With the prices of these cars coming down to almost Mondeo level its got to a point where the E60 and E61 M5 enquiries are coming in on a daily basis. As such ive decided to throw together a buyers guide with the intention of supplying it with ongoing updates and bits of info for the noob and vet alike. Hopefully, as with other sites this will become a sticky so that its readily available for the guest PHer. Feel free to add your own points below or PM me so i can add it to the original post. I obviously won't finish it all in one night so if it looks a bit sparse to begin with the reason is that it'll take time to fill to a useable level.
2005 to 2010 BMW E60 M5
2007 to 2010 BMW E61 M5 Touringhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zYWOqm_Zkc
Fuel consumption: The most frequently asked question and the biggest factor of the V10 M5 ownership experience. Yes it is shocking, but not at all out of the ordinary for such a highly tuned piece of machinery. The lowest reading you will ever see on the DIS is 7mpg as its programmed as a base reading. My E61 averages 17.7mpg for a mix of town and fast road driving. London and city cars will probably be more used to 10 to 12mpg with the stop/start lifestyle the car will be subjected too. Motorway cruisers won't get much better than 23 or 24mpg with a very light foot and good tail wind.
As they live on VPower (or similar high octane tipple) your running cost per mile will be somewhere around these figures: At 15 mpg you're looking at 44p per mile. At 20mpg you're looking at around 33p per mile based on a price per litre of £1.47 like my local Shell filling station. Please apply your own variations based on your local fuel cost and driving style.
The small fuel tank in these cars will allow you anywhere between 150 and 300 miles between fill ups. 200 miles is the average for most users.
Clutches: Also a very common topic and a source of fear for many an owner. The question 'how long do they last?' can only be answered: 'Depends how you drive'!
Early cars (pre 56 plate) suffered SMG pump failure and many were recalled by BMW for pump replacments. The pump problem caused many premature clutch issues and some catastrohpic failures. Luckily the late 56ers and all cars after were treated to updated SMG pumps and the latest SMG computer software. Sadly there were other clutch problems to watch out for. The links below show my own troubles and a positive solution: In order of occurance they detail everything needed to make a warranty claim for an early clutch failure. They also show details of alternative OEM spec parts and the prices thereof. http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...
Asside from the above Release Bearing/Guide Bush problem the rest of the gearbox is pretty bomb proof. Owners have seen over 100k of hard driving between clutches and so long as you dont hammer the launch control function i see no reason why a clutch should fail below 60k. As i said at the beginning the whole 'clutch life' question depends on your driving style and the amount of abuse you give your car. Drive normally and allow time to cool between spirited blasts and the box/clutch will last you well. Abuse it like a drag racer and you'll be visiting the dealership on a low loader before you can shout 'What do you mean my warranty is void because i used launch control too much?'. lol
A bit of advice that im sure other owners would impart would be to try to buy a car with either a recent new clutch and flywheel fitted by BMW or if the car is around the 40k/50k mark, still on original clutch and an AUC model you should be pushing BMW for a new clutch or at least a 50% contribution. The average life of the clutch seems to be 40k to 50k so thats what i'd be pushing for. For your ref it has been known for city cars to only last 20k on a clutch so dont be put off by a car thats had an early refit.
Rear Diff: This is pretty strong and not many people have issues. However........ the low intensity grinding noise you hear when cornering and turning at very low speed (normally in car parks when parking) can be rather upsetting but in fact is nothing to worry about. As with some other modern M models this is the solution..http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...
The tiny minority that have had problems with the diff have had the complete diff units replaced without argument. Good old fashioned mechanical awareness should alert you to the warning signs associated with mechanical failure. Things to look out for are; excessively loud whining, rough grinding sounds and clunking (a low volume, high pitch whine is normal when decelerating and cruising at motorway speeds, caused by the aggresive diff mechanism so dont panic about that). Diff bushes do suffer a little over time so keep your ears peeled for the telltale knocks under soft acceleration.
