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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Um , my friends former (totaled last week) 1994 318ic had the same problems. As I recall the switch was replaced twice, however I belive there was short in the lamp assembly.

    sorry couldn't be more assistance.
  • jasjas Posts: 115
    2005 changes - I was trying to find out this info to make the decision of whether to wait for 2005 or buy now: basically, any info from the dealers is a guess and BMW will not give out any info regarding 2005.

    The known changes I have heard are - with the nav and satillite which are really a fix. Possibly the little reflectors in the rear bumper which where a DOT issue (right now there is a black piece of plastic). Also, I don't think the bluetooth phone capability has been resolved yet.

    Each dealer/salesperson has an opinion. Here is what I have compiled from talking with various dealers in trying to make the 2004/2005 decision. Again, this is info from dealers not my opinions:

    Typically, there are not many changes after the first year, fixes if required and possibly a color upgrade - not many people like the copper color and they need a red.

    Supposidly, there has not been many service issues except for nav and satelite, so there is not any major problems being fixed.

    They change rims alot - some people say every year, some say every other year. The dealers have said the car is so new, that the rims will probably stay - it depends on the consumer feedback.

    The 2005 pricing and I would assume product info are supposed to be out in mid July. They expect a price increase due to the euro/$ exchange.

    BMW shuts down in August, 2005 build starts in September. 545's are the last to be built after 525/530's, so first 545 deliveries are expected in late November.

    If you want nav and satelite or if you are going to lease, then it is better to wait. If not, use the savings for your winter tires.
  • mseals528mseals528 Posts: 8
    Hey guys, my car was hit between the gas refill cap and the rear door about two weeks ago. It has been in the collision shop for 2 weeks now and they say they won't be done for another 3 business days. Since the accident the car won't stay running and the check engine light came on. I was wondering if you guys knew of anything with the damage that might cause this problem. The car was hit in a parking lot, but the damage pushed the car in about 6 inches and it runs about 2 ft long into the rear passenger door as well. They are replacing the rear quarter panel and the rear passenger door.
  • I just picked this bad boy last night and love it. Question: Does anyone know whether there are special cd's to be bought and used to utilize the upgraded "Logic 7" system... If so, What knd ?

    Thank you.
  • janritchjanritch Posts: 1
    I had the same"Passenger Restraint-System" light show up about 3 days ago. I too own the 2004 530i. The service center can not get to my car until June 30th.(Not Pleased about this) We leave on July 1st for vacation.(Driving)Did you get your's repaired and what was it? Sounds as though this is a "quirk" with this model.Thanks,Janet
  • jasjas Posts: 115
    Congrats on the new 545-6. Mine was just built last week, so I have another 4-5 weeks to wait - it is killing me!

    The Logic 7 is a Harmon Kardon processing algorithm that takes standard 2 channel audio and produces surround sound. It actually also takes surround sound 5.1 and produces 7.1. Supposedly it provides better clarity to the audio.

    I think right now most cd's are still 2 channel but I have heard that they are starting to produce surround sound cd's.

    So, any cd you put in will sound better (according to HK).

    You can get more info on the system at: et.pdf

    If you find out anything more, I would be interested.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    I happen to own an HK surround sound receiver at home. Logic 7 is a DSP-based algorithm that takes standard 2-channel stereo and enhances it through analog signal processing to produce a "surround sound" effect. So standard CDs should be benefit.
  • richterprichterp Posts: 2
    We experienced the same thing on our last 5 series but only after it was almost May 17th for this issue and has only 7K miles and we were told the tires should last for 35,000 miles and shouldn't be rotated now. The dealer told us to call BMW US to complain but they only log calls annonymously and told us it would be noted for future designs. UNACCEPTABLE! Two dealerships indicated it was a common complaint, sometimes seen with the 7-series but quite frequently with the 5-series. The car rides SOOO loud with this tire noise- almost to where I was embarassed to drive it down the street because people would wonder what the noise was! You'd think we were driving an economy car with problems vs. a well-engineered BMW. The car is only driven several miles to and from work and is in perfect have this issue on a car this expensive after only 6 months is lame. I'm currently trying to get a response/work with our local dealership (who has sold us two 5 series and an X5 over the past three years...) as well as contact executives at BMW following that conversation, if need be. My Mom purchased our other 5-series from us which we put new tires on prior to selling to her 6 months ago and hers has started doing the same noise again. Not Dunlop perhaps it's with the 5-series design and the weight/design wear on ANY tire. One posting on bmw-forums noted the regional manager of a local Dunlop tire dealership replaced his tires for him (not BMW). The vehicle was this a.m. and another dealership said it's a frequent complaint caused by, what they suspect, is the front suspension.
  • richterprichterp Posts: 2
    Anyone with the money to own a BMW most likely has the education enough to know that tires are a part of maintenance on a vehicle. However, having tires sound as bad as what many posted here are describing - in my case, after 6,000 local miles in only six months -is unacceptable. A manufacturer such as BMW shouldn't be putting cheap tires (Dunlop) on a 530 SP model because obviously they don't mesh with the weight and suspension of the vehicle. (We have several friends with 7-series with more miles and wear who have no issues so perhaps it's a design issue with the 5). Ford learned that lesson the hard way with the Ford Explorer.

