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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,
I just purchased an amazing silver 2003 M5 with 115k mi. This is my first week with the car and I was very happy thinking it needed only minor fixes. But the last couple of days I've noticed a loud cranking noise right below the center arm rest when sudden accelerated on third and fourth gear. While trying to reproduce it the stick shift came out to neutral by itself right after entering fourth gear. The noise got very loud a couple of times, so there is definitely something wrong. I am very concerned that might be some synchronization part of the gearbox. The car is under the dealer's 30 days drive-train warranty so I plan to take it to my dealer for diagnostics. I would really appreciate any comments or suggestions. Could it be clutch or more serious problem? - has anyone experienced a similar problem? Also, any recommendations about dealing with the dealer, not sure how the warranty works...

thank you!
 

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I'm not sure what a "cranking" noise is, but it could be the clutch, guibo (rubber flex disc in driveshaft), or maybe transmission mount(s).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
cranking noise gearbox

Thank you for your reply.

"cranking" = continuous crack or loud metal low pitch clicking. One of the times after the noise started the shift came out from fourth gear, then when I shift it back to fourth, I had a different strange noise as if the bearings had failed (rattling noise). It corrected itself when I shifted to fifth.

Any idea on how to check the clutch and shifters.
Any idea on prices for used gearboxes and labor replacement?

- I love the car, so don't really want to return it to the dealer. I hope I can negotiate payment to fix it.
 

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You're asking for a few "did you get a PPI?" and "you should know what the your warranty covers (down to the fine print)" replies.

That aside, you should be able to find the cost of a replacement transmission / clutch / diff / etc, here or in the For Sale section.

Definitely tell us more about what you feel and where, beyond what you hear and where. There are several components / fluids at play currently; the list needs to be narrowed.
 

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Pretty simple place to start.

Check the following:

1. Motor mounts
2. Trans mounts
3. Shifter carrier bushings
4. Shifter bushings
5. Guibo
6. Drive shaft center bearing and support
7. Center exhaust hangers
8. Trans fluid should probably be changed as well?

Does you car have an OEM shifter and shifter link? If not, this may be part of the problem.

You need to see how much slop in the shifter, up and down and side to side movement.

Some movement is normal, while some movement may be abnormal, however, you need someone familiar with an E39 manual trans to help determine what may be going on.

This list is not all inclusive, but is a good starting point.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello everyone,

After $275 at the dealer for an A to Z inspection. They have found many more issues than I ever imagined. Turns out that the noise I was talking about is caused by the GUIBO (basically destroyed). The guy who inspected my car said that it is very dangerous to drive until I replace that part. But that was just the beginning. They recommend changing the gearbox because it is leaking and they have confirmed bearing noise. Of course the dealer quoted around $8k for replacement of those parts. To make matters worse they found like 17 error codes, some of them dealing with the engine. They think I need to have the cilinder heads clean because they are clogged-up with carbon. That in itself is a 60hrs job according to the dealer (approx. $8500). They stopped the inspection there in the drive train and recommended returning the car to the dealer. Because I had the car less than 1 week and the 30 days warranty. I hope that is possible.

I hope I can get my money back. My advice to anyone buying an M5 is to pay the nearest dealer for an A to Z inspection and have the seller take it there. I learned my lesson and hope it is not too late to rectify.

thanks to all for your comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Pretty simple place to start.

Check the following:

1. Motor mounts
2. Trans mounts
3. Shifter carrier bushings
4. Shifter bushings
5. Guibo
6. Drive shaft center bearing and support
7. Center exhaust hangers
8. Trans fluid should probably be changed as well?

Does you car have an OEM shifter and shifter link? If not, this may be part of the problem.

You need to see how much slop in the shifter, up and down and side to side movement.

Some movement is normal, while some movement may be abnormal, however, you need someone familiar with an E39 manual trans to help determine what may be going on.

This list is not all inclusive, but is a good starting point.
The dealer found issues with every single item in the list above... :sad1:
 

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Dealer is a VERY scary place to take your M5. They only know how to replace parts and charge a lot of labor. They rarely have complete understanding of these cars or can provide a solution.

Guibo is a pretty standard problem, not easy to change as drive shaft needs to be removed, which means the exhaust needs to come off the car! The exhaust can be a real challenge.