Brakes: Like many other performance models the routine servicing of brakes has become a massive cost issue but being a saftey item the brakes really shouldnt be passed over. Discs should last an owner over 30k, mine saw over 40k before needing replaced. BMW should check the disc thickness at service and MOT time but this often doesnt happen if the dealer is not 'M familiar'. The tolerance levels are very fine on discs and the amount of wear allowed is very small. If your discs have any lip around the edge then the chances are they are already worn out. Pads are also quite long lasting which is a good thing considering the rest of the cars expenses.
Average costs from BMW to strip out front and rear discs and pads are between £1500 and £1800 for the lot depending on your dealer. Many owners buy thier own parts from bmminiparts.com and have then fitted at the cost of an hours labour. This brings the cost down to around £1000 plus fitting for the lot.
If your discs look a little worn and you cannot check the thickness easily here is a little test to find out if you need to replace them:
On a 'private' road ;-) take the car up to 70mph and brake firmly (not hard) down to 40mph. Immediatly repeat it again from 100mph braking a little harder. Then do it again from 100mph down to 40 mph braking a bit lighter than the first. If the braking is smooth with no wobble or vibration then your discs are fine. If there is wheel wobble felt through the brake pedal and steering wheel then your discs are below minimum thickness and are unsafe. The wobble is not due to warped discs so dont worry, its caused by the brakes expanding unevenly due to uneven thickness and uneven heating.If you feel a light hum or grinding do not worry either as this is just the pads passing over the drilled holes in the disc.
Alternatives to OEM parts ref brakes are few and far between. There are some who have plumped for aftermarket kits such as the Brembo Big Brake kit but these are very expensive and designed for owners who intend on taking thier car to the limit with no thought for cost. You can get sports pads from EBC and the like but for normal driving mixed with the odd blast the standard stuff is more than edequate.
Servicing costs and requirements: Servicing is not scheduled in the same way other cars are. As your IDrive and DIS will show, the car tells you when and what needs servicing and you have no option for annual or milestone maintenance. From what i can gather the engine servicing is based on the number of litres of fuel used. The faster you burn it the more frequent your servicing.
Oil services are the most regular of the services. BMW will normally charge around £300 to £450 depending on whats needed for an oil service but most owners buy in the required amount or oil from http://www.opieoils.co.uk/
along with the consumable parts from bmminiparts.com and get BMW do the job at a reduced overall cost. Castrol Edge 10W60W (not Edge Sport) is the only oil endorsed by BMW //M and as such you should only use this brand and spec if you want to keep your warranty and service book intact. My car averages an oil change every 9k but i get an indy to do an interim change every 4.5k to keep things fresh.
The next service is the brake fluid change and if i remember correctly its every 2 years that it needs doing. I had mine done earlier this year at approx £120.
Every 3rd oil change brings around a main service inc. engine oil, plugs, filters, engine check, SMG service, diff service and some other stuff. If youve had the diff oil replaced with the FM Booster stuff then make sure you tell them beforehand as you dont want to go back to the standard stuff and then pay for the FM Booster again once the grinding noise comes back. You can of course supply your own parts as before but ensure you only buy the advised plugs as you dont want to have any problems due to problem sparkage. My 'big service' came at approx 30k miles and wieghed in at nearly £1500. With mine they did not replace any items on top of the servicing list so if there are any extras such as brake pads, wipers or the like then you can add a couple of hundred notes here or there. Items such as the FM Booster fluid for example which is about £100 for the kit.
Brake servicing is the next thing on the list. Pads last very well for such a big powerfull car (i think around 15k is a good estimate so long as youre not a track hound) so thats one thing that wont sting you every 5 minutes. Discs last between 30k and 40k which is also pretty good but ensure you keep on top of your discs thickness to avoid being unsafe. Doing the full monty and replacing all discs and pads will set you back around £1500 to £1800 dependant on your dealer and needs. Again, you can get the parts from bmminiparts.com to reduce the cost a little.
There is also a vehicle check which takes place every few years but your IDrive will tell you when thats due.
