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F07 Gran Turismo (2010 - Current)
The 5 Series Gran Turismo -- now available in the USA as a 535i, 550i and 550i xDrive model.

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  #1  
Old 02-18-2013, 09:56 PM
tonialsands tonialsands is offline
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Reliability of 535 GT xDrive?

Interested in 535 GT xDrive. Can any previous 5-series owners share any insights on the reliability of this model?

Thanks a bunch.
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2013, 10:21 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Mein Auto: 535ix-drive GT
Mine's nearly 2-years old, but I only have about 19K miles on it. It had one glitch I discovered the second day, it was a defective parking brake switch. Worked, but didn't always tell the computer it was off...replaced under warranty once I got it back to the states. Recently, had the trunk/hatch switches crap out, again, replaced under warranty. Nothing driveline related. If you don't drive your car at least a few times a week (I'm retired, so sometimes don't), you should get a trickle charger since the car has a bunch of stuff that continues to run, and you can either drain the battery, or it will shut those things off, but then you need to reset the radio stations, seat memory, and things like that. This is probably also true if most of your trips are short. This is not specific to the GT, all of the BMW models are similar.
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  #3  
Old 02-28-2013, 09:48 PM
magnumforc magnumforc is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 535i GT
I dumped my 2011 535xi GT after13 months and 9K miles due to all the electrical glitches and the "can't fix" attitudes of the BMW dealers. Car was in numerous times for reliability issues and each time I was told it was a "low voltage" issue. As said above, this is not necessarily only a xDrive issue, but the more equipment you have, the more issues arise. And, taking a long trip does not reduce the likelihood you will have an electrical failure related to low voltage. As explained by the service manager, the battery can go to a low voltage condition and even if you then drive several hundred miles (I drove 400 miles) the battery will not charge to the level required to meet the electrical system demands, especially if the miles are highway cruising. And, did you know that it takes an hour for the car to go to sleep following driving? Service manager says on many models, for all systems to shut down, it can take that long, and that sucks battery power.

Today, our 2010 535i GT (no xDrive) is in for problems and has been for two days, We'll likely get it back tomorrow. Manager sys the left turn signal that was ut, but started working was not really "out" but was a result of low voltage, which after an oil change, resulted in deleting all radio stations, contacts, phone numbers and setting up the adaptive headlights to fail as well as a host of other electrical failures. After a full day of testing, the dealer could not find the problem, excxept to finally admit under pressure, that after charging the battery and leaving it on the charger, all systems were able to be reset and the car "appears fine."

Interesting, BMW America's protocol on this is that your battery is to be charged for 8 hours, let sit for 8 hours, charged again for 8 hours and then sit again for 8 hours and a final charge applied. That is if the battery isn't a dud with a bad cell or something that precludes charging at all. They would rather you be without the car for several days and spend all this time than install a new battery under warranty.We were told today that BMW believes this is more economical for them than the cost of a new battery.Talk about f**king the customer who buys a 75K car that's one or two years old. (The 2011 was dumped at 13 months for the same continuing issues)

Sadly, I loved the 2011. But I can't be saddled with unreliability that tells me the differential failed, the car won't start if shut off, the vehicle has overheated, key fob not in car, etc. ad nauseum. To the credit of Dodge, when a break light switch stuck, they replaced it easily and no problem replacing the battery on a new car. I know the cars are not in the same class dollar wise, but it shows you the mentality...change the battery on a 36K car and have the customer out in an hour or screw around for three days and on a 75K car and hope the ustomer will return for another one. Sure...that will hapen.
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  #4  
Old 03-01-2013, 07:14 AM
mpress mpress is offline
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Mein Auto: 09 X5 4.8
my 2012 gt is 14 months old 17K miles on it and not a single issue (knock on wood) has been in for oil service only nothing more.... i definitely had far more dumb little issues with my x5s x3s and z4s then i have with my gt.
mp
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2013, 08:09 AM
tonialsands tonialsands is offline
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Thanks all for your info. So I guess it really depends on whether I get a reliable one :-) High variance, statistically :-)
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2013, 01:46 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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This is such a small sample, it is not by any means reliable. From what I understand, they've sold about 70K GTs in the USA. Mine has had two issues in its nearly 2-year life: the emergency brake switch was intermittent almost from day one (noticed it two days in while in Germany), and the hatch exterior switches eventually stopped working after becoming intermittent. While it was in for that service, the computer indicated the battery was weak, and they replaced that. I'd not noticed any issues, but hey, I'm not going to complain about a new battery! All items were covered by warranty with no hassles. I actually broke the passenger's seat control switch, and they replaced that for free. I think there was an umbrella along the side when it was moved.