As for the carbon build up in the engine, this is normal for your model year. Just search and you will find this is an issue. Easiest solution is the aftermarket DME program that just ignores the codes. About $600 as I recall.

If the trans really has a bearing problem this could be expensive, but do not let the dealer do the work as they only change the transmission with a re-manufactured unit which rarely is fully re-manufactured. My guess is a drive shaft center bearing??

Good luck with what you decide to do. If the place you purchased it does not repair or refund your money, you need to learn how to DIY.

These cars are fairly easy to work on, just time consuming, but worth it in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Dealer is a VERY scary place to take your M5. They only know how to replace parts and charge a lot of labor. They rarely have complete understanding of these cars or can provide a solution.

Guibo is a pretty standard problem, not easy to change as drive shaft needs to be removed, which means the exhaust needs to come off the car! The exhaust can be a real challenge.

As for the carbon build up in the engine, this is normal for your model year. Just search and you will find this is an issue. Easiest solution is the aftermarket DME program that just ignores the codes. About $600 as I recall.

If the trans really has a bearing problem this could be expensive, but do not let the dealer do the work as they only change the transmission with a re-manufactured unit which rarely is fully re-manufactured. My guess is a drive shaft center bearing??

Good luck with what you decide to do. If the place you purchased it does not repair or refund your money, you need to learn how to DIY.

These cars are fairly easy to work on, just time consuming, but worth it in the long run.
Completely agree with your opinion about dealers, just took it there because I think I need something official to get warranty money. I guess it will be up to the shop where I bought my car. I still love the car and would be really painful to let it go. If the warranty pays for the work, I will for sure get it done somewhere else.

I found a gearbox for $2600 in a near-by junk yard came from an 99k mi E39. The Guibo and seals as parts should not be too bad. How much do you think it would be to replace the gearbox? - My guess is $800 plus all the gaskets and bushes, I hope I can get the gearbox done for ~ $4500. Am I correct?

The Center exhaust hangers should not be bad at all. That might be a DIY item... Any good place to buy the parts? I was looking into realoem.

The main problem now is the carbon build-up in the engine cylinder-heads. I wouldn't normally care but my state will not let the car pass inspection with a check engine light or fail secondary air test.

Other problems include a bunch of electrical issues: alarm locking system, resistor keeps the blower motor on after the engine is off which drains battery. Sat nav is missing and remote on key does not work at all. Finally they put front size tires on the rear rims... None of these items are covered by warranty so part of me wants to simply return the car and get my money back...

I found a 2000 M5 135k miles for around $4k less in this area. The owner claims everything is working perfect. So if the dealer takes back my car, I think I will go with that. It all depends on the warranty fine print now.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Dealer is a VERY scary place to take your M5. They only know how to replace parts and charge a lot of labor. They rarely have complete understanding of these cars or can provide a solution.

Guibo is a pretty standard problem, not easy to change as drive shaft needs to be removed, which means the exhaust needs to come off the car! The exhaust can be a real challenge.

As for the carbon build up in the engine, this is normal for your model year. Just search and you will find this is an issue. Easiest solution is the aftermarket DME program that just ignores the codes. About $600 as I recall.

If the trans really has a bearing problem this could be expensive, but do not let the dealer do the work as they only change the transmission with a re-manufactured unit which rarely is fully re-manufactured. My guess is a drive shaft center bearing??

Good luck with what you decide to do. If the place you purchased it does not repair or refund your money, you need to learn how to DIY.

These cars are fairly easy to work on, just time consuming, but worth it in the long run.
Completely agree with your opinion about dealers, just took it there because I think I need something official to get warranty money. I guess it will be up to the shop where I bought my car. I still love the car and would be really painful to let it go. If the warranty pays for the work, I will for sure get it done somewhere else.

I found a gearbox for $1400 in a near-by junk yard came from an 99k mi E39. The Guibo and seals as parts should not be too bad. How much do you think it would be to replace the gearbox? - My guess is $800. So I hope I can get the gearbox done for ~ $2500. Am I correct?

The Center exhaust hangers should not be bad at all. That might be a DIY item... Any good place to buy the parts? I was looking into realoem.

