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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I suspect bad weatherstipping around the right rear door.

    How did you verify that?

    Does anybody know where I can get the weatherstripping other than the dealer?

    Why? With a CCA discount the OEM weatherstrip isn't THAT expensive.

    The car has 50,151 miles just out of warranty.

    Have you asked the dealer if they would address the problem? Good dealers will often cover an out of warranty repair as a goodwill item.
  • 1999 540i 6-speed! I highly recommend this car. Back in 1999, I spiritedly test drove the new 540i 6-speed Sport and made that my future must have car. I spent the first 8 months of 2003 looking at pre-owned 540i's, finding nothing but 540i's equipped with automatic transmissions. Patience paid off for me as I was able to locate and purchase a 6-speed 540i Sport in excellent condition from a local Mercedes dealership in September 2003. Having also test-driven an E39 M5, I find my 1999 540i 6-speed extremely satisfying as a more civilized and refined baby brother to the mighty E39 M5. For my preference, the 540i 6-speed Sport combines executive luxury and sports sedan handling with exhilarating V8 punch! The 6-speed adds so much to the BMW driving experience. BMW CCA listings in Roundel magazine should provide some well-maintained 540i's posted for sale. I hope you find a well-maintained 6-speed!
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,579
    These guys have nice 540i/6s>


    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • vizviz Posts: 58
    You made me relax! Thank you!!
    Right now I am at 49,900 and few weeks ago I ran into thermostat issue. It is fixed now. You were correct.
    I will keep mine till end of lease - next April and then get X3. Let me know your thoughts on x3.

    I have been noticing ( occasionaly) that when I start my car in the morning, it vibrates for atleast 2 minutes and then its ok. The vibration is noticeable and it happens when its cold out there. Any thoughts?

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Thanks for the information!
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Thanks Andy. The one that's tempting me is at my local dealer. I've been cross-shopping like crazy, so I guess we'll see what happens...
  • kyingkying Posts: 61
    I have a 2004 530i since new (May 2004), and I have one of those "singing frogs" in my car:

    Occasionally when I have the radio or CD on, a static sound will start. In the beginning, I could barely hear the static, and then the volume of the static would increase steadily. In about 5 minutes or so, it would become so loud that I wouldn't be able to hear anything but the static.

    It happened only once or twice in the first year I had the car, but lately it has been happening about once every two weeks (I drive the cars 3 times a week or so).

    I took the car to my dealer, and of course they said they couldn't fix a problem that I couldn't duplicate in front of them (thus the "singing frog").

    Has anyone had the same problem? Or does anyone have any idea what's hiding under the hood of my 530i?

    Any opinions or solutions will be greatly appreciated.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,579
    Only thing I can tell you is I get a lot of static if a tune in a distant station while the rear defroster is on, it doesn't affect the CD however.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • kyingkying Posts: 61
    Thanks, andys120. But it is the same for AM, FM, or CD. I called it a static because it sounds like one, but it may be something else. It is just a very very loud noise that covers all sounds from the radio or CD.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Check the antenna amp and all the associated connections at the rear window defroster. A loose connection can cause the problem that you described.
  • I don't know where to start. The vehicle is a 530i without nav or DSP. I bought an aftermarket Alpine from Pacific BMW. The old model number was #82 11 0 028 760. The new number is 65 12 6 983 336. I had to buy a separate bracket of which half of it was already in my car, the bottom bracket. One problem is with this bottom bracket. It has two [non-permissible content removed] sticking up. The one is not in the way but the second one will not allow the bottom of the changer to sit flush against the floor. The unit is a trunk mount and stands vertical. I plugged in both the 6 pin cable and the three pin cable just for a test. I got a "CD error" on the display but the in dash unit did play. In addition, the 4 screws that hold the top bracket around the changer were not included in the accessory kit. Fortunately, I found four screws that fit. Did I mention these instructions are worthless???

    Anyone install one of these that can steer me in the right direction?

    Thanx in advance,

  • Better late than never. What year is your car?
  • kyingkying Posts: 61
    Thanks, div2. Will do that (I don't know how but will figure it out).

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    From a friend on another E39 list:

    >>>I've been considering pulling the left-side-C-pillar interior trim to take a look at the antenna amplifier, but was uncertain about exactly HOW it came off.

