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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 05-23-2013, 05:46 AM
dolphin717 dolphin717 is offline
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Which 5 Series?

I am exploring the market for a 2 to 5 year old 5 series.....I have owner several BMWs, mostly 3 series all with sports packages, most with manual 6 speeds. I am now retired (mid 60s)and want to move up to something slightly larger and easier to get in and out of...I need opinion, etc about which ones, please...535s, 545s, 550s, etc...especially about reliability etc....Thanks for the help...
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2013, 06:45 AM
Msgross Msgross is offline
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Which 5 Series?

I'm interested in the same info but maybe 5-7 year old models. The performance of the 545 sounds nice but how bad does the MPG suffer vs a 535. Are the automatics a ticking time bomb?


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  #3  
Old 05-23-2013, 08:20 AM
Rob3980 Rob3980 is offline
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Performance of the 535 is pretty dang good mind you mine is modded. I'm getting around 22-24mpg with my 2008 535xi and that's all wheel drive. The only problem I have run into so far is the plugs and coils needed to be changed at 73k miles but that's because of the extra power I was throwing at them. Love my 535 so far but am upgrading to a m3 or m5 very soon.
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2013, 08:28 AM
st1sj st1sj is offline
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I like my 2009 550i with 6 speed. Not thrilled about the shifter action--kind of long and clunky, but the V8 makes up for it...
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2013, 09:38 AM
Msgross Msgross is offline
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Which 5 Series?

Been reading about a lot of auto tranny issues, does everyone suggest a manual?


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  #6  
Old 05-23-2013, 11:03 AM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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Unless you are going to mod the car significantly (unlikely given that you are retired), then any of the 5 series range will work for you. In terms of reliability, they are all pretty good now. The 545 will present the most maintenance issues, especially with higher mileage, gaskets, coolant pipes, etc will need replacing. The 535, if it hasn't been updated already, will spend a lot of time in the shop for HPFP, fuel injector, turbos, wastegate rattles, and fuel rail issues. However, once those issues are repaired with the latest parts they seem pretty solid. The 550 is (arguably) the least trouble prone of the 3, it doesn't have the fuel system issues of the 535, and it seems to not have as many maintenance issues as the 545.

@Msgross - the "transmission issues" you mentioned with the auto trans are just software issues, once they are updated they seem to work fine. Another option is to get the Sports Auto trans, which shifts quicker than a manual can and seems to feel like a manual, but also is a different (newer) trans that the Steptronic trans of older E60 autos. Like a manual, my Sports Auto Trans shifts as smoothly or as harshly as I allow it to.

I chose the 550 when I was looking because I wanted to have a V8 again, and the N62 B48 engine seems to be one of the most reliable V8's BMW has produced. Add that to the fact that 550's tend to be more fully equipped with options that were "must haves" for me like NAV, Multicontour Comfort seats, Comfort access and others. It was a no brainer for me to choose the 550, since it was fairly easy to find one with all the options I wanted.
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2013, 08:03 PM
Macklyn Macklyn is offline
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I just recently moved from a 2011 328xi to a 2010 535xi with M-Package with roughly the same kms. Performance and comfort wise the 535 kicks a$$. I didn't want the 528 as I thought I would be disappointed with the performance going to a heavier car. The twin turbos REALLY make a difference and a real joy to drive! I'm getting 24 MPG currently over the past 6000 kms. If you are not worried about performance I would suggest a 528i to save on the gas but still get most of the comfort. You'll notice a nice difference in size coming from a 3 series. Much more room inside and I needed the extra trunk space!
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  #8  
Old 05-23-2013, 08:15 PM
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booyaazaa booyaazaa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob3980 View Post
Performance of the 535 is pretty dang good mind you mine is modded. I'm getting around 22-24mpg with my 2008 535xi and that's all wheel drive. The only problem I have run into so far is the plugs and coils needed to be changed at 73k miles but that's because of the extra power I was throwing at them. Love my 535 so far but am upgrading to a m3 or m5 very soon.
Damn Rob I wish I could get 22-24 mpg. I only get about 18-19 mpg however it probably doesn't help running a E30 fuel mix.

