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Old 16th May 2020, 23:03   #1
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Default BMW 535i : My silver bullet

2016 F10 BMW 535i

Likes:
  • Butch, aggressive look especially with the M-sport package which inludes side skirts, a lip spoiler, and a revised front bumper
  • Supremely comfortable with a composed ride
  • Tremendous road presence even with the larger cars we have here in North America
  • Loads of technology including blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, full adaptive LED headlights, NBT headunit, etc.
  • Inline-six N55 engine with its single twinscroll turbo is the bread and butter of BMW, smooth as silk even at the redline with respectable horsepower/torque figures

Dislikes:
  • Handling definitely leaves quite a lot to be desired, feels far more boatlike compared to BMWs of yesteryear. This is a luxobarge for all intents and purposes, make no mistake
  • 20" wheels are far more prone to damage and offer a slightly more stiffer ride (more on this in review)
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is sorely missed
  • Repairs when they inevitably happen down the road could be expensive
  • Heavy! My xDrive model is 1,840kg and it sure feels like it. Consequently, fuel consumption is a touch on the higher side

Last edited by CrippledLucifer : 18th May 2020 at 01:52.
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Old 17th May 2020, 11:56   #2
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Default re: BMW 535i : My silver bullet

Preface

Hello and welcome to my very first Team-BHP ownership experience. I have been a member of this site for a number of years now but have kept a mostly low profile. The wealth of knowledge gained over the years pertaining to Indian vehicles in particular has been invaluable and I hope to remain a member here for the long foreseeable future.

The Official Team-BHP reviews as well as long term ownership reviews have long fascinated me and have consistently been my favorite parts of this Forum. It had naturally then become a bit of a pipe dream of mine to one day document my full ownership experience here on Team-BHP from the purchase process all the way to finally taking possession. With recent developments, I'm excited to say the opportunity has finally arrived. While this is not my first car, it is my first car where I specifically took notes along the way specifically to share with my fellow BHPians. I would also like to apologize in advance for the length of this post, please feel free to skip the boring personal bits! While not completely necessary, it may help paint a better picture about myself.


A Little Background

Where to even begin?! Ever since I was a child, cars have been my passion. Even today, as an almost 31 year old, I still have my many die-cast Hotwheels and Matchbox cars safely parked in a glass cabinet. Of course, as I grew older, the smaller cars were joined by much larger more intricate model cars. It probably goes without saying, I love cars and I love driving.

Throughout my life, one constant has remained intact, that of course being my love for BMW. I can still vividly recall my very first memory of seeing a BMW as a small six year old living in Haiti sometime in 1995. One day, while we were making our way down the hills of Port-au-Prince, a white car ahead of us caught my attention. It was painted in white, had sharp tail lights and looked menacing from the front end after my father overtook it. I distinctly remember seeing the infamous roundel and the letters BMW. I didn't know it at the time of course, but I had ended up spotting an Alpine White E30 3 series. Thus, my BMW "virginity" had been lost at the very tender age of six!

After that sighting, I began to keep a sharp eye out for that menacing front end and those incredibly sharp aggressive looks. Unfortunately, Haiti only had a select few BMW and I regrettably never spotted another. In very early 1997, we ended up moving back to India and try as I may, I did not spot a single BMW and eventually I lost hope of ever seeing one.

Fast forward to 2002, my parents scheduled a trip to Saudi Arabia to perform the minor pilgrimage at Mecca. We landed at Jeddah and made our way to the hotel where the following morning, the biggest surprise of my life was waiting for me. For our very short ~90km journey, the hotel had provided us a BMW! More specifically, it was a long wheelbase E38 7 series painted in Biarritz Blue Metallic. Unfortunately, I do not recall the exact model but were I to hazard a guess, it was more than likely a 740iL. Regardless, I was so overjoyed to finally see a BMW in the flesh and was even more impressed when I climbed in. The legroom was insane, the seats so comfortable, the ride so incredibly sublime; I had fallen in love all over again with BMW.

Let's once again jump a few years ahead, this time to 2006. My father was posted in Rome, Italy at the time and one of our close family friends ended up buying an E90 BMW 325d painted in Space Gray Metallic. As a now much older 17 year old with access to high speed internet, I began poring over the details on the car and learning about the tiniest details. Our family friend took me for a drive and I was once again so impressed with the car as well as the tech inside. My parents at the time owned a Lexus IS200, a respectable car in it's own right but it felt just a bit dated compared to the BMW. It lit a desire so strong within me, I knew for certain my first car would be a BMW.

