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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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Old 01-18-2012, 07:51 PM
swkdavi swkdavi is offline
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Location: charlottesville, va
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 530xit
Angry E60 Steering Column

'06 530xi Wagon
~70,000 miles

I took my car to the dealer for a faulty break light. Nothing else wrong with the car. EIGHT DAYS later, dealer says that car is 10 days out of warranty (literally), and now (on their property) won't start. They state they checked everything and found a faulty Steering Column. Replacement is $2,000 in parts and $1,200 in labor???? BMW NA is willing to pay the parts, but no help on labor.

Two questions: What is the responsibility of the dealer for an item that had never given a warning light or any kind of issue that suddenly, inexplicably, and frankly unverifiably in their hands? I have no clue what their service guys did that might have caused this. They have had the car for 8 days for a break light. I do know that one of their service guys drove my car home overnight because they were trying to figure out the break light issue. What responsibility should they have?

Second question: Given the other posts I am seeing from others here on the E60s, it looks like this is a part that fails with some regularity, and more importantly with warning. Is this something that they should be able to jigger to make work, and I can hock the car without repairing? Or am I pretty much needing to fix this, or else never have it go.

Positive side... I have their loaner which is way nicer than my 06.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:16 PM
dwlink's Avatar
dwlink dwlink is offline
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Location: St. Louis
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,594
Mein Auto: 435i Gran Coupe
Why did they have your car for 8 days to diagnose a brake light in the first place?

2015 BMW 435i GC MSport (ED Sept 29, 2014)
2004 BMW 530i (retired)
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:23 PM
swkdavi swkdavi is offline
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Location: charlottesville, va
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 530xit
8 days

Really? You are going to ask logical questions like "How bad are your mechanics?"
Actually, truth be told... it wasn't 8 days... it was longer.

Last Summer I complained that my "Right Break Light Malfunction" light turned on sporadically about once every 15 minutes or so... They had it for three days and were not able to diagnose anything other than, "Yeh, we get the warning, but nothing is wrong with the light." Well, as my CPO reached expiration, I took it back in and said "I don't care how long it takes, fix it." So.. it took 8 days... and the repair was to change the light bulb. Amazing.... They said there were signs of electrical arcs and scoring inside the light.

I have clients in my car all the time, and I can't handle the constant binging and people looking at me like I can't take care of my car.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:42 PM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
U of Dawgs
Location: The Sound of Zundfolge
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,435
Mein Auto: 08 535iA Spt/11 X5 35i
Wow! That brake light/tail light/signal light malfunction is so common in recent BMWs that it could have been solved by a quick resistance check. Any BMW tech worth his salt could have solved that after he said, "Really?".

That said, I would seriously consider taking the car to another BMW shop for a second opinion on that start issue. Steering column replacement? Probable but not likely... unless the tech jammed the key in there and took a jackhammer to pry it out...

2011 X5 35i Sport Activity|Plat Gray/Beige/Dk Poplar|Conv Pkg|Cold WX Pkg|Tech Pkg|Prem Sound|Comfort Seats|Hitch|
2008 535i Mon Blue/Dakota Blk/Dk Poplar|Sports Pkg|Prem Pkg|Cold WX Pkg|Nav|RTTI|PDC|L7|HD|I-Pod/USB|PWR Rr shade|Sports Auto - paddles|Active Stg|Comfort Access|F/D R/seats|Rr DMS Airbags|Adaptive Xenons

Do not argue with an idiot else he lowers you to his level and beat you down with experience..

Last edited by Nube1kenobi; 01-18-2012 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:27 PM
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2chill 2chill is offline
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Location: Long Island, NY
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 933
Mein Auto: 2008 528XI
I would talk to the manager and find out exactly what is wrong with the steering column and how it's causing the car not to start. Other than a faulty ignition switch, I don't see how the whole steering column would need to be replaced.
How do you know the tech took your car home? It seems there would be a policy against techs taking a customer's car any place other than a test drive. Why would he need to take your car home to test a brake light? What would he do? Fix it in his garage----on his own time??? Sounds strange if that's what this dealer told you especially since they already knew it had an issue....
As Nube stated, taking the car to another dealer is a viable second option if you want to spring for the towing expense.
Overall, sounds like this dealership is giving you the run-around. You need to talk to the manager and go above him if need be.

PP, CWP, NAV, satelite radio, USB, Folding Rear Seats.

Last edited by 2chill; 01-18-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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