The 5 Most Unreliable BMW 5 Series Models You Can Buy

The 5 Most Unreliable BMW 5 Series Models You Can Buy

Everybody welcome back, Mark with Exotic Carr Play Place, standing in front of my illustrious e60 m5 today. Today we’re going to talk about the 5 Series BMW’s and the most unreliable, that top 5 most unreliable 5 Series BMW is on the market today as a used car purchase. Before we get to that though make sure you check out the description below there’s a link to my Shopify channel, I’m selling many great shirts you’ll love it. Check it out. But let’s get rolling, so into the top 5 most unreliable 5 Series BMWs. Today starts with number one, it’s the e60, the 2007 to 2010 E60 535i and why is that such a problem? While it shares a lot of the great attributes that the 335 has as in, it’s basically one of the favorites for the tuners, but that all comes with some challenges. We know these cars come with a straight 6 3 liter engine twin turbo charged with producing 300 horsepower and about 300 foot-pounds of torque, but because it was BMWs new kick at turbo charging, yeah they had done that back many years ago, but they were getting back into the turbo charging game, the e60 generation in general had a lot of complex electrical concerns and issues to deal with, but on top of that, it also had high pressure fuel pump, which coincidentally lost BMW lost a class-action suit and BMW ultimately anteed up to honor 10 years and up to two hundred thousand kilometers of warranty to get that resolved for many, many customers out there today. It also had issues like leaky valve cover gaskets, leaky oil filter gaskets, fuel injector issue, to interpose the problems themselves with the turbos, and the Radley wastegate issues that were an annoyance for a lot of owners as well, so it had a host of mechanical problems and these problems in a lot of cases you would even, I’m under warranty but sometimes they actually recurred, so it was a problem time and time again just as the 335 was with the same n54 twin turbocharged engine. So the second most problematic 5 Series BMW goes of course to the car behind me the e60 m5, featuring the v10 the S85 v10 that produces 507 brake horsepower at about 383 foot-pounds of torque. While this thing was an absolute masterpiece, f1 derived engine, f1 sounding engine, that’s why a lot of enthusiasts still love it today, was able to attain over 200 miles per hour, but that all came at a cost again because the e60 generations had a new level of electrical complexities, those were problems for these cars, but on top of that it had a lot of mechanical problems as well, and some of the mechanical problems start with things like the idle throttle actuators, we had double vanos issues, where they start making noise, rattling of course, vanos pumps we’re a problem, the high-pressure pumps could be a problem, and the lines could be a problem, those are all issues and very expensive issues. Some of which could actually write off the entire value of the car. Of course there was also gearbox issues, we had problems specifically with the SMG 3, we had problems with a differential, but the king the granddaddy of problems came with you know 60, 7,0 80 thousand miles on the odometer for these cars, rod bearings, a filthy problem. A problem that was consistent through almost every single e60 m5 I know. There were some owners out there that didn’t see as much of an issue, but there were consistently high volumes of cars that sustained rod bearing either failures or premature wear, and this of course is the primary reason why this car makes number 2 for the most problematic largest number issue 5 Series BMW’s. And so the third most problematic 5 Series BMW again goes to another E60 and E61 model, of course the touring model, goes to any of the cars that had the N47, the four-cylinder turbo diesel engine that was one of the entry level based diesel engines that were available on the market in those eras. The n47 engine had a a catastrophic issue related to it, it actually had two failure modes, two significant fatal flaws with this car, and one of which of course was the timing chain failures, timing chain failures, of course synchronizes the valves, and the Pistons make the car run properly when that synchronization goes out of whack, like they often do when the timing chain breaks. This is called an interference engine, you have collision between valves and pistons, resulting in immediate stoppage of the engine, and often broken parts scattered throughout the engine, catastrophic problem N47 turbo diesel engine that was available in the 520 D of the e60 generation, that was a real big problem. Another fatal flaw with that car, was the fact that it actually had the timing chain arrangement was on the firewall, so you couldn’t even change the chain for relatively small cost as a preventative measure, it was a significant cost even to pull the motor out to replace that timing chain for those who actually felt