BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair

sngsng Member Posts: 9

I am wondering if folks have any recommendations for repairing scratches on paint. My bumper got scraped and I want to see what I can do.



  • brian525brian525 Member Posts: 21
    You can get a bottle at PepBoys or Kragen, or just about any auto parts store.. assuming that the scratch is not too deep...

    Works good for little rock chip scratches...
  • sngsng Member Posts: 9
    Thank you.

    Any recommendations for chip fillers?
  • kturner00kturner00 Member Posts: 2
    I have the opportunity to purchase a 1991 525i. Its a pretty clean car and only has 108K miles on it. My concerns are the high cost of repairs/maintenance (?) and the use of premium gas (considering how much it costs at this time). I've heard that some repairs are typical with bmw (like upper brushing or control arm?) I'd like to know if there are any other major repair items ($$$) that I need to be aware of. Is it necessary to use premium fuel or will mid grade work? Any comment/suggestions?
  • zeenzeen Member Posts: 401
    How does one remove the headlight covers on a 97 528 to clean the inside?
  • 5speed55speed5 Member Posts: 31
    In order to remove the headlight covers, first, you must have PATIENCE, if not, you will wind up cracking the two plastic tabs that seperate the clear plastic from the assembly.

    There are two screws located behind the whole headlight assembly. Unscrew those. Also you must remove the plastic "filler trim" under the headlight assembly from the outside.

    The whole headlight assembly will then pull forward from the car.

    On the top of the assembly, you will see two plastic clips...these are the ones that can break easily if you do not take your time. Carefully pry them up a LIITLE with a small screwdriver. The clear plastic will seperate from the assembly with a little coaxing, as there is a gasket that seals it pretty tightly together.
  • zeenzeen Member Posts: 401
    Thanks for your help. I will give it a try and take your warnings seriously.
  • zibodozibodo Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98 528 I bought used and certified last October. It had a creaking noise originating in the windows. The dealer told me this was a design problem with the door seals and replaced the seals in the front doors under warranty. Now 8 months later the noise is back in all four doors. Since I couldn't see any difference in the seals before or after the replacement, I am now questioning whether they were replaced or simply lubricated. Has any one had this problem, is there really a replacement seal design and if so is it possible to get replacements after the original warranty is expired.
  • GLeenGLeen Member Posts: 46
    I just starting to hear a noise coming from the driver's side door on my 1998 BMW 528iA and brought my car in to WA of BMW in NY. They replaced the door seal and I have yet to hear the noise again.
  • zeenzeen Member Posts: 401
    I have a 97 528 and I had creaking noises coming from both front doors. It sounded like it was coming from where the vinyl is folded under along the edge of the door. (The first step is always isolating the noise.)
    I finally put some grease on a piece of hard paper and slid it between the door frame and the vinyl. The noise was gone. I have usually been able to eliminate rubbing noises this way.
  • cheekscheeks Member Posts: 67
    Has anyone heard a slight rubbing noise from the steering wheel when turning at slow speeds?
  • zeenzeen Member Posts: 401
    YES. I had the same problem and used the same solution as I did for the door trim. I put some grease on a piece of stiff paper and slid it around the area behind the steering wheel where the rubbing was coming from. It got rid of the noise. I don't know if an adjustment can be made to the wheel but this was an easy fix even if I have to do it every few months.
  • mickmickmickmick Member Posts: 4
    I purchased a mgrs car with 7K on it. Noticed a grinding noise coming from brakes. Had them checked out at the dealer and he said everything is within specs. I have since driven other 2000 28's and have not heard the same noise when applying brakes.

    Any ideas what could be causing this. Have talked to some who say some 528's have this problem.

    Thanks, Rich
  • davv62davv62 Member Posts: 76
    I have a new BMW 530i and have had a few minor electrical/computer problems. I haven't yet taken it to the deal for service but I wonder if anyone else has had these problems.

    First, my computer indicated that I was low on washer fluid. This was true, and I filled up the container under the hood. However, the indicator continues to go off every time I use the car.

    Next, all my computer settings (date/time, mpg, average speed, speed limit, etc.) were wiped out for no apparent reason.

    Next, on one occasion only, the speedometer and mpg gauge stopped working one night. The next day they worked, and they have worked since (about 5 days).

