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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 10-08-2014, 07:06 AM
jas0nmckinley jas0nmckinley is offline
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Mein Auto: Lexus LS430
5 series stick shift feedback

All,
Newbie here and looking for feedback on the reliability of a 5 series stickshift. Other than engine size, I don't really know the difference between the various 5 series models but I will dig into that on my own.

I'm more interested in knowing reliability, etc between the 2008-2011 model years and different models in a manual transmission. Things to look for, things to avoid, big service that you need to do at certain mileage intervals, etc. Other than my preference for manual due to the driving experience, does it open me up to any other issues over a 5 series automatic or is it actually better for reliability than automatic?

I have always driven Lexus vehicles because they have been very reliable for me, but I'm starting to consider a 5 series as a back-up car and something more fun to drive. We owned a Z4 several years back and it was a great 3rd car and something we enjoyed driving. I drive a ton (about 3,500 miles/month) and my Lexus LS currently has 200k miles on it and still going very strong with very minimal cost (other than timing belt/water pump every 90k). I know it won't last forever, so I'm looking for something that will ultimately replace the LS and will be reliable for me down the road based on how much I drive (95% highway).

If anyone can steer me in a general direction (ie avoid a 2008, or don't buy with more than 80k miles because you have to spend $2k at 90k, etc) would be really helpful. From a price perspective, I'm hoping to land somewhere below $30k and it looks like I may be able to go as new as a 2011.

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2014, 07:17 AM
toga94m toga94m is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 530xiT
2006 wagon 530xiT with 6MT, so not as much power/torque as the 535's or V8's. No problems. I've had the car from 109k to 127k miles. The clearcoat has flaked off the shift knob, but I think that would happen with an automatic too. You keep hearing about the leaky mechatronics sleeve on the auto, but I haven't read much about manuals going bad.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2014, 08:33 AM
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Campfamily Campfamily is offline
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Mein Auto: 2008 550i
The hardest part about a manual transmission BMW (or any car, for that matter) is finding one. My 2008 550 with manual transmission has been nearly flawless over the past four years and nearly 65,000 miles (I bought the car 3 years old with 23,000 miles on it, it now has 87,000 miles).

By the way, BMW makes what I feel is the best feeling manual transmission linkage of any car made. The only cars I have driven that come even close to the feel are the Mazda Miata and the Honda S2000. I just love the "snick-snick" feel of the shifter when you shift it through the gears.

Keith
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Last edited by Campfamily; 10-08-2014 at 08:35 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2014, 09:56 AM
Margal Margal is offline
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Mein Auto: E60 545i B/B, Manual
OP you made good decision on MT BMW. i my knowlage MT last longer than autos as there are less electrinic stuff involved. MT needs less oil and no filter. can take abuse than auto. only downside is clutch as it wears on depending on drivers experience. ask how many miles on clutch. replacing clutch is around $1500 range. driving MT BMW is so much fun. no offence to auto onewrs but driving auto BMW is like dating nice woman and not having sex with her. i really do not care about sitting in NY famous traffics as i stilll enjoy driving my 545i MT. if you can mach it with power than you get more fun and joy.
as for relability of BMW than lexus i would say that BMW are little bit weaker side. becoase they are more performence oriented. but as i observed amd compeared when it comes to part and repare cost lexus are not cheeper than beemers. if you are DIYer than you can get higher milage beemer if not than look for lower ones.
good luck

Last edited by Margal; 10-08-2014 at 10:03 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2014, 01:14 PM
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boramkiv boramkiv is offline
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Read this thread. But also know that a manual transmission E60 will have just a tad bit less issues than an auto one, but again only a tad.
Do your research and come up with a decision based on your outlook.

We can only feed you information, and that shouldn't be a reason to say okay I'll stay away from BMW's. Take it for what it's worth, and know that there are some very knowledgable people on here for advice.

Good luck.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2014, 02:57 PM
KLR4LIFE KLR4LIFE is offline
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Mein Auto: 2008 550i Manual
Quote:
Originally Posted by Campfamily View Post
The hardest part about a manual transmission BMW (or any car, for that matter) is finding one. My 2008 550 with manual transmission has been nearly flawless over the past four years and nearly 65,000 miles (I bought the car 3 years old with 23,000 miles on it, it now has 87,000 miles).

