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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-09-2012, 07:59 PM
foxvader foxvader is offline
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2005 545i with 84,000 and all options

Hello All.....

I am new to this site and this forum. I am considering buying my very first BMW and would like some advice, opinions and thoughts on reliability. I have been primarily a Toyota owner most of my adult life but have ALWAYS admired and dreamed of owning "the ultimate driving machine".

I want something that looks sporty as well as performs like a sports sedan. I am considering a 2005 445i, VIN WBANB33515CN66907. I looked through the service records at the dealer, the car was originally bough there and serviced there, and didn't see anything scary. The battery was replaced after 9,000 and the computer was reprogrammed @ 30,000. Besides that nothing to mention except for @ 56,000 the adaptive steering sensors were replaced. I am not really sure what those do or why they would need replaced.

I have heard 5 series have a lot of problems with wiring and electrical but this one seems from the service records to be okay. What other issues might I need to look for when I am test driving the car? I read on the forum somewhere about a whining sound coming from the tranny at 30-35 miles an hour that is expensive to fix. If you know what that is and/or what it takes to fix it I would be grateful. Also, experts out there PLEASE tell me what I should look and listen for during the test drive; thinks I should look over or check for.

Please give me feedback as soon as you can. I test drove the car once tonight and almost made an impulse buy. I don't know how long I can wait before I go back and get the vehicle but I want to know what I should be looking for to make sure everything is okay with the car. Yes, it was that nice. It drove like an.......ultimate driving machine.

The car has every option but in auxiliary jack for my iPhone to listen to music. Is there an option that can be added to make this vehicle have an aux port??

Thanks in advance for any information!!!
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2012, 08:19 PM
SoLucky SoLucky is offline
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If you search the forum you'll find answers to all of your questions. To save you some trouble, the big concern with 545's is the coolant pipe that runs through the V in the V8. It often develops a leak that can cause oil dilution and/or fry the alternator (if coolant drips onto it). Factory fix is very, very expensive ($5K+) and an aftermarket fix (with an expandable replacement coolant pipe) is also available that most reputable indy shops can install for ~$2.5K total. I'm sure some 545's never develop this leak and will run for 100's of thousands of miles, but you'll probably hear horror stories from some members and may decide that the 550 is a better choice, despite the higher cost.

So look for leaks -- coolant and oil. Also, have the oil checked for the presence of coolant -- if any is there (even a tiny amount) you are probably heading for big trouble.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2012, 09:12 PM
foxvader foxvader is offline
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Things I have found on the forums so far that I should look for or ask about....

1. Coolant system leaking a the V of the V8. Check the oil for signs of coolant
How do I do that??

2. Ask for a software upgrade
Is there a way to check this through the CCC? What is the latest

3. Ask to have the spark plugs replaced now at 84,000 since they need done soon and since the dealer can just do it before I buy. Opinions

4. Get a new Navigation DVD "navteq 2012 dvd pro"

Any other quick ones anybody can think of?

Also, please give me your advice if you have a 2005 545i with 84000 or higher miles. I just read lots of stuff on the forums and I have to say now I am worried/scared of buying this car. Lots have said it is unreliable and has lots of problems. It drove amazing today at the BMW dealer and the service records (all done at the dealer) looked good. I didn't see anything worrisome on the list except for steering sensors.

Thoughts please and thanks!!
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2012, 10:07 PM
racooper3 racooper3 is online now
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Cooling pipe in the V has me worried, but right now I am enjoying my '05 545. It is a fun car to drive and all the maint was kept even after warranty at BMW dealer. I fixed a couple of minor leak issues when I had transmission flushed. It has no leaks at the moment. Can tell the Valve Cover Gaskets are going to need replacing. That looks intimidating with those servos mounted on top of camshafts. Biggest issue with these cars at this age will be aging seals. If you don't plan on keeping car for the long haul you might as well get a CPO 550 or a newer 6 cylinder with low miles. The inline 6 is definitely their better motor as far as maint costs go. So much easier to work on. Just my personal opinion/experience. If you buy a 545/550, you'll want to learn as much from the guys on this forum so that you don't get snookered at the repair shop. Be prepared to pay and surprised when it is cheaper to fix than your dealer says it is.
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2012, 01:22 AM
Thegame6752 Thegame6752 is offline
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How much do they want and that will help give u better advice on buying or not?
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2012, 02:07 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxvader View Post
Things I have found on the forums so far that I should look for or ask about....

