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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,296
    And all this complaining about "learning new gadgets" reminds me of my grandparents' first attempt to figure out the remote control for their satellite TV receiver.

    Just for the record, I have no hesitation in tearing into my PCs to swap memory sticks/video cards/power supplies/etc. I've also installed more than a few home theaters, including a 7.1 setup for myself as well as my BIL(and as for flawed interfaces, most any HTR menu system wins hands down). And back in the early 90's I was opening Motronic boxes to swap Dinam and Conforti EPROMS. I was also one of the first CCA members in my region to purchase a Peake Research code reader. So I don't think that I can be considered a technophobe.
    You see, my issue isn't new technology- it's whether the new technology is an improvement. The initial implementation of iDrive is a good example- it was a very flawed interface that was neither simple nor intuitive to operate. On the other hand, Comfort Access is an excellent example of new technology which simplifies several mundane tasks. As for the lack of a dipstick, the issue for me is the fact that -aside from draining and measuring the oil- there is no way to verify the accuracy of the sensor outside of a dealer service bay. Contrast that situation with that of the TPMS. Even though I am obsessive about keeping track of tire pressure, I welcomed the advent of the TPMS since it provides a driver with real-time information any time the vehicle is in operation. however, as someone else observed, the TPMS accuracy can easily be verified with a tire gauge. All I want is a dipstick so that I can verify the sensor readout. I don't think that is too much to ask.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • roadburner,

    I've also installed more than a few home theaters, including a 7.1 setup for myself

    Do you by any chance post on any of the home theater forums, such as AVS?

  • Both great cars and I don't know that the price difference is really worth it, except it is to me.

    I too choose the 550 sport and am getting the same MPG. The car is in a class all its own!

    All I want is a dipstick so that I can verify the sensor readout. I don't think that is too much to ask.

    Funny thing... I was really upset when the oil sensor on my 550 was showing the oil level was too high after changing the oil twice. No dipstick and the sensor doesn't work... I was MAD! I took it back to the dealership and they called out their chief mechanic to take a look. First thing he did was raise the hood, reach back close to the firewall and PULLED OUT THE DIPSTICK! The manual does not mention a dipstick, the sales people knew nothing of it, nor did my service advisor. Anyway, I was relieved... all I wish I had now was a water temp. gauge. :shades:
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,296
    Do you by any chance post on any of the home theater forums, such as AVS?

    I've posted a couple of questions on the AVS Forum, but most of the time I'm in lurk mode; I've been able to find the answers for most of my questions by using the Search function.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    Are you saying there IS a dipstick???? :surprise: I believe you got your 550 a few weeks after I did, so I'm assuming you also have an '08 model. I'm gonna have to get in there this evening and check it out!
  • Are you saying there IS a dipstick????

    Yes tayl0rd... there is!!! It is on the right side close to the firewall. It has a black plastic cap that is flat... looks like some wiring that had been capped off. It does not have the normal "handle" dipsticks have.

    Just keep looking, you'll find it!
  • Hey tayl0rd... did you ever find the dipstick? :confuse:
  • If I knew how to post a photo on this site I would show where the dipstick is. Why aren't the instructions printed somewhere? :mad: ">link title
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    I just checked. (notice the time, BTW) There sure as heck IS one! Right where you said it would be. It's a black handle.
  • Anyone know if there is a dipstick on the 535's?
  • Can somebody describe a difference b/w Logic 7 and the standard system in 535i?
    I have 545i with Logic 7, so I know what it is. I'm just not clear about how basic system is different?
    Different head unit? Different speakers? amplifiers? subwoofer?
    I do realize, that the basic system will not have various surround mods and an equalizer.
  • Hi All,

    I recently placed a down payment on a 2001 525 BMW from a non-BMW dealer. The vehicle has 17,300 miles, but the rear brake pads are worn down and it looks like the front pads have just been replaced. Skeptical of the mileage, I took it to a BMW dealer who checked the mileage on the key FOB and it indicated 17,300 miles. I do know that the one previous owner drove the car in the city. My first question is whether its likely that the brakes could be this worn in so few miles? Also, I was wondering whether key FOB is an accurate indicator of true mileage, or whether it simply repeats what is on the odomoter? How difficult would it be for someone to turn back the mileage?

    Also, I've heard that its usually necessary to replace brake rotors when the pads are replaced. Is this true, or are there ways to replace pads before the rotor is worn?

