How to maintain your used BMW 5 series? This guide will save your high maintenance costs -

How to maintain your used BMW 5 series? This guide will save your high maintenance costs

buying a used BMW 5 series
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Luxury cars are fast becoming a necessity in recent times owing to their reliability and long-term value for money. The Indian automobile market is price-driven, and people focus more on value-for-money before anything else. It has led to the shift of mindset from the premium car segment to the luxury car segment. The consumers’ better-earning potential in a fast-evolving global industrial advent is another reason people prefer to buy luxury cars.

Instead of going for a brand new luxury car straight away, we recommend new owners first try their hands on used luxury cars. The consumers can get the desired brand and model at a far lesser price than the brand new luxury car. They can experience comfort and driveability before committing to anything serious.

Used BMW 5 series luxury cars are definitely worth a shot. The reason is simple; you get to experience ultra-luxury comfort without burning your pocket. However, there are always a few important things to keep in mind that are critical to the decision-making process. This guide will help you get the idea of the How and Why to maintain these beasts.

Is it worth buying a used 5-10 years old BMW 5 series model in 2021?

BMW is known for building machines that last longer than your average premium car. All the offerings from BMW have evolved rapidly over the years, and the technology is being refined faster than a decade ago. In this technology-driven era, it is necessary to understand that the older, cheaper versions of the model you’re looking for might be attractive at first, but the long-term benefits shrink exponentially.

After 2018, the company made some major changes to the design platform across all its vehicles. It has resulted in a lighter yet robust chassis design that makes the vehicles even more fuel-efficient and comfortable to drive. The seventh-generation BMW 5 was introduced in 2016, and since then, the company has committed to improving many features while also adding new ones regularly.

There are two most important reasons why we recommended buying a used BMW 5 series produced in 2016 and onwards:

  • Design Evolution: The design platform (CLAR) was refined to accommodate more features in the 5 series. Moreover, the newer models are more compliant with the latest safety standards set down by the European Union and more compliant with the emission norms.
  • Improved Software: The iDrive technology that is a standard across all BMW vehicles was revamped in 2018 for real-time diagnosis and troubleshooting. Since then, the artificial intelligence onboard these machines has helped in improving fuel efficiency and driveability drastically. Also, one can now do the software updates over the air in the latest models.

Does the maintenance cost for the used BMW 5 series vary on different models?

BMW 5 series comes under the midsize sedan segment, which means the 5 series sedans are longer, have more boot space, and are loaded with features and accessories. Since there are a number of features that take time and practice to get familiar with, maintaining a used BMW 5 series sedan can be a complicated affair.

Every 5 series variant has more or less the same configuration when it comes to engine and drivetrain. Slight changes can be observed in between the petrol and diesel variants, mainly under the hood. The infotainment system and electronics remain almost the same across all variants. Transmission is another area that differs slightly between the petrol and diesel engines, rest everything remains the same. Thus we can safely conclude that different variants cost more or less the same when it comes to maintaining a BMW 5 series car.

It must be noted that although it is a generalizing statement that all variants cost more or less the same, the maintenance costs will differ for every used luxury car. The thing is, you cannot judge the actual condition of any used luxury car without owning it for some time. That holds true for the conditions in which the car was earlier driven and how the previous owner handled it.

Regular maintenance of a used BMW car requires checks and inspections to save a lot of money than most people can imagine. Careful handling and driving is another factor determining the number of runs you have to make to the service centers.

BMW 5 series 2018

Actual maintenance costs for below 5 series models

A used BMW 5 series sedan can be tricky to maintain if care is not shown while handling the cars. These are complex machines with hundreds of parts and electronics that require regular inspections. No doubt, these machines are durable and sturdy, but like every other machine, they need proper maintenance.

This section tries to find out the maintenance costs that you might incur while owning a used BMW 5 Series luxury sedan for a three-year time frame. The analysis is based on the data collected through the usage patterns and repair costs over some time.

Used BMW 520d

A used BMW 520d requires you to shell out INR 25,000 to INR 30,000 on annual maintenance. Major repairs can cost as much as INR 75,000 to INR 1,00,000 depending upon the usage and accidental damages if any.

Used BMW 520i

The only difference between the 520i and 520d is the fuel that these cars use. The 520i is a petrol variant, while the 520d is a diesel variant. The petrol variant 520i is easier to maintain because one can save a lot on fuel line maintenance. The regular service cast remains in the INR 20,000 to INR 30,000 bracket.

