F10 535d - 3 years & 60k miles

Discussion in '5 Series' started by Johnny Grabble, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Johnny Grabble
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    Johnny Grabble Site Supporter

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    A further update following the last one. A more eventful last 10k miles with a replacement windscreen, a set of tyres and 2 (scheduled) visits to the dealer.

    I’m now doing some longer trips to the south coast in addition to my lengthy commute. Given appropriate traffic conditions, I find I can cover over 200 miles in about 3½ hours without needing to get out and stretch my legs which reinforces what a fine long-distance car this is.

    Long trips south on a sunny winter morning do render the HUD virtually invisible even though it automatically brightens up, so it gets switched off, and all the info gets transferred to the multifunctional instrument panel. It took a little getting used to seeing the rev counter temporarily disappear to be replaced with caller info, song titles, voice commands, etc. when used.

    Replaced all 4 tyres, Bridgestone Turanza ER300 RFTs with the same again at about 53,000 miles. Accounting for the use of winter tyres and switching the Bridgestones front to rear at each changeover resulted in a little over 36,000 miles on the first set. That was one big reason for replacing like-for-like. Also good wet grip. Only compromise has been noise. But new ones are 3dB quieter than the worn ones (yes, I measured it on the same stretch of M6 before and after…). Curiously balancing them has been a challenge – I’ve been back to the tyre depot once so far but I need to revisit. Family priorities got the better of me and I switched to the winters meanwhile, so I’ve not had time. It’ll be done once the weather improves.

    Why do tyre depots tighten the bolts way beyond 140Nm? Learning from others’ woes about fragile locking bolts, I took the precaution of replacing them with standard wheel bolts (picked up on a trip to Germany) before going to the tyre place. That was €20 well spent. Checking the torques when I got back revealed they were all very overtightened, so they were duly corrected and the locking bolts re-installed.

    The 3rd oil service was due at ~57k so I opted for the while-you-wait option. Received a phone call reminder the day before which I thought was a nice touch. First service I’ve paid for as the service pack expired at 50k. It was £370. Ho hum. Make of that what you will. Took about 2.5 hours and I whiled away the time using the Wifi and catching up on some email. I failed to consume £370 worth of coffee but they did look after me well while I was there. Had a sit in a 530d xDrive M Sport among other things. Nice but not yet convinced. Overall a happy customer.

    Saw this in the dealer’s as well. Seriously nice. But how would you repair the inevitable paint chips?

    Capture.PNG

    Some weeks later, on a local A-road, I was being approached by an ambulance on a shout coming in the opposite direction, so I duly slowed down and pulled over to the left to give it room in the middle of the road to get past. As a thank you, it kicks up a stone which lands fair and square in the MOT Zone A of the windscreen. Oh joy. It was obvious the damage was larger than the 10mm permitted by the almost-imminent MOT. A call to the insurer’s helpline, which turns out to be Autoglass, sorts a replacement for the £75 excess and is fitted 3 days later. And – in spite of having read some stories about screen replacements when you have HUD, adaptive lights, auto lights and wipers – the job was done and all is well with the technology – everything works as it should. Interestingly, when I phoned up, they knew without any prompting from me that my car had the HUD and adaptive lights. I asked how and it was apparently because I had declared them as optional extras on my insurance. The new screen is made by Pilkington and seems identical to OEM. An additional benefit is there is no gravel rash on it either. I shudder to think by how much my premium is going to go up come renewal time…

    New wiper blades went on at the same time. Bosch Aerotwin again. They are definitely not as durable as factory-fit ones, I reckon they last ½ as long, but they are less than ½ the price.

    The Mobius action cam was remounted on the screen as well with a new adhesive bracket, placed so as to stay outside the sweep of the wipers (another MOT thing it seems) having first replaced the dead battery inside it with a supercapacitor. I also found a better way of routing the cable to the 12V socket in the passenger footwell by hiding it inside the top of the nearside A-pillar trim, rather than taking it down the screen side of the A-pillar and across its base.

    Within 4 weeks of the new screen being fitted, on the A34 southbound near Newbury late at night with very little traffic, another stone finds its way from the northbound carriageway onto the left hand side of the screen. 15mm bullseye. Fixed it with one of those windscreen repair kits once home again – it worked really well and the result is virtually invisible. And….breathe…

    Costs-wise, I estimate it’s ~62p/mile since new. Fuel consumption remains consistent, a slight dip over winter due to the colder weather extending the warm-up times but still in the mid-40’s.

    The second trip to the dealer was for brake fluid change, end of warranty check and the first 1st MOT. A pleasantly uneventful visit, with the brake fluid change coming in at ~£73. There’s still over 10mm left on the brake pads which indicates the iDrive is being a tad pessimistic suggesting there’s only 30k miles left on them. Happy customer again.

    As you may have read elsewhere on here, I got a quote for a BMW warranty…as it’s above 60k miles now, it’s just over £100/month with the £250 excess. A savings account has been duly opened and fingers have been crossed…

    How long to keep this one though? Conflicting thoughts…

    - Over 60k and 3 years, the 535d has been a pleasure to own and a delight to drive. For me at least, it’s a perfect blend of performance, economy and long-distance comfort. And having specc’ed it from new, it’s got everything I want and nothing I don’t. The only question is how long before it starts playing up. I'm learning to live with the paint chips...
    - As noted elsewhere, I saw my old E60 on the ‘trader, still going strong some 5 years and ~70k miles after I parted with it and depreciating very little in that time.
    - I’m still not sold on the G30. There’s no 540d in the UK and the in-gear acceleration figures of the 530d, (xDrive or not), don’t compare favourably to the 535d. Given the problems my colleagues are having with company G30/G31s (iDrive issues, water in headlights, intermittent HUD, rattles), it’s not convincing me.
    - Now’s my last chance to grab a proper 6-series, Coupe or Gran Coupe nearly new. It is tempting. More of a known quantity but with the roads as potholed as they are, I’m not convinced 20” wheels are a smart choice. But if I could find one with 19”s, VDC & comfort seats, I could be swayed…at the right price…there are some nice Limited Edition ones out there right now…

    Indecision is leading to no decision, so for the time being, barring unforeseen events, I’ll be sticking with what I’ve got. Let’s see when we get to 80k.
     
