BMW M5 Problems to Avoid and the Best M5 Model Years

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Your BMW M5 is an exceptional car that offers both luxury and performance. However, like with any vehicle, it can experience some common problems.

As an M5 owner, it’s essential to be aware of these potential problems and take the appropriate measures to maintain your vehicle’s optimal condition.

Let’s dive in and explore some common BMW M5 problems that you should watch out for. Please take a look at the sharp differences and similarities between M4 vs M5 BMWs.

BMW M5 Performance and Reliability

Horsepower and Engine Variants

When it comes to horsepower, the BMW M5 is no slouch. In the newer models, such as the 2020 M5 Competition, you’ll find an impressive 617 hp. Here’re facts about M5 Competition Vs M5 standard sedan battle.

Over the years, the M5 has gone through several engine changes ranging from V10 engines in the E60 generation to the current V8 twin-turbo engines in the F90 generation.

There’s quite a history of power behind the M5, with earlier generations like the E34 and E39 utilizing naturally aspirated V8 engines to provide impressive performance.

Transmission and Gears

The transmission in your BMW M5 has evolved over the years, with manual and automatic options available depending on the specific model and market.

The latest F90 M5 switched to an 8-speed automatic transmission, providing smooth shifting and impressive performance overall. The F10 M5 before it also used a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) for precise and fast gear changes.

Reliability Concerns

Though the BMW M5 is a performance powerhouse, there have been some reliability concerns in the past. Some common issues include turbocharged engine troubles, especially in the 2004-2015 models.

However, recent studies suggest it’s not as bad as you might think, and as with any car, proper maintenance and care can go a long way in keeping your M5 running smoothly.

Comparisons with M6 and M8

Your M5 offers a great balance of performance and practicality, but you might wonder how it compares to its siblings, the M6 and M8. Discover some BMW M6 problems and concerns reported about these years.

In terms of horsepower, the M6 shares the same engine as the M5, but is designed as a grand tourer, which means a focus on long-range comfort.

The M8, on the other hand, is a step above the M5 and M6, offering more power and luxury, but also at a significantly higher price point.

Overall, your BMW M5 delivers an incredible driving experience, balancing impressive horsepower, advanced transmission, and a rich history of performance.

Common BMW M5 Issues

Rod Bearing Problems

Rod bearing issues can be a common problem in BMW M5 engines. If you hear a knocking noise coming from the bottom of your engine, it’s time to consult a mechanic to inspect and replace the rod bearings. Regular oil analysis can help identify this issue early on.

Throttle Actuator Issues

Your M5 may experience throttle actuator problems, causing hesitation or surging while driving. This could trigger the check engine light and give you fault codes.

Make sure to have this issue diagnosed by a professional to maintain the performance of your vehicle.

Oil Consumption and Analysis

Oil consumption can be a concern in some BMW M5 models. Keep an eye on your oil levels by checking them regularly. If you notice excessive consumption, it could indicate a more severe issue. Conducting an oil analysis can help identify potential problems before they become costly repairs.

Limp Mode and Fault Codes

Limp mode is a safety feature that protects your M5 engine during critical issues. Your car may enter limp mode if it detects low fuel, high oil temperatures, or numerous fault codes. It’s crucial to address the cause as soon as possible to avoid any long-term damage.

ABS Warning and Traction Control

Your BMW M5 may sometimes display an ABS warning or traction control light. This usually indicates a problem with your Anti-lock Braking System or wheel speed sensors. Ensure that you take your car to a professional to diagnose and resolve this issue.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) in your M5 helps to ensure optimal tire pressure for safety and performance.

If the TPMS warning light is on, make sure to check your tire pressure and address the issue promptly. Proper tire maintenance can significantly impact your driving experience.

Which Years of M5 Should I Avoid?

As a BMW M5 enthusiast, you might be wondering which years of this iconic sports sedan you should avoid buying. Worry not, as I’ve got you covered.

The worst years for the BMW M5 are the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2019 models.

The 2012 to 2014 models were known to have a few common issues such as oil sensor problems and unexpected engine shutdowns.

Moreover, the 2015 model had its share of complaints, with some owners experiencing issues with the clutch slave cylinder.

Although the 2019 model had fewer issues compared to its predecessors, it’s still considered one of the less desirable years.

In conclusion, for the best ownership experience, it’s advisable to steer clear of the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2019 BMW M5 models.

Preventative Maintenance and Wear

Regular Maintenance

It’s essential for you to stay on top of your BMW M5’s regular maintenance tasks, which are key to preventing long-term engine problems.

Regular oil changes and fluid flushes at recommended intervals can go a long way in keeping your M5 performing optimally.

Wear and Tear Items

Your M5, like any other vehicle, is subject to wear and tear items that require regular inspection or replacement, such as the rod bearings or brake pads. Monitor these items to avoid potential issues down the road.

Gaskets and Seals

You should also pay attention to your M5’s gaskets and seals (e.g., valve cover gaskets, oil pan gaskets) that may develop leaks over time. Check for any signs of oil seepage and address them promptly to reduce the risk of engine damage.

Mileage and Age Factors

Consider the mileage and age of your M5 when planning on preventative maintenance and addressing wear and tear items.

Higher mileage vehicles may demand more frequent maintenance and part replacements, such as oxygen sensors or spark plugs and ignition coils mentioned on M5 & M6 common problems.

By proactively taking care of your BMW M5 and paying close attention to these aspects, you can extend the life of your vehicle and enjoy its performance for years to come.

Buying a Used BMW M5

Things to Look For

When shopping for a used BMW M5, pay close attention to the vehicle’s history and maintenance records.

Be on the lookout for issues with oil sensors, unexpected engine shutdowns, and clutch slave cylinders.