Op-If you are looking for something reliable go for a 528i or 550i if you want a bit more power. The 535i is a magnificent machine to mod and tune however it is a little bit more high maintenance to operate.
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2013, 12:08 PM
Ramsey Barnette Ramsey Barnette is offline
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550i is the best one in terms of power/reliability and as previously mentioned, they are typically very well equipped. If you're serious about modifications, it's much easier to make power for less $ with the forced induction turbo on the 535i, but again more engine issues with that specific model. I purchased mine from Niello BMW in Sacramento, CA and it was a Certified Pre-owned BMW with 44K miles on it, it now has 115K and I've replaced/repaired the following:

Tires, three sets Conti DWS @ Americas Tire Center at $250 rear, $175 front, each. (Rears last around 25-30K because of staggered set-up, fronts close to 45K)
Front/Rear OEM brake pads/rotors: $1300 @ Indy
Water pump @ 100K miles, $800 @ Indy
SMG Pump Replacement: $800 @ Indy
Dinan Stage 1 Chip: $500 @ Indy (Labor waived).
Replaced Leaking antifreeze tank, $300 @ Indy
Interstate Megatron Plus Battery 720 CCA: $200 @ Indy (Labor waived).
Brake Fluid Flush: $100 @ Indy
Transmission Fluid Flush: $100 @ Indy
Oil Change: $100 @ Indy (Mobil 1, 0-40 with MANN oil filter)
Spark Plugs: NGK (4294) IZFR6H-11 @ $10.30 each @ Amazon, installed @ Indy forget cost.
Sunroof Rubber Seal (Annoying wind noise @ HWY speeds): $50 for part/labor @ Indy
K&N Engine Air Filter: $50 @ Amazon, installed myself in 5 minutes.
Pair of MANN Cabin Air Filters: $50 @ Amazon, installed myself in 5 minutes.
Rain-X Latitude wiper blades: $35 @ Amazon, installed myself in 5 minutes. (Prefer the look of the Bosch OEM wipers, slightly more low-profile/sleek).
Window Tint @ Rocky Mountain Tint: $275 (Limo on the back 3, legal transparent film on the side windows)
Skene Front No Holes Plate Adaptor: $50 @ http://skenedesign.com/FPBracket/index.shtml
BMW OEM Slimline License Plate Frame: $30.00 @ Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-BMW-Sl...ne+plate+frame)
Brake Recall: $0.00 @ Niello BMW (http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010...brake-problem/)
Angel Eye Upgrade planned: Predator V4 Orion by Utimiza @ $350.00 (http://www.umnitza.com/predator-orio...60-p-6141.html)
Note: Requires extensive install by someone experienced in DIY, not for a first-time project, expect 4-5 hours if you know what you're doing. Or pay someone $300-$400.

Work performed in Sacramento, CA @ Shatz and Krum, an excellent and trustworthy BMW/Porsche shop that is an authorized Dinan installation location.
http://schatzandkrum.com/web/ Terrible website, excellent service and workmanship. I found them via yelp.com reviews, that's what I suggest as a starting point, then looking at the forum and see what others recommend as well in your area. The BMW dealer is only for free warranty work, as far as I'm concerned. And sometimes oil changes if they're running a special, it's closer to my office and they wash the car as well, nice service touch. Best advice is purchase a good car, and the maintenance will be reasonable. This means either a CPO car from a reputable dealer, a private party with service records and get the car inspected for the typical issues prior to purchase, check the brake pad wear, tire life and run a carfax.com VIN check, to make sure it has not been involved in a serious collision (not 100% failsafe, but the inspection will find out if your car has been in a serious accident and has frame damage, for example). Purchasing an extended warranty from a private party is not typically worth it.
Think about it, they're selling you something because it's profitable for them, take the savings and spend it on work @ a good Indy shop.

