F11: 9 Years of Ownership

Discussion in '5 Series' started by Peter, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I still find it hard to believe we picked up the 535i “9-years ago this week” from Bowker’s in Preston. Car is now over 10-years old and just over 63,200 miles.

    2012 New to Me.JPG

    It is the longest I’ve ever owned a car. The next longest was my Ford Cortina MK2 GT, back in 1972 – 1980. Says something, when you look around and can’t find a car worth replacing it with. Was the same for the Cortina, until the right Dolomite Sprint came along, which triggered the switch.

    I have looked around, but nothing really grabs me, yet. I tried the G30 a while back, which didn’t give a big enough improvement (at the time) to make it worthwhile. I’ve thought smaller, the F40 135i has been the wild card. I tried a 1-series M-sport, (118i) to get a feel for the size and comfort, but the car wasn’t ‘our’ sort of car. Recently had a G20 3-series and again not there, for grabbing my attention. Moving forward is still very open ended, particularly in this current climate for uncertain future use and inflated costs for a nearly new car. Remember, I bought the 535i at 15 months old and less than 6,000 miles, for 40% less than list, compared to a new same spec’ model.

    So what of the F11? It is still a lovely car to own and drive. Still brings pleasure each time I go out in it. Decision was correct to go for it, gives me what I appreciate from a BMW. The added options really make the car, make it more than the sum of its parts.


    BMW Interior (800x600).jpg

    The last couple of years have cut mileage even more than straightforward retirement. So costs are high per mile. All distorted in the ‘big scheme’ of amortising costs, but on the spread sheet, still run close to the first few years average, of around 97 ppm. Reality is something over £1.60 pm since February 2020, with all standing costs similar to higher mileage use. Fuel consumption is just over 30mpg, on the spreadsheet, for total ownership.

    Been a few issues along the way, some since the last proper review at 7-years. Yes, it’s that long since a proper review.

    7-Years ago Today | BMWLand

    BMW 535i 7-Years of Ownership Review | BMWLand

    One issue that caught me out was the grommet leak and flooded car. Knowing this was a weak point, I should have been more proactive and saved the flood.
    The Grommets.JPG

    F10/F11 Grommet of Doom! | BMWLand

    Grommet Fitted.JPG

    Due to the original engine issue before I got the car, and BMW’s goodwill of a 5-year service package, I got good value out of the package. This year I had the full cost of a big one, plus a new AC condenser and new battery. I got a good price on a new BMW battery at the dealer, fitting and registering cost was minimal, so saved me any hassle and issues with the changeover.

    Side view cameras (part of surround view) are a weak point. New cameras are being fitted under the extended warranty. This is not the first time, although it does appear wiring and optical cable is needed this time.

    The car has had its fair share of faults and repairs along the way, including front and rear brakes.

    Brembo Rear Brakes 800.JPG

    I’ve covered the rear air springs and VDC dampers in other topics, so won’t rewrite the detail.

    New VDC Damper 800.jpg

    Had to repair a couple of vapour barriers on the driver’s side. I think they get hotter in summer due to parking position and detach when softened.

    The 535i doesn’t feel over 10-years old to look at, or to drive. Interior has held up well. Looks virtually the same as when we took delivery. Car drives straight, and tyres wear pretty even. Gearbox is still giving impeccable delivery, smooth and consistent in its behaviour. I’ll be needing new winter tyres in a few weeks, and summer tyres, if I’ve still got the car next spring. I’m seriously thinking of fitting a premium All-season like the Michelin Cross climate 2, or a similar tyre from one of the other top brands. Not yet decided on the best choice, as I need to prioritise the features/performance for my needs, if I do make that decision.

    Clearly set up, prepared to take the car through another winter. Still leaves the issue of where to go next time.

    Thanks for reading.

    Peter
     
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  2. Wynne71
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    Wynne71 WARLORD Site Supporter

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    A great write up, as always Peter.
    9 years is beyond my comprehension in terms of car ownership, I become too fickle all too easily and get the car itch.
    It shows how much you appreciate your car, also sets a high benchmark for the next one.
     
  3. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Thanks

    Even I can't believe we've still got the 535i. The E39 540i was swapped after 4-years, for the E91 330d. The decision was intended to be a 3-year lease and onto the next car. Financial crisis in 2009 made it prudent to keep the 330d a little longer. We kept that for 6 1/2-years. Thinking, "never again". Now an F11 535i for 9-years and counting!

    535i is definitely going to be a hard act to follow.

    Peter
     
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  4. Wynne71
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    Wynne71 WARLORD Site Supporter

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    A G30 540i touring maybe…..?
     
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  5. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Now you are talking. :D Even living up here, I'd prefer RWD.

    The problem is with my financial thinking... mileage is so low, unless I can get a G31 at a bargain price (like the 535i, which I can't see happening at present), running costs per mile will be crazy figures. I can't mentally get over that hurdle. :unsure: Can't stretch the man maths that far... yet.

    Peter
     
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  6. E39mad
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    E39mad

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    I remember your search and being specific that the car had to have adaptive drive on 18" rims. I think your decision to go with this spec has comprehensively shown that it was absolutely the correct decision.

