The redesigned 2004 BMW 530i replaced the model that was CR's best car tested for two years, but it didn't quite keep that car's winning streak going. This new version has slightly improved fuel economy and rear-seat room. But these gains are offset by the complicated iDrive multifunction control system and less-agile handling.
Alerts
There are 8 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 2004 BMW 5 Series has been recalled 8 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
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POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
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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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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
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
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:12V/24V/48V BATTERY:CABLES
Mar 26 2012
OVERHEATING COULD LEAD TO A FIRE, EVEN WHILE THE VEHICLE IS NOT IN USE. AS A PRECAUTION, OWNERS ARE ADVISED TO PARK OUTSIDE UNTIL THE REMEDY HAS BEEN MADE.
Summary:
BMW IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2004-2010 5-SERIES, MODEL YEAR 2004-2010 6-SERIES, MODEL YEAR 2006-2010 M5, AND MODEL YEAR 2007-2010 M6 VEHICLES. THE INSULATED BULKHEAD CONNECTOR FOR THE POSITIVE BATTERY CABLE MAY HAVE BEEN INCORRECTLY ATTACHED TO THE TRUNK FLOOR PANEL, WHICH CAN LEAD TO A LOOSENING OF THE BOLT CONNECTION. AS IT LOOSENS, AN INCREASE IN ELECTRICAL RESISTANCE AT THIS CABLE CONNECTION IS POSSIBLE AND COULD CAUSE THE CABLE CONNECTION TO OVERHEAT.
What should you do:
BMW WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL INSPECT AND SECURE THE BATTERY BOLT CABLE CONNECTION AS NECESSARY, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON APRIL 30, 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW CUSTOMER RELATIONS AND SERVICES AT 1-800-525-7417.
For more information:
CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V126000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 367682
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:POWER ASSIST:VACUUM
Oct 01 2010
POWER ASSIST BRAKING PERFORMANCE COULD BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED. IN EXTREME CASES THERE COULD BE A COMPLETE LOSS OF POWER ASSIST BRAKING. AN UNEXPECTED REDUCTION OR LOSS IN POWER BRAKING ASSIST MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Summary:
BMW IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2004-2010 5-SERIES, 6-SERIES, AND MODEL YEAR 2002-2008 7-SERIES VEHICLES. A CHECK VALVE OF THE BRAKE VACUUM PUMP MAY LEAK A SMALL AMOUNT OF LUBRICATING OIL. OVER TIME THIS COULD RESULT IN CONTAMINATION OF THE BRAKE BOOSTER.
What should you do:
BMW WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND DEALERS WILL REPAIR THE VEHICLES FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON NOVEMBER 24, 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW AT 1-800-525-7417.
For more information:
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 10V446000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 198352
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL
Aug 05 2008
IN THIS SITUATION THE FRONT PASSENGER AIR BAGS WILL NOT DEPLOY EVEN IF A SUFFICIENTLY SEVERE ACCIDENT WOULD OCCUR AND OCCUPANT PROTECTION PROVIDED BY THE SYSTEM WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE.
Summary:
BMW IS RECALLING 200,000 MY 2006 3 SERIES SPORT SEAT, MY 2004-2006 5 SERIES STANDARD AND SPORT SEAT, AND MY 2004-2006 X3 PASSENGER VEHICLES. DEPENDING ON THE MANNER AND FREQUENCY OF THE FRONT PASSENGER'S ENTRY AND EXIT, SMALL CRACKS HAVE DEVELOPED IN THE MAT. IF THIS OCCURS, THE FRONT PASSENGER AIR BAGS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE HEAD PROTECTION SYSTEM, WILL BE DEACTIVATED AND THE AIR BAG WARNING LAMP AS WELL AS THE PASSENGER AIR BAG "ON-OFF" LAMP WILL BE ILLUMINATED.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REWORK THE FRONT PASSENGER SEAT SENSOR MAT SO THAT EXTERNAL FORCE APPLICATION TO THE SEAT DOES NOT CAUSE A CRACK TO THE MAT. THE RECALL BEGAN ON NOVEMBER 6, 2008. BMW WILL ALSO EXTEND THE WARRANTY ON THESE VEHICLES TO 10 YEARS FROM FIRST REGISTRATION WITHOUT ANY MILEAGE LIMIT. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW AT 1-800-525-7417.
