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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 09-14-2011, 08:31 AM
kirbyj kirbyj is offline
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Safe RPM Maximum

My 535 xi now has 10,000 miles on it and it runs like a dream. I have enjoyed exercising the engine on both interstates and local roads. In New Hampshire we have a lot of two lane roads that have speed limits between 45 to 55 MPH. Often a line of traffic can form behind a slow moving vehicle with everyone tailgating each other and no one has a clear view to pass. One thing I have learned with motorcycling is that due to the great acceleration of my bike I can hang back and quickly pass a small number of cars all at once when I have room to safely get by. My 535 has that same ability and when I see it is safe to do so I accelerate rapidly and pass the slow moving group.

My question here concerns how close to 7000 RPM's is it safe to get to? I noticed yesterday that my tach showed around 6700 RPM before the car upshifted to a higher gear. I was moving quickly and took my foot off the gas to start slowing down. I high rev my motorcycle at times and it doesn't hurt the engine. In fact, most of us believe that babying our bikes during break in causes a bike to burn oil. The engine never gets seated properly. I will add that my 535 burns no oil. I also only pass like that when the car is fully warmed up.

So any thoughts on occasionally running these cars close to red line? I know that these engines are supposed to cut out before you damage them, but I would like to know if anyone has any information on this question.
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  #2  
Old 09-14-2011, 09:57 AM
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Honestly after reading these forums (E38, E46, E90) you don't read about engines flying apart, throwing rods, etc. You do read about transmissions failing and of course all the electrical / computer and other issues.

I push mine to the max occasionally at the shift points but those opportunities are few and far between living in a metro area.

Regularly red line the S2000 in the lower gears and I'm sure both of these engines are made to rev and probably appreciate it versus staying below 3,000 rpm all the time!
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  #3  
Old 09-14-2011, 11:02 AM
reaper1 reaper1 is offline
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Change the oil every 7500 mi and run it like you stole it! I push mine to red line often and have 148,700 mi, burns no oil.
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  #4  
Old 09-14-2011, 02:13 PM
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The rev limiter is there for a reason....

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Old 09-14-2011, 02:52 PM
swajames swajames is offline
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Provided you continue make sure your car warm up to temperature first, you can effectively drive it like you stole it if that's what you want to do. These aren't particularly fragile engines, and I personally believe that cars that get the benefit of the occasional "Italian tune-up" can sometimes be more robust than those that don't.
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  #6  
Old 09-14-2011, 04:31 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Just nail it and let the transmission shift at the redline. Even in manual mode the tranny will shift up to the next gear automatically exactly at the redline when undergoing maximal acceleration. These are BMW engines and they are designed to do this without any damage.

PS. Before the car is fully warmed up the tachometer will indicate the maximal recommended rpm in yellow. It warms up very quickly, however.
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Last edited by richschneid; 09-14-2011 at 04:33 PM. Reason: addition
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  #7  
Old 09-14-2011, 05:35 PM
PsychDoc1 PsychDoc1 is online now
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I just wanted to thank the OP as I think this is an issue that many of us think about frequently both during the break-in period and thereafter. In a way it's kind of funny and more than a bit counterintuitive. Here we all are buying "The Ultimate Driving Machine" and then we are nervous about really wringing it out.
This is a subject that I hope will generate a great deal of discussion.

Again, thank you to the OP for initiating this much needed discussion.

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  #8  
Old 09-14-2011, 05:37 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richschneid View Post

PS. Before the car is fully warmed up the tachometer will indicate the maximal recommended rpm in yellow. It warms up very quickly, however.
Is this a function of the full black panel?
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  #9  
Old 09-14-2011, 06:05 PM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbyj View Post
so I accelerate rapidly and pass the slow moving group.
+100

I feel you...is this a new ENgland thing? I get it all the time too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbyj View Post
So any thoughts on occasionally running these cars close to red line? I know that these engines are supposed to cut out before you damage them, but I would like to know if anyone has any information on this question.
I don't think you would hurt the engine assuming is warmed up first and maintained
nicely -oil at least every 7K.
The only thing you are removing is life duration.
You can measure an engine's life as a function of RPM's instead of miles..
so if you ask for more RPM's all the time in principle you will potentiallly accelerate
its expiration. Realistically if you are leasing or keeping the car less the 4 years
this shouldn't be an issue so you should be all set

