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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • djocksdjocks Posts: 124
    1. For the 525i owners (especially 6-speed M) do you feel the lack of power and wish you had gotten the 530i? Or with the new HP in the 06's is it still a rewarding drive?

    2. For all 5-series owners in the northeast. Do all of you change to snows in the winter, or did some of you brave it with the non-sport package all season tires? And how did you do.

    3. Finally, do the 06's have the aux input like the 3-series for i-pods and or mp3 players?

  • freddybbfreddybb Posts: 95
    Thanks for the details. Here's how it worked out for me. The dealership ran extensive tests on the battery only to find that there was no real high drain as the error message said. So the opened a case with BMW and were advised to replace the iDrive screen. They had to overnight this and once they replaced it things seem to be OK. So they had the car for four days during my first week of ownership and I just got it back today. Is the same as the ISB you mention (I don't know what ISB stands for)? I am skeptical that this fixes the problem (I am an engineer and typically replacing the light bulb does not solve the wiring problem underneath!), but I am very happy to have the car back.

    Other than this sad start, I absolutely LOVE the car. Great driving, I have no issues with iDrive (I work with computers all the time), and LOVE the Heads-Up Display (thought it would be a gimmick but it is actually VERY useful and strikes me as being a real safety feature).
  • I have the same problem with satellite radio. I actually ordered it from the factory with satellite built in, but it came without it. Also, the RDS is not working. Any help from you guys? I am really annoyed that after getting a car with all the options and cost, you can't even see what song is playing!
    I can go on with the small problems and annoyances of this car, but it's really frustrating! Next entry will be about the sport tire and rim packages (now that I've had to replace three rims after only 12K miles! They also tried to get me on the car not 'aligning properly' for another $700!
  • My BMW has high mileage (175k) but looks and runs great. Only problem is that when the A/C is on, while it works the heating system does not seem to turn off and there is a constant oozing of super heated air coming in on my feet. The A/C can not overcome this additional heat source. The local mechanics simply turn on the A/C and see that it works, tell me the car is fine. Anyone else have a similar problem or can suggest a solution? Thanks.
  • drm4152drm4152 Posts: 1
    Does anyone know how to get under the hood when the secondary latch mechanism does not completely disengage? The inside latch appears to work fine, but the latch release located on the passenger side of the grill will not release the hood. Thanks.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Nothing is wrong with your car. The noise that you are hearing is a tiny fan that draws interior air across a temperature sensor to provide data to the HVAC system. Some fans are noisier than others. The fan begins running whenever a door is opened. The various and sundry computers of your 5er don't go into sleep mode until @15 minutes after the engine is turned off, which explains why you continue to hear the fan.
  • rahulkrahulk Posts: 1

    I took delivery of a New 525 XI and the second day I got the "High Battery Drain" warning message and thought that I did not lock the door overnight, not sure what the problem is again this msg. seems to appear almost everyday. I plan to take it to the dealership to get this rectified. Any input will be appreciated.


    ??Is this the Ultimate driving machine??
  • freddybbfreddybb Posts: 95

    Can you see your iDrive screen? That's what they replaced in my 530xi and things seem to be ok now. I say "seem to be OK" because the High Drain error still shows up once in a while and then goes away. I am an engineer and I don't believe BMW or the dealership really knows what is going on here -- they are probably (hopefully) trying to find a permanent cure for this right now while they replace whatever they have to replace to get these new cars on the road.
  • freddybbfreddybb Posts: 95
    BTW, Rahul, YES it is the ultimate driving machine -- just NOT the ultimate electronic machine! I love the way it drives and I have no regrets (just a bad initial experience), but I wish BMW would simply source their electronics (eg, Navi) from the same supplier that provides it for my flawless (electronically) Honda Odyssey!!
  • I purchased a 2001 540i, 4.4 282 hp, 61,000 miles 9 months ago and love driving my 'new' BMW. Yesterday my wife was driving the car and the air shut down completely only to come on later that day. The temp outside was mid 90's, any suggestions on why this would happen? Is this the sign of a potential larger problem coming my way? Since this only happened once I don't plan on taking the vehicle in to get looked at so I thought I would summon your advice on this forum.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Did the HVAC fan quit or was the system blowing hot air?
  • I have a 525iT and had the same problem. I found that by using better gas,the problem goes away.
  • 1wisdom1wisdom Posts: 13


  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I hope your Dad is doing OK. As for your car, the V8s are prone to radiator failure-the sixes seem to be immune for the most part. Anyway, your best bet is to replace the radiator ASAP due to the fact that the radiator could fail at any time. The good news is that a BMW OEM radiator can be obtained for under $250 and replacement is a fairly simple job. In any event, BMW engines do not like being overheated so keep an eye on the coolant level and the temperature gauge.
  • 1wisdom1wisdom Posts: 13
    Thank you so much. I apologize for all caps. Is there anything else I should watch out for? It has the nav. system. Have a great day.

  • 1wisdom1wisdom Posts: 13
    Thank you for helping me. I apologize for the caps. How do I edit this message?