For more information:
BMW IS EXTENDING THE WARRANTY TO 10 YEARS FROM FIRST REGISTRATION WITHOUT ANY MILEAGE LIMIT TO THE FOLLOWING VEHICLES:MY 2006 6-SERIES, 3-SERIES (STANDARD SEAT), MY 2004-2005 Z4, MY 2004-2006 7-SERIES, MY 2006 X5, AND MY 2004-2006 5-SERIES (COMFORT SEAT).UNDER THE EXTENDED WARRANTY PROGRAM, THE OCCUPANT DETECTION MAT IN A VEHICLE THAT EXPERIENCES THIS SPECIFIC ISSUE WILL BE REPLACED AT NO CHARGE TO THE CUSTOMER.CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 08V384000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 200000
SEATS:FRONT ASSEMBLY:SEAT HEATER/COOLER
Dec 06 2004
IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE HEATING MAT IN THE BACKREST'S SIDE BOLSTER COULD OVERHEAT AND DAMAGE, OR MELT A SMALL HOLE IN, THIS AREA OF THE SEAT COVER. IF THIS HAPPENED, IT COULD LEAD TO AN OCCUPANT BEING BURNED.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH FRONT SEAT HEATING SYSTEMS, UPON ENTERING AND EXITING THE VEHICLE, EXCESSIVE CONTACT WITH THE SIDE BOLSTER THAT IS CONTAINED IN THE SEAT'S BACKREST MAY DAMAGE THE HEATING MAT LOCATED IN THIS AREA. IF SUCH DAMAGE WERE TO OCCUR, WITH THE SYSTEM TURNED ON, THE VEHICLE OCCUPANT MAY FEEL EXCESSIVE HEAT FROM THIS AREA.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL MODIFY THE SEAT HEATING CIRCUIT. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING DECEMBER 2004. OWNERS 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: 04V575000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 17905
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:CONTROL MODULE (TCM, PCM)
Jul 14 2004
AS A RESULT, ENGINE STALLING WILL OCCUR AFTER A SHORT PERIOD OF OPERATION. THE VEHICLE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RESTART. ALSO, A LOSS OF POWER STEERING AND, AFTER REPEATED ACTUATION OF THE BRAKE PEDAL, A LOSS OF BRAKE POWER ASSIST WILL OCCUR. THESE CONDITIONS COULD RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH 8 AND 12 CYLINDER ENGINES, THE DIGITAL ENGINE MANAGEMENT CONTROL (EMC) UNITS WERE NOT PRODUCED ACCORDING TO SPECIFICATIONS.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSTALL A NEW DIGITAL ENGINE MANAGEMENT CONTROL UNIT. THE RECALL BEGAN ON JULY 16, 2004. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT BMW AT 1-800-831-1117.
For more information:
CUSTOMERS CAN 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: 04V344000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 4102
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Jun 23 2004
IN THE EVENT OF A SEVERE FRONTAL CRASH, THE QUICK-RELEASE COUPLING COULD SEPARATE CAUSING FUEL LEAKAGE. FUEL LEAKAGE, IN THE PRESENCE OF AN IGNITION SOURCE, COULD RESULT IN A FIRE.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH 8-CYLINDER ENGINES, A CIRCULAR RETENTION CLIP AT THE QUICK-RELEASE COUPLING ALONG THE FUEL SUPPLY LINE WAS INADVERTENTLY NOT INSTALLED.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSTALL A CIRCULAR RETENTION CLIP AT THE QUICK-RELEASE COUPLING ALONG THE FUEL SUPPLY LINE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON JULY 5, 2004. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT BMW AT 1-800-831-1117.
For more information:
CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 04V303000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 7532
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