BMW Care & Maintenance



  • billytongbillytong Member Posts: 20
    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 Member Posts: 138
    Body shop or service dept?
    Thanks in advance,

  • jeffcannelljeffcannell Member Posts: 2
    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.
  • bigpig426bigpig426 Member Posts: 15
    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 Member 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?
  • dds540dds540 Member Posts: 5
    My BMW is out of warranty. Can anyone recommend any independent BMW repair shops in Houston, TX?
  • rodxrodx Member 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
  • rchrist2003rchrist2003 Member Posts: 4
    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 Member 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.
  • rchrist2003rchrist2003 Member Posts: 4
    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
  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    Happy hunting! Check back in if you have any more questions.
  • bentleyfam25bentleyfam25 Member Posts: 67
    Has anyone who actually owns a new E60 experienced specific problems other than the ones that have been discussed about active steering failures?

    Please, no rants -- just a list.

    Thanks --
  • atomicpunkatomicpunk Member Posts: 20

    Please forgive me if what I report has already been discussed. It's late (long weekend) and I'm too tired to look back through the discussion thread.

    I've had an E60 since 12/27/03. Almost immediately noticed an occasional problem with the electronics in the audio system. Half the time when I started the car back up, the CD player would start up at the beginning of the first track (instead of picking up where it left off).

    A couple of times, upon start up, there would be static on the FM signal. So I'd change the station and still have static. Then I'd change to the AM band and there'd still be static. Finally, when I changed to the CD source and -- yep -- found static there, I knew it was more than sun spots! On one of these occasions, I observed that the phone was trying to make a call (do not believe I initiated it). So I wondered if that was what was causing the static.

    Regardless, the dealer fixed both glitches with an update from BMW. No more problems of that sort since.

    I've also experienced complete simplicity and ease of use with the iDrive. Based on most of the rants I've seen here, I can only assume I have a defective iDrive system. Will be complaining to the dealer soon. Heh heh.

    Have you got any problems to report?

    I am...
    the ATOMICPunk!
  • bentleyfam25bentleyfam25 Member Posts: 67
    In problems, the only one I've seen is the CD track one issue. I'm going to have that fixed next time I send it in.

    As I've gotten used to I-drive, I've found it has items I don't like (in addition to comments others have made, I'd personally like to select stations, even the 12 presets, instantly and without turning a knob...but the architecture won't allow that). Also like to be able to customize the menus to my preference. That said, it pretty much does everything I care about efficiently. Also, I like that the radio and other detailed preferences reset to my wife's key when she uses it.

    If I had NAV, I might be more frustrated with menu switching, but no experience to say if I'm right. My needs are relatively simple, and it does all that pretty well...and I does cut down on the button clutter you see in the Audi, Volvo, etc.

    Take care--
  • sykusyku Member Posts: 7
    I'm planning to take my '03 525 for service soon to Park Ave, BMW in Rochelle Pk,NJ. Is there anyone out there who can comment on the quality of their service, or the lack of it? I didn't buy the car from them, hence have no prior experience in dealing with them.

  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    The 528iA was a few hundred miles shy of the 100000 mile mark so I scheduled an appointment at my local dealer(Swope BMW) to have both the ATF and final drive oil changed. I decided to let the dealer supply the Dexron III. So anyway, I had the day off so I drove the sled into the service area at around 8:45 AM. I planned to wait on the car so I grabbed a seat in the reception area and started catching up on my automotive reading. In less than 90 minutes the 5er was ready to go. The cost? $109.69(!) For that price it's almost impossible to justify going the DIY route on those chores-especially in light of the fact that the ATF change procedure is a bit fiddly. The transmission seems to shift a bit smoother, but I suspect that the Placebo Effect is at work. It looks like I'm well on my way to finding out how long these puppies last...
  • jfgp05jfgp05 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 530i 2001 with 45000 miles on it. The car is 2 years and 7 months old. I was recently told that the brake fluid needs to be replaced (it's supposed to be done every 2 years). I also found out that it is part of the Inspection II process.

    Here's my question. Would this brake fluid replacement be covered under the free maintenance schedule (15000 and 30000)? Since I tool my car in last summer (close to its 2 year anniversary) for the 30000 maintenance, shouldn't they have told me about flushing and replacing the brake fluid?

