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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    I had one blow up in my face, if that's any incentive. However, having the reflexes of a jungle cat :P I didn't get it in the eyes.

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  • I recently got a used 525i and it has some "issues" (to me) that I want to validate with other 525i owners before bringing it to the dealership again.

    1) While I open the window and it is going down, I also open the door. The window then stopped going down. It happens to all 4 doors. Is that some sort of safety features and normal?

    2) I have the automatic door lock function, but it only locks once. I mean after I start the car, it will lock when I drive above 2.5 mph, but if I press unlock, load and unload passengers, and continue to drive, it WILL NOT lock the door again. It will lock again ONLY if I restart the car. Is that normal?

    3) The "check high beam" message comes out randomly. The damn message won't come out when I was at the dealer. Of course they can't do anything cuz they all go by the code.

    4) I have the automatic climate control OFF. So every time when I start the car after locking it and unlocking, the Fan is ON automatically. Is that normal? However, if I turn off the Fan/AC without locking the car but just restart it after shutting it off, the Fan/AC remains off. Normal? No?

    5) Every time when I use the REAR window defroster, it also turns on the Front window defroster or the fan. Is it normal cuz I hated it!!!

    6) I read the manual that after I shut off the car, I can still operate the windows if I haven't opened the door yet. I tried, the window can be opened BUT the 1-touch Down function is not working and the 1-touch UP function works. Is it normal?

    I know I am anal about the car but I want to make sure everything works as designed and I want to have everything fixed before warranty expires in 2 months. Otherwise I am very happy with the car.
  • Just leased a new 07 530i with Nav. Dealer said Nav came with real-time traffic information, but that items not on the settings menu. Any iudea why or how to get it?
  • vizviz Posts: 58
    Hello all.
    I am planning to return the 530i leased vehicle. 53k miles on it.Unfortunately the service engine light came on , on the day of inspection. However, it disapperared after a day/two but inspection report still says the light is on. Talked to liability dept for the leasing bank; they suggested checked it by dealer. Here is tha back ground.
    1) I took it to dealer today- error code 50. Found faults stored for multiple cyc missfire. occured 1 time. possible has cam followers sticking when first startedcold. to further diagnose, car will need to be left and compression and cycl leakage test done with cold engine. Cost to test $200.
    2) Few months back, I took it to dealer for the rattling after cold start. They said at that time - found 1 time cyclinder 6 missfire.checked coil and plug. ok. could not duplicate the problem. The car was still under warranty at that time.

    Now I am in a dilemma -
    1)Should I return the vehicle to the leasing bank saying that engine light does not come on?
    2) When I am returning the car, if they feel the rattle after some days, Am I still responsible for the repair?
    3) Can some shed light on what exactly is happening with car and how much would it cost to get it fixed?
    4)Am I getting ripped off by the dealer? Why didnt they recognize the fault when I took it during the warranty period?

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I believe that most leasing companies to allow for a re-inspection. I've never had to avail myself of that option, however, I've leased six different cars from six different leasing companies over the years, and so far at least, they all have had the option for a re-inspection.

    Best Regards,
  • vizviz Posts: 58
    I spoke to Leasing bank.No re-inspection. They said if the light comes up during auto auction then it will be re-inspected and charged:(
  • I have an 87 528e. All the instrumentation on the gauge cluster doesn't work, nor does the power seats. No tach, speedometer, fuel gauge, heat temp, or SI level, but the cluster gear selector for the automatic trans. lights up. It doesn't look like these items were touched or disassembled, but the car is so original that it still has the original factory crappy plastic mini-fuses in the car's fuse box. Would all of these items work if the fuses were changed out with new metal ones? Can anyone tell me the most common problems with this model BMW?

    Also, I am looking for several body parts, exterior parts, and interior parts for this car.

    If anyone has an e28 parts car available and can give me a good deal on these parts, can they email me with prices for these parts:

    * Both fog lights and front yellow turn signals
    * Lower front metal valence for 528e and/or front spoiler for 533i or 535i or M5.
    * Driver's side front seat, black leather in excellent condition and rear magazine holding net.
    * fully functioning overhead BMW lights diagnostic computer with "check" button that doesn't fall out.
    * black leather automatic gear shifter
    * excellent condition black body trim and brackets mounted on body by rear driver side passenger door
    * black dashboard trim grill holding cigarette lighter and other accesssories in excellent condition.
    * headlight/ foglight switch mounting trim
    * original 528e BMW car phone with mounting brackets and connecting phone cable running to trunk, in excellent condition.
    * black trim surrounding radio on dashboard in excellent condition.
    * black trim holding e-brake and seat switches, in excellent condition.
    * floor mats with "BMW" etched on them in black, excellent condition.

