1999 BMW 5 Series 540i 4.4L from Australia and New Zealand
High performance, high maintenance. Fantastic car if you can stomach the constant repairs
- EGR breather valve failed - caused awful engine noise and plumes of oil smoke from the exhaust AU$373.
- Radiator / fan - radiator exploded, fan damaged AU$1,370.50.
- Ignition switch - engine and all electrics died while driving at night on a busy road with no stopping lane. No brake booster, no power steering, no lights, no hazard lights. Scary stuff. AU$212.10.
- Radiator hose blew, coolant poured from the driver's side of the hood, showering the car in hot coolant. AU$270.45.
- Air flow meter failed, causing backfires and rough running and "engine failsafe program" message AU$747.00.
- Alternator failed. Bizarre water cooled type, part alone AU$2300 from BMW. AU$2,568.35.
- Main battery harness, battery connectors, some other wiring problem: caused a host of gremlins in the cars electrics - error messages, radio behaving strangely, unusual beeping sounds, engine cutting out without warning, CD stacker changing discs spontaneously, dashboard behaving erratically $1531.00.
- ABS relay, dry joints in ABS relay caused ABS/traction control to malfunction. AU$380.00.
10 months and AU$7,452.40 in failures, with more to come. Transmission requires a rebuild (apparently AU$1-2k or more).
Performance and handling is amazing. Goes like a rocket in a straight line and handles superbly for a full sized sedan.
The constant need for non-maintenance repairs is tiresome, and repairs are rarely anything short of expensive. Part availability can be a problem, I had to wait 2.5 weeks for a radiator.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd October, 2007