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
#6784 of 12737 BMW Life expectancy
Jun 15, 2003 (8:28 am)
Riez.....thanks for your reply. To clairify, I do take care of the maintenance diligently. Your information was very helpful. I have owned a 5 and a 7 series (1999) but sold them both before warranty ran out. I was wanting to get one and drive for a long time, but after your post, I may need to rethink that. I love the cars, but for a drivermobile, I probably should go with a non German model. I don't like the Infinity (pre 2003) or Lexus, but at least I don't have to buy a tranny at 80k miles.
#6785 of 12737 ATs & Long-term Ownership
Jun 15, 2003 (10:13 am)
dodger2233... Not all BMW ATs fail in that range. A probability concern, though it is an issue. I don't know much about non-BMW AT reliability. Can't say I know any Infiniti or Lexus owners who keep their cars for more than 100,000 miles. Or how their ATs hold up for years. The average Inf or Lex owner I've met wasn't concerned about keeping the car too long.
Do keep in mind that lots of BMW owners keep their cars for a long time. Lots of owners in my local BMW CCA chapter have cars that are 10-20 years old. Hundreds of thousands of miles. Two other keys I forgot for BMW include whether there is a good independent garage that specializes in BMWs near you and the BMW club system. You can meet some truly knowledeable people in BMW CCA who can help you properly maintain your car.
#6786 of 12737 dodger2233
Jun 15, 2003 (2:54 pm)
I'm on a very active E39 mailing list; there are several 5ers with mileages in excess of 100K miles(my 528iA has 86K). To my knowledge there isn't a car on the list which has needed a new autobox. One of the highest mileage cars has over 120K and the slushbox is still running on the original ATF. There's a lot of talk about failed ATs but I frankly haven't seen that many failures due to high mileage-at least with respect to the GM four speeds.
#6787 of 12737 rear wheel drive
Jun 15, 2003 (3:26 pm)
Forgive my ignorance, but why do rear wheel drive cars handle better than front wheel drive? My new BMW 540i makes my Volvo 850 feel like a truck, but I am not quite sure on why that is. Is it impossible for a front wheel to handle as well as a rear wheel?
#6788 of 12737 automatic transmission
Jun 15, 2003 (3:27 pm)
For what it is worth, I had a BMW service guy tell me that the engine *and* transmission should be good for 200,000 miles....
#6789 of 12737 Rear wheel drive and BMW AT's
Jun 15, 2003 (4:32 pm)
Diver, a rear wheel drive handles better primarily because of better weight distribution. It will always be impossible for a front wheel drive to handle as well as a good RWD car because of that. FWD cars have improved, but you can't change the laws of physics. There is just too much being asked of the front wheels.
The newer BMWs haven't had many problems with AT's in my experience. The older cars, E30 3 series, E32 7 series, E34 5 series had a lot of tranny problems. The GM transmissions BMW used were/are very troublesome and were replaced quite often. Having worked in both BMW and GM dealerships, I know just how often GM transmissions get replaced compared to BMW. I'm not a huge AT fan, but I wouldn't worry as much about a high milage BMW AT tranny than other makes.
#6790 of 12737 key to long life is maintenance
Jun 16, 2003 (3:43 am)
We just sold our 86 528e that gave us 197k trouble free miles. We used the dealer for most service (I did oil changes and other minor fixes/repairs) and followed the Inspection I and II schedule faithfully for 17 years.
Now, something that is often overlooked: By keeping it properly maintained, it was always a safe and fun car to drive. I never drove it and thought, "Gee, I want a new(er) car". So, a BMW is a car you may actually want to drive for 200k. BTW, it still got 25 MPG around town at the end of its stay.
Why did we sell it? Wife carries a 2 year old and 6 year old all over town, and the X5 does that job well.
PS: Still smiling after a "spirited" drive early in the AM in the 530i, PP, SP, 5 speed.
#6791 of 12737 Transmissions
Jun 16, 2003 (4:06 am)
When talking about the transmissions in current and recent BMWs, we really should specify the manufacturer, type, and model. BMW doesn't build transmissions. They buy their's from various sources: GM, ZF, Getrag, etc. Even within manufacturer, there can be different models (e.g., multiple models of 4- or 5-speed manuals).
Even in manual transmissions, there is a lot of discussion about long-term reliability. Seems like many sources prefer Getrags. BMW used to use a lot of Getrag manuals. Now use more ZF manuals. Here is what Mike Miller wrote in his article titled "Buyer's Guide: BMW E34 5 Series", European Car, August 2003:
Talking about changes in 1994: "Sadder still, and often glanced over, was the demise of the superdurable Getrag manual gearboxes, which passed with the E34 535i. BMW now uses less-hardy ZF manual gearboxes in all but the bigger V8s."
#6792 of 12737 Maintenance: Dealer or nondealer?
Jun 16, 2003 (6:13 am)
My BMW will be under warranty until October. Until then, I will use the dealer for service. What do people think after that, dealer or nondealer? Any good ways of finding a good nondealer mechanic? Is there really that much cost savings to the latter?
#6793 of 12737 Independent Garages
Jun 16, 2003 (6:16 am)
diver110... There is an group of BMW independent mechanics that advertise together in Roundel (BMW CCA) and Bimmer magazines. Listed by state. Thinking they might have a web site. Forget their full name or acronym, but they have members in a lot of states. You might check them out.