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BMW 5 Series, Electrical, Engine, Sedan, Wagon
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#866 of 2735 528-i Lemon?
Nov 04, 2004 (6:02 pm)
I have a 1998 528-i which I purchased new in late October, 1998--it is just a few days over 6 years old and has 65,000 miles. I treat my cars well--every scheduled service at the local BMW dealer, detailed at least every 6 months, lots of TLC. I've just returned from the dealer because the "check engine" light was on *again*. Just 2 weeks ago the light came on and my car died in the fast lane before I could even pull over. The problem was a faulty idle valve which cost me $584. Today I hear the new problems are the vanos, vanos gasket, camshaft sensor, valve cover gasket, radiator, expansion tank, and radiator cap for a lovely total of $1985! In looking through my receipts I realize that I've spent $5085 in repairs in the past year--NOT counting the newest estimate of $1985. They've previously told me at the same Santa Monica BMW dealer that the suspension is "bad" and that the transmission is "weird" and will eventually need to be replaced because it makes "clunky" noises but I've not even gotten into pricing those repairs.
How can a car that has been serviced every time the yellow light comes on, that has only 65,000 miles, and has never been in an accident or mistreated be such a piece of expensive junk? Can anyone tell me what I've done wrong? I've got to get a new car now but I'm afraid of another bad BMW experience.
#867 of 2735 Re: Electrical weirdness [tjatja]
Nov 04, 2004 (6:11 pm)
I had the exact same problem with my 1998 528i about 9 months ago. I'd be driving along and suddenly my steering wheel would adjust itself. Or my radio would come on (after having been out of service). It was rather stressful wondering which gremlin would scare me the most and hoping the steering wouldn't readjust itself while I was on the freeway. It turned out to be a problem with the on-board computer and, as I recall, it was not an inexpensive repair. Good luck.
#868 of 2735 debra5
Nov 04, 2004 (8:58 pm)
You really need to get a second opinion from a good independent BMW tech. My wife's 1997 528iA work hack has 109,000 miles on it and, aside from a radiator cap-a whopping seven dollars, NONE of the items you mentioned have needed attention. As for the suspension, one tie rod end has been replaced. The autobox is also operating perfectly As a matter of fact, I service her sled by the book and over the past two years and 30,500 miles I have spent less than $1750 on maintenance and repairs. Methinks your dealer is trying to hose you.
#869 of 2735 2002 540i
Nov 04, 2004 (9:56 pm)
I have been away from the forum for a few months. Work and family has kept me very busy.
I read through the post of the past couple months and wanted to give my $.02 on a couple topics discussed.
My 2002 540iA SP now has 42K miles and has been a great car. Unfortunately, I was in a hail storm in June where my car received hail damage while parked at work ($2000). Needless to say, I was not in a good mood the rest of the day/week/month afterward. My BMW faired much better than the most of the cars in the same parking lot. The size of the dings to my car was smaller than the other cars, but we all had a lot of dings. Only very anal people (i.e. ME) really noticed the hail damage on my car. I had Dent Wizard perform the paintless dent removal and they did a great job. Everything is back to normal. My only concern is if the interior door panels, head rest, etc they had to remove will rattle after time. So far, NO rattles at all.
I will go to the dealer for my 45K mile oil change soon. I need to have them replace the cup holders for the 2nd time. They are way too cheap in such a well built car.
I had the service engine light stay on last week for less that 5 miles. It went off the next day. I did not have any sluggish performance or any other noticable impact while the light was on. I will have the dealer look at it when I get the oil changed. Car is still under warranty.
My original Dunlop SP2000 tires made it to 28K miles. The outside of my front tires really showed a lot of wear. The rear tires were also close to their limits, but wore evenly. I have been known to take corners a little faster than the posted limits. The Dunlops got very noisy for the last few thousand miles. I put separate snow wheel and tires for winter driving last season. They were fantastic. I do not like how my car looks 'utilitarian' with my snow wheels installed, but I can safely go anywhere in the snow.
