Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you recently switched from a luxury sedan to a luxury SUV?
A reporter would like to talk to you; please reach out to [email protected] by 7/25 for more details.
Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

BMW 5-Series Sedans

1217218220222223414

Comments

  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    Sorry that I cannot answer your technical questions as far as modifications. Generally speaking the M cars have engine mods, suspension mods and some interior mods with a different wheel package. All M cars are manual transmissions. As far as the difference between a 91 M5 and a regular 5er (probably 535i), I would have to check the BMW brochure for that particular year (I might not have that brochure since those were college years or it might be Euro specs). If I went for the mods, you might want to find out if any of the German tuners have done turbochargers or superchargers for a 90's model 5er. Maybe a cam swap might also help.
    As far as aftermarket mods, most of the German tuners/manufactures tend to get more out of the engine that BMW Motorsports but at a price. The M cars tend to be a bargain when compared to what AC Schnitzer, Hamann, Alpina, Racing Dynamics, and Hartge will cost. On the flip side, I have scene a side by side comparison on TV of a E46 M3 with the Alpina and I believe, Hamann counterparts. The M3 did lag. None the less the M cars are excellent and I would love to own one.
  • Gents (and ladies):

    I have heard that the engine on a 530 is below the quality of the 525, and despite the less power, the 525 is the choice between the two. Do you agree, disagree? Also please don't shred me...I am a bit of a novice here, and wan't to verify what I have heard before I purchase. Thanks.
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    I am in Germany at the moment for a family reunion. One sees plenty of BMW's around. One interesting fact is that a high percentage do not have the number designation at the back. A cab driver told me that in Germany you have the option of ordering the car without it, might keep the thieves guessing as well as the police if you have a hot one--of course the fact that you have no number might make people think it is better. It might make more sense to have a fake number. There also seem to be some models we don't have.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    I have heard that the engine on a 530 is below the quality of the 525, and despite the less power, the 525 is the choice between the two.

    Ummm, I am not quite sure what you mean by "below the quality", however, I think one would be hard pressed to prove that the 2.5 liter mill has fewer problems or lasts longer than the 3.0 liter engine. Why? Simple, the two engines are virtually identical, with the only significant difference being the crank shaft (longer throws) and the connecting rods (shorter length), which is what gives the 3 liter engine the extra .5 liter of displacement.

    Regarding the power, the 530i has considerably greater low end torque, and makes for a much more pleasing driving experience when compared to the 525i.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,570
    no doubt that the majority of the BMW's driven in Germany don't have any badging whatsoever. Whether the engine is a 1.5 or a 3.0 is a mystery to all but those who know/care.

    When I asked a business associate about this, his reply was something to the effect of "those who care know -- who cares about the others?"

    Not bad words to live by.

    There are those who drive BMW's who would beg to differ. It'll be fun to hear from them.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    Debadging does have its advantages in Europe. I wish that I had the option number for de-badging at the time. You also tend to find fewer 2.5 and 3.0 litre engines on the 3er and 5er. Most of the time, I was 320s and 520s. Even the DTM cars are 320s
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    with either BMW I6 engine. As Shipo states, these two power plants are identical in design and the only difference is in displacement resulting in different power output. All five of the BMWs my family currently own are I6 powered and none of us have ever experienced an engine related problem. I personally own a 2003 530i and think it is one of the best cars on the road today. BTW, Wards Auto World named the BMW 3.0L engine one of the top 10 engines for 2003.

    Hope this helps....
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    For those in love with rack-and-pinion steering, you'll love these words from the July 2003 issue of Automobile: "The 540i's recirculating-ball steering is history." They rave about the new "active rack-and-pinion steering system". AFS is part of optional Sport Pkg. All the others come with rack-and-pinion steering, too. They appear to love the driving experience of the new 5 Series. As they put it, it "drives brillantly."

    Following words made my spirits soar: "Overall weight is down by as much as 165 pounds, so the 530i weighs about 3500 pounds."

    Too bad the Sport Pkg uses run-flat tires!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,243
    BLECH!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,729
    ...double Blech!
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    When I had my M6 I was planning on de-badging it and cobbling together a "624td" badge to fit in place of the //M badge. Never got around to it, though. One of my friends did fit a "316tds" badge to his heavily modded E36 M3. Some clueless doofus saw it run at an autocross and actually wrote a letter to one of the national car mags asking about the "super-fast 316tds".
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    If you don't mind my asking, what is a run-flat tire?
  • guapingguaping Posts: 6
    Gentlemen (and ladies),
    Been reading this discussion for a while. I finally got my new 03 530i manual/PP/SP/DSP/xenons 2 weeks ago and absolutely love it! I have several questions if I may.
    1. I can't seem to program the universal transmitter to work with my garage door opener (Genie), even after trying the instructions several times. Are there any known compatibility issues?
    2. Will there be a problem if I top-off the gasoline tank each time I fill up?
    3. Pardon my ignorance, but do I need to use the club in addition to the BMW alarm system?
    Numbers 2 & 3 reflect the obsessive-compulsive part of me. Thank you very much in advance.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Welcome.

