Last post on Feb 16, 2013 at 10:05 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Sedan
Feb 21, 2003 (5:01 am)
I have a 1995 Nissan Maxima still going strong with 136k miles on the original clutch and was told by the BMW service manager at the same dealership (VOB BMW, Rockville, MD) that 5-series clutches should last just as long. Especially the 530i. Even the 540i and M5 clutches are expected to last into the 100k+ territory. From the sounds of it, I drive like you - not abusive, but occasionally spirited.
I also agree with snagiel, the clutch wear should have been noticable. Hell, if you were burning it up in only 14k miles, you should have smelled something. I would absolutely stay on this one until you get a free replacement from BMW, and an accurate explanation of what happened.
#5661 of 12737 Clutch & Loaner Cars
Feb 21, 2003 (6:10 am)
pen101... Too bad about your situation. As Roundel (BMW CCA), Bimmer and other BMW-related publications have pointed out, BMW's manual transmissions are normally pretty bulletproof. Having a clutch go out like yours did is far outside the norm. Make sure you understand exactly what the dealer claims is the problem. Make sure when they dig into it that they check everything that might have caused the problem.
As for loaner cars, many BMW dealers have similar policies: you only get a loaner if you buy the car from them. My local dealer is like that and since we didn't buy either of our BMWs from him, we don't get loaners. Only once has my wife gotten our local dealer to provide her a loaner, but that was on an issue that they didn't fix right the first time. I personally think this loaner policy is a huge oversight on BMW NA's part in this market segment. Infiniti, Lexus, and others have been providing loaners for years. Doesn't BMW know people move? It is something I always bring up, politely, whenever I'm contacted for a post-service survey. If more people (everyone?) did, maybe BMW would change?
#5662 of 12737 540i Performance Data
Feb 21, 2003 (6:28 am)
Would've been interesting if C&D had used a base (no option) 540i6 in their comparison.
Here are some published 0-60 mph figures:
540i6 (2.81:1 final drive):
Car & Driver, Aug 1998: 5.5 seconds
Car & Driver, April 1998: 5.4 at 40,000 miles & 5.5 when new
Car & Driver, March 1997: 5.4
Motor Trend, May 1999: 5.6
Motor Trend, March 1998: 5.5
Motor Trend, Feb 1997: 5.6
540ia Sport (3.15:1 final drive):
Car & Driver, Sep 2001: 5.7 seconds
Car & Driver, Nov 1998: 6.1
Road & Track, Dec 1999: 6.6 (high altitude)
540ia non-Sport (2.81:1 final drive):
Car & Driver, Dec 1996: 6.3 seconds
Motor Trend, Feb 1997: 6.2
Road & Track, Feb 1998: 5.9
Road & Track, Sep 1996: 6.7
Feb 21, 2003 (6:52 am)
While thinking about possibly purchasing an M5, I read through posts on bmwm5.com, where many M5 owners hang out. Many reported problem with premature clutch failure, which in many cases were diagnosed by dealers as "abusive driving". However, some of the owners kept pressuring their dealers and it turned out that either the pressure plate or some other part was defective and caused a sudden failure. Most dealers would simply tell the owners that due to the high torque output of the car, full power cannot be applied unless clutch is fully engaged.
Even if you have to agree to pay to get the repair done, have them look at all the parts (make sure they just didn't throw away the used parts). Apparently certain wear pattern can be seen on an abused clutch that is different from the failure caused by defective parts. Search for "clutch" on bmwm5.com and you will find hundreds of posts on this. Good luck.
#5664 of 12737 540iA vs LS
Feb 21, 2003 (7:17 am)
I don't have all the details yet but the new Lincoln LS commercial says the LS V8 sport beat the 540iA base in an independently verified test. Not sure in which areas exactly (test results are on the way and I'll post them) but I'm sure handling would be the major one. Adding the sport package to the 540iA would obviously give it the advantage but that also puts the cost over $60K while the LS is still closer to $40K. The base 540iA with similar equipment (minus the sport package) still has to be at least $55K.