    Also, i have an 86 325es. When the fan belt slips, does that affect the timing for the valves, essentially damaging the engine and making it burn oil?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    You could definitely have corrosion in the fuse box, or the fuse terminals, or it could be BEHIND the fuse box itself. Sure, replace the fuses. It's easy and it might solve your problem.

    No, a slipping fan belt doesn't affect engine timing, but it might affect the battery's charging rate.

    No glaring issues with the 528e other than the usual old BMW blues. Probably the worst thing you could say about the car is that it underperforms due to its engine design. It is not a strong engine in that sense.

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  • djp4djp4 Posts: 2
    I own a 2001 540i with 73K miles. Yesterday the navigation screen, which can pop open to put a cassette in behind it, began opening and closing on its own. It would open, than close and repeat this until I shut the car off.

    Does anyone have a reason why this would happen? I tried to get it to shut but it wouldn't work. I did remove the CD changer in the trunk and after a period of time it remained closed.

  • ddatddat Posts: 1
    My 1997 528i overheats while idling or city driving. Recently replaced thermostat and for four weeks didnt see any overheating whild idling. It came back again and mechanic is suspecting there could be the problem in the engine gasket head and gasket head needs a replacement. He thinks faulty gasket head might be causing air bubble into the cooling system causing overheating while idling. Gasket replacing is very expensive and am wondering what options i got.

    Is it okay to run the car as is as long as I dont idle the car too much ?

    I also read turning up the inside heat while idling can take away some heat from engine and prevent from overheating?

    Is there a way that this problem can be worked around without expensive procedures?

    All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    My 1997 528i overheats while idling or city driving.

    Check the fan clutch as well as the auxiliary fan.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    Gradual, low speed overheating is an AIR circulation problem, not a water circulation problem.

    Your mechanic can easily test for exhaust gases in the coolant. He doesn't have to guess about a bad head gasket.

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  • I just purchased my first BMW...a 2004 530i (CPO). It seems to be in very nice condition but has 43K miles on it. Thus, I have about 7K miles to get it in for any service/warranty work that I need/want done. I was told with a "wink" by the salesperson that they cannot just give the car a top-to-bottom inspection in the service department for warranty work, but rather can "respond" to any and all complaints made by the customer, whether a problem is ultimately found or not. Therefore, I am wondering from some more experienced owners...what sorts of "complaints" should I be making just prior to the 50K mile mark so as to hopefully discover and rectify as many issues as possible within very brief new car warranty period that I have left. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
  • Also, they gave me a print out of the service record for the car since it was a lease through the same dealership, but I don't know what any of the numerical service codes mean. Is there anywhere I can go online to get an interpretation of these codes??
  • Okay, I know it's an old car and it'll have issues, but I've changed the fuel filter and used fuel injector cleaner. If it were the fuel pump, wouldn't it die when I GIVE it gas, not when I let up? Anybody know what I can do to fix it?
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    google for the codes, you will find them. There are a few around on the net.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    The car: 02 530 5-speed, PP, SP, 58,500 miles, Leased and then purchased it CPO.

    Time for Inspection II.

    * Inspection II ($650)
    * Coolant Flush ($275)

    Declined the following recommended by dealer:

    * Front control arm bushings (leaking) ($481)
    * Rear wishbone ($990)
    * Alignment ($255)
    * Alternator belts ($429)
    * Brake fluid flush ($375)

    1. Are these type of repair recommendations normal for a car under 60K miles?
    2. Are these type and expense of repairs what I should expect in the coming years with the car?
    3. Dealer said none of the items fall under the CPO warranty. Anyone know differently?

    I do plan to get a second opinion on the dealer recommended items.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hey Pen, long time... ;-)

    - I would absolutely get the Brake fluid flushed from a good Indy (every two years regardless of the mileage). You can find a list of good Indy shops from BMW-CCA.
    - I'd take a pass on the suspension parts and have a good Indy take a look-see.
    - The drive and accessory belts are probably a good PM idea (as with any car of this age and mileage), however, I suspect that a good Indy will cost you a whole lot less.

    Best Regards,
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,647
    I'll second the recommendation for a good Indy, they'll charge less and should be able to do a competent job.

    Look for one in your area @

    Control arm bushings seen to be a weak point on E39s so you're probably getting the straight scoop on those.">link title

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,603
    It seems like the extended maintenance plan would have paid off for you..

