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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • mhiaamhiaa Posts: 2
    Bought my BMW home. Sat in garage for 3 weeks. Battery went dead. Charged the battery. Vehicle is locked up - back wheels won't budge. Keeps asking for my code. Punch in my code, still nothing happens. Did like manual said; disconnected battery, tried again, hit code button, punch in code, hit sr button; still no luck. It starts up fine, I just can't get the back wheels to move. What am I doing wrong? Suggestions? Nearest dealer at least 50 miles away, and I can't drive anywhere anyhow. I bought it used(it's a 1991)at an auction. Ran fine, drove it home (a good 90 miles), drove it around, and now this. The previous owner, underneath where he wrote the code in his manual, also wrote "Press.hold.enter" Press hold what? Any help would be truly appreciated. I've never owned one before.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,272
    The code function only disables the ignition system. Since the car "starts up fine" the OBC code is not the problem. It sounds like either the parking brake is stuck or one(or both) rear calipers have seized.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    agree with roadburner. This is not a code problem this is a brake or caliper problem.

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  • mhiaamhiaa Posts: 2
    Appreciate the input. Will have that checked. Still refuses to accept the code so now the radio and stuff doesn't work. Any input on that, just how to do it correctly, step by step? Maybe I'm not doing it right? What's the chances of both rear caliphers seizing at the same time or is that something normal? Any idea why? Thank you. Melissa
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    No it's not normal but if you leave a car parked with the emergency brake on it's possible it can hang up. Especially an old car. Believe me, there is no anti-theft device that locks your rear wheels.

    I think the "press hold enter" refers to programming the 1-6 buttons for different stations.

    I don't see why you have to go to a BMW to free up the emergency brake...any competent shop should be able to figure that out. If the calipers froze that's a bit tricky. I bet it's not the first time that's happened in that car.

    Was this vehicle stored for a long time?

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  • gohorns1gohorns1 Posts: 53
    I am buying a 535i, should be here in a few weeks. I tend to hold on to cars and can see keeping this car for 6 or more years, if all goes well. I am trying to get information regarding the extended warranty. Is it worth purchasing the warranty and if so, is it better to buy it now or wait until the end of the 4-year warranty. Any suggestions are appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    If you are keeping the car after standard warranty, and you are also driving a lot of miles, I think the extended warranty is a good idea...but if you aren't a high mile driver, I'm not so sure it's worth the expense. I think (just my two cents) that out-of-warranty 5 series BMWs that are pushing 100K are a bit scary. Not in terms of major failures, mind you, but in terms of electrical glitches, suspension issues, cooling system issues, that sort of thing.

    Were it a Honda I'd say you could bear this type of expense out of warranty, but even smaller repairs on an aging BMW can add up fast.

    I guess it depends a lot on the actual inclusions and exclusions and deductibles on the particular warranty program you're getting. You have to read it carefully and then figure out how your warranty would relate say to a new radiator at 80,000 miles, or a complete failure of all your power windows at 90,000. How much would be covered in those instances and what would you pay out of pocket?

    I'd ask some pointed questions about all that to whomever is selling you the product.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,624
    I'd wait... you have 4yr/50K coverage already... And, if you drive 10K or less per year, then the extended warranty will be really expensive for not that much coverage..

    Of course, if you put 50K on in three years, then it might be worth it, but I'd still wait until I was closer to the end of the original warranty period.

    or.. what he said..

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  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    I bought my 5er new in 2001. This is what I did when deciding about an extended warranty. I waited until the 4 year warranty was almost up (since you can purchase the extended warranty at any time) so that I could see just how reliable my car was. As it turned out, the car was and, at 6 years old, continues to be incredibly reliable. In addition, I considered the advice of the very wise and knowledgeable on this site. As a result, I pocketed the money that I would have spent on a plan and use it for any repairs as needed. Good luck with your decision.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,054

    Good to hear. I would tend to take your approach, and I'm glad it's worked out for you.
  • gohorns1gohorns1 Posts: 53
    Thanks to everyone for their input. I put about 12k mile/year on my car and thus I should get the full use of the original 4year warranty. I'm not too crazy about paying now for something I won't use for 4 years and thus I am leaning toward waiting. We'll see...
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,272
    One more data point; my E39 averaged @$90/month to run and is still doing fine at 150K in the hands of its third owner.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • drikerdriker Posts: 2
    Does anyone have a sure way to get rid of this? I know it's a common problem. I just bought an 04 530I and this would have to be my only complaint. I recently took it to the dealer and they gave it their treatment ($80) but it only lasted a couple of days. I feel like the evaporator housing/coil need to be treated directly but I do not know how to gain access it. I know how to minimize the problem by turning the A/C off a few minutes before I turn the car off, but that only works once the mold/bacteria is destroyed.
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    OK.... been some time, reading to catch up etc etc.... however, you owe me (us) one.... :)

    I have the same leak/wet floor problem in the back of my 540 (E 39 - 2003) I found out about the grommets when I took the door sill trim off to figure out the water flow. I've seen that the water is in fact coming out of the bottom of the doors (problem is on both sides). You say that you found the leak, SO WHAT WAS IT!!!???

