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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • chesdin4chesdin4 Posts: 22
    Riez, I have to say I agree w/ Snagiel.

    (Brief aside: aren't our names interesting... mine is our cat's name, plus the impact of 3 irretrievable passwords. But I digress...)

    ANYWAY... It's frankly hard to justify ED purely on economics. Think of it as a subsidy to a trip you were going to take anyway. We have good friends in Frankfurt, they'd just had a baby; we were headed there anyway. Our 530i was just icing on the cake...!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Costs me a heck of a lot less to eat and live over 3 or 4 days in my rural midwest town than some bigger European cities. Bet their cost of living indices a lot higher. :)"

    You ought to try New York sometime. My wife and I just went out to dinner and a show a few weeks back and it cost us something like $500 for the evening!

    As I have been to Europe a number of times, and even worked in Stuttgart for Mercedes-Benz back in 1996, I have a fair idea of what prices currently are (confirmed by the internet). Will I wine and dine my wife in Paris? You bet. Would I have wined and dined my wife in New York that same week if we had not gone? Most probably. What is the difference in cost? Not much.

    Given that we are going to spend some time on the road, most likely driving up to Saxony after Paris, the costs up there are fairly low, I mean like, $100 will pay for the entire day, including meals and lodging.

    In the interest of science, I will in fact document every penny that goes out, and will attempt to classify them in such a way as to distinguish between necessary expenses and ones that are purely discretionary.

    Best Regards,
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Sorry, my user name isn't anywhere near as interesting: first initial, last name. What can I say, my creativity shines through only occasionally.

    Riez: I think you may be disproving your own argument. You claim that, after all airfare, hotels, meals, transportation, etc. costs are accounted for in ED, you don't end up saving much (or anything). But in this argument, you are acknowledging the buyer is getting a trip through Europe basically for free. Fine, so you're not saving much OVERALL, but you're getting a free trip out of the deal. And if you were planning on such a trip anyway--practically a sunk cost--then you certainly are saving money.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    In the spring of 1974, Herr Spriska (my Comparitive Political Systems Professor in High School) had a class with me (Dale Shipman) and a guy by the name of Ken Sharp. Given that Herr Spriska was a Marx Brothers fan, he dubbed us, "Shipo and Sharpo", I guess the name sort of stuck. I wonder if Ken still uses "Sharpo". ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • bs530bs530 Posts: 5
    I have wanted a 5 series for 4 years now, but the wife liked the Saab 9-3. So, after suffering for the past 3 years, I planned it so I would go over and and pick up the car at the factory 4-6 weeks before the end of our lease, hopefully getting the car in my garage just as my old one leaves. So, yes I feel that I got a Great deal(530sp,pp,cw,zenon,Step,pdc) but the excitment of going to the factory and getting it is off the scale. I plan on taking a tour of the factory the day before and being one of the first people in line for my car the next day. As I'm not taking my wife(my brother is going with me - Boring!)we are going to drive the car for the day and drop it off down the street and catch the next flight home. Costs? two nights lodging and meals. (My brother and my self both fly for the airlines so airfare is zero.) I would love to plan on my next ED pickup so that my wife and I spend a whole week there, but this depends on the look of the next body style.
    Shipo, keep those cards and letters coming. I'll be going over for a May 14th pickup and would love to hear your story.
  • vanaldervanalder Posts: 29
    Picked up a car there last June. Very pleased with the Jedermann Hotel VERY near the

    main train station in Munich (10 to 15 minutes walk along the sidewalk). If arriving in

    Munich by plane, simply take the train to the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) directly

    from the airport. Not big rooms, but spotless AND a super full breakfast (if you like to

    munch in the morning).

  • bn_shopnbn_shopn Posts: 8
    Picked up my 530 last week and noticed that the drivers side light is "lower" than the passengers side. What I mean is that as you look from left to right (in the drivers seat) there is a 'step up' as you look at the headlamp top cutoffs. Sort of like this: ___/'''''''' This is where the right lamp meets the left. Is this right or is the drivers lamp just a bit too low?
  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    Driver side is aimed lower to reduce the glare to the oncoming drivers.
  • boxsterboxster Posts: 28
    I truely believe that BMW dealer CPOed cars are the best choice for used BMW shopping, and I always put those cars on the top of my watching list.
    but, to be honest, I feel pretty frustrated so far by my local BMW dealers. I can't get the price as you've mentioned. I expanded my range to the whole California, but you know what? either they don't have the car I'd like to buy, or they are just same corky on the price as my local's.
    so far the best offer I've got is $38000 for that 99 540ia, sports, 43500 miles, Xenon.