2010 arrived, I was now a university level student in Canada and finally began thinking about buying my very first car. I was of course fully prepared to buy a BMW, a life long dream was about to come true. The only problem was every used BMW I found at the time was either far too old or required extensive repairs which I would be unable to afford. When I finally found the right car, it ended up being beyond my budget. I was extremely dejected and mentioned the same to my father, who to my utter surprise offered to help me out with the car purchase. To this day, I am forever grateful to my father for helping me realize a dream held since childhood. September 17, 2010 I had finally purchased my first ever car, and more importantly my first ever BMW! Specifically, it was a facelifted E46 BMW 325i painted in a very unique Gray-Green Metallic finish and with a 5 speed manual gearbox. The engine in this vehicle was a naturally aspirated BMW M54 inline-six producing a modest 189HP/180 lb-ft (245nm) of torque. The picture below is from the day I purchased it.

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-cadw9.jpg

I enjoyed the car immensely and ended up keeping it for four years during which time I drove it almost 50,000km. In October 2013, I decided it was finally time to purchase my next car, which of course would also be a BMW and would also be a manual transmission. The E46 was beginning to have issues, some of which were very serious and would require multiple thousands of dollars to repair. Still, it being my first car I was determined to try and keep it running for as long as I could. In any case, I found an E90 328i painted in Jet Black and ended up purchasing it shortly after the test drive. This vehicle had the naturally aspirated BMW N52 inline-six producing a much healthier 230HP/199lb-ft (270nm) of torque. A picture of my E90 is below.

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-gelv9nz.jpg

I currently still own this E90 and plan on keeping it for the foreseeable future. It is mechanically flawless despite having ~197,000km on the odometer and has been with me for almost seven years now with no major issues. Routine maintenance as well as the BMW traditional preventive maintenance has kept things running smoothly. As for the E46, sadly I bid it farewell in July 2014. The AC evaporator had failed and repairing it would mean pulling apart the entire dashboard just to access the part. Not only would it be an extremely time consuming job, it would also be an extremely expensive to repair since at the time I had no access to tools or a garage.

Lastly, after almost 10 years, I can confidently say I've learned more about BMWs than your average person. Coding has been my favorite thing to do in any modern BMW and I've happily been learning VO/FDL coding to unlock even more options in my cars and truly making them my own.

Now that we're all caught up, it's finally time to move on to the purchase process for the 535i.


Planning and Researching

Having had the aforementioned E90 328i for such a long period of time, the itch to purchase a new car began all the way in early 2019. It goes without saying that I knew I wanted another BMW, this time a 5 series and specifically a 535i. The N20 inline-four powered 528i was never even considered because of its rather sluggish performance and the N63Tu V8 powered 550i was ruled out because of the sheer number of issues with the engine. What year, what mileage, and what options my future 535i would have was still a long ways out. I did however know I would want a facelifted car, or LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) model as BMW likes to call them. These models were produced starting July 2013 all the way to October 2016 and included most of the recent BMW tech.

As with any car purchase, planning the finances was the biggest challenge. Personally, I hate being in debt and prefer to pay cash for my car and own it outright. I also don't think a brand new car is a wise investment especially from a luxury marque like BMW. The depreciation on these cars here in North America is frankly depressing. I much rather let someone else deal with the depreciation and then enjoy a relatively new model for a far more reasonable price. Besides, as someone who owns cars for a long period of time, depreciation is ultimately of no concern to me.

Regardless, plenty of weeks went by in early 2019 planning and plotting for the incoming vehicle. By my calculations and after factoring in any unforeseen happenings, I came to the conclusion that I would have enough cash on hand to purchase my next car in or around April 2020.

Once that issue was tackled, I figured I would wait till around early March 2020 to start finding a car. I had also come to a conclusion that I wanted a mid to late 2016 build car so as to have factory warranty for an extra few months. In the mean time, I began looking for brochures to see what the most desirable options/packages were. Sadly, while I wasn't able to find any brochures online for 2016 models, I was able to find one for 2015 cars directly from BMW Canada's website. Immediately, a few options became an absolute must for me to have while others became optional. Please see an excerpt from the brochure I used to narrow down my options list:

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-lrpg736.png

I knew from the get-go that I had to have the M Performance Package for the additional 20HP/32lb-ft (43nm) of torque and the giant 20" wheels. After doing some additional research, I learned that Canadian vehicles that had the M Performance Package were required to be specced with the M Sport Line AND Premium Package. That made my life a little easier, however I still wanted to have the Technology Package for those sweet, sweet Adaptive LED headlights plus the HUD and all inclusive safety features. The Enhanced Interior Package and the Premium Seating Package became optional for me; while they had some features I wanted (like heated rear seats), not having them would not be a deal breaker. During this time, I also downloaded the complete owners manual from the internet and began to read every page in order to familiarize myself with my future car. In fact, I read with such fervor, when I eventually took the test drive a few months later, I was thoroughly checking everything as though I had owned the car for years.

With the packages/options list more or less locked in, next came the time to research the things nobody wants to: potential issues as well as common complaints/niggles other owners had. I was familiar with the N55 engine and that for the most part it was a rock solid BMW inline-six. Other than that, it looked like the 535i's were mostly very reliable provided they were well maintained. There's of course always someone who has issues but those tended to be extremely rare. Overall, the 535i checked every box and reassured me that I had made the right choice in deciding on this particular model. As xDrive was the only option for Canadian vehicles, I had no choice despite the fact that I would have preferred a RWD vehicle for the most unadulterated BMW driving experience.


