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BMW Care & Maintenance



  • anar1anar1 Posts: 2
    We have been thinking to purchase a new 2002 BMW525 or 530. We are torn between getting the 525 with all the options and getting the 530 with less options. Does perfomance markedly differ because of the horsepower?Also how does the sound system sound?I am worried about getting the alpine system if it might do things to the battery?Where can we get a phone put in cheaper?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    anar1... Look over lots of published reviews from all sources. And then take lengthy and thorough test drives in both. That is the only way you'll know if one model better meets your needs. Drive 'em both on the type roads you normally drive, at the usual times, and in the usual traffic flows/patterns. I'm amazed at how many people buy a car without doing really thorough test drive.
  • I am currently deciding which model to purchase the 525i or the 530i.

    I test drove the 530i and I am leaning more toward purchasing the 530i.

    However, from an economic standpoint for an additional $4k for 35 additional horses-- it is worth it???

    I would be interested in hearing from current 525i owners. Do you have any regrets? Do you wish you would have paid extra for the 530i to gain the additional horsepower?
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    As painful the decision might be, you should make it for yourself. Otherwise, you'll be the one with regrets. From a practical perspective, the 525 makes more sense. Then again, from a purely practical perspective, an Accord makes even more sense. For what it's worth, I chose the 530.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Check out the October 2002 issue of Bimmer magazine. Cover story on test of 530i plus another story discussing full Euro-line. Bimmer thinks 530i is best all around choice. They raise many good points, though I still prefer 540i6.
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    A key variable may be whether your car will have a manual or automatic transmission. From what I remember test driving 525s equipped with each last year, the manually equipped car seemed noticeably less sluggish than the automatic. The 530 on the other hand has enough torque to work well either way. You should try driving all configurations before making a decision.

    You may also want to post your question on the main 5-series board, which is less specialized and has more traffic than this one.
  • I have a 2001 530 with 23000 miles. I have had the car for 15 months so I am putting on the miles rather fast. So far I really haven't had any problems. The dealer has offered to extend my maintenance schedule beyond the 35,000 miles for another 12,000 miles for $499. My question is, is this worth it? Does anyone know how much the 45,000 miles check-up costs? Thanks!
  • I would say no. It depends on whether or not at 45K miles you will have an Oil Service Maintenance, Schedule I or Schedule II maintenance. The Schedule II is most expensive and I was quoted around $550.00 for the service at Long Beach BMW. Also, EMA's are not as extensive in coverage as the New Car Warranty.

    If you still desire an EMA, consider negotiating for a longer agreement at a slightly higher price. Beverly Hills BMW is offering an EMA up to 100K for $998.00. Good luck.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Is a form of insurance. Whether it is "worth it" depends upon what you can afford, your toleration for "risk", and the likelihood of using it.

    Since the oil service will hit you around 15,000 and 45,000 miles, this alone isn't worth getting it. The Schedule 1 will hit around 30,000 miles and be covered by the original 3yr/36k interval. The Schedule 2 will hit around 60,000 miles, after the extended agreement hits. So what might it logically cover? Besides wiper blades (which you can just ask for before 3/36--which is what I did at about 35,000 miles) and burned out bulbs, brake work is likely the most probable. But whether, what, and when you need brake work depends on a lot of factors.

    My wife's '00 323iA needed brake work (i.e., the brake service light came on) at about 34,500 miles. So it was covered free under the 3/36. Praying there won't be any more brake work until after 50,000 miles.

    Unfortunately for me, at 36,050 miles one of her rear brake lights burned out. Won't cost much. If that is all I need, then the extra time and mileage wouldn't be worth it. That kind of money essentially just for the Oil Service isn't a good investment. But it depends.

    So far, for me, glad we didn't buy the extended agreement. But if the brake work had come after 36,000 miles, then I would've been better off getting it.
  • xcarnutxcarnut Posts: 81
    I am new to this board and in process of purchasing a 2000 5 series and am wondering what is most owners experience with the dealerships after the purchase of thier cars for service ?

    Also, I am wondering if it is better to get work done by dealer or would you rather go to an indepedant repair shop with factory trained mechanics ?

    If any of you know of any in Silicon Valley/Bay area with good or bad experieince would be appreciated. I could use any feedback any of you may have.

