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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • Thanks for your response. I did not state this in the first message but the castings numbers on all three heads were the same eventhough the springs, lifters, towers, caps were different. Who is Barker? Did you mean Baker?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Oh that's interesting....well I wonder if someone modified your car along the way? Yeah, I meant the vendor you purchased the head from.

    I guess the best thing you can do is try a 3rd or 4th vendor and see what they offer you for your car. If two or three other vendors offer lifters with Diameter A, and only Baker offers lifters with Diameter B, then you have some sort of argument.

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  • I have been searching for a 2006 525i for the past 2 months and am unable to find one to my exact specifications. I did however find a very similar 525i without navigation. My question is, if I lease this 525i and would like to add a factory BMW navigation (that will run through idrive) is it possible to do so aftermarket?

    I am aware that the screen on the non-navigation models is smaller and that might present a problem. I believe I saw some BMW navigation modules on e-bay but wasn’t sure how that would work with a non-navigation model. I would really appreciate feedback. This navigation issue would make or break the deal. Thank you.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Adding the BMW navigation to a 5er is not impossible to do, but extremely cost-prohibitive. You're probably looking at around $6k-$7k in parts and probably another $1000-$1500 in labor. Not worth it, IMO.

    There is a ton of stuff to replace. In addition to the screen (4:3 to 16:9), it's completely different iDrive software and wiring harness between the knob/buttons and the computer and screen. You also need to replace the center stack, because the non-nav only has a slot for CD and the nav has a CD slot and DVD nav disk slot. (See pictures below:)


  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Go to to get an idea of what individual parts would cost...

    Here's the direct link to the 2006 525i E60 "Audio, Navigation, Electronic Systems."
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    You'd also have to hook up the BMW Link somehow, as that is part of the package. This is not a good idea.

    I just finished playing with the NAV/iDrive on a 2006 and it's better than it used to be. Only 4 screens now instead of 8. I liked the NAV voice commands too, for pre-filed addresses only of course.

    You don't need iDrive or NAV to have bluetooth, though.

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  • aam1aam1 Posts: 26
    Dear Forum Members:

    I have a 2002 E39. I recently noticed that the coutesy lights/lamps in both the passenger and driver footwells is not working. Just wanted to foind out how I can locate and replace the burnt out bulbs. Any and all help is appreciated. The lights/lamps at the bottom of the doors are still working.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    If all the lights just suddenly went out, I'd check the fuses before I replaced any bulbs...
  • dave59dave59 Posts: 23
    I am returning my leased 525 at the end of March. I have a small star in the windshield that I have had repaired. Does anyone know how much BMW will charge me if I return the car with the crack? How much will glass shop cost? Several years ago I turned in a windshield to insurance. They raised my rates. It wasn't worth the cost of the raised rates.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Have you considered a repair? I've had a star repaired on each of my last three lease cars (two of which were BMWs), and haven't been penalized. IIRC, the price ranges from $25 to about $60 depending upon whether they come to you or you go to them.

    Best Regards,
  • dave59dave59 Posts: 23
    I had it repaired when it happened about 2 years ago. It is still somewhat visible. The repairman that worked on it said he would replace the fill if it discolored before I return the lease. Maybe I'll do this and see if it passes.
  • I have a 1998 528i that has some serious electrical problems. The symptoms are: ---> Rough idle during warm temperatures, and/OR it also idles rough in cool temperatures when going above 55 mph. I turn it off and then back on, and then it idles like normal; smooth. On top of this. When I turn off my car, take the key out of the ignition, and lock it up, - the gage cluster lights stay on all night, along with the red, night interior lights next to the rear view mirror, and my hazard light switch. My gages used to fail and not work at all, until I started to disconnect my batter and then reconnect it. My Hazard switch is always on (not flashing at all, but just a solid on light; even when the car is parked and locked). This kills my battery if I dont disconnect it when away for long periods of time. My head lights turn on as soon as I turn on the ignition, and the high beams never turn on at all. I have no control over the headlight's on/off switch. My turn signals dont work AT ALL either. A few days ago, temperatures fell under freezing point and when I started my car my high beams worked and so did my turn signals - until the car warmed up. Then it was back to chaos. I finally realized that the fuses, bulbs, and switches are in good order on my car. The battery is also brand new and within specs of the car. IS THERE ANY ADVISE ANYONE CAN GIVE ME BEFORE I TAKE IT TO THE BMW SERVICE CENTER AND GET ROBBED????? I'm starting to think that it's the computer to the car. But how many computers are there to my car? Or could they bad relays? PLEASE HELP WITH ANY ADVISE !!!!! thanks!!! - Mike
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Check your battery and alternator output.
  • Hi Everyone. I purchased a 1993 BMW 525i in July of 2004. At that time I had a mechanic do about 2103.25 worth of repairs, etc. on the car including replacing a "Support Arm" and "Support Bushings". Last week the car began to rev on its own and I took the car back to the same mechanic who said it was an air intake leak. When I called to get a status on the repair, I was told that in addition to the air intake repair, I also needed to have a long list of other repairs done (to the tune of 2K) including replacing the "Thrust Arm" and "Support Arm". Are these the same thing? If so, would it go bad again only after 2 years??? Thank you in advance for any light you can shed on this. :confuse:
  • I have the same problem with mine. Did you ever get an answer??
  • djselzerdjselzer Posts: 10
    I have heard from a colleague that the 2004 5 Series suffered several gliches. Specifically, the electrical system had recurrent problems. His 2004 530i was replaced with a 2005 530i under the "Lemon Law". I have spied a 2004 545i CPO at our local dealer. The car has reasonable mileage with a manual transmission. What can owners/lessors of the 2004 5 Series tell me about these cars that may convince me to entertain other options or take a chance?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    They could be either front or rear bushings.