Last edited by bmw_enthusiasm; 09-14-2011 at 06:06 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-14-2011, 09:17 PM
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  #11  
Old 09-15-2011, 01:20 AM
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Jashley73 Jashley73 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_enthusiasm View Post
The only thing you are removing is life duration.
You can measure an engine's life as a function of RPM's instead of miles..
so if you ask for more RPM's all the time in principle you will potentiallly accelerate
its expiration. Realistically if you are leasing or keeping the car less the 4 years
this shouldn't be an issue so you should be all set
Considering the engineered service life of these engines is probably 300,000 miles or something, a few sprints to 7,000rpm might only speed up the "aging process" by 1 or 2 percent over the life of the engine. I'd tell the OP to let the car warm up, and drive the nuts off of It.
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:52 AM
tbod tbod is offline
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Only damage you'd do is if you left it on the rev limiter for a sustained length of time.
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  #13  
Old 09-15-2011, 04:25 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
Is this a function of the full black panel?
Sorry, maybe it's white. I'll check today. But the tach will indicate the maximum rpm recommended when the engine is not fully warmed up. My 650i did the same thing.
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  #14  
Old 09-15-2011, 06:14 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Take it to redline without worry and let the trans shift for you! Make sure you are warmed up first.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:06 AM
kirbyj kirbyj is offline
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Just to clarify, I only rev the car that high when passing as it is important to quickly pass anoher vehicle and get back into the correct lane. I only do this when the car is fully warmed up and after passing I return to normal driving.

In New England, on many of these two lane roads, if you don't pass a slow moving vehicle when you can you may follow them for miles and miles as after that one opportunity to pass legally you may find yourself in miles and miles of curves with no safe passing available.

I also change the oil often. I have 10,000 miles on the car but have changed the oil at 2000 and 9000 miles. My oil indicator has not been reset and says I won't need an oil change for another 6000 miles. At my last oil change my service rep recommended rotating the tires which I did have done. He also mentioned I had minimal brake wear. I mentioned I never tailgate and tend to slow the car by decelerating. (unless someone is on my tail!)

The car is a beautiful machine and can really move when appropriate. It is so much fun to drive. My wife and I have gone on long trips, from New Hampshire to Pittsburgh for example, and I drove straight through and it was an effortless and very comfortable drive. (Except at times my wife seems surprised my car has a turbocharger.) We arrived at our destination relaxed and rested. That never happened with my company cars that I drove for forty years. The last one was a Ford Escape, that was like driving a wild bronco as compared to the BMW. This 535 xi is the first car I bought for myself since 1974 and that was an AMC Gremlin. (hey for a straight six that could move pretty well!)
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  #16  
Old 09-15-2011, 11:34 AM
soulunderdog soulunderdog is offline
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These cars seem to take a while to warm up - is that true or just my imagination?
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:08 PM
kirbyj kirbyj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulunderdog View Post
These cars seem to take a while to warm up - is that true or just my imagination?
It does take a good amount of time for the engine to warm up all the way. It seems to take a full twenty minutes or so for my car to warm up in around town driving. Of course the gauges in our 5 series indicate oil temperature not radiator readings as in most other cars. Oil temperature is the important factor in optimum engine performance.
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  #18  
Old 09-15-2011, 06:26 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by soulunderdog View Post
These cars seem to take a while to warm up - is that true or just my imagination?
The issue here is not whether or not the car is FULLY warmend up, it's when the tachometer tells you the recommended redline is up to 7000 rpm. This does not take very long. The BMW engineers are telling you when the engine is warm enough to rev the engine to 7000 rpm. Obviously, this happens BEFORE the car is FULLY warmed up. On a cold winter day in Pittsburgh after the car has been parked outside the tachometer usually indicates a recommended redline of 4500 rpm. It only takes a few minutes until the redline on the tach goes up to 7000 rpm. I'm sure it takes longer than that for the engine to fully warm up. Today when I started my car in my garage with the temperature around 70 degrees the tach indicated a redline of 7000 as soon as the engine started.