    Turns out - it comes off easily.

    1. Remove light (small screwdriver - pry out at top). Disconnect power lead to it (some sort of retainer, you gotta wiggle and squeeze it)

    2. Put left hand into hole so fingers are on either side of the visible clip. Put right hand into hole with fingers behind the front section of the trim. Pull straight out. There are two clips (one visible, one not) that go into plastic sockets in the body.

    3. Wiggle the trim forwards and a bit upwards. It will come out. It is held in by the two pin-clips in the front, and has plastic hooks that slot into matching receptacles in the back around the glass.

    OK.. had the amplifier exposed. Did the initial test - is it
    working? Unplugged the violet/white power wire.. radio signal got a LOT worse.

    Are all the antenna leads to it solid? Yup.. there is an AM/FM lead, and then it turns out a second FM coax that comes from a separate FM amplifier in the right-C-pillar (diversity antenna..)

    OK.. what's the problem? I wiggled the lead that is the end of the antenna wire going to the radio.. all of a sudden, all the static on the AM band went away. I went and checked signal strengths - they were MUCH higher than I'd ever seen (up around 14 or so - I think 15 is max.. - I'll explain how to do this..)

    I then checked FM - it was much better also..

    I grabbed a pair of pliers and tightened the coax-connector for the antenna lead. Now wiggling it no longer caused the signal to change.

    OK - how to check signal strength? Turn radio off. Turn on, and press the M button in and hold it. After about 10 seconds you go into diagnostics mode... one of the diagnostics gives signal strength. To roll through the diagnostics - use the manual up-down tuning buttons on either side of the M button.

    One of the other settings available to you is the auto-volume setting as related to speed (1-6).. mine was at 3, I reset it to 4...
    Once in the signal strength mode - the display has arrows above the two left MID buttons... The left-most button does manual up/down, and 2nd from the left does auto-seek. The frequency and signal strength read out in the MID.<<<
  • kyingkying Posts: 61
    Thanks, div2! I will try next time when the "frog" sings again. I really appreciate it!

  • I hope someone can offer some advice with a problem in my 2005 545i that I purchased a year ago new. After driving with the air conditioning on, every time I subsequently start my car and drive, the air conditioning smells just horrible. I have had the vehicle in to the dealership on four separate occasions regarding this issue. Their solution is to spray a deodorizer in the system. I informed them that makes the car smell like fragrant mold. Their recommendations are to turn off my air conditioning 2-3 minutes before I pull in my garage and run hot air through the system before I turn the car off. I do not understand what is happening. I have not had to do this in any other vehicle I have owned. In my other vehicles, I was able to leave the air on, park the car, start it in the morning and never smell mold for 2-3 years. Does anyone have the same problem? Can anyone who understands the cooling system of this vehicle give me some advice to tell the dealer to get this problem fixed? Thank you.

  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Please share your experiences:

    - Retail Price vs the final negotiated price

    - Terms: Deductible, what is covered, etc...

    - Using the warranty: Any problems, great experience, etc...

    - What it worth the money?

  • selooseloo Posts: 606

    Was it worth the money?
  • I was offered $23.5k for a 2001 540i sport and $12k on my Jetta trade. Thats a good trade # and seems fair for the car. I am going to have another dealership check it out. My question is, what should I look for on e39 BMW's? Any faults or usual suspects that pop up between 50k and 100k miles?

  • Extended warranties are never worth the money.

    The Kiplinger's Auto issue came yesterday; 5 year service costs for various models are:

    Audi A6 3.2 AWD $3958
    BMW 525i $3241
    BMW 335i $3932
    Infiniti G35 $3011
    Lexus GS 350 AWD $3636
    BMW 530i AWD $3241
    BMW 550i $3197
    Jaguar S-Type 3.0 $5002
    Mercedes Benz E350 AWD $5170

    BMWs compare favorably this year.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,041
    Helpful data -- thanks.

    Not surprisingly, these things (long-term warranty extensions) are sold at a profit -- they cost more than they're worth.

    The unanswered question in the Kiplinger's data is how much of the service cost had to do with items that were (or could have been) covered by some kind of warranty.