General maintenance wise you will need to add 1 litre of oil every so often as the car consumes it in small daily amounts. For fast motorway users the oil light will come on every 1000 to 1500 miles. For town dodderers and 30mph zone plodders you may see 3k between top ups. Once you have added your 1 litre of oil (only do it when the car prompts you) you need to reset your oil level. Its easy to do: Come to stop with the engine warmed up and running, simply scroll the DIS (orange lettered display in the dash) to the screen that displays oil level. Hold that same button in for a few seconds until the clock symbol appears and the oil level should reset itself after a couple more seconds. Easy! 1 litre bottles of Edge are about £15 but if you get a bulk supply from Opie you can save yourself a few quid.
Wheels and Tyres: Despite the similarities in the looks department rims from the E60M5, E61M5 and E63/4 M6 are all slightly different meaning you cannot easily swap the wheels from model to model. In some instances the fronts may be the same between models but its the rears that cause confusion due to the differnt rear beams and track widths. With that in mind its always best to request part numbers for wheels being sold privately as they are often advertised as suitable for all models when they are actually not.
M5/M6 Wheel fitments:
166's (standard M5 fit): http://www.bmminiparts.com/DiagramView.aspx?Diagra...
167's (M6 style): http://www.bmminiparts.com/DiagramView.aspx?Diagra...
184's (18" winter fitment): http://www.bmminiparts.com/DiagramView.aspx?Diagra...
166's (standard M5 fit): http://www.bmminiparts.com/DiagramView.aspx?Diagra...
167's (M6 Style): http://www.bmminiparts.com/DiagramView.aspx?Diagra...
184's (18" Winter wheel fit): http://www.bmminiparts.com/DiagramView.aspx?Diagra...
167's (regular M6 fitment): http://www.bmminiparts.com/DiagramView.aspx?Diagra...
184's (18" winter wheel): http://www.bmminiparts.com/DiagramView.aspx?Diagra...
Winter wheels and tyres are also a popular subject and if you plan on purchasing a set for your vehicle (you'll need winter tyres at least when the snow comes) then there are options available. You can of course go down the OEM Winter Package route and purchase the 18" M5/6 specific wheels and tyres from a stealer. The wheels are specificaly designed for the M5 and M6 as they are the only 18" wheels that will fit over the huge brake discs/calipers. Don not be fooled by the internet alternatives. Or you can just buy a set of winter treads for your standard 19" wheels. Both options will do the job, but if you plan on doing a lot of snow/ice miles then may i suggest you fork out for the 18" package to save your lovely 19"ers from rotting away. The 18" wheels and tyres do perform better too as they have a narrower foot print and a taller profile.
Summer tyres are a massive point of debate on here and given that ive only had my E61 for a year i shall let a more experienced member write this section up. Typically a set of rears will last you between 10k and 15k miles depending on your driving style. Prices average £250 a corner for decent branded rubber but alternatives such as Vredestien Ultrac Sessanta have been a very pleasing alternative to the main stream brands at a considerably lower price. I used them on my C5 RS6 and in the wet they were better than 99% of the high value competition. Once scrubbed in they also performed well in the summer.
If anyone else has a summer tyre guide they can compose please feel free to post it below and i'll add it in to the file.
For your ref, the E60 M5 has 285/35/19 rears whilst the E61 has 275/35/19 rears, just to avoid any confusion.
Exhausts: As the E60 M5 and E63/4 M6 falls into 'modders' territory the discussion about exhausts and tuning begins to build up steam. Luckily the yanks have been fitting bean cans to these cars for a while now so there are some systems out there that are tried, tested and verified by the user. The E61 Touring is a bit lacking in the vocal options department due to its unusual exhaust design and there are only a couple of 'off the shelf' systems on the market. You can of course go down the custom made route like myself and Phelix did earlier this year, with very pleasing results too. So whats available?
