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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    The 540 is a V.

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Believe it is a throwback to that forgotten era before fuel injection was the norm. Used to be meaningful and indicated which cars were fuel injected. Back when BMW used to sell both fuel injected and non-fuel injected engines. Now, when all BMW engines are fuel injected (and beyond), just seems to be something that continues. Maybe it just sounds nice? Looks nice? The marketers like it?

    But unlike where 1/3/4/5/6/7/8 indicate platform, the other numbers (usually) indicate cubic liter engine displacement, "x"=AWD, "X"=SUV or SAV, "t"=touring (station wagon), "M"=Motorsports Division (and have to have non-automatic transmission), "d"=diesel, and "Z"=roadster... "i" is like your appendix: there and no one is exactly sure, what, if anything, it means or does.

    Too bad BMW is still sometimes odd. When the (inaccurate) 323i was in reality a "325i", which didn't happen until the (accurate) 328i become the (accurate) 330i. Then the marketers afraid the 328i wouldn't seem "worth it" when the "325i" was so much less expensive.
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    1. No rear cupholders after MY 2001 - it has been replaced by small storage bin. You can probably order cupholders from dealer and install it yourself.

    2. Auto headlights are not dependent on fog lights. My auto headlights come on regardless of the fog light switch position.

    Hope this helps...JL
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Without going into detail, dealer induced me in to that dealership with $1000 over invoice price (next lowest dealer in my area was $1800 over invoice), but leasing department tried to do a number on me. But I was prepared. If I did not catch them at their game, the difference would have been about $3,000 extra profit in the dealer's pocket. The final transaction price was $42,895, lease payment of $535 per month (includes CA tax of 8.25%) for 3 years/36 months and I get back $3800 at end of lease.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    No rear cupholders in MY 2002. Also, when headlight switch is in "auto on" position, and then turn fog light switch to "on" position, headlights turn on. Fog switch overrides auto mode.
  • billbroxbillbrox Posts: 41
    Am considering purchasing ex-Warranty for New 2003 530i. Any thoughts on if it is worth the $1300 for 4 years 100k miles.
  • sirtigersirtiger Posts: 38
    I think BMW got it all backwards. The driver sliding armrest should be a storage bin like most cars and not that silly sliding armrest. The rear storage thing should be a cupholder.

    I read that some countries may have it or its a added feature to modify it to be a storage armrest and a rear cupholder. I guess its another way for BMW to make more money or just drive us nuts with these lack of amenities.

    My car is like pen101, the foglights overrides the auto headlights. Another BMW mystery.....
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    It actually is quite small, but it is available as an option for those who want it. It will barely fit a mobile phone, or a small wallet. The European version of the lower dash, without the foam padding has a storage compartment on the left side of the driver, which actually seems to offer bigger space.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    I think that there were some changes in the engine tuning when the "323" was upgraded to "325". The engine went from 170 HP to 184 or so.
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    I am not sure but I agree, there was a change, I believe it was double vanos that increased the HP rating, or at least helped in increasing the rating.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    fjk... While peak horsepower rose, peak torque fell. The '99-'00s had higher peak torque. That might make sense for way most Americans drive as well as for cars with automatic transmissions. Is interesting that there was such a trade off. Too bad HP wasn't increased without decreasing torque. And too bad they couldn't increase both!
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    riez... well yes and no. The history of the 2.5 liter I6 (which may not be the same engine) is:
    1994-1995: 325i model: 189 [email protected] RPMs - 181 [email protected] RPMs
    1998: 323 coupes/convertibles 168 [email protected] - [email protected]
    1999-2000: 323: 170 [email protected] - [email protected]
    2001-: 325: [email protected] - [email protected]

    I have quoted the factory numbers for horsepower/torque peaks for 2.5 liter engine since the mid - 1990's. I have pointed out in the past that the "peak" numbers are not the only speed at which horsepower or torque is produced. An engine produces both horsepower and torque at all engine speeds, not just at the peak speed. In general the peak horsepower is at a higher speed than the peak torque. This is because the horsepower depends on the torque and speed. If torque were constant at all engine speeds, then horsepower would "peak" at the red line. However, torque generally drops off quickly once the engine exceeds some speed beyond which "breathing" efficiency drops off.