    Has anybody else experienced these problems and had them resolved?
  • infinitimninfinitimn Member Posts: 146
    There are 2 washer fluid containers, one for power (?) wash and one regular. I made the same mistake and filled the wrong one. I haven't experienced the other electrical problems.
  • davv62davv62 Member Posts: 76
    Thanks for the information. I will look for the other container and fill it.
  • zeenzeen Member Posts: 401
    My 97 528 takes an H-7 low beam bulb. Is there a replacement that doesn't require me to go to the dealer? Can I go to Pep Boys and get one? If so, is there another number that is a replacement for the H-7?
  • infinitimninfinitimn Member Posts: 146
    I went to Auto Zone for my '98 528 headlight bulb. They had no problem finding the right one.
  • llangley1llangley1 Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking to buy a 2000 528I wagon and I've been hearing that they are not good in snow. The computer takes over and makes it hard to go up a hill. Any idea if this is a problem?
  • ealfonzoealfonzo Member Posts: 1
    I took delivery of a new 530I in May. I am pleased except for one problem. My steering wheel is off center a bit to the left. I have had it back to the dealership twice and they have done two alignments but the problem is still there. The service manager said that it is normal and caused by the contour of the roads I am driving on. Also had a vibration over 75 MPH. Dealer re balanced the wheels but eventually needed to change from Continental to Michelin tires which seems to have solved the problem at least temporarily. Has anyone had this experience? Does the answer form the dealer seem legitimate.
    Any advice would be appreciated.
  • avl2001avl2001 Member Posts: 4
    Some time ago someone posted a message about whistling noise in their 2000’528iA at the speed of 80Mph when the gas pedal was lightly pressed. The message author was advised to check his car and some time later he said that the car was diagnosed.

    I too have the same problem in my 2000’528iA. The noise appears at speeds between 75-80Mph only when the gas pedal is lightly pressed. If I release the pedal or press it harder, the noise goes away. The noise doesn’t appear at any other speed and it doesn’t affect the performance of the car in any way.

    I scheduled a service appointment to have the problem fixed; however, the caveat is that I had already taken the car to service before I saw the aforementioned post and sure enough they hadn’t found anything wrong with the car. This time though I mentioned to them that somebody else had had such a problem and that it had been fixed. They said it would be useful if I could find out what exactly had been fixed. So, I’m wondering if somebody had this problem, if it was fixed, and if so then what exactly was fixed.

    Thanks in advance.
  • mickmickmickmick Member Posts: 4
    Hi. I too have a 2000 528 that also makes the noise at 75-80 mph. If you get any info please get back to me mickmick.

    My car also has very noisy brakes. see my no. 13 post.



    you can email me directly at [email protected]
  • twinnertwinner Member Posts: 3
    I recently purchased a certified 1998 528, and have noticed a very hard, jolting shift when the car reaches about 20 or 25 mph. I have also noticed that, after I stop and put the car in park, the car jolts and jerks backwards. I took it to the dealer, who told me this is perfectly normal and I shouldn't worry about it. I'm not sure I trust his response....?
  • twinnertwinner Member Posts: 3
    I've noticed a couple minor squeaks and rattles when going over bumps in my 98 528iA. I believe they may be coming from inside the rear door panels, or perhaps from the rear sunshades. Only a mild annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless. I'm not sure how to strategiclly apply WD40, without taking apart the rear door panels.

    Anyone encountered this before? Any good advice?
  • jccsscjccssc Member Posts: 44
    mickmick - please see my posted message to avl2001 about the "whistling" noise at 75-80mph problem in "sedan - 5-series" section. Good luck.
  • kleveyklevey Member Posts: 5
    Ok this isn't earth shattering but as my friend and I both have the same problem I thought I'd ask.
    We both have a 2001 525. I went to the dealer (as did he) and had them program two of my keys. This would hopefully allow both my wife and me to be able to open the door and have the seat in the correct position.
    The dealer said that the key remembers the last person to use the key and would put the seat back in the position it was when that key was used.
    This has never worked. I thought I was going nuts until my friend said the same thing happens to him and his wife.
    Does anyone have a good explanation of how this works.
  • pok1pok1 Member Posts: 1
    I have two questions on which I hope someone can provide some advice. I'm presently looking to purchase either a 2002 530 or 540. While I've test driven both cars, neither had the sport suspension.

    Question #1 I live in the Midwest and snow is a problem. Both dealers have told me I will have to replace the 17" tires with 16" all weather tires in winter. One dealer also indicated that the car still will not handle very well, even with the 16's, because of the sport suspension.