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    xcarnut... If my car is still under warranty, then I'll have the work done by a BMW dealer. That includes time under the original 4/50 warranty (b-to-b) as well as the CPO 6/100 warranty. Realize I'll pay a bit more, but gives me a sense of peace of mind. BMW AG/NA can hardly complain if their own trained personnel have done all the work mandated and I have the records to prove it. Also, I assume they might stay a bit better up on TSBs, recalls, etc. that might pertain to my car.

    But once car out of warranty, then I wouldn't hesitate to go to a good independent BMW service shop. There is a professional group of them that collectively advertise. I've seen ads for this grouping of them in Roundel magazine. Forget the name of the group. Is supposedly a way to find a good independent shop. Roundel and Bimmer magazines also have a ton of ads from various independent shops. You should see if one is nearby you. Guessin' there are a lot in your area.

    Also, have you joined BMW CCA? You should. For the magazine. And many shops, BMW dealers and independents, give a BMW CCA discount on parts.
  • I have a 2000 740 and the GPS system is not good. My lease is up and I am thinking of buying a 530 or a 540. The GPS system function is important to me and I wonder if anyone has any comments on the 2002-2003 5 series GPS systems. Also interested in comparing the 530 to the 540.

  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    The GPS system has received a couple of minor improvements since your model, but not nearly enough, in my opinion. While they're finally DVD-based for 2003, the user interface is still the same (i.e. crappy). I believe the systems also use faster processors now. But, overall, they still lag far behind systems from Acura and Lexus, in my opinion the benchmarks for how these things should work. You should check one out at your dealer and decide for yourself. Same goes for the 530/540. I love my 530i 5-speed sport, for what it's worth. The 540 will get you more power (obviously), the 530 slightly better handling, steering, fuel efficiency, and insurance rates.
  • hadihadi Posts: 2
    Has anyone experienced this problem, if you have gimme a shout. I drive an '01 540i w/steptronic it has about 21K kilometers on it. Been a dream machine so far.My " service engine" light came on about five days ago and remained on till last night when it mysteriously disappeared. Repeated attempts to "come on" again were unsuccessful. I am gad it is off now but perplexed as to why it came on. Now, a visit to the BMW dealership in Mississauga, Ontario ( while the engine light was still on) had them hook it up to their computer and they came back to me saying it was some sort of secondary pump which had failed, further queries revealed it had something to do with helping the car start in the cold. They set up an appointment next week to replace it under warranty. Now that the light has gone out, should I still have them change the part or do you think there is something wrong here, do I believe the engine light or the dealer assessment that hte part needs to be changed. Don't get me wrong I have no problem changing the " secondary pump", but is the pump really still failed, has it recovered on its own ( hence the light going off) or what. Appreciate som advice.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Whenever the service engine lights up, it records the event in the engine computer, which the dealer can read and decipher with their computer. There are many "intermittent" type errors which cause the symbol to light up and then go off later. That's why the event is recorded. I'm sure the dealer read the log correctly, and is performing the appropriate steps. If the light comes on again, perhaps there's something else that's wrong. (BTW, you didn't state which pump was acting up: fuel, water, etc.?)
  • hadihadi Posts: 2
    Thanks for your input, did not realise that data was recorded, makes sense. No idea which pump it was, shoulda asked I realised later. In any case are you saying that the light goes out just so it reduces the " annoyance factor " or does it mean that the problem does not exist anymore. It is a little unnerving. Are you suggesting that I should go ahead and change the specific pump they mentioned, or that they will recheck the engine ( since the light is out now) and then decide what to do. Thanks
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    The light doesn't go out "to reduce the annoyance factor." It goes out if it no longer detects a problem, or the problem was benign or temporary enough (there are different severity levels of problems) not to warrant perpetual "check engine" status. For example, if you leave the fuel cap loose, you may get a check engine light. If you tighten it back up, the light will go out after a couple of days, since the problem is no longer present.