    It's not the cost of the tires that is an issue. The majority of owners will and do purchase the best and most costly performance tires for their cars. It's having to do so twice a year for the time you own your vehicle. That's something you find no problem doing? Automotive media wouldn't think so in 2005 reviews of this vehicle and I'm sure potential owners wouldn't be keen on the idea either. So, are you on BMW's payroll?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    richterp... A big issue has been people wanting to use on all-season tires, and being unwilling to use dedicated summer and winter tires.

    - I don't think there is anything wrong with Dunlop tires. (Or Michelin. Continental. Bridgestone. Etc.) Most modern tires are very, very good, esp. dedicated summer and winter tires.

    - What is the treadwear rating on your tire?

    - Tire wear issues are hard to compare. Does the owner keep the tires properly inflated? Is the entire suspension and steering system within specs? What type roads are driven on? How many curbs or potholes have been hit? Etc.
  • jasjas Posts: 115
    Lets try to get to the bottom of this tire thing. I don't have any data as my 545 comes next month, but I am starting to get nervous.

    I will try to summarize some data if everybody can respond with the following: Series (525/530/545), tire type, size and treadwear, problem in front/back/both/none, problem started at x-miles.

    riez - I don't think the issue is All Season, summer/winter. Granted there is advantages of running a pure winter tire during the bad months. Remember that 25% of us don't have to worry about winter tires. In fact, most of the All Season tires will have better treadwear than a summer tire, which will probably have less problems. Granted, you may give up some handling, but that is not the issue here.

    Noting richterp - Michelin Pilot A/S has had good results on a family members 545, so possibly the problem is series related or certain tires are more suseptable to the suspension setup. It should not be.

    Tire inflation is important, but it is hard to believe that the tire pressure on so many cars has been out of limits in 6k - 8k miles.

    Lets get some data from both good and bad. This may give the people with problems some data to talk to BMW. Is it a design problem or limited to something on a few unfortunate soles either on BMW's part or a specific tire manufacturers part.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    The "problem", if it really can be called such, is a joint combination of:

    1. BMW's aggressive suspension set up. They are designed to handle and handle very, very well. They are NOT designed to maximize tire life.

    2. How aggressively and how often/how many miles aggressively the driver drives the car.

    3. The type roads driven on.

    4. The type tire, esp. treadwear indication. BMWs with Sport Pkgs and Perf Pkg tend to have the most aggressive tires that wear quicker.

    These issues aren't just for BMW. My IS300 had about 3 exterior tire wear warnings on it at time of purchase and the brochure had another 3 or 4 footnotes discussing limited tire life. Lexus indicated less than 20K was to be expected, and that is just for wear, not necessarily wear-related noise (the noise comes before the tires are worn out).
  • odysbmw5odysbmw5 Posts: 9
    I just had my engine (cylinder 6) coil replaced (under warranty of course) ----but what concerned me was that both the customer service rep of BMW USA and my BMW Service Manager were nonchalant about this. They say this happens often! I have only 13700 miles and am a very careful driver.

    Could this problem continue on the other cylinders? Should I ask BMW to cover me now for 100000 miles and not the 50k miles?

    This happened on the next day after my oil change-- that is the curious part!!

    Worried!! Anyone can shed any similar experience??---
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,583
    Relax, replacing a coil is not a major $ deal if it occurs out of warranty. It's usually the result of a manufacturing defect that should show up long before you reach 50k.

    It has nothing to do with ho0w carefully you drive. Enjoy your 5er and remember no car is perfect.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • odysbmw5odysbmw5 Posts: 9
    I just had my engine (cylinder 6) coil replaced (under warranty of course) ----but what concerned me was that both the customer service rep of BMW USA and my BMW Service Manager were nonchalant about this. They say this happens often! I have only 13700 miles and am a very careful driver.

    Could this problem continue on the other cylinders? Should I ask BMW to cover me now for 100000 miles and not the 50k miles?

    This happened on the next day after my oil change-- that is the curious part!!

