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1.9

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,500 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 BMW 530 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 BMW 530 Owner Comments

problem #6

Jan 142015

530 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

At 96,000 miles the check light illuminated. Diagnosis was P0741 (BMW code 48) which is a fault with the torque converter clutch (tcc). This failure until corrected results in lower fuel mileage, and a guaranteed failure to pass the emissions test during state mandated vehicle inspections. Add to this that continued use of the vehicle will likely result in transmission damage since the tcc lockup clutch is slipping resulting in debris building up in the fluid. This fault is due to a defective torque converter clutch seal that BMW has a hidden service bulletin on. See si 24 03 06 dated February 2008. Replacement of the torque converter is expensive. BMW dealer quoted a bit more than $3000 for the replacement. I've since determined though a BMW forum that this issue is widespread with a large number of failures taking place. I was told by the dealer that the seal in question has not been updated and that failure of the seal will likely take place again in the future.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 182013

530 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Without any previous problems, the "service engine soon" light came on. The car is a 2003 BMW 530I with 68,000 miles at the time. Computer diagnosis returned "fault 30", "torque converter slipping". recommendation was replacement of torque converter at cost of $2600. Online research of this problem found many complaints of the exact same nature. Due to conflicting advice, the car was not repaired, and has been driven for 3 months and over 3,000 miles without any problems or diminished mileage or performance. The "service engine soon" light that switches on in response to "fault 30" may indicate a non-existent problem that can lead to a costly repair. Meanwhile, the driver is left with a vehicle with a constantly lit "service engine soon" light. This can obviously create problems in selling the car or having it pass a smog check.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #4

May 112013

530 8-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I backed my 2003 BMW M5 out of the drive way and heard a terrible sound, I attempted to drive the car forward, and the noise got worse. I returned the car to the drive way and put it on jacks and stands to find the noise. I discovered that the rear subframe was broken (I have pictures and will be getting the original parts back for testing) from the mount holding it to the frame. I have researched forums for 1999-2004 BMW 5 series cars and have located 14 more people that have suffered the same fate (is has happened in 528, 540, and M5 models from 1999-2004). The repair is costing me approximately $4000. If this break had occurred at highway speed the drive shaft and differential would have separated and would been free to fly around and cause severe damage to the car and anyone in it.

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #3

Jan 142009

530 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

In January of 2009, the "service engine soon" (ses) light came on. It was diagnosed as a faulty torque converter with a replacement cost of roughly $2000. Since the car was showing no sign of engine trouble, we have continued to drive the car for almost 3 years and 50,000 with no problems but the ses light continues to shine and the car will not pass emission inspection. Now faced with spending $2000 for a problem that we are not sure exists or not passing inspection.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #2

Jun 012010

530 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Without any previous problems, the "service engine soon" light came on. The car is a 2003 BMW 530I with only 55,000 miles at the time. Computer diagnosis returned "fault 30", "torque converter slipping". recommendation was replacement of torque converter at cost of $2600. Online research of this problem found many complaints of the exact same nature. Due to conflicting advice, the car was not repaired, and has been driven for 3 months and over 3,000 miles without any problems or diminished mileage or performance. The "service engine soon" light that switches on in response to "fault 30" may indicate a non-existent problem that can lead to a costly repair. Meanwhile, the driver is left with a vehicle with a constantly lit "service engine soon" light. This can obviously create problems in selling the car or having it pass a smog check.

- La Jolla, CA, USA

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problem #1

Jun 272010

530

  • 70,000 miles
Transmission code P0741 goes on, indicating slippage in the torque converter clutch. This results in lowered gas mileage and a check engine light, resulting in failure to pass state auto inspections.

- Allston, MA, USA

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