I've got about 18K miles on it now, and will be taking it in for its annual oil change next month along with whatever else may be called for at 2-years (I think a brake fluid purge, and who knows what else). I've not driven it enough in a one year period to trigger the need for an oil change based on miles, and may never given my driving habits with this car.

I do plug in a trickle charger if I'm not going to be using the car for a few days or more.

Glass mat batteries are designed for deeper discharge than normal car batteries, but they still can be damaged by continued deep discharge. BTW, retail on the battery is in the order of $275...it's a huge, special type of battery. The one they installed is a made in the USA one, while the original was (I think) German. Shouldn't make any difference, but who knows. Last time I looked, there weren't too many companies that made an exact fit. When it is replaced, you must reprogram the computer so it knows the size and age since it adjusts the charging routine accordingly. For example, if it thinks it's a 110Ahr battery, and it's really a 90Ahr one, it may let it discharge longer than it would on the larger one and that would wear things out faster.
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2013, 01:57 PM
magnumforc magnumforc is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 535i GT
We got the 2010 back at 11AM today with a new battery and all was supposedly fine. By 11:45 we had the same issues as before, turn signal, adaptive headlights, vertical headlight warnings, after BMW had the car since Wednesday.

So the car will go back into the shop on Monday for another three day or longer period since they cannot figure what's wrong with it. Spouse is tired of the same electrical crap that pushed me over the edge to dump my 2011 and now is saying she wants out of the BMW for some other make.

Easy to see why we will never buy another BMW. Dealers have a convenient whipping boy in the "low voltage" theme but even after all is reset and done, it's still problems. A new baattery, fully charged and a reset computer does not equate to low voltage. Running back and forth to the dealer costs time and money. Strange that I don't have those problems with other brands, just BMW. Over engineered and under thought as far as repairs go.
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  #8  
Old 03-01-2013, 03:09 PM
stancv stancv is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 530i & 2012 535x GT
2012 535 X-drive GT - no problems

Had the car for a year & 18K miles and really did not have any problems. And yes, this is a really small sample, but there are indeed some lemons out there, even among such pricy cars - mine is gladly not one of them, so I highly recommend the car.

I was initially really worried about the runflats - posted a lot on the topic, but they have been really reliable, so no issues to report, not even uneven wear. It's a great, spacious, fast car.
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  #9  
Old 03-01-2013, 09:13 PM
tonialsands tonialsands is offline
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Thank you all. Although your cases are all small samples, I have to say it rings a warning bell to me and I have to think twice now :-)
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2013, 07:56 PM
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kashrahman kashrahman is offline
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Mein Auto: 05 G35X; 09 335 vert
we have an 11 535 GT xdrive. knock on wood - 32K miles and no real issues. Wife has managed to bend rims FIVE times, but that is from potholes/curbs. Not tiny cracks -- this was "hey, why is the steering wheel shaking?" Her: I think it came that way from the factory. Me: uh, no, it did not. Her: oh yeah, there was a really big pothole a few weeks ago . . . So no issues because of the car. Plan to keep her (the car) for at least several more years, probably up to 100K miles. Our experience is the extended warranty is great -- little glitches (soft touch close door sensors that went out - E66 7 series, convertible top sensors on E93) tend to be expensive unless under warranty.
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  #11  
Old 03-06-2013, 07:56 AM
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Bemo Bemo is offline
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Bought ours pre-owned with around 13k miles (I think, as I can't remember at this moment). We are now closing on 1 year of ownership and close to 23k miles and so far have had 1 oh-so-horrible rattle to fix (panoramic roof area). Our 3 series has needed a new alternator so far and we are at 27k miles there. So far, we are extremely happy with our ownership of these cars!
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  #12  
Old 03-09-2013, 05:10 PM
WingedWheel WingedWheel is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 535ix GT
Also interested in the 535i GT xdrive, but am wary of so many electrical issues.

Does anyone know if an otherwise "clean" Carfax report on a pre-owned GT means that the vehicle has been free of the low-voltage problems? Wife wants a nice '11 GT we saw recently, but I don't know how reliable the Carfax reports are (usually have purchased new in the past).

