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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • abmwguyabmwguy Posts: 15
    I did not have the same problem but this is my experience with SOS.

    The day I picked up my 06 530i the SOS broke. They had to replace the unit and then I had to take it back again so they could reprogram it....they didn't do it right the first time.
  • jackiebjackieb Posts: 4
    I just traded in my 97 528i purchased new and put about 105k on it before trading
    for 2001 740il. I replaced most of the AC at about 98,000 condenser, etc.
    Also, the o2 sensor went out and your problem with the shaking in steering and
    when braking may be a warped rotor(s). I was beginning to spend $ for repairs
    after 90,000 (steering hoses, AC, o2 sensor) and decided to trade. Also,
    watch out for problems with the transmission (if automatic) around 100k to 120k.
    Overall, from time of purchase to about 90k, this was the best car I ever owned.
  • jakemailjakemail Posts: 7
    Hi, I have a '98 540ia and am getting some unusual behavior. Every now and then the car will stall about 10 seconds after I start it. It doesn't always happen, just every now and then. And I can always restart it to get it going. And once I start driving it the car won't stall. However I am finding that it is doing it more and more and would really like to know what's going on. The car only has about 45K miles on it, but could this be a bad O2 Sensor? Does anyone have any idea what's going on here? Thanks in adavance.
  • dellgatedellgate Posts: 3
    I have a strange heater/climate control problem with my 2003 525.
    When outside is not hot (out side temp at 65 F; climate controls both driver & passenger set at 65 F with A/C off), my driver side vent is blowing cool air (i.e. Ambient air). However, passenger side vent is blowing hot air.

    I took it to BMW dealer and they said it is normal. At the dealership, driver vent was reading 98F and passenger side read at 112F at idle with 67F outside temperature (14 degF difference between driver and passenger side).

    The dealership's explanation is that 5-series passenger side is always hot ( ~ 10 degF). Therefore, you need to run A/C if want cool air on passenger side.

    Do you think this is right diagnosis OR Does dealership has no clue how to fix this problem? :lemon:

    Any help / suggestion would be appreciated.
    Can any 525 owner try this set up (out side temp at around 65 F; climate controls both driver & passenger set at 65 F with A/C off and feel the difference between driver and passenger sides vents)?

    Thanks in adavance.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    The temps on each side of my 02 530 are the same if they are set that way. Even today, when it was in the 80s, both sides were blowing cool outside air. Dunno whether they changed something for the 03 MY, but if your owner's manual doesn't mention it, I'd say they didn't and you ought to find a more competent (less lazy?) dealer. (I wonder whether it just needs to be recalibrated.)
  • tcana6tcana6 Posts: 3
    Hello guys, I have a 91 5 series and I need to change my spark plugs due to some misfiring. the car is a 6 cylinder but seems like its running on only 4. Can anyone tell me where I can locate them. It would be greatly appreciated. :(
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    They are under a plastic panel on the valve cover; this page should help. Since each spark plug has its own coil, a coil may be bad. Or you might have oil in the plug well. Assuming the plug wells are dry, I'd try the plugs first.
  • tcana6tcana6 Posts: 3
    Hey thanks. That really helped a lot my car is back to purring like a kitten ;)
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Glad to help! I'm also glad it was something simple. Those Fives are great cars; I have a friend who put close to 300,000 miles on her 1989.
  • mch2mch2 Posts: 36

    The problem was a faulty Engine Hood Contact Switch. Once that was replaced the problem went away.
  • georgewmbgeorgewmb Posts: 1
    My 1997 BMW528i has a cold start problem. When vehicle starts it runs rough as though running on four cylinders rather than six. Once I press the accelerator and bring the rpm's up to 1000 every thing smooths out and vehicle behaves normally.

    Vehicle then behaves normally for the rest of the day unless I let it set for a long period. Then the rough idle problem occurs again.