A Setback

Of course, as we entered into 2020, we welcomed something that would change everything for humanity as a whole and for the foreseeable future: Covid19. As I mentioned, I was completely ready to purchase a car with the required cash on hand in late March 2020. The only problem now was a full shutdown of any car sales initiated by the Ontario government to help curb the spread of the virus. With an almost horrible sense of irony, as I was browsing a used car website in mid April 2020, I suddenly spotted the exact car I wanted with every option/package ticked down the T sitting at a dealership a mere 15km away from my house! Not only did it have every single option of my choosing, it also had the exterior color as well as interior color I wanted! I honestly couldn't believe it, it almost seemed like it was too good to be true.

Given that the dealership was closed, I knew it was pointless to anticipate a viewing, however I knew I just had to go see the car at their lot to get an idea of its condition. I hopped into my trusty black steed and drove with an excitement I hadn't felt in years. Car purchases are always such a fun affair are they not? I arrived at the dealership and promptly clicked the below photo to document my journey on Team-BHP. It was my very first look at the car in the flesh and I was immediately in love. The muscular side profile, the aggressive front end, the subdued rear end. Uff...

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0045.jpg

The body was in great shape, barely any scratches and those that existed were superficial enough to be hidden by the silver paint. It's one of the reasons I wanted a silver car, it hides any paint damage as well as dirt so well but sadly doesn't have the same pop and shine as a freshly detailed black car would. The wheels sadly had curb rash almost all around, very annoying especially since the car has a top down view camera to mitigate this exact thing. Sadly, with a used car, things like this are completely beyond anyone's control. In any case, I peeked inside and saw the interior was in pristine shape. Just seeing the interior put such an enormous smile on my face, this was the perfect car with literally everything I wanted. I stayed for as long as I could at the dealer lot before finally bidding the car adieu and returned home, but not before clicking a picture of the VIN. I wanted to decode the VIN and pull up the build sheet for this car to see confirm which options were installed from the factory along with the actual date of manufacture. Below are pictures of said build sheet:

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BMW 535i : My silver bullet-aohok1c.png
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-perwi6o.png

Once home, and after confirming the options on the build sheet, I emailed the dealership to ask if they could perhaps arrange for a test drive. Two days later, the dealership responded that they could try to arrange one for me by basically delivering the car to my home and then letting me take it out for a spin. Of course, I immediately replied that this would be a wonderful idea and asked about their scheduling. After this email, the dealership went cold and did not reply further much to my dismay. I later learned that the by-law services in my city were fining car dealerships for over $100,000 for allowing test drives. I began to lose hope and felt so frustrated. My dream car was sitting right there, so close yet so, so far.


A Turn of Events: Test Drive

Two weeks later on the very first day of May 2020, I received an email from the dealership asking if I was available at 11am the following day to view the car. I immediately responded with a resounding yes. It turned out the Ontario government had relaxed the rules the night before to allow car viewings and test drives strictly by prior appointments. Things were beginning to look up once again. Right after replying, I contacted a close friend of mine who has also been my mechanic for the last decade or so to help me with the mechanical aspects of the vehicle. I trust his judgement fully and told him up front if he passed the car, I would be willing to close the deal there and then. Happily, he immediately responded with a yes and told me he'd be at the dealership at 11am sharp. I then contacted my best friend to see if he'd be willing to come down too who also immediately said yes. Everything was good to go for the next day, now if only time would pass by quicker.


10:30am the following morning I left my house in incredibly high spirits with literally no idea how the day would go. Both my friends were waiting for me when I arrived at the dealership 20 minutes later. After exchanging pleasantries with the salesman, we were given the key and decided to check out the car. Of course, my mechanic buddy immediately jumped into action and began checking out the exterior of the car for any obvious damage/repairs. He opened up the hood and checked for any obvious leaks or broken hoses. My best friend on the other hand began admiring it with as big a smile on his face as mine.

Once my mechanic friend was satisfied, he asked me to hop in to take us all out for a test drive. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I took a seat into the drivers seat and was immediately floored. This was so much better than I imagined: the Nappa leather upholstery was so incredibly soft and supple to the touch, everything in the car was so beautifully laid out, and had a much more upmarket feel compared to my aging 3 series. I hate to keep repeating myself, but I was once again completely head over heels in love with this car. Keeping my emotions in check (and to myself!), I pressed the engine start/stop button and it roared into life. After adjusting my seat/mirrors and putting on my seatbelt, I put the car into drive and slowly made my way out of the parking lot.