    Can I ask where you are at? are your local BMW dealers willing to ship? from the internet, I saw a lot of cheaper BMWs in Houston area, maybe because of Enron? anyway, in SF bay area, the BMW dealers just have their guts to be tough on price. people just keep buying.
  • bn_shopnbn_shopn Posts: 8
    I understand the aiming lower to reduce oncoming traffic blinding, but you would think that on a 45+K vehicle they would figure out how to make the light beams match up. I've asked the question on the roadfly msg board and not everybody has the same issue, only some. I guess I got the "really good" Xenon's!
  • parnolaparnola Posts: 140
    Boxster - be careful about used cars in the Houston area - they had major flooding last year and I've heard the horror stories about unscrupulous dealers selling cars that fell victim to the waters without revealing it to the buyer.
  • boxsterboxster Posts: 28
    but can Carfax repot reflect the flooding damage on that car?
    Thanks for the info, I'm just curious, not really gonna buy any from there.
  • bocatabocata Posts: 9
    If I took the time to calculate the full expense of ED vs. buying locally, I would have spent more time than any difference in money was worth. For me, I was within a year or so of bringing the family to Europe and within a year or so of wanting a new car. So, I had a rare slow weekend, found "free" airline tickets for 4 using frequent flyer mileage, decided on a car, and made a deal with help from this board. I have a "free" rental car, and the $3k I save in ED vs. US invoice might pay for mid-range hotels for 4 for 2 weeks. Meals, shopping, etc., will cost me, but so would any vacation. It is certainly cheaper than buying in the US AND going on vacation separately.

    If you are strictly looking to find the lowest price, compare a minimal 1-2 night trip vs. US delivery. Compare about $3000 savings vs. airfare, hotel, possibly passports, meals, vacation time, etc. For me, this was not the point.

    Now, even given the break-in limits, I will probably drive the car faster than I would dare in the US. I will have pictures of the car in Munich and elsewhere. I will have stories to tell to this board and others when I get back. I can tell others I saved $3000 in doing so, even if it is more complicated than that. I can tell my Mercedes-owning Dad that I went to both the BMW and Mercedes museums. To me, the "value" is even more than the $3k savings.

    -Bob D.
  • boxsterboxster Posts: 28
    or they just speed to 200kmph as soon as they can?
    one piece of advice, don't drive your brand new BMW to Italy. even most of the rental companies there don;t allow you to drive audi/BMW/MB to Italy.
  • bocatabocata Posts: 9
    My German-born, tool-and-die-maker grandfather used to buy US-made cars (mostly Dodge). He would kid my Dad (his Irish/English son-in-law) about the German cars he bought. His view was that German cars (like German tanks) were precisely made to tolerances of fractions of millimeters. Get a grain of sand in the works, and it would stop working. Good ol' American cars were not so precise, so if things were off by a quarter of an inch, it did not matter. They would still run.

    So, any "performance" car may need more care. It has smaller tolerances. If it did not, it would not be a performance car.

    -Bob D.
  • g_carg_car Posts: 46
    Driver side Xenon's are aimed a little lower to reduce glare to on-coming drivers, right-side OK to be a little higher, headlights aimed that way on my 2001 also. Self-leveling helps greatly also. On sub $45K cars solution would be to aim both lower to "match" or high to blind and not have the self-levelers. See Nissan Maxima or Altima for example of how not to do it.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Boxster: makes the most valid complaint , if you want any specific options you really need to order a car.Its just me but i dont like mine loaded up to the gills in options like most cars on the showroom. Not only that but who likes dealing with used car salesman ughh.. I would rather take a 12 hour flight than do that ;).

