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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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Comments

  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    I very recentlyl bought a 2000 540i (the car was placed in service in 10/99). It appears to have the orginal battery, making it almost four years old. There appears to be a coding to it. If a green dot appears in a window it is fine. A black dot means charge. A yellow dot means replace. Assumnig I am looking at the right thing, the window has a black dot. I gather BMW puts the battery in the back to keep it away from engine heat and give it longer life. Should I replace the battery? What kind of life do people generally get from their batteries? Thanks.
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    It is a good idea to replace the battery if you are unsure about its performance. If you wait too long, you will experience problems with the numerous systems that depend on the battery for power.

    BMW places the battery in the trunk to achieve (or to come as close as possible) a 50% front/50% rear weight distribution on its cars. The 50/50 rule is important because the car is "balanced" achieving consistent/predictable handling characteristics under different driving conditions.

    If you are looking for a new battery, reference the except below:

    "I needed a new (540i) battery and I looked on the side and a sticker read manufactured by DBMC in Winston-Salem, N.C. That just happens to be where I live. It cost me $100.21 and the new battery is the same save for no maintenance now."

    Hope this helps....JL
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    Thanks for the feedback JL. Is there any reason to prefer a battery at a BMW dealership to any place else?
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    battery so it is a direct replacement. You can purchase a battery from the dealer, but expect to pay top dollar.

    Good luck...JL
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    If I remember correctly, if you press the "Trip Reset" button on the dash, the Odometer will light up.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    About lease mileage. I don't they really care what the mileage is until you turn the car in. At that point they will do a final inspection and bill you for anything they find above and beyond the inspection. From my understanding of the two cars that I leased, the inpsection is for cosmetic purposes, I got hit for a new windshield for $250 and they let me know that the whole car had been repainted when I had it taken to the dealership for hail damage. Other than that, it was no biggy, the interior of all my cars is top notch.
  • bmwgurubmwguru Posts: 51
    If you are concerned about the battery, have it checked out. Have all the cells tested because if just one is weak,you can have all kinds of problems. The most common would be an unsteady idle. You don't know how many people have replaced idle control units/valves, relays, etc. because of one bad cell in their battery.
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    After getting some helpful feedback on batteries, I am leaning to playing it safe and replacing the battery in the 2000 540i I just bought. A Die Hard costs around $27. If I buy the battery at the dealership, it is over $200, including labor. Well I assume there is some qualitative difference, I could by a Die Hard a year for the next several years before equaling the amount I would pay the dealer. Any advice? Thanks.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    I went to Sears for a replacement on my 86 528e. It was about $200 IIRC. It was a "Europen Special" or some such nonsense. Are you sure you can get a die hard to fit yours for $27?

    Jack
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Hmmmm, $27 seems a little low. I just checked the Sears web site, and found their "DieHard International", which has a "Sears Item #" of "02831249000" and a "Mfr. Model #" of "31249". Apparently that is the battery for the 5-Series, and it carries a list cost of $99.00 (with exchange).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    I called back and it turns out there is no Die Hard for a 540i. I then called a local service station that carries the Interstate brand. It goes for about $130, a lot better than the dealer cost.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    There actually is a DieHard for the 540i (see my previous post), it's just that Sears hasn't updated their charts since model year 2000. You can simply go the the Sears web site and look up the DieHard for a 2000 540i, and you will be presented with the model number I listed above.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    Thanks shipo. I think our posts crossed in cyberspace. I did not see yours before posting my last one. I will check the Sears website.
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    I went to the Sears site. It turns out there is a battery for the 540i sedan but not the wagon. It is hard for me to imagine there is a difference....
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Roundel (BMW CCA) and Bimmer magazines have had numerous articles on this subject for some time now. Their consensus appears to be that the original factory-equipped batteries are superior to the OEM replacement batteries. For whatever reason, the original batteries appear to last 4 or more years but the OEM replacements seem to have a high failure rate within 2 years. They tend to recommend Interstate batteries. They claim you'll save a bundle and get better, longer-lasting batteries.
  • hangunhangun Posts: 3
    Hi, does anyone have a recommendation for a good BMW body shop in San Diego, CA?