  • selectiveselective Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I just bought a 1999 bmw 528i, I notice a circle trianglar light on the dash-board that stays on when driving.I had a mechcanic tuned up the car and it runs great, but in the mornnings when i start the car it vibrates a little over normal, and when the car is swicth off and on, you would not know that the motor was on.
    I also have a CD changer in the trunk and when it's turned on you here the changer operating but will not work. I need a headlight cover part, and i have tried number of places and they do not have it in stock, could you reccomend a reliable auto body shop. Thanks for your help.
  • isthisallisthisall Member Posts: 12
    I am a new bmw owner. bought a new 525i 2 years agom after consumer reports called the 2003 530i the "best car ever tested". here is my experience:

    when it works well, which is most of the time, it is the greatest car i have ever ridden in. on a long road trip, this car is the difference between arriving hot and tired and stressed, and arriving rested and calm.

    just one little thing: it is not as reliable as the many hondas and toyotas i have owned for the past 20 years, notm even the cheap ones. E.g. the car has a persistent problem of leaking water into the rear floor under the mats. the dealer has tried to fix this 4 times and it is doing it again now.

    for a car that costs 40,000, even if it is wonderful on the road, that is a serious drawback. I have gone, in less than 2 years, from being an ecstatic owner of the most e xpensive car i ever bought, and planning to buy another one, to wondering why in the world i ever left the honda family.

    and as soon as it is out of warranty, every service costsup to 4 times as much as you are used to paying at your local mechanic. ($93 oil changes, where they forget to do things?)

    some die - hard bmw owners do not like to hear this, but you as a new one, you may come to share my feelings. I hope not.

    if you get a trouble free car, you will be very happy. but in my experience the chances of that happening, although good, are nowhere near as high as they are with a new japanese car.

    admittedly just one mans experience. but i am going to look at an accura next time.
  • ukjimukjim Member Posts: 63
    Just a short rant:
    I have owned a BMW in the past ('89 525 full Hartge package). And was always well taken care of at Long Beach BMW , CA. I just helped a friend buy a CPO, '03 Z4 3.0 (600 miles) and when it was taken into Inskip BMW, RI for warranty repairs, she was told that "free" loaners are only provided if you buy the car from them, and purchase a premium service package that will include a "free" loaner.

    I suppose the irony of this is lost on the morons that run Inskip BMW but make sure you ask what the service policy is at the dealership you purchase from. Even the "free" service isn't free if you have to pay for the loaner, or take time from work to wait for it.

    I would "skip" Inskip if shopping for a BMW in Rhode Island.
  • beemer2020beemer2020 Member Posts: 1
    I usually don't bother with extended warranty and so far I have not regretted it. Since this is a new generation of 3-series, I've been considering purchasing extended warranty (bumper-to-bumper) for it. What do you guys (and gals) think? I tend to keep my cars way past the manufacturer warranty period and would be worried that it starts breaking down. I drive about 15000 miles each year. I am considering a 7 year/100,000 mile warranty for the cost of roughly $2300.

    I think I'll definitely buy the Tire protection plan becasue run-flats cannot be repaired. It costs about $30/year for a $350 per tire protection.
  • michelle528imichelle528i Member Posts: 1
    I am experiencing the same noise with my 97 528. Some days I can't hear the noise then just when I think it has repaired itself, It does it again. This can be really embarrassing when driving a bimmer.

    Also, can you tell me where to find the fuse box on this model. I just had a new a/c compressor put on this now I am experiencing a problem with my wipers and the vibration problem when the car is sitting at a light or idling.
  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    The main fuse block is located in the roof of the glove box; there are two white quarter turn knobs that you release and then the box will drop down. Removing the flashlight will help it drop down further. There should be a tabbed sheet that pulls out and gives all the fuse amperage and locations, as well as a red plastic tweezer-like tool that is used to pull/replace the fuses.
  • rcz3rcz3 Member Posts: 1
    Does a 3.0 Z3 really need premium gas? Would running on regular gas cause any problems with the drive train?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 227,566
    Yes.. it needs premium..