I purchased Firestone Firehawk summer tires in March based on reviews on Tirerack.com. I have never owned Firestone before these. The tires are quiet, but do not have the grip I expected or desired. It is too easy to spin the tires. The original Dunlops did not spin near as much as the Firestone. I thought of getting the Bridgestone S03s but I did not want to change my tires every 12-15K miles (approx 9 months), since I drive 18K-20K miles a year. I read some people only get 12-15K miles on a set of the S03.
Other than the minor issues listed above, the car has been wonderful. It is an amazing feeling to get back into 540i after driving a Chrysler Sebring conv on vacation for 8 days. The 540i offers the driver a completely different driving experience than almost any other car on the road.
#870 of 2735 Re: 528-i Lemon? [debra5]
Nov 05, 2004 (9:23 am)
I would take div2's advice and get a second opinion from a good independent BMW tech.
My buddies 2001 540 w/ 75k started running hot on his way to work, so he dropped it off at a dealer. It was the thermostat. But they also said he needed to replace the radiator, waterpump and power steering hoses. Since it was under a 100k warranty, it was not a problem. But, I think these dealers try to replace everything.
I would as the question: is the check engine light caused by the vanos or camshaft sensor, or are they guessing?. What's the deal with the radiator or expansion tank - have you seen leaks?
All valve covers seep a little over time. A little evidence of oil from the cover without evidence of burning is not a reason to change the gasket in my book.
Always ask the question WHY? and have them explain in detail what the problem is. Ask them what is the result of not doing the repair. That will help you to determine if they are just snowing you.
Once I had a dealer tell me I needed new spark plug wires because I they had a cut in the insulation. They where just changed 20k miles prior. After questioning them, the cut was a mar and would not cause a problem.
#871 of 2735 Re: 2002 540i [stl540]
Nov 05, 2004 (9:34 am)
check out a previous posting on the cup holders:
Sorry to hear about the hail damage. I am anal also, I hate to screw up a factory paint job.
My buddy recently put on Yokohama ES100 tires on his 540 (replacing the original Dunlops at 33k). He has been happy with the performance and traction, their treadwear is fairly high and they are reasonably priced. I have not decided whether to go with these or the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S which have a 400 treadwear when it is time to change. I too drive 15-20k/year.
Nov 05, 2004 (12:02 pm)
I was wondering about the radiator as well. I know that the 540 radiators are failure prone, but I rarely hear of problems with the sixes.
#873 of 2735 Fried module
Nov 05, 2004 (5:39 pm)
Hi, I wanted to relate my story and a warning to new 5 series owners. I recently found out that the spare tire wheelwell in the trunk has an electronic module that controls the stereo and I-drive screen at the bottom of the wheelwell. I placed a water hydration pack (Camelback)in the trunk. Unware to me, the pack some how leaked and the water pooled at the bottom of the whellwell. A few days later I smelled a scent like burning wires. The next day the stereo and screen went out.
I took the vehicle in and was advised that it would not be covered under warranty. $500 worth of damage. I think that the bottom of the spare tire wheelwell is an odd place to have an electronic module of such importance but who am I.
So be careful not to spill anything in the trunk!!!!
#874 of 2735 Re: cabin rattle [grios1]
Nov 05, 2004 (8:23 pm)
I received my 2005 545 but to my disappointment, it had 10 times the rattle that I experienced in my 2004. It was all coming from the back, I returned the car after 2 days. When you spend that much money on a car you simply cannot just tune the rattle out. Performance wise it's superb but the rattle can only get worse especially when no one at BMW can address it.
#875 of 2735 Door Trim Edge Guard
Nov 07, 2004 (9:12 am)
Does anybody know where to purchase some door edge trim products?
Possibly color coded, and the kind that stick by adhesive?
I park in a tight spot & opening & closing the doors might damage the doors to the Beamer.