compelled to get ahead on the maintenance on that particular car. So it was a very costly thing to preventative check on, and it was even more costly when he started hearing that rattling noise and the car instantly stopped, shut down, went dark on you. That usually meant you had a catastrophic engine failure which was very, very common in that n47 engine. Another little issue that you had a design flaw on the n47 engine, was the fact that it had poorly lubricated wastegate springs and hardware, so often what happened is the wastegate would stick, usually stick open, which is probably safer that way it stuck open so it’s essentially, it would flush most of your boost out while you were driving, resulting in a loss of power as well as poor fuel economy, this was recognized early on, and a lot of these cars were rectified of this issue, although it was a problem. So the fourth most problematic 5 Series BMW of all time goes to the e39 m5. Enthusiasts loved that car, it had a 400 horsepower v8 engine, strapped to a six-speed manual gearbox, it was one of the last of the old-school generation BMWs that was more mechanical than it was electrical, and that’s why a lot of people love that car dearly, and that’s why those cars and the values are going up today, but unfortunately it is an M car. A lot of them are driven hard and as a result here is a list of issues you can find within e39 m5 rod bearings. I know the e60 m5 gets all the rhetoric around it, but the e39 also had a lot of the cars I’ve come across had rod bearing replaced because they also have problems. There was also suspension bushing issues, sticky brakes, I noticed a lot of these cars on the used car market, now I’m finding with rust on the round, the rockers, the gas cap door in that area, you’d also find sometimes rust around the rear quarters. They had rust. Don’t forget they also had a dual Vanos system which could also act up and cause you expensive repairs as well. These cars were also susceptible to carbon buildup, as well that would also result in you know kind of plugging of the intake system, the valve system, and as well of course O2 sensors were also not uncommon to burnout. So you would have a host of engine lights, it was also the kind of car not unlike the e60 m5 where every time you turn the key, you sort of flinched and hoped you didn’t see that magical engine light. Other than that, it was a spectacularly great car to drive, and still is today, and that’s why it fetches a still a significant dollar. The car has not reached beater status, so just understand because it was an expensive car in its day, it still has expensive repairs associated with it. It is an M car. So the fifth most problematic five series car goes to the e30 530i and that car was produced in 1992 to 1996, and that happens to be the car that had 215 horsepower v8 strapped to either an automatic transmission or a manual 5-speed gearbox. I’ve got to warn you first, not a great power plan to begin with, when strapped to the auto, it’s a very sluggish feeling gearbox, and the car wasn’t really that sporty feeling, plus it’s kind of heavy, so you always want to buy this car with a manual for starters. Well where this car became a problem was other than the usual barrage of electrical failures, windows coming off the rails, or you had host of other just generic issues, you also had valve cover gasket problems, water pump problems, leaking, but most importantly the liners of the engine were consisting of nikka cell and the high sulfur content that was in the fuels of those eras, take a real toll on that internal parts of the engine, thus reducing the power over time in the car internally, essentially started to corrode and wear away, and you reduce compression, you lost power over the years, that wasn’t a great car to have because the internal, the guts the nickasel, if you can find the car later on with the Elsill lining, that was a much better option, but generally because the early deterioration of the internal lining of the engine coupled with the weak automatic gearbox, and host of electrical problems as well some leaks on the front end of the motor. This was easily in my books one of the worst cars available in the 5-series market today, on the used market of course. So everybody I really hope you enjoyed the video. Make sure you give me a like, don’t forget to share the video with your friends, and most importantly of course, subscribe to the channel. Hey check out a lot of the other great videos if you’re shopping for a used BMW, if you’ve seen my other videos, I’ve already got videos out on the the most reliable, the most unreliable 3-series cars, we’re gonna touch on that for the five series, and probably look at the 7 Series as well. So make sure you give me a thumbs up, subscribe and I hope to see you guys real soon. See you then. Bye bye.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Shop on my Clothing and Merchandise store for the latest Exotic Car Gear:

