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BMW 5-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I'm thinking you're correct about having to be in the industry to understand it, or at least have a specialized degree in the area of petroleum chemistry.

    Like tires, I understand sizes and tread patterns and usage indicators, but I wouldn't have a clue when the conversation moved to in-depth compound types.

    I can identify a GFT from a RFT, as well as an actual flat tire.

    The "LL" guess was a safe one...
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Did not find the wording of the LL-01 spec, but did come up with this: One of the criteria to meet the LL-01 spec is the high temperature high shear must exceed 3.5 at 140-degrees C. Most of the oils are lower, in the 2.5-2.9 range (don't know the units). This measures the ability of the oil to maintain a liquid film on things like a bearing at both high temperature and shear stresses. The higher this is, in theory, the higher the drag, so if wear isn't a concern, using one with a lower value might provide better mileage, but not longer life.

    Some people worry about a low value on a multiweight oil, like the zero in a 0-30w. All that figure means is that it can pour easier at a lower has nothing to do with the ability to flow properly at design temperature. ALL oils are thicker at low temp that desired, but one with the smaller number in the beginning will tend to flow and start to lubricate when an oil pump might not be able to move one with a higher number. Synthetic oils tend to have less variation in temperature and flow better during startup, so that helps. But, nothing wrong with using a multigrade oil with a low first number in hot or cold climates - they all are in the order of 10x thicker than desired at operating temperature during a cold start, but your oil pressure and flow will improve, and most of the wear (when using the proper oil) is during cold starts...getting the oil where it needs to be faster and easier should be the goal and the better it can flow while cold (not at operating temps) does help.

    The 'proper' grade of oil is the one that can maintain the desired design pressure at load...too thick, and the pressure goes up, flow goes down, heat goes up and some stuff doesn't get lubricated. Too thin, the pressure goes down, and you can't maintain the lubrication between the metal parts, and wear is excessive. BMW knows their engines - second guessing what is required is fraught with ignorance and folly. Without knowing what mix of characteristics and features an oil really needs to work properly in one of their engines, IMHO, you're foolish to not use one that has met their specs. What you think may be 'better' for your engine is going against millions of miles of test data and experience. Proceed at your own risk!
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    That's exactly why I use, in the case of my BMW products, the factory approved lubricants.

    Really cheap insurance, and I don't have to worry about compatibility issues.

    It's easy for me, because I pay the same at my local dealer as I would usually pay at an auto supply, due to my BMWCCA membership.

    I don't mind using regular generic oils on my other cars, since they are generically designed... Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Versa and Altima (all 4 cylinders).

    I do use full synthetic in every vehicle I own.
  • I'm in the market for the BMW 550i(2011). I test drove several BMW's and this is my favorite, however, some of the FM stations don't come in that well(static and noise), not just on this model but on all of them. 70-70 k car and they can't get a top of the line antenna. The radio overall sounds ok not great. Any ideas?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    edited February 2012
    Could be where you live maybe? some stations in some cities with lots of hills or obstructions are just bad. I have this problem in parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I am looking to buy a 2008-2009 5 Series manual. I feel the 528 is too heavy for its 225hp engine. Does anyone agree with this? I had a 92 325i and loved its inline six but that was a 185hp engine and was in a lighter 3 series body.

    The 535 appears to be a good choice but I am hesitant to deal with its twin turbo...Didn't 2005-2007 have issues with Turbos. I know 2008-up are new engines, but any issues? I have never owned a turbo car. I know on time oil changes are a must, but do they rev themselves to destruction by 100K or that is not true?

    How is the 550i engine and electrical reliability? How does the clutch hold up in this engine? how is the gas mileage if driven under 75 on the hwy. I had a 2001 MB E430 that got 28.8mpg on the hwy. That was the only V-8 I ever owned and were impressed with its smooth engine and seamless 5 speed auto.

    Are there any real or on going nagging issues with any one them in 2008-2009 style to stay away from?

    Thank you,
  • dansa2dansa2 Posts: 28
    2008 528i 40,000 miles. A couple seconds after starting car, in park, hear a clunk sound from under car. Dealer cannot give answer to why this happens. Car drives and transmission shifts fine. :confuse:
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Back when turbos were first being installed in cars, they were often oil cooled and you had to be quite careful after driving to let things spool down and cool off before you shut the engine off. If you didn't you'd burn the oil and ruin the bearings. All modern tubo engined cars now use liquid (system antifreeze) to cool them, and that problem has gone away. I'd expect you'd get a lot more miles than 100K, but then, there's always the exception.

    The way BMW does their turbos, they make an insane amount of torque at low rpm. Torque is what really moves the vehicle...generally, top speed is limited by max horsepower. In the USA, you can't legally drive anywhere near the top speed of the vehicle. 225Hp is a decent amount. I'd try it before I wrote it off as too little. There's something to be said about using a manual and the available horsepower - it takes more skill with a lower powered vehicle, but it can be quite fast.

    BMW generally uses the computer to decide when the vehicle needs an oil is not strictly a rigid mileage thing. It could be anywhere from in the order of 4K to 20K miles, or one year, whichever comes first. You'd want to use BMW's filter and one of their approved oils, but if you do, it should be reliable. The V8 tends to use more oil than the 6's (the 4 is realtively new to the states). My 535gt went about 11K in the first year and never used any, or at least the computer said it was still full. The computer said the oil change was still 7K miles off (i.e., at 18K) based on my driving, but the one year was up so they did it for free under the new vehicle service plan.