    Difficult car to replace - I was genuinely impressed with the G21 I drove the other week on 19" wheels and adaptive dampers even though it was only a 320d. I think a G21 M340i would suit you perfectly. In order to raise the interior ambience it would have to have the upgraded Merino leather for me.
     
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  7. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I have considered the G21 M340i. Watching prices, they are virtually as expensive as the G31 540i in the nearly new market.

    I'll need to try one, may have a chat with sales tomorrow, while at the garage. Get a feel for what's about, even something different like an X3.

    Peter
     
  8. Johnny Grabble
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    Johnny Grabble Site Supporter

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    Excellent write up and good to know even a highly-specced 5-er with the warranty can make a good long term ownership proposition.
     
  9. Spuffington
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    Spuffington Staff Member Admin Site Supporter

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    A great update as ever @Peter.

    I remember seeing it in the flesh 4.5yrs ago when we met around the corner from yours. The car looked gleaming inside and out then. I’m sure it looks similarly so now. What a stunner.

    I do think BMW got the F11 absolutely right. I loved my 530d even if she did have plenty of miles already under her belt when I got it. The quality of the cabin/switchgear and the ride (mine was passive dampers & 17” wheels) made it an effortless and supremely comfortable cruiser. Looking at yours in those photos gives me a tiny sense of guilt at selling mine.

    In terms of the numbers - it’s always going to be difficult to justify a new car on maths alone; especially when you like nice, non-run of the mill cars. You know my view on the world. Life is too short. As long as it’s affordable, it doesn’t matter what the cost per mile comes out at. It’s more about the smiles per mile.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. I still maintain that I want first dibs if you decide to move it on. I’m happy to convince the Missus to sacrifice the X1! ;)
     
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  10. idrussell
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    idrussell

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    To echo the comments of others a great write up as always Peter. When I looked at F11 535i's to replace my E61 530i they were / are as rare as hen's teeth and certainly nothing came close to the spec of yours. Not sure if you need the flexibility of an estate but I can thoroughly recommend the F06 which while not quite as flexible as the F11 / G31 is a fantastic place to sit and to my mind is better built and with a less fussy driver interface than the G series cars I have driven (but that is probably me getting old!:whistle:)
     
  11. ade555
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    ade555

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    Great car Peter and credit to you for keeping the car in great shape from looking at pictures, I can see your dilemma regards finding something to replace with as you have great example, current market is not that good for new purchases but at the same time you might be surprise what you can get for yours as PX.
     
  12. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Thanks... yes, it has been a good purchase on all counts. Warranty is a real peace of mind addition, even if it does come at a cost.

    Peter
     
  13. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Hard to believe it was that long ago when we met up at the Commando Monument.
    Does still look pretty good. A few signs of aging, but scrubs up well. :) Interior is virtually as when I picked it up.

    When the F10/11 came out, to me was the car I thought the E60/61 should have been after the E39. I like the simplicity of the design. Has the road presence of a purposeful BMW. G31 has some positive improvements, but I see the outside as getting too fussy. F10/11 Sport Auto gear shifter is so tactile and 'right', love it. G31 shifter has IMO, lost the plot. I sat in a lovely example of a G31 at my last garage visit. Even as a 520d with a mid range of options, was £56k. :eek:

    That's the issue, anything I look at, or try, has a genuine and solid benchmark to follow. As I've stated, the 535i example I have "is more than the sum of its parts". The spec works perfectly. I have a key director at BMW UK to thank... (y) when he spec'd it for his own use, for three months.

    Peter
     
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  14. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I do prefer the tourings, but food for thought. Something different, but not a lesser experience.

    Peter
     
  15. mystic sport
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    mystic sport

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    Always enjoy reading your thoughts Peter, The F10/F11 is one hell of a car, had three now and every one has been a joy to own. Re the next car, you need to borrow my man maths calculator. It has a special "throw caution to the wind" button and if that doesn't give you the desired answer you just enter 1+1 and hit the "sod it" button. That always gives the answer as 3, which is illogical like most man maths so you then like me buy the illogical car.

    Let me know where I can send my calculator mate - I am done with mine :D
     
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  16. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Now, now, Paul.

    Please send to...

    ...before you do, please confirm it has a "protect your pension pot" security button. :unsure:

    Peter
     
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  17. mystic sport
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    mystic sport

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    That button broke a very long time ago!!!
     
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  18. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I got a valuation from Webuyanycar, just yesterday, for £11,140 when updating my spreadsheet for running costs. I based my costs on about £9,000. Gone up even more in the past couple of months. If anything like genuine, is not a bad price.

    Peter
     
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  19. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Problem is, my financial advisor (better half), will be double checking the man maths on her 'calibrated' calculator. That has a car allowance alert that can't be tampered with. :(

    Peter
     
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  20. The_Master
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    In the current market where good used stock (especially rare spec cars in superb condition) is hard to come by, I think the we buy any car prices are if anything very conservative, you would be offered more by others.
     
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