    Enquiring minds...
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    Last night I ran the 5 pretty hard, rolled on home, pulled into driveway and.... coolant explosion. Upper hose shredded. Let the beast sit overnight, and replaced the sucker today (after failing the first big rule... always take the old part to the parts store - never trust the inventory). Taking the machine in for Insp service, and will have them replace the lower, just in case.
  • Question for the more experienced on the board: I have an 06' e60 that I plan to keep after the new car warranties expire. I also have a friend who is a highly trained mechanic and works for the service department of a local new car dealership (not bmw) I know that he has a lot of experience working on different makes of vehicles, I'm wondering if a mechanic with his degree of experience and training would have trouble servicing things such as suspension, brakes,and cooling on my e60. He does not even yet know that I purchased this car otherwise I would just ask him.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,272
    No offense intended to your friend, but I think that you will be much better off finding a good independent BMW tech. As well-intentioned as your friend might be, I wouldn't want him doing much more than an oil or pad change. Join the BMW Car Club and find out which shops the members of the local chapter use. Many dealers and shops offer club discounts of up to 20% or more on parts and/or labor.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • gboro2007gboro2007 Posts: 8
    does anyone know if the comfort access feature can be retrofit to a vehicle or is this purely a factory installed option?
  • I have 525I 2003 and completed low mileage "oil services" from the dealer last month. The message "oil services" just came up yesterday. Do you know how to disable this message and reset all the lights? my BMW warranty is just expired so I'd like to know if I can do it by myself.

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,272
    Do you know how to disable this message and reset all the lights?

    - Ignition OFF (POS 0)

    - Press and Hold the trip odometer button while turning key to position 1 (ACCESSORY)

    - Keep the button depressed (about 5 secs.) until you see "Oil Service" or "Inspection" with "Reset" or "Re" in the display

    - *Note: On vehicles with "High" cluster, you will also see the amount of fuel (in litres) remaining until next service

    - Press the button again and hold for approx. 5 secs. until "Reset" or "Re" flashes

    - While the display is flashing, briefly press the button again to reset the Service Interval. After the display has shown the new interval you should see "END SIA" for about 2 secs.

    Note that if the "Reset" or "Re" does not flash, then you have not met the minimum consumption level and cannot reset.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • Thanks for your instruction. I'll try it soon.
  • can comfort access be retrofit or is it purely a factory installed option? after 30+ years of using a key, the pushbutton is nice for sure, but i wish that i would have selected the comfort access feature?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,272
    I'm pretty sure that it cannot be retrofitted to the current 5er. I prefer the traditional ignition key or comfort access; the insert-the-fob-and-push-the-button routine is a royal pain.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    I have an '03 540 - E39 series. Love just about everything about the machine - (OK, I admit to occasional cupholder irritation - hard to drive a manual with the ever present waterbottle held between knees)...anyway, one thing that I find puzzling, and mildly annoying, is the remote window opening feature. It is neat that on a hot day I can be in the house and open the windows using the key fob. What's not so neat, is that pressing the lock button on the fob does nothing to close the windows... so once opened, a trip out to the car is necessary if a summer shower looms.

    Does anyone know if I am simply missing something?

  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Same situation on my '03 530SP. Have not found a way to close remotely! Gonna take much more than this to pry my e39 steering wheel out of my hands ;)
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    I fully agree.... the E 39 fivers rule. Personally, I hope to have mine as a perpetual fixture, no matter what other vehicles come and go.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As I understand it, in Europe you can close the windows on an E39 via the fob, however, in the U.S. you cannot. Period, full stop, the end. I was "told" it's due to liability issues. :P

    Best Regards,
  • i just bought a 1988 bmw 528 and i tried locking the doors from the outside and now i cant seem to open them. the key turns but it's just not hooking anything. i tried calling a locksmith but they said there's nothing they can do. any suggestions? i'd gladly appreciate any advice. i just want to open her up and start restoring her. thanks.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,272
    Try turning the key while lifting up the door handle.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • zoelmanzoelman Posts: 15
    okay, i'm a new owner of a cpo 2004, 545i with sport pkg, so i pulled in too far parking and scratched the lower right hand faring underneath, down to the fiberglass or whatever it's made of.

    is there anything i can do short of a paint job or replacing, both of which would be very expensive, that would help it look a bit better?

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