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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • I had a 2004 BMW 525i which had continuing problems with the trunk opening by itself , the windows opening by themselves and the alarm going off when all doors are closed. After numerous attempts to fix , the dealer gave me a new 2005 model 525i after I raised loud complaints. I am now experiencing similar problems with the trunk and alarm going off by themselves. This occurs randomly and not very often - about once every few weeks. The windows have not opened by themselves on the new model but I am completely frustrated and the dealer looks at me as if can't happen and that I must be leaning on the key which is completely incorrect. Has anyone experienced similar and found a correction?
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,737
    If you lock the car and the it is parked with the sunroof or window open any passing breeze can set off the "*&^#$ motion sensor. This can be avoided by clicking the "arm" button again after locking the car which will turn off the motion sensor.

    I've found that it's easy to fail to close the trunk properly, it needs a good slam in order to latch.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • 545 trunk lid does need a good push to lock and key fob does require 2 second hold for safety reasons (one of the good BMW design features.)

    Have not had any problem with motion sensors.
    Good luck to all!
  • tcoztcoz Posts: 16
    I was under the impression that leaving the sunroof or any windows open would not allow the motion detector to arm although the other systems would.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,737
    Well this may vary from car to car but you have to disarm the motion detector by hitting the button after locking in my E39 528iA.

    It says so in the owner's manual. I've forgotten a few times and if left parked on a windy day the damned alarm will go off if the S/R is left open.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • I have a '98 528i, and when it rains, the floor on both driver and passenger sides get soaked. I was told by the dealer that there were falulty seals in the doors that was causing this problem, and they've replaced them twice. I'm convinced that's not the problem. Thoughts?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,853
    Hmmm...BOTH sides of the car...that points more to a clogged drain at the bottom of the fresh air vents, situated beneath/near the wiper blades. You have to pry up that cowl vent and see if bio matter has plugged the drains up. You can test it with a glass of water. You should be able to pour it into the vents (like a heavy rain) and see the water drain out under the car, rather than into it. What happens is that with plugged drains the basin in there fills up like a little fishtank, and the water level rises to places that are not meant to keep water out of the interior, like rubber plugs for wires or vacuum lines for instance. They are sort of air/wind proof but not water proof.

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  • Thanks! I'll give it a shot.
  • bumbiebumbie Posts: 18
    My car alarm will go off sometimes when I open hold the trunk button, why and what do I do to prevent this? It scares the %#$$ out of me when it happens. My air is also on full blast when I start the car, even if it is off when I park. Anyone know how to stop this?
  • tcoztcoz Posts: 16
    The "intensity" of the climate control was always a pet peeve of mine on my 325i and X3, but fortunately it's somewhat adjustable on the new 5-series. Go to Climate on the iDrive, then to Automatic Programs. The default is the high setting. I've changed mine to medium and it's somewhat better. I may even go to low. Basically, this adjusts how fast the climate control takes the temp to your preset by adjusting the airflow. Of course, the downside is that setting the intensity lower also means it will take longer to heat or cool the car.

    You can't do anything about setting off the alarm other than become accustomed to how long you have to hold the button down to release the trunk (about 1 second). Unfortunately, another second or less will set off the alarm.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,737
    My guess is that by holding the trunk button down momentarily you are activating the "panic" mode which sets off the alarm, consult your manual.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • medbmedb Posts: 1
    When I tern ignition on, car is cranking but will not start for about 10 to 18 seconds. Then when it starts there is a strong smell of gas. Wile I am starting the car my foot has to be on a gas pedal. It happens when car is not driven for an hour or so. BMW shop can’t find a problem. Please advise.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,853
    leaky injector or bad temperature sensor.

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  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I vote for a leaking injector as well, though a bad fuel pressure regulator could cause similar symptoms. Have the shop install a pressure gauge on the fuel rail and see if the pressure bleeds down.
  • I picked up my new 530xi last week and finally had a chance to play with all the goodies. I can't seem to make the RDS capability to turn on. Also no CD Title or song info. Any suggestions?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,853
    That's a good thought. Bad fuel pressure regulator will cause a lot of hard cranking before the car starts when cold but shouldn't really cause black smoke.

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  • I have a 545i and same issue. Hope you are sitting down to hear this.
    After ordering all these options and spending and all this money, upon delivery BMW tells me that if you have premium sound and the navigation system, RDS will interfere, and mess everything up. Therefore, without saying anything, they disable the RDS!
    I have complained about this to BMW and been told, that the car is so advanced and intricate that certain systems can not work together. I also ordered satellite radio and the car came without it for the same reason. Guess the BMW definition for "advanced" is different from the standard dictionary definition.
    I hope you have better luck and get a fix from your dealer. If so, please pass it on to me. Mine thinks I am being unreasonable asking for this option! It's very frustrating!
  • I also have a 2005 545, no RDS, but I do have NAV, Premium Sound and Sirius SAT Radio. Looks like they forgot to add it to your car as it does work on mine.
  • foxmfoxm Posts: 1
    When I change gears from 1st to 2nd on my manual transmission 2005 545i, the clutch makes a clattering sound, as if there is something loose and is shaking under the car. My BMW service advisor told me that this is normal for all BMW manual transmissions and this has been a known problem for many years. If this was normal, I would have expected this topic to be discussed in BMW forums but I could not find any discussions on this. Is this really "normal"?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Your service advisor is mistaken at best, and a liar at worst. It is not a "known problem". In my 22 years of BMW ownership I've heard of such a problem.
  • This is really crazy! According to my dealer, it was intentionally de-programmed by BMW out of my car. You should have RDS with premium sound, we all should. However, they told me that the combination of NAV with the other options is the problem (I also ordered SAT but it was not delivered.)
    So hard to believe that every other manufacturer can have RDS and NAV in the same car (as my wife's Navigator and daughter's Nissan and son's Chevy) but BMW can not!
    Have you asked your dealer to activate the RDS?
  • hihomikehihomike Posts: 111
    picked up my new 530xi last week and finally had a chance to play with all the goodies. I can't seem to make the RDS capability to turn on. Also no CD Title or song info. Any suggestions?