Advice: Anticipate spending some money on parts/repair as they wear out and break, it will be a given that this car will cost more to maintain than "regular" cars.
It's part of your ownership responsibility. Expecting no part repair or replacement is not reasonable and you will be disappointed if you expect this as your reality.
With care and proper maintenance they can easily run forever. The BMW recommended service intervals of 15K for an oil change is not advisable, your engine will wear prematurely, I would suggest 7-8K changes instead. Some even go every 5K, which I think is excessive, but to each their own. I noticed that when I took the car to 15K miles, about 12K into it and the low oil light would go on and I'd have to put 1 quart in the car. I didn't like that. Oil changes are the least costly and important thing you can do to properly care for your engine, any high performance V8 will burn a little oil, it's the nature of the beast. Keep it lubricated.

This is a great 3rd party service schedule that can give you a general idea of what to expect with regard to basic maintenance of your E60: http://www.bavauto.com/Assets/inst_pages/e60mc.pdf

Last edited by Ramsey Barnette; 05-24-2013 at 12:10 PM.
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2013, 05:38 PM
Msgross Msgross is offline
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That is a lot of great info, amazing how much service is actually involved with some of these though. I've dealt with my fair share of common vehicle maint but dont like the idea of dropping $800 here and there. We'll see what I find on the market and go from there. I noticed a local 545 manual in the claasifieds, owner had most of the common gaskets replaced already. Seems to ne a common trend.
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2013, 06:31 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i
I've averaged about $300 per month in parts so far. Bought my 545i at 178K miles though. Almost to 194K now (7 or 8 months?)
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2013, 07:19 PM
bschmidt25 bschmidt25 is offline
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Re: Which 5 Series?

I'm going to take a different path... I'd look for a 530i sport w the 6 speed. 255 HP in the 530 and no worrying about turbo, coil, or HPFP issues. I've put 20k on my XI in almost a year and have had no problems. Just maintenance, which is cheaper with the I6. Oh yeah... and I average almost 30mpg in mixed city and freeway driving. I don't have a manual sport, but that's what I'd be looking for if I were you. I drove a 550i/6 and loved it, but I didn't like seeing 16 mpg on the dash when I was babying it. If maintenance and fuel costs are a concern, the N52 530 is pretty tough to beat.

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Last edited by bschmidt25; 05-24-2013 at 07:27 PM.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2013, 07:53 PM
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booyaazaa booyaazaa is offline
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Damn Ramsey that is a detailed list.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2013, 08:35 PM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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Originally Posted by booyaazaa View Post
Damn Ramsey that is a detailed list.
LOL yeah, but everything there except the Orions, I would do myself and it would cost me half that. Also, I avoided having to replace the SMG pump by getting Sports Auto Trans.
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2005 530i - Prem, Sport, NAV
2006 Jeep SRT-8
2003 Infiniti G35 coupe
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  #15  
Old 06-04-2013, 05:59 PM
dolphin717 dolphin717 is offline
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OK.....I have a hold on an 2009 550 with sport package.....the only I would like to change is to have duel/quad exhaust installed...How would I go about that......I guess that would involve body work as well as exhaust system changes.....I'm more interested in the "look" than changing the sounder performance.....any suggestions would be appreciated....Thanks
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  #16  
Old 06-04-2013, 06:25 PM
KLR4LIFE KLR4LIFE is online now
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Originally Posted by dolphin717 View Post
OK.....I have a hold on an 2009 550 with sport package.....the only I would like to change is to have duel/quad exhaust installed...How would I go about that......I guess that would involve body work as well as exhaust system changes.....I'm more interested in the "look" than changing the sounder performance.....any suggestions would be appreciated....Thanks
Since it has the sport package you can just get a quad diffuser and have custom exhaust installed at a muffler shop.
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  #17  
Old 06-04-2013, 06:45 PM
Ramsey Barnette Ramsey Barnette is offline
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Terrible idea, if you're going to spend money on exhaust, go either:

