E61 BMW 550i Touring

E61 BMW 550i Touring

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alistair267

Original Poster:

141 posts

95 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
My car history goes as follows:

Fiat Cinquecento Sporting (no picture but yellow)


VW Golf GTI 16v (mk 3)


E46 BMW 330i Sport Touring

As much as I loved the 330 (facelift, good spec, 6 speed manual), after two children I had outgrown it a bit and started looking around for alternatives. An E61 5 series seemed logical and so I bought a 2009 530i M Sport Touring.



It was a good car, but after the E46 it felt a bit sensible.

Then a year ago I got my wife a Fiat 500, which relieved my car of midweek duties ferrying the children around. Fuel consumption, particularly in town, no longer became such an issue.

My internet searches remained in place and the other day up popped an LCI well-specced 550i Touring with 108,000 miles on the clock. I hastily did the deal, of my 530i plus some more in cash, and I am now the very happy owner of this carbon black 550i (with apologies for (a) the rubbish iPhone pictures and (b) the dirty car - it needs a good clean).


New and old







The bad stuff

The front bumper needs repainting, which I will arrange to be done.

The electric adjustment to the thigh support on the driver’s seat has gone, which is a common fault. Hardly major, and have ordered a new metal cog for the inside of the mechanism to replace the plastic one that has probably broken. Apparently the job is a bit fiddly.

The fuse for the comfort access (keyless entry) had been removed by the previous owner. I know why – it is draining the battery. I may see if someone can pinpoint the exact issue within the system but for the moment I have removed the fuse again.

Spec-wise all I miss is DAB radio, but can do that through my phone if necessary.

Some worn out buttons on the dash.

The good stuff

THE ENGINE. Power, torque, noise, speed, refinement, smooth delivery – it is all there.

The spec:

Carbon black
Champagne leather
Panoramic roof
Comfort seats with memory
Heated front seats
Active backrests
Digital TV
Head up display
The later CIC iDrive
Logic 7 hifi
Adaptive Xenons
Active cruise control
Removable towbar
Comfort access
Electric tailgate
Soft close doors
172M 19 inch alloys on non run-flats
Privacy glass

I have only done about 90 miles in it so far, but I have a longer drive in store this weekend. Excellent to drive and the comfort seats are very aptly named. I am a very happy camper.

alistair267

Original Poster:

141 posts

95 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
I have already done my first fix. The buttons for the heated and active seat on the driver’s side were looking a bit sad:



I ordered a new button set from BMW and they arrived from Germany very promptly. I gingerly took the dash apart: mostly pulling trim out, plus two screws that hold the aircon panel in place.





Given that I am useless it is a surprise I did not break anything. Result:


d_a_n1979

739 posts

19 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Looks a lovely car cool

I had the same battery drain issue on a previous E65 730D, knew it was the comfort access causing the issues, wish I’d have thought to have removed the fuse haha

ChocolateFrog

6,472 posts

120 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Coincidentally i was searching for 550i Tourings with a manual today. Unfortunately none for sale.

Spuffington

1,076 posts

115 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Lovely car that. Think I almost bought it in 2012/13 to replace my E60 550i but got outbid by a chap called Texasjohn...?!

Enjoy the car, they’re superb machines.

ATM

9,935 posts

166 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
So was this the same car as Texas John bought. I didn't realise. I have never seen a manual sport for sale except for one which was owned previously by a PH'er I think. We did have an 08 se spec car with manual I think but that's it. There was recently an SSG or SMG car on the v8 touring thread too. But for the last year or so the thread has been quiet. So I'm quite pleased we have a new owner here. Well done that man.

Macron

3,924 posts

113 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Looks nice.

Do the leaks that come with the lesser (but still large) BMW engines affect this lump too?

d_a_n1979

739 posts

19 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Macron said:
Looks nice.

Do the leaks that come with the lesser (but still large) BMW engines affect this lump too?
Unfortunately these engines are prone to being troubled with the same 'potential' flaws (oil leaks, valve stem oil seal issues etc).

They're not ALL going to have issues, there are quite a few cars out there that haven't had any issues at all...