Thanks for all the great info/feedback in this thread -- very helpful.
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  #13  
Old 03-09-2013, 05:26 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Unless it has huge mileage, it's still under warranty (4-years or 50K miles). If you were to drive the thing infrequently and only on short trips, you may end up with problems in the battery. The thing has a huge number of computers and electronics in it, but this is becoming more and more true with nearly all cars. Pretty much everything is controlled via a computer or two, and you'll find that they all don't turn off for awhile after you hit the start button.
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  #14  
Old 03-10-2013, 07:48 PM
Fish23 Fish23 is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 535xi GT
Winged Wheel, I completely agree with jad and would add that, if you live where it can get really cold in winter, then the battery will have less cranking capacity.

A short trip in those temperatures with higher current loads (e.g. lights, seat and steering wheel heaters) will further deplete an already-stressed battery. I learned from my dealer's service guys that the regenerative braking system (RBS) that is supposed to charge the battery during deceleration and braking also does not operate until it is 'warmed up' which, of course, takes longer in frigid temperatures. I do not know what constitutes 'warmed up' but a short trip does not charge the battery under load all that much. Shutting the vehicle off briefly and then trying to re-start it a few minutes later may give the message Drivetrain Malfunction on the dash and Charge Low Battery on the display. (This happened to me twice in two weeks).

I should point out that this is not a unique situation with the GT. Any BMW with the RBS has the same issue. As jad indicated and my dealer confirmed, the short trips don't help at all. A rash of incidents just like mine caused my dealer to install a BMW Power Tender in each new vehicle and asding a $200 charge to the sticker. It is a 2 Amp trickle charger installed in the trunk area near the battery.

Owners are told to plug it in at home if the vehicle is left for an extended period of time (several days) or in really cold weather) just to keep the battery as topped up as possible. (I use a small 6-4-2 Amp battery charger I bought for $40. It does the same job). Ultimately I was given a new battery when the service guys could not get the battery up over 8 volts even after six hours on a high amp charge.

Don't be discouraged by what appears to be numerous electrical problems. Invariably they are caused by low battery voltage that also result from repeatedly turning off the engine (one push on the Start/Stop button) but not the vehicle (another push of that button) which will run for 8 minutes until it shuts down automatically. This is to be avoided and the key fob records how many times this is done.

I have a 2011 GT with x drive that I was able to get as an executive-driven CPO with 2500 miles and just turned 12,000 miles in a year of owning it. Besides the battery issue I am going to be getting a new antenna for the key fob transmitter so I have no remote control functions, a temporary inconvenience. Otherwise the vehicle runs very well.

I love the vehicle and every trip that I take iin it. I would recommend that your better half go ahead and become a GTer if you are satisfied that the car's history is sound and there is a good portion of warranty left as jad indicated. Good luck. Pictures expected here if purchased......

Last edited by Fish23; 03-10-2013 at 07:54 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-11-2013, 08:20 AM
WingedWheel WingedWheel is offline
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Many thanks for the excellent info, Fish. (Go Sens, btw. Can't believe how they have kept winning with all the injuries. Wish I could say the same for my Wings. Hated to see Maclean leave Detroit, but it's great to see him doing well in Ottawa.)

The GT we're considering is a 2011 with 22XXX miles and potentially a good deal at $40K, so it still has a fair amount of warranty coverage. It's not CPO (a private sale), but I'm having my trusted mechanic inspect it tomorrow, with a trained eye focused on the voltage, as well as the wheels (heard about the cracks in some of the 19" rims). Definitely do a lot of cold-weather commuting here in Michigan, so the trickle charger may be the way to go.

Thanks again for the info, and pics certainly will follow if/when we bring the GT home.

WW
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  #16  
Old 03-11-2013, 10:08 AM
Fish23 Fish23 is offline
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WW,

Yes the Sens are a bit of a surprMse and can attribute that to a great farm system and finally a good coach. Glad Paul macLean could make the jump from Motown. He is flatout excellent. It will be great to have Detroit in the East under realignment where it always belonged. (I am old enough to remember the Original Six.

Glad to help. The more info in one's data base the better and I have have learned so much from this forum. For example, I could not figure out how to play the radio if out on the driveway on a nice day to attend to the vehicle's exterior cleanliness and interior care.(i.e. the old Accessories position for a keyed ignition). Being a reader of all owenr manuals for anything I buy, there is nothing in the owner's manual. I asked at my dealer's service dept and they said 'Ssorry, no accessories position". I couldn't believe it.