  • jeqqjeqq Posts: 221
    Sounds like a jack rabbit start and hard braker to me. You've seen those guys on the road. Sounds like the car may have had 17,000 rough miles even though it took 7 years. The other side of the coin is he/she lives in a very steep hill environment or just rides the brake often:)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,880
    17K miles in 7 years, sounds like a lot of stop and go, city driving...

    There are plenty of BMWs that need pads/rotors by 30K miles, in a normal driving environment.. The braking capability (and all that nasty brake dust), come from super-soft pads..

    So.. 17K is early to get brakes, normally, but 2500 miles/yr isn't exactly normal..

    BMW specs say to replace rotors with pads... but, most do-it-yourselfers replace them every other time..

    If you are confident in the mileage being accurate, I wouldn't let new brakes bother me...

    visiting host


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,296
    Also, I've heard that its usually necessary to replace brake rotors when the pads are replaced. Is this true, or are there ways to replace pads before the rotor is worn?

    Only if a dealer does the work. You can probably get away replacing the rotors every other pad change. It's a dead easy DIY job. I'd go to Zeckhausen Racing and buy Axxis Deluxe Advanced pads. If you need a full set of pads and rotors it will only run @$350.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    In addition to surround sound processing, the Logic7 system has 13 upgraded speakers and 420 watts of power. Compare that to 10 speakers and about 200 watts in the base system.

    Also note, the surround processing logic was designed by Lexicon, which is one of the higher-end home theater and AV electronics shops.
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    I just looked under the hood of a 2008 535 and didn't see a dipstick along the firewall as described in earlier posts about the 550i. That doesn't mean that it's not there, just that I couldn't find it.

    The owner's manual is silent on the subject. I also see posts that other 2008 models like the M3 that will only have electronic oil level monitors. Looks like a trend.

    If some engines have dipsticks, my question would be why does BMW treat their existence like a state secret? My only guess would be that these newer engines are so complex that they just don't want owners fumbling around in the engine compartment.
  • maril556maril556 Posts: 8
    Thank you,
    I actually went to a dealer yesterday to listen to a standard sound system.
    Absolutely day and night compared with my Logic 7.
    Ended up ordering 535i optioned, like we wanted to, Logic 7 included.
    It is now $1200, vs. $1800 in 2005, when we bought our 545i.
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    A manual dipstick isn't too much to ask. I wonder if BMW listens to the suggestions in these forums? And don't we all feel just a little foolish learning that there actually is a dipstick, although BMW protected that little secret better than the CIA.

    I recognize that the original intent of iDrive was to provide greater granularity of control while uncluttering and simplifying the dashboard. And I recognize that some of this technology is just a marketing ploy to lure us into buying expensive options like "night vision". That's why I always custom order BMWs only with technology options that have some utility.

    The question should be: can BMW continue to advance performance and handling while improving fuel efficiency without all these systems intervening between the driver and the vehicle? Some BMW engines are pure racing technology and I do know that they require extensive controls to make them reliable daily driving machines, but is this the only way it can be done?

    Performance is improving. Handling generally is improving with less trade off on ride comfort. Fuel efficiency is improving relative to engine size and performance. The vehicles generally are safer to drive. So in general, the vehicles are "better" by those measures. But I agree that BMW should ask itself whether they really need all this complication to improve the core competence of the vehicle.
  • troysbtroysb Posts: 1
    Just picked up an o8 535i. Had a 2007 530 but BMW couldn't fixed a problem with a consrtant battery drain. I made a fuss and they gave me brand new 535i. I had a silver and I opted for a white. So far the twin turbos are so much better that my old 530. Still can't stand the run flat tires. it is a hell of a bumpy ride, especilly in Manhattan. I also opted for the sports and premium options. Didn't get the cold weather, just got the heated front seats, didn't need a heated steering whell and fluid to spary my headlights. I would also recommend that anyone get the option for thre repalcement wheel and tires. rims are too expensive, especially with the run flat tires.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,334
    I think the reason there is a dipstick on the 550i as opposed to the 535i & 528i is the fact that the 550i is an "older" engine. I think (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that the current V8's architecture dates back to the e39 540i that debuted in MY 1997.

