The direct fuel injectors have introduced a new and not insignificant problem to the engine. Coke formation is extensive. Those engine lights that start to light up anytime after say 50K miles are likely due to carbon buildup in the cylinders with the sensors going crazy as a result. Big engine lights , little engine lights, single and multiple cylinders dropping out at highway speeds, LTFT abnormalities, O2 sensor malfunction codes, cylinder misfiring codes, and on, and on.
You can spend many an hour chatting with your local mechanic getting to know all about his kids and their little league activities before you get to the necessary therapy: walnut shell cylinder coke blasting! ($800!)
Picked up new 535i last week, so far, more than my expectations. Replaces my 2007 550i. Power of 535i more than I expected, and twin turbo is fabulous. Off line, maybe quicker. Handles like, well, like a BMW, and I love the feel of the ride. I-drive and interior controls are both much improved with pre-programmed controls and preset radio buttons much easier to use. New gear shift took 3 or 4 times of driving to get used to but certainly easy. Retractable side mirrors means the car is safe when my wife pulls into my garage.
There is no other way to buy a 550i. The M-sport package is a must. The wheels and more aggressive styling gets everyone's attention when you drive by. The Logic 7 system is the best sound system I have ever heard in a car. The growl when you take off on the highway is euphoric. The heads up display is awesome especially when you get the nav directions on the windshield. I now know why everyone who owns a BMW will never own another car. The hard drive lets you burn your CDs and lets you hear your favorite music instantly - no waiting for tracks to pull up and better than my Infiniti hard drive system. The updated iDrive is very quick and intuitive. Bluetooth phone connection is impeccable.
I bought a 2010 535i xdrive used at 55,000 currently have 113,000 miles on it. I would expect some things to break at this mileage but this is ridiculous. I had to replaced the water pump in March and the starter in September. Then I got a message saying fuel pump on the screen and car would shut down. BMW replaced the electonic fuel pump on the way home I got the exact same message and car shut down. BMW then replaced the mechanical fuel pump and AGAIN car shut off with same warning. BMW then replaced the EKPS Module, now I get an Engine Malfunction-Reduce Power message and I feel like I'm in a semitruck. Can't wait to see what BMW says on Monday.
I had reached 105,000 miles. Started having issues with performance, then the engine ran extremely rough. Engine would start, but would stall. The issue was traced to the VANOS system - the hydraulic controller for valve timing. There are two VANOS solenoids - they were replaced, car ran fine for about 1,500 miles. The Problem returned, the dealer said it was the VANOS pumps, needed to be replaced. This is a very common problem with this generation of the BMW 6CYL. A costly repair. BMW has been forced to extend the warranty on this generation of 6 CYL engines due to the high VANOS failure rate over 100K miles. I was able to get most of my money reimbursed by BMW, filled out the VANOS repair recovery form - was initially rejected, but after several calls to BMW customer service I was able to the the reimbursement. It's worth the phone calls, it's your money and this is clearly a poor design.
For those who would like more information on VANOS, rebuilt VANOS pumps or repair guides - http://www.drvanos.com
Purchased used with 37,000 miles. Now have 97,400 miles. Up to this point no issues. Have been averaging 28.5 MPG. Had first issue last week, very high pitched noise and rough idle at stop. Was traced to crankcase vent. Was covered under my extended warranty for $50 deductible. Tires and brakes were new at 37,000. Still OK, will probably replace tires before snow - live in USA Northeast.