    #1. I do not have the UGO, but I understand the manual is lousy. If your manufacturer, Genie uses rolling codes, which I believe it does, I think there is one extra step. Do a search on the forum for "rolling codes" as I believe someone has posted that information.

    #2. Topping off - I don't do it, in many places it is against the law. Overfilling will result in fuel spillage down the side of your new vehicle.

    #3. Club + alarm - How obsessive to you want to be? How much extra artillery do you want to defend your BMW against would-be thieves.

    Good luck with your new vehicle.
  • suvbuyer4suvbuyer4 Posts: 10
    Guaping,
    I just programmed mine last week after 30 minutes of trial and error. Because the Genie has rolling codes there is an extra step:

    1. Follow the manual instructions to clear the existing programmed codes (I think you push the 2 outside buttons until light blinks?)

    2. Program the universal transmitter as you normally would (i.e. point the garage door opener at the transmitter and push both buttons for a while)

    3. This is the additional step - on the Genie garage door opener there should be a button next to the light that emits a signal when pushed. You normally would use this button to program the openers it comes with. Not sure exactly where your button might be (check your garage door opener manual), but I had to remove the white cover from the openere and the button was on the left hand side. Push the button - a red light will start blinking and will continue to blink for 30 seconds.

    4. While the red light is blinking, go back to your car and press one of the 3 universal transmitter buttons 3-4 times to program the rolling codes. The BMW manual says 3 times and my GMC Yukon manual said 4-5 so I just pressed it a handful of times during the 30 seconds.

    You now should be set - wish the manual was a little better in explaining this. My GMC manual actually helped me on the BMW. Hope this helps.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    There are other issues related to "Topping Off" that have far greater consequenses than just spilling down the side of your nice new paint. The fuel systems of modern cars are specifically designed to have a minimum amount of un-filled volume in the fuel tank for vapor expansion and such. If you fill your tank too much, you can actually force liquid fuel (as opposed to fuel vapors) into the vapor recovery systems that all cars are now equipped with. Liquid fuel can render such vapor recovery system worthless, and cause your car to polute far more that it should. In extreme cases, I have seen fuel dripping out of the vapor recovery system on hot days because of folks who "Top Off".

    Have you ever walked through a parking lot on a hot day and smelled that destinctive gas station smell of fuel vapor? In the end, "Topping Off" is not good for our environment, or the wallet of the person who tops off (lost fuel and extra fuel system repairs).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    cmr530i... I'll let Automobile's article do the talkin':

    "Run-flat performance tires and a tire-pressure monitor also are included in the Sport Package... [Discussion about sizes.] ...The run-flats mount on wheels with double rim humps, so the tires won't jump off the rins under a sudden loss of [air] pressure. Aside from providing better control of the car in a blowout, the run-flats save eight by eliminating the spare wheel and tire, and they can be driven nearly 100 miles, even when completely deflated."

    Normal problem is that in order to provide the run-flat capability, these tires use different compounds and, most importantly, often have different sidewall strength than regular performance tires. The sidewalls have to be strong enough to hold the tire with no air. Usually leads to degredation of both ride quality and handling performance. A great example of this was in the 2002 Motor Trend comparison test of the BMW 330i vs Infiniti G35 vs Cadillac CTS. The 330i had run-flat tires. MT panned its ride and slalom/skidpad performance heavily and strongly recommended against run flats.

    I want regular high performance tires with a full-size spare and alloy wheel!
  • jay44jay44 Posts: 7
    Hello All, I've just purchased my first BMW (2003 530I). Realizing that I will need to outfit with a set of snow tires for the winter, Tirerack lists both 16 and 17" rims/tires. Is there a preferred size that I should buy? Thanks in advance for any input. I live in New England.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,243
    People are eating up the last of the E39s. Congrats on your new cars guys!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    July 2003 issue of European Car has a good, long story titled "Buyers Guide: BMW E34 5 Series." Lot of interesting information on all the models sold in USA. Good stuff on problem areas, things to look for, maintenance, etc.
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Thank you for the explanation on the run-flats! I really enjoy reading the many informative posts from you and others on this board.
  • 530bmw530bmw Posts: 130
    If you still have a problem after following suvbuyer4's suggesttion, go back to your dealership and ask them for a special instruction. I had the same problem and after talking to my dealer they printed me a special bulltin of one page instruction. That was a long time ago and I am not sure they will give you the same thing or not.
  • guapingguaping Posts: 6
    kdshapiro & shipo, thank you for your responses.
    suvbuyer4, I finally got to make my bmw open my garage door openers. It took me just a few minutes to program it using your instructions. Thanks a lot.
    530bmw, thanks for trying to help.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    You expressed some surprise at the lower cost of diesel vs. gas models. That also seemed to be the previous case with Mercedes. I seriously considered getting a 1999 E300 turbodiesel. At that time, the MSRP was roughly $3,500 less than the E320 gas model and the only "decontenting" was partial leather seats in place of full leather. I could have picked up a brand new 1999 E300 in late 1998 for $41,500 with the sunroof/Bose package. Today, that car appears to be selling for more than the E320 gas model as a used car and, in some cases, more than the E430. Limited supply helps it's resale, but I think the belief is that an E300 with 75,000 miles is barely "broken in".

