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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)

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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  #1  
Old 11-11-2016, 09:35 AM
idevs idevs is offline
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Location: Crystal Lake, IL
 
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Mein Auto: F02 2011 750Li xDrive
Recs On Buying A Wagon/Touring

Okay, so with the CPO warranty expired on my beautiful F02, I decided that it might be wise to downgrade to a much, much lower car payment as well as into something that might not require taking out a second mortgage to maintain should something "happen."

Aside from this 7, I've only had 5ers, so that's the logical move. With a 3yo and a 13yo, space is a key aspect and one of the reasons for getting the 7 in the first place.

That's where the desire for the touring model comes in. Quickly finding that these are rare breeds, not just because they sadly stopped importing them in, but obviously there were also less on the market to begin with....and everyone who seems to have one has no desire to get rid of it!

As my 7 is fully loaded, anything will be a downgrade on features.

Couple questions then that I hope you touring aficionados can help with...

While I'm most looking to get the newest available (2010), where are the cutoffs for key features? Example, navigation and iDrive, is a 2008 or 2009 going to be the same as the 2010, in which case perhaps saving $$$ on a 2008 with slightly more mileage makes sense. Similarly for safety features, etc. So which years would you recommend considering?

Speaking of Nav, it's a key feature, but seems to be a toss up on whether or not the ones on the market right now have that. What's the potential and cost for adding/swapping out a non-Nav system with one?

Finally, any other great pieces of wisdom to share...features not worth squat, features you wished you had gotten, years you'd avoid like the plague, is my entire logic here crazy, etc.

Thanks for any input!

Cheers
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Present: E61 - 2010 535i xDrive Touring | Previous: F02 - 2011 750Li xDrive | Past: E60 - 2006 530xi | E39 - 1999 528i | Original: E34 - 1992 525i || Join: BMWCCA (Member ID: 398765)
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2016, 11:59 AM
JimKW JimKW is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 330XI and BMW 535XI
Sports Package, just for the seats alone, was a must for me. These cars are expensive to maintain.
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2016, 12:21 PM
idevs idevs is offline
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Mein Auto: F02 2011 750Li xDrive
Thanks. I've had 3 5ers before this one, so when you say "expensive to own," do you mean the E61 specifically, or BMW's in general?

Just asking in case yours is your first.

Cheers
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2016, 01:22 PM
Reefin' Dude Reefin' Dude is offline
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there are a lot of parts on these e61. i had an e39 touring before my current e61. i do nearly all of the work myself and so far the repairs seem pretty typical. the differences are the known issues with the N54 motor and the extra parts involved in having X drive. my e61 only has 60K on it and is an 08. from 08 on is LCI. this is where people draw the lines with engines. LCI's are N54. from 08 through 10 the iDrive went through a few updates. 08 has CCC. DVD based nav. not the best since BMW is no longer producing maps for them anymore. in 09 the iDrive converted over to CIC. all of these can be updated for about $2500. one can even go to the NBT that was found in your f02 depending on the options on the e61. i do not think i could go to the NBT because i have every option available on an e61 and i do not think that the ventilated seat module works with the NBT and i do not think the NBT seat module works with the older e61 seats. i think my option is to update to the CIC from an '10 e60.

having a large dog and growing boys the touring was a must. i also use it to pull a small boat and a rack on top for carrying bikes and a canoe.

must haves are the HUD, Logic 7, Nav. in the e61 the sport option only really gets you the seats and the steering wheel. the suspension is unchanged. ventilated seats are nice in the summer. night vision is so so. Stop and Go cruise is nice, though i have not actually used it in Stop and Go mode. i do use it in radar mode all of the time. i am converting the car to SAT this weekend with paddle shift. i did this to the e39 and found it very useful. the SAT was never an option for the e61 here.