Reviews and Forums Insights

Take advantage of online resources like Road & Track’s E39 M5 Buyer’s Guide and BimmerFest BMW Forum to gather insights from fellow enthusiasts and experienced BMW owners.

Experienced M5 Owners Tips

Experienced M5 owners recommend inline-six engines as a good choice for used BMWs, but if you prefer a V8, the 2000-2003 E39 M5 offers reliability and durability, with the S62 engine particularly noted for its better cooling system.

BMW M5 Safety and Convenience Features

Lane-Keeping Assist

Your BMW M5 is equipped with a helpful Lane-Keeping Assist feature. This advanced technology ensures you maintain your lane by gently steering the car back on track if it detects involuntary drifting.

Automatic Shift Lock

The Automatic Shift Lock is an added convenience that prevents your car from shifting gears accidentally or without your input. This safety feature will give you peace of mind and added control while driving.

Fog Lights

Your BMW M5 is equipped with powerful fog lights that help enhance visibility in challenging weather conditions. These lights allow you to see and be seen by other drivers on the road, ensuring a safer driving experience.

617 Horsepower Model Features

The 617 horsepower BMW M5 Competition model boasts a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine, providing right-now acceleration and impressive performance capabilities for an exhilarating drive.

Remember to take advantage of these safety and convenience features in your BMW M5 to enhance your driving experience and keep you and your passengers safe on the road.

Comparing BMW M5 Different Models

Let’s go through a few of the standout models, so you have a better understanding of their differences.

E39 BMW M5: This model is often described as the best M5 for its great balance of performance and comfort. With its 4.9-liter V8 engine producing 400 horsepower, the E39 M5 provides you a thrilling drive while still maintaining everyday practicality.

F10 BMW M5: This generation introduced a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine with 560 horsepower. You’ll appreciate its improved performance, though some argue it lost some of the driving feel of its predecessors due to the addition of turbocharging.

F90 BMW M5 and M5 Competition: The F90 M5 comes with a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine producing 600 horsepower, while the M5 Competition version pushes it up to 617 horsepower. Both offer all-wheel drive, which greatly improves handling and acceleration.

2022 BMW M5 CS: As the most recent addition to the M5 family, the M5 CS represents the fastest and most powerful M5 ever made, with its 627 horsepower output, lighter weight, and track-focused enhancements.

What Are The Best BMW M5 Year Models?

When it comes to the best BMW M5 models, some years stand out among the rest.

Here, we’ll introduce you to the top years for the M5 according to auto enthusiasts and experts.

First on the list is the 1998 BMW M5. This model is known for its handmade build and superb driving aspects. The ’98 M5 showcases BMW’s dedication to craftsmanship and performance, making it a favorite among fans.

Another great year for the M5 is 2000, notably the E39 M5. This model has been widely praised for its near-perfect blend of sportiness, luxury, and power. With its 4.9-liter V8 engine and excellent handling, the E39 M5 has earned its spot as a top M5 model.

The E60 M5 from 2005 to 2010 also deserves recognition for its innovation and unique features. This model introduced a mammoth V10 engine, providing impressive power and performance.

Though it faced some challenges, the E60 M5’s character, versatility, and the option for a 6-speed manual in the North American market make it a noteworthy contender.

BMW M5 Competitors

When looking at potential rivals for the BMW M5, a few models come to mind: the Audi RS7, Audi RS e-tron GT, Tesla Model S, and Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing.

Let’s briefly discuss each and their pros and cons.

Audi RS7

The Audi RS7 is a luxury sport sedan boasting an impressive V8 engine, providing exhilarating acceleration and handling.

However, some Audi RS7 years with issues interior quality might not be as refined as what you would find in the BMW M5.

Audi RS e-tron GT

For electric vehicle enthusiasts, the Audi RS e-tron GT could be a great alternative. It offers rapid charging, a stunning design, and a high-quality interior.

However, it may not provide the visceral driving experience that the M5 offers with its powerful combustion engine, as we love to have you beware of these Audi E-tron issues listed.

Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is another electric competitor known for its incredible performance and advanced tech features.

While it delivers excellent straight-line speed, you might miss the driving dynamics and brand prestige associated with the M5. Not all models are good, as these Tesla Model S used models has proven over the years!

Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

Lastly, the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is an American contender featuring a potent supercharged V8 and track-capable performance.

However, its ride may not be as comfortable as the M5’s, and its interior doesn’t quite match BMW’s level of refinement.

As you consider potential rivals for the BMW M5, keep these key differences and similarities in mind to make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are common issues with F10 M5?

The F10 M5, produced from 2011-2016, is known for having some issues such as oil sensor malfunctions and issues with the clutch slave cylinder.

Some owners reported unexpected engine shutdowns, although others have enjoyed years of faultless ownership.

How reliable is the F90 M5?

As a newer model, the 2021 BMW M5 is generally considered reliable. However, it is important to stay informed about potential recalls or known issues that may arise over time.

Is maintenance expensive for M5?

Maintenance costs for the BMW M5 can be on the higher side due to its performance-oriented nature and the use of premium components. Regular preventive maintenance is essential to keep your M5 in top shape and avoid more expensive repairs down the line.

What problems are associated with the 2013 M5?

The 2013 M5, being an F10 M5, shares similar issues to other F10 models. These can include oil sensor issues, clutch slave cylinder problems, and unexpected engine shutdowns. However, many owners have reported no significant problems apart from wear and tear items.

Are there engine problems with the F10 M5?

Some F10 M5 owners have encountered turbocharged engine troubles. To mitigate potential issues, ensure proper maintenance and stay up-to-date with manufacturer-recommended service intervals.


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