    There are no codes set as a result of the rough startup idle
  • abmwguyabmwguy Posts: 15
    06 530i

    When I leave the office in the evening I turn on my air conditioner using the automatic mode. When I park my car in the garage after my drive home I turn the air conditioner off with the "off bottom" and get an orange light showing the system is off. When I start the car the next morning the air condition comes on automatically. The same is true if I use the vent system.

    Is there a way to set the controls so when I turn the air conditioner or vents off they stay off until I want to turn them on.

    Thank you
  • juventusjuventus Posts: 5
    I have a 2006 525i ordered. Where can I get some "practical" cupholders for the front.
  • rrusso1rrusso1 Posts: 23
    Check Although the product line on the site does not show a cupholder for an E60, they are available if you contact Mike (click on contacts for his email). I got 2 of them and they work pretty well. Mike is a good guy who is very reputable.
  • juventusjuventus Posts: 5
    rrusso1 Thank you.
    I guess you are the one I need to contact in case of any problems with my 525i.
    Appreciate it.
  • vamikevamike Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 540i. After running on the highway, sometimes it produces loud creaking. The movement over the normal roadway produces creaks and groans. Even applying the brake creates an extra sound. The handling is firm and the dealership cannot find anything. The noise is so pronounced at times that when I get out of the car, the shift of the suspension can be heard.
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    "Have you checked whether A/C system is set to 'auto' in the dash? If so, I guess the system is automatically switching the AC in in the morning if the car temperature is higher than that preset by means of the two appropriate dash buttons."

    I have realized this morning that the above-quoted answer I posted some days ago is wrong. I wrote that by memory, without checking it in the car :mad:
    It is not the 'auto' but the 'snow' button you have to disconnect in the dash. In any case, the central '0ff' button is to make temporal changes that only hold until the engine key is switched off.

  • lazzarichlazzarich Posts: 37
    I have a 2000 540i automatic with 70k miles. It goes extremely well but has recently developed a ticking sound which is prominent at idle. The first time this occurred I had the belts replaced and this seemed to cure the problem.

    We did this the second time but it did not help. I read in the latest edition of Bimmer that this could be related to the hydraulic valves. They indicated it was irritating but not in need of repair. Should I have it checked out or just continue as if it is normal?

    This same edition also noted that this particular engine and transmission were prone to problems - anyone taken one over 150k yet?
  • up540up540 Posts: 1
    i have a 2000 540i 6-speed manual transmission with about 79,000 miles. two days ago, i started to hear what i can only describe as a knocking, grinding sort of noise coming from what seems to be the underside of the car. i've narrowed it to it occurring only while the car is in gear...when i take the car into neutral and it is coasting, the noise goes away. based on this, i suspect the culprit is the gear box and/or related to the transmission somehow.