    Regular gas may not cause any damage, but the car will have reduced horsepower, and may even get worse gas mileage, negating any savings from using regular grade.

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  • lopez7lopez7 Member Posts: 1
    Can you please tell me where you purchase your extended maintenance warranty? Phone number would be great.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 227,566
    Sorry... no dealer contact information is allowed on the forums

    Someone could give you the dealership name and location.. You'll have to let google do the rest....

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  • sanfranz4sanfranz4 Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone recommend upgrading the BMW Z4 maintenance.

    My 2003 Z4 2.5 currently has 42K miles and the BMW full maintenance will expire in 8K miles. For $985.00 I can upgrade to have the maintenance extended to 100,000 miles/ 6 years. I plan to keep the car for about 3 more years and drive approx. 13-15K annually.

    Has anyone done the cost comparison on it? Any feedback appreciated.

    Thanks :)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 227,566
    I would.. The Inpection II at 60K could be $700-$900 all by itself.. Add in a brake job, and you are easily over the limit...

    Of course, if you planned on taking your car to an independent for repair work after the original warranty is up... my advice would be different...

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  • ktcrkelleyktcrkelley Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone have any ideas on a sunroof issue I have. No matter which direction I push the button , the roof continues to open. Pushing in the direction of Close or Tilt still makes the roof open. Once opened fully it will not close. I had to manually close it after this happened. Very clean car with little roof usage. 18K on car.

    Thanks in advance
  • javajam66javajam66 Member Posts: 5
    Hi - I have a 2001 Z3 in the Impala Brown color. I just recently had to park on the street and now have a minor dent between the kidney grilles from someone backing into me. Can anyone recommend a good auto body place that blends paint well in NY?

  • joach55joach55 Member Posts: 3
    I'm thinking about buying a fairly old 5 series (1997 528i) from a BMW dealer, and don't feel I am getting straight answers regarding costs of scheduled maintenance. The car has low mileage for its age (55k). Is anyone aware of a schedule of regular maintencance available online and the standard dealer prices for same on such a vehicle? Alternately, can you give me any idea what maintenance costs on such a car? Thanks in advace.
  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    My wife drives a 128000 mile 1997 528iA for her commuter sled. City/suburban fuel mileage averages 21 mpg while an 80 mph interstate cruise will net 28 mpg. In most cases, the best way to keep maintenance costs reasonable is to find a GOOD independent BMW tech; you will save 25%-50% on service compared to the dealer. All modern BMWs use a Service Interval Indicator to inform the driver when routine maintenance is required. On a 1997 5er an oil change will be called for at @9000 mile intervals. A minor service(Inspection I) will come up at @18000 miles and a major (Inspection II) service at @36000 miles. An oil change using synthetic oil will cost $60-$100, an Inspection I $150-$300, and an Inspection II $450-$800. Coolant must be changed every three years-using BMW Coolant ONLY, while the DOT4 brake fluid gets flushed every two years. I also change the so-called "Lifetime" ATF fluid and final drive oil every 100000 miles. The 528i autoboxes are European GM units which have proven to be quite robust. I know of several 528iAs which have hit 200K miles with 60K-100K mile ATF changes. Brakes on the 528i tend to wear quickly. Count on changing the front pads about every 20000 miles and the rears every 50000. Although most dealers don't agree, you only need to change the rotors every other pad change. I would fit Axxis Deluxe Plus pads unless you plan to track the car. Note that my cost numbers are approximate. For example, if you change the oil yourself using a BMW filter and Mobil 1 or BMW synthetic the cost will be under $40. On the other hand, my local BMW dealer charges very reasonable rates for some of the services that I don't have the time and/or desire to perform. The dealer only charged me $110 to change the ATF AND the synthetic final drive oil. Last year they changed the coolant and the brake fluid for just $143. Join the BMW Car Club and most shops will give you 10-20 percent off parts and/or labor.

