ADVICE PLEASE

Andrew, via email

HI GUYS, long time reader with a question: What are your thoughts on the E60 series BMW 550i? I’m about to buy a very decent 2007 model, but I think they have some nasty issues with coolant leaks and electrical gremlins. Very good drive, however?

Andrew, we threw this one senior contributor Dave Morley: “These weren’t the prettiest BMW 5-Series ever made, were they? And you’re right about the electrical niggles that seem to crop up in some cars, but not others. The best bet is to make damn sure every little switch, knob and indicator light does what it’s supposed to, when it’s supposed to.

“The coolant leaks you’re referring to are relatively common on this series of BMW V8 and are caused by coolant pipes springing a leak. That wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t located under the intake manifold! A 550i that idles roughly or too quickly on a cold-start could also be suffering problems in the Valvetronics department. And watch for oil around the front of the engine that suggests the Vanos variable valve timing might be leaking. Fuel pumps can give out, too, but there’s usually no warning sign – she just stops. Those that own them rate them, but beware a really cheap one or one that has no real service record.”