Last post on Feb 05, 2013 at 12:39 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
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BMW 5 Series, Car Buying, Sedan
#353 of 399 2003 BMW did well thanks to this Board
Dec 23, 2009 (2:32 pm)
I joined Edmunds forum just to say thanks to the many folks who have informed us about used BMW's. Thanks Shipo, Roadburner, Fed Lawman...and many many others who educated me. I bought an 03 BMW 525i I think the color is Blue Water Metallic... It grows on you. Not my first choice but the longer I have it the more I like it.
It was a one owner. I bought it online...yes I know what you are thinking.. but it worked out. The guy I bought it from had all books and records. He babied it and it showed. Ran a Carfax, paid less than 10K for it... New tires, straight body, shiny paint, no rips or tears, interior looked new. It had 75k on it .. I drive hard.. It now has 86k six months later.
Permit me to make a few observations... first I come from a background of driving Hondas for the last 15 or so years. So I thought about the earlier posts above. My Hondas were great. Reliable. Well engineered and bulletproof. Had some road noise but car performed well since I drove it and others over 35K per year.
My BMW.. wanted something totally different...but couldn't afford a new one... Love the style of the 03 525i.. a classic to me. Love the lines, the interior, the amenities. heated seats, steering, headlight washers, rear vents, tool kit (yes all my tools were there). Love the headlights at dusk, and the auto option and fog lights.Car looks new even though it is 7 years old.
It handles more stiffly than a Honda. Low end acceleration is a bit pokey. To me it is a better cruiser than a sport sedan. Conti's are ok for me.Use only premium fuel.. gave up on the idea of saving pennies and wasting dollars. Maintenance is higher, it just is...nothing you can do.. it ticks off my wife, but it is my car. That is why I bought a used one. Oil changes cost me $100 plus.. again made wife mad , but can go further btw changes. Wish I could get satellite radio.. have the right 'head' but getting the other parts has been a challenge.
I agree with Shipo's many comments about keeping up with maintenance. It may cost me more but I think it will pay off. I enjoy driving the car and I feel I made an informed purchase due to the folks on this Board...
Thanks..... Hoosier BMW
#354 of 399 Re: 2003 BMW did well thanks to this Board [hoosierbmw]
Dec 25, 2009 (11:31 pm)
Maintenance is higher, it just is...nothing you can do.. it ticks off my wife, but it is my car. That is why I bought a used one. Oil changes cost me $100 plus.. again made wife mad , but can go further btw changes.
Have you considered changing the oil yourself? It's dead easy on an E39. Oil and a filter will run $60. Join BMW CCA, most dealers and shops offer CCA discounts. A good indie BMW tech will likely save you money as well.
#355 of 399 E39 possible purchase - what to look out for?
Dec 28, 2009 (2:44 pm)
Any thoughts on what to look out for when looking at used 540it's and the M5? I ask b/c I'm not as familiar with these larger engines and possible issues.
I'm seeing a few out there with 75K miles, offered for $14K (540it) to $18K (M5). I'm sure maintenance will be pricey, but I'd like to go in with my eyes "wide open" for any potential major issues.
#356 of 399 Re: E39 possible purchase - what to look out for? [sunilb]
Dec 28, 2009 (6:02 pm)
Cooling (rad, water pump) and electrical systems are well documented trouble areas. Tranny and engine issues, if/when occur, are very expensive to fix. Massively expensive if M5. Having or finding independent BMW mechanic with BMW-specific training/tools essential for happy long-term ownership. Finding well-maintained unit (in excess of factory spec. if possible) equally essential. With those two conditions, what you spend in repair and maintenance you will more than save in depreciation.
#357 of 399 Re: E39 possible purchase - what to look out for? [sunilb]
Dec 28, 2009 (11:17 pm)
I almost bought a 2003 540i Sport in January 2009, but I decided to be practical and keep my Mazdaspeed 3. Big mistake. Right now I have my eye on a 2000 M5 that I'm hoping to pick up for less than 16K. BMWtips.com and m5board.com are excellent places to do a little research. The S62 seems to be a fairly reliable engine; most problems you may encounter are relatively minor(if not necessarily cheap to fix)- such as thermostats, VANOS solenoids, etc. Other than that, you just have the typical E39 maladies such as suspension bushings, window regulators, and radiators.
#358 of 399 Re: E39 possible purchase - what to look out for? [roadburner]
Dec 29, 2009 (4:44 pm)
I spoke to an independent BMW mechanic last night and he said to expect to spend $2K-$3K annually for the M5... or roughly 50% more than for the 540 (as an example, he said that the all four brakes on the M5 would run $2K). Now, I could justify this because I should only need to do the brakes every 4 years or so.
He basically said that it would make more sense to get the 540 w/manual transmission.
Is this what you guys had in mind, cost-wise?
#359 of 399 Re: E39 possible purchase - what to look out for? [sunilb]
Dec 30, 2009 (12:10 am)
I spoke to an independent BMW mechanic last night and he said to expect to spend $2K-$3K annually for the M5... or roughly 50% more than for the 540 (as an example, he said that the all four brakes on the M5 would run $2K).
Aside from brakes, I can't see where he's getting those numbers. Do more parts fail on the S62? Are said parts more expensive? A combination of the two? With regards to the brakes, you can get Centric rotors and StopTech pads from Zeckhausen Racing for $608. Several M5 board members have used them with no complaints. Either do the install yourself(it's very simple) or have your indie guy do it.
#360 of 399 Re: E39 possible purchase - what to look out for? [roadburner]
Dec 30, 2009 (9:51 am)
From what he was saying is that all of the parts are more expensive. I'll have to call another indy to get a second opinion of what my potential out of pocket expense will be.
Funny that you mentioned the MS3-- I started my process of really wanting to get a hatch/wagon but couldn't find one that was RWD and manual transmission. Though, I did consider the MS3 and GTI (GTI seems nice, but I feel a bit old for it). The 3 and 5-series wagons are hard to come by with a stick, so I've migrated to the 5-series (and I have a preference for the E39 body style / fewer electronics).
Why are you eyeing a 2000 model year, instead of an '01-'03?
#361 of 399 Re: E39 possible purchase - what to look out for? [sunilb]
Dec 30, 2009 (6:49 pm)
Why are you eyeing a 2000 model year, instead of an '01-'03?
I'm looking at a specific car that has passed a thorough PPI and is priced right. I can always upgrade the Nav system to a Mk. IV- and the Celis lights and LED tails as well.
#362 of 399 Re: 2003 BMW did well thanks to this Board [hoosierbmw]
Jan 09, 2010 (6:11 am)
You can save yourself lots of money by changing the oil yourself. It is so simple on this car, it takes about 15 minutes to do. The oil filter is topside with a screw on canister and the oil drain plug underneath the car. With the money I save I use lubro-moly oil, which is more pricey than your average oil but the best oil for this car.