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  2. rigeng
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    rigeng Site Supporter

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    Excellent write up JG, very interesting. The cost of the extended warranty is just eye watering though, BMW can't have much confidence in the reliability of their cars!
     
  3. nashdm2
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    nashdm2

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    I think if you can afford to get an I8 you could also afford a front end 3M Ventureshield wrap and then the stone chips will be no more.

    Also, interesting what your colleagues are reporting on the G30/31 range.
     
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  4. slim_boy_fat
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    What he said (y)
     
  5. Mieke
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    Mieke WARLORD Site Supporter

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    @Johnny Grabble a very interesting writeup. Sounds like you were a bit unlucky with the windscreen after pulling over, but at least it was only a stone and not half a brick! I had that happen a few years ago when I was behind a road wagon. It certainly woke me up. :eek:

    Also wondered about your comment Re - the Mobious dash cam location. Is it an MOT requirement that the camera has a clear view not in the field of the wiper blades? It surprises me that it's even covered by the MOT.

    Also note your comment about the improvement in noise level from the new tyres. - 3Db means it's roughly halved the noise level. Just interested what you measured the sound level with? If it's a smart phone App, I doubt whether it's that accurate. One of my jobs as an engineer in the 1970's involved acoustic attenuation design on industrial chemical plants. We used a rather expensive Brüel & Kjær sound analyser like the one shown below.
    Brüel & Kjær.jpg
    You're doing exceptionally well to be getting mid 40's mpg from a 535d. I assume that's mainly motorway cruising?
    My own 330d is only averaging just below 40 mpg on mainly country A roads, so your figures are impressive. 62p / mile for a performance diesel such as the 535d is pretty good.

    A 6 series sounds very inviting if you could source one at the right price. Maybe there'll be some good discounts if it's about to be discontinued?
    As per my recent photo of a 640d taken in Blue Bell's showroom, I think they are a beautifully styled coupe, as long as you don't need proper rear seats.
     
  6. Johnny Grabble
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    Sadly, the i8 is beyond my means, @nashdm2. The 3M Ventureshield is something I'd consider on a new car but not 3 years down the road. The propensity for Space Grey to chip is markedly greater than that of Titanium Silver of my previous F10 in my experience, so I hadn't considered it when I bought this one.

    @Mieke - thanks for your remarks. Taking each in turn:
    The dashcam - my daughter's car fell foul of this a couple of years ago. She had the (also Mobius) dashcam mounted out of sight behind the driver's mirror, so was effectively invisible to her while driving. However, the suction cup was more than 40mm into the sweep of the wipers on the passenger side, so the tester noted this as an MOT fail. Removing the dashcam and the test was passed. It's mentioned in the MOT regs in 1e below.
    Capture.PNG
    The 3dB noise reduction was measured with some kit I borrowed from work, I can't recall the details of the specific device but we use it to map zones out where hearing protection is required. I only did it because I was curious and had read somewhere more worn tyres are noisier. I could certainly perceive a difference.

    The mpg is mainly motorway & good A-road commuting, with a bit of urban at either end, so at sensible speeds. I also tend to leave space to anticipate (which also explains the brake pad life).

    I'm happy with the costs - it's about 44p/mile depreciation, the balance being fuel (11.5p) and then maintenance, VED and insurance (6.5p).

    There are some nice 640d's around at the moment so it is tempting. But the 535d has depreciated by over £26k in 3 years (I estimate), it won't do that in the next 3 but a 640d would, if not more. Whilst I'm sure I could justify the man maths to get into one there are other things I could do with those £££s as well!
     
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  7. Mieke
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    Mieke WARLORD Site Supporter

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    That's very much my own view. If the 535d has been trouble free and has seen the majority of depreciation in the last 3 years, it will hopefully provide even more cost effective motoring in the future. I would also reject the warranty at that quoted price and take a chance by putting some savings by just in case. It doesn't portray BMW quality or reliability in a very good light - draw your own conclusions.
     
  8. a.s.uk
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    a.s.uk

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    - Now’s my last chance to grab a proper 6-series, Coupe or Gran Coupe nearly new. It is tempting. More of a known quantity but with the roads as potholed as they are, I’m not convinced 20” wheels are a smart choice. But if I could find one with 19”s, VDC & comfort seats, I could be swayed…at the right price…there are some nice Limited Edition ones out there right now…




    I cannot comment on a 535, because i have never driven one, but I can on a 6 series.....
    If you were to go that way... get the gran coupe...its more sorted on the road handling wise and more usable all round.. .there are some absolute mega bargains around...and I wish I had the cash right now to score one... But I don't right now...
    I cannot praise the car highly enough... its been an absolute pleasure to own so far and I hope it continues to be that way....
    The ride is not at all harsh on 20's like you imagine, but it is absolutely sublime on both 19's and even better on 18's Non runflat....That's where I'd be pitching it...But I have a wife who values looks over function...so I have managed to get to 18's in winter and back to 20's for summer. !!
    The cabin is a thing of beauty and the whole thing is screwed together so well. it never fails to impress me at every drive..
    .
     
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