Eisenmann exhausts. Different grades available and all very good quality. Not cheap but the quality speaks for itself, if not a little loud for UK driving. The range is quite extensive and combinations are possible to custom tune exhausts of whatever spec you desire. Interesting, yet attractive tailpipe designs are popular across the globe. http://www.eisenmann.co.uk/index.php
AC Scnitzer. A BMW backed company producing aftermarket bits and bobs for the Bavarian Motor fan. Also rather pricey but the quality is reassuringly good. BMW will fit AC parts at the dealership and as a bonus AC mods do not void your all important warranty. The only downside to the AC range seems to be the look of it. Dubious tailpipe designs dont fit the UK crowd very well so its a bit of a Marmite choice. http://www.ac-schnitzer.co.uk/
Supersprint. If you want the best then look no further. From header (manifold for the uninitiated) to tailpipe they seem to have the UK guys well under the thumb. M5Mark was the main contributor to the right hand drive Supersprint design so you have him to thank for that. Not cheap either but having heard the system for myself i can vouch for its presence. The sound from the Superspring system is very pleasant compared to that of the Eisenmann and as an added coin in your pocket the power gains are also genuine. http://www.supersprint.com/
Tubi exhausts. These guys are the best of the best when it comes to exhausts. Priced accordingly you need to have deep pockets to wear one of these. However, they produce a sound of such quality that you'll be throwing the credit card at them in a flash. With user models that include Ferrari, Lambo etc you can guage its popularity by the client base. If you can stomach the outlay......http://www.tubistyle.it/
There are a few more manufacturers out there and i will get them written up very soon.
As mentioned above you can go down the custom build route and to be honest the choice is massive. Reputation is king here though so dont be swayed by low prices and flashy banners. The M5/6 exhaust system is a complex and delicate design and i can only imagine that a 'botch job' would cause more problems than you'd be happy with.
Phelix and I went to Hayward & Scott last month after we heard a clip from another H&S fitted E61 owner. I had previously investigted the H&S brand without conclusion but hearing it in the flesh has confirmed the positive vibe from other owners in the E39 domain where they cut thier teeth. Some said that we'd be fitting a low quality backbox with H&S but the truth is that the quality is way above what we had initially expected. I wont go into all the details but the point is that you dont always have to spend a fortune on brand names to get quality goods. A bit of research goes a long way and so long as you go in armed with an expected level of quality and service you shouldnt come away feeling like youve been viloated. http://www.haywardandscott.com/
Good luck! http://youtu.be/hkEgSusq8uo
Warranties: The primary warranty provider for these cars, given that most are now beyond the 3 year manufacturers promise, is the Insured Warranty from Mondial. Sold by BMW its the most comprehensive and user friendly cover package available on the market. The beauty of the BMW/Mondial Warranty is that you simply take your car to the dealer, explain the problem and then so long as its covered (which it normally is) they'll fix it at no charge to you (unless you choose to have an excess!!!!(why would you?)). BMW dealerships like to do warranty work as its easy money and they dont have to rely on you proceeding the work. Customers like this warranty as you dont have to pay the bill up front and claim it back from the warranty provider, like you do with the other providers which can be a right royal pain. On top of that its a bloody bargin compared to the equivalents from Audi and Merc. At circa £100 a month (more on yearly/monthly options in a min) its not as cheap as the third party cover you get from the likes of Warranty Direct etc but its so hastle free you'd be daft to go elsewhere. The annual contract works out to be slightly cheaper than paying monthly over the course of a year but the trick with the monthly contract is that you dont get hit with an annual price rise and also the price doesnt increase once youve passed the 60k and 100k mile markers. I dont know why this is but it makes sense to go down the monthly route.
Criteria for the Mondial Insured Warranty is that your car has less than 60k on the clock and has a full BMW Service History. Even if your 3 year BMW Manufacturer warranty has expired you can still get the Mondial cover so long as you meet the criteria above, all that happens is you have to wait 30 days from the date of warranty purchase for the cover to kick in. Simples!!
