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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • Go see the guys at "Buckhead motor works" on Roswell road just north of 285. They're honest, polite, professional,have good prices (I got a L2 inspection/oil change, new rear brakes, and the front tires balanced for around $700) and they
    do the job right. They came highly recommended and so far have earned those recommendations.

    The dealers are just ridiculously expensive. They're also very busy(I couldn't get in the parking lot at one dealer's repair shop) which means they have little incentive to price-cut. you're also probably talking to someone who isn't a mechanic at a dealership. The guy at "BMW" knows what you're talking about when you have a problem.

    Unfortunately, your big mistake was buying from any dealer at all. You have to pay thousands in sales tax(think how many repairs you can do with the $2-3 thousand you pay in tax), and their "inspections" are never worth much. It's just a selling tool unless they include a warranty with it. Next time, find a BMW that was "babied" from an original owner, with clear title, all service records/stamps, etc. You can also have your dealer punch in the vin and tell you what HAS gone wrong with the vehicle in the past(if it was fixed under warranty there) There are also a few used BMW's with transferable after market warranties available from private sellers who purchased them. Ours is with Western Diversified and they have paid two small claims with no hassles whatsoever (slightly oozing valve cover gasket that I only fixed because of the warranty, and one rear window malfunctioned (broken clip))
  • cb44cb44 Posts: 87

    I find the sports seats a nice compromise between comfort and support. They are much more comfortable than my previous M3 yet still maintain the firmness needed for spirited driving. Lumbar support is indeed lackluster.

    I have not had similar problems with my a/c, but do not find the auto operation as smooth as a Lexus or Acura.

    The cupholders are hated by all.

    The 4.4L V8 is widely regarded as one of the best and far from underpowered. Aftermarket items can boost HP and there is always the M5....
  • Whiffus,

    I can honestly say that that is the first time i have ever heard anyone say the 540 was underpowered! PLEASE!! What are looking for? Rocket engine?? Just exactly how fast do YOU NEED to go 0-60?? Guess you need to get one of these new 400-500+ Hp cars coming out.

    Seats, I too do not care for the sports seats simply because of my size. I chose the standard seats with lumbar on my 530.

    A/C - no comment until I receive my 530 I guess.

    Cup holders - Everyone complains about them. Like they say, I guess thats why Germans don't worry about cup holders on the autobahn.
  • I want to buy a 540i with sport suspension and the shadow trim but I don't want the sport seats and rear axle mod which results in the lower milage and gas guzzler tax. What aftermarket mods can one do to get the sport suspension.
  • Ckendall,

    I have no idea about after market items as you mention. But you may find some help at the (5 series (E39)) web site. There are often similar type questions there. This Edmund’s board has been very quiet lately.
  • ok, i quess that was a little harsh, attribute it to first-post exuberance. the engine is not underpowered per se, what i meant is that for an engine of that size it is slightly underpowered in the sense that it generates 282HP for 4.4liters, which is conservative. many engines are in the 100HP/liter range. also its got great speed/pull from 0-infinity, but from 70 to 100, it's less than you'd think. i understand the chips and airflow mods provide only another 10-15hp.

    what do people recommend for snows??
  • lsflsf Posts: 98
    Shouldn't you be sailing! The question you should also ask is whether or not you should get different wheels to go with your new snows. How well are your tires holding up after 7 months?
  • es32es32 Posts: 2
    I always was told that japanese cars had the highest resale value. When I looked at KBB, what I saw was (I used 2000 prices for "new" and 1997 trade-in prices in excellent condition for "used" and wasn't very careful about options)

    Q45 new 49240 used 23060 resale 47%
    528 new 39470 used 27925 resale 71%
    740 new 62970 used 34725 resale 55%
    LS400 new 54500 used 30225 resale 55%
    A6 new 34475 used 16280 resale 47%
    Contl new 39800 used 15275 resale 38%
    E320 new 47745 used 32600 resale 68%
    STS new 49745 used 23050 resale 46%

    Do these numbers seem right?

    Why is Lexus so bad? Your extra $15000 turned into $2000.

    Why buy a used 528 when they cost so much?
  • I think your numbers say it all. Why do YOU think the 528 has such a high resale value? It would not have such a high resale if the quality and reliability did not support it.
  • jls21jls21 Posts: 40
    I am beginning to research the purchase of a 97, 98 or 99 528ia. My research so far is that I have actually driven a '97 which is owned by a friend and really loved it. Any advice will be appreciated as to problems known of with any particular model year, or features available in any particular model year which are worthwhile. Thanks for any input you may have in pointing me in the right direction.
  • jls21,

    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!
  • jls21,
    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.
  • 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 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 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • also: it has 28,000 miles. i'm buying from a dealer. getting the 2 yrs / 50,000 mi. extra warranty.
  • killer3killer3 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!
  • 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 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 Posts: 41
    Yes, try series 5(E39) very active board.

    LOTS of INFO AND Opinions
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    i belive web site quotes 0-60 in about 8 ticks
  • jls21jls21 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 Posts: 246
    I know this is a maintenance question, but it's impossible for me to find the right area to post it

    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 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 Posts: 87

    Congrats on the car!

    Drive for a while and give us an update (if you ever stop).
  • 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 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.

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