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2013 BMW 535 - reliable vehicle?


Hi, I’m thinking of purchasing the BMW 535I X Drive. Any advice on the quality of this car would be awesome. Things like is it a reliable vehicle have you had any major break downs. Any advice would be appreciated!

You don’t mention the series or the mileage, so any response will be very general. My family has owned a slowly evolving fleet different BMWs over the past 20+ years so I guess I am as qualified as anyone to make general statements.

A 535 X drive will probably be more reliable than a 540 or higher. If you are looking for reliability, however, a used BMW is probably not where you should be looking. My daughter’s boyfriend’s BMW has less than 90k miles on it, and it has broken down unexpectedly and left him on the side of the road three times in the past three months.

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A used BMW or other German car is not as reliable as an Asian brand. Check Nathan’s DIY garage on you tube. Lots of info on used BMW’s.

Not a good choice for reliability. A 2013 Lexus, well maintained would be my choice.


Yeah, but a 2013 Lexus is a pig compared to a 535 X-drive. If the OP wants to check reliability of the 2013 535, he should check Consumer Reports for that year and model. I wouldn’t exclude anything but the solid black dot for subsystem reliability. CR maintained their 5 categories, but the difference between them shrank a lot over the years. How it was maintained by the previous owner is, of course, the prime concern.

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From what I’ve read and heard, most BMWs are leased, and turned back in 36-39 months. I owned a 328 for 10 years, and learned that BMWs are built to need repairs. If not, my 328 would not have had plastic impellers on the water-pump (designed to fail), or a plastic neck on the radiator, which enthusiasts know usually cracks at 80-90,000 miles, etc., etc., etc. There are reasons why they don’t hold their value as a used car, one is suburban snobbery, can’t be seen in an OLD 4 / 5 / 7 / 10 year-old car, the other is poor reliability once out of warranty. Good Luck !!

CR says average reliability for the 2013, but much worse than average for the 2012, which is the same generation, and the 2011, which is the earlier generation. This may exemplify the tendency for BMWs to age, well, ungracefully. The rest of the 2012-2016 generation is rated average or much better than average.

The problem I have with used BMW’s is the previous drivers. Owners of BMW"s like to drive their vehicles hard. That’s why they buy them. That type of abuse isn’t good for the longevity of the car.

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C’mon, you have to trust people… you can always find one-owner BMW which was gently used by somebody grandma who passed away and now they need to sell it :slight_smile:

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Are they also selling a large bridge in Brooklyn?


Same advice I gave my son is just trade it before the warranty and free maintenance expires, which he had done. I think the dealer invoices for repairs start at $1000 and go up from there regardless of what is wrong.

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You can avoid that by replacing the plastic water pump with an all metal racing water pump. I know a guy at work that does it with his 5-series cars. He knows they need improvements when he buys them.

All manufactures have used plastic impellers on water pumps, it is not necessarily a bad thing.

BMW has been using electric water pumps for the last 15 years, is there a “racing” electric water pump?

BMWs have the well-earned reputation for requiring a cooling system rebuild around 100k miles.

It’s a 7 year old used car… As with any 7 year old used car it can be a coin flip.

As for Nevada’s question, yes they sell electric racing water pumps. Both Summit and Jegs carry them along with many others

Hi, thanks for the solid advice. What I’ve read about your daughters boyfriend that sucks. The car I was thinking of purchasing has about 124,00 miles on it. Cosmetically it’s in great condition, but like you said you’ve BMW’s far longer then I’ve been driving. So I’ll take your advice on the reliability aspect. Thanks again!

I don’t see a replacement water pump with Jegs for the 2013 535, Summit Racing has a standard replacement for $709. Rock Auto has the same water pump for $500, I don’t think these water pumps have anything in common with the mechanical water pumps with the impeller failures of the 1990’s.

I have a coworker, who is BMW worshiper and who maintains his mid-90s aged 740 and 545 (Dynan II) stall 100% with his own hands.

One of his chief complaints is that both cars already have way too much plastic parts in the cooling system, and that if original parts held for around 6-7 years, all the replacements he installs (100% OEM actually) seem to last substantially less time, een when using original fluids.

I own a 2013 535xi. It’s never given me any trouble at all. I take it in for regular service. It even hit a deer once and it was repaired perfectly without any mechanical problems. I love it.

Hi, thanks for the reply. I’m curious is your 535I X Drive a six cylinders and how many miles does have on it?