Other providers on the market are Warranty Direct, Warranty Wise and a couple more. As said before, these providers are cheaper than the BMW/Mondial package but going hand in hand with that is the fact that they are in the buisness of avoiding paying out on repairs to maximise profits. Warranty Wise do an M specific package which ive heard is quite comprehensive but you'd need to check that out for yourself. My experience with third party providers is that they wriggle like fish when it comes to repairs and even if they do cover the work they take weeks to send you a cheque, all the time youre skint due to the huge bill BMW gave you. On top of that they like to reduce the cover based on mileage and then reduce the amount they contribute once your car has done more than 60k miles. When i had my RS6 the Warranty Direct fully comp policy would only pay out 60% of the costs due to the car having more than 80k on the clock. Even then they would only cover the replacment of the broken part and not the other bits that go with it.
Nuff said, 'you pays your money you takes your chance!'
Suspension: Actually very reliable but its not uncommon to need the control arms replacing every 20k or so. Signs of wear are vibrations through the steering column and noise from the front end when cornering. Its not a massively expensive job but you can expect to fork out £300 to £400 for the pleasure.
My E61 had both front shocks replaced a little while ago due to leaks in the shock body but according to my research this seems to be a pretty isolated case. Obviously the fact that the suspension is electroncaly adjustable there are risks that it may fail somewhere in its life, but thats what the warranty is for. On the whole its a sound mechanism under the cars corners.
M5 Common issues:
Clutch: As above but read the whole lot to get a feel for what youre looking for.
Panoramic roof: If you have it then its worth bearing in mind that they are prone to niggles. Wiring can be an issue and also its waterproof integrity. General common sense and mechanical awareness should give reason for you to check the condition of the rubber seals every once in a while. If the roof isnt working then the loom might need attention.
Water in the tyre / tool well: Not only associated with the rear wash thingy, but can be caused by the rain ducts in the roof getting blocked. Deep clean needed and a drying off of any wet electricals. You may see warning symbols on the dash to accompany the wet conditions.
Squeeky Multifunction Seat bolsters: Inevitable age related ailment. Not sure what the cure would be but im guessing it wouldnt be an easy fix with the seats in place. A warranty would cover this but most just live with the mice in the seat. You could lubricate the hinges if you were able to access the motor / mechanism.
Humming noise from brakes when braking: Normal for all cars with drilled discs. Wobble and loud grinding is not.
Juddering clutch when pulling away (only in 1st gear): see above clutch info.
Slow gearchanges and flashing gear symbol on DIS: Probably SMG software or pump failure. Or clutch has worn out and is beyond normal automatic adjustment. Do not have your clutch adaptations reset if you think your clutch might be worn, it'll do more damage.
Vibration from steering column or knocking noise from suspension when cornering / braking: Common issue with worn control arms.
Whining from rear of car when coasting and cruising: A quiet, high pitch whine is normal for M cars, and infact most performance RWD cars. The aggressive diff is the reaon. Grinding and knocking is not normal - see 'Diffs' above.
Water marks or condensation in headlights: Normal im affraid on earlier cars. Later ones can still suffer but the high power bulbs get rid of it very quickly.
Transmission warning lights / Yellow Cog of Illness / Orange Cog of Really Illness / Red Cog of Death: Hopefully just a wiring issue like the E60's sunroof issue or the E61's tailgate loom problem, but could also be SMG Pump failure or possibly clutch failure. Clutch posiition sensor is prone to faults on older models. Plenty on the net about the RED COG! Unlikely to be the gearbox though as its pretty hardy.
Paddles not working: Could be too high in the rev range to change down (over-rev protection facility) or could be too low in the rev range to change up. A minority of owners have had issues with worn switches behind the paddle so dont rule it out. Generally not a problem area.
Tyer Deflation warning but tyre still holding good pressure: Maybe you went over a pothole and upset it or have been driving hard causing pressure to rise with the heat. Reset it and see what happens. Genarally a good system. Im not sure if the valve sensors are battery operated like Audi ones but i will update when i find out.