Right away a couple of things happened. The sheer size of this car compared to my 3 series made itself apparent. The hood was so much longer and was very visible while driving while the width took a little getting used to. Luckily, BMW has installed cameras in the front bumper as well as the ORVMs to make low speed maneuvering as easy as possible. Pictures of the cameras as well as their views in the infotainment screen are below:


BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0651.jpg
Bumper mounted cameras, identical one on right side

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0646.jpg
View from the bumper mounted cameras on the infotainment screen

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0654.jpg
ORVM mounted camera

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0647.jpg
Surround view aided by above camera

In any case, I was extremely apprehensive and took things slow to begin with. As we drove around the city streets I began to get a better feel for the car and at the same time, the three of us all noticed just how comfortable it was. Bumps were ironed out and the noise insulation specific to LCI cars was very apparent. We reached the highway on ramp and luckily there was no traffic ahead of me. I immediately dropped the car into sport mode, moved the transmission lever into S mode, and engaged the paddle shifters to take full manual control of the gearbox. I then floored the accelerator and to all of our surprise the car transformed from a docile long distance cruiser to an aggressive speed machine. The tuning gains as well as upgraded throttle response offered with the M Performance Power Kit really made itself known, this is a seriously fast car for it's size and weight. Extremely impressed with the performance, I merged into traffic and let the car ease off. I switched it back into Comfort mode and slid the transmission lever back into D whereupon it once again became subdued. All three of us then noticed a strange whirring noise coming from the front end which my mechanic friend immediately attributed to feathered run-flat tires. Definitely something that could be used to leverage the price of the car.

One other thing that really stuck out to me during the test drive was the Heads-up Display (HUD). Previously, I had thought of the HUD as being a gimmick that I would rarely use. In my short test drive, any misconceptions I had about the HUD disappeared. It's such a useful little utility to have, the projection is incredibly crisp even in direct sunlight and it also offers a fair amount of information (navigation directions, song playlist, phone call information, speed limit information, etc.). I am now spoiled for the rest of my life as any future cars will absolutely require a HUD.

Test drive over, we made our way back to the dealership. My mechanic friend insisted on seeing the underside of the car just to make sure there were no further leaks or hidden surprises waiting for us. A quick phone call later and a hoist at a nearby garage was arranged for. The dealer was perfectly happy with letting us take the car for what was essentially a pre-purchase inspection. Things were beginning to get serious at last, I began to get slightly more nervous and hoped the car would check out. We drove the quick 2km to the hoist and propped up the car to get a good look underneath. Some pictures below:


BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0250.jpg


BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0251.jpg

Thankfully, aside from the car needing four brand new tires, everything else was in tip top shape. The car was then lowered from the hoist and once again we made our way back to the dealership. On the way, I asked my mechanic friend who instantly gave me the green light and at the same time both of them offered to help negotiate the price of the car. I gave them both the go ahead to negotiate as best a price for me as they could so that I could possibly close the deal on the same day. This was my dream car after all, it would be hard to pass up on it especially if a fair price could be negotiated for it.

We arrived at the dealership once again and immediately got talking to the salesman. My friends did all the talking on my behalf and within 30 minutes, managed to negotiate the price down by about $3,200. Not only was this comfortably within my budget, it also meant I would have plenty of spare change left to buy mods down the road. The deal was finalized and I paid a $500 deposit to seal the car as mine. I was over the moon and profusely kept thanking my friends for helping out. The salesman offered to click a picture with my car and I happily obliged!

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I was instructed to bring a certified check when possible so that a bill of sale could be written up. This would also enable the dealership to get the car registered under my name so that I could attach license plates. For those unaware, license plates in Ontario, Canada are tied to the owner and not the car.


Payment and Delivery

As the deal was finalized on a Saturday and the banks were closed, I had to wait agonizing hours for Monday to arrive. I arrived at the bank shortly after 10am and then had to wait quite a bit more because of Covid19 restrictions. Just my luck! Banks were limiting the amount of people inside the branch and I ended up waiting almost 20 minutes for my turn. A check was eventually issued and with my bank account now being considerably lighter, I quickly made my way to the dealership to drop it off so the registration process could begin. I asked the salesman where the car was since I didn't see it on the main lot, he laughed at my impatience and said they parked it around the back to nobody else would try to get a glimpse of it. Thanking him, I went around the back to get one more look at my monster. Of course, I just had to take a pic:

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0288.jpg

I spent almost five minutes just admiring the car from every angle all over again with a big goofy grin on my face. I still couldn't believe this beautiful car was fully mine. Eventually, I figured I should get going and start arranging for new tires. I wanted to have the car fully ready with brand new tires when I took delivery. The dealership had agreed to drop off the car at a shop where the new tires could be mounted/balanced. Delivery would also take place at the same shop since the vehicle registration and keys would be left there.