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  • kelspa77kelspa77 Posts: 1
    My check engine light came on when my bmw was leaking coolant. I put a new raidiator in it and the check engine light stayed on. The fuses keep blowing in the car and we just replaced the rear tail light assembly. The stereo has been popping and going off and has finally quit working and the new lights that we just put in the car are not working. The battery was also dead so I just replaced the battery. The car will not start and has to be jumped. The battery is only 2 months old. And now there is a bad rotten egg smell coming from the car. It is so bad that you can smell it several feet from the car. Anything that is in the car also smells like it when you remove it from the car. It gets stronger as you drive the car. It is so strong that it will make your nausea. The dash board lights also went out when this all happend but they are now working again. The abs light is also on. And the air is not working very well. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,656
    It would takean electrical genius to sort thru the multitiude of electrical problems your car has but I'd bet that the smell and some of the poor running is caused by a bad (plugged up) Catalytic converter. If your mechanic has not figured this out, get a new mechanic (and a new Cat).

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    And possibly years of neglect coming home to roost...
  • killianykilliany Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 530i manual transmission and I love it. I only had to take it to the dealer once for a recall (related to smog control, I think). I bought it new in May 2004, and now it has about 18000 miles. The only electrical thing that bothered me a couple of times was this static noise in the CD/radio while I was driving. I noticed if I turned the car off and started it back up again, the static would be gone immediately. It happened three times in two years. It was annoying but not YET a real problem. I consider that one of German cars' idiosyncrasies. Other than that, I can't think of anything else. :D
  • I'm looking to buy a nice BMW 5 series, but there's one problem- it's an automatic. For a while, I've told myself I'd never go to another automatic again and use only stick shift as they are more reliable, faster get up and go, allows more engine power, better gas mileage, and have less maintenance problems. I know that BMW automatics feature Sport Automatic and clutchless Manual shifting, but to me, those features are still slow and I'd probably end up destroying the transmission even faster.

    Can anyone tell me exactly what is involved in dropping an automatic out of a BMW and swapping it for a complete manual transmission? Do I need cables or what? How difficult is a job like this and about how much would it cost? Thank you for your feedback.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    It will be more economical to just find and buy a manual. There are plenty around, if you spend a bit of time. I heard Koala Motorsport did 6-spd conversion on a E39 (96-03 model) 540 wagon and it cost > $10,000.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Check out for all BMW parts for any BMW. (Awesome site, btw!)

    Transmission <--- As an example, this is the manual trans for a 2006 (E6) 530i. And that's only for the transmission itself -- no mounts or other assorted parts and no labor. Figure 7-8 hours of labor or so, and you're looking at a job that'll cost you $4000-$5000 minimum.

    Like jb_shin said, it's probably more economical (and probably more mechanically-sound) to just buy one with it already in there.
  • the BMW 5 series I'm looking to change into a manual is a 1990 525i. I did some research and I found most of the parts I may need and they total around $1,000.00. Since it is a 1990, how much do you figure it would cost since the car is simpler and the new cars may cost upwards of $10,000; pre-owned models might be $4 or 5,000; would a 1990 cost about $2,000 to install it?
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950 1990 525i manual transmission

    That is a transmission right from BMW that'll have a warranty and everything.... I'm sure you can find a used one from a junkyard or online or something for much cheaper. That choice is up to you.

    Regardless, I believe a transmission replacement is something like a 8-9 hour job and most BMW Centers charge around $100/hour. Of course, I might be a little off there, but you get the general idea.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    I did this job on a 1990 Saab and it cost over $3,000, and that car would be easy compared to yours.

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  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I'd check with Koala Motorsport. Brett Anderson almost certainly knows more about this subject than anyone else.
  • zodiazodia Posts: 2
    I have a 1993 bmw 525i looling to sell . only having one problem , I redone the headliner and ever sence it will not start . So, if your are interested or have some idea on what to do to get it started please e-mail me at
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