Rattling noise for a couple of seconds on start up: Could be a number of things, such as oil level getting close to the 1 litre marker, timing chain / tensioner stretch or wear or cold start procedure kicking in. Cold start system is controlled by throttle butteflies. Vanos is not normally an issue on the E60/1 M5 but it has been known on the odd occassion.
I-Drive confusing / owner dribbling and scratching head: Owner needs to read manual or hire 12 year old to explain. I-Drive is actually very good. If your car hasnt been to a dealer for a couple of years it might be worth going to one to get the ECU and ancilliary computers reprogrammed with the latest software. An Indy might not be doing this for you as part of a service and its key to keeping your car keen and healthy.
Fuel guage reads empty after 1 hour of hard driving / wallet emptied every 200 miles of normal driving: Normal, 100% normal! Suck it up Batman!
A couple of other common issues on early E60 M5's (thanks to wattsm666 for the info).
'A couple of issues I had on mine, on earlier models their can be an oil pipe issue, which results in an engine mgt light coming on. This required a new pipe (under warranty thankfully) as it is a engine apart job and allegedly is £2,000 to £3,000 from my reviews on the internet.
I have also had an accuator (??) fail, which is the fly by wire throttle. This resulted in the car going into limp home mode, reduced power, not traction, no hillstart. Again covered under warranty.'
E61 specific issues: With the only real differnce being the fact that the E61 come with an enlarged rear end and tailgate this section will be quite short. So, what can go wrong with the E61 that wont with the E60?
The only differing part (so long as its specced to your car) is the auto open/close tailgate function. The mechanism itself is very sound and very few problems have been recorded. The bits that go weong are:
Tailgate glass opening switch - caused by water ingress into the switch itself. Easy fix.
Rear washer not squirting - detatched fluid pipe or blocked pore normally. Cured by reattatching pipe or wiping pore with vinegar. Make sure that all water is removed from tyre / tool well if you are refitting the pipe as many electrogizmo's live down there.
Tailgate glass unlocking / tailgate opening randomly / high battery drain warning - this: http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...
and this: http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...
Bad design across the whole E61 range is the problem there but at least its well known and a BMW warranty will cover it.
The rear beam is also different on the E61 M5 but as far as i am aware there are no ill side effects of this design alteration.
Rear light clusters getting algae in the edge of the seals: nothing a good karcher blast wont help.
Oh, the exhaust is also a different shape to incorporate the unique rear beam. The only downside to this is that at sometimes catches on overly raised speed bumps. Phelix and i both had signs of this on our OEM pipes and i dont think there is anything to solve it.
Auto load cover: Can sometimes stick. Owners have been able to solve the stickig by simply yanking down on the cover, but my advice if you have a warranty would be to get BMW to look at it. The motors are normally not the problem, its the rifled screw thingy that winds the cover up and down that sticks.
Forgot this one: http://forum.bmw5.co.uk/topic/49784-i-drive-proble...
Tips for testing and buying (sorry if you are now preparing to suck an unhatched chicken:
Test drive as many cars as you feel comfortable doing. Because the software, equipment and previous owners driving style all differ the cars never feel the same. The cars are adaptive to the owners driving style so you can be hindered by the car thinking you are Colin McCrae when you are in fact Eddy Stobbart, or viceversa.
Look for cars with lots of positive history rather than lots of repair history. Regular check ups with nothing major to report are better than fewer dealer visits with big bills and long term issues. It shows the owner cares when his/her car feels different.
Lots of owners is not unusual either so dont be put off if the car itself meets your requirments. Dont forget that the M5 was bought by showy execs that needed to have the latest M to transport clients and have something to talk about. They kept the cars for only a few months to a year before moving on to the latest AMG, RS or Pork. Next up came the slightly more savvy exec or cash happy family man. He too kept the car for a year and moved on to Rnage Rover, Merc etc. Then came the PHer who kept if for a year until a facelift model was within budget, and so on...... Obvioulsy thats not always the case but its not uncommon to see 4 or 5 owners on a 5 year old car. Look at the 1M; 2 owners on a car thats only done 3k. All because the first people throught the door were avoiding the inevitable depreciation bomb.