HTH,

G~
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e61LCI-Sport, Nav, Logic7, Lane Departure, Stop/Go Cruise, Vented seats, F/R heated seats, heated steering wheel, Night vision, HUD, E64 rear sway bar, H&R springs, Boost gauge, JB+, ER Charge Pipe, CSR Rear Spoiler, Backup camera, trailer hitch/wiring.
e39 Mods: Dinan exhaust, Dinan suspension/Camber kit, flappy paddle, backup camera, stereo video playback DSP, MKIV computer, TPM retrofit, Intravee II, Euro armrest, voice recognition, hitch and wiring, 10" SW with amp, lighted int. handles.
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  #5  
Old 11-12-2016, 06:16 AM
JayDee4711's Avatar
JayDee4711 JayDee4711 is offline
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Mein Auto: 535 Xi Wagon, MB CLK430
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimKW View Post
Sports Package, just for the seats alone, was a must for me. These cars are expensive to maintain.
+1 on both statements. If you want a car that is inexpensive to own, get something else! The CIC nav was introduced in the middle of MY 09. Early ones, like mine, have CCC with the newer idrive controller.
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Trust me, I know what I am talking about. I am a smartass by training and have been in this business for decades.
 
   
This vehicle ran OEM pads on one axle and Akebono Euro on the other (left). Guess which ones were where!
Now there are Akebono Euro pads on both axles (right). This picture was taken after ~2000 miles without a wash.
 
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  #6  
Old 11-12-2016, 07:52 AM
idevs idevs is offline
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Excellent information, and if I get one, I may have to have you mod it for me!!

I think NAV and winter package are two of the critical things for me. I like a lot of the other things and would take them, but obviously buying a 5er Touring is a bit of "what's available." I've had the HUD on my last 5er and the 7, but it is mostly only useful at night or low sun days since I can't really see it with sunglasses on. Ventilated seats aren't as nice as I would have hoped, even after "adjusting" their temp settings.

Thanks again, this really helps narrow down the years...I was mostly zeroed in on '10 and maybe '09, but wanted to make sure that was logical.

Cheers
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  #7  
Old 11-19-2016, 03:23 PM
srivkin78 srivkin78 is offline
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i absolutely love my 2008 535Xi Touring, nice and loaded with Nav, Bluetooth, Logic 7 system. Had it for a couple of months now, it's so comfortable. Much more so than my 2014 328 Diesel XDrive. I had to do the dreaded tail gate wiring project but it wasn't so bad. seems to be a design flaw where the wires end up getting worn out from opening and closing the tail gate and they end up getting cut and the tailgate and lights and lamps stop working.

If you don't know about it...read here,

http://www.snowspire.cz/staticke/E61-kabely.pdf

I don't think you can go wrong IMO
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Current:2008 535Xi Touring, VRSF 7" FMIC, Active Autowerks Charge Pipe, Tial BOV, Cobb Stage 2 Aggressive +FMIC Tune

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  #8  
Old 11-19-2016, 09:41 PM
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JayDee4711 JayDee4711 is offline
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Mein Auto: 535 Xi Wagon, MB CLK430
One of a number of design flaws in this car. BMW has only been making wagons for something like 25 years. So how could we possibly expect them to get a high-tech aspect like wiring right just yet? No, hold on! The sedans suffer from the same issue. Just easier to access...
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Trust me, I know what I am talking about. I am a smartass by training and have been in this business for decades.
 
   
This vehicle ran OEM pads on one axle and Akebono Euro on the other (left). Guess which ones were where!
Now there are Akebono Euro pads on both axles (right). This picture was taken after ~2000 miles without a wash.
 

Last edited by JayDee4711; 11-19-2016 at 09:42 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2016, 07:13 AM
fju2112 fju2112 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srivkin78 View Post
i absolutely love my 2008 535Xi Touring, nice and loaded with Nav, Bluetooth, Logic 7 system. Had it for a couple of months now, it's so comfortable. Much more so than my 2014 328 Diesel XDrive. I had to do the dreaded tail gate wiring project but it wasn't so bad. seems to be a design flaw where the wires end up getting worn out from opening and closing the tail gate and they end up getting cut and the tailgate and lights and lamps stop working.