    There are some people that have had issues with the head bolts on some models, but it didn't affect my model year or may wish to search on that.
  • bschmidt25bschmidt25 Posts: 13
    Hi Joe,

    There were no turbos in the 5 series until the 535 in 2008. If I remember correctly, the engine in the 525 from 2006-07 is the same as the 528 from '08 on (N52). The 530 preceded the 535 and it has 255 HP. Both the 525 and 530 were naturally aspirated. As far as the 535 goes, the big issue with them is the high pressure fuel pump (HPFP) and fuel injectors. BMW ended up recalling the HPFP because there were so many issues with them and I believe they are now covered for 6 years and 110K miles. Supposedly, 2008s are much more affected than the others. I also hear that some are having problems with the wastegate on the turbo. I don't think it necessitates replacement, but it still could be expensive. There's no doubt a 535 will cost more to maintain than a 528 because of the added complexity and heat generated by the turbos. Proper maintenance is a must for the 535.

    The 550 is said to be very reliable. I have driven them a number of times and they are pretty thirsty - around 15-16 in town and 23-24 on the freeway. It's an amazing car, but I personally wouldn't be able to justify the fuel costs. That's just my opinion though...

    Hope this helps!

  • milner007milner007 Posts: 20
    I bot a 2011 535- in November 2011- it had 9 miles on it- the computer says I can go till July 2013 (!!!) to change the oil. Should I do this? I had a 2000 528 before this car and changed the oil every year whether the computer said to or not- I think I should change it and not reset the computer- what do ya'll think?? I cant imagine not changing it till 7/13
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Change the oil and filter at the time the computer suggests OR one year, whichever comes first. ANd, use the recommended oil. At least at my dealership, they'll do this under warranty for free.
  • milner007milner007 Posts: 20
    Thanks- I'll try that at my dealership but I am not optimistic- they never do anything for free!
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Thanks- I'll try that at my dealership but I am not optimistic- they never do anything for free!

    I agree with James27... Change the oil at a minimum once each year.

    Also, my dealership (Greenville, SC) provides the annual oil change at no fee.
  • Hi Guys,

    I'm a first time BMW 528 2009 owner and my warranty is running out next month.

    I'm looking for some advice on whether I should buy the extended warranty?
    Do i buy from 3rd party or BMW?
    IS it worth it?

    Your feedback would be greatly appreciated!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    It would be good to know a) what you're paying for it and b) what exclusions are in the warranty. This helps to determine value.

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  • Thank you Mr.Shiftright,

    I have no idea what I should be looking to purchase....

    If I do buy the warranty, do you have any recommendations on what I need to pay and what exclusions I should buy?

    Sorry i'm green to this and don't want to get ripped off..

    thanks for your advice
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,496
    edited August 2012
    Well the 'exclusions' are already written into the contract they will offer you, and these are specifically listed as things they will NOT pay for. So you have to know all the exclusions.

    Is this warranty from BMW or a 3rd party? That's also an important thing to know. Perhaps your next step is to get a copy of the warranty contract and study it for a couple hours.

    Here's a good EXTENDED WARRANTY TUTORIAL from Edmunds.

    This should help you along!

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  • I recommend purchasing the BMW extended warranty. I believe it is more reliable and covers more, but make sure it includes a loaner vehicle. BMW original warranty is comprehensive. Other extended warranties do not have good reps. So--just do your research :)
  • Hi- I bot a 2011 535i with 9 miles on it in Nov 2011. Last month when it hit 8500 miles I had to add a quart of oil. I had a 2000 528i before this car and I never had to add oil in between changes. Is this normal? The service guy at the dealership said this was not uncommon because the turbo engine tends to use more oil. Is this true or might there be a problem? I don't drive the car overly aggressively. Thanks.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Their v8 tends to use more than the I6, but what you're seeing is within normal industry standards. Mine still showed full after 11.5K (a 535), but I don't know how 'normal' that is, as it's my first BMW. A good first 1K can make a difference. Lots of start/stop and short trips can be a factor. Long highway trips (mine had a fair amount of those miles) might end up less stressful.
  • x021627x021627 Posts: 152
    It's normal. I had a 2008 528xi, which never needed oil. I now have a 2011 535 drive that I had to add a quart. Heard its normal for turbos. This was about 12k miles. I'm now at 26k and I see the need to add another quart. Nothing to worry about IMHO :)
  • Thanks to both- I figured it was sort of OK- now that there is no dipstick (which I hate) it maybe is a little more accurate or something
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    This weekend I passed 200k miles on my 2002 530i 5 speed/sport package. Car was bought through the European Delivery Program, delivered in Munich on July 4, 2002. No problems at all, still on original clutch. Maintenance costs are:

    Scheduled 7041.22
    Recurring 10071.59
    Damage 848.00
    Unscheduled 6615.06

    Total 23876.17 0.12/mile

    MPG since new: 26.5

    Average speed: 47.8 MPH
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,564
    That's amazing... since my commute changed, I've moved from averaging around 36 mph up to 41 mph... My mileage is still around 26 mpg..


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  • mr_mmr_m Posts: 2
    If you own one or owned one please share your experience.
    looking to buy used, 2008-2009 528i or 535i xDrive and I need to know if it worth a money
    I know it drives and handles well but, I see lot mixed reviews. just how reliable is this car!?
    what it the major problems if there is any? (i know German car is fun to drive, but some is pain in the a.. :sick: )
  • motorcity3motorcity3 Posts: 72
    edited June 2014

    I just purchased a CPO 2011 535xi. What the most common repairs that might occur that a CPO Extended Maintenance would not cover? Also are there any recommendations for another good third party bumper to bumper warranty?

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