    It is all part of plan for BMW to get you to service your car at the dealership. A high percentage of BMWs today are leased anyway, so the cars aren't kept past the warranty period. Out of warranty/maintenance BMWs sold as CPO (used) make people who buy them feel as if they have to go to the dealership for service.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • tx_buzzardtx_buzzard Posts: 130
    The only 5 series with a dipstick is the 550i. I guess that is because it is the same motor that is in the 750.
  • wolfer2wolfer2 Posts: 10
    Any collective thoughts on when to change the oil for the first time in a 2008 535xi? I know the BMW maintenance program is 15,000 miles, but that just seems to fly in the face of what I have been taught all my life. I bought, rather than leased the vehicle, so I want to do it right. I am at 6000 miles and was thinking about doing it at 7,500. I suppose this would not be covered by the 4 year maintenance plan.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As a general rule I think that the standard BMW OCI target of 15,000 miles is a bit long, that said, UOAs on many cars over the last ten years (since they went to the 15,000 mile OCI) have shown that it's pretty close, assuming that you use the proper oil and filter). That said, the twin-turbo I6 engine in your car has shown (once again via UOAs) that it is EXTREMELY hard on its oil, and that many cars that have been drive by fairly spirited drivers are fully exhausting the oil by as little as 5,000 miles. Said another way, assuming you only occasionally beat on your car, a 7,500 mile oil change sounds very much in order.

    If you plan on keeping your car for any length of time you might want to consider sending a sample of the drained out oil off to to have it analyzed. Then you'll know for sure whether you still had some miles left in the oil or whether it was already a goner.

    Best Regards,
  • I have a 535i (purchased new) that has been driven 6,000 miles. Approximately 25% of the time, it is difficult to get the transmission from park to drive without "jiggling" the stick. I don't know if the problem is getting worse, but this was not an issue when new.

    While I am whining, my wife tells me that, when starting the vehicle, she occasionally sees an icon showing the car on a service rack with an indication that the battery is low. I might understand that much drain after sitting for several days, but the car is driven at least five times/week.

    Anyone having the same or similar problems? Any input before taking the car to the dealer will be appreciated.
  • tx_buzzardtx_buzzard Posts: 130
    The time to change your oil is actualy calculated on the wat you drive your vehicle. Check the iDrive from time to time and you may notice the intervals will change accordingly. Regarding the first oil change... I did mine at 2,600. Like you, it just seems odd to go any longer. Just look at it as insurance. The single most important thing you can do to ensure a problem free experience is to change the oil on a regular basis. I plan on changing my oil between BMW intervals myself, that way the clock will not be reset.
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    I did the same thing when I ordered my most recent BMW... paid for the heated seats and skipped the cold weather package because I HATE the headlight washer that sprays fluid all over a clean vehicle if you're not careful. The headlight washer is logical (if the windshield is dirty, the headlights will be too), but I can live without it and I don't need to shower the entire vehicle just to wipe a bug off the windshield.
  • xg300xg300 Posts: 1
    Hey troysb hit me up with what you had to do for this issue. I had the same problem with my 08 528i and the service department counld not find any problem after a week and two days in their hands. I don't want this to become a bigger problem later with only 2100 mls on the clock. :sick:

  • orion53orion53 Posts: 1
    I'd appreciate comments re BMW owners experience re sport packages on driving the roads in Western PA.

    Seriously considering either a 550i (w/sports package, 19" low profile tires) or a 535xi. Had the opportunity of brief, back-to-back test drives of both (actually the 535i) in TX ... road surface better there ... but not the windy/curvy backroads here. Both plenty fast ... but preferred the "feel" of the 550i. If the 550i, would plan to use only as a 3 season car. Some questions.

    1. Any sense when the new 5 series will emerge this year ... and anticipated differences from 2008 models? Am I correct, I understand the 5s will be redesigned, however, major change will be for models released in 2009 (not 2008). Also, any insight re potential price increase (above 2008 models)? Or, if build slots are still available (I'd plan to customize) ... would some advise buying now?

    2. Might I find the ride of a 550i sport too harsh (I realize this is a subjective question). I'd like to hear from 550i owners ... and/or those who decided against and chose either a 550i non-sport or 535 for such reasons.

    3. I read of some owners (e.g., in Manhattan) regretting decision to purchase with low profile tires/rims ... because of frequency of flats/damaged rims. Related to #2, is there much of a difference in "ride" and less potential damage when comparing 18" to 19" wheels.

    4. Again, a subjective question ... opinions/experience with Active Steering. My inclination is to not get Active Steering.

    5. Assuming similar driving styles for 550i (360 hp) vs 535 (twin-turbo 330 hp) ... how much potential difference in MPG.

    6. Finally, any strong +/- experiences with dealers in the Pittsburgh area ... both during the sale ... and routine service afterwards.

    Thank you!
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