Clocked 7000 km on my preowned BMW 525d (F10): Key maintenance updates

I was lucky enough to find a really well maintained example and I didn’t have to spend a whole lot of money to finish up the small bits but in isolation, it’s quite some moolah.

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2.5-months into the ownership so far, my 5 has clocked ~ 7000 kms. Should touch the 100,000 km mark by the end of this week hopefully.

A lot has happened in the past 7000 kms and after what all work has been done, it’s safe to assume that the car is all set for another 100,000 kms.

Starting off with my impressions over the past 7000 kms. After all the work has been done to the car, car honestly doesn’t feel like a decade plus old car with close to a lac kms on the odometer. Sure, a lot of money was spent by the previous owner and me combined now to keep it in the shape that it is in, if I were to equate it, it worked out a whole lot cheaper than buying a new car altogether (G30 530d is almost a crore rupee car in TS). Car still has it. It feels really nice and tight to drive. Barely any squeaks and rattles in the cabin. Sure, the usual BMW bits need attention (roofliner has started to sag now; will be replaced in the coming month or two) but for the most part, the interiors have stood the test of the time. The AC vents and the door handles are the only bad bits on the F10 5-series. Previous owner replaced all the door handles so that saved me money there. But the AC vents need replacing. I’ve ordered a replacement set which will go in soon.

With the not-so-important bits addressed, I’d like to move onto the elephant in the room; the maintenance. I was lucky enough to find a really well maintained example and I didn’t have to spend a whole lot of money to finish up the small bits but in isolation, it’s quite some moolah. Hearing stories of timing chain snaps on the N57 around the 60k mile/1-lac kms mark in a couple of known 530d’s in the circle, I didn’t want to try my luck. Rather chose to replace the timing chain and its related ancillaries beforehand for the peace of mind.

Timing chain replacement is a pain in the wrong place with the N57 engine in the 5-series. The engine+transmission have to be taken out of the car and the transmission will have to be separated from the engine. Plus the timing chain replacement is a very critical job in general. But it’s on a different page altogether on these N57 engines. From start to end, it was a 4-day job.

While taking the engine out, we also found out that the oil cooler in my car had started to leak. So a new oil cooler was needed. All the seals w.r.t the engine were replaced since it was anyways taken apart.

While all of this was being done, I also decided to go ahead and replace the ATF for the ZF8HP transmission as a part of the preventive maintenance. Alongside all of this, periodic service was due for the car too. That was carried out as well. Front and rear brake pads along with the wear sensors were replaced. So that’s that.

Just when I thought I was done with all of this, i-Drive threw up “Headlight vertical aim failure”. Alongside that was another error for “Turn indicator left failure”. So currently the left indicator in the headlight and one of the two angel eyes on the left headlight are dead. Diagnosis has been done and it’s down to the TMS control module for the left headlight (not that expensive). Have to place a part order for the same. Since the main beam is working, I haven’t bothered much. Plus my hectic work schedule has kept me on toes.

Apart from all of these, I’ve really loved the car for what it is. Sure, it has turned out to be a major compromise in a lot of areas but that hasn’t stopped me from not using the car at all. But going forward, the GC is something I’m really sceptical about in my usage. Wish I could do something to the GC considering the LCI has significantly better clearance. Only real expenditure on the car that I see in the near future would be a set of tyres (damn, this eats rubber for breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Signing off with a not-so-recent yet one of my favourite shots of the car and a pic of the odometer from a couple of days ago:

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