Fingers crossed for this one smile

Mr E

18,801 posts

206 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Very nice.
I couldn’t find one when I was looking several years back.

gf15

789 posts

213 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Biggest issue you will have with this is trying to find a replacement for it.
The engine is superb, a great mix of performance Vs economy.
The spec on yours is mighty.
Well wear (Irish term for "I hope it treats you well!" )

forrestgrump

1,235 posts

138 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
Out of interest what gearbox is in this?

Different shifter to your usual car of the era, unless it's just an electronically actuated 6-speed like in the E65?

Nunga

313 posts

55 months

Tuesday 22nd October
quotequote all
d_a_n1979 said:
Macron said:
Looks nice.

Do the leaks that come with the lesser (but still large) BMW engines affect this lump too?
Unfortunately these engines are prone to being troubled with the same 'potential' flaws (oil leaks, valve stem oil seal issues etc).

They're not ALL going to have issues, there are quite a few cars out there that haven't had any issues at all...

Fingers crossed for this one smile
Would be very interested to know what constitutes “lesser” BMW engines as my S54 is oil-leak free and has also been trouble-free for its entire 65,000-mile life.

Love this car. This or an F11 550i would be one of the best do-it-all cars I can think of.

ATM

9,935 posts

166 months

Wednesday 23rd October
quotequote all
forrestgrump said:
Out of interest what gearbox is in this?

Different shifter to your usual car of the era, unless it's just an electronically actuated 6-speed like in the E65?
The lci or facelift got the new lever across the whole 5 series range but the engine and box in the 550i are basically the same as the earlier version. So yes it's the same zf 6 speed box used in most BMW and lots of other cars.

mumbojumbo1

112 posts

88 months

Wednesday 23rd October
quotequote all
Great buy! I looked closely at 550's before getting an M5, just impossible to find the spec, mileage and year that i wanted. Yours looks awsome, look forward to updates.

alistair267

Original Poster:

141 posts

95 months

Wednesday 23rd October
quotequote all
forrestgrump said:
Out of interest what gearbox is in this?

Different shifter to your usual car of the era, unless it's just an electronically actuated 6-speed like in the E65?
The LCI got the updated shifter, but this has the optional sport automatic, with a different lever, paddles on the steering wheel and a sport button that locks out 6th, improves throttle response and puts a bit more weight in the steering.

Thank you for all your comments, I am looking forward to spending much more time behind the wheel and I agree that it will be a hard act to follow in the future!

As to it's previous owner, he had had it since around 2012 but not sure whether it was TexasJohn. The care was Winchester-based before.

I will keep the thread updated

BigMacDaddy

796 posts

128 months

Wednesday 23rd October
quotequote all
Looks a good 'un biggrin

Shall be following with interest!

JakeT

2,662 posts

67 months

Wednesday 23rd October
quotequote all
This is really nice. The CIC nav is the best one to have there too, makes it usable, and with new firmware can do full postcode entry.

I had the ad for this car saved in my AT saved ads, only for it to be changed to a 530i. Now it makes sense why.

Best of luck with it. The Facelift 550i is a really rare beast. smile

Simon-k41v9

35 posts

4 months

Wednesday 23rd October
quotequote all
this was the one a Jason barker yes? I enquired but someone had already bought it, ie you!
looks a cracking car, and also explains why they have a nice looking 530i for sale as well.

alistair267

Original Poster:

141 posts

95 months

Wednesday 23rd October
quotequote all
Simon-k41v9 said:
this was the one a Jason barker yes? I enquired but someone had already bought it, ie you!
looks a cracking car, and also explains why they have a nice looking 530i for sale as well.
Yes, I bought it from Jason. I do recognise that 530i...!

Macron

3,924 posts

113 months

Wednesday 23rd October
quotequote all
Nunga said:
Would be very interested to know what constitutes “lesser” BMW engines as my S54 is oil-leak free and has also been trouble-free for its entire 65,000-mile life.
The 4.4 in particular, I have insufficient beardage to know what code they have, suffice to say the 1-5k smoker thread is awash with 7 series, the occasional 6 and infrequently an X5, with that engine, all of which seem to be cheap because they are incapable of containing oil inside, and tales of woe abound with thread members having had expensive experiences in rectifying.

Obvs this is not that engine, but I was wondering if there was commonality.