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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 07-30-2012, 09:32 PM
zachary.ervin zachary.ervin is offline
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Location: Louisville, KY
 
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Which e60 is the most reliable (525, 528, 530, etc)

Looking to buy a 2004 or 2005 5 series. Just wanted to get some opinions from owners of different 5s to see what the common problems. I have a 2003 745li and needless to say it has been in the shop 5 times in 8 months. Would like to get 04 or 05 e60 with 80-120k miles on it, which do you guys suggest.
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2012, 11:16 PM
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2chill 2chill is offline
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To answer your thread title, the 528 is by far the most reliable. However there is no 528 in 2004 or 2005 so your choices are 525 and 530. I would skip the 2004. First year models are always the worst. If you take a 2005, you may want to go with the 530. Reliabilty between the two are about the same but more ponies in the 530 make it the better ride.
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2012, 09:03 AM
jsimon7777 jsimon7777 is offline
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Get a Honda! Yeah, I think the order of reliability is approximately 528i, 525i, 530i, 550i, 545i, then 535i. The 7-series is overall one of the least-reliable cars I know of. All those electrical toys have a habit of breaking. That's why you can pick up a used 7-series for about the price of a same-year 5-series, despite the original higher price of the 7. Plus the extra weight shortens the life of the engine and transmission.
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2012, 09:10 AM
racooper3 racooper3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachary.ervin View Post
...Would like to get 04 or 05 e60 with 80-120k miles on it, which do you guys suggest.
Why settle on 04/05 e60 with that high of miles. I looked high and low and found an 05 with only 47K miles on it. Got a good price for it too. Keep in mind you will likely be replacing lots of rubber seals/gaskets if it was driven in high heat area of the country. I don't have the miles, but the years have taken toll on many of the seals. Good Luck with your search.
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2012, 09:47 AM
zachary.ervin zachary.ervin is offline
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Ok good to know guys. I will definitely start looking for a 530. I guess I will never find a newer beamer that is as dependable as my dads 97 e39. He has 268,000 miles on the clock and it is still going, he has never done anything to it other than a rack and pinion, and oil changes. He bought the car with 54,000 miles on it.

I prefer one with higher miles to keep the price down. I'm paying cash for the car and I don't plan on driving it everyday so I will settle for one with more miles. I have gotten used to the maintenance costs associated with the 7 so anything has got to be better than that. I want to get a 5th gen 7 series but I will have to wait a couple years until we pay my wifes car, until then I will settle for an older 5.
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  #6  
Old 07-31-2012, 09:50 AM
zachary.ervin zachary.ervin is offline
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Also, I was talking to mechanic at the Indy I go to, and he told me that the 04's are better than any of them as far as engines go. I don't know exactly what he meant by that, he never mentioned the electronics but I would imagine the newer ones had more improvements electronically. I told him what I was looking for, and he suggested getting an 04.
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2012, 10:16 AM
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He suggested an '04 because it will keep him busier, and richer from your wallet!
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2012, 10:36 AM
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burnie35 burnie35 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2chill View Post
He suggested an '04 because it will keep him busier, and richer from your wallet!
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Oh ye of little faith!
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  #9  
Old 07-31-2012, 09:33 PM
yrusrace yrusrace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachary.ervin View Post
Looking to buy a 2004 or 2005 5 series. Just wanted to get some opinions from owners of different 5s to see what the common problems. I have a 2003 745li and needless to say it has been in the shop 5 times in 8 months. Would like to get 04 or 05 e60 with 80-120k miles on it, which do you guys suggest.
I'd spend little more and def go with 2008 and above. IMO 2008 528i was the best.
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  #10  
Old 07-31-2012, 09:37 PM
yrusrace yrusrace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2chill View Post
He suggested an '04 because it will keep him busier, and richer from your wallet!
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
LOL Absolutely right there you Sir!! and yes you mechanic is telling you this becuase....well, we all know the truth. IMO get 08 or newer. Older ones, especially, 04 05 06 had the water leak issues in the trunk and modules going bad along with other electronics.
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  #11  
Old 07-31-2012, 10:49 PM
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2chill 2chill is offline
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You guys are funny. I love the way you tell him to just get an '08 or newer. Hell, why doesn't he just spring for an F10, lol! In all seriousness, I would assume the OP stated '04 or '05 because he's working with a budget. I've heard way to many complaints about the '04's from engine leaks to bad electronics. You are right, there are bugs in the 05's and 06's also, but those years would more than likely be less problematic than an '04.
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2012, 07:34 AM
luigi524td luigi524td is offline
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I recommend a normally aspirated (no turbo), manual transmission e60, 2005 or newer. Because most people will want an auto, 6 spd manuals can be very inexpensive to buy and fun to drive. That said, they can be hard to hunt down!
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2012, 09:29 AM
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phlfly phlfly is offline
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I think 06 or even 07 and up are more reliable. But remember Idive is PITA and has a lot problem anything below 08
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2012, 04:10 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racooper3 View Post
Why settle on 04/05 e60 with that high of miles. I looked high and low and found an 05 with only 47K miles on it. Got a good price for it too. Keep in mind you will likely be replacing lots of rubber seals/gaskets if it was driven in high heat area of the country. I don't have the miles, but the years have taken toll on many of the seals. Good Luck with your search.
High heat part of the country? I might agree with rubber seals, although I lived in Chicago in the early 1980's when the air temperature (not wind chill) reached -27F. That was a lot harder on door seals, hoses and belts than 115F in Phoenix. UV is the killer in Phoenix for plastic, rubber and paint. I garage my cars and keep the Gummi-Pflege and 303 Aerospace Protectant flowing liberally!

RE Gaskets - Once the engine has reached operating temperature, it is designed to run at around 105C (roughly 220F). An engine gasket at that point doesn't know the difference between an ambient temperature of 60F or 115F. In a cooler ambient the cooling fan may run less often and the thermostat may take longer to open initially, but a properly operating cooling system will keep the engine at around 105C.

The two real killers of gaskets and seals are long engine oil drain intervals, and allowing the car (in any ambient temperature) to overheat.

Follow BMW's 15K plan for oil changes and you are headed for disaster! Gasoline and other contaminants accumulate in the oil and the oil becomes acidic, breaking down gaskets. Sludge can also build as the oil runs out of additives required to keep contaminants suspended.

Overheat the engine and the aluminum components over-expand, breaking gasket seals.

Change your oil every 5-6K miles and keep your coolant system in tip-top shape and you will have a happy engine and receive long service.
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2012, 06:08 PM
Clarkbb704 Clarkbb704 is offline
04 545i
Location: Boone, NC
 
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I have an 04 545i with 105k, (bought at 70k), and have had no issues other than wiring issues to the angel eyes.(knock on wood). It all depends on the cars history, its hard to find one from a reliable first owner but thats what you need to focus on.
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  #16  
Old 08-01-2012, 06:11 PM
Clarkbb704 Clarkbb704 is offline
04 545i
Location: Boone, NC
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luigi524td View Post
I recommend a normally aspirated (no turbo), manual transmission e60, 2005 or newer. Because most people will want an auto, 6 spd manuals can be very inexpensive to buy and fun to drive. That said, they can be hard to hunt down!
I dont know about inexpensive, but hard to find, yes. I wanted a manual 6 so bad but had to settle with an automatic because of my budget. Every manual I drove was either dogged out or too expensive. However, manual trannys tend to be more reliable.
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  #17  
Old 08-01-2012, 06:51 PM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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If it was me, I would try to land a 2007 530i with 6MT, next, a 2006 530 with same.
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