    We can calculate the torque at the peak horsepower and we find that the 170 hp engine had 162 ft-lbs of torque @5500 and not more than 148 ft-lbs @6000. The 184 hp engine has 161 ft-lbs @6000. So we know that the new 2.5 liter has more torque @6000 RPM's than the old engine. We don't know what the new engine is like at lower engine speeds, but I suspect that it has more torque at 2000 RPMs than the old engine.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    We also know the difference in horsepower between the 170 and the 184 HP 2.5 liter engine is 4 horsepower at 3500 RPM's, the peak torque for both engines. Playing around with a spread sheet suggests that both engines will produce around 163 horsepower at 5000 RPM's. I am guessing that the 184 horsepower engine will have about 175 horsepower at 5500 RPM's, the peak for the 170 HP engine. At 4500 RPM's the new engine should be within 2 HP of the old engine.
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Twice during the past week my 2001 530i with manual transmission has violently shaken for a few seconds in the front end while braking into a slow stop while in neutral. The speed was less than 20mph and the braking was gradual. The front end shook side to side and then just stopped and I was able to continue on my way as if nothing happened. I have an appointment for Thursday at the dealer, but was wondering if anyone has had or has heard of this shaking before. Thanks.
  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    New to board, just a few thoughts, if I may. Have an '02 530, stick, PP, no SP, xenon, silver/gray (like that monochromatic look.)

    To jay44. go with the metallic black, they're charging you for metallic paint whether you get it or not.

    Re: lousy weather, I have found this 5 and my previous '91 525 to be quite respectable, but NOT up to a good front-driver, IMO. Here in the Midwest, lots of people buy AWD for those 10 days each year that it really helps, I'll take my chances with rear drive on those days for the handling balance (and lack of torque steer) for the other 355.

    I've got the OEM Conti's (SC1's? SC2's? will have to check), good for all weather, a plus since no need to swap around. I'll put in my plug for BMW's WITHOUT the sport package, aside from dollars saved (of which you'll probably see $.10 at trade time; I bought, didn't lease), I think stock suspension is plenty responsive. Perhaps more importantly, I think that those nice-looking 17" sport wheels just don't offer enough sidewall height to give adequate ride cushioning. Just my O. (Oh, and I've got the >heated< steering wheel, not available with spt.pack.)

    BURNING SECURITY QUESTION: did not see answer to this, but just how does that little wallet key work if the system is constantly changing codes?! Does somebody merely need copy of this key (seems like a glaring hole in security, heh?)
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    I am no expert, but it seems to be similar to how those garage door openers work, with the rolling codes. In order for the new clicker to work with the base, they have to be initialized. A mere physical copy of the key will not work until then.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    sdg380... If you do not have the Sport Pkg and you have Continentals, they are likely ContiTouringContacts. These are the tyres used on my wife's '00 323ia. I put a new set of TouringContact on her car last year. An inexpensive ($60-70) all season tyre that has decent handling capabilities. For example, see CR's 12/02 test report.

    But you likely don't have the summer (3 season) ContiSportContact or ContiSportContact 2. These are most definately NOT all-season tyres. Continental has a dedicated winter tyre. The SC2s only came out in USA last year. They are the replacement for the original SportContacts. SportContact & SC2 are Continental's maximum performance tyre. Continental also makes an ExtremeContact that is their highest performing all-season tyre. (Anyone here running a set of ExtremeContact?)

