Last post on Feb 16, 2013 at 11:05 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Sedan
May 30, 2003 (1:00 pm)
From what I have read hear and other BMW newsgroups, there are some known weak spots in the 540i line. Those being mainly the radiator and the crank position sensor which there might be a recall on I am not sure. Other than that, it seems to me that the reliability is not the issue if proper maintenance is maintained. That being said, I own a 1998 528i 5sp with 93k miles on it. I bought it with 80k miles on it and had the maintenance history check before I purchased. Everthing was up to par and the car was babied. I have have a few minor problems that I haven't had time to take it to the dealer to get fixed, but nothing ground breaking. The biggest things the remote trunk buttons stopped working. After reading some posts I think it might be the lever in the trunk was pushed up too hard by my kids and is in the stuck position. I need to take 30 mins. on a Saturday and peal the cover off and investigate. If it is something big then I will take it to the dealer, I still have a CPO warranty until 100k. Other than that, there is a rattle in my driver side door due to a collision shop breaking the lower rear pocket on the door. I plan on fixing that myself, it just seems that it is glued onto the door trim. There is nothing else wrong with the car. It performs flawlessly, and soon I will be getting an oil change. I had an inspection II shortly after I bought the car to the tune of $500. Not cheap, but considering what they covered it really wasn't that bad. All fluids(brake, trans, power steering) except the coolant were replaced I believe, as well as sparkplugs, cabin filters, visual inspection of suspension and brakes. It all looks good so I am ready to go another 15k miles. I plan on having the brakes done at the end of the year. I am probably getting new tires next month.
#6624 of 12737 RPM at 115mph
May 30, 2003 (1:07 pm)
I have to take my previous statement back. At 3500 RPM my car (540ia/3.15 rear) would only do 100 mph. Checked today. Had to accelerate quickly but kept in in the 5th gear all the time. Did not risk to go 115 mph. To many cars and cops were around.
May 30, 2003 (1:26 pm)
Close to what my calculations would suggest assuming that your car is geared like riez's table - 3.15 axle ratio 0.8 overdrive - final drive ratio 2.5:1. not sure about tires. I hope you guys are not thinking that the engine will start to run slower as you go faster??? Engine speed and MPH are linearly linked except for torque converter slippage, which is zero if the converter is locked up.
#6626 of 12737 Reliability
May 30, 2003 (1:28 pm)
diver110... See my recent post at #6603. Both Roundel (BMW CCA) and Bimmer magazines are a great source of info on reliability, service, maintenance, etc. issues. Consumer Reports publishes their info annual. Intellichoice and some others look at long-term ownership costs (e.g., over 5 years). This web site and others with forums are also a good source of info.
Five keys to long-term reliability: (1) Luck. Hope they assembled your car right the first time and there aren't any ticking time bombs. (2) Maintenance. Follow the schedule religiously. Keep your fluids clean and at proper levels. And as #6603 points out, go beyond. Changing transmission and differential fluids is an overlooked area. Do a periodic 4-wheel alignment. Best thing you can do for you tires, esp. if you have staggered wheel. (3) Treat your car properly. Doing lots of high RPM drop-clutch smoky tire burnouts won't help reliability or longevity. Avoid potholes and curbs. Avoid bird excrement and bright sunlight. Wash & wax. (4) Use modern synthetic fluids. Synthetic oil highly recommended. Don't skimp on fluids! (5) Pray.
The Tech Q&A editor I mentioned at #6603 says that electronic gremlins are the likeliest problems for the E39 540i. There are a ton of complex electronic components. Everything seems to have an electronic control module these days. Along with some engine-related issues.
I bought my '98 540i6 CPO when she had 52K. She now has 75K. I haven't had any major problems. All the minor ones covered by CPO warranty. Biggest expense was a new set of ContiSportContract2 tires. There are some squeaks and rattles, but she is a blast to drive!
#6627 of 12737 Should I buy an extended warranty?
May 30, 2003 (2:10 pm)
Thanks for the feeback riez. The original warranty on the 2000 BMW 540i I just bought runs out in October (it officially started life in 10/99). I can buy a 7 year/70,000 mile extended warranty from BMW that will cover most things for $1681 with a $250 deductible. Since I kept my older Volvo for the snow, I don't anticipate putting more than 10,000 miles on this car each year, if that. It now has 26,000. Say I get to 30,000 by October (maybe a bit more), in 3 more years (end of 7 year warranty) I would be around 60,000, perhaps a bit more. I would appreciate feedback on whether the extended warranty is worth it. Also, I would like to express my thanks to board members who have been very helpful with feedback to this BMW newbie.
#6628 of 12737 diver110
by kyfdx HOST
May 30, 2003 (2:18 pm)
Are you sure thats a warranty from BMW, or just from your BMW dealer? I've never heard of BMW offering an extended warranty other than the CPO warranty. I doubt I would spend that much for a third party warranty.
#6629 of 12737 Where is shipo?
May 30, 2003 (2:40 pm)
And has he seen the welcome page recently? Have the rest of you seen it?
#6630 of 12737 I saw it. congratulations shipo
May 30, 2003 (2:46 pm)
#6631 of 12737 Classic vs New
May 30, 2003 (4:07 pm)
My comments from the '4 redesign topic as to why I bought now instead of waiting for the '04...
..."After finally deciding that the '04 5-series looks like a collision between an '04 Pontiac Grand Prix and a Toyota Camry, I went down to the BMW dealer and traded my '98 528 for an '03 530. The '03 design is familiar and classic. Looks like BMW decided to create a new look just for the sake of looking new. Mechanical improvements, no doubt, but the '04 is a Japanese-inspired aesthetic mistake, IMO. "