RPI: http://shoprpi.com/product_info.php?...roducts_id=132

Dinan: http://www.dinancars.com/shop/D660-0...Thru-2-07.aspx

Too many things wrong with wanting it quad, the car bumper would have to be changed, it's not worth the cost/time involved. There are other things you could have done that would add more power if that's what you're looking for. For example, a high-flow air intake will add around 18HP and 15 lbs torque: http://www.dinancars.com/shop/D760-0...ke-System.aspx

Yeah, I'm OCD on my records, that was actually just from my memory.
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  #18  
Old 06-04-2013, 07:09 PM
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TemporarySanity TemporarySanity is offline
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This is good info for I too am in the market for a 550. My e39 540 is going to my daughter and I want to stay with a V8. My wife has a lowly 525xi but she drives over 100 miles a day so it's perfect for her. I've been heavily debating on getting a manual but I like the idea of a sport auto. I really like paddle shifters too. I don't want one any older than a 2008. I'm hoping to avoid some of the issues the earlier E60's had by staying with a newer one. Is there anything to avoid or be aware of?
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:47 PM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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Originally Posted by TemporarySanity View Post
This is good info for I too am in the market for a 550. My e39 540 is going to my daughter and I want to stay with a V8. My wife has a lowly 525xi but she drives over 100 miles a day so it's perfect for her. I've been heavily debating on getting a manual but I like the idea of a sport auto. I really like paddle shifters too. I don't want one any older than a 2008. I'm hoping to avoid some of the issues the earlier E60's had by staying with a newer one. Is there anything to avoid or be aware of?
Eventually the 550 will most likely have most of the same issues as the 545. So look for the lowest mileage you can find/afford. I prefer the 2008+ cars, mainly because they are LCI and the goodies that entails.
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2006 Jeep SRT-8
2003 Infiniti G35 coupe
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  #20  
Old 06-04-2013, 10:43 PM
ArtchredTTU ArtchredTTU is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msgross View Post
That is a lot of great info, amazing how much service is actually involved with some of these though. I've dealt with my fair share of common vehicle maint but dont like the idea of dropping $800 here and there. We'll see what I find on the market and go from there. I noticed a local 545 manual in the claasifieds, owner had most of the common gaskets replaced already. Seems to ne a common trend.
Don't get a BMW if your not looking to spend money. I just spent 1100 on tires and another 700 on brakes (did them myself too) lol.

Honda is where it's at.
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  #21  
Old 06-05-2013, 06:14 AM
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gmnmsclM540i gmnmsclM540i is offline
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Re: Which 5 Series?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtchredTTU View Post
Don't get a BMW if your not looking to spend money. I just spent 1100 on tires and another 700 on brakes (did them myself too) lol.

Honda is where it's at.
Honda :thumbdown: just sayin

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  #22  
Old 06-05-2013, 07:05 AM
f30jojo f30jojo is offline
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Re: Which 5 Series?

I own a 07 530i premium/M/sport, one if the best and most reliable bmws I've ever owned and decent mileage. Book is about 18-19K private party.

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Old 06-05-2013, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by f30jojo View Post
I own a 07 530i premium/M/sport, one if the best and most reliable bmws I've ever owned and decent mileage. Book is about 18-19K private party.
I wonder what's the difference between 07 530i M vs. 07 530i.
I believe they both use the same engine, same intake, same trans.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:59 AM
f30jojo f30jojo is offline
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Re: Which 5 Series?

Sorry, yes there was no "Msports" in 07. But the 07 530 did have sport pkg, I've added a few bolt-ons to the motor (software, afe intake, throttle body) and added m wheels.
With z rated contis. Great car.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:02 AM
f30jojo f30jojo is offline
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Re: Which 5 Series?

Also same n52 and tranny, the last great 3.0 non turbo BMW motor. Cant beat the induction noise of a fun revving 3.0 I6

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