If you don't know about it...read here,

http://www.snowspire.cz/staticke/E61-kabely.pdf

I don't think you can go wrong IMO
srivkin, I am looking at one today that appears to be fully loaded. I may pull the trigger on it. I DO know that I am probably signing myself up for some headaches re: maintenance. It's an 08 with 69K miles on it, and from a very reputable dealer that I have purchased two Benzes from in the past. What option package was bluetooth installed in, and is it bluetooth music audio through phones, can you do that, or is it just bluetooth calling through the phone?

Also, do you have a backup camera in yours, and if not, I have found a couple $500 or so good aftermarket options, but interested in your take, I really don't want to give up the backup camera. This particular unit has Nav and there appear to be aftermarket options to add a backup camera using the Nav screen when in reverse. Thoughts?
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2016, 07:36 AM
Reefin' Dude Reefin' Dude is offline
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have you put the last 7 digits of the vin into a BMW VIN decoder to get the list of options the vehicle came with? my 08 touring is actually fully loaded. nothing else was available for that year, that was not optioned on my vehicle. HUD, lane departure, Nav, Logic7, rear headed seats, cold weather package, sport, night vision, rear window shades, 6Fl (USB audio), PDC, stop/go cruise, vented seats.

they do not do Bluetooth audio through the system. you need to get the 6fl option to go through the USB port. if your vehicle does have the 6FL option make sure it works. flooding of the rear spare tire well is a real problem with these vehicles and making sure it is dry back there and all of the modules that are in there work is a must.

i added a camera to mine. not easy. it cost me about $350. $300 for the CCC module and about $50 for the camera and all of the wiring stuff. the good news is the module will then allow you to add other video sources. you can not use the rear lights to power the camera. this is the biggest pain. you need to find a constant source. the vehicle shuts down power to the lights if there is to much draw (which the camera will do). the vehicle is looking for LED lights and when they sense to much power it lowers the power which turns off the camera. i had to run power from up where the video module connects to the Nav. sounds worse than it is because the camera wire came with a power line attached to the video line that was very long.

HTH,

G~
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e61LCI-Sport, Nav, Logic7, Lane Departure, Stop/Go Cruise, Vented seats, F/R heated seats, heated steering wheel, Night vision, HUD, E64 rear sway bar, H&R springs, Boost gauge, JB+, ER Charge Pipe, CSR Rear Spoiler, Backup camera, trailer hitch/wiring.
e39 Mods: Dinan exhaust, Dinan suspension/Camber kit, flappy paddle, backup camera, stereo video playback DSP, MKIV computer, TPM retrofit, Intravee II, Euro armrest, voice recognition, hitch and wiring, 10" SW with amp, lighted int. handles.
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  #11  
Old 12-30-2016, 07:56 AM
fju2112 fju2112 is offline
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Reefin' - thanks so much for this info!

I would probably have a shop do the actual wiring. I'm a train wreck when it comes to stuff like that, having to deal w/ the headliner and threading a wire from the back to the front of the vehicle. That's my understanding as to what would have to happen.

Would adding a module like that, a backup camera module, also allow me to perhaps add a bluetooth audio receiver, to send to the factory speakers? Are there good aftermarket options for this?

If it helps, the last 7 of the VIN are CX01139, and I just ran a decoder on it. Doesn't say it has 6FI USB Audio, doesn't appear to have HUD from the pictures or the listing. Looking at it in a couple hours. The listing is here:

http://www.alphacars.com/web/used/BM...etts/34704367/
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  #12  
Old 12-30-2016, 08:23 AM
toga94m toga94m is offline
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The dealer's listing says it's got the sound package - so either confirm it or make them give you a $400 discount

Quote:
[6FL] IPOD & USB ADAPTER ($400.00)
MP3 Player
Auxiliary Audio Input
Oh - also ask if they know if the waterpump has been replaced yet. At 70k, you're getting close, but it's not certain it would have failed by now. Mine made it to about 120k miles. They listed other maintenance items (like injectors), so that's good.
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Last edited by toga94m; 12-30-2016 at 08:24 AM.
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  #13  
Old 12-30-2016, 08:37 AM
fju2112 fju2112 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toga94m View Post
The dealer's listing says it's got the sound package - so either confirm it or make them give you a $400 discount