  2. I am looking at a 2010 550i GT. Has 69,000 miles and the guy is asking 13:9 . It's either that or a 2013 328i M sport with 61k , same price . Any thoughts?

  3. Your talking nonsense about the E39 M5

    I have seen one with 300,000 miles on original engine and don’t hear any
    complaints about them.

    It was probably the most reliable M car ever built.

  4. Don't let him fool ya e34s are great cars yes the 530 isn't worth the gas consumption but if the car is still running its more than likely survived the nikials block problem. And he's right don't buy a 530 with an auto lol you'll end up 5 speed swapping it.

    E34 more reliable than all those other cars listed ! Great info tho

  5. Dude u r a fkn idiot, E39 is by far been problem free and been rated the best and most reliable car of all times, minus the cup holder but u should not be drinking n driving a 400hp 6spd anyway.

  6. Bro u should have ur utube channel shut off, u have no fkn clue about BMW'z or any other car 4 that matter.Buy some cars and drive the for a while and get 2 know the cars b4 talkin sht.

  7. I own two BMW fivers, E61 525d and F11 530d. Both diesel inline 6 with manual gearbox, no major issues whatsoever… apart from usual shite like EGR for example.

  8. E39 rulez!!! Had 15 of them till now..have also E60 and E90…but E39 for me Best Bmw Ever!! 2nd place E34!
    F10/11 dont own,but drove them a lot…lot of tech.problems,but handling is better then E60.
    Also for common user M52/54 last real BMW reliable engines…

  9. A lot of total plonkers buy BMW's, but alone with a BM where no one is noticing you they are lovely cars. So much pro-toybotaru shit and no love. Oh, I drive a really humble C Class and an 09 Saab diesel. Bloody great but unpopular cars too obviously!

  10. E60s looks wise are beautiful and still can pass as a new bmw. People who aren’t bmw enthusiast can’t tell that an e60 is over 10 year olds.

    I owned two e60 550s. 07 550i sport and then traded it for a facelifted 09 550i sport.
    I bought the 07 brand new and put on over 70k miles on it and I drove it hard,I only had one issue… I got a check engine light for a bad 02 sensor and that’s it! I was in shock how reliable it was because I was expecting to dump a lot of money into repairs after 50k miles since I owned two e39 540s prior and I purchased them used with one having 80k miles which was a 97 540i which didn’t have vanos and it gave me hell so I sold it for 99 540i sport with 56k miles and it also gave me hell!

    Are you sure the e60 535i had the N54? I think those had the N55.

    I had a 2007 335i sedan with the N54,I purchased it with about 20k miles and even though I only put on another 20k Miles on it the car was reliable besides Ofcourse the fuel pump. The only other problem I had was the brake pad wear sensors would make a squeaking noise when you would drive,they would catch contact with the brake disc or something and it was more of an annoyance then was evantually figured out by bmw and new sensors were made for later 335s. Keep in mind,my 335i was the first year that they built them and I had an early production date.

  11. Guys what about the 550i e60? It's a good car? Like i know the mpg it's not the best, but and the comun issues? It's a expencive car to mantain? If you know other 5 series to recomend i'd Love to hear it (i really want a bmw arrownd 10k $ beeing a 5 or 3 series)


  13. I have a 2009 535i w/6 spd manual (E60). It now has 99,500 miles on the odo. I have used it as a daily driver and thrashed it at the track a dozen times per year for the past 5 years. Other than routine maintenance, including frequent oil changes using LiquiMoly, this car is super reliable and has required very little. It runs and sounds as good as new. I has a slight waste gate rattle developing and a tiny valve cover gasket leak. I am happy to fix these – including new turbos – which will cost me a total of $3,000 parts and labor for a car that is barely depreciating any more and is as fun to drive as a new one.

  14. Better do your homework.
    Bmw 520D N47 -200k miles , 2006, no f**** problems.
    Runs smooth just like first time instarted her.
    So stop lying.

  15. What's unreliable is your list. You included a gauded up Alpina E34 as unreliable, yet you give a pass to the overdone Ebay mods done to it? How do you know that some of these bastardized mods aren't responsible for a whole host of electrical issues? When was the last time the oil was changed? Do you intend to blame owner neglect on the car itself? Enjoy your thumbs down. Please find something else to post troll videos about. BMW already has trouble with owners who drive them the same way Mustang and Camaro owners do – like reckless, street racing a-holes. That's not the car's fault either.

  16. My first car was an E34 520i with the M50 Engine. Absolutely indestructible, had 375000km on the clock when I got rid of it.

  17. E34 530i Touring owner here 🙂 Love 5 series wagons! 171,000 miles it's a work in progress but restoring it to factory

  18. BMW's the Bic lighter of motor cars. You just beat them till they break and ditch them. Some sucker will always give you some money for it. Not worth much after they're 5 years old.

  19. Shitty modern 5ers in my opinion:
    E60 m5
    540i/45i e39,e60
    535i e60(n54 cars)
    550i f10 (n63 cars)
    E39 m5 (not too many problems pretty good but not the best by any means)
    The rest are more or less trouble free.👍

  20. Argh. I dont know if i should have buyers remorse after watxhing this video. I just purchased a used 2010 E60 535i last week. Maintenance records look good, I had to have a fuel feed line replaced, but otherwise runs well at 81k miles. After this video, now I'm worried the car will die On me during a long distance trip next week. I suppose that is akin to watching a plane crash movie before flying cross country! Still, now I'm a little worried about my decision. At least I didnt buy the 2008 550i I had my eye on!

  21. The E34 is a great 5 series.It;s widely considered one of the most reliable BMW's of all time.I'mvery happy with my 1994 525i.

