it really is embarssing, i could understand a Yugo salesman not knowing his product but a product like BMW ?

    folks please feel free to rant about your favorite salesman misleading quotes.....
  • matt00matt00 Member Posts: 32
    Hello everyone,
    I am new to this section and would like to hear some feedback about the NEW BMW 5281A. I
    have previously owned 2 Infiniti Q45's and they have been extremely satisfying! The quality and
    reliability have been outstanding. I am currently looking to purchase a BMW 528iA, but would
    like to know if there are any problems I should be aware of, or what others who own the car
    have to say about it! Any info would be greatly appreciate. My only concern is reliability. I hate
    to say it, but think Japanese quality is better then the U.S and maybe Germany as well! What are
    some of the problems or attributes that the 5 series has.
    Thank you,

    P.S How much can I expect to take off M.S.R.P
  • joshgrondiejoshgrondie Member Posts: 1
    I would like to purchase a 2001 5 wagon but would like to get a few educated opinions. One, exactly how taxing is the 5 series transmission? I spend a lot of time on the road in and out of traffic. I've always owned manual transmissions and love the control but I don't know what a 6speed would be like over the long haul. Two, how does the 540 engine stack up against the 525 and 530s? I am willing to pay the extra juice if the ride is that more thrilling. The catch is that the 540 wagons ARE NOT offered with stick! If stick is easy enough to deal with and the 525 is zippy enough then I'm game. However, I hate gridlock and would love dusting cruisers too. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Help! - Josh
    Ps: Does anybody love/hate the navigation system?
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #159:

    Josh, BMW automatics are made by GM. Transmissions are one of the few components GM has been doing right for years. That said, the 540 puts a lot of torque through the transmission. I don't have one but I can say I haven't read much about issues about the auto tranny in the 540 either. It could be that the tranny is very well matched and stable or there may not be many owners of 540s with automatics on this board (which would be my guess). Owners, what say ye?


  • teedoff1teedoff1 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone any information on probelms with the manual transmission on the 5401. I lease a 99 with just 14,000 miles on the clock and it has been serious trouble. Right from the start the car kept jumping out of gear, particularly third at lower revs. I complained to dealer, who fobbed me off with no action. A year later they finally agreed to change the gearbox. Just a month later the clutch (and flywheel) burned out. This is not under warranty and they want to bill me more than $2,000. It's all my fault for riding the clutch, they say, even though the BMW I returned 18 mths ago after a two year lease had no problems and in 24 years of stick-driving I've never burned a clutch, even at 60,000. The previous transmission problem is "unrelated" they claim. The dealer stinks. I've got a lawyer, rental car and preparing for a long haul. Anyone with similar probs?
  • razteorazteo Member Posts: 38
    I'm ready to purchase a 98 528, and I will like to know if the auto transmion has 4 or 5 speed.
    I lookk all over, no info. Please, if somebody know, I really apreciatte.
  • kmyeekmyee Member Posts: 4
    $1200 is pretty good for a discount. I didn't get a break since most 530's dont stay on the lot very long where i live (Northern California). I paid MSRP for sport-premium, xenon, rear sunshade, convenience , CD, but i got them to throw in a CD changer at cost. Sometimes AAA members can get about $500 off MSRP.
  • razteorazteo Member Posts: 38
    I'm shopping around to buy a '98 528. I have two questions for you, guys, looks like you know about this car.
    1) Wich do you think is the right price for an '98 528 auto, certified, under 20.000 miles?(now is fall 2000)
    2) I can't find out if '98 528 auto has automatic 4 speed or 5 speed transmition. Dealer has no ideea(!), and Mercedes Benz introduced automatic 5 speed transmision on E series from 1997, Audi on A6 from 1995. Also, can find same think on Acura 3.2, and japanese stuff like this(luxuries). I don't know where to look for this.
    Please, if any have a ideea, is welcome. Thank you, Razteo in South California.
  • mhf1mhf1 Member Posts: 1
    Have an opportunity to purchase a 00" 540I auto with sport package. Only other option is heated seats. Car has 3400 mi and perfect condition. Is $48000 a good deal?
  • marble2marble2 Member Posts: 2
    what kind of lease payments are you guys seeing on 530. please include w/ which option and monthly payment. i was quoted $839 mo inc. tax
    w/ 4000 total drive off. 36 mo/12k yr. the car was $47795. I think i should beable to find a lower payment.
  • coolmatt44coolmatt44 Member Posts: 54
    I think you can go much lower. A typical 540 payment is around $899. My 528 (same base price as 530) msrp was 47 as well and I got it for $598 a month. Yes it was a 98 but recently when i was thinking of replaceing with a 530 i was quoted $650. One trick of getting the price down would be to mention to who ever you were with (not the salesman) at the dealeriship, " You know the e320 was really nice, and it had really good lease deals." Salesman most likley wont even touch on that but he will be temted to lower his price.
  • force98force98 Member Posts: 81
    My first BMW was a '97 528i, which proved to be a reliability nightmare. It went back for warranty service 18 times in the first 12 months of ownership. Items included warped console wood, check engine light/very rough idle, moon roof failed, stereo system failed twice, memory seat system failed, alarm system going off while parked in my garage, etc. I would like to add the dealership was outstanding when it came to servicing the car, and always had a loaner car warmed up and ready for me. I was very sour on BMW until BMW USA offered to give me a brand new car, no questions asked (no, did not meet lemon law rules). The dealership ordered me a brand new car, and it even came with some additional options not on the former car. When the car arrived it was just a matter of swapping keys--just like getting a free car to drive for a year! Needless to say I became a BMW fan after that (can't see Ford or Chevy doing that). The new 528i proved to be problem-free for 13 months until it was traded for a new '99 740iL. And I'm happy to say the new 7-series has had only two minor problems in 18 months of ownership. One of these problems was the driver seat leather wearing prematurely (car only had 9,000 miles on it). The dealership had the seat removed and reupholstered, FREE OF CHARGE. What more can one say--will get another Bimmer when the lease on the 740iL expires.
  • force98force98 Member Posts: 81
    My '97 528i also had creaking windows that drove me nuts. When I complained to the dealer, they located a service bulletin on the problem. To correct it, they replaced (under warranty) the window/door molding. This cured the problem.
  • agarya2agarya2 Member Posts: 1
    That's great....hope my experience is equally satisfying.
  • jccsscjccssc Member Posts: 44
    I have had my 00'528iA for almost 2 months and just logged 2350 miles. I am extremely happy with the car (it is my first BMW). One thing I noticed just couple of days ago - when I am cruising around 80mph on the freeway (yes - 80mph, without any effort to get there either) I heard a high pitch "woo" sound coming from somewhere. When I ease the gas pedal OR press on it, the "woo" noise goes away immediately. It only happens at that "particular" 80mph cruising speed (i.e. not really pressing hard on the gas). Since I don't usually get to drive 80mph on So Cal freeway all the time, that noise won't come up as often. But it kindof bothers me if something's wrong. Does anybody have similar experience?