    It probably would have covered Inspection II, coolant flush, brake flush, and the alternator belts.. Not sure about the other items, though..

    You are still my hero for pulling off that CPO repurchase of your car for less than the residual value!!



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  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    The front arm bushings will eventaully cause shimmy in the steering. BMW recommends the arm and the bushing to be replaced together, and it does require a press to put the bushing in place. However, some members in the yahoo e39 group have replaced just the bushing. You can probably find a write up someone did.

    $375 for a brake flush? I knew they would charge a bit, but that is high.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Thanks kyfdx, you have a very good memory about the CPO purchase. I have not posted here for a while and (shipo noticed), but have tried to keep up with the discussions.

    I try to always do my homework when dealing with car purchases and repairs. The inspection II cost more at the dealer (no surprise), but it was more convenient (I got a loaner BMW, a car wash, it was on my way to and from work and I had to do a lot of extra driving that day, so why not put the extra miles on a loaner). So the extra they charged for it was worth it to me.

    The other recommended items I will have checked at a local BMW indy. I did ask as to whether the extended maintenance contract would have covered the alternator belts and the other items and was told that it does not. Only maintenance items such as the coolant flush and brake flush. It was a tempting decision at the time as to whether or not to get the maintenance warranty at $1400. I knew the brakes were not a problem (they are still almost new - I had convinced the service writer back at 35,500 miles and while the car was still covered, that the car needed new brakes). So it was inspection II ($650), two oil changes ($200), coolant flush ($275) and brake fluid flush ($375) that would have to be done. That is $1500. However, if an indy would perform the items, maybe $100 or so less, so it is break even. I just hated to pay for it upfront.

    By the way, I used my BMW-Club membership to get a 10% discount on parts.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    Extended maintenance coverage was also discussed on the M5board and it turns out you can negotiate the price on these. I have heard $1690 from my SA, but some have reported $1200, and it can be bought from any BMW dealer in the country.
  • rworrellrworrell Posts: 151
    Pen, I saw this reply from kyfdx:

    "You are still my hero for pulling off that CPO repurchase of your car for less than the residual value!!"

    and I tried searching but couldn't find your story--can you tell me more about this, please? I have a 2004 330i that I like a lot, but I'm worried about buying it out of its lease. I've purchased/leased 3 BMWs from this dealer, but all 3 salespeople are now gone (long and sad story)--could you give me a pointer to your story, or a recap, please? What you did is exactly what I hope to accomplish--thanks in advance.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    I'm flattered. See post 1215 of BMW - prices paid board.

    At that time I discovered that I could negotiate and purchase the car at the AUCTION price, which for my E39 was well below the buy-out price of my lease contract (and also the kelly blue book wholesale price). I also researched and found out how much it cost the dealer to CPO the car. Now all I needed was a dealer willing to take the bite.

    At the same time the 3 year/36,000 mile maintenance free warranty was expiring on the car. So I convinced the dealer to service the car and change the brakes and fix a few other things (such as the broken cup holders and the windshield wipers) so the car was in top condition (all free of course). I also purchased new tires (negotiated a killer deal at a tire store) so that it would pass CPO requirements.

    All the dealer had to do was check the boxes on the inspection and issue me a CPO certificate, make his few $100 and that was it. I also insisted on a complete detail of the car and had them waive the over-mileage and other fees. Later I also collected money from the BMW Club of America because I was (and still am) a member.

    Ok, I am both a CPA and attorney and I negotiate for a living. However, anyone can do this with a little research. Knowledge is power. Also, and most importantly, I must give lots of credit to the many fine members of this board who I learned so much from.
  • I just purchased a 540i 2001 from a private party...great car. However the company that I hired to tint the windows left the doors open while they worked on the tint which in turn caused the battery to go dead....and I guess they had to "jump-start" it. After I was driving away, I noticed that my on-board computer, fuel gauge and tachometer are not working. Could this be related to the battery being low....or might it be something else. Thank you to whom ever can give me a little peace of mind.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,603
    Here is the link to pen101's great deal

    Read on through the thread for more information..


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  • rworrellrworrell Posts: 151
    pen101 & kyfdx:

    Thanks to you both for the info and the direct link. I'm going to go read all I can on the transaction. Thank you!
  • doc159doc159 Posts: 5
    Has any one had any experience in adding a backup camera and mp3 player to 2004 BMW 530i?
  • doc159doc159 Posts: 5
    Hi, Any one know where to get aluminum dash trims for BMW 2004 530i. I like the interior like M5. Thanks, Adam
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