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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 10-25-2013, 06:11 AM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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So You Just Bought an E60

November 22, 2014: Attached is Version 2.6 of "So You Just Bought an E60". Note that new items (but not typos and so forth) will be highlighted in grey in new editions.

What's new: A post for those who want to buy a cheap but high mileage E60.

Please comment if you have additional ideas.

Goal is to summarize all the issues and comments for the new, less experienced E60 owners or potential buyers who are showing up.

Work in process, and it will get additions/changes. Edited versions will always appear in this message.

Thanks to Jgalon, legend700, HL, schpenxel, pcy, bmwoem1, cvshaw, gangplank and 850Csi for their contributions and suggestions. Since the downloads count resets for each new edition, there's been about 8700 up through V 2.5. Seems to be helping someone out there...

Thanks.

PS: PLEASE post only suggestions for edits or improvements in this thread. "How do I fix this" questions must go in their own or other's threads, not this one. Sorry, I can't respond to specific repair questions in this thread. Thanks.
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File Type: pdf So You Just Bought an E60 (V2.6).pdf (542.3 KB, 680 views)
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Last edited by banglenot; 11-28-2014 at 06:58 PM. Reason: New version
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2013, 06:45 AM
jgalon04 jgalon04 is offline
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Great idea sir! I'll plan to dive into it later today.
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2013, 06:47 AM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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Thanks!

Please comment. Note that I'm updating it as I get comments, so check the release level.
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2013, 06:49 AM
jgalon04 jgalon04 is offline
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As I go through it, I'll make comments on the actual PDF. I won't have much to add as far as actual content since I don't own one... yet, but I'll give recommendations based on what I would want as a prospective buyer/new owner.
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2013, 07:13 AM
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banglenot:
Thanks for doing this.
Just skimmed through your PDF and find it very informative with good advice.
The "Codes" section mentions the BMWhat app. for iPhone and iPad, but is also available for Android.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:23 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Nice--Got your PM, will write up some additions at some point, just been super busy lately
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2013, 07:40 AM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legend700 View Post
banglenot:
Thanks for doing this.
Just skimmed through your PDF and find it very informative with good advice.
The "Codes" section mentions the BMWhat app. for iPhone and iPad, but is also available for Android.
Thanks. Will make the edit.
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2013, 08:32 AM
Bimmer1022 Bimmer1022 is offline
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Thanks for the post. Great to know what will need to be replaced or fixed in the future. Had a question though, on the items to fix "going forward", a lot of them seem like they need to be fixed or replaced around the 60k mark, so would that also mean it would need to be fixed or replaced again around the 120k mark? Cause I'm planning on driving mine till the wheels fall off
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2013, 08:53 AM
jgalon04 jgalon04 is offline
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Looks great.

Here's my couple suggestions:

1. Consider linking the wiki page on the actual document.
2. We should ask everyone to put the three criteria in their sigs (model, manufactured date, engine)
3. Do we have step by steps for each of the processes for the maintenance floating around? If we do, we should link those too.

If you created this in word, I can make the hyper link edits.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:06 AM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer1022 View Post
Thanks for the post. Great to know what will need to be replaced or fixed in the future. Had a question though, on the items to fix "going forward", a lot of them seem like they need to be fixed or replaced around the 60k mark, so would that also mean it would need to be fixed or replaced again around the 120k mark? Cause I'm planning on driving mine till the wheels fall off
60K is fairly arbitrary as a midpoint to what we're seeing as used cars here. Figuring 10K per year, a 07 (the midpoint of 04-10 production) will have 60K by now.

Others will have more or less. Figuring 50-70 as the range that these need ZF fluid replaced, and the bushing in the upper control arms begin to go, and plugs need to be replaced -- seems like a reasonable assumption for both age/mileage and initial wearing out of some longer term items.

If you keep it for another 60K, the assumption is that you'll get to know it well and will change the fluids regularly while not beating on it. Brakes, shocks and some steering gear will wear out.

If maintained, the ZF could last awhile with perhaps only another pan/fluid change -- but a set of actuators could be needed as well.

Higher probability of water pump and thermostat replacement. Possible alternator, since there are internal wear parts in that unit.

Higher probability of vacuum-related problems, since the vacuum lines were known to be brittle due to heat.

Figure coolant hoses around 120-130K. Possible fuel filter replacement.

That's why these cars want DIY later in life, rather than becoming dealer queens.

All in, figure $1K/year maintenance, less if you DIY, more if you Indy, lots more if you Dealer it.
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Last edited by banglenot; 12-21-2013 at 10:59 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2013, 09:07 AM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgalon04 View Post
Looks great.

Here's my couple suggestions:

1. Consider linking the wiki page on the actual document.
2. We should ask everyone to put the three criteria in their sigs (model, manufactured date, engine)
3. Do we have step by steps for each of the processes for the maintenance floating around? If we do, we should link those too.