    The 1997-2001 Fives are wonderful and durable cars. It was/is widely regarded to be the finest sedan in the world. In your case I would also want any potential purchase inspected by a good BMW tech. At around 60000 miles you'll probably need a water pump, which will run @$250 installed. My wife's car is an automatic and lacks the Sport Package, but it is still an engaging car to drive. That said, if a 5er was my only car I would want the Sport Package and the MT. In my case, I fortunately have a 1995 3er track rat to drive when I want to carve up a twisting two lane, so our "vanilla" 528iA serves its intended purpose quite well.
  • joach55joach55 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks, div2, you've got me thinking I might actually buy this car. I drove it today and damn if it isn't the nicest thing I've ever been behind the wheel of. I've never driven a bmw because I didn't want to be tempted, and now I realize that was wise! The car seems somehow glued to the ground but nimble at the same time. (Perhaps the contrast is so great because I've been driving such junk lately....I won't even say what). I'm still hesitating because I really need to keep things economical, but...I might own the thing by tomorrow night.

    Tell me though, why you prefer RWD to FWD? (I glanced at your profile.) I've generally thought FWD was preferable tractionwise. Is this a misconception?

    Thanks much for your past reply and for anything you might add.
  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    The FWD layout is usually preferred for smaller family type cars because a FWD powertrain is more compact than an equivalent RWD system. Placing the engine over the driven wheels also provides some limited traction benefits. However, RWD is superior for sports sedans and high performance cars since the front wheels are not required to supply power AND steer. And once horsepower reaches @200 torque steer also rears its ugly head.

    As for the 528i, one thing you should keep in mind is that BMW sixes seem to need a bit TLC at @60K intervals. For example, from 65K to 123K(5/02-7/05) our 5er needed less than $350 in unscheduled repairs. However, at 123K it needed new front struts and at 128K it needed a battery, new idler pulleys, a tie rod, and a radiator(I went ahead and replaced the water pump as a precaution as well). The grand total was @$2100-which works out to about $60/month in unscheduled repairs over the past 3.5 years. For me, the pleasure of driving the older 5er more than compensates for the $2/day repair costs-and I don't expect the car to require any other major work for at least another three years/60K miles, when it will get another water pump and maybe some suspension bits.
  • joach55joach55 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks yet again, div2, for the informative discussion. As it turns out, an hour after I drove the car it sold to another purchaser, which is not surprising, since it was a very clean and together 55000 mile 528i priced at 14,999. Had I not been nervous about maintenance costs I would have bought the car on the spot. Now I may be hooked, and I'll be keeping my eye out for a similar car, but with a warranty for at least a couple of years. Yep, I'll have to pay more, obviously, but I'll have a little piece of mind about costs. I'm still replaying the driving experience of that automobile. Really so enjoyable. Didn't know a car could feel like that!

    If you care to opine: wife and I are also considering Passats. Obviously not in the same class, but if you have any thoughts, please let me hear them. You seem to know your stuff well. Also in the running would be Acura's or Subarus. We've tried to talk ourselves into a Honda or Toyota but can't quite do it. Unfortunately, our budget is 20k max. Kind of tight at the moment.

    Anyway, thanks again for your good information.
  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    Passats: I don't have any personal experience with Passats. I believe that they are excellent cars but I also know that VW has had a problem with quality control and reliability for several years.
    Acura: Solid, reliable, and well designed cars that, with the exception of the NSX, have never interested me in the slightest. Not to say that they are bad cars, just not my cup of tea.
    Subaru: Reliable and fun. I particularly like the Legacy GT and the Impreza WRX. The Forester XT is a real hoot-a mini SUV that can crank out 0-60 times of around six seconds. :surprise:
  • pjriderpjrider Member Posts: 1
    :cry: Just got back from the dealership to pick up my new 2006 325i. When I got there the salesperson told me they found a small chip in the windshield but that they could replace the windshield with a new one and it would be good as new. Bummer. It was do this or cancel the sale and renegotiate for a different car (with slightly different options). I told them to replace the windshield later this week.

    What's the concensus on this? Had this chip been discovered *before* I saw it and bought it would I even know? Surely windshields are damaged in transit--how are these handled.

    I've had windshields replaced on previous cars, but not after writing a check for $36k. Can the dealership really swap out the windshield and make it *exactly* like it came from the factory? There's a lot of tight rubber around the outside of that windshield--can this be put back on?