    I'm not holding my breath until I get that kind of support data. However, the G35 & 325i (on my short list) are in the lowest group and differ by a fraction, so regardless of what the criteria are, I'm going to assume that they're constant across the board.

    Again, thanks.
  • I do not have the magazine with me, but I think they extrapolate scheduled maintenance over a 5 year period with average mileage. That would not include warranty work, but they sent me a survey asking for repair costs for our cars last year; they may have a fudge factor for non scheduled repairs.

    Either way, I look at their information as relative, not absolute. That is a BMW 525i will cost 25% less to maintain than an Audi A6 AWD, not $700 less.
  • I have been having problems with starting. The mechanic replaced one temperature sensor, but the other one is not quite right. I got the factory-number part, but the threads are a little too big. I'm assuming this means the housing has been changed to one that's not the original spec for the car. Is this common on 88 535i's? If so, I'm trying to find out which size of sensor I need. (which housing) Maybe one from a different model that's commonly swapped to 535is?
  • gbb1gbb1 Posts: 1
    I would like to know if you have discovered anything further and if bmw has taken responsibility for the odor and is willing to fix it under warranty. I too have a similar problem with a 2004 525i. thank you
  • I have a 2006 750i with the same problem. When I started the car in the morning, the smell was very strong. Sometimes after driving it for a while, I had smoke come out of the vents for a couple of seconds then went away. BMW fixed this problem under new warranty by fumigating the car. They hooked it up under the hood and let it sit for a day. I have not had the smell since. If you don't get the answer you need from one service advisor ask another because from my experience, I got 3 different answers from 3 service advisors. The last one was correct and fixed the problem. Good luck and I hope they fix the problem for you.
  • dino11dino11 Posts: 32
    Have a 2006 530i with the sports suspension. Had a similar set up on an 2003. However, the 2006 with sports suspension comes with "run flat" tires. BMW's major screw-up which they refuse to acknowledge. Tire went flat in driveway. Nice light comes on. Got a patch put into the tire from a tire dealer. Otherwise cost you $300 for a tire. More if you dent the rim which is now one piece and cast instead to two piece forging. So, I took off all 4 tires and put into storage. Am running Avon M550s for the balance of the lease that I got from tirerack for $139 apiece. Ride is better, tires are fixable and I carry a tire off the rim in the trunk in case I get a flat. BMW calls itself the ultimate driving machine - this is true if you strap an extra run flat tire on the roof. The run flat tires are simply a technical disaster especially when you come to realize that nobody stocks them. And, you have to match tread patterns if you need a replacement. A flat tire on a trip- espcially on a weekend is a two day delay. Way to go BMW! I will remount the run flats at the end of the lease. Had 4 BMW cars. My 2006 is my last. Got my wife an Audi. Handling is almost as good and I like the styling more. Goodbye BMW. You could not give your cars away if you did not provide free service. At 10,000 miles, I have had three repairs- all due to faulty sensors on the engine. One repair took three days to find a steering angle sensor that matched the VIN of my vehicle. BMW is all hype and bloated advertising.
  • dino11dino11 Posts: 32
    had a similar smell from my wife's 2006 X-5. It was coming from the air flitler box. They have a spray that they use in the box, I think it is a fungus that forms in the box. Anyway, each service got a spray at the dealer and there was no more smell.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,579
    The indy BMW specialist I take my E39 to recommends a prophylactic replacement of the radiator on my MY 2000 528iA because of the problems encountered with these beyond the 75K mark.

    My car has 95K on it, and has had no cooling issues other than occasionally having to top off coolant.

    I'm inclined to go along w this recommendation since the OEM radiators are a known problem area, anyone disagree?

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I'm inclined to go along w this recommendation since the OEM radiators are a known problem area, anyone disagree?

    The original radiator in my 528iA lasted until @120K-it cracked while being removed to R&R the water pump. The OEM radiators are so inexpensive that I don't think it's worth gambling on their longevity. OTOH, if I was planning on keeping the car a long time and/or I had a 540i(which tend to fracture the top hose fitting), I'd consider Zionsville Autosports' All Alloy Radiator. Ditto for their metal thermostat housing and super duty water pump.
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