The “75k Mile List”
E60 5 Series (2003+) Edition
The newest iteration of the 5-Series cars offers vastly improved technology and comforts, though these come with a significant increase in weight. Suspension design and engine design is similar to earlier generations, so many of the issues are familiar.
Areas of Concern:
Suspension and Shocks
Thrust Arm Bushing Failure
Symptoms: Shimmy under braking, possible knocking sound at low speeds when coming on and off throttle. Torn or cracked thrust arm bushing is the most common suspension problem, and although deterioration will be so gradual as to be hardly noticeable, replacement should be done by 60k miles at the latest.
Symptoms: Diving under braking and acceleration, excessive lean and suspension compression during cornering, bouncy and uncomfortable ride, shocks and struts may visibly leak shock oil. EDGE generally recommends replacing the factory units with quality shocks from Koni or Bilstein and concurrently installing lowering springs and freshening up other areas of the suspension. You will be amazed at the difference a good set of shocks can make in comfort and performance.
Active Sway BarFailure
Symptoms: Leaking. One of the cooler technological advances, the active sway bar works by using power steering fluid to automatically adjust the swaybar for driving conditions. Unfortunately this part is not serviceable so must be replaced when damaged.
Worn Rear Wheel Bearings
Symptoms: Noise and excessive tire wear. As this is a common issue on 5 series cars, EDGE always inspects for this problem when a car is on the rack.
Symptoms: Messy leaks, check engine light, rough-running engine, failing smog,
Six-cylinder cars are prone to leaking Valve Cover Gaskets, externally and internally which can fill spark plug holes with oil and damage coil packs.
Other messy leaks can include the Oil Filter Stand Gasket, Oil Cooler Gasket, Oil Vapor Separator Hoses and, of particular concern, the Transmission Pan and Sealing Sleeve. The pan tends to warp over time and must be replaced. Although transmissions seem to last well over 100k miles, and BMW does not explicitly recommend transmission fluid changes, this may prove problematic in the long term.
V8 cars tend to have all of the same problems as detailed above and are also prone to Vacuum Pump leaks, leaking Crankcase Vent Hoses, Differential leaks and Power Steering Fluid leaks from all hoses. Other issues include Intake Manifold Gaskets. These become brittle and can cause a check engine light, rough running and failed smog. Valley Pan Reseal is performed at the same time, as the manifold has to be removed.
Because Valve Covers can warp, replacing the gasket does not fix the engine oil leak, so we always check them with a certified straight edge to help prevent recurring problems.
Upper Timing Cover Gaskets can leak and the VANOS Solenoid Seals are notorious for seeping.
Symptoms: Overheating, Check Engine lights.
BMW Cooling Systems are the Achilles heel of the E60 series. Unfortunate BMW uses plastic in many critical areas of the cooling system. The plastic becomes brittle over time and becomes damaged.
As they age, early E60 Radiators are prone to leak from the end tank and from the core. Later radiators and OE replacement radiators have solved the issue. We inspect these each time the car is on a lift.
Other common failure points include the Expansion Tank, which can crack at the seams, electronic failure as indicated by the check engine light, Water Pump failure whereby electric water pumps quickly cause overheating, and any of the Quick Disconnect Hoses.
V8 cars have all of the same as above but are also prone to Valley Pan Gaskets leaking. V8s are also notorious for Intake Manifolds leaks and the intake must be removed to repair the valley pan, so repairs on both are done concurrently. The coolant hose that runs under the intake manifold between the cylinder heads is also a common problem. EDGE has developed a custom repair to the coolant hose which permanently fixes the problem.
Just A Note
BMW service indicator-recommended 15k mile service intervals are causing internal engine wear. BMW has a Technical Service Bulletin indicating that dirty engine oil causes cam ledges to become worn down and causes oil to get through. This causes poor running and excessive engine noise and will eventually cause your check engine light to come on. Because of these issues, we recommend that customers perform regular oil changes at 7-8k miles. BMW knows that the engines will last 100k even with this advanced wear, but that puts your car out of warranty. We know that you want your car to last, so a little extra maintenance will go a long way. In addition to the extended intervals causing cam ledge wear, the VANOS solenoids can become clogged with oil sludge and debris causing rough running and check engine lights. We have been able to successfully remove these solenoids and clean them without additional repairs being needed.
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