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Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 10-31-2010, 08:42 PM

    Hard to argue against that

    another point on Asian cars was rust, but that was 20 years ago but that was when the sales damage was done to me
  • 10-31-2010, 06:05 PM

    Re: BMW reliability & Consumers Reports

    I really don't give a flying crap what Consumer Reports or any other rag has to say for that matter. I've owned BMW, MB, VW, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Ford, Chrysler and GM. They all have their issues. I only drive German cars and GM trucks now even though I still REGULARLY wrench on friends and family asian imports. IMHO, asian stuff is crap. Yes, predictable, reliable, etc. to about 100K but crap. After 100K the asian stuff gets expensive to fix and its difficult to work on. That coupled with the fact that they are about as thrilling to drive as a toaster and I will never own one again. Used to be cheap and reliable. That made up for the uninspired "everything else" They are no longer cheap and mostly look like they were styled by an anime artist. Yuck, suck and not on my buck. German autos drive different and if you appreciate that the price is worth it. If not, buy a camry/accord/etc. RT
  • 10-31-2010, 03:01 PM

    Re: Holy Crap what did I start??---Great discourse

    Don't apologize, this has been an interesting discourse. Much more useful that "can I fit 20" wheels"? E39 drivers share a lot of worldly knowledge and work experience. Notice how little discussion is in the E60 forum or the X6 forum. What happened with the latter?
  • 10-31-2010, 01:00 PM

    how about recall on chrysler minivan brakes 08-09

    the fricking brake pad needs replacement because it wears out in 10k miles.

    come on man, sure BMW had a few of these dumb things but for example the X5 window regulator - the whole design is perfect, the smalllittle brittle plastic guide is weak and fools the whole mechanism.

    Its the cost cutting and if you make 1 thing weak, others will fail... BMW should increase the price of the parts and put quality items into the car. In the same time they should pay less for stupid commercials and advertising to cut the cost back. The money they spend on the "JOY" would fix most of these small plastic stuff and there won't be trouble.

    GM being great ? well their intake manifold fails, and as 2011 they can not install a heated windshield washer jets into their trucks. The latest recall on that was that they disconnected the washer jet heaters and gave 100usd to the owners.

    Come on man, my old 1988 750i had heated washer jets !!!! Thats 22 years ago !!! and it worked fine and probably still does. A 2009 Tahoe washer jet is never can be made working ?

    thats bad engineering

    1997 BMW 840CiA
    1990 BMW Z1
    1999 BMW 528iT (Hauler mobile)
    2002 Astro Van AWD
    2003 Nissan 350Z Enthusiast Package
    1987 BMW 535i with 5spd manual (for sale)
    1992 BMW 735iL (needs head and interior)
    1977 BMW 320i (project racecar)
    2007 Mazda CX9 AWD (Wife mobile)
    1998 Yamaha Blaster+Breeze

    1995 850CSI CD00177 (SOLD)
  • 10-31-2010, 12:45 PM

    Holy Crap what did I start??????????? sorry guys

    and gals........
    This is gonna be as bad as the what kind oil is better LOL


    Jan/1998 528i, 5 spd manual, black on black non DSP.>300Kkms(180Kmiles) non-Sport, lowered with KONI FSD & Eibach springs in 2008, added "Bad Road package Adapters" to front only Dec 2009.
    My previous rides worth mentioning:1970 GTO "The Judge",1985 325e M3lite, Euro BMW +
    1998 323Ti, in Munich, Germany on the autobahn for 1 yr
    Now back in Halifax, Nova Scotia,via Ottawa Canada.

  • 10-31-2010, 12:39 AM

    '05 Suburban, 125k, bulletproof, 02 BMW 540, 88k..

    waiting to replace so much stuff (valley pan, VC gaskets, water pump,lots of hoses, control arm bushings) that I just look at the car sitting there because I don't want to do all that work and don't feel that $4,000 worth of repairs will make me feel any better.

    The Susburban is still on it's original front brakes and the only thing done to it has been changing the oil and fluids, rear brakes and spark plugs/O2 sensors at 100k. I am still amazed at what a great vehicle this has been.

    My BMW is beyond fun to drive when all is right, and it has been pretty bulletproof, but the miles are up there to the point that lots of the stuff that goes wrong (prematurely in my opinion) needs to be dealt with, along with normal stuff like spark plugs and O2 sensors. In addition, the Nav unit works only sometimes and is a turd. My Droid works better, but then it is 10 year newer technology.

    Truth be told, I am love both these cars and dread the day I have to replace either. I don't loke the new Suburbans as much as this one, although they have some nice options that were not available on our '05 and I have never seen a nicer looking sedan than the BMW and it is a great driver besides.
    2002 540 6 speed, Steel Blue/Black interior, totally loaded with every option, and now with built in Stealth One/Valentine 1. 18" Staggared Privat wheels. I am loving the power again!