    The sales guy said he'd hold the paperwork in case I'm not satisfied but I really like my car (sans chip) and don't want to go through a whole new purchase.

    Any words of consolation here?
  • bmwguy2bmwguy2 Member Posts: 13
    windshields damaged in transit from the port to the dealer is done as a transportation damage claim,that the dealer fills out if it was also noticed by the dealership personel,i would contact bmw corporate about this ,i work for a bmw dealership in new jersey ,they could have had the winshield covered by bmw having a bmw rep authorizing the repair ,in the effort of 100 %customer satisfaction and customer happiness ,and the winsdield could be repaired ,but since it is a new car ,new winsdield and ps its quite easy to replace the winshield ,very easy and clean ,done at the dealer by bmw tech ,the only thing is that bmw severly recomends winshield is strapped down for 24 hours to dry ,unlike american vehicles,id call bmw corporate and advise them of situation,they are very serious to your satisfaction with the vehicle unlike ford where they dont give a hoot
  • firstlady4925firstlady4925 Member Posts: 2
    Somebody HELP!

    My husband purchased me a 1993 BMW 740 IL about 6 months ago. I love it!!!! On yesterday, the car would not start and we searched for the battery and cannot find it. We called our local BMW dealer and they gave us ideas on where to search - to no avail. We found the cable connection (under back right seat) so its running again. But where is the battery????????????
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    back seat---real pain in the neck...
  • firstlady4925firstlady4925 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks so much! I think that we will just let the Pros handle this one. Again, we did get it started.
  • aarkeyaarkey Member Posts: 4
    Hi All,

    Could you please suggest me an Extended warranty for my 2003 BMW 525i with 26000 miles. My car has BMW manufacturer warranty till April 2007.

    I got this car last week and I'm the 2nd owner of this car. I bought this car from a Non-BMW dealer. He is offering me to take 3rd party warranty from AUL corp (6years/100k/$0 deductible) for $1900.

    and also I got some online quotes from Continental for "Protective Factory plus" warranty (6years/100k/$100 deductible)for $2000. Did anybody using Protective warranty?

    As BMW is not offering any warranty after 4years/50k miles, Could you please suggest me of any reliable 3rd party warranty,

    thanks in advance,
  • edmundsquidedmundsquid Member Posts: 1
    Im thinkng about buying a used BMW, 3 or 5 Series. No older than 1995 no newer than 1999. At the moment Im just doing some reserch. Not really knowing what to look for or what to avoid. I would appreciate any advice as to where the Pittfalls lay when considering a used BMW. Ive just been bitten by the BMW bug and Im trying HARD not to rush into anything. I havent even driven one yet but I like the way they look and Im a big fan of german engineering. Anyway any advice or comments would be great. Thanx In Advance
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    Well the 530i from that era is probably one of the best and most reliable BMWs ever made so that would be a good one to look for.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    repeat this mantra with any used BMW out of warranty...."low miles, low miles"......under 80K, preferably under 60K.

    After 80K, if there was deferred maintenance, you're going to pay for it.
  • asavitzasavitz Member Posts: 1
    What did you determine was the best solution?
  • geek_girlgeek_girl Member Posts: 7
    Does anyone have any recommendations for an extended warranty for a 2003 325i with about 34000 miles on it? My warranty expires next week and I want to continue with the maintenance (I found a deal online for $945 for 2 additional years for the maintenance), but not sure who is reliable for warranty.
    Anyone have any experience with purchasing either of these?
    Thanks in advance,
  • cotmccotmc Member Posts: 1,081
    Jen, Who quoted you $945 for the extended maintenance program?? I'm in the market for that. I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide some info.

    Because I purchased a CPO, I can't help much on your warranty question. I've seen a couple people write good things about Warranty Direct, but I personally would feel more comfortable buying an extended warranty directly from BMW.
  • geek_girlgeek_girl Member Posts: 7
    I saw it on bimmerfest:

    But those guys stopped responding on-thread, so I went to my local dealer and told them I knew how much they paid for it (~$900) and they gave it to me for $100 over (as opposed to the $1700 retail they quoted me).
    I also got the warranty through them, but not sure if it's any better than from an external vendor (they charge $50 deductible).
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