Last post on Jul 28, 2013 at 1:08 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
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BMW 5 Series, Car Buying, Sedan
#126 of 400 Re: 2001 BMW 525 [eastburg5]
Feb 17, 2008 (5:44 pm)
1. Are there mechanical or body discrepancies that I should be on the lookout for in purchasing a vehicle such as this which has been driven infrequently?
Yes, there are issues with engine oil (one year), brake fluid (two years), and coolant (four years, errr, I think) that are age and not mileage sensitive. You should be asking for a full service record for the car.
2. I've seen the EPA mileage estimates (19/27), but I was wondering what kind of mileage I could actually expect with relatively conservative city/highway driving?
With my 2002 530i 5-Speed I was able to handily beat the EPA mileage estimates for both city and highway, in fact, I was able to routinely get over 30 mpg on the highway.
3. Is it OK to use regular unleaded rather than the recommended premium fuel? I've heard that for high compression engines you can place an additive in the fuel that has the same effect as higher octane grades.
Is it okay? Yes and no. If you want to run Regular gasoline, you should be looking at a Honda, Toyota, Lincoln, Chrysler or Cadillac. FWIW, while the engine will run on Regular fuel, your fuel economy will drop to such an extent that your fuel cost per mile will actually be higher than if you just ran Premium in the first place. FWIW #2, BMW does NOT recommend using ANY fuel additives.
4. Are there any significant maintenance or reliability problems with this model?
No, not really.
5. Are there any problems with using certain aftermarket parts rather than BMW parts?
Parts? What kind of parts?
#127 of 400 02-03 540s
Mar 01, 2008 (1:02 am)
I'm shopping around for a low mileage (<40k) '02/'03 540 Steptronic with Sport Pkg. I love the looks of the M Sport Pkg which was available only on '03s but they're few to be found. Is there a difference between the two packages besides exteriors? One ad I saw made reference to gearing and/or differential ratios being different (like the M5). Also what effect does this have on MPG?
#128 of 400 Re: 02-03 540s [alko1]
Mar 01, 2008 (7:51 am)
Is there a difference between the two packages besides exteriors?
No. IIRC, all 540i Sports get a 3.15 final drive as well as a 155 mph limiter(non Sports get a 2.81 ratio and a 128 mph top). As far as M Sport packages go, there's no such thing when it comes to US spec cars- there are only Sport Packages. BMW has a penchant for adding a few additional ///M touches to Sport Pkg. cars towards the end of their model run, as in the case of the E36/5, the E36 328is Sport, the E39 540i Sport, and the E46 ZHP. People sometimes call them M Sports because there are similar packages offered across the pond, but-aside from a few E36/5 and E34 cars built by BMW Individual in the 90's-BMW NA has simply called them Sport Packages.
Also what effect does this have on MPG?
Who cares? I'll trade mpg for added thrust all day long.
And one more thing...
Buy a six speed manual.
#129 of 400 2001 BWM 530 extended warranty question
Mar 01, 2008 (9:14 am)
I have been reading some of the posts in this forum this morning, and there seem to be some very knowledgeable folks who answer these questions, so am hoping to get some help on a couple of questions.
My father is the original owner of a 2001 BMW 530 with just under 40,000 miles. He is going to sell it, and I'm interested in buying it. He has purchased 1 year warranties twice now from BMW, which have since expired, and he's been told by BMW that he cannot purchase another.
If I purchase this car I will do so only if I can also purchase an extended warranty. I called my local BMW dealer to see if I could purchase a warranty from them, and they said I could only purchase it if the car had originally been purchased from them. That is not the case, so I believe I need to get a 3rd party warranty.
I've done some reading on purchasing extended warranties that cover both wear and tear, as well as mechanical breakdowns. Does anyone have any advice on reputable companies that I can get a quote from? Any advice on the length of the warranty I should get? Can I even get coverage for this type of vehicle and, if I can, is it even worth it (ie will I get nickle and dimed in the fine print and not qualify for repairs)?
Any advice or experience is most welcome.
#131 of 400 Re: 2001 BWM 530 extended warranty question [edbarry12]
Mar 01, 2008 (10:02 am)
Any advice or experience is most welcome.
The following suggestions are based on my experience running a 1997 528iA from 2001 to 2005:
1. Forget any non-BMW NA warranty. They are glorified insurance policies. The House almost always wins.
2. Set aside $80-$90 a month for service/repairs
3. Find a good independent BMW tech, which will cut service costs 30%-40%.
4. Join the BMW Car Club. Receive up to a 20% discount on parts and/or labor.
5. Enjoy owning and driving a world class sports sedan.
6. (Optional) Buy the E39 Bentley Service Manual and learn to perform simple maintenance and repairs-oil change, brake pads, plugs, etc.-yourself. And save even more money.
Mar 02, 2008 (4:15 pm)
I am considering buying a pre owned 2006 BMW 525xi and would love to have some comments/observations, good or bad from current or past owners of this model. I have admired BMW's from a far for years; this will be my first so any advice from BMW pros will be appreciated
#133 of 400 Wanting to buy a 540
Mar 04, 2008 (8:15 am)
I have a few general questions regarding the 540:
1. What years to avoid based on major engine problems? I have heard about engine failures, cylinder heads problems, oil leaks etc.
2. What years are best to purchase in the under $15,000 range with under 100k miles?
3. What is the typical routine maintinance cost of ownership for a 540 that is in good condition and has been maintained?
4. How many miles do 540's last for under normal driving conditions and proper maintinance?
5. Is the 530 a more reliable car?
#134 of 400 Re: 02-03 540s [roadburner]
Mar 07, 2008 (1:18 am)
Thanks for the reply. It's just a matter of sorting through the listings on Autotrader and sometimes the photos don't match the descriptions. For example I saw one 2003 540 advertised w/ Sport Pkg which had the 3-spoke steering wheel and correct wheels, but had standard seating - not the sport seats. (I look for the thigh extenders in the photos to confirm) How was this possible?
Also how can I tell from a photo if the sound system is Premium Sound?
#135 of 400 Re: 02-03 540s [alko1]
Mar 07, 2008 (4:48 am)
The only year that the 530i was available with the standard seats and the sport package was 2001. In that year you had to order the Sport Package as well as the "M" Seating Package to get the full enchilada. For the 2002 and 2003 model years, the Sport Package included all of the bits.
Hope this helps.