Oh - also ask if they know if the waterpump has been replaced yet. At 70k, you're getting close, but it's not certain it would have failed by now. Mine made it to about 120k miles. They listed other maintenance items (like injectors), so that's good.


thank you...heading over there now. Missed the sound package detail, so thanks for that. So, USB audio - I have never used it in another vehicle as I typically use bluetooth right now - will that carry artist/song info to the nav screen interface? Or does it just allow play, pause functions through my cell phone's Google Play music app if I plug my cell phone into the USB port?
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  #14  
Old 12-30-2016, 11:02 AM
fju2112 fju2112 is offline
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I'm at the dealer now. Immaculate car! it does have the USB port. It also has the smokers package ash tray, so would I need to get a converter to charge my phone in the front seat, or rip that out and replace it?

Also what does 90k maintenance typically entail on these vehicles?
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  #15  
Old 12-30-2016, 11:30 AM
Johntee540 Johntee540 is offline
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Location: Reston VA
 
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Mein Auto: '08 e61 535ix LCI
I have 2 2008 e61 LCI 535xi Wagons. One had the Digital Audio input one didn't. For the one with USB Audio input I used the following to get my iPhone to wirelessly stream music to the car (Steering wheel controls and playlists show up)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

For the one that didn't have the USB Digital Music input - I used this solution
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Both work well and I enjoy them both.

In terms of year go for the 2010 that has the upgraded iDrive in it. You will love this wagon.

The other thing that is key to making it an enjoyable drive is to change out the rear swaybar with the Euro M5 e61 Wagon rear sway. It is also the same Swaybar that is on the M6. It increases the size of the sway from 12mm (stock) to 22mm and it improves the handling in a very very drastic way. HTH JT
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  #16  
Old 12-30-2016, 11:39 AM
Johntee540 Johntee540 is offline
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Location: Reston VA
 
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Mein Auto: '08 e61 535ix LCI
Quote:
Originally Posted by srivkin78 View Post
i absolutely love my 2008 535Xi Touring, nice and loaded with Nav, Bluetooth, Logic 7 system. Had it for a couple of months now, it's so comfortable. Much more so than my 2014 328 Diesel XDrive. I had to do the dreaded tail gate wiring project but it wasn't so bad. seems to be a design flaw where the wires end up getting worn out from opening and closing the tail gate and they end up getting cut and the tailgate and lights and lamps stop working.

If you don't know about it...read here,

http://www.snowspire.cz/staticke/E61-kabely.pdf

I don't think you can go wrong IMO
Excellent DIY documentation! Thanks for the fix!. I have saved this off for when I hope I won't need it..... :| JT
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  #17  
Old 12-30-2016, 11:43 AM
Johntee540 Johntee540 is offline
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Location: Reston VA
 
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Mein Auto: '08 e61 535ix LCI
Quote:
Originally Posted by fju2112 View Post
I'm at the dealer now. Immaculate car! it does have the USB port. It also has the smokers package ash tray, so would I need to get a converter to charge my phone in the front seat, or rip that out and replace it?

Also what does 90k maintenance typically entail on these vehicles?
When I bought both of the wagons I immediately did a Trans Fluid / Filter service on both of them. Also did the Transfer Case and Diff Fluids. I was surprised at 70k miles how dirty they all were. BavAuto has what you need to do these items. Also I am reading about the Waterpump and Thermostat needing to be done around 70k miles.

HTH JT
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  #18  
Old 12-30-2016, 06:59 PM
Peter530xit Peter530xit is offline
Peter 530XIT
Location: Spokane, Wa
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 530XIT
I've had my 2006 530XIT for about a year now. My 6th BMW so I'm aware of costs of things. Some are pretty rediculous though. Recently decided to have the valve cover gaskets replaced and of course the shop finds the Eccentric shaft Sensor was leaking oil into the electrical connector. Nearly $500 was added to the bill just for this sensor. I negociated no labor since it was otherwise open and ready to reach. I would normally do this sort of service myself but I'm now at an age where I have to take care of my back, and leaning over the car for several hours in near freezing weather didn't sound appealing.