    Question #2 If all of the above is true, does the suspension make enough of a difference in performance to warrant the additional expense involved with a second set of tires and rims?
  • davv62davv62 Member Posts: 76
    A guy I know has a Mercedes C43 AMG with the sport package. It performs abysmally in the snow, and one solution he is considering is the purchase of an additional set of tires to be used in the winter.

    We went on a ski trip last April, and his was the only car that could not make it up the mountain to our condo. Even my RWD 5-series BMW made it up with no problem. Even getting his car moving on a flat surface, with some pushing, was a problem in the snow. The traction was terrible.

    I therefore think that based upon where you live, a set of winter tires is necessary at a minimum to make sure that you can get around. Try to find out if others have used them and how effective they are. That I don't know, but I do know that with a sport suspension and regular tires, you will go through hell in the winter in snowy areas of the midwest.
  • moose26moose26 Member Posts: 3
    has anyone else found the standard audio system a bit subpar. If so, what recommendations do you have on upgrading?
  • rkt88rkt88 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 528i wagon I bought used at 12k miles. BMW did a service at that time but now at 20K three green dots appear on the dash which BMW says approx 6K more until service. Isn't this too long between oil changes? (14K) And is the "free maintenance really free for A and B service?
  • rkt88rkt88 Member Posts: 3
    Reply to K message #21 and Rich #22; I too have a high pitch noise in my 20K mile 2000 528i at 70+MPH and I can vary the sound by getting on and off the accellerator. It sounds like gear whine from the rear end. Mine is an automatic 4 speed with 4:11 rear axle ratio according to the facts book. I have not mentioned it to the dealer yet but plan to and next service. If it is what I think it is it could be an expensive fix.
  • bowinkbowink Member Posts: 9
    Question is it possible to purchase dust covers to go behind the wheels to keep the disc brake dust off the rims ???????

    Ty [email protected] .com
  • rockypaulrockypaul Member Posts: 104
    My dealer cautions that if you get the sport suspension you must get 4 snow tires to drive in the winter here (Rochester NY - 130 inches of snow annually).

    I found the sport suspensions I have driven have increased cornering ability and are confidence inspiring. However, while not harsh, they are in a word abrupt. In handling interstate road imperfections it can be annoying and not as enjoyable on long trips as the standard suspension.

    My 2001 525iat sport wagon has a perfect 50-50 weight distribution and handles like a sports car.
    The all season COntinential H rated tires are a great compromise and handle very well in snow and ice. In fact it is all but impossible to lose control on solid ice due first and foremost to the skid control program. This would no be true with the sport suspension standard summer tires.

    Hope this helps.
  • cheekscheeks Member Posts: 67
    How much would I expect to receive from dealer in the event I trade in my 01 530ia? The car has most major options (prem. sound etc.)and only 6800 miles.
  • spyderredspyderred Member Posts: 138
    What would you trade your 530ia for? Where are you and why do you want to sell it? I am looking for either a 2000 or 2001 with low miles. If you want, you can e-mail me with the specific options your car has to [email protected].

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,130
    cheeks, you should definitely use the TMV Used Vehicle Appraiser to get a general idea of what to expect. Nothing (except an actual buyer!) can give you an exact price, but you'll at least have a ballpark.

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  • cl3incocl3inco Member Posts: 10
    I recently bought a 2002 530i. The battery will not hold its charge longer than 4 days without running the vehicle. The battery runs dead, and needs to be jumped started. Interesting enough, the dealer said the exact same thing happened to another 2002 530i owner who bought the same model at the same dealership I bought mine. They tested his battery and it held a charge in the shop. But when he took it home a second time, the exact same thing happened again to him. Now, my 530i is in the dealership today (12/28/01) to review the exact problem. Something is running the battery down. Any clues?
  • gerry18gerry18 Member Posts: 39
    klevey wrote Sep 2, 01, "Ok this isn't earth shattering but as my friend and I both have the same problem I thought I'd ask.
    We both have a 2001 525. I went to the dealer (as did he) and had them program two of my keys. This would hopefully allow both my wife and me to be able to open the door and have the seat in the correct position.
    The dealer said that the key remembers the last person to use the key and would put the seat back in the position it was when that key was used.
    This has never worked."

