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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • Question is it possible to purchase dust covers to go behind the wheels to keep the disc brake dust off the rims ???????

    Ty Bowink@cfl.rr .com
  • 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 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.
  • 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

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    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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  • 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 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 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 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.

  • 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 Posts: 39
    stooxie - Thanks for the clarification. I'll give it a try.
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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.
  • 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 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?
  • 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?
  • ibmb1ibmb1 Posts: 5
    I'm a first time BMW owner, 2001 530i, and notice whenever anyone touches the black surfaces (dashboard and door tops) white marks appear from finger prints. The marks wipe off with water and cloth. Anyone have any suggestions for preventing (other than not touching!!)?

  • have you tried to use any leather protection on it yet? I noticed that problem too when i touch the dash. I used leather protector, which makes a layer of coating, prevented that from happening again. But then you will have to use some every wash.

  • cmiletticmiletti Posts: 1
    I own a 530i. I ordered it with the Sport Premium package (17" wheels, etc.) I has about 13k miles. Right around 8k, I took it to the dealer to have it checked. They claimed that it is caused by the tires. I just took it to the dealer for the first service and asked for an inspection of
    rear axles and bearings. They told me again that the rumbling noise is caused by the " aggressive tire pattern" of the tires. I've replaced two tires with the original type (Continentals). It sounds horrible during low speeds (20-25 mph or so) and while I am slowing down. The noise forces me to raise the radio volume. I bought the premium audio system and feel that this takes away from it. Has anyone experience this problem? I am about to turn this over to BMW. If you have any suggestions, please advice.

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    It ISN'T normal.Even though the Contis are far from great tires, they shouldn't get that noisy at 8000 miles. Assuming that the car has exhibited the problem since new, I would be looking at the driveshaft.
  • bmw530bmw530 Posts: 6
    I am about to buy a 2002 530i. Can anyone tell me if the sports package is worth it and if it is uncomfortable on long drives?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    I love my 540i manual. Comes standard with the Sport Pkg. An absolute joy to drive long distances on interstate and 2-lane highways. But I also love my wife's non-Sport 323iA. Not sure you can go wrong. Guessin' the M3 and M5 probably ride a lot harder.
  • ibmb1ibmb1 Posts: 5
    Thanks for the idea. Does the leather cleaner cause any glare on the treated dashboard?

    Thanks, M
  • ibmb1ibmb1 Posts: 5
    I developed the same problem on my 2001 530i w/sport package at 7000 miles. Took it to the dealer I purchased the car from and they said it was the Continental tires causing the noise. ?So how do I fix this? They said call Continental. Called Continental, they looked at the tires and said it's the "alignment" causing the tires to wear unevenly (all four tires exhibiting this uneven wear"). So now I'm going back to the dealer to have the alignment checked. Continental required before they will take any further action!

    BTW - the dealer said I'm to expect this from such a high performance car!!! While I loved driving this car prior to the noise---not the "Ultimate Driving Machine" dealer service!!
  • I am contemplating a 525 or 530 - really comfortable ride! However, I have heard from many new body style 3er or 5er owners that they are experiencing lots of stone chips on the front hood, right above the grille.

    Is this true? If yes, how could I (as future owner) mitigate this issue?

    Thanks for all your help.
  • darkbluedarkblue Posts: 10
    Considering buying a dark blue 2000 540 with steptronik, sport package, nav system, premium sound and the rest. Making an offer tomorrow. Have test driven a 6-speed one recently. The ride was too stiff. It is worst (or better depending on your point of view) than my 635csi. Although this is how it should be for high-performance car, I don't think I can deal with it commuting some 60 miles a day. Does anybody know how the ride would differ if I change the tires to 16" after I buy it? It currently has the 17" rims.

    Also, any other concerns about this particular model? I know the seats are not comfortable, but I have to get used to it.
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