2001 530i

It amazes me that people are so suspect of BMW engineers. Hello, higher output engines, tighter suspensions, and tank-like build will always require a little more TLC than your everyday domestic POS. My
E39 has 67000 miles and absolutely no problems. In fact my only problem is deciding when to replace my water pump, which every diligent BMW owner knows will fail around 1000,000 miles. I replaced the fluid in the ZF transmission at 60,0000 along with the trans fluid filter and you what..it was free of debris and the fluid looked like new.I use Lubro Moly oil every 7000 miles instead of 15 thou like BMW says, but most importantly, I pay attention to how the car behaves on the road and I check under the hood frequently looking for leaks and worn parts. All the tranny problems I hear about are made by GM and used in the 3 series vehicles. Not that they're cheap by any means, but I guess if you bought a budget BMW you really should expect budget reliability. After all, how many other cars were built for the race track or the autobahn.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It makes me laugh when people are trying to make their bmws look like some kind of superpowered gods. There are many other cars out there that can handle the autobahn just fine.
Pete
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
While I love my '03 530i, it has been subject to just about every one of the BMW OBTW's. Instrument cluster pixels, MID pixels (both requiring replacement of the component). Ignition coils (a recall item). Rear door vapor seal leaks (my nickel). Sunroof lift brackets.
I've done all the fluids per the old maintenance schedule (coolant, brakes, diff, trans, P/S). I'm in the planning stages for the cooling system pre-emptive replacement (radiator, water pump, thermostat ... do you go high bucks aftermarket or OEM and do it again some day?). This is the price you pay for the best combination of luxury and handling available.
OTOH, it would seem to me that BMW could make a car that is as bulletproof as Lexus/Acura but still retains its "soul." I think it has to do with the concept of production quality control employed by the Germans versus that by the Japanese.
R / John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"John Carrier" wrote

Join the club. The list of aches on my '02 530i is even longer. I'm at 44k miles right now.
Pete
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

63K, outside of any warrantee window.
R / John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"John Carrier" wrote

Likewise. $4k spent last year.
Pete
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do you own work? That can save a bundle, but the OEM parts come dear. The door seals weren't too bad once I figured out the directions I had for the trim panels weren't quite right. Even with the Bentley Manual and ETK/TIS it's still an adventure and I'm a fair-to-middlin' mechanic.
R / John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My '03 530i (35Kmi) has had the instrument cluster pixel problem (repl under warranty), and gets fluid replacement per the old maintenance schedule. Only other problem was a scrambled computer (don't know which one) that left central locking inoperative, headlights on, and no start condition. Momentary disconnect of battery, while waiting for BMW roadside assist, reset the computers and fixed the problems (try it, you'll like it). Now that it is out of warranty the CDV will be disabled.
Question about pre-emptive radiator replacement. My independent mechanic says not to use an upgraded (aluminum) radiator because then an overheating scenario (eg failed water pump) will blow a head gasket rather than the new, sturdy radiator. The only failure I can think of that would use the radiator as a "fuse" is a stuck shut radiator cap. How likely is that?
Dean
John Carrier wrote:

--
Remove -delspam to reply


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I did the CDV early and used a gutted valve as a (stealth) replacement. A subtle but nice mod. Good time to flush the brakes and clutch with new fluid too.

If I understand his logic, an overheat would be minimized by overpressurization, subsequent failure of the radiator, and steam venting from the failure thus delaying damage? Don't think so. If the temp does a quick move to the red, you need to park it asap (I'd check my mirrors and if clear, coast to the side of the road, clutch disengaged and with ignition off as soon as practical). I don't think a catastrophic radiator failure (typically a cracked hose neck) will have any less impact than a failed water pump.
Excessive heat quickly warps and can crack the head. The head gasket promptly fails. I don't think it much matters what causes the rapid heat rise. V-8's are notorious for early cooling system problems, I-6's less so. I think a move to the Zionsville cooling system and Stewart water pump make good sense (leaving only the OEM thermostat and housing ... they make an aluminum housing for the M-52 but not the M-54), but they're about 2.5 times OEM price. Maybe worth it if you plan to explore the 250-300K miles region of durability. Otherwise better to go with OEM parts around the 75-90K range. Or you can just hope that the system won't fail (many last into the 100's) or if it does, you'll catch it in time.
R / John

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Produce some evidence that the typical BMW has ANY of the above over, say, a Honda. Other than the BMW having a better unibody, you're wrong on every count.

Why?
You're an idiot.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.