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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • rtboonrtboon Posts: 21
    I have a 97 528i with 106,000 miles and am hearing a tinny sound from under the center of the car. Sounds like metal vibrating at idle. Had the dealer look at it and he says my catalytic convertor is starting to go and will need to be replaced at a cost of $1400. Anyone had a convertor go on them and what was the cost to replace? How long is one supposed to last?
  • dv8eddv8ed Posts: 17
    Picked up my BMW 525 '04 this morning from the dealer in a matter of hours first problem Airbag Restraint Faulty i-Drive says take to your local BMW dealer for service. Second problem I turn the ignition 2 clicks but did not start the engine and my i-Drive language is in German. I had to read the manual to guess my way through and change it back to English. It was simple though. I wonder if it had anything to do with me accidently holding down the panic button.. then the alarm went off then I turned it off the panic via the remote. Then I went into the car and turned the ignition then saw the German text.
  • Looking to upgrade the stereo on my 2000 528i. Anyone know how to remove the front door panels? I removed the black cap/cover and screw behind the inside door handle release. I did get to unsnap around the left, bottom and right of the panel. What next? Lift up?

  • fla528fla528 Posts: 17
    I just traded my 2000 323 in on a 2000 528 with full CPO warranty until 12/12005. My question is that the vehicle has 18" wheels with 245/40s in the front and 275/55s in the back. Also these are not the stock wheels and the 528 does not have the sport package. The ride is very harsh and the 528 is a daily driver, so I am considering selling these wheels and going to purchasing 17" or 16" wheels along with new tires..!! All opinions would be helpful.
  • Greetings,
    I last posted this message under "check engine prob, 1999 528i".
    Now, the mystery continues. Basically, my 528i had been showing a cel at various times, no faults found. Two days ago, I decided to drive the car on a trip. When I left the cel was out, the frist time I refueled, it returned. Today, driving on the interstate,( cel still showing ), my wife reached up and flipped down the sun visor on the passenegr side of the car, and opened the vanity mirror. The lights failed to light, AND when she did this, the cruise control turned off, the radio turned off, the steering wheel tilted up and retracted, the trans indicator light came on and the air bag light came on!!!!!!!!!!!!! As soon as she closed the mirror, everything returned to normal except for the cel light, the trans light and the cruise control. The lights continue to burn and the cruise refuses to work. I also lost all controls on the steering wheel, ie, the radio functions, cruise...
    The car continues to run very well, and a short time later the vanitly lights worked perfectly. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON???!!!!!!! If it were still halloween, I would believe that I am haunted.
    All ideas, similar experiences, or help are GREATLY appreciated. My independent dealer still says that car shows no faults, however I am beginning to suspect an electrical short of some type.
    Thanks in advance,
    A frustrated but faithful BMW owner
  • sykusyku Posts: 7
    I own a 03' 525I. It's been running great and I just love driving that car. But my battery went completely dead twice within the last three weeks. The common thing I did prior to each one of these incidents is that, I made a few very short trips within my town (with the head light switch in the automatic position)before parking the car in my driveway for three days continuously. When I tried to start the car after the third day, everything was completely dead. I had to recharge the battery fully before I could start it again. Has anyone come across this issue before?

    thanks in advance
    A new 525 owner.
  • Passenger seat belt keeps tightening up and locking when it should not. Impossible to loosen unless you stop car and cut ignition. My wife is beginning to suspect I am trying to strangle her. Have had unit replaced once...and no improvement. Second one now ordered. Any suggestions for keeping my BMW A1... and my wife?
  • It truly sounds to me that you have a bad computer on board.
  • Hi - Any one with the new 5-Series E60 and the professional radio (the 1 that comes with Business navigation) got the MP3 decoder working - Mine dosent work at all..... cd appears greyed out ..... tried In dash and changer...
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    I had a similar problem with my 2003 530i, new in late July. About three weeks after I took delivery, I washed the BMW and my wife's Mercedes E320. By habit, I left all the doors of both cars open while I dried the inside door frames, etc., and vacuumed both cars.

    I pulled both into the garage, and the next day the BMW had a dead battery. Roadside Assistance provided a jump start, and I took it back to the dealer. They kept the car for two days and could find nothing wrong with the alternator, charging system or the battery.

    But my salesman intervened and insisted that the Service Dep't. put a new battery in the car. The Service manager agreed, saying that often a new BMW will sit for days or weeks on either side of the Atlantic, and the battery goes bad but often checks out as being okay.

    We've had no problems since! We even were on vacation for almost 3 weeks in late September-early October, with the cars sitting without being started or driven. Got home, and both started without a hitch.

    Bottom line -- insist that your dealer put in a new battery, even if it checks out okay in their tests (and assuming the alternator and charging system check out okay). One service advisor tried to blame the "no start" problem on the many computer chips and systems in the car, and the car not being driven enough to keep the battery charged. That was horse-hockey!

    Let us know what develops.
  • Any suggestions for all-season tires that will handle well in wet AND dry conditions? Here in Maryland, I won't need snow tires, but am not looking forward to commuting in the occasional snow because my current tires have a hard enough time gripping in the rain: the DSC indicator lamp comes on frequently (for a second or two) when I corner in the rain. The tires are Toyo Proxes which, according to Consumer Reports, are supposed to offer the best blend of wet/dry traction. Even the ContiSport Contact 2s are rated below them.
  • I own a 1998 528i,and Im having an intermittent problem with wiper washer. Sometimes only the washer works, then other times it doesn't work at all, there was no signs of the wiper motor breakdown previously it just stopped. As my vehicle didn't come with and owners manual, and I would like to change the fuse or either the relays before I take it into a dealership for the repair. Can anyone tell me where I would find the fuse for wiper/washer and the relay?
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    On my '03 530 the fuse panel is in a drop-down lid inside the glove box at the top. There are a couple of twist catches that release it. The wiper fuse is # 1.

