The 530i manages to do almost everything well. It's a fun-to-drive sports sedan with punchy performance and crisp handling, yet it's as quiet, comfortable and refined as we expect a luxury car to be. This version of the 5 Series was the highest scoring vehicle we'd ever tested at that time, and many of our testers remembered it fondly for years after we sold it.
Alerts
There are 7 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
The 2002 BMW 5 Series has been recalled 7 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
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Overall Reliability Verdict
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POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
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Engine Minor
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Engine Cooling
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Transmission Major
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Transmission Minor
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Drive System
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Fuel System
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Electric System
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Climate System
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Suspension
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Brakes
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Exhaust
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Paint/Trim
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Body Integrity
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Body Hardware
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Power Equipment
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In-car Electronics
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Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Recalls
PROVIDED BY
STEERING:LINKAGES:ROD:RELAY:CONNECTING
Aug 28 2019
If the steering rod detaches from the steerable wheel knuckle, it can cause sudden loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
ZF Group North America Operations (ZF) is recalling certain Lemf¿rder Steering Center Rods sold as aftermarket parts for 1996-2004 BMW 5-Series (E39) vehicles. The steering center rods may have an insufficient ball pin pull force that may allow the rods to detach from the steering knuckle.
What should you do:
ZF has notified the parts distributors, instructing them to inform the end customer. ZF will reimburse them for the affected parts. The recall began August 28, 2019.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19E058000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 614
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:DRIVER SIDE:INFLATOR MODULE
Jan 14 2019
An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2000-2003 525i Sedan, 530i Sedan, 540i Sedan, 2001-2003 525i Sports Wagon and 540i Sports Wagon vehicles, and 2000-2004 X5 SAV 3.0i, X5 SAV 4.4i, and X5 SAV 4.6is vehicles. This recall affects certain vehicles where the original steering wheel has been replaced with the optional sports steering wheel. The sports steering wheel has a frontal air bag inflator that may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, temperature and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the vehicle for an optional sports steering wheel with an affected inflator. Dealers will replace the air bag module as necessary, free of charge. The recall began March 14, 2019. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V015000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 157549
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:DRIVER SIDE:INFLATOR MODULE
Jan 20 2017
In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver's frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2000-2002 BMW 320i, 323i, 325i, 325xi, 330i, 330xi, 323Ci, 325Ci, 330Ci, M3, 323iT, 325iT and 325xiT vehicles, 2001-2002 525i, 530i, 540i, M5, 525iT and 540iT vehicles, and 2001-2003 X5 3.0i, X5 4.4i, and X5 4.6is vehicles. These vehicles may have had a driver-side air bag module installed as replacement equipment such as after a vehicle crash necessitating replacement of the original air bag, or as a remedy part for a prior recall. These replacement modules contain an air bag inflator that may rupture due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to lower absolute humidity, temperature and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the driver side air bag module, replacing it as necessary, free of charge. The recall began March 15, 2017. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 17V047000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 230117
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:DRIVER SIDE:INFLATOR MODULE
May 28 2015
In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver's frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2002-2005 325i, 325xi, 330i, and 330xi Sedans, and 325xi and 325i Sportswagons, 2002-2006 330Ci, 325Ci, and M3 Convertibles and 325i, 330i, and M3 Coupes, 2002-2003 M5, 540i, 525i Sedan, and 530i Sedans, and 540i and 525i Sportswagons, and 2003 X5 3.0i and 4.4i Sports Activity Vehicles. Please note that the 5-series and X5 vehicles are only included if they are equipped with the optional sports steering wheel. The affected vehicles are equipped with a dual-stage driver frontal air bag that may be susceptible to moisture intrusion which, over time, could cause the inflator to rupture.
What should you do:
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front driver air bag module, free of charge. The recall began Aug 2016. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417. Note: This recall supersedes recall 14V-348 in its entirety. Additionally, vehicles that have had their driver side frontal air bag replaced previously as part of a recall remedy need to have their air bag replaced under this recall as well. Note: On December 17, 2015 BMW removed the model year 2004 X5 3.0i and 4.4i Sports Activity vehicle from this recall. Those vehicles were mistakenly identified as including the air bags that are subject to this recall.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 15V318000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 419235
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:COOLING SYSTEM:FAN
Aug 10 2012
This condition could cause the fan motor to become inoperative, or cause the motor circuit board in the assembly to overheat, potentially leading to a fire in the engine compartment.
Summary:
This recall involves aftermarket parts sold by Valeo. Valeo is recalling certain engine cooling fans, part numbers 696121, 696273, and 696275, used as service replacement parts for model year 2008-2011 BMW 1-Series, 2006-2011 BMW 3-Series, 2000-2009 BMW 5-Series, 2004-2005 BMW 6-Series, and 2006-2007 BMW 7-Series vehicles. A metal-oxide semiconductor may overheat due to insufficient screwing of the semiconductor on the aluminum heat sink. This primary failure could cause adjacent components on the fan assembly motor circuit board to overheat and short.
What should you do:
Valeo will notify owners and replace the fans free of charge. The safety recall began on August 22, 2012. This recall is being conducted by Valeo, not by BMW. For further information, owners may contact Valeo at 1-888-718-2536.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12E029000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 585
SUSPENSION
Feb 19 2002
THIS COULD AFFECT VEHICLE HANDLING AND CONTROL, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, DURING THE STRUT MOUNT MANUFACTURING PROCESS, THE THRUST BEARING WAS NOT PROPERLY POSITIONS AND SECURED. IF THE SUSPENSION IS FULLY UNLOADED, THE FRONT STRUT COULD SEPARATE FROM THE UPPER MOUNT.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE BOTH FRONT SPRING STRUT UPPER MOUNTS. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN MARCH 15, 2002. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT BMW AT 1-800-831-1117.
For more information:
CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 02V057000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 4672
TIRES:SIDEWALL
Nov 26 2001
CONTINUED DRIVING WITH LOW INFLATION PRESSURE IN THE TIRE COULD ULTIMATELY RESULT IN DAMAGE TO THE TIRE, AFFECT VEHICLE HANDLING AND CONTROL, AND COULD IN SOME CASES RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: DURING THE TIRE MOUNTING PROCESS ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES BUILT WITH STANDARD (NON-SPORT) SUSPENSION AND EQUIPPED WITH CONTINENTAL CONTITOURINGCONTACT CH95 ECOPLUS TIRES, SIZE 225/65R16 95H, HAVING DOT CODES 4001, 4101, OR 4201, THE OUTER SIDEWALL SURFACE OF THE TIRES MAY HAVE BEEN CUT BY A SHARP EDGE. OPERATION OF THE VEHICLE OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME COULD LEAD TO A REDUCTION OF INFLATION PRESSURE.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSPECT ALL FIVE TIRES FOR A POSSIBLE CUT IN THE SIDEWALL, AND IF A CUT IS FOUND, THE TIRE WILL BE REPLACED. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN DECEMBER 10, 2001. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT BMW AT 1-800-831-1117.
For more information:
ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 01V352000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1318
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