    I recently put a set of SC2s on my '98 540i6. So far I'm quite pleased. Great handling. Awesome wet performance.
  • mukmanmukman Posts: 4
    Hello everyone. I have been a reader of this board for almost 2 years. I finally bit the bullet and picked up the car I've been wanting. The car is a 530i with PP, SP, CW, XEON, and STEP. I love the way the car rides and handles. I can't wait for the beak in period to be over so I can see what this car can really do. As of now, the only thing I'm thinking of adding is tinting the windows. Look forward to adding more about my experience with the car.
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Welcome aboard. Keep us informed of your
    5ers progress, you'll enjoy this car , it is a
    great car ! Is it an '03, if it is, what was your
    motive in buying the E39 instead of the E60?
    Again, welcome to the Ultimate driving experience.
  • mukmanmukman Posts: 4
    Thank you. Yes it is a '03. One reason for the wait was to see what the new 5er would look like. I was not immediately pleased, and I also did not want to buy a new model its first year. This would mean an even longer wait. The current model also has a good history of performance and reliability.
    Also, with relatively low interest rates, now seemed a good time to buy the car.
  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    Thanks for feedback guys, they are indeed Touring Contacts, Reiz, seem decent enough to me, and pretty good year round. Unfortunately, our roads around here get pretty chewed up between the salt and temperature swings in the winter (good for car finishes, too!), so touring tires and non-sport suspension make sense.

    JB, still don't get that wallet key thing, I don't think it has any battery, but I know it could have some kind of chip (or something) that could be programmed/read from the ignition. Maybe it has an embedded code unique to your car for first use, then it's reprogrammed(?) Guess that would (supposedly) require a visit to the dealer to replicate.
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Interesting observations and, indeed, I agree with everything you say especially that the E60 will be a new car year. I would stay away from the first year also. Good thinking.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    The key's battery is actually charged when you insert it into the ignition. There is an instruction on initializing a new key to your car at
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    Just got back from extended time away, and read about your ordeal. What a bummer - the photos border on the grotesque! As I have a lot of catching up to do, I don't know how far down the road you've gotten toward a resolution, but I'm so sorry this happened to you!
  • jjohnjohnjjohnjohn Posts: 24
    does anyone know why my rear right tail light indicator light is on? all my lights are working, but the light is still on? can anyone advise. thanks
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The following is my earlier post concerning this somewhat common problem. You might also want to check the high mounted brake lamp. When it fails it is indicated by the right brake light warning. In any event read on to see how I cured the problem once and for all:

    <My 1997 528iA had similar problems with bulbs. I finally found a solution that worked. First off, you need to understand how the bulb monitoring system works. In essence it looks for high resistance in the tested circuit. The system is so sensitive that a bulb that is about to fail may trigger the light, as will small amounts of corrosion on the bulb and/or socket.
    Now for the fix: First, always use quality European silver base bulbs of the correct size and wattage(check the owners manual if you aren't sure). The dealer should stock the proper bulbs but you can also find the excellent Sylvania Osram bulbs at AutoZone. While you are there pick up a package of Bulb Grease. Next, remove all the bulbs and clean their bases and sockets with a quality electrical contact cleaner that is SAFE FOR PLASTIC. I use a product from the German company Wurth but Radio Shack should have something similar. After all the bulbs and sockets are clean wait a few minutes to let all traces of the cleaner evaporate. Finally, apply a thin coating of bulb grease to the base of each bulb and button everything back up. The contact cleaner should have removed any corrosion and the dielectric grease will prevent further corrosion. I hope this helps.>
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Did you find out what was causing the problem? No one responded to your post, I have never heard of anything like that. Almost sounds like something loose in the front suspension, certainly needing attention. Hope it is all attended to. Is your trip to SF still on, didn't hear anymore. I know you said it would be like in June or July, still a ways off.
  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    JB, I know that "regular" keys have a battery that's charged when inserted in ignition (neat feature, heh?), but how about that little palstic wallet "emergency" key. If the security system is busy changing codes all the time, how does the wallet key, which is rarely used, function? Some kind of "emergency" code or what? I guess it's no big deal, but I'm only wondering if all the security features are bypassed by the use of such a key. Maybe I better watch all of the video that came with the car!
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    Ahh, you got me there. I am not sure how that little one works. I guess we'll have to dig around a little.
  • billbroxbillbrox Posts: 41
    Bienvenudos the same ride myself only 2 months ago, only difference is mine is now broken are in for a treat!
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