    I was told the same thing by my salesman with my 2002 530i. I never saw a response to klevey's note. Is the salesman correct? If so, any ideas on what we could possibly be doing wrong?
  • lgrosslgross Member Posts: 55
    My 2002 530i was programmed by the dealer to operate the way you describe, but it too has never operated that way. However, we decided it was safer to just press the memory button on the door (no need to hold it if the door is still open) since we avoid problems if something is on the floor in the back. Therefore, we didn't take it back to "fix" it.
  • gerry18gerry18 Member Posts: 39
    Thanks for the advice. I will try to remember to ask first time the 530 goes in for normal service. But until then we, too, will just use the memory buttons.

  • stooxiestooxie Member Posts: 4
    We have a 2001 525i and the memory works as advertised. When you press a memory button on the door, that profile gets assigned to the key in the ignition (car should be running). When you unlock the car with that key, the profile is activated.

    The car always assigns the profile when you press a memory button so you can always reassign a key. The only thing that is bound to the key is DRLs and double-click all door unlock.

    As a note, we had to have the programming done twice, I guess they just didn't get it right the first time. After that, everything worked the way it should. If you just can't seem to make it happen, take it back to the dealer and show them.
  • gerry18gerry18 Member Posts: 39
    stooxie - Thanks for the clarification. I'll give it a try.
  • koozmankoozman Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 530 that would go dead if left parked for >2 days. The problem after several trips to the dealer was the radio. There was apparently an internal short in the radio that would slowly drain the battery. Apparently Alpine had recalled a batch. Change the radio and it should be fine, mine is.
  • joeh7joeh7 Member Posts: 4
    97 540i, beautiful car but the drivers seat is very very hard and uncomfortable. anyone have this problem and if so, solutions? I have spoken to an upholstery shop and they can beef it up. Suggestions? The car is almost undriveable.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    The seats in my '98 540i 6-speed with optional 16-way Comfort Seat are fantastic. Do you have the Sport Seat or Comfort Seat? How long have you had the car? How many miles? Do you mainly drive short or long trips? Have you adjusted any lumbar support?

    Many European cars initially feel like they have hard seats. But when you drive them long distances they are quite comfortable. A soft, initially comfortable seat can be brutal on long trips.
  • joeh7joeh7 Member Posts: 4
    The seats are the standard 540i seats. I have owned the car for only two weeks. It has 19,000 miles on it and am now wishing I would have held out for the comfort seats. I have sat in the comfort seats and they are great. The car is in mint and I mean mint condition but the left side of the seat is very very hard, almost like the foam is broken down or something. I have spoken to an upholstery shop that can re-store the seat but it is not cheap. I feel good support from the seat (legs and back) but it is just so hard.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    I actually prefer the standard Sport seats in the 540i 6-speed. But I like the rest of the particular CPO car that I bought it. Both wife and I wish it had the Sport seats! Wanna trade?

    Did you buy CPO? Have you had a dealer look at it? Have you checked list of TSB's for your year's model to see if there has been one on seats?

    Give it some time. Take it on a long trip. Adjust, adjust, adjust.
  • cheekscheeks Member Posts: 67
    I can't believe that I'm still writing about the recalled aux. fan issue. As many of you know, the replacement fans are unusually loud. The dealer can't do anything about it and BMWNA has yet to provide me with a solution. Why is it so difficult to get a fan installed that's doesn't sound like a jet turbine. What is BMW installing in the 2002 models that seems to work? I would even take a used one off a 2000 530 at this point. I find it incredible that a BMW would throw an inferior fan in the cars to solve a recall problem. I would have never bought the car if I heard the fan on the car I test drove. I would appreciate some feedback from other 01' 530 owners who had the fan replaced as a result of the recall.
  • duxievolduxievol Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 528iA which I recently purchased. There is a beeping sounds (lasts about 1/2 sec) whenever I slow down, i.e., apply to brake at speeds over 40 mph. Has anyone else experienced this, do you know of a solution - the dealer seems baffled when I try to explain this to him.
  • zubazuba Member Posts: 58
    Can not help you with the sound problem, but would appreciate any feedback you can provide on the 528 you purchased. Do you like it? What were you driving before? Is it powerful enough? I am looking for a 2000 528 w/about 20,000 miles on it for around 35K. Sound right?
  • mustang01mustang01 Member Posts: 1
    My car's (2001 503i 5-speed)service engine soon light came on yesterday shortly after leaving my house and the car started to vibrate badly. I stopped it and had it towed to the dealer. He could not duplicate the problem but said the problem was due to moisture in the emissions system. Has anyone had this problem?
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