    Thanks in advance
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I still have the OEM batteries in my 318ti(build date 10/95) and my 528i(build date 6/1997. The secret is to keep the batteries topped up with distilled water; I check and top up both batteries on a semi-annual basis. The new BMW "Maintenance Free" batteries simply have the cell caps covered by a large vinyl sticker- see: http://www.bmwdiy.info/battery-maint/index.html
  • ryokenryoken Posts: 291
    Have you asked your dealer and your insurance company for recommendations? If your dealership doesn't have their own body shop, they're bound to recommend one or two shops. Also, SoCal AAA has a list of the top 50 shops in their Immediate Repair Program, worth a look -- a few of them are in the San Diego area (http://www.aaa-calif.com/westways/0103/irp.asp).

    Amato's is supposed to be good, but also very expensive. I haven't used them. I have used All-American Paint and Body for rear bumper repairs on both a Jeep and an Infiniti, both with excellent results.

    If you're going through an insurance claim, it's also less of a hassle to pick a body shop that's on the insurance company's pre-approved list. Then you don't have to wait for an adjustor to verify the body shop's estimate before repairs can begin. You're not required to use a pre-approved body shop, though.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    You guys make some good points. I guess there really needs to be a lobby for low sulfur diesel fuel. I don't see Hydrogen or Electric cars been real viable in the near future (next 5 years). A diesel 5er would really be great especially with the M-B E320 CDI coming. European Car mag had a decent article on the E320 CDI. With my wife been a road warrior, I would love to have a diesel 5er. This would definitely lower the cost of trips considering the the fuel consumption. Been that background is Electrical Engineering, I really don't understand the effects that cars have on pollution. I know in the U.K. that NO2 gases are now a big issue. The taxes that a levied affect the high gas burners. It also appears that the diesel are making gains in performance.

    Back to the pollution, I was last in Paris about 3 years ago. I was in the Stade de France area (I think this is St. Denis) but I saw sulfur gas coming from a industrial plant. Paris in my humble opinion might not have the air quality of Houston because of temperature. But if they did, I think Paris would be worse.

    Europeans might not have as many cars but they do have the population density issue. Also, to own a car is a premium. Europe might be progressive with pollution control, because they need to be. England during the winter can be terrible especially with people burning coal fireplaces.
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    I agree with you, there might be things in Europe that I didn't see 14 years ago or that are there now. That being said, before I bought my 528i, I did some serious research on diesel Jetta's. I like the look of the Jetta and you can't deny the gas mileage advantage it has. That being said, I was a little worried about the HP figures even though the torque was definitely there. My real concern wasn't the possibility of finding diesel, they sell it right across the street. My main concern was that diesel fuel regulations will change the amount of sulfur parts per million allow in fuel soon, once that is done, then VW will be coming out with more powerful diesels as well as other companies (I hope BMW, and probably MB) will be coming out with cars as well. I even think the big three might jump into the fray more. They have a lot more diesel technology than people might think. There have been so many changes in even the current diesels that when the new fuel comes out, they will definitely give the gas powered cars a run for their money.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I would highly recommend you do NOT use a body shop recommended by your insurance company. Those body shops, many of which are owned by the insurance company themselves, do not have fixing your car in their best interest. They're looking out for their bottom line and will do what is cheapest, not what is best. State Farm lost a huge lawsuit on this a few years ago, and Allstate is headed down the same road. Avoid any Sterling body shop as they are owned by Allstate.

    Go to an independent shop recommended by your dealer or friends. You have a much better chance of having your car fixed the right way.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I really hope that BMW does consider selling diesels in the US when the sulfur content in supposed to drop, around 2007. I figure that I will probably be purchase my next car by then unless the unmentionable happens to my 325i. With my wife buying a car next year, it looks like a CPO 530i. If my memory serves me right the VW TDi did not post bad performance numbers??? I think the only car with terrible performance numbers would be the SMART cars.
  • ryokenryoken Posts: 291
    It depends. The body shop I used is on several different insurance company's pre-approved lists. They're not owned by an insurance company. The also know how to "work the system" so to speak -- that is, get OEM parts authorized when a particular insurance company prefers you get aftermarket parts or repair existing parts.

    I wouldn't use that as a primary criteria though -- but if you can find a shop that somebody else recommends, and it also happens to be pre-approved, that's a bonus -- less hassle.
  • ryokenryoken Posts: 291
    So, what happens to the existing truck fleet in the U.S. when low-sulfur diesel gets here? How would low-sulfur fuel affect existing diesel engines?