I just think Lincoln deserves a lot of credit for the performance of the new LS and I think it's very competitive with the current 5 series offerings in the under $45K price range. If Lincoln does come out with the rumoured 400 hp LS then it should get even more interesting. And yes, I know more hp is on the way for the 5 series but at what price?
It will never win any car comparison tests no matter how it performs - too much press bias. But I dare any current or potential 5 series owner to take a test drive. It's a lot better than you think.
#5665 of 12737 RE: 540i Performance Data by riez
Feb 21, 2003 (7:44 am)
Obviously a 540i6 would've blown the doors off all the others, but I'm not sure it would have helped much in the ratings. C&D disappointingly seems to moderate its praise on the 530's driving dynamics, bad-mouths its dash, and is otherwise wowed with the Mercedes select-a-firm shock settings. Since the 540 shares the same "dated" dash and rides no better than the 530, it may not have achieved any better. Then again, you never know how all that extra torque might sway even those spoiled editors.
#5666 of 12737 530 in SF
Feb 21, 2003 (7:48 am)
My experience living in the Marina district in SF for five years: One stolen car, one attempted carjacking at knifepoint (drove away), one mirror sheared in traffic by a commercial van, two significant door dings and one outright denting (the latter three while parked).
That said, I wouldn't give up the chance to drive in the Bay area either. Drive across the GG bridge, and then drive to Muir Woods National Monument to see the redwoods and drive a winding stretch of coast road straight out of a commercial. Indeed, many of the commercials you'll see are filmed on Marin county roads skirting Mount Tamalpais. I'm living in Texas now, and I miss those drives almost more than the city itself.
Feb 21, 2003 (8:04 am)
I drove an LS V8 before I ordered my 530i PP, SP, Xenon and Premium Audio, and for what its worth, I was impressed that an American manufacturer had done so well, however, I didnít feel that the "Look" of the car and the quality of the materials and workmanship were up to the level of the 5-Series.
As a point of comparison, the LS V8 Premium Sport has a very similar content level to the car that I ultimately ordered, however, being that I am one of those weird three pedal bigots, I was forced to compare the LS V8 Auto to a 530i 5-Speed, one big mark against the LS in my book. Then there was the performance issue, and according to my "Butt Dyno", IF the LS was faster, it was JUST faster, barely. Even though the LS does in fact have more power and torque, it also has a slushbox to deal with, and it is ~250 pounds heavier. Finally, there is the price to consider, I picked up my car for somewhere in the neighborhood of $42,000 (Euro Delivery) taxes and title included, which is about $4,000 less than the LS V8 Premium Sport. So, from my perspective, which car is the better value? Easy, the 530i.
Feb 21, 2003 (8:24 am)
I assume you were looking at a pre-2003 LS? The 2003 has significant improvements, especially in engine power and interior. The interior quality was significantly upgraded for 2003. Not saying it's better than the BMW (and nowhere near as nice as the Mercedes) but it's a lot closer than the original 00-02s. Real wood trim, satin nickel instead of black plastic, better leather, etc. Take another look and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
If you want a stick then BMW wins - no contest. Without a European market Lincoln can't cost justify a manual. Although there's still a slight possibility for the 400 hp LS to get a stick - but it's very slight since the 6-spd ZF automatic is available off the shelf and will handle the torque.
Assuming the bean counters don't cancel it altogether.
Unless your 530i had every option box checked (including navigation) then the comparable LS street price would have been closer to $40K. Did the $42K include the cost of the trip and shipping back to the US? If it does then I agree that's a good deal.
#5669 of 12737 Hmmmm......
Feb 21, 2003 (9:26 am)
Did you ever notice that BMW owners rarely(if ever) feel the need to jump into the LS discussions to tout the superiority of their cars. I guess they just don't need to convince themselves that they made the right choice. FWIW, my uncle leases a V6 LS every couple of years. They aren't bad cars, but there is a reason why they always finish mid-pack(or worse) in comparos. I plan to instruct at the BMW CCA Bluegrass Chapter Drivers School in June. Wonder if I'll see an LS on the track?