Then I saw a post of a guy who went to the drive-in and was pushing the Start/Stop button (but not start the car) to get another 8 minutes of power for the radio to play the movie's sound. When he eventually got the warning of heavy battery discharge he began to start it and let it run for a while and then shut off the car thinking that would help the battery. He didn't strand himself but worried that he was annoying those in nearby cars with the constant off-on cycles.

I smiled but only a little as that is what I would do if I went to drive-ins (which I don't). A responder said it was simple. Just push the radio's ON/OFF switch and you get 8 minutes of the radio, CD player and the vehicle's Settings only, all light electrical loads. You can see that on the display. Everything else stays off. Brilliant, but I had to find out here. Rhetorically, why isn't that in the manual (unless I missed it)?

Why 8 minutes you might ask? I learned form the dealer that the vehicle's software is programmed to first and foremost protect power to start the car. Repeated 8-minute periods after engine shut-down or as an accessories stand-in' are cumulative. if the battery does not get properly recharged (i.e short trips) or a sustained long trip, it can spell trouble under t, he right circumstances. In addition to 8-minute limits, when it senses low battery capacity it will shut off what are considered 'non-vital' systems (for example, only the windshield defogger works, the remaining HVAC does not. Heated seats and steering wheel are shut off as well. This happened to me).

It is a little unnerving at first since you think the entire vehicle is electrically falling apart when in fact it is an example of the how pervasive computers and their software have become. So if you don't know this you tend to go directly to 'I have a lemon' when really it is design intent driven by the RBS (at low speeds) and the electric alternator (at high speeds) which has some recharging capability. You can start to see that the trickle charger is a simple way to ensure the battery is good, especially in cold weather or extended non-use.

You are doing exacly the right thing by taking it to a mechanic as long as he understands how the electrical system is designed. That price is a a lot less than what I paid a year ago but mine was a CPO with low mileage and the Canadian Executive Package (we have fewer packages but there is more in each one than in those with the same name as in the US). Still, if it is in good shape (22,000 miles is really nothing but a really good break-in period) you may want to go for it taking the precaution you indicated for the 19-inch wheels but you should know what to look for. Again, good luck......There are plenty of valid examples in this forum of why owners really like their GTs, so if you do buy it, you should not be disappointed (IF your wife lets you drive it )
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  #17  
Old 03-17-2013, 03:39 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Well, last Thursday/Friday had one glitch...it went away on Friday after driving. While driving home on Thursday, a warning came up saying the TPMS receiver was not working - it could no longer see any of the senders in any of the wheels! This stayed on all the way into my garage, about 10-miles on the road. The next day, the warning was still there, but it went out a couple of miles away, and has continued to work. I live near my local dealer, so stopped in...they did a quick check for possible loose connections and water intrusion near the receiver, found none, and since it was working, tried a reset, and the senders all came back in a very short distance. So, while the fob didn't log an error, the vehicle I'm sure did, but since it is working, I won't take it in unless it happens again. I wonder if it may have been hit by some high powered RF interference? Didn't drive by any radio stations, or anything else that I know of, but maybe someone had a radar jammer or something...may never know, and hope it doesn't recur!
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  #18  
Old 03-17-2013, 05:17 PM
Fish23 Fish23 is offline
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jad, a strange anomaly indeed. Sounds like you couldn't replicate it
if you tried. Your hunch about some type of EM interference seems most plausible.
Thanks for sharing another of your well-composed posts.
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  #19  
Old 03-18-2013, 12:57 PM
lexhair lexhair is offline
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Mein Auto: '11 535 GT xDrive
I found out that TPMS errors self clear (unless there's a real problem) within 20 miles or so. In my case, I bought new winter tires/wheels with their own TMPS transmitters. My tire guy didn't realize BMW changed the frequency on the TPMS for the late build 2011 F07s so my TMPS lit up within a mile from the tire shop. Even when they installed the correct frequency TPMS, the errors remained for about 20 miles as the BMW parts guy predicted. Haven't seen them again.
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  #20  
Old 03-18-2013, 01:07 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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I have two sets of tires/wheels, and each has TPMS...so, I know about this. You can get it to resync faster if you just use the reset function and, if the receiver can 'see' the sensors that were there last time it worked, it only takes a few revolutions of the tires before it's back (much longer if you've swapped things around or replaced them). But, when mine gave the failure message, it greyed out the reset function because it could not communicate with the TPMS receiver/processor - IOW, it detected a total failure of the module. Now, why it 'came back' later the next day is the mystery. Hopefully, it was a one-time thing, but that's not the way digital things typically work!
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