    I know when unleaded gas became common, older engines started exhibiting problems, because they relied on the lead as a lubricant for the valves.
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    You are right in that the TDI numbers weren't aweful, but concidering that the TDI that they have in Europe has 155 Hp and 205 ft/lb of torque compared to the 90 Hp and 155 ft/lb here, that is a big difference. They are planning to bring theirs over here in about 2005/6. They said by that time the sulfur content should be low enough not to sludge the engine down.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    The only effect that the new diesel fuel will have on the existing truck fleet is that they will spew a little less polution into the air for each pound of fuel they burn.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • hangunhangun Posts: 3
    Thanks ryoken. My dealer (Cunningham BMW) recommended Auto Works since they do not have body shop in house. Harloff BMW said that they have life time warranty (as long as I own the car) on the paint. Some other dealer's body shop (i.e. MB of San Diego and Brecht BMW) only have 1 year warranty. Do you know if Harloff BMW does a good job?

    Best Regards,
    -hangun
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Yesterday I had a weird thing happen to my car. I came out of my daughter's soon to be elementary school (all of the soon to be first graders -all 200 of them- were having an "Ice Cream Social") and as walked toward my car I pressed the "Unlock" button on my key, and nothing happened. As I got closer and closer, I kept pressing the button, and nothing. I was finally reduced to actually putting the key in the door and unlocking it the old fashioned way. No problems since. Ever happen to any of y'all?

    A theory; when I pulled up at the school and locked my car, there were any number of other folks doing the same, at the same exact time, including other BMWs. Could there have been just too many Lock/Unlock codes flying around in the air at the same time, and the "Rolling Code" got tweaked?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Is there a source for the special washer fluid that BMW puts in our cars at the factory other than the dealer? My car is a little low, and driving to the dealership is a tad out of the way.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I suspect Sonax or Wurth makes something similar. P21S makes a decent product as well. Have you tried ordering a case from Pacific BMW or the BMW Store? I'll say one thing-the BMW washer fluid can REALLY clear your sinuses...;)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    I checked the web sites for Circle BMW and Pacific BMW, and did not see anything listed, maybe I didn't look hard enough. I will also try the BMW Store. Thanks.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    Could possible be interference from other EMF or RF? This problem happens with our Nissan at certain places like the church and a particular laundramat in the area.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Similar to Shipo's problem, about every other day I'll return to my 530i in my office parking lot, fire it up and get a "trunk lid open" warning. I'm about 99% certain that I'm not keying it myself. Several other BMW's park in the same small lot, along with the usual collection of MB's, etc. Can the codes be reprogrammed by the dealer?
  • george94george94 Posts: 75
    I am fairly new to this debate as my car is just about two months old. But during this short time it already happened twice. My seat and stirring wheel memory preferences get mysteriously reset. I am 100% positive it is not me.

    ..g
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Check out the May 26, 2003, issue of AutoWeek. Big cover story: "First Drive 5: Is the 2004 BMW 5 Series still world's best sedan?" Some great pictures. Interesting comments on AFS.

    Was BMW's press introduction in Sardinia. Appears they drove only new 530i, both 6-speed manual and automatic. They did not drive SMG.

    I think the pictures show the new styling isn't as bad as the doom-sayers allege. If anything, I'm more concerned about the interior styling, esp. the dash. Dash just doesn't look very sporting. Too dignified and luxurious.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I agree, the E60 styling isn't horrible-though to my eyes it just somehow doesn't look as well integrated or distinctive as the E34 and E39. That said, it's a good bet that a CPO 530i SMG will wind up in our garage in a few short years. Assuming that Ms. Div's enthusiasm for a Mini Cooper cools somewhat. Methinks there's fat chance of that happening, as we just saw The Italian Job...;)
  • tlmmhowelltlmmhowell Posts: 48
    George94,
    The seat/mirror memory issue is separate. I believe BMW calls it key memory. I have 2 E39's and it has NEVER worked properly on either. I wondered at the time why the salesman discouraged me from having the feature turned on when I purchased the cars. And BMW wants to put the idrive on the new 5, making it even more electronically complex!
    Terry
  • george94george94 Posts: 75
    I don't use the remote key preference settings. I simply use the memory buttons of the driver side door. I leave my car with seats, wheel etc in my choice of preference. Come back later and it is mysteriously changed since.
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    Out of curiosity, when did BMW start putting the steptronic transmission in the 5 series, i.e. the one where you have the option of shifting manual but clutchless?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    diver110... Steptronic is still a fully automatic transmission. Torque converter and the whole 9 yards. Within certain limits, you can "tell it" electronically when to shift and go up or down a gear (though it has some internal overrides so that you can't over-rev her).