Used BMW 530i

The 530i series costs around INR 65,000 to maintain annually on an average for a 3-year timeline. The observed major repairs can be on a faulty steering column, while one can easily fix other minor problems.

Used BMW 530d

Similar to the 530i, the 530d requires you to spend almost INR 65,000 to INR 70,000 annually on service and maintenance. This diesel variant may require replacing fuel injectors if they have been driven regularly on highways. The fuel quality also determines the performance of the car and the maintenance routine.

Major technical and instrumental components need to be taken care of during service and their costs

BMW 5 Series luxury sedans are composed of many different types of instruments and mechanical parts that work together to run the machine. Every part is interlinked, and a simple fault in one can cause problems across other parts. Though we cannot cover each and every component in detail, there are several important components that can be and should be maintained regularly for the proper functioning of the vehicle.

The maintenance schedule must cover the following components for the longevity of your ride:

I Engine oil

BMW 5 series sedans require 5W30 fully synthetic engine oil for optimum performance. The Engine oil levels must be checked at regular intervals and replaced after every 12 months or 10,000 km on the odometer. The average cost for replacing engine oil should not exceed INR 5,000.

ii AC Compressor

One should inspect the AC compressor of a used BMW 5 series for leakages, breakages in the components, supply lines, etc. Maintaining proper AC liquid pressure is important for efficient cooling. The cost of repairing and maintaining an AC compressor on a BMW 5 series can go up to INR 80,000 to INR 90,000 easily in major repairs.

iii Car tire life

The standard tire size for the BMW 5 series is 245/45 R18. These sedans are more or less the longer and wider versions of the 3 series and require more attention when it comes to tires. The long wheel-base requires properly installed tires at all times. Since the ride height is low, the tire height should be not less than the recommended size. The cost of tire replacement can be as much as INR 10,000 for a single tire.

iv Brake pad check

The disc brake pads on all the wheels wear out quickly under high-pressure driving conditions. One must maintain brake pads regularly for a smoother ride. If you find any unhealthy signs, you should change the brake pads immediately at the cost of INR 7,000 per pair.

v Gear oil check

The 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission requires proper levels of transmission fluid at all times. Users have observed that the 5 series transmission tends to exert more pressure at higher speeds due to the bulkiness of the car. It is an important consideration while running inspections. The cost of gear oil replacement can go up to INR 8,000 for the 5 series.

vi Air filter, oil filter check

Oil filters should be replaced along with the engine oil change. It doesn’t cost more than INR 2,000. One should replace engine air filters, cabin air filters, and pollen filters after every 10,000 km driven. The cost should not exceed INR 2,000.

BMW 5 series 2010 model

Important engine components of a used BMW 5 series while starting up

BMW 5 series comes in one petrol engine configuration and two diesel engine configurations. The petrol engine is 1998cc 4-cylinder in the 520i, while the two diesel engines come in 1998cc, 4-cylinder, and 2998cc 6-cylinder configurations.

There are a lot of basic parts inside these engines that are responsible for smooth performance and high efficiency. There can be other performance parts added to improve the power output in some engines. During starting up, there are a few things that you can observe for troubleshooting purposes in a used BMW 5 Series luxury sedan:

  • Check for engine light on the instrument cluster.
  • Check for engine temperature warning after starting the car and running its engine for some time.
  • Check for knocking sounds or abnormal vibrations while racing the engine in neutral.
  • Inspect the cram shaft handle, piston rings, valve rings for leakages or wear and tear.
  • Check all the fuses and wiring for error messages. Sometimes faulty electronics can raise false alarms.
  • Check the engine oil levels before and after driving the car for some time. Look for leakages, if any.

Software updates for old BMW 5 series

BMW focuses on regularly updating the onboard software from time to time. The iDrive came with a 7th generation operating system in the year 2018 and since then has evolved. Software up-gradation is also very important to keep the vehicles up to date with the regional safety and emission norms. The older vehicle too can avail software updates from the nearest authorized service centers, though the new software patch might not be compatible with the hardware prior to 2015.


BMW is one of the most popular luxury car brands in India. The popularity is reflected by the sales figures and the customer satisfaction when it comes to driving pleasure and comfort. The vehicles manufactured by BMW have undergone rapid modifications in the years after 2016, owing to the increased demand and competition to offer something new every time.

Used BMW 5 series can be a good option while trying to get hands-on experience of these luxury cars. The sedans are undoubtedly one of the top-grossing luxury car sedans by sales figures in the brand new luxury car segment. While we recommend a thorough inspection of used vehicles, you can always do the research online before actually going for the deal.

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