    One of my associates drove her E300 from DC to Hilton Head and back last year and averaged 34 mpg at 70-75 mph. While I certainly love the idea of an M5 doing 0-60 in 4.7 seconds, I think 0-60 in 6.7 seconds and mid-30's on the mpg meter would also be a prudent choice.

    My only concern with the 5-series diesels is the added weight of the heavier engine, and what it does to BMW's class leading handling and steering. This wasn't as much of an issue when I drove the E300TD, since the E-class was 2-3 rungs down the handling ladder from the 5-series anyway. Any insights??
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    I was working at MB-USA back in the era when the W210 came out, and we had several in the shop (downstairs from my lofted office) which were used to disassemble and reassemble for training purposes, and it seems to me that there were other decontent issues with the E300 Diesel/Turbo Diesel cars other than the leather treatment. Unfortunately, I can no longer remember what they were. Regarding the normally aspirated E300, I was not at all surprised that it cost less than the I6 version of the E320. That said, I do remember being surprised at the price of the blown E300 because in many ways, it was the superior car when compared to the E320.

    Regarding the 530d vs. the 530i, yes I assume that weight is something of an issue given that the 530d weighs 209 pounds more than the 530i (which is only 77 pounds less than the 540i). I wonder how much of the extra weight rests on the front wheels (from the heavier engine and sound deadening) and how much of the weight is spread between the front and the rear (heavier drive train). One thing is for certain, the 530d is the performance superior to the 525i in every category except top speed (143 vs. 148), and even faster than the 530i in fourth gear acceleration between 50 and 75 mph (6.9 vs. 7.3). I have a PDF brochure of the entire 2003 5-Series line, and the only differences between the 530d and the 530i are the obligatory drive train changes (in other words, there are no content differences at all). To take it one step further, the 530d actually has a slightly higher content level than the 525i, which (at least in France) costs 1,000 Euros more. Go figure.

    I saved the best part for last, the (published) mileage (in MPG):

    Model City --- Mix --- Hwy
    525i - 21.51 - 29.98 - 39.14
    530i - 21.51 - 29.67 - 38.08
    530d - 29.05 - 39.69 - 50.32

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    Shipo,

    Those EPA miles ratings are hilarious at best. Unless you typoed that stuff in those ratings should put the cars in very good ULEV emmisions vehicles. I am happy to say that I just filled up this morning and recorded 28.82 MPG. I did do a little bit more driving on the Freeway this time. I took two trips out to Ann Arbor in the same day at about 25 miles each way. And I took a trip to East Lansing which is about 70 miles each way. Other than that, all my miles were made going to and from work and to and from the gym. All surface street driving.

    Mark
  • mch2mch2 Posts: 36
    I have narrowed the choices for my next car to a 2003 530i or a 2003 E320. Has anyone driven or had experience with both cars? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159
    Yes I am biased as I do own a 02 530, but I have driven both. No comparison in my opinion. The BMW offers everything and then some!

    One step further - I went to a HS Baseball game Saturday and parked far away (as my car is new and does not need any dings, etc.........) - when I returned to my Black 530, sitting next to it was a black E320 - so i could really size the two up. And I did.

    If you ever get the chance, try and compare the two literally side by side. I already know the BMW drives much better, and wow does it look sharper. Hands down, no doubt about it!!!
  • ndegroatndegroat Posts: 8
    Thanks to Kristie H for setting me straight...
    My question: I am a prospective buyer of 1998 528i. 150,000 highway miles, one owner. How long can I expect this engine (and related items) to last? Owner is my boss, miles/upkeep are verified. Car is in great shape. Are these vehicle as reliable as they tout?
    Thanks so much in advance!!
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    In terms of mileage it is hard to say how long the cars will last. As any car gets older there is a chance that there will be things that need to be replaced that normally don't in the lifespan of other cars. That being said, I doubt the engine will have a problem reaching 200k miles without a glitch. The biggest things you will have to be aware of are the suspencsion (mainly the springs and shocks) and of course the transmission (preferably a manual since the clutch is the main wear item taking the brunt of the wear). Inside there might be small gremlins in terms of electrical problems but that normally comes with age not so much mileage. I would say you would be safe from those problems for another 5 -7 years. The wiring in these cars is extremely good and well insulated from corrosion. If properly maintained, I would say you could get 250k miles out of the car.

    Mark
Sign In or Register to comment.