If you created this in word, I can make the hyper link edits.
JG, pm me with your email address and I'll forward the word doc to you. Suggest all hyperlinks go into a last-page footnote list, to make them easy to fix over time. I'll add links to the Bav Auto vids, as well.
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Last edited by banglenot; 10-25-2013 at 09:12 AM.
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2013, 08:34 AM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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V 1.4 Uploaded.
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  #13  
Old 10-26-2013, 10:22 AM
pcy pcy is offline
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Thanks for compiling this.

Please add a section something like "I bought E60, I want to add more HP". Some engines will produce more HP without spending a whole lot of money while others aren't that easy/impractical. M54 engine vs. N52 from HP upgrade perspective, etc...
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  #14  
Old 10-26-2013, 11:21 AM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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Thanks for compiling this.

Please add a section something like "I bought E60, I want to add more HP". Some engines will produce more HP without spending a whole lot of money while others aren't that easy/impractical. M54 engine vs. N52 from HP upgrade perspective, etc...
I'd like to, but don't know much about it. Feel like donating a paragraph or two?
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  #15  
Old 10-26-2013, 01:55 PM
Hypnos Hypnos is offline
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As a new E60 owner, thank you very much for this guide. One big benefit of buying a used enthusiast vehicle is tapping into all this collective wisdom; I already had my bacon saved on the sunroof drain plugs.
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  #16  
Old 10-27-2013, 05:25 AM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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Originally Posted by Hypnos View Post
As a new E60 owner, thank you very much for this guide. One big benefit of buying a used enthusiast vehicle is tapping into all this collective wisdom; I already had my bacon saved on the sunroof drain plugs.

Thanks. Good one to add to the doc.
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  #17  
Old 10-27-2013, 11:18 AM
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If I have to identify single area where lots of problems seem to be coming from... that would be crankcase ventilation system and oil separator. Malfunctioning CCV and/or oil separator can cause lots of problems. I would just add that to preventive maintenance section. That's what I did on my N52 engine. Just replaced the oil separator and related hoses while I had the manifold off for replacing the starter.
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  #18  
Old 10-27-2013, 05:55 PM
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Wonderful job! Very informative. Must become sticky!
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:30 PM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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Wonderful job! Very informative. Must become sticky!
Thanks! Always glad to add sections (535 anyone?) where I don't have much experience. Full credit for additions---
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  #20  
Old 10-29-2013, 12:28 AM
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Greetings everyone, this is actually my first post and I wanted to add a thing or two that I ran into so far. I have owned my 2010 535i x for about 5 months now and had a bunch of problems that I'm amazed it had when I bought it. I think the previous owner(lease) beat it to hell. I bought it with 85k miles. I found a cracked valve cover between cylinder 2+3, according to the dealer a couple of cracked vacuum lines and a bad injector that resulted in all injectors having to be changed.

When I had the valve cover off I was amazed at the amount of debris, such as dried, caked oil inside the engine. It wasnt as clean as I expected it to be. I had a 00 mercedes e320 that I did the valve cover gasket on and the engine was emmaculate compared to my 4 yr old 535i. Hopefully with a couple of more frequent oil changes the gunk will get cleaned out. I also read changing the oil filter inbetween changes is a good idea.
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  #21  
Old 10-29-2013, 05:59 AM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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Originally Posted by ramses718 View Post
Greetings everyone, this is actually my first post and I wanted to add a thing or two that I ran into so far. I have owned my 2010 535i x for about 5 months now and had a bunch of problems that I'm amazed it had when I bought it. I think the previous owner(lease) beat it to hell. I bought it with 85k miles. I found a cracked valve cover between cylinder 2+3, according to the dealer a couple of cracked vacuum lines and a bad injector that resulted in all injectors having to be changed.

When I had the valve cover off I was amazed at the amount of debris, such as dried, caked oil inside the engine. It wasnt as clean as I expected it to be. I had a 00 mercedes e320 that I did the valve cover gasket on and the engine was emmaculate compared to my 4 yr old 535i. Hopefully with a couple of more frequent oil changes the gunk will get cleaned out. I also read changing the oil filter inbetween changes is a good idea.
Interesting. Any pics?
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  #22  
Old 10-29-2013, 11:50 AM
ramses718 ramses718 is offline
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Yeah, I'll get them up later from my computer. In addition, I kind of feel like an idiot for not just throwing some jb weld on it instead of spending over 1000 dollars to get it replaced.
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  #23  
Old 10-29-2013, 12:10 PM
ramses718 ramses718 is offline
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I kind of wish I took better pics. I kept the old valve cover though.
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  #24  
Old 10-29-2013, 12:12 PM
ramses718 ramses718 is offline
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By the way, the oil looks black. That was just after an oil change, probably around a couple hundred miles or so, not 1000. Thanks for nothing BMW extended service.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:11 AM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramses718 View Post
I kind of wish I took better pics. I kept the old valve cover though.
Perhaps it's the pics, but the top end looks pretty good. Some look awful, with condensed gunk stuck to many surfaces. This looks about the same color as others I've seen, with a coating of slightly discolored but certainly fluid oil throughout. There's oil around the plug holes, but that's not unusual either. Since the dealer had the cover off, I assume he replaced the gaskets with new ones.

Agree that a couple of oil changes should illuminate matters.
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