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BMW 5-Series reliability - how does it compare?

Old 07-28-2007, 05:16 PM
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pm sent mr grinche
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Old 07-29-2007, 04:19 AM
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In general, people overestimate the differences in reliability between cars. Even the least reliable cars appear to average about two successful repair trips per year. Some individual cars are of course much worse, but some also have no problems at all.

Just trying to get better, clearer data on the subject.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:06 AM
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I have had my 2005 E60 530d for just over two years now and it has been very fickle. Ratlles, groaning door rubbers, failed engine mounting, rusting rotors & caliper clips, sun roof failure, two indicator stalks (due to rattles of the BC switches at the end), Rattiling comfort seat headrest etc.

All in all more than 20 visits back to the dealer excluding normal services. Compared to other cars I have owned this has been a nightmare. Fortunately all covered by 5 year 100'000km Motorplan of BMW SA. If it did not drive as well as it did, I would have got rid of it already. I am not sure if I will buy a BMW again...
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:46 AM
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I've started collecting data on the 2008. The 535 seems to be attracting a lot of customers. Will need more participants before I'm able to provide results, though.

The 2007 is now over halfway to the minimum needed to get started, and the 2004 is nearly halfway. The surveys are very short, one page if there's a repair, just an approximate odometer reading four times a year otherwise, so I hope more owners will decide to help out.

For the details, and to sign up:

Vehicle reliability research
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:10 AM
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Updated results in November. Not enough participants for the 2008 to include it yet, but maybe in February. Depends on how many owners sign up and participate.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mkaresh' post='482237' date='Oct 16 2007, 08:10 AM
Updated results in November. Not enough participants for the 2008 to include it yet, but maybe in February. Depends on how many owners sign up and participate.

Count me in - once it's arrived. I have to admit that since I ordered my '08 535i on 10/05/07 and have pretty much lived on this forum since then, I am a bit alarmed at all the "gremlins" these cars seem to have....based on what I have been learning to date: 1) the E60 is one heck of a "driver's car (which is why I bought it and got the 6 spd manual), 2) It is very technologically advanced (almost too much, "Comfort Stop", CDV, etc. many things I wish it didn't come with) and, 3) the technology tends to require a lot of upkeep (i.e., you better get to know your dealer pretty well). While the service/maintenance visits are free (mostly) I would opt for a more reliable vehicle that I don't have to mess around with taking to a dealer. I'm very busy at work and travel a lot and don't have the time to be wasting at my dealer getting things fixed - even if there is no cost. I perform all of my own routine maintenance on my vehicles and have it down to a science...I can "service" my other vehicles in about 2 hours once every 4 to 6 months on a weekend and that's about all the time I want to invest. I'm very excited about getting my new BMW and hope that I have good luck with it or I'm afraid I won't have it very long.

I frequent several auto forums for my various vehicles (Shelby GT500, F-150 SCREW 4x4, CBR1000RR) and while there are issues with all vehicles - the E60 seems to have more than it's fair share (especially considering the price). I also realize that these forums typically attract the enthusiasts and we tend to be a bit (did I say "a bit" we are WAY more critical) of our vehicles than the average owner, and of course, you don't hear from those folks with no issues...still there seems to be a fair amount of "gremlins" over here. For instance, my '05 F-150 Lariat 4x4 finally went into the shop yesterday after 2.5 years of ownership and 26K miles for a broken window regular which caused the window to not roll back up...Ford covered it under warranty and I must admit, that's the kind of frequency I would like to see my dealer...I know I'm being paranoid...but I really wish the E60's had an oil dipstick...I check my oil level from time to time just for peace of mind and am not overly comfortable to be relying on electronics to do that for me. Anyway, I think the E60 is a fantastic "driver's car" and am VERY excited for mine to arrive. I hope that I will be able to report to you that I have had no issues at all with my '08 535
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:53 AM
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Thanks for your help with the research, I appreciate it.

Once I'm able to start providing results for the E60, the actual repair rates will probably be lower than most people expect them to be. Even with a "worse than average" car these days, the repair rate usually averages one repair trip per year. This is why I post the actual repair rates--because dots obscure this fact.

My current stat looks at the number of repair trips rather than the number of repairs. This largely compensates for varying levels of pickiness (pickyness?). People who nitpick tend to report more issues per repair trip rather than more repair trips.

Up to 17 2008s, and getting closer to starting data collection for other years.

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Old 12-07-2007, 04:38 AM
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Now 19 2008s, and 151 total for all model years. These numbers aren't where they need to be, but they're getting there, thanks guys.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:45 AM
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Now 21 2008s, and 156 for all years. The 5 is unlikely to be in the February results, but May remains easily doable if a few more people sign and up participate.

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Old 01-03-2008, 07:48 PM
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With all the BMWs I have owned over the years there are a two things I have learned.

1. Avoid (if possible) the first two years that a BMW model is out.

2. A good dealer will make or break the experience.

That said, my BMW experience has been more solid than the Toyota's or Mazda's that have been in the family. The one BMW I had repeated problems with (a 1989 535i E34) had the misfortune of being within the two years of the model and I had only one horrible dealer within 100 miles of where I lived at the time. Once I moved far away I had all my previous issues fixed with one trip to a good dealer in MD. The other less than two model year BMW was an E53 that had minor issues that were all resolved on the first dealer visit and non of the visits required a special "emergency" trip.
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