    2003 525iT, Silver/Black, non-sport, 18" Staggered BBS RC wheels. T boned and traded away.

    2000 540 6 speed, Biarritz Blue/Sand, M5 shifter, XM Radio Valentine One/Stealth One hardwired in, 17" style 5 wheels
    Sold but never fogotten.

    2001 525i, stock, sold

  • 10-30-2010, 01:30 PM

    Can't argue with that, it's def an experience. LOL

  • 10-30-2010, 01:18 PM
    Craig in Canada

    Re: Cars are machines, and anything mechanical will...

    Ahhh. This is one of the points I was trying to make earlier....

    You say they "charge a premium". The "premium" is more for the engine, suspension and overall performance of a BMW - not to have better window regulators or pixel grid interconnects than Honda. If you wanted to have every part on the car be superior to everyone else's and still maintain the performance/driver involvement there would be a much higher price premium than what we currently have.

    It sucks to pay more and not have everything be perfect, but it isn't like you got nothing for the extra price you paid. You got the "driving experience", not necessarily the window regulator experience.

  • 10-30-2010, 12:53 PM

    Cars are machines, and anything mechanical will...

    eventually need attention...I understand that.

    What I do have a problem a car company that charges you a premium for there products, and uses sub-standard parts to build it with just to save a couple of bucks here and there, as Filehorse said in his post one that buys these cars is going to complain about a few hundred dollars more if it means better quality parts.

    The last thing I am is a whiner...I've been working on cars all my life, and I take everything this car throws at me in stride...why? Because I enjoy the car! However, when you have this many little annoying issues at 60K miles...that tells me that cheap crap was used when this car was put together, or somebody on the assembly line was in a real bad mood when my car was put together.

    My valve cover gasket started pissing oil out at 51K miles...Come On! I never had stuff like that happen so soon on anything I've ever owned.

    There is just no excuse for this...if the Japanese can build reliable cars for half the cost, there's no reason the Germans can't do it for twice the cost.

  • 10-30-2010, 12:21 PM
    Craig in Canada

    Re: I suspect a lot of our service-life complaints > >

    Let`s not forget, when the E39 came out people said exactly the same things we`re saying about the F10 - looks funny, too complex, too heavy, too big, too complicated, my E28 will be the last BMW I ever own.

    After a couple of years people figure out the `they all do that` problems of the newer models, write DIY documents, and the aftermarket supplies tools and testers that are required.

    Don`t get me wrong, I fear 5ers newer than the E39. If I`m able to get another BMW it`ll probably be a 3 series since they`re almost as big as the E39 and are available with simpler options, parts are a fraction of the cost due to higher volume etc...

    I agree with what you mentioned about space. My E39 is an I6 with few options - sport package, manual trans and the cold weather stuff that`s probably standard in the Canada market. There`s lots of space under the hood to work and access components. No Xenon ballasts, intensive wash containers, PDC, EDC, DSC, EBC, EBB, e-gas, DSP stereo, NAV etc... My dad`s 540 has lots of options (*cough* he doesn`t need and are just there to break *cough*) and it`s tight.

    I`ve also found that service is a lot easier when you actually follow TIS instructions. They may tell you to do what seems like more work (removing shrouds, trim, other components) but the task at hand becomes much, much easier with the proper amount of room to get the job done. When doing DIY we`re often tempted to take shortcuts and not remove or disconnect other components because we`re scared of collateral damage or we want to do less work. My wpump and tstat job was a literal pleasure of simplicity when I removed everything up front beforehand. It saved me time and increased the quality of the job. I pulled the rad just to do a full inspection of it, but left it out for clearance. I put the original 1998 rad back in because nothing seemed wrong with it. Have I mentioned `touch wood` lately... :)

  • 10-30-2010, 11:48 AM

    It's called "Driveway Jewelry" BMW could

    rebadge KIAs, Fords, Chevy's to BMW and add the BMW grill and they would sell everyone they rebadged!! Such is the current BMW leaser, buyer. For the masses it's all about BLING, for the few it's about quality, and the driving experience.

    I have stopped my BMW experience with the E39.

    Yeah the new ones are faster, handle better, and have more gadgets but I am fine with the E39. How fast can you go on todays crowded roads. If I keep this BMW, I plan to restore it to like new (that won't take much at all), and keep it running. Unfortunately I have 10 more years until I can register it as an antique, get better deals on insurance, and not have to have it inspected for emissions.

    Next door neighboor dropped by with a new 5 series and wanted to park it next to the E39 to compare one to the other. He likes the E39 stance, overall profile and body shape. I let him drive the E39. He said it's alot smaller isnt it and said it felt more connected than the new 5 series. He hated the new hood shape and said it steered oddly. He was amazed at how well the E39 had aged. He did like the cupholders better in the new 5.