    Yours might be the same, worth a look anyway.
  • Details: My car is 1999 528i (Manual) which I had it for almost two years.
    Problem: In the morning (after a chilly night - usually below 35 degrees) when i start up the car and leave it for warm-up, it starts with no problem but dies out after few minutes and I had to restart it after which it stays on. I had been to multiple dealers who replaced Vanos system twice and the problem still persists.
    Any solutions or suggestions are welcome and appreciated. - Thanks
  • after convincing my wife that it was a good idea to spend substantially more for a five year old 528i than a late model Camry...the passenger interior door handle broke right off in her hand when she tried to open the door. It looks like cheap plastic. Is there a way to purchase and replace the handle without spending a fortune? Are ther special tools required? (It certainly is hard to explain how the Camry is perfect after 12 years and 125k miles but that's another story) Thank you.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The door handle fix is simple and inexpensive: Your CCA discount should help as far as the price goes.
    The E39(like most new BMW models) suffered from several glitches in the first few months of production. The good news is that BMW corrected most of those problems and once fixed they tend to STAY fixed. I know of several owners who have had to replace the door handles but I haven't replaced one in 3 years and 50K miles. Between the CPO warranty and and myself we fixed the half dozen or so problems that our early-build 5er suffered from. The past 35000 miles have been problem free, with the exception of a dead windshield washer pump(one hour and @$35)
    And yes a Toyota appliance is more reliable. It is also the equivalent of vehicular Novocane-also spelled B-O-R-I-N-G. We had the particular misfortune of being forced to accept a rental Camry when my wife's 3er was in the body shop recovering from a run-in with a moron-operated minivan. Now, my wife is not an auto enthusiast nor is she status-driven(how could she be-she drove a Buick when we were dating). Nevertheless, she HATED the Camry. She only drove it to and from work-she said that if she could drive a stick she would have taken my 3er and made me drive the Toyawnta. The rest of the time we left the despised appliance in the driveway. Everyone sets their own automotive priorities, and for us the occasional glitch is vastly outweighed by the superlative driving experience and capabilities of the 5er.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    I use Michelin Pilot Sport A/S. Excellent in dry/wet and decent in snow.
  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    The other day after completing a trip the "Check Engine Oil Level" message came up on the dash. I check the oil pretty regularly and have determined the burn rate (one quart every 3700 miles or so) so I was not suprised to see that it was only about 1/2 quart low (per the indicator marks on the dipstick). Nonetheless, I added a half quart to bring it up to the top mark.

    The warning message continues to come up at the end of every drive though. The oil level is not low, and I have no other problem indicators. Can't get into the dealer for two weeks - any way to clear this?
  • I purchased my 03 530 in April and many times the car would have a mind on its own and the seats would reset to other settings once I unlocked the car. The dealer tracked it down to the control module still in transport mode and then, replaced the memory control module. I have not had a problem since - 3 month.
  • I bought a 98 e39. Is it recommended to use Mobil1 even if the car never did before? The car has 80k on it. Would Mobil1 be better for longevity of the engine?
  • Hey Div2, thanks. Door panels are off with no damage.
  • Hey ManyBMWs, thanks for the reco on the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S; I'll check them out. By the way, does anyone know off-hand whether a faulty turn indicator bulb/lamp is covered under the 3/36K warranty? Thanks.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Some folks believe that you shouldn't switch to synthetic on higher mileage cars; I've done it with no problems. In my opinion you should be OK.
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    The main reason that you wouldn't want to switch is that the engine seals will have shrunk on a higher mileage car and synthetic can leak because it's much finer. I'd give it a shot but check your oil level very regularly. If you find you're losing oil switch back.

    Good luck.
  • rgwlrgwl Posts: 9
    Has anyone ever had the problem on the 2002 530I where the fan shuts off and doesn't turn back on even when I adjust the temp setting or increase the fan speed. This happens if the A/C is on or not. Is the thermostat defective ? Sometimes after a minute or 2 it kicks back in. Sometimes everything seems to work when I shut the car and restart it. ?????
  • rgwlrgwl Posts: 9
    Does anyone know how to reset the daytime running lights back on ? I had to dealer turn them off when I purchased my 2002 530I. but now I want them back on ? Dealer wants to charge me for it. Am wondering if it's simple to turn back on .
  • MY 03 530 sp, 5 sp received the check oil warning light after the first 5,500 miles. I happened to go to the dealer for my memory seat issue (see my earlier post) so they refilled the oil. However, the light is suppose to reset itself but in my case it did not. The dealer had to reprogram the LCM module. I haven't had a problem since. However, I was told these engines do consume extra oil. I am keeping an eye on this. Weird, in my Honda days I never bothered checking the oil stick....I guess it comes with the privilege of driving BMW

    Good luck.
  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    rgwl: There is a bad part in the fan control unit. TSB on this. Dealer will be aware of this one. As for the DRL's: are you saying that your's are consistant? I'd settle for that. As it is, mine randomly think they are DRL's sometimes and non DRL's other times. I'll ask the dealer to choose one or the other - I don't care - just want some predictability.

    george: I suspect I have the same bad LCM. Thanks for the insight.

    So, anyone else have driver side vanity lights that come on whenever the visor is moved to the side? Supposed to come on only when the mirror is opened, but I suspect I have a short in the visor switch.

    Worst visor in any car I have ever had BTW. Ergonomic insult.

  • sykusyku Posts: 7
    Well, it happened again. The battery went completely dead. I'll follow mbdriver's adivice and take it back to get a new battery.
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