    You need to go into i-drive to activate your RDS. First, tune in on an FM station. Next, click on the back arrow at the top left of your screen. You should see a selection choice for RDS.

    Hope this helps
  • Thanks for the try but there is not even an RDS option in my i-drive. When BMW de-programs something, I guess they really wipe it out.
    Does your car have RDS? Do you have premium and nav? If yes, how about HUD? I really would like to get this working. Thanks.
  • I am trying to determine whether the "Premium" Logic7 sound system in my 2006 530xi can play MP3 CDs. The manual says YES, but when I tried to do so I could not get either the in-dash single CD player OR the glovebox-mounted 6-CD changer to play MP3 CDs. Please help if you know the definitive answer.

    Also, I sent in a "Priority Customer Email" to BMW Customer Service via the BMW Owner's Circle SIX WEEKS AGO with this same question. Six weeks later, BMW is STILL researching the answer to this ridiculously simple question: "Does my new BMW play MP3 CDs or not?". Apparently BMW has to "research" whether a car that they built supports a feature that the manual says it supports!!

    Here is the exact verbatim text from

    Thank you for your reply. I apologize for your frustration and for the delay. I know this seems like a simple question, but actually has, in fact required some research. Please rest assured that when a definitive answer is available, it will be provided to you immediately.


    (Name withheld to protect the innocent)
    Customer Relations and Services
  • Apologies for the goofball question, but for the uninitiated, what is RDS?
  • Not a goofball question. RDS is the feature that most of today's cars have where the radio shows the call letters of the station and the name of the song currently playing. Whatever is sent out by the station. In Europe they sometimes also transmit the station's phone number, website, etc. Sorry, but I forget what the acronym is.
    Also thought I could play MP3s in my premium sound system, NOT!
    As you said, simple and basic stuff. Frustrated, yes!
  • Thank you totalsystm. I too was confused about why my display was not displaying either radio station call letters or the CD track name. I have a 530xi with Nav and Premium Sound.

    And, if you read my message one above yours, I cannot play MP3 CDs in it either (although the manual says that we should be able to)!!

    I am mad at BMW's obvious fudging of the audio systems capabilities. I did not buy this car because of the audio system, but it always irks me when a manufacturer claims that it can do something and then it really cannot.

    And to add insult to injury, they have been "researching" the answer to my simple question of six weeks ago: Can my Logic7 Premium Sound system play MP3 CDs?

    I love my 530xi for the way it looks and drives, but BMW is a joke and a disappointment when it comes to electronics and customer service.
  • tcoztcoz Posts: 16
    I don't know whether anybody has run into this but I'll give it a shot...sorry about the length of this post.

    I took delivery of my 06 530xiT about three weeks ago. I was getting the known issue of the High Battery Drain warning coming on after the first start of each day but not on subsequent starts. It was a software issue so my dealer upgraded my software and it took care of the problem. On Thursday I had my XM SkyFi system reinstalled in the car. It had previously been in my 03 325i and my 04 X3 without problems. The first night after installation, I didn't have the tuner in the mount and next morning everything was ok. After putting it in the next morning and since leaving it in, I'm back to getting the warning on the first startup and it again goes away after shutting the car off and restarting it. One thing that might give a clue is that the power to the XM isn't shut off when I turn the ignition off. I have to manually turn it off which means it continues to draw power, but I would think that would stop when I turn it off which I always do. I told the installer that I wanted it to go off when the car is turned off, but it doesn't so I don't know whether he made a mistake or whether the E60 electronics have something to do with it. I plan to call him on Monday.

    I know the car goes into "sleep mode" sometime after it been turned off and maybe that has something to do with it. Any help would be appreciated.
  • fla528fla528 Posts: 17
    I have a 2004 525 with premium and no sports pack. Well after kicking myself for not ordering the sports package, I installed H&R sports springs over my stock struts in March of lowered the car about inch and half and improved the handleling.

    Well here's the question:: Lately when drving under 20 mph on a uneven road it seems like my four doors are creaking...!!! Is this normal or has the H&R springs caused the car body to flex too much???? Or am I nuts and everyone hears this noise???

    Your buddy in Florida.... HEY Fred come and get WILMA.....!!!!
  • We just purchased our 2006 530i last night and the Service Engine Soon light was on. Dealer said it was because the car was on while being fueled. They cleared fault and we took our new baby home. Next morning while driving the light came on again. Took back to dealer immediately and they said that the Oxygen Sensor tripped and that they couldn't see the reason and reset the fault. In another 10 miles the light came back on again when I got on the freeway home. Dealer is closed and will be taking in on Monday. Has anyone else had this happen? Will update what happens on Monday.
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