Club and PH forum cars are probably the best cars out there but always research the cars history.
Research the functions of the car and what all the settings do. Get the car set up as you'd like to drive it. Dont just leave it in mong mode D2 or S1 and expect to be blown away on a test drive. I recommend S5 and P400 for a test drive but do test the M button if the owner lets you. Have the M button set in S5 P500S so you dont scare the owner, S6 should be saved for later.
These cars do not suffer from excessive mileage problems but remember that buying a high mileage car means you should either be able to affordto run it day to day or have a good slush fund to cover repairs. If it doesnt have a BMW Warranty and is over 60k then its going to be a costly car to run if things start to go wrong.
Test out all the comfort items too as its the only way you will know that everything works.
Check over the tyres. Make sure the tyres are at least macthed up in pars or even better as a set of four. Tread depth is obviously a novice issue. To avoid forking out for performance items some dealers have been know to fit rubbish to thier stock to give the impression of 'fresh rubber'. How many people only check the tread depth and not the tyre make? Plenty out there who've fallen foul of this.
Look at the IDrive service schedule and assertain what needs doing and when. Factor this into your 'final offer', especially if the car is near the big service or at 40k to 50k miles and still on its original clutch. Its hard to guage brake disc thickness but if you can see the discs have a lip around the edge the the chances are that they are nearly spent if not spent.
Find out if the owner has added any oil in his ownership period. Make sure its only been treated to Castrol Edge 10W60. If its anything else either walk away or get him to authorise a BMW inspection and oil change at his cost.
If the car is mapped then make sure its been done by a reputable company. Hand in hand with this goes the possibilty that the car has been well and truly whipped. Play safe and you'll stay safe.
Linked to the line above, you can have the car 'downloaded' by BMW who will then get BMW Germany to interogate the data and read off the number of Launches the car has suffered, clutch temperatures, rev limiter abuse etc. Its charged at about £150 for the plesure but if it means youre saved the pain of having your warranty ripped up when you try to claim for a new clutch then its worth the hastle. The data can tell you in detail whats gone on during every second of the cars waking life. Its the sort of thing they check when you want to make a big claim on your warranty so you might as well know. I had mine checked when i had my clutch done, luckily my car has only ever been launched once.
I mentioned earlier how the cars are adaptive to the owners driving style. To prove it here are some graphs from a PH rolling road session we did earlier in the year.
On the first run the graph shows a deffinate flat spot at around 6krpm. The guy running the rollers asked me at what point i normally change gear when pressing on. I replied around 6krpm as i dont really feel the need to go all the way to 8krpm. In 2nd gear this is already over 70mph so there lies the reason. Also, you'll notice that the car doesnt quite make quoted peak power. This is because the car is not used to being pushed all the way to the limiter and in turn detunes a fraction to suit.
Graph 2 shows a slightly better run as the car begins to wake up. The graph is smoothing out and the throttle is opening 100% along with the software adaptation.
Run 3 and the car is pulling 100% as per the book with a near as damn it stock power figure.
The thing with these cars is that they were designed to be 'used' to thier full potential. The problem with that is the UK is not really the place to explore the possibilities. Flat spots around 3krpm are common (the average shift point for most users) and gear changes even when in S5 will seem slower than anticipated at low rpm. But, at the limit in S5/6 the M5's SMG box is quicker to react than that of the Ferrari 360. They do need to be thrashed every so often to keep the cars brain healthy and also to give its lungs a good clearing. The V10 can get a little gummed up if the car doesnt get up into the upper rev range for a few weeks. Using VPower or BP Ultimate will help but the sure cure has to be a good 8krpm thrashing over a coulple of runs. You can use that excuse on the missus at the very least.
Input by PH member Omniflow:
'Some things I think are worth covering.
1. Options vs. Standard equipment. What is actually standard and what is an option? Which options are really worth having, and how do you tell if they're fitted?
From my point of view:
Active Seats - Total waste of money and dashboard switches. They actually make me feel queasy when they're turned on. I don't know if you can get memory seats without them being active seats, but I DEFINITELY wouldn't let active seats sway the deal.