    Worried!! Anyone can shed any similar experience??---
  • rancher2rancher2 Posts: 4
    I am about to buy a 2002 BMW 530i w/ 27,000 miles on it for $32K. My question is the service record indicates that the previous owner took the car to dealer for "low engine oil light on" and also had the air bag light reset. This is not a C.P.O. so I am worried about major electrical problems down the road. Any advice will be greatly appreciated
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I'd relax and take a deep breath if I were you; coil failures on the M50/M52/M54 engine family aren't unheard of, but they aren't exactly a common occurrence either. My wife's 104K mile 1997 528iA work hack has never had a coil replaced. While your coil failed a bit late for it to be termed an infant mortality, it is unlikely that you'll experience any more coil failures. In any event, you can pick up a new coil for under $70 and install it yourself in 20 minutes-I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    BMWs have had problems with oil level sensors going back to the E28. OTOH, if the owner took the car in because the nitwit lacked the mental capacity to check the oil manually... As for the SRS light, it would be helpful to know what fault was being detected. The two most common faults are the sensor in the seat belt buckle and the sensor in the bottom seat cushion. For what it's worth, my brand new 1995 Club Sport threw an SRS code on my third day of ownership. The dealer's MODIC identified the problem as the passenger seat belt sensor. I never got around to having the buckle replaced and in nearly nine years and 91K miles the problem has never returned. That said, I'd recommend having the vehicle inspected by a qualified BMW tech. While I doubt the tech will find any problems, I think it would be worth it simply for your peace of mind. Remember that the key to a reliable BMW is proper maintenance. Change the oil as indicated using BMW Synthetic or Mobil 1 0W-40. Change the BMW coolant every three years, and change the brake fluid every two years using a good DOT4 fluid such as ATE Super Blue or Castrol LMA. Needless to say, perform all other inspection services as called for. Change the ATF(if so equipped) every 80K-100K miles. The final drive and manual gearbox oils should be changed at least every 100K miles unless you track the car, in which case I'd change them out every 60K.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    I have a 2003 530iA, 12k miles. I live in central NC, where summertime highs are high 80's to mid-90's. When I drive in city traffic the A/C is worthless, or worse. Sometimes it seems to blow air that's hotter than the outside air, if that's possible. After a few sustained minutes at 40 mph or better it gets cool, but in heavy traffic that doesn't happen. Is this problem endemic to the car or do I have a problem?

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Check the refrigerant level as well as the operation of the auxiliary fan. The fan can sometimes get jammed with leaves and other debris. The A/C in my wife's 1997 528iA has no problem coping with +95F temperatures regardless of vehicle speed.
  • nomorenomore Posts: 1
    I have an E60 545i 2004. Brand new, delivered in Feb 04. I live in a cool, dry climate. Air conditioner smells like puke. After having the car serviced, which included spraying the system twice with disinfectant by the dealer (once with the official BMW repair kit), it now smells like perfumed puke. The dealer is aware of this problem in other models as well. I think it's caused by a faulty design which does not allow for the system to drain after usage. BMW thinks they're adding humidity. I think they've insured persistent mold. Why would I want to pay 60k to have toxic mold blown into my face? I hope BMW addresses this problem soon. Next week, the evaporator is being replaced. Anyone else experiencing the same thing?
  • rancher2rancher2 Posts: 4
    Dear Div2
    Thank you very much for very valuable information. It sounds like you really know BMW. I really appreaciate that. I am going to buy the car now. It sounds like sensors are the problem, and that is not a big deal.
  • george94george94 Posts: 75
    I own MY2003 E39 530 I also experienced the A/C smell. At the beginning I could not believe it was my brand new car that smelled this way (i could never smelled it inside the cabin, though). I was at denial until my wife commented on it while walking in the garage one day. Anyway, this is my 2nd summer and the smell seemed to resolve itself. It went away on its own. No service related to this issue was ever performed. I live in NE and don't use the A/C all year around. If you do a search on this subject here you will find out you are not alone and many other people experienced the same problem indeed. You will also be able to locate some workarounds although I never did them myself. Good luck.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    Make sure center vent control is on neutral or towards blue.
  • Hey Gang-

    I just got my 2004 525 and, every time I turn on the car, there is a warning on the screen that I have to push down on the I-drive controller to get rid of (basically warning you not to use the navigation system while you are driving). Is there anyway to stop the system from doing that? Also, whenever you take off your seatbelt, the bell rings and rings, and rings, until you put it back on. Is there any way to turn that off after the initial warning?
  • jbarrowjbarrow Posts: 1
    A recent tip in Roundel suggests the only way to prevent the smell is to turn the A/C off for the last few minutes that the car is being driven each time it is driven.
  • magic04magic04 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 530i that the air conditioner is not working. The display works, but no air is coming out and the fan will not come on. Heater doesn't work either I checked the fuses in the glove box, but did not find one that was for the AC blower. Can anyone tell me where the fan blower fuse is or is there something else I can check?
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Your A/C problem sounds similar to what I went through not long after delivery of my 2001 530i. I bought it new, tried all the different suggestions from the dealer to get it to work, to no avail. The problem turned out to be the auxiliary fan. It was replaced under a recall for 5 series made within a certain time period.
    Could it be that the problem is resurfacing? It would be worth looking into your aux fan to see if it is functioning properly. I haven't had an issue with mine since it was replaced.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Thanks, cmr, I'll ask the dealer about that.
  • jjohnjohnjjohnjohn Posts: 24
    Hello All, I am tired of the looks of my 1998 528i and thinking about upgrading some cosmetics. Does anyone know if I can install the Xenon headlights seen on the later models such as 2002-2003 for my car? $$? Also, how much would 17 inch M rims cost? new vs, used? I currently have the BBS mags, but looks a little outdated now. Any other suggested rim designs. I think the M rims look awesome on the 5 series. Thanks people. - john
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