  • 1wisdom1wisdom Posts: 13
    Thank you, my Dad is doing well.

  • 1wisdom1wisdom Posts: 13
    Hi, after reviewing the messages and reviews it seems like BMW's are H. M. This is my first one. I didn't do my usual research assuming the reputation was strong since there are so many on the road and being European, not American life span would be longer. Would you recommend me selling this car. I know I will take a loss for taxes, but if that's all I lose I'm ahead. My cars in the past were Infinity and Acura. I bought the BMW due to my new career, Realtor. I'm pretty savvy when it comes to cars and yes I am a lady at that. However I really need dependability w/o much $$$ out go. I read in Motor Trend the 99 540i made car of the year w/ only 2 current recall items. I thought hey I'm buying car of the year, lol. Please someone advise me on any known problems that may come my way in very near future. Again it's a 99 540iA 53K w/ nav. system. Should I keep this car does anyone where I can get the DSP system other then from dealer?
    Thanks have a great day.

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I wouldn't recommend selling your car just yet. Instead I would take it to a good independent BMW tech and have the car checked over. It's very likely that most potential problems can be corrected for far less than the amount of money that you would lose if you trade it in. Let me know what the tech finds.
  • bmw3434bmw3434 Posts: 64
    Anyone had any oil consumption experiences with a 2006 BMW 525i?
    Not over a long period of time ... I'm talking 1 quart every 1,000 miles. The car has about 3200 miles.
  • I posted earlier #1336 regarding my heat bleeding into my A/C. Does anyone have any information on this issue? Thanks.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I agree, 1000 mile per quart is a bit excessive. However, at 3,000 miles the engine isn't fully broken-in. If you are still using oil at that rate by 10,000 miles I'd start looking to the dealer for a resolution.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,665
    I agree with div2..give it some time... but, be aware... nearly every manufacturer states that one quart usage per 1000 miles is within spec...

    We all know that is nuts on a modern car... but.. there you go..


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • I had a similar occurence on my vehicle. It was a loose power cable on the HVAC fan motor. Depending on which bump you hit, could turn off/on the blower. It will need to be reseated properly.
  • 1wisdom1wisdom Posts: 13
    Thank you for your advise. I'll keep you up todate. This morning I applied an Expoxy to the hair-line (crack if you want to call it a crack, not noticable). I let it cure for an hour and the radiator didn't leak. I'm hoping it will last, until I can get to my mechanic back in California. My son who is 20 is in an Automotive Tech School becoming certified both American & Import. I asked him to ask his instructors about the radiator. They said for me to buy an Aluminum radiator vs the plastic one BMW installs. Would you agree this is good advise? BMW wants $600.00 here in Oregon parts & labor. I don't think it's wise to repair in a regular auto shop here because should something go wrong I don't live here for repairs.
    I appreciate you help.
    Have a blessed day
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    That dealer is trying to hose you big-time- charging @$400 labor for a one hour job. Are they even including new coolant or an expansion tank? Zionsville Autosport sells the only all metal radiator I'd recommend, but it does cost nearly $600. It's probably worth it if you plan to keep the car for another 100,000 miles-if only for the piece of mind. When you do have it changed, make certain that only BMW coolant is used AND that the cooling system is bled properly. Replace the expansion tank while you are at it. Leave the hoses alone; they should be fine for at least another five years.In the meantime, watch that temperature gauge like a hawk-it's really more of a glorified idiot light and it won't move off center until the car is at the verge of overheating(blame clueless US drivers who don't understand how a gauge is supposed to respond).
  • My recently acquired 528i 5spd does not have dust boots covering the front struts. Is this normal or could it be when the struts were replaced by the previous owner they did not reinstall the dust boots. I've had a couple of people (including a BMW tech) tell me that this is normal,but it seems odd that the strut piston would be exposed to road debris like that without a boot. Any thoughts?
    Thanks in advance.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    My 1997 5er has them and they were reinstalled when the dealer fitted new struts at 124K.
  • guteygutey Posts: 1
    I am looking at buying a 2001 540I sport 6spd with 66K. I test drove it today and noticed when going around a clover leaf that it seemed that the steering became very stiff. It felt as that there was no power steering. Is this normal for this car or is there a mechanical problem. I know some cars come with variable assist steering, but this seemed a little extreme. :confuse:
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    My 2002 530 has 43000 miles on it. Last oil change was at 30,000. There is one lamp left on the oil service meter in the dash. The "check oil level" warning went on when I turned off the car the other day.

    I checked the oil dip stick when the car was cold and it registers about 25% up from the low bump to the high bump. I do not know how sensitive the BMW engine is to oil level. The last time only one lamp was on (14K miles ago), the dealer told me I should wait for that last lamp to go out, because they would not pay for the oil change until it does. I am now out of the maintanence free period so this advice no longer applies.


    (a) put a quart of oil in and wait for the last service meter lamp to go out
    (b) not put a quart in, keep checking the oil level and wait for the lamp to go out
    (c) have the oil changed now

    Also, the clutch pedel squeaks when I push it to engage and disengage the gears. Any idea what that could be?
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