The main problem now is the carbon build-up in the engine cylinder-heads. I wouldn't normally care but my state will not let the car pass inspection with a check engine light or fail secondary air test.

The problems are a bunch of electrical problems: alarm locking system, resistor keeps the blower motor on after the engine is off which drains battery. Sat nav is missing and remote on key does not work at all. Finally they put front size tires on the rear rims... None of these items are covered by warranty so part of me wants to simply return the car and get my money back...

I found a 2000 M5 135k miles for around $4k less in this area. The owner claims everything is working perfect. So if the dealer takes back my car, I think I will go with that. It all depends on the warranty fine print now.
 

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Um, dude..look for another E39 M5. Trust me on this.

Vic
 

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- I love the car, so don't really want to return it to the dealer. I hope I can negotiate payment to fix it.
1. "dealer"? You seem to be using the term "dealer" to interchangeable mean 'seller' or "authorized BMW dealership".

2. DO NOT get too attached. DO NOT fall prey to wanting it so bad that you settle for a pig.

You're asking for a few "did you get a PPI?" and "you should know what the your warranty covers (down to the fine print)" replies.
.
Indeed

After $275 at the dealer for an A to Z inspection. They have found many more issues than I ever imagined. T
.
.
.
. They stopped the inspection there in the drive train and recommended returning the car to the dealer. Because I had the car less than 1 week and the 30 days warranty. I hope that is possible.

I hope I can get my money back. My advice to anyone buying an M5 is to pay the nearest dealer for an A to Z inspection and have the seller take it there. I learned my lesson and hope it is not too late to rectify.

thanks to all for your comments.
Again, confused by the dealer terms. Did you bring it to a BMW dealer for the $275 inspection? (Might I point out that such a dealer might not be wholly deserving of the hated 'stealer' moniker... at least they caught all that.)


I assume you have a written estimate/inspection report?

What kind of 'warranty' or '30 day' thing did you get? From whom? It is in writing, correct?

Return the car and be done with it. Good luck.

It does not take long as a member here to learn GET A PPI. Keep reading before you pull the trigger again!

:)

A
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I bought the car from an independent-dealer(trader), not an authorize BMW-dealer, nor a private-owner. I should always include BMW when I talk about the official authorize BMW-dealer/service department (from now on I will use BMW-Service-dept). I don't want to give out too many details until I finish all my negotiations.

Yes I have a full report from an authorized BMW-service dept. for about $21k for labor and parts, but of course that includes brand-new parts from BWM. For instance the quote for rear tires is $1100, I know I can do better than that. I will be posting here the full report and end of the story after I finish my negotiations... I appreciate all the advice, jfoj's post managed to cheer me up a little.

I have 30 days from the small dealer that I bought the car. The sales guy that works for that small dealer told me: "man-to-man I don't recommend extended warranty" and also told me that they never had a case returned because the people that buy the cars at auctions know a lot about mechanics and make sure to inspect cars before buying them. So I am afraid that the warranty might be their own. I doubt they will accept paying what the dealer quoted, not even half. Because this was an out of state purchase, the return will be complicated. The mechanic at BWM's service dept, told me that it was unsafe to drive the car with a guibo in its current conditions (BTW it was nice talking to the mechanic, I hate talking to SMs, they usually don't know how to answer my questions).

Fortunately the warranty is in writing as part of the sales agreement, but without any details, they just wrote that includes Drive Train: Engine + gear-box + power-train for 30 days, unlimited miles. I will get a lawyer if I have to... Everything in the car looks amazing, interior and exterior. Brakes, suspension and all that. I took a check-list and had another M5 board member come see the car before I bought it. But we did not drive it long/hard enough to notice the problem. So this was really unexpected and very sad.
 

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Good luck with this. Wise to keep details to a minimum. I expect the dealer will take it back... He could possibly be on the hook for more than the sales price... I'd point out to him that IF he jerks you around, you will be forced to get a lawyer and then it is blood for the terms of the warranty and not just a return.

I suspect you are attempting to negotiate some $$ amount much lower than the $21k BMW number, figuring you can get it all done cheaper and then have an amazing car but repaired. BE CAREFUL. You truly have no idea what is up with the car- the BMW inspection is NOT 'absolute' or exhaustive, there may be other items they just didn't see. The car has been neglected.
 
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