After returning home, I got to work on finding tires. I have always preferred Michelin tires so the brand was a no brainer. I also knew that there would be zero chance I would install runflats, the ride quality is garbage with those and I was not making the same mistake I had once made in the past. After doing some research on various BMW specific forums, I finalized my tire option to the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer performance tire. Since my car uses a staggered setup, the tire sizes were as follows: 245/35/ZR20 for the front, and 275/30/ZR20 for the rear. Pictures of the tires installed on the car are below. Note that these images were taken a few days post delivery:

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0649.jpg
275/30/ZR20 at the rear

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0650.jpg
245/35/ZR20 in the front

At this point, let's flash forward a few days post delivery. I'd like to mention that despite these Style 434M wheels being 20", the deletion of runflat tires made the ride so incredibly smooth. With the runflats, I would never have liked to stick with the 20" wheels, the ride is simply way too harsh. Every bump feels like it'll blow the tire or worse damage the suspension. With these Michelin non-flats however, the car feels like it's floating on air. Truth be told, it doesn't feel at all as if I'm driving on 20s even on bumpy roads. In any case, back to the past!

I found a local retailer who had the tires in stock and after a quick phone call, placed the order and told them I would be in later that day to pay for the tires. I also requested them to drop the tires off at the mechanics shop which they agreed to do. In total, I paid $1,820CAD (~₹99,000) for all four tires. Very expensive yes, but tires and brakes are something that I will never compromise on. These two things are literally the most important thing keeping me alive, why on earth people still opt for Chinese brand tires on high performance vehicles is beyond me.

With the tires finalized, it was now time to go home and wait patiently for Thursday which was when the delivery was supposed to occur. Thursday arrived and around 3pm I got the call saying my car was ready for delivery. I was so excited and quickly contacted my best friend to see if he could give me a ride to the dealership. He was equally as happy and said he'd be at my place within 30 minutes so we could pick it up. As soon as he arrived, I hopped in and off we went to pick up the car. There are sadly no pictures of the delivery since I just took the keys and ownership with zero fanfare. After I got in and started the car, I noticed it was running on fumes with literally 20km range left in the tank. I quickly told my friend we would be making a pit stop at the petrol pump to fill up the belly of my beast. A picture of the very first fill up is below:

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0327.jpg

After this, my friend and I parted ways with plans to meet up during the weekend so that he could check out and drive my new car as well. I made my way home with the biggest smile and eventually parked my silver bullet in the garage right next to my 3 series:

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0331.jpg

As the day finally came to a close, I was feeling so incredibly content. It had been a wild few weeks but finally, I had exactly the car I wanted. However, there was still much to do!


A Quick Few Pictures

I've shared various pictures of the vehicle below with descriptions. Not a lot of talking here, just enjoy the pics.

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0456.jpg
The mean front end with the LED angel eyes

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0454.jpg
I love the way the golden sunlight hits the car at this angle

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0259.jpg
The BMW N55 twin scrolled turbo inline-six engine, develops 326HP/332lb-ft (450nm) torque and pushes this car from 0-100 in 5.4 seconds

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0340.jpg
The cockpit with full digital instrument cluster

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0338.jpg
Center console

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0342.jpg
Key with obligatory Team-BHP keyring

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0341.jpg
The driving aids plus headlight controls

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0346.jpg
The sweet, sweet full Adaptive LED headlights

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0474.jpg
Front drivers seat

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0477.jpg
Front passengers seat

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0603.jpg
Parked at my friends house the following weekend! The VW Jetta and W205 Mercedes-Benz C300 both belong to my friend.

In the next post, I'll cover some of the things I've done since taking delivery. Spoiler alert: it's not a lot... yet!

Last edited by CrippledLucifer : 21st May 2020 at 02:48.
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Old 21st May 2020, 01:20   #3
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Default re: BMW 535i : My silver bullet

Ownership Shenanigans

Shenanigans is right. After having taken ownership, it was time to start tinkering with the car. I won't go over the various iDrive settings I changed since they're mostly mundane settings and Bluetooth pairings for my iPod/iPhone. The more important thing for me to update was the navigation maps. Sadly, the car does not come with Apple CarPlay and despite having Google Maps on my phone, it does not hurt to have fully up to date maps readily available in case of spotty cell coverage. I opened up the navigation screen and found the current map database and was in for a rude shock. This car still had the maps from 2016!

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0369.jpg

With a massive groan and grumble, I went back inside my home and promptly hopped on to the computer to order a map update. I used BimmerTech and paid $115USD with free shipping for a 32GB USB flash drive pre-loaded with the maps. While I waited for the flash drive to arrive, BimmerTech issued the FSC code which was required for activating and installing the maps into the car. This was done via a simple PDF file containing all the relevant information as well as installation instructions. The drive itself was delivered via FedEx three days later and came in all the way from Dubai.

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0655.jpg
The box containing the flash drive

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0657.jpg
The flash drive itself

I jumped into my car as soon as the flash drive was delivered and got to work installing the map update. I decided to start the car since this process was likely going to take some time. The maps hadn't been updated in four years and the USB flash drive contained around 29GB of data that it had to write to the car. I plugged in the drive into the USB socket located in the center arm rest and the car immediately identified a map update was available. After opting to install, the car requested the FSC code which I entered using the iDrive touch pad. Following the successful input of the FSC code, the car began installing the map update.


BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0516.jpg
Almost there

It ended up taking almost one entire hour for the maps to install. It was incredibly boring and the process was about as much fun as watching paint dry. Regardless, after this update the navigation screen read the following:

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0517.jpg

As my car also came with the BMW Connected Drive services, I opted to subscribe for some additional features outlined in the picture below. The subscription only costs $100/year so it hardly breaks the bank. I also get to remotely control some features of the vehicle like active ventilation as well as locking/unlocking the vehicle through my phone.

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0661.jpg
The Connected Drive logo as well as the KAFAS camera system used for features like automatic high beams, the lane departure warning system, and the active protection.

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-lnsptoj.png
The BMW Connected Package Plus subscription available for my car.

After these things were taken care of, it was time to move on to the service side of things. The car was constantly reminding me that an oil change was due as well as an overall inspection of the car. Sadly, the local BMW dealership had limited technicians on hand because of Covid19 so when I paid them a visit for an appointment, they could only fit me in one week later. Upon scanning the key, my service advisor informed me the microfilter required replacing, as well as a routine oil change, and the aforementioned general inspection of the car. As I had gotten new tires installed on the car, I asked the service advisor if he could arrange for a 4 wheel alignment to be performed while the car was in. That way, I would keep my brand new tires from wearing unevenly. Everything other than the alignment was covered under warranty which my service advisor informed me was valid until November 2020 or 80,000km whichever came first.

I dropped off the car early morning at the dealership one week later and was told it would be ready by 3:30pm the same day. Sure enough, at 2:30pm, I received a call from BMW informing me that car was almost ready to go and that it would definitely be available before 3:30pm. I ordered an Uber and off I went to pick it up. I was in for another rather rude shock when I saw the alignment spec sheet. The rear end of my car was completely misaligned. It's no wonder all four tires that were on the car previously were shot. Thankfully, BMW realigned the vehicle to factory specifications.

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_0658.jpg

Having said and done all that, we are now fully up to date with the car as of May 2020. I intend to record any further modifications right here on this thread.

Conclusion/Future

There's not much to say here, I am fully content with this car and have loved driving it ever since I took ownership two weeks ago. Still very early I know, but we have to stay positive don't we? I consider myself very, very lucky to have found the exact car I was looking for, it's incredibly rare to have that happen. Not once do I regret my decision of going with a 535i and not a 550i. The headaches with the 550i would have left me more disappointed especially as reliability is paramount for me. I'm also a sucker for the bread and butter of BMW, their inline six engines. I plan on keeping this car for a while, at least for the next few years at which point I fully intend to buy a brand new BMW M5, my all time attainable dream car. Hopefully, Team-BHP is still around so I can document my purchase process for that one too.

As for the future of this car, there's quite a few mods and upgrades I plan on doing once the warranty runs out in November 2020. A short list of things I've planned, in no particular order:
  • VRSF Chargepipe
  • Evolution Racewerks Catless Downpipe
  • Xpel Prime XR Plus Ceramic Tint (coming very soon!)
  • BootMod3 for engine tuning
  • M Performance Exhaust
  • KW Coilovers
  • aFe Performance Intake
  • Pure-Stage 2 Turbo
  • Wagner Tuning Intercooler
  • New wheels (undecided as of yet, I really do like these stock Style 434M 20s)

I thank you all in advance for reading this thread and joining me in my journey to purchase my silver bullet. I hope you enjoyed the report and if it's not too much to ask, would appreciate any comments/criticisms. This is all very new to me so I apologize in advance if things aren't up to the usual Team-BHP standards, I've certainly tried my best.

Last edited by CrippledLucifer : 21st May 2020 at 02:54.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 06:58   #4
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd May 2020, 09:31   #5
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Congratulations CrippledLucifer on the acquisition. Wish you unlimited safe & happy miles with your dream car. How nice that you got the exact car of your requirements including even the colour. Fantastic. Enjoyed reading the thread too. Thanks for it.

I'm a big fan of BMW's looks (who isnt?) and i just love the perfect German cockpits in them. Always fond of them. Exudes understated class. They know how to make it the best.

Wow, $3000 drop by negotiations - your friends should be star negotiators in large deals!
Take care & stay safe! Cheers.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 09:59   #6
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Default Re: BMW 535i : My silver bullet

Congratulations CrippledLucifer on your Sliver Bullet and wish you thousands of happy mile crunching on your steed. Your BM looks stunning and spec is drool worthy indeed. Like it or not, additional weight because of XDrive in my opinion is absolutely worth it considering long snowy winters of Ontario. I have had multiple hair rising experiences in RWD sedans on snow so I know what I am talking about!