  • jccsscjccssc Member Posts: 44
    Gary - thanks for checking that up for me - tried to post earlier but Town Hall was closed for updates : (

    I guess I'd better take my 00' 528iA to the shop and have them check it out. What I am afraid of is they might not be able to duplicate the same noise as I did - service people need to take the car up to 80mph to verify this! I still noticed the hi-pitch noise when cruising at 80mph yesterday. Even though I probably do 80mph only 10% time of hiway driving-but shouldn't this car be doing 100+mph without any problem? : )

    Jules - congrats on your 530i!! and thanks for looking at the noise for me. It bothers me that a car with potential of going up to 100+mph without a hitch should produce such noise. (my 00'528iA has sports-premium pkg)!! That's what the sports suspensions and 17" wheel for, right?!!

  • jccsscjccssc Member Posts: 44
    can't agree more.......my wife and I have to "discuss" who's driving the bimmer to work every day!! I was driving Japanese and American cars since the day I got my license. After this car, I doubt I would drive anything else... : )
    I was considering Lexus GS300 / MB E320 before I pulled the trigger for this bimmer. I am glad I made the right choice...
  • bocabobbibocabobbi Member Posts: 1
    This is in response to #190 gregr5 - I just got a new 525iA about 10 days ago. I am very happy with it. I was concerned that it wouldn't have enough power, but I am happy to report that it is just great. I use it to go to work (in traffic)and around town. I never race and am only concerned with enough power to get on and off highways, and in passing. I did want the 530 but couldn't justify spending the extra $3500 - $4000. I'm glad I saved the money. I don't think I'm missing anything for the way I drive.
  • agaryaagarya Member Posts: 3
    Does anyone have a source that describes the difference you get with the sport suspension? I'm trying to find out how it differs from the standard setup.

  • gregr5gregr5 Member Posts: 1
    Thank you for your response.

  • kmyeekmyee Member Posts: 4
    Had my 530i up to 95 on short spurts...solid as can be, no shakes, noises whatsoever...

    In regards to the 525...I drove both the automatic and manual. I was quite impressed with both...the 525 has plenty of power for freeway passing...IMHO the 525 represent a real bargain for a midsize entry level luxury car...the three dealers that I went to all say the 525 would take away some of the 3 series business (for a little bit more money one could easily "upgrade" into a 5 series instead of a 3 series
  • dennis77dennis77 Member Posts: 1
    I am receiving my 530 manual next week and can't wait! I have a 98 3 series with a cd changer that the dealer has told me cannot be transferred due to differences. I have my reservations about this. Does anyone have any information regarding this? Also are there any other cd changers on the market that would be compatible.
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