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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • That is what BMW calls the Service Interval Indicator; it has nothing to do with "efficiency". If the SI system is working properly-a big "if" on a BMW of that vintage-it just means the car needs a regular maintenance.

    * What would I do to get the Service Interval Computer gauge to go up? Give the regular service maintenance, meaning the coolant change, air filter, PCV Valve, Spark plugs, and oil change?*

    Also, the "Check" light was blinking.
    Are any red lights showing in the overhaead console? That is what a yellow "Check" light indicates.

    * Yes, the indicators I mentioned was on the overhead console and I saw a button marked "Check." Does that reset the diagnostic lights after they are fixed? Also, does this increase the level on the service interval indicator if it is properly repaired? Because these indicators are on, does it mean that the bulbs need replacing or the original BMW fuses need replacing since those fuses are easily suseptible to corrosion from the environment alot faster than normal ones?*

    What does the mass air flow sensor do and where is it located? Does it tell the car's computer the amount of air flowing into the engine to ensure proper fuel/air mixture?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    What would I do to get the Service Interval Computer gauge to go up? Give the regular service maintenance, meaning the coolant change, air filter, PCV Valve, Spark plugs, and oil change?

    You can reset the lights using an inexpensive reset tool. I would perform what BMW calls an Inspection II. It's been a while since I ran an E28, but if I recall correctly it includes changing the oil in the engine, transmission, and final drive, as well as the spark plugs, air filter, and fuel filter(there is no PCV valve). The valves also need to be checked and adjusted. Coolant should be changed every two years using only BMW coolant. The brake fluid should be changed every year using a DOT 4 fluid such as ATE Super Blue Racing or Castrol LMA.

    Yes, the indicators I mentioned was on the overhead console and I saw a button marked "Check."

    The check button only turns off the flashing "Check" light. The overhead panel shows burnt out bulbs as well as oil level and a few other systems. Sometimes the bulb works but corrosion in the socket causes the system to report a bad bulb-you should always use OEM style german bulbs from the dealer or the Sylvania/Osram bulbs available at Autozone.

    What does the mass air flow sensor do and where is it located? Does it tell the car's computer the amount of air flowing into the engine to ensure proper fuel/air mixture?

    The 528e uses a vane type airflow meter; it's part #1 on this diagram. It's not a true mass airflow meter, but it does measure the volume of air entering the engine. On any fuel injected car it is critical that all rubber hoses and boots are sound-no cracks or leakage. On your 5er the intake boot as well as all of the other vacumn hoses are probably long overdue for replacement.
  • n1danieln1daniel Posts: 27
    I just got my 530i with beige interior and as you can imagine the mats get a lot of footprints and looks very dirty. Any recomendations? I heard about clear mats? Any reasonable place to buy clear mats?

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,603
    Clear mats remind me of the plastic covers on Grandma's living room furniture...

    Stop by your dealer, and ask if you can try some black mats... They will look better than you think..



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  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Clear mats remind me of the plastic covers on Grandma's living room furniture...

    Maybe he could pull off the clear mats if he also fitted some neat-o J.C. Whitney seat covers. And maybe a set of curb feelers...
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    I bought brown or dark brown mats from Griot's 4 years ago for a 2002 530i. They closely match the wood trim and have completely protected the sand interior. Our salesman kept the address panel from the box to tell other customers where to get contrasting mats.
  • jazzy100jazzy100 Posts: 2
    I have a trunk-mounted bike rack for my 02 5 series. The maker is SARIS, model Bones 3. It holds up to 3 bikes. Used it this past weekend with no problems. I had initially inquired about getting a trailer hitch and it is pretty expensive. And with the weight of the bike rack, you would only be able to carry one bike which is why I went with the trunk-mounted rack.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,647
    I think you'd be better off with grey, black or almost any color rather than beige but if you insist on clear they have them @

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    No don't buy it, it's a money pit.

    You can buy a perfectly nice, clean ready to roll 528e for $3,500 and you'll easy have that in the tired old car you are considering (or more).

    Run away as fast as you can and buy the cleanest most trouble-free BMW 528e you can afford. If you can't afford to buy a clean trouble free one for $3,500, don't buy a BMW, would be my advice.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I found someone else submitted a message having the exact same problem with the fuel as mine; engine cranking but need slight help of the accelerator (but needs to additional gas after starting), mild odor of gas from exhaust pipe (but no black smoke), indicating the problem to be either a leaky injector, bad temperature sensor, or bad fuel pressure regulator.

    My next question would be: If I fix the fuel pressure regulator and reset the system, would it stop it from running extra gas? Do I have to change the fuel pump as well, even though it doesn't seem to be malfunctioning? If so, can I access the fuel pressure regulator and pump from the trunk?

    If I go the extra mile to change the mass air flow sensor, would it make the engine run cleaner?
    How would I be able to check the remaining sensors to make sure they are running properly?

    Also, how do I go about burning off the excess gas in the exhaust? Just drive on the highway for a while?