Just look at your tachometer. It will tell you the recommended redline. You do not have to guess and you do not have to look at the temperature gauge.
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Last edited by richschneid; 09-15-2011 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:35 PM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Originally Posted by Jashley73 View Post
Considering the engineered service life of these engines is probably 300,000 miles or something, a few sprints to 7,000rpm might only speed up the "aging process" by 1 or 2 percent over the life of the engine. I'd tell the OP to let the car warm up, and drive the nuts off of It.
I saw a benz one time at 300,000...but never a bimmer..
just curious...anyone ever had a bimmer exceed 150K miles on this forum?
I mean you know..according to SOME people in here..this would be more like...an 8-9 oil changes cycle..

Last edited by bmw_enthusiasm; 09-15-2011 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:38 PM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Is this a function of the full black panel?
didn't see it on mine (no black panel)
but my M3 has it
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  #21  
Old 09-15-2011, 08:55 PM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swajames View Post
Provided you continue make sure your car warm up to temperature first, you can effectively drive it like you stole it if that's what you want to do. These aren't particularly fragile engines, and I personally believe that cars that get the benefit of the occasional "Italian tune-up" can sometimes be more robust than those that don't.

The thought that just because BMW makes a separate class of cars called 'M'
that are essentially designed to 'live' on higher rpm regions,
makes me see it as a straight indication
that the stock cars aren't just designed to spend their life on the red line neighbourhoods,
although its feasible at times.
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  #22  
Old 09-15-2011, 09:02 PM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Originally Posted by Jashley73 View Post
Considering the engineered service life of these engines is probably 300,000 miles or something, a few sprints to 7,000rpm might only speed up the "aging process" by 1 or 2 percent over the life of the engine. I'd tell the OP to let the car warm up, and drive the nuts off of It.
If a few sprints will do 1 or 2 p%
what will many sprints do?
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:43 AM
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Jashley73 Jashley73 is offline
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Originally Posted by bmw_enthusiasm View Post
I saw a benz one time at 300,000...but never a bimmer..
just curious...anyone ever had a bimmer exceed 150K miles on this forum?
I mean you know..according to SOME people in here..this would be more like...an 8-9 oil changes cycle..
You need to visit some of the E28/E30 forums. Lots of Bimmer's at the 250k+ range. Albeit older models maybe, but given enough time I'm sure some of our newer models could last that long. (Provided the electronics don't short circuit and go up in flames.)

And you could define "a few" as several times a day, at your liberty if you really wanted to. These I6 engines especially, are built very strong. As long as the oil is abundant and flowing, there should be almost no wear. Especially with modern day synthetic oils. Once the oil is pressurized, flowing, and warmed there should be almost no metal-to-metal contact throughout the engine, but rather a hydraulic bearing surface among all the engine's moving parts. The most damaging moments for your engine come at start-up, before the oil becomes pressurized, and the engine is running with only residual oil. So honestly, you could probably define an engine's longevity, by the number of start-ups, as opposed to the number of miles/revs it's turned...

Last edited by Jashley73; 09-16-2011 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:32 AM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jashley73 View Post
You need to visit some of the E28/E30 forums. Lots of Bimmer's at the 250k+ range. Albeit older models maybe, but given enough time I'm sure some of our newer models could last that long. (Provided the electronics don't short circuit and go up in flames.)

And you could define "a few" as several times a day, at your liberty if you really wanted to. These I6 engines especially, are built very strong. As long as the oil is abundant and flowing, there should be almost no wear. Especially with modern day synthetic oils. Once the oil is pressurized, flowing, and warmed there should be almost no metal-to-metal contact throughout the engine, but rather a hydraulic bearing surface among all the engine's moving parts. The most damaging moments for your engine come at start-up, before the oil becomes pressurized, and the engine is running with only residual oil. So honestly, you could probably define an engine's longevity, by the number of start-ups, as opposed to the number of miles/revs it's turned...
Hey thanks,
I have to admit reading your post loud is like music to my ears..
finally I can see some right words in this forum.

so yes, I love I6's too bad they are going down. Curious what the turbo longevity will be..
among with the electronics...

IMO your comment about startup is absolute true on the contrary with the new cold startup recommendation procedure
BMW is giving...


the notion of a car nowadays is almost identified with the word 'disposable' ...

Last edited by bmw_enthusiasm; 09-16-2011 at 05:35 AM.
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  #25  
Old 09-16-2011, 08:59 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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A few ppl over in the e46 forums with 200k

But not without problems and random stuff breaking down.
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