    SMG is a fully manual transmission, though the clutch-work is done by the computer and you can put it in "drive" and allow the computer to do all the shifting for you. SMG similar to F1 racing-type transmission.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,475
    I'm waiting to reserve judgement on the new E60 until I see it in the flesh.

    As far as the E39 goes, I went poking around a local dealer's showroom on Saturday (it was weird not working on Saturday, I had so much time) and there was a beautiful Black/Black PP, SP, and I don't know what else 525i with a 5 speed manual. Definitely a cool car.

    The guy infron of me at the car wash had a light blueish/Black Interior 540iA SP with the M5 wheels, and M5 badges on the side (glued on crooked). Before I spotted the Auto trans, I saw only 1 tailpipe sticking out the back, not 4 so I knew. While our cars were being dried, I asked him how he liked his 540. He said "It's an M5, and I love it." As he said that I told him his car was nice and to have a nice weekend.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2017 Pilot Touring AWD, 2019 Tacoma TRD Sport 4WD

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    nyccarguy... You should have complimented him on his very rare (ultra rare?) M5a. :)

    Though I guess that Dinan S3 automatic is supposedly the next best thing to such a thing as an "official" M5a.

    Is interesting that Alpina finally came officially to USA by offering what ends up being their Z8a. Go figure!
  • bmwgurubmwguru Posts: 51
    I've always wondered why people put a M badge on their car to try to pass it off as an M. BMW people are very astute when comes to our' favorite brand and can tell a fake right away. You don't know how many M 318i's I've seen and laughed at.
  • sirtigersirtiger Posts: 38
    how can u be sure if it is even a 540ia? It could have been a 525ia... LOL.. that is really sad if he believes he has a imaginary M power in there.... Perhaps the rebadging is worth 15 HP.... I need to "upgrade" to a 760Li soon....
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    In an odd way they do us all a service. They point out the value of certain cars. Those cars are unique and their properties are valued. As are their resale values. M5 is no exception. Or the (odd) M Coupe. Wouldn't we all love to have a real M5? Too bad I can't afford one! But I can dream.
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    Thanks for the feedback riez. When did BMW start making teh steptronic?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    diver110... Someone here probably knows. I don't. I'm thinking it was sometime in late 1990s. Say around '97-'99. I'm not a fan of automatic transmissions so I don't pay too much attention to them.

    Do keep in mind that BMW buys automatic transmissions from others. Believe many are now GM's built in France. Thinking others are ZFs. Heart of BMW's Steptronic is the internal electronic "brains" that control the shifting. Others use the same transmission (e.g., Cadillac CTS) with different "brains".

    BMW also outsources its manuals. Historically to ZF and Getrag.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    For those who are considering a new (at least new for you) 5-Series, and are concerned about the "Rough Ride" if you opt for the Sport Package, maybe I can help you off/over the fence.

    For the last week my soon to be 70 year old Mother-In-Law (we call her Muzzy; don't ask) has been with us so she can do "Kid Duty" while I am across the pond in London and Paris for the next week or so. Needless to say, given that she lives in Dallas, I have had to show her around to the various points that she will have to navigate to by herself during my absence. As a result, she has spent a fair amount of time behind the wheel in my 530i 5-Speed, PP, SP (yes, like her daughter Mrs. Shipo, Muzzy Loves driving cars with three pedals, go figure). What I find entertaining is her constant praise for how wonderful my 5er is to drive, and how good it looks, inside and out (she is an interior designer by trade), however, her most frequent comment is how smooth and supple the ride is. She has commented several times on how the ride feels smoother than her (former) employers' S-Class MB, which didn't handle as well either for that matter. To top it off, Muzzy (at a whopping 5'4" and 95 pounds) has absolutely no meat on her bones to absorb any undue/abrupt motions to her backside, so I guess she should know.

    In the final analysis, a 5-Series with the SP does in fact firm up the ride a little when compared to the non SP equipped cars (in exchange for a considerable bump in the cars' handling abilities), however, that does not mean that you are going to lose the fillings from you teeth every time you drive over a rough road.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    BMW's Sport Pkg is an outstanding balance of enhanced handling at minimum ride degredation. No other manufacturer pulls it off so well. Too many have Sport Pkgs that lead to punishing ride. Don't know how BMW does it, but only they do it so well. Wonderful synergy of selected tire and chosen suspension settings.

    Sport Pkg is only way to go!
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    I have heard that if you live in a city with bad roads (e.g. my city, Baltimore), that the sports package is a bad idea. One can easily bend a rim (at god know what cost to replace) etc. Do people agree?
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