When I bought it though I changed ALL the fluids of which there are many. Had to buy a couple semi-specialized fairly-inexpensive tools to do it but I did it myself over a few weeks. The serpentine belt is also a major headache saver as its pretty easy to do and prevents potentially rather expensive repairs and down time. I'm about prevention and since I bought my car used, 105K, 10 years old at a decent price its the only way to prevent much bigger bills.
I will say that the car is great to drive, handles well, AWD with studded tires for snow is phenominal. Cargo space of the wagon is fantastic and did you know it was more cargo space than an X5? The climate controls are crap, at least they are on my early 2006 version. Some ergonomics and simple storage space in the front cabin area is also fairly lame than compared to say my wife's 2013 VW GTI.
Choose wisely grasshopper.
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  #19  
Old 12-30-2016, 07:05 PM
fju2112 fju2112 is offline
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Thanks John - good info to know.

So I saw the car today, overall I'm extremely impressed with it. Immaculate shape, they have maintained it and have done some recent work to it (plugs, coils, fuel injectors). They also will add sensors to the rear after I spoke to the owner about potentially adding a rear backup camera. The service manager is not thrilled with the idea of adding an aftermarket camera and hooking it up to the nav, something about the potential for something to be off electrically, but said there are good aftermarket options with a screen that would pop out of where the cigarette lighter is right now (not what I want to do). The idea of the sensors with a visual cue & audio came up and I thought it was a good compromise. This shop is pretty serious about the work they do, so I know they will do it right.

The one hesitation I keep having is over the age, more than the 69K miles. It's an 08, which means it'll be 10 years old within 18 months or less. It's out of warranty. It has been driven lightly, on average, over its life at only about 8K miles per year, and I would keep that pace. I called a local shop that serviced two Benzes I owned and service Benz & BMW exclusively to talk about that model/year/engine...everyone seems to be saying the same thing: the engine overall is solid; the plugs and fuel injectors and coils tend to go and should be done (and that has all been done); watch out for oil leaks.

I'm impressed with it and love it, and the price and payment are right, I just don't want to have headache after headache with costly repairs coming up and then regretting the decision.

I'm sure this isn't new for any of you that have owned an out of warranty car like this so...have at it

Last edited by fju2112; 12-30-2016 at 07:17 PM.
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  #20  
Old 12-30-2016, 07:28 PM
Peter530xit Peter530xit is offline
Peter 530XIT
Location: Spokane, Wa
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 83
Mein Auto: 2006 530XIT
I've had my 2006 530XIT for about a year now. My 6th BMW so I'm aware of costs of things. Some are pretty rediculous though. Recently decided to have the valve cover gaskets replaced and of course the shop finds the Eccentric shaft Sensor was leaking oil into the electrical connector. Nearly $500 was added to the bill just for this sensor. I negociated no labor since it was otherwise open and ready to reach. I would normally do this sort of service myself but I'm now at an age where I have to take care of my back, and leaning over the car for several hours in near freezing weather didn't sound appealing.

When I bought it though I changed ALL the fluids of which there are many. Had to buy a couple semi-specialized fairly-inexpensive tools to do it but I did it myself over a few weeks. The serpentine belt is also a major headache saver as its pretty easy to do and prevents potentially rather expensive repairs and down time. I'm about prevention and since I bought my car used, 105K, 10 years old at a decent price its the only way to prevent much bigger bills.
I will say that the car is great to drive, handles well, AWD with studded tires for snow is phenominal. Cargo space of the wagon is fantastic and did you know it was more cargo space than an X5? The climate controls are crap, at least they are on my early 2006 version. Some ergonomics and simple storage space in the front cabin area is also fairly lame than compared to say my wife's 2013 VW GTI.
Choose wisely grasshopper.
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  #21  
Old 12-30-2016, 07:39 PM
Johntee540 Johntee540 is offline
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Location: Reston VA
 
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Mein Auto: '08 e61 535ix LCI
Quote:
Originally Posted by fju2112 View Post
Thanks John - good info to know.