    Bottom line he did not buy the new 5.

    00 540 Sport 6 speed
  • 10-30-2010, 11:36 AM

    I suspect a lot of our service-life complaints > >

    stem from the high level of complexity and effort (and costs) required to replace seemingly minor components: water pumps, thermostats, rocker cover gaskets, heater hoses, valley pan gaskets, etc., etc. These similar items on cars from our youth were easily accessible and replaced with a few simple tools. The drive to utilize every available cubic inch of volume inside the exterior sheet metal has made access to what "should be" simple replacements incredibly time consuming and tedious - never mind the associated costs. In actuality, the drive train - motor, transmission, differential, etc. is practically bullet-proof given good maintenance. Unfortunately, a lot of the stuff attached to it is not. Too many 'routine' problems are related to the use of synthetics (plastic) under the hood where the heat is a silent killer. The use of so much plastic on the cooling system components must have been driven by the bean counters. Even back in the 60's, most radiators only required simple repair when a rock kicked up from road traffic knocked a hole in it. Don't get me started on plastic impellers for the water pump. An all-metal pump with a better seal and bearing is not going to break the bank and the incremental cost to install a Zionsville-like radiator system would be negligible on the bottom line. Nobody seriously considering a BMW purchase is going to be turned off by a few hundred bucks added to a $40-50K price tag. They're not going to buy that Chevy instead..!!

    Oh, and let's not forget those marvelous plastic headlight adjusters.

    Bottom line: BMW is not building cars for people like us who own, drive and maintain them far, far past the point where depreciation really matters. This seems to have started with the E39 and E46 series which were both high water marks in design but signaled the end of user-friendly maintenance.

    It occurs to me that my E39 will be the last BMW sedan I will ever own. The E60 will never be a viable option and the F10 strikes me as a better looking E60 but with much more complexity beneath the surface which Joe Owner will never be able to troubleshoot or repair. When I replace my 2000 Lexus RX300 I may look for a good X5 but aside from that, I'm going to just enjoy my E39 for another 4-6 years and hope that when it's time for it to go that I'll be too old to care.

    Aside from the foregoing, I have no opinion on this matter.

    Knoxville, TN
    BMWCCA #407627

    2002 525i Steptronic Sport/Premium | Build Date: 05/02
    81,000 Ultimate Driving miles
    Style 81s | Bridgestone Potenza RE960 AS
    Titanium Gray | Gray Leather
    35% LLumar ATR LLumaStar tint
    Valentine 1 | Hardwired
    Steering wheel position memory w/Alzheimers
    "Lifetime" ATF replaced at 40,000; Switched to Valvoline MaxLife @ the 80,000 mile service
    StopTech SportStop slotted rotors w/Axxis Deluxe Advanced pads
    StopTech SS Braided Brake Lines

    2001 E46 325i (Jet Black) Forced Retirement 6/28/09

    2001 E46 325i (Orient Blue) Forced Retirement 10/09

    1989 E30 325i (Alpine White) Retired
  • 10-30-2010, 11:24 AM

    Similar situation but consider...

    You are probably much more meticulous than the normal suburban BMW leaser. Just the fact that you do your own repairs on a 10-year-old car underscores that! Most cars (well, many cars) that are well-treated reward their owner with good service.

    I probably shouldn't complain, either, because my 530i is 9 years old and has not given me much trouble. But I recently spent part of a Saturday replacing the adjusters in the left headlight. That was an example of poor material choice. For me, no VANOS problems yet, but maybe I will buy the replacement seals to keep on hand. Also, my windows, trunk harness, and trunk actuator work fine. And I still have my 29-year-old 320i and an 85-year-old house, so you know I'm a punishment glutton...
  • 10-30-2010, 11:03 AM
    Craig in Canada


  • 10-30-2010, 10:47 AM

    +1...u tell these whiners, Craig! I said it b4...

    but our I6s RULE the freaking roads!

    You other BMW owning apoplectics just get out of the way and let us "road rulers" pass you by while you are sitting there b!tching and wh!ning how your V8s are breaking down in every little way. Yes, my German comrades don't always make the best and/or most efficient design decisions and manufacturing production decisions, but in between our healthy gulps of hefeweisens, eating schnitzel & pulling our lederhosens up, we do a fine job, thank you very much. If you don't like what we do, take your whiney American arses somewhere else and buy a Chrysler (no offense, Mike ;-0) or something.


    P.S. You were right a couple of weeks ago, Craig, Canada sure does make better fans ;-d
  • 10-30-2010, 09:58 AM
    Craig in Canada

    Re: Agree with Vin - not just wear & tear issues,

    An FSU is $100 and from what I can tell the replacements are a superior design that don`t fail again and the repair is such a simple DIY that anyone can do it.

    Honestly, in the overall scheme of things, I could care less about losing an FSU once in the life of a car. The FSU on my dad`s Acura Legend failed too.