    Plus i can see where our new German Bosch washer was built, maybe a tour of the factory ? am i sick or what ? haha

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    boxster... Have you tried to negotiate CPO over internet? Many BMW dealers have an internet-only salesperson. One I dealt with was excellent.

    Do the dealers take you as a serious buyer? Do they believe you have the financial wherewithall to buy a car from them today if you can agree on a price? Have no idea how you dress, act, speak, look, etc. but I do know that I can behave one way today that makes me invisible to a salesperson (which I do when I only want to window shop and don't want to be bothered by salesperson) and another way tomorrow if I'm serious about wanting to negotiate and buy.

    I've never met a dealership or salesperson that wouldn't negotiate if they knew I was a serious potential buyer, one who had the cash or credit to actually buy, and who opened up a discussion with a phrase like "I'd really like to buy a car from you today and will if we can reach a good deal."
  • chesdin2chesdin2 Posts: 19
    With all the discussion here about CarFax, I feel I have to speak my peace. I used to work in the industry and we evaluated CarFax's ability to spot what is called a "branded" title. Typically this means: flood, frame damage, salvage (= totalled), taxi, or police.

    We had (unfortunately) purchased a number of cars from consumers over the months that turned out to have these branded titles. To evaluate CarFax, we sent them a file with several hundred Veh Id #'s (VINs). Of the branded titles, CarFax CAUGHT LESS THAN HALF.

    My former company ended up using CarFax anyway, but CarFax purchases its data from the state DMV's (and possibly insurance companies), so in a sense, they're only as good as the government(!).

    So, CarFax provides a worthwhile service and their record has likely improved since our test a couple of years ago, but it's not foolproof. As always, buyer beware.

    BTW, I heard a good way to check for flood damage is to look up under the seat for signs of silt or rust. Apparently, when they detail these cars, they often don't bother to clean these areas since they're out of sight...

    (P.S. Shipo: great story about your name... I couldn't use most of the things MY high school teachers called me...)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I have no idea where I read this, however, it is my understanding that the reason that the right side headlight (left in England) has more vertical reach is so that your car can light up road signs.

    I have noticed that when I am driving along a one-way street (in my 1999 328i with Xenon headlights) with pedestrians along the left side of the road, all I see of said pedestrians is from about mid-thigh down. If both headlights were aimed like the left side, you would NEVER see a road sign on the right side of the road without using your high beams.

    Best Regards,
  • woobahwoobah Posts: 21
    I am going to buy a BMW 5 series, I read that there is going to be a new redesign for 2003. So, I am thinking about waiting for the new model. Does anyone know when they will be out? And, besides the fact that you can get a 2002 BMW 5 series now, is there any good reason not to wait? The dealers are not dealing on the 2002, so why not wait until the new body style comes out, which will be around for several years, plus new features.
  • g_carg_car Posts: 46
    From various articles and postings looks like new 5er will come out sometime mid to late 2003 as a 2004 model. Does anybody have any fresh news. I would tend to shy away from the 1st year of a new model. Past history too many bugs that typically don't get worked out until 2nd or 3rd year. Just my personal opinion.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,328
    I understand your frustration as many people on the Audi/MB/BMW threads complain about dealers in the SF Bay area. 2 options you do:

    1. Have you contacted Cutter Motors in Santa Barbara? I've read on this and the 3 series thread that their prices are very reasonable, especially for a dealer in California (that was on new & ED cars, I don't know about CPO cars).

    2. If you can't or don't want to do ED, check the internet, use your phone and fly out here to the east coast. Dealers here in the Tri-State area (NY,NJ,CT) seem to be the most willing to make a deal. There are a number of dealers in the area and they all should have a nice crop of CPO 5540iAs (plural) for you to choose from.

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

  • krazyhopzkrazyhopz Posts: 17
    I have a "00" 528i with the Sport Premium package. Love the car. Handles like a dream. Fast as Doc Holiday (smoked a GS400 the other day). Can not stand the sound system.

    I know I should have bought the premium sound system :( but thought 10 speakers should have good sound. Wrong. The stock system in my "94" Altima sounds better. I play a bass, and I know it clips low frequencies.