So I saw the car today, overall I'm extremely impressed with it. Immaculate shape, they have maintained it and have done some recent work to it (plugs, coils, fuel injectors). They also will add sensors to the rear after I spoke to the owner about potentially adding a rear backup camera. The service manager is not thrilled with the idea of adding an aftermarket camera and hooking it up to the nav, something about the potential for something to be off electrically, but said there are good aftermarket options with a screen that would pop out of where the cigarette lighter is right now (not what I want to do). The idea of the sensors with a visual cue & audio came up and I thought it was a good compromise. This shop is pretty serious about the work they do, so I know they will do it right.

The one hesitation I keep having is over the age, more than the 69K miles. It's an 08, which means it'll be 10 years old within 18 months or less. It's out of warranty. It has been driven lightly, on average, over its life at only about 8K miles per year, and I would keep that pace. I called a local shop that serviced two Benzes I owned and service Benz & BMW exclusively to talk about that model/year/engine...everyone seems to be saying the same thing: the engine overall is solid; the plugs and fuel injectors and coils tend to go and should be done (and that has all been done); watch out for oil leaks.

I'm impressed with it and love it, and the price and payment are right, I just don't want to have headache after headache with costly repairs coming up and then regretting the decision.

I'm sure this isn't new for any of you that have owned an out of warranty car like this so...have at it
couple of thoughts. I bought extended warranties for both of my wagons to cover the major cost items like engine Xfer case; Tranny; Water pumps etc are covered. BMW covers the turbos to 100k. My warranty takes me past there to 120k or 3 years.

In terms of the Backup Camera - here is a bunch of guys that have PnP camera solutions that use the OEM iDrive Screen you have. http://www.motivemods.com/ HTH J
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  #22  
Old 12-30-2016, 07:43 PM
Johntee540 Johntee540 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fju2112 View Post
Reefin' - thanks so much for this info!

http://www.alphacars.com/web/used/BM...etts/34704367/
You Bastard! I have been looking at that car for a while now before I just bought my second wagon! that is a nice one!. J
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  #23  
Old 12-31-2016, 04:16 AM
fju2112 fju2112 is offline
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Thank you...So, I don't think I'd be able to get an aftermarket warranty on this one, given the age, but correct me if I'm mistaken.
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  #24  
Old 12-31-2016, 04:28 AM
fju2112 fju2112 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johntee540 View Post
Excellent DIY documentation! Thanks for the fix!. I have saved this off for when I hope I won't need it..... :| JT
See, this is the type of stuff that makes me nervous ***128578;. Years ago, before two kids, I could have invested time to do these fixes, a lot harder now to find the time and to imagine having to do this in winter (not enough garage space to do any work).
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  #25  
Old 12-31-2016, 08:34 AM
Johntee540 Johntee540 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fju2112 View Post
Thank you...So, I don't think I'd be able to get an aftermarket warranty on this one, given the age, but correct me if I'm mistaken.
I bought one of the Wagons this year in Nov from an independent dealer and got an extended warranty for 3 years and 40k miles. Cost around $4k. The other wagon I bought from a BMW dealer and they sold a warranty for 3 years and 30k miles for $4k. I financed the second wagon and added the cost of the warranty to the loan.

My bottom line is that I keep my BMW's a long time. I have had 12 of them. Currently I have an 2000 e39 528iT with 286k miles original engine and tranny; 1999 e39 540iT with 160k miles on it <- replacing timing chain guides on it now will be good for another 150k. And the (2) 2008 e61 Wagons. I am getting ready to cycle out the 2000 528iT. The 540iT is a toy car. and the e61's are our DD.

BMW makes the best 6 engine out there and they will last forever if serviced and maintained. J
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