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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 08-30-2015, 01:14 AM
J-Flo J-Flo is offline
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2004 530i vs 545i

Hi guys, new member here!

I'm looking to buy my first used 5 series, and after inspecting/driving quite a few, I'm down to 2 vehicles. 2004 545i with 180k kms (110k mi) and a 2004 530i with 130k kms (80k mi). Both in immaculate condition inside and out, both with a full service history by bmw dealers.

Putting the power/mileage issues to the side, is there anything else that I need to consider when making this decision? Keep in mind I will be using it for commuting about 30kms (20mi) each way to work, and the occasional long weekend drive!

One question I have, that I haven't been able to find an answer for is, as soon as the 545i started up, the engine was very noisy (sounded like it was sucking in air) for about 30 seconds, and then dropped back to a regular idle. Is this a normal thing for these v8's, or could it be an issue?

I look forward to your responses, and becoming a regular member of this forum!
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2015, 07:40 AM
Hypnos Hypnos is offline
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Have you read the maintenance sticky?

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=731460
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  #3  
Old 08-30-2015, 08:12 AM
ETNSandman ETNSandman is offline
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I'd go 545i but I may be partial. The additional power and the ability to still get decent highway gas mileage is a win win. Once you get a taste for the power though your city mpg will settle in around 16 unless you seriously baby it..

The noise you hear is probably the secondary air system which runs on start up for about 2 minutes. I hear it but don't find it particularly loud but maybe the pump has an issue. The pre sale inspection would definitely cover that system though.
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  #4  
Old 08-30-2015, 10:48 AM
H F H F is offline
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Take them both for a test drive the same day back to back , then decide . More than once if needed to get a feel difference . You will notice the 545 to be in my opinion more fun to drive due to the horse power and pull of the torque difference .

If you are handy with a wrench and can DIY repairs . Go with the 545 because it has two issues than can break your wallet if you dont wrench it your self . For example the coolant pipe and the alternator bracket gasket parts are under 500 bucks , if you DIY that's all both repairs cost. A shop will charge you over three grand and a dealer is much more . But even though it has those two issues it's not a deal breaker in my opinion. Cause the trade off is a great driving experience ,especially in the canyons in low gears and reving high torque in and out of turns is where the G spot is on this car .

But if your not a DIY'er ,, then I would go for the 530 as it is less trouble some and doesn't have those type of repairs as the 545 .And the 530 ,, I reckon it would be a better daily driver . But just not as fun IMO , even though it's a great car as well to be fair ...
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Last edited by H F; 08-30-2015 at 10:56 AM.
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2015, 10:57 AM
ETNSandman ETNSandman is offline
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Well said, I would never have bought my 545 if i wasn't able to wrench on it myself. Mine will rarely to ever be looked at by anyone other than myself.

530 is still a great car with good handling, but the V8 dropped into DS and shifted manually puts such a smile on my face. I also wouldn't really consider a non-sport 5 series.
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2015, 03:02 PM
J-Flo J-Flo is offline
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Thanks for the replies guys,

I did read through the entire sticky, compliments to whoever put that together!

Look, I am relatively handy with a wrench, I believe I would be just above average. But never owning a bmw before , I would be a bit nervous working on the German masterpiece, but that's something I could get used to.

I am leaning toward the 545, based on pure enjoyment, there would be more smiles per mile than there would be in the 530. But the v8 having 110k miles, how much longer until things start to 'fall apart'?

The 530 seems like the sensible option, but I believe I would regret not buying the v8 if I took that sensible option.
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2015, 03:29 PM
ETNSandman ETNSandman is offline
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There are some DIY's, videos and helpful folks on here and other forums. In the end it's a car, you may need a tool or two but over all it's very straight forward. I had the intake manifold off of mine in less than two hours. Played and paused my iPad through the many steps, especially all the electrical steps required. This is my first german car too. 545 or 530 you are still buying a somewhat complicated car. I have an Air Force electronics background so I approach the car as a complete system. I like learning how this bad boy works.

I sold an Accord to get the BMW. I knew it would require more attention but I wanted something with more soul and smiles. I love my 545 and accept its needs and it accepts my right for.
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2015, 04:05 PM
H F H F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Flo View Post
Thanks for the replies guys,

I did read through the entire sticky, compliments to whoever put that together!