1. Coolant system leaking a the V of the V8. Check the oil for signs of coolant
How do I do that??

2. Ask for a software upgrade
Is there a way to check this through the CCC? What is the latest

3. Ask to have the spark plugs replaced now at 84,000 since they need done soon and since the dealer can just do it before I buy. Opinions

4. Get a new Navigation DVD "navteq 2012 dvd pro"

Any other quick ones anybody can think of?

Also, please give me your advice if you have a 2005 545i with 84000 or higher miles. I just read lots of stuff on the forums and I have to say now I am worried/scared of buying this car. Lots have said it is unreliable and has lots of problems. It drove amazing today at the BMW dealer and the service records (all done at the dealer) looked good. I didn't see anything worrisome on the list except for steering sensors.

Thoughts please and thanks!!
1. Water pipe under valley pan is a definite worry. O-ring glued onto pipe goes bad. If there is coolant in the oil it will look a little milky or you can have the oil tested at lab in a couple of days. Neither method will work if the oil has been changed recently. Water pipe leak will drain out of engine weep hole on front side.

2. Don't worry about what is the latest software - just tell them to update it.

3. Plugs should be done now (just did mine at 81K miles - a real DIY PITA but made a big difference).

4. If you can squeeze new NAV DVD out of them all the better. Depends how old the existing one is and how much you use it. Pick your battles.

Additional - Look for leaks, leaks, leaks - Timing cover gaskets, valve cover gaskets, alternator bracket gasket, oil pressure switch gasket. Thrust arm bushings in front suspension are common at that age. Check age of battery. Mechatronics sealing sleeve leak on trans. Any sign of hard shifting. Have a close look at both the steering rack and anti roll stabilization unit - leaks aren't real common but very expensive to fix.

The 545i is a monster to drive. I love mine (2004 - 83K miles).
If it is really clean inside and out they should be asking $14.5K - $15.5K
Much more and I would keep looking.
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2012, 05:11 AM
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Bad Debt Bad Debt is offline
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The valley pipe has a cheap(er) way to repair that saves thousands as "So Lucky" said..... Been out for a while now...

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Last edited by Bad Debt; 07-10-2012 at 05:16 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2012, 07:16 AM
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dolfan13 dolfan13 is offline
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Valve seal test.Warm it up to full temp,let idle .After 30 seconds of idle stop on the gas pedal.Look for smoke out the back,If so valve seals and big job.If not buy it and change transmission fluid immediately ,change mech sleeve while their at it.Change all the fluids I mean everything.

Last edited by dolfan13; 07-10-2012 at 07:18 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2012, 02:31 PM
foxvader foxvader is offline
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@BAD Debt.....

can you get that pipe if you don't live in California? That looks like something I could do myself if needed, but I sure do hope it is NOT something I will do.

@Thegame6752

they are asking 19,900 and that checked out with KBB but I will negotiate with them.

So I talked to the dealer today (the salesman) and I asked about the software on the car and he gave me some story about they don't upgrade software on cars for no reason. I was reading if the software is upgraded you can enable the cd player to play MP3 and such. I think i will just go talk to the service department before hand.

Guys thanks for the information and please keep the information coming. I think I will ask them to put the car on a lift so I can look around for leaks.

Another bit of info, I asked about changing the spark plugs and he said those don't need to be done until 100,000 (15,000 miles from now) I think I will now insist that they do it. Also, the suggestion of having all fluids changed is a great idea.
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:04 PM
TRS550 TRS550 is offline
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The biggest worry in my mind on this car is it has 80K miles on it, and if maintained in accordance with the #$%@& BMW CBS system, most likely has only had 5, maybe 6 oil changes during those 80K miles.

That does not bode well if you intend to keep the car on up to 150K miles or more.

Yes, you can get the All German Auto pipe delivered to you out of CA. I'm in Ohio and my local Indy mechanic told me they used one on a 545 most recently. It was successful and saved the owner big time $$$.

PS...change the plugs now if you buy it. You will notice an immediate difference in power and fuel economy.

Last edited by TRS550; 07-10-2012 at 03:06 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2012, 05:21 PM
foxvader foxvader is offline
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I am from the ohio area too, columbus to be exact. Where are you located? If in the columbus area who do you recommend to do service, Indy shop.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2012, 05:54 PM
TRS550 TRS550 is offline
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I'm down in Cincy. We have a place called "Just BMW". The guys there do an awesome job.
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2012, 07:36 PM
Thegame6752 Thegame6752 is offline
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Honestly, for a 7 year old car with those miles for that price, I think you could hold out and find a newer one with more options and less concerns u maybe having but the problem is, u have to do some research and may have to go get it. Check autotrader, eBay, Craigslist and other sources. Hell, even carmax may have something for you. I have seen 08-09 535s with way lower miles for about 10K more. Now if budget is an issue, then I got it but also think of the money u could be putting into a German car has an issue a few months or so from now.
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  #14  
Old 07-10-2012, 08:08 PM
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Oceans10 Oceans10 is offline
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10-12 years from production date these cars usually get troublesome. Lots of electronics and systems start acting up, so you could end up investing a bit to keep the car healthy. It's not just the engine but everything else. An 04 model is likely built in 03, so it is 9 years old. Warning bells.
I am keeping mine 5 years max, then find a buyer and get a newer car.
How many E39s do you see around? They are a rare breed. Last production model was 2003. It was launched in 1997. Being phased out, retirement, grave yard.