Enjoy your car to the fullest.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 11:46   #7
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What to say! A childhood dream come true indeed. Enjoy the car for many miles!
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Old 22nd May 2020, 13:59   #8
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Great review! Congratulations man. The F10 really endears itself to you with time. My car is turning 7 this year and I'm still not even 1% bored with it. Further, even if I were to buy a pre-worshipped 5-Series today, I'd get the F10 over the ugly G30 (no offense to G30 owners).

Was nice to see some of the features we don't get here (e.g. 360 cam). Great choice also with the Pilot Sports. I'm still on runflats, but will be swapping to tubeless at the next service. No availability of Michelins in the staggered setup in India, so I might go with Pirellis.

Agreed on the handling. She is very heavy & very fat. Unlike the E60 which was a true sports sedan, the F10 is a luxury sedan that also goes fast. Honestly though, give me the F10's comfortable suspension over the E60's bone-jarring one any which day.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd May 2020 at 14:01.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 11:11   #9
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Congratulation on the car; it’s a beauty.

You did well to stay away from the N63 engine; it is a problematic engine. N55 is gem of an engine and also trouble free by and large. You’ll be thanking the x-Drive in Ontario winters; about 12 years I used to own a rear wheel driven Charger and in Alberta winters it was scary as I would go sideways with the slightest tap on the gas pedal. Changing the RFTs to non-run flats was a great decision. I still have the RFTs on mine as the clock still reads 30,100 kms. Mine is a summer car and somehow I cannot justify spending $2 grand on a set of tires at this mileage. However in next couple of years, changing over to non RFTs is a priority.

You have some interesting mods lined up for sure. For me reliability is important and other than an aluminium charge pipe (supposedly the stock unit is prone to cracking at around 160,000 kms) and bigger intercooler that I might add once the car is out of warranty, I plan to keep the car stock.

I would also suggest getting the BimmerCode app (full version) and a Bluetooth enabled OBD reader to activate a number of options on various systems such as

• Active Sound Design
• Advanced Crash Safety Module
• Air Conditioning
• Allround View Camera
• Electronic Transmission Control
• Front & Rear Electronic Module
• Head Unit
• Instrument Cluster
• Integrated Chassis Management
• Roof Function Center
• Seat Module Driver
• Tailgate Function Module

It’s a great car that brings a smile to my face every time I take her out for a spin.

Drive safe!
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Old 24th May 2020, 22:11   #10
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Default Re: BMW 535i : My silver bullet

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrippledLucifer View Post
I made my way home with the biggest smile and eventually parked my silver bullet in the garage right next to my 3 series.
Garages being used as garages, nice shot! It really pisses me off that most people here in the US dump their stuff in garages and park in the driveway (or on the street). Nice looking car overall! I've always liked the design of that M steering wheel, although the one time I used it, it felt really large for a 435i. Probably par for the course on a 535i.
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Old 24th May 2020, 22:35   #11
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Default Re: BMW 535i : My silver bullet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikram Arya View Post
I would also suggest getting the BimmerCode app (full version) and a Bluetooth enabled OBD reader to activate a number of options on various systems such as

• Active Sound Design
• Advanced Crash Safety Module
• Air Conditioning
• Allround View Camera
• Electronic Transmission Control
• Front & Rear Electronic Module
• Head Unit
• Instrument Cluster
• Integrated Chassis Management
• Roof Function Center
• Seat Module Driver
• Tailgate Function Module

It’s a great car that brings a smile to my face every time I take her out for a spin.

Drive safe!
Thank you for the kind words!

This is absolutely in the cards. In fact, the Bluetooth dongle is making it's way over from the UK as we speak. Covid19 has made shipping incredibly slow sadly, so who knows when it'll get here. I have the app already purchased and waiting to go.
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Old 21st June 2020, 06:41   #12
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A quick update here, I recently got the vehicle tinted with 20% ceramic tint all around. This tint is so incredible, it blocks out such a good chunk of the heat and keeps the car interior cool. Not only this, I've noticed that the AC does not have to work as hard to get the car cooled down. Very well worth it and will be something I will get across all my vehicles.

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_1743.jpg

I also swapped the stock chrome kidney grilles with M Performance gloss black kidney grilles to match the rest of the shadowline trim on the vehicle. It's amazing how a simple grill swap makes the vehicle look so much more aggressive and with the dark tint, it really completes the look in my opinion.

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_1745.jpg

I also had the headlights and foglights restored and applied a ceramic coating to them to protect against further deterioration and to give them a nice glossy shine. The original plan was to also get PPF installed to protect the headlights, but my detailer is unable to source headlight protection film due to shipment constraints so I'll have to get it done later. For now, the ceramic coating is good enough. I also had him polish the tail lights and apply the ceramic coating to them. It makes a world of a difference!