Power Tailgate on a Touring - I saw about 7 cars, and ALL of them had the power tailgate. If it was an option it was a very commonly ordered one.
Full Leather rather than extended - I like it, but is it really a dealbreaker if the car doesn't have it?
Interior Colour - don't automatically exclude a car because of a red leather interior, it's not actually that bad. Although the rest of the spec can make a difference. One car I saw had trim level that resulted in Red leather, Black leather and Aluminium all coming together in one place that is really visible from the drivers seat. It all just clashed, although I'm sure that's down to personal taste.
Not sure if there are any other options that are worth talking about.
2. Transferring Warranty - how does it work. On this one I know that if it's a BMW insurance backed warranty (rather than an AUC warranty), the person who's selling you the car has to contact BMW warranty and tell them to transfer the warranty to you. Them giving you all the paperwork isn't good enough (although you could possibly commit fraud and phone BMW warranty pretending to be the previous owner, but I wouldn't recommend this and joking aside, I've never actually tried it to see if it would work). No idea how transferring an AUC warranty works. I was given all sorts of stories by non-franchised dealers about what I needed to do to transfer the warranty, none of them were correct.
3. Satnav (& the rest of iDrive) - takes some serious getting used to. It's worth persevering with all the settings and you'll end up with something that is usable - I think the option you need is dynamic routing, otherwise it spends all it's time trying to put you on the route it originally planned, rather than adjusting to the route you've actually taken. I've looked around for an aftermarket 7 digit postcode option and haven't managed to find one. Even asked BMW, no use whatsoever.'
^^ Response to above:
I'd also agree that the active seats arent really a deal breaker but wouldnt call them a waste of time. If you are intending to abuse the car in the way it was intended then i'd say they are a good option to have. otherwise, they are fun for 5 mins and thats about it. And yes you can have memory seats without the active bit, in fact i think all of the upper tier 5's have them as standard.
Warranty - its fairly simple to transfer the BMW warranty over. You may need to phone Mondial for advice on the 'hows' etc but im fairly sure its just a matter of sending them the new owner details and paying a £50 or so transfer fee. Its either that or the new owner has to set up a new contract and wait the 30 days. Mondial are normally very friendly so there should be no issues.
Interior. Agreed also that the full leather isnt that much of a step up from the extended option but it does seem to be a bit of a popular choice. With the full leather you dont really get much more from the cow than you would with the extended but the bits they do cover are quite a nice touch. As far as colour goes the Red is actually rather nice when its looked after. However, if its left to the elements it can end up looking like the battered nether regions of an ageing porn star. White is also a great colour but time and wear creap upon it very quickly. Black is safe if not a little plain.
Satnav and the like: Just takes practice and is actually really good once you are used to it. The Nav to HUD interface is really handy too and the Nav Lady is nowhere near as annoying as Clarkson made out. Practice, practice, practice, just like the paddles. As has been mentioned in the guide above, you only have to read the manual and take half an hour to tour the facilities to get to grips with this techno beast.
The E61 came faclifted as standard in 2007 with all the upgrades. The E60 M5 was facelifted in line with the non-M E60's in batches in 2007 and completely in 2008. Changes were:
LED lights at the rear with lines.
Daytime running lights at the front.
Adaptive cornering lights.
LED side visibilty lights.
Clear "Euro" headlights
Amber side markers on the front bumper
Soft Close Door option
6 disc changer in dash
Mirror and window buttons moved lower on driver door and the hand grip removed
Additional color options
Bigger headrests, safety issue
Flat Tire Monitor system changed from rotational speed to those things you stick in the wheel
SMG reprograming and 100% of 2007+ cars had latest upgraded pumps and hardware.
Idrive got some visual and functional tweeks.
Generally just a light tidy up.
Edited to add this nifty bit of reading for you geeks and enthusiasts out there: http://www.midia.nl/diversen/bmw/E60_M5_Complete_V...