By the way, BMW makes what I feel is the best feeling manual transmission linkage of any car made. The only cars I have driven that come even close to the feel are the Mazda Miata and the Honda S2000. I just love the "snick-snick" feel of the shifter when you shift it through the gears.

Keith
I feel the same way Keith feels. It would take a lot for me to even think about getting an auto. I drive my car like I stole it When people find out I have a manual V8 BMW they always go With the limited amount of manuals produced it will be hard to find one with the options you want but if you do you better jump on it. Just add a RPI exhaust to a manual car and you will be golden lol.
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  #7  
Old 10-08-2014, 03:43 PM
camaroguy camaroguy is offline
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Mein Auto: '07 550i Sport, '07 X3
I also have a manual 550. I bought it to replace my manual 540. I love manuals and they don't really bother me in traffic. I find that the clutches on BMWs tend to last a long time if the driver knows how to drive a manual properly. I.E. rev matching downshifts and not slipping the clutch when going down in gears instead of using the brakes.
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2014, 02:12 PM
zolabmw zolabmw is offline
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Location: Florida
 
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Mein Auto: 2007 530xiT 6MT
Manuals are great

I have had three MT wagons, 2002 325xi, 2007 530xiT and now a 2010 535xT. They all worked very well with orignal clutches (now 125,000 on the 325, now 60,000 on the two 5 series). But as said by several they are rare - so cherish them! And I agree that the clutches are good - I have a 6 MT Porsche Boxster too (2010 and now 2015) - nice clutch but the 5 series is nicer!
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  #9  
Old 10-12-2014, 07:13 PM
Caesonia Caesonia is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Campfamily View Post
The hardest part about a manual transmission BMW (or any car, for that matter) is finding one. My 2008 550 with manual transmission has been nearly flawless over the past four years and nearly 65,000 miles (I bought the car 3 years old with 23,000 miles on it, it now has 87,000 miles).

By the way, BMW makes what I feel is the best feeling manual transmission linkage of any car made. The only cars I have driven that come even close to the feel are the Mazda Miata and the Honda S2000. I just love the "snick-snick" feel of the shifter when you shift it through the gears.

Keith
Yeah, I agree with you about teh shift feeling from the manual gearboxes I tried. I just was too short for comfort.
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  #10  
Old 10-13-2014, 05:08 PM
XJman XJman is online now
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Location: KY
 
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Posts: 60
Mein Auto: 2006 550i
I have a 2006 550i with roughly 105k on it. The transmission is beautifully smooth. It has a good solid engagement and release that just feels good. My shifter linkage is a touch loose, but I'm sure if I take it apart and tighten everything up it'll fix that, with over 100k, and almost 8 years so its to be expected. I've just been painfully lazy the past few months to do anything about it. Mechanically, its flawless though.
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  #11  
Old 10-13-2014, 05:17 PM
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Jay Arras Jay Arras is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 530xi 6 speed manual
The availability of a MT in a sports sedan is the primary reason I have stuck with BMWs over the past 10 years. Mercedes doesn't have one. Infiniti doesn't have one. Lexus doesn't have one. Audi does, but reliability has been poor until just recently.
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  #12  
Old 10-14-2014, 07:11 AM
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Campfamily Campfamily is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Arras View Post
The availability of a MT in a sports sedan is the primary reason I have stuck with BMWs over the past 10 years. Mercedes doesn't have one. Infiniti doesn't have one. Lexus doesn't have one. Audi does, but reliability has been poor until just recently.
And even Audi is going away from manual transmissions. Notice the new S3 isn't available in the US with a stick. BMW is going the same way. Not sure what my next car is going to be now.......

Keith
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  #13  
Old 10-14-2014, 03:54 PM
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boramkiv boramkiv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campfamily View Post
And even Audi is going away from manual transmissions. Notice the new S3 isn't available in the US with a stick. BMW is going the same way. Not sure what my next car is going to be now.......

Keith
Yep, the A3 manual didn't sell well so the S3 manual is canc and only available in DSG.

Even the hardcore Porsche 911 GT3 is now PDK only...

Surprisingly the Hellcat manual is doing well..
There is still hope for the third pedal. I think Mazda is pretty much the last offering it on most models in their line.
If premium brands see this, they may take note...all isn't lost just yet.

Last edited by boramkiv; 10-14-2014 at 04:04 PM.
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