    Thank you all for your input.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The first thing you need to do is accurately diagnose the problem. Buy a Bentley manual and follow the EFI troubleshooting procedure. If you aren't willing to do that then you need to find a good indie shop- or else walk away from the car.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    I went to the Saris site and looked up this bike rack. It looks like it hooks over the top of the trunk where the trunk meets the back windshield. But when the guy at the bike store tried to show me how to install a Thule rack we discovered that there's no room between the seal and the trunk for the hook to slide in. So how does the BONES 3 rack stay put on top?

    Also, how long does it take you to install the rack and secure the bikes?
  • jazzy100jazzy100 Posts: 2
    In order to attached the top hooks, I opened the trunk and hooked them between the trunk top hinge line and the seal. The other hooks can be attached after the trunk is shut. This did not damage my trunk finish. The total installation time was about 30-45 minutes the first time because you have to assemble the arms and legs. Once that is done, subsequent times were less than ten minutes including securing the bikes. Just make sure the straps are tighten again after the bikes are secured.
  • rcs525ircs525i Posts: 7
    Hello, I am looking for some guidance on changing my fuel filter. Is this a hard job? What's involved? Any help is greatly appreciated.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    That sounds simple enough. Thanks.

    Now for a stupid question: It's supposed to rain pretty much the entire day tomorrow, and I have a 6 1/2 hour trip. Is there any way to keep the bikes dry?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    bikes are designed to get wet, it doesn't hurt them...just wipe 'em down.

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  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    I suppose they are. The lessons drummed into our little heads when we're kids (don't get your bike wet; it'll rust) die hard. ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    Those lessons drummed into our heads NEVER die--LOL!

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  • n1danieln1daniel Posts: 27
    Thanks everybody for the reply regarding the floor mats. I decided to get darker mats or the berber type that does not show footprints. I have few more questions as I took possession of the 530i just a week ago and I would like to ask you before I ask my salesman.

    1. I am missing the adapter for the spare key. I could not find it in the glove compartment as mentioned in the onwer's manual. Is it an option? There is a clear plastic bag with screws but it was ripped as if somebody took something. I am wondering if that is where the adpater was to be found, in the clear bag with the other screws.

    2. There are hooks for a cargo net in the trunk but no net. Is the cargo net an option? It does not show as an option on Edmunds.

    3. Trunk is very hard to close unless you push it down with your hand. The hand gets dirty and leaves somewhat of a mark on my white car. Other than closing it violently from the inside handle, is there any other way? It is hard on women specially if they are short.

  • jabroltajabrolta Posts: 32
    I have a 2005 545i. I went to the dealer to have a software upgrade and my day time running lights are not working. Is there a option in the iDrive to turn it back on or do I have back to the dearlership? Thanks.
  • ndegroat1ndegroat1 Posts: 11
    Hello! We have a '99 528i in need of some air conditioning. When I bought the vehicle 3 years ago our mechanic said the belt needed replaced. Cheap as I am, I told him I would change it when it became a problem. Well, now I am married to an equally cheap man and the air is a problem. Hubby is skeptical that it is a belt but a sensor ( we replaced a bad sensor for absolutely no reason a few months back).
    My questions are:
    Where is this belt located?
    Will the air work if sensor is bad?
    Should this be handled by a professional or can we fix this ourselves?
    BTW we are getting about 25 MPG running 89 around town and some highway..good or can it be better?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    If the old belt is still on the car it is probably not the problem. I don't mean to sound harsh, but if you have to ask where the A/C belt is located you have no business working on ANY car-especially a BMW. I suggest that you find a good independent BMW shop and let them diagnose and rectify the problem.
  • ndegroat1ndegroat1 Posts: 11
    Thank you, you've been a great help. Good advice. I am sure that you know everything about your home and are willing to try and fix it. As a design professional, I see too many people trying to fix problems around the home that should be taken care of by someone who knows better.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    Isn't it amazing how much power we wield over our kids? If only we could convert it to horsepower... :P
  • rworrellrworrell Posts: 151
    We have a 2004 530 and only the dealer could program the DRLs. It required a software upgrade on our car--fortunately, the salesperson promised that it would be enabled for us (we bought CPO), so there was no charge, but it took them several days to figure out which version of the software would work. It got frustrating, but we really like DRLs, so it was worth it in the long run. I don't know if that changed for '05MY.
  • jabroltajabrolta Posts: 32
    I have the newest update "cip 21.2." My SA told me next month BMW is releasing "cip 22." I have a schedule maintenance service next month, so I will remind him to turn it back on. My only problem with my car is that my steering wheel is off center even after a wheel alignment (not covered under warranty) last week. :cry: He said he will check it again. He thinks it might be the tires or the active steering. Hopefully they can fix it, because it is very annoying, especially in car priced over 64k. :mad: I have read in other forums that 545i suffer from this problem, is this correct?
  • What gives? My 06 550i gives no sound from any radio stations, but CD and sat work fine. Any ideas? Thanks, Greg :confuse:
  • Works now. I lef the car off for 20 minutes. Hopefully just a computer reboot situation.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    A long trip through the driving rain can actually force some of the grease out of the hubs,headset,and bottom bracket...I'd take both wheels off and put everything in the trunk if possible.

    It's a bicycle,not a watercraft...
  • Does anybody have a Nokia 6682 that always works with the car bluetooth module?

    Thanks, Greg
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