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_1744.jpg

BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_1746.jpg

Last but certainly not least, I received my OBDII module in the mail and finally coded a fair bunch of options on my car with the Bimmercode app. Next up will be a simple reverse light bulb swap to LED since only God knows why BMW in their infinite wisdom chose to omit LEDs there when the remainder of the car has full LEDs.
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Old 29th June 2020, 10:27   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrippledLucifer View Post
I recently got the vehicle tinted with 20% ceramic tint all around.
Lucky you! At one time, I had black tints on all my cars, but alas, even 5% tint is banned in India

Quote:
I also swapped the stock chrome kidney grilles with M Performance gloss black kidney grilles to match the rest of the shadowline trim on the vehicle.
Looks fab! These small enhancements go a long way . Suggestion: you could try the sportier dual-slat grill that Tanveer's car is running (they are currently being fitted to my car). I am copying Skoda's idea from the Rapid TSI and giving it a glossy black border with matt black innards:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-annotation-20200629-102605.png
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Old 19th August 2020, 11:10   #14
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Time for another brief update! Since the last post, quite a bit has been done to the car. I had the thrust rods replaced under warranty as there was a prominent clunking sound on braking. There was also another issue pertaining to rust in the wheel bearings taken care of under warranty as well. Apparently, this wheel bearing issue is common on the F10 5 Series as well as the F01 7 Series. Go figure.

Regardless, the car is running smoothly much to my satisfaction. Lately, I have not been driving it much since I only put 10,000km/annum on my insurance. My E90 has been my daily for a few weeks now but I do take the F10 out from time to time when the weather is nice.

On another note, I've taken up detailing as a hobby and what better place to practice on than on my own cars. My first order of business was to tackle something most people are very apprehensive of doing: detailing the engine. It took some courage, but now I consider myself quite adept at detailing engines. The F10 was the first car I worked on, I then did my E90 then my buddy's W205 C300 and also his VW Jetta.

Take a look below for before and after shots of my F10:

F10 engine bay before:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2564.jpg

F10 engine bay after:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2566.jpg

It makes such a world of a difference in terms of aesthetics and every car meet I've been to I've only gotten compliments. It's incredibly rewarding as well as fun if I'm honest.

Here are some additional pictures of my E90 as well as the W205 C300 and the VW Jetta:

E90 before:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2603.jpg

E90 after:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2613.jpg

W205 C300:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2809.jpg

VW Jetta before:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2840.jpg

VW Jetta after:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2843.jpg

My friend couldn't believe how clean his Jetta became and when he saw the final result, he couldn't stop smiling. His wife appreciated the W205's engine bay even more than him, she couldn't stop thanking me especially as she herself is a very neat and clean person.

In any case, shortly after that, I decided it was time to go all in and perform a full paint correction on the F10. There were minor swirls as well as a few scratches I wanted taken care of, plus there was the whole shining spotless car thing. Detailing is incredibly addictive I tell you what!

It took me almost three days of working on and off running through the various steps but the end result was completely worth it. A quick breakdown of what I did:
  • Decontaminated the entire car with IronX remover
  • Hand washed the car to remove dirt and general road grime
  • Used a claybar to remove any further embedded contaminants
  • Polished the entire car with a DA polisher
  • Applied a sealant to protect the paint and to enhance gloss
  • Decontaminated the wheels with IronX and used a dedicated tire cleaner plus brush to remove old tire shine plus other road grime.
  • Applied a dedicated wheel wax to prevent brake dust build up as well as road grime build up.

The fruits of my labor can be seen in the below pictures, the car looks even better in person and frankly, I am so incredibly proud of what I've accomplished.

The mirror like finish:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2977.jpg

The gloss is so evident in this picture:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2979.jpg

Front end:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2980.jpg

Highly reflective:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2981.jpg

Compare my paint to my neighbors W205, huge difference:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2982.jpg

The view everyone else usually sees:
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2983.jpg

The wheel fully dressed and waxed, please note this was taken a few days before the above pictures. The rest of the wheels share a similar look, posting one image to preserve bandwidth.
BMW 535i : My silver bullet-img_2831.jpg


I have also dressed the interior with a protectant and also cleaned and conditioned the Nappa leather upholstery in the vehicle. The car smells like a Gucci store now with the leather fully restored.

Unfortunately, by the time I was done with the interior, it was too dark to take any pictures. Expect to see those sometime in the next few days in a separate post.

As for upcoming mods, I have a BMW M Performance Exhaust on the way from Germany. I've also ordered M Performance carbon fiber tips to match the diffuser trim and to have a more distinct look. I'll have another update with a sound clip when it's eventually installed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Looks fab! These small enhancements go a long way . Suggestion: you could try the sportier dual-slat grill that Tanveer's car is running (they are currently being fitted to my car).
Believe it or not, I thought hard about this. In the end, it seemed like everyone is running the dual slat grilles on everything from the 3 series all the way up to the 5 in my town. Nobody really runs with the gloss black single slats so I opted to go with these. I agree though, the dual slats look far more aggressive, however I wanted my car to stand out just a tad bit from the rest. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind down the road and swap them out. Appreciate the suggestion!

Last edited by CrippledLucifer : 19th August 2020 at 11:14.
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