  22. Different versions of the E60 M5??? Haha new info for me that E60 M5 doesnt only have 5.0 V10 engine but 2.0D and 3.5i options too?? Lol

  23. Ever wonder which kind of people buy these BMWs? Young, dumb ricers buying high mileage ones and not looking after them properly. If you do not have the money to maintain it, don't buy it. Buy a brand new one

  24. I've seen several e60 550i 6 speed manuals for sale in my area lately. Any feedback on these. One of them was an m sport and I can't stop thinking about it. I've always wanted an e60 m5 6mt, and this might be a more affordable option.

  25. aaaaaanyways, im not buying a 520d, absoloute stunner though, dont know what they were thinking designing the 2010 model, looks like a tired grandad👴

  26. The e39 (especially the 6cylinder Versions) are the most reliable cars bmw has ever made.
    There are various e39 which passed the 1million km with their first engine

  27. The E60 530i is a beautifully engineered piece of machinery. It has a great horsepower to weight ratio and it can be driven hard on the twisties or nicely in town with ease. It has been a reliable car for over 150k miles and still runs strong.

  28. Mt friends m5 smg switch cost over $4000 LOL. This generation should be #1 spot. Its only #2 because it has a fast v10 engine and can go 200 mph

  29. I have a e39 m5 2003 that’s been taken care of and driven nicely and the thing is great never have had any problems since I bought it 125k.
    All I can say is the car is amazing and if you find one that’s been taken care of and not beat the hell out of the engine will last a long time.

  30. I am looking at a 2011 328i x-drive 6 cyl 3.0 dohc with the sports and winter package 130k miles and or a 528i x-drive 2.0 97k miles. I have never purchased a BMW, I have owned a money pit Volkswagon however. It's hard finding any honest opinions online about these 2 vehicles and you seem to have np pointing out BMW issues. A) Are either of these considered a good buy "I know, being used i can expect to put some money into them throughout the year. B) given the cost of both 328i @ 5-7k and the 528 xdrive at 14k , do you feel the prices are just for the year given any known issues they may have or possibly have in the near future… thanks ahead of time for you thoughts.

  31. When you love your e39 m5 like I do you enjoy fixing it. All vehicles break and some cost more than others. If you want reliability buy a boring Toyota or a Honda and don't be fooled into thinking they won't break because all vehicles are slowly breaking with each turn of the crank. My M5 is worth every penny I put into it and I admire the engineering put into it every time I turn a wrench on it. Nice video and mostly accurate.

  32. listen to how he says e34 at 8:27 he said e35 but dubbed over it lol also I've had two e34 540i, one with over 200k miles, super reliable car assuming you keep up on regular maintenance.

  33. Dude you forgot to say something at the end of your video..your v10 M5 although I like it but your forgot to mention it is the worst M car ever not compare it to e34 and e39..I doubt it'll go up in value

  34. Hey mark, I know you said the e60 m5 was one of the most unreliable, how about the 2006 BMW 5 Series 525i Sedan 4D

  35. Ok this is all wrong. The 60 m5. Then e60 545. Then e60 550i. Then e39 540i. Then the f10 everything. The 535i e60 is completely wrong the hpfp was covered by recall. And the n54 is a monster.

  36. The one behind you is the most unreliable 5 series ever made. Strange, considering it was also the most legendary.

  37. E39 M5 here. I love this car, and will keep it forever. It is a labor of love to keep it in top shape, for sure. Very thankful for and a nice set of tools 🙂

  38. i have the 120d n47 with the new timing chain done in 145k km … its a shame that the cost of the repair is so expensive (1500 dollars).. otherwise runs solid so far

  39. I just purchased a 2014 F-10 535i X-Drive M-pkge with original BMW dealer installed M-Performance pkge (Exhaust, Real Carbon fiber accents, Suspension, Seats, Dinan pedals etc…) the vehicle has 33,000 miles,
    I have officially joined the BMW crew (I owned a Benz, Audi, Lexus…) this is my first Bimmer….
    I am over the moon with my purchase!
    What should I expect with 3 years of ownership ahead of me?
    Also, is it worth it to purchase the extended warranty from the Dealership? Or do I roll the dice and see where this purchase takes me????

  40. Now it's like I never want to own or see a head hurts now after knowing all these defects. But the market the BMW so we'll. German engineering …

  41. If you have problems with your vehicle and you OWN it! Look at your repairs as investments…
    if you don’t OWN it and are Borrowing your car, Look at those repairs as liabilities

  42. You own an M5 and telling me they are unreliable I own a 525 that has 150000 miles and runs great to me you don't make any fucking sense

  43. ok ok but who wants to been seen in a honda accord, Camry, or any other C- sedan. plus fixing BMWs is the man crap as any other car .

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