Then again maybe you just want it for a couple of years and might be lucky. Or don't care that some systems aren't working 100%. Like A/C or traction control, things of that nature.
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2012, 08:08 PM
foxvader foxvader is offline
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TheGame.....
What do you think would be a fair price? When they looked at my trade in he referred to manheiem which is wholesale but he is trying to sell me the car at KBB prices. However, when I mentioned KBB for my trade in he said we always do wholesale prices.

I am sure they didn't give the person over 14K for the car in trade
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  #16  
Old 07-10-2012, 09:00 PM
Thegame6752 Thegame6752 is offline
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Like Oceans said, that car is probably 9 year cuz I'm sure it was put in production in 03 and the problems are right around the corner. Not trying to scare you but these cars aren't cheap when they break and you have no warranty. That's a 15k car at most. Check out a few I saw just looking around for a minute. There's cars on eBay with less miles for less and some with a few more then your for less. But like I said earlier, you may have to go get it but think about a $2-300 plane ticket, some gas and the ride of your life back home with some peace of mind.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2005-...ht_16211wt_989

Actually, here's the page with all the 545's they have for you to see what out there and for what. And this is just eBay, there's plenty of other places. Again, keep in mind that for a bit more, you could step up to a 535.

http://motors.shop.ebay.com/sch/Cars...?_nkw=BMW+545i
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  #17  
Old 07-10-2012, 11:55 PM
Thegame6752 Thegame6752 is offline
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Could even have it shipped for a few hundred
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  #18  
Old 07-11-2012, 08:52 AM
foxvader foxvader is offline
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TheGame

Great research on eBay, thanks. I am looking into that options as well. I am also considering having this car looked at by a reputable Indy shop here to get a better feel for overall condition. They are having a special now on this service will even put in on the computer to check it out.

It looks like the car has been in service since 06/16/05 so we are looking at 7 years old.
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  #19  
Old 07-11-2012, 09:09 AM
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dolfan13 dolfan13 is offline
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I've bought 3 BMWs on ebay,2 5s and a 7.Only had the usual stuff wrong.
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  #20  
Old 07-11-2012, 05:07 PM
foxvader foxvader is offline
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It's working, I am slowly loosing interest in the car due to fear of all the things that can go wrong. I love all aspects of the car, exterior styling and interior creature comforts, but don't want to be pay all the high maintenance cost.

I got the FULL service records today from the dealership; 42 pages. They aren't full pages but each time it was in a new page was created (there were 4 times it took 3 pages for 1 visit).

I have always dreamed the BMW dream but it may have to wait for some time
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  #21  
Old 07-11-2012, 06:40 PM
TRS550 TRS550 is offline
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If you are lusting after a V8, look at 06 and up 550's. They seem to be much less troublesome as are most BMW models once you get 3-4 years out from the inital year of production.

While there are individual exceptions, I think you find most here in agreement on that.
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  #22  
Old 07-11-2012, 11:02 PM
foxvader foxvader is offline
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can anyone out there run a manheim on this bmw? please and attach to this post VIN number in original post and here 2005 445i, VIN WBANB33515CN66907
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  #23  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:34 AM
chelseafc chelseafc is offline
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The moral of the story is - buy a 550i.
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  #24  
Old 07-13-2012, 07:40 PM
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dolfan13 dolfan13 is offline
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550s starting to show some of same problems.
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  #25  
Old 07-13-2012, 08:25 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Drivers of each new series of BMWs look back at the previous series with a slight level of disdain, as if the newer series is superior and has solved all of the problems of previous generations.

But caution is in order for newer generation drivers, least they speak too soon.
From 1995 (first year of the E39) to 2009 (first year of F10) how many of the same engineers were designing at BMW? And who taught the younger engineers?

German engineers build bleeding edge, exciting cars that I like to drive, in spite of their well earned reputation for unreliability, compared to the Japanese.

But I'm willing to bleed a little for the ride.
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