    Does any know of a good way to upgrade. I am willing to change things as long as it does not damage the car. Sound is important, but not that important. It seems what I need to do is just change the door and deck speakers, but I know with all the other speakers in the car, it can't be that simple. Thanx
  • jim52jim52 Posts: 161
    According to the Owner's Circle, my car is on the ship. Have you checked your status lately?
  • millerro3millerro3 Posts: 136
    I think you should get an amplifier before you start changing speakers. The amp is where the sound originates from, and the speakers will only sound as good as the amp will allow them to

    hope this helps:)

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Congratulations, you will have your new ride in just a couple of weeks. ;-) Unless I miss my guess, mine will stay in “Awaiting Transport Limbo” for the next month or better, given that I will not take delivery of it until 17-April-2002 in Munich. We are scheduled to drop it off with E.H. Harms GmbH & Co. in Munich on 24-April-2002, from there; my understanding is that it will be trucked to a port, and then shipped over here. I have a faint hope of getting the car in time for my 45th birthday in mid may, however, I suspect it will be more like Memorial Day before I will be Stylin’ in my 530i here Stateside. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    So, I have been active on these boards for several years, I have learned quite a bit about cars in general and BMWs in specific. Among the things that I have learned, ED was something that I have paid a lot of attention to, that said, how is it that I did not know that I would be receiving a big thick padded mailer labeled “Important European Delivery Information Enclosed” from BMWNA?

    Inside the mailer I found a nice folder labeled “BMW European Delivery Program” containing “BMW European Delivery Confirmation Essentials”, which are comprised of:

    1) A Credit Card sized presto-chango expando-map explaining how to get from the Munich airport to the ED center via the roads or the rails.
    2) An eight page “Quick Reference Guide” containing many necessary tidbits of information to make you more informed about the process.
    3) A nicely illustrated map titled “Walks through Munich” by Bert Lief.
    4) A “Complimentary Breakfast or Luncheon Voucher” provided by BMW of North America, LLC.
    5) A beautiful full color brochure from Condé Nast titled “The BMW European Delivery Travel Program”, which is essentially an advertisement for the various Condé Nast ED itineraries that can be bought for what I am sure is a “Nominal Fee”. ;-)
    6) A brief personalized letter confirming the car, color and equipment, along with a few instructions.
    7) A standard form letter, explaining the contents of the package.
    8) A page containing all of the ED drop-off points (also in the “Quick Reference Guide”)
    9) A three-page document listing various hotels in Munich convenient to the ED center and the Airport.
    10) A nice “EURoad” booklet titled “The Complete Guide to Motoring in Europe” (again, by Bert Lief). This booklet contains a “Basic Planning” map, Itinerary Planner worksheet, a fairly complete list of ferry services extending from Oslo to Dublin, a Time/Distance calculator for many major cities in Europe, driving tips, a small lexicon of phrases in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Danish, Swedish and Portuguese, a metric to English conversion page, 11 pages containing a few hundred hotels scattered around Europe, 28 pages of maps of individual countries and a number of cities as well, 14 pages containing 34 recommended trip itineraries, and finally, an illustrated/annotated list of European road signs.
    11) A “Complimentary Gift”, mine was a BMW Pen/Flashlight that glows in a cool iridescent purple.

    Maybe I am just easily impressed, however, I was not expecting this, so, it came as a delightful surprise.

    Best Regards,

    Ironic side note:

    The postmark on my packet was from the Woodcliff Lake, NJ Post Office. To get from BMWNA to said Post Office, somebody had to literally drive down my street, right past my house AND pay $3.50 to then mail it back to me. ;-)
  • nobeenobee Posts: 194
    I own a European spec. 1993 530i (V-8!) w/ an automatic tranny. Since I've owned this car I never thought about checking the tranmission fluid until a couple of days before my trek to Paris. Opened up the hood and couldn't find the transmission fluid dip stick. Does anyone know where the heck it's located?

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    While I have never been under the hood of a 5-Series (yet), of any vintage, I think that I read somewhere that the transmission is a sealed unit, and that there IS NO dip stick. So, there is a distinct possibility that you cannot find said dip stick simply because it ain't there. ;-)

    Best Regards,
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