    Since you're still under warranty, I wouldn't worry about it; have them replace the pump. I'd assume the problem will then be fixed.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    snagiel is right, the CEL will go off if the OBDII system doesn't detect the problem after a certain number of start cycles. I had the identical problem on my wife's 528i; the "secondary pump" is an electrical air pump that helps reduce emissions on cold starts. In my case I would reset the CEL and the car would be fine for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks-and then the CEL would illuminate again. The dealer replaced the pump and I've had no problems since.
  • HI, I also posted on the 5 series board,
    I would love a 5 series, and the BMW dealer has a 1999 528 manual, with the sport package and 60km on it. Also one with the premium package and 36km on it. Both are at 32,900.00 (Canadain dollars) does that seem like a good price? They are both in the BMW Certified Used car program so after about a year when the orig. warranty goes I'd get two years or milage.
    Also they have an ownership lease like deal where the price is halved and half held as a balloon payment at the end of three years, the other half is what payments are based on. My wonder is if in three years when the car is 6 years old, will it be worth less than the @ 16,500.00 of the balloon payment? Upside-down, I think they call it?
    I will have a look at the service reacords since all their other similarly equipped 5s cost closer to 37-45gs.
    Are these fairly reliable. I've read some horror stories but are they the exceptioin or the rule?
  • HELP please! Thanks for anyone taking your time to read my plea for help....well, my "check engine" light comes on every now and then, sometimes for days or weeks, but always goes away..according to the manual, the light is supposed to be related with emissions, but I recently passed my emission inspections, could the light be related to other problems?? I also recently had problems with my thermostat/gauge - it never warms up, its always at the cold/blue range, so then the heater is not even really hot in this cold weather...and the 'REST' function (heated air after car is turned off)doesn't work anymore...could it be related to the thermostat and "check engine" light??? thanks!!
  • Hi cdndriver, Where is your location? This is a really great deal if you can get a 1999 528i at Can$32,900. You mention that the car is around 36K too. Good luck!!!
  • spyderredspyderred Posts: 137
    Body shop or service dept?
    Thanks in advance,

  • Will be buying '95 525I. Can you even get an extended warranty on a '95? Anyone have any experience on average costs for minor body damage,
    rotor replacement? Appreciate any advice.
  • Anyone knows a good tint shop in the San Gabriel Valley area (California)? I want to have black tints on my 2003 525iA. Also, can anyone recommend specific tint brands? Thanks.
  • 330iii330iii Posts: 71
    This question has probably been asked before but, does BMW offer an extension of the 4yr/50k mile factory warranty on 03's and 04's?
  • My BMW is out of warranty. Can anyone recommend any independent BMW repair shops in Houston, TX?
  • rodxrodx Posts: 1
    Loyal BMW guy here. Currently have a 1994 525.
    Ready to pull trigger on a 2002 525ia or the 2002 530ia.

    What is :
    1. Premium Package 2. Sports Package 3. Premium Sound System 4. Navigation System
  • Looking for some honest opinions on the purchase of a 525i. I have been a long time admire of the BMWs and think it's about time I take the plunge. I am looking at purchasing a used one to get my feet wet. I have been cautious on purchasing one due to what I have heard as hefty maintenance and repair charges. Can anyone share with me what the normal expected cost of maintaining a 525i? I am looking at an immaculate 92, with 110k on the odometer. This vehicle appears to be well maintained. As you can guess, there is no warranty with this vehicle. I appreciate any help you can provide.

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The E34 Fives are great cars. You want to see a complete service history. Was the coolant changed every two years with BMW coolant? Was the brake fluid flushed annually with a DOT4 fluid? How about the transmission and final drive? Equally as important is a thorough pre-purchase inspection by an experienced BMW mechanic. A lot of the stories about expensive BMW stories come from people who run to the dealer for every little problem, not to mention the envious know-nothings who can barely spell BMW-but who know a friend who had a cousin whose boss had a nephew who knew a guy who had a BMW. On my 1997 528i the Insp. I(@16000 mile service) runs around $150, while the major Insp. II service at around 32000 miles costs @$400. I use an independent BMW tech-double those prices for dealer work. I have a friend who ran a 1989 5er to over 250,000 miles. You can easily achieve a similar mileage with a 525i; FWIW, the manuals are much preferred to the automatics. Don't let the jealous morons scare you off.
  • div2 - Thanks for the words of wisdom and advise! I will print off your recommendations and keep handy while questioning perspective sellers and dealers. I have really only been looking at auto trans, you are the second person to tell me get the manual trans.

    Again thanks for your help, I appreciate it... RC
This discussion has been closed.