Look, I am relatively handy with a wrench, I believe I would be just above average. But never owning a bmw before , I would be a bit nervous working on the German masterpiece, but that's something I could get used to.

I am leaning toward the 545, based on pure enjoyment, there would be more smiles per mile than there would be in the 530. But the v8 having 110k miles, how much longer until things start to 'fall apart'?

The 530 seems like the sensible option, but I believe I would regret not buying the v8 if I took that sensible option.
The engine internals are rock solid and has won engine of the year awards . Any car that is not well maintained will fall apart . I'm at about 110 now , and not worried about it at all .

Besides those two items the valve stem guide seals are something to think about as most v8 will encounter that issue .. But it is a DIY project and there's lots of info here on it . The secondary air system is another thing u need to know they get clogged with carbon and need to be cleaned out . I have 't experienced that yet . But I'm srtictly running chevron , hoping that will make a difference .

But there you have it , that's what your getting into if you decide on the 545 .. The 550's don't have a secondary air system , so that might be a better choice , but they still have all the n62 issues that I've mentioned .
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Last edited by H F; 08-30-2015 at 04:12 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2015, 04:09 PM
ETNSandman ETNSandman is offline
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It's so nice to drive....do it. The V8 will have you smiling daily, even at the gas pump, even when your wrenching on it. You only live once.
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2015, 04:16 PM
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banglenot banglenot is offline
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The 530 will be painless (I have one) and a great car to own. Also, the 2004 uses the M54 engine, about as tried-and-true as any BMW ever made.

The 545 will have a couple of difficult items (the valve guide seals are the big one, IMHO, since you have to be pretty confident and rent the right tools to DIY) -- but the smiles are certainly bigger on the 545.

The other item is the 30K less miles on the 530; but a well maintained BMW can do 200K.

So, after you get a pro inspection done and have all the facts, do what makes you happy. Good luck.
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Last edited by banglenot; 08-30-2015 at 04:18 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-01-2015, 04:35 PM
Tom Tom Tom Tom is offline
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Mein Auto: 530i and 535d e60
I do have a 530i 2006 m sport
Full tank in the city normal driving
it does 265 miles
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  #12  
Old 09-01-2015, 05:36 PM
ETNSandman ETNSandman is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i
2004 530i vs 545i

Really. I figured the 6 cylinder would do better. I'd get the V8 for sure then. It seriously screams when you want it too, but behaves so smooth and comfortable. Such a great road trip car as well with 28-30 mpg depending on your behavior. I have cruised at 90+ and gotten 28 mpg across lots of Ohio.

I may have a car crush. Love my black beauty.
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Last edited by ETNSandman; 09-01-2015 at 05:44 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2015, 06:05 PM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 E60 530XI
I drive daily, 50/50 city/highway. I go 140 km/h when I'm cruising but usually traffic is slower. I almost always drive spiritedly. Summer i average 10.4 L/100km (23mpg), winter 11.2 (21mpg). 2007 530xi (n52).

All i have to say is: i should have bought a v8.

Last edited by Kurt_; 09-01-2015 at 06:06 PM.
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  #14  
Old Yesterday, 03:22 AM
Tom Tom Tom Tom is offline
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Mein Auto: 530i and 535d e60
Look since 1998 i had over 10 BMWs 3 series and i never spend it big money on maintaining those cars

Back in 2010 I bought my first 5 series a 535d twin turbo when i boughted it had 28k on the clock and boy I was impressed with speed and power torque i still have it as I don't drive it much
Then back in April this year i bought my 530i

The car wasn't in bad shape
I did service the car my self bought all the parts from BMW stealership
I did replace both rubber sealer in coolant for oil and water which you find it above the alternator (that's common fault ) I changed the belt including both belt tensioners i replaced 3 broken aluminium screws on the engine cover
I serviced the gearbox "recommended" to do it
I done the front break pads and the coolant (water) service
Since then I never had any issues until yesterday when the electric water pump has gone i read on forum and it seems to be a common fault on all BMWs regardless to age and mileage

This is my experience so far on the e60s

Last edited by Tom Tom; Yesterday at 03:24 AM.
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