    LOTS and LOTS of cars have window regulator problems. Maybe none of the ones that you`ve personally owned, but people make their livings rebuilding window regulators for all kinds of brands that fail all the time. I don`t know why it`s such an issue - they aren`t complicated. On my car I`ve only actually broken one of the rear regulators. I used a repair kit (a couple of dollars) to fix and reinforce it acceptably. I`ve also serviced the other rear regulator. I use the front windows all the time and, touch wood, they`re fine and the car is 13 years old.

    My list of honest repairs over the last 10 years (as opposed to maintenance (brakes, battery, fluids, fuel filter, plugs), PM (wpump, tstat, belts, e-tank discoloured) and `restoration` (shocks, bushings, mounts, VANOS seals)) is fairly short:

    - trunk wiring harness (a repeat offender - annually)
    - trunk actuator
    - FSU
    - I just broke a cup holder for the first time last week
    - passenger seat occupancy sensor
    - camshaft position sensor
    - thermostat housing (slow leak - no explosion)
    - main fan clutch (worked but got noisy)
    - I have an intermittently squeaking fuel tank leak detection pump I am looking into now - no codes, no stranding, just a squeak every six weeks
    - aux fan motor body corroded due to junk stuck behind it and it dropped a magnet
    - Very early in ownership I had some TSB-covered warranty work - upgrade to an ultrasonic motion sensor, replace the MID due to software bug, replace the seat memory controller due to a bug

    - I think my clutch is on its last legs, hopefully not my DMF, my guibo might be split, and it might be time for springs. All of these parts are not expected to last forever.

    *touch wood* I am quite satisfied with the repair level of my E39. In terms of some of the other PM and restoration - they weren`t vital but I`m trying to keep a `similar to new` BMW experience going here instead of the minimum required to stay on the road and pass inspections. I`m at a point where expensive stuff is near (like the clutch) but it`s still cheaper than a newer car of similar heritage and driving experience.

    So you won`t see me complaining in these forums about how unreliable my E39 is. Of course, I have an I6...
  • 10-29-2010, 11:42 PM

    Agree with Vin - not just wear & tear issues,

    I agree with Vin. Sure a BMW may be a higher performance car than many others on the road, but we are not talking about the engine or suspension. Broken window guides and motors, pixels that fail at a young age, a fan control unit? These are (now) low-tech items that even on inexpensive cars tend to work for years. To me it looks like engineering blunders or poor materials selection in certain components. Seemingly minor irritations like these turn off customers. BMW may feel their wealthy lease customers won't care, but if resale values drop, leases will become more expensive. Also, the aging driver population, especially the group with the means to lease/buy a BMW, does not want irritation in their driving experience; they want the blasted machine to work.
  • 10-29-2010, 05:07 PM

    Much better than the Sable. S80 is a bigger car (m

    Pretty sure it on a different platform, but I could be wrong.
    The 2000 and earlier 850, S60, V70 etc were P1 chassis cars.
    2001 and up were P2's, not sure what they called the S80's, however a friend had an S80 that he dumped for a used Crown Vic, the S80 repair bills were about the same as his loan payments.
    Wish I knew more about these cars, but if they don't break I don't need to fix them.
  • 10-29-2010, 01:01 PM

    Every car will have it's wear & tear issues, and..

    I have no problem with that...what I do have a problem with, is the little annoying issues that go wrong...that there's no excuse for!

    Before my E39, I had a Lexus GS (granted, it's not a BMW...but it's not a Corolla either) and when I parted with her at 130K miles, the only thing that ever went wrong with the car was 1 (original) O2 sensor triggered the CEL.

    With that car, I never had to deal with water leaking into 3 of my 4 doors because of vapor barriers coming unsealed (resealed the 4th one just cause I figured it was only a matter of time), never had enough water leaking into my trunk through tail light seals to start an aquarium in my spare tire well, didn't have the blower take on a mind of it's own because of a bad FSU, no bad window regulators, MAF sensor, or control arms needed, and just because I was beginning to feel left out...I am now part of the dead pixel club as my MID is losing them one by one (only reason I'm not dealing with dead pixels in the odometer is because the PO had that replaced under warranty in the 2nd year of the cars life), didn't have wheels rotting under the clear coat due to a manufacturing defect...which they acknowledge, but won't do anything about...and this is only a partial list, I could go on.

    Oh, and By the way, I only have 60K miles on the compared to 130K on the GS, and after didn't feel old and creaky.

    But I shouldn't complain...this is all part of the experience and privilege of BMW ownership, right?...LOL.

  • 10-29-2010, 12:51 PM

    I thought V70 was built on S80?

    Still, they can't be THAT horrible. I can't tolerate the intrusive head restraints on Volvo's, though. Shoves my head forward. Affects my beehive. Must be much better than the Sable.
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