    has anyone else experienced this? and if it is the transmission, am i in for an expensive trip to the repair shop?
  • dmiller4dmiller4 Posts: 1
    my engine light came on and almost simultaneously the car started to run different. i have 81800 miles on a 1999 528i. shop told me after checking diagnostics several times that mass air flow sensor was bad, part and labor $675, seems too much to me. does anyone have a similar experience? this is the first time this light has come on and the car barely made it to the shop, i was afraid it would stall at traffic lights. please reply soon, thanks. :
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Take it to Autozone and let them read out the fault codes. MAF sensors don't fail very often, though an over-oiled reusable filter such as a K&N can hasten their demise. A used or remanufactured MAF will cost about $200-if you can find one; a new BMW unit will run you around $500. The good news is that it is a fairly easy DIY job.
  • mastorasmastoras Posts: 3
    Just bought a 97 528I w/5spd.When I parked it last night I noticed a very faint buzzing sound (like an electrical motor still running) coming from the center console (climate control panel) even though car was off key out of ignition,everything off.This morning the car started with no apparent loss of battery power but now a day latter the sound is still there.What is it,is there something that can be on with the ignition off?The sound is so faint you really have to listen for it.I've only had this car a couple of days so I still do not understand many of the controls,perhaps something is left on.
    Thanks in advance.
  • adareadare Posts: 6
    Greetings all, have tried to search engine on the above and no joy. Shock horror recently when I returned to my new purchase to discover considerable moisture build up inside rear window and a rear passenger quarter window - at its base. This clearly means water source inside car!!! Car had been closed up in warm sun. The car had been hand washed 24 hrs before. (Rear floor mats seem dry so no moisture source there - I remember posts warning about a poss prob).
    I would be grateful to hear of any thoughts re a common problem / fix, thanks.
  • phampham Posts: 6
    Does any body know if I need to rotate the tires? my car is 18,000miles.
    Does the warranty cover it? Please advise. Thanks.
  • gkg680gkg680 Posts: 25
    A neighbor of mine may soon try to sell her 1998 528i, which has less than 2000 miles on it. She bought it new, and it's been in an indoor, heated parking facility, undriven in recent years.
    I'm not sure what the pitfalls of purchase might be, but my own car is nearing the end of its useful life, and I'm wondering about buying the BMW.
    I would welcome any thoughts or suggestions anyone might care to share, regarding the things to worry about, such as what problems age can cause, even though the car has been sitting idle.
    Sincere thanks.
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    Tire rotation is not covered by BMW's "free" maintenance. Check your tire wear. I use a penny or dime and check several spots on each tire. If wear appears even, I'd leave them alone. If uneven, rotate front to back or side to side to wear even over the life of your tires. Also check your tires before rotating to see if they have to be mounted to rotate in one direction or to have a specific side on the outside.
  • rockypaulrockypaul Posts: 104
    Having stored BMW's for winters I can say that the two things to accept as you go into this purchase include rusted and pitted brake rotors, and, the need to reset all the electronics if the battery drain has caused a loss of memory. Neither situation will be covered by warranty at this point.
    I purchased 2 of the BMW power systems that keep all the electronics in proper order for storage and they work fine. However, if my brother cannot take the vehicles out for exercise the brake rotors can get far out of spec.

    All else should be fine assuming proper synthetic spec oil has been regularly changed.
    A minor issue can appear if the speed rated tires are not left over inflated. Flat spotting can be an issue with some of the tires.
  • freddybbfreddybb Posts: 95
    I picked up my brand new 530xi last weekend, only to have to take it back to the shop where it has been for the past three days! I was so excited to get this car, but this experience has numbed my excitement and left me afraid about what reliability problems are to come.
    Apparently there is some kind of electrical malfunction that is causing the iDrive screen to be so dim that it cannot be seen, and the "High Battery Drain" warning message comes on intermittently. Has anybody else experienced this problem? The dealership does not seem to know what is going on and is working with BMW to resolve it.
    They first gave me a Neon to drive, but are switching me to an X3 -- but all is want is for the 5 to be fixed.
    Beautiful car, but I wish it worked out of the gate. Now I have friends sticking posters on my office window at work saying "My other car is a new BMW, but at least my Neon gets me to work!" -- how cruel they can be :-)

    Oh well, all the waiting and then this -- I hope I get it back soon.
  • abmwguyabmwguy Posts: 15
    I have an 06 530i and had the same problem with the high battery drain car was at the dealer for two weeks. The dealer hooked the car up to BMW so the BMW engineers could see what was going on with the computer.

    BMW NA is familiar with the problem. My invoice says they found a fault 2DED in DME and replaced the ISB. They gave it a PUMA case number of 4859917.

    The car has been working ok for the past 3 weeks.

    When I pick-up the car, I was told BMW just put out a service bulletin that day not to replace any parts becasue BMW was working on a fix.

    Like you I was crushed. I have had my new 06 back 4 times in less than 2 months. The other day I got a low oil light........I called BMW customer service and they said the dealer failed to do a proper inspection before they delivered the car. I added one quart of then I checked the anit-freeze to find it was at the minumun level...I filled it up.

    This is my first BMW.....I am not impressed.

    Hope this helps.
  • beamingbeaming Posts: 40
    Sorry to hear of your troubles --- good luck with getting them resolved. Let me know what happens........
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