Last post on Jul 28, 2013 at 1:08 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Car Buying, Sedan
#53 of 400 Re: What nice, high performance beemer to buy? [joyrider147]
Jun 14, 2007 (7:51 am)
1. Beemers= BMW Motorcycles
Bimmers= BMW Automobiles
2.I'm leaning towards the 530i since it has less drawbacks, but should I go for it since 530i stick shifts are rare?
Read this before you look at any early M60 powered BMWs.
3. Or should I do a tranny swap out and end up with all advantages and no drawbacks?
Converting a post-1990 BMW to a manual transmission is often MUCH more trouble than it is worth. It can be done, but it can be a very expensive and time consuming procedure.
4. I would strongly recommend that you attend several high performance driver schools-such as the ones offered by BMW CCA- BEFORE you modify your chosen Bimmer. I say this because 99% of BMW drivers are woefully unable to drive a stock-never mind modified-Bimmer at anywhere near its true potential.
5. If I wanted an inexpensive BMW that can be modified easily and somewhat cheaply, I'd find a nice E36 325i or 328i. There are tons of engine and suspension parts available.
#54 of 400 2002 540i 6 MT
Jul 13, 2007 (11:11 pm)
Like a lot of people, I have considered a BMW for many years but have yet to buy one. I want my first purchasing experience to be a positive one.
I am looking for a family friendly but sporty and upscale car for me. My wife has a van and we have 2 kids under age 3 (ie 2 car seats). My last 3 cars have been non-luxury Japanese cars - Outback wagon and 2 Accords. I am looking for something a little more sporty and have always admired BMWs.
I am considering a used 2002 540i 6 MT wi 57000 miles. Its certified used from a dealer for asking price of $24900. What sort of issues should I look for when evaluating such a car? What sort of maintenance and service costs are typical for such a car?
The dealer provided a carfax which indicates 2 owners. It also indicated a battery and catalytic converter being replaced in 2004. It was in a minor accident and the front bumper was repainted in 2005.
Aside from the particulars of this car, is there anything in general that I should look out for on this kind of car?
Is this the BMW to start with?
#55 of 400 Re: 2002 540i 6 MT [nowakj66]
Jul 14, 2007 (6:35 am)
It sounds like a great car that if you don't jump on I might. Geez, I've seen the 530i from that year up in that price range, so a 540i 6-Speed is a bargain if its in good shape.
Things to look for:
1) Oil changes at least every 15,000 miles (using BMW LL-01 certified oil)
2) Brake fluid changed every two calendar years (using DOT 4 brake fluid)
3) Engine coolant changed every three to four calendar years
4) That "Service A" was performed at around the 30,000 mile mark
5) Inquire with the dealer what the cost will be for "Service B" (due in 3,000 miles)
Other things to consider:
- What kind of tires are on the car? I ask because the OEM summer performance rubber have long since worn out.
- The brakes are probably going to be ready for replacement within the next 15,000 miles or so. They are a fairly easy DIY job and oddly enough less expensive to do than the ones on our Minivans (go figure), however, dealerships seem to like to charge top dollar for the job. Check around for pricing (hint: find a good independent BMW shop).
- If you live where it snows, you will NEED a set of winter tires. You can either buy a complete set of wheels and rubber from TireRack for a little over $1,000, or you can poke around on the second hand market. Wheels from any E39 (the generation of 5-Series you are looking at) 540i or 530i SP will fit over your brakes.
Good luck and keep us posted.
#56 of 400 Re: 2002 540i 6 MT [shipo]
Jul 14, 2007 (7:33 am)
Thanks Shipo - great advice. The carfax does indicate oil changes and services aprox every 15000 miles. Should I be concerned that the catalytic converter was replaced in 2004?
I hope to see the car in person this afternoon.
#57 of 400 Re: 2002 540i 6 MT [nowakj66]
Jul 14, 2007 (8:06 am)
That's a little odd but I wouldn't worry about it too much. Could have been something simple like a piece of road junk mashing the converter or something.
#58 of 400 540i details
Jul 14, 2007 (2:32 pm)
Okay all - I test drove the 540i 6MT.
Here is the good news
- BMW certified warranty on all major systems till 10/2008 - not '07 like I thought
-tires are new dunlops
- paint looks good
- car drove incredibly smoothly
- tons of power
- very relaxed and smooth but very powerful when you get on it
- steering was amazing
- driver seat is very comfy with lower leg extender for tall guys
- back seat was big enough
- next service is an oil change
- interior was clean
- last driver was non smoker, no kids or pets and serviced it well
Now the bad
- paint is good but not perfect
- headliner had some stains by the drivers door
- would need winter tires and rims ($1000)
Dealer called to say they would sell for $23400. Thoughts?
#59 of 400 Re: 540i details [nowakj66]
Jul 14, 2007 (7:13 pm)
The only fly in the ointment that I see is the "Next Service". I'm 99.9% positive that at 60,000 miles there is supposed to be another "full service" which I believe is called "Service B". I don't have my manual at hand at the moment, I'll look it up in the morning and report back.
Other than that, it sounds like a steal.
#60 of 400 Re: 540i details - the morning after [shipo]
Jul 15, 2007 (7:31 am)
Thanks for looking that up, Shipo. Now the morning after I am starting to have second thoughts.
I guess the real issue is do I want to trade a pristine, but relatively sedate, highly reliable 2 year old car plus $5000+ for an expensive to maintain. in good but not perfect condition 6 year old car with a lot of style and cachet?
I am starting to think the 540i car might be a little too much for me. That motor under the hood seemed as big as a mini cooper and I am sure it would be expensive to work in that tight space. . .
It's just a tough call. . .
Just to be clear we are talking about going from a 2005 Accord Hybrid to the 2002 540i 6 MT.
#61 of 400 Re: 540i details - the morning after [nowakj66]
Jul 15, 2007 (8:15 am)
On all non-M 5-Series E39 models there is what's referred to as "Service II" that is to be performed around the 60,000 mile mark.
Another option to consider would be a 2002 or 2003 530i 5-Speed. It'll still give you lots of performance (especially compared to the Accord), considerably better mileage than the 540i and generally lower maintenance costs. On my 530i 5-Speed (a 2002 with the Sport Package, Premium Package, Premium Audio and Xenon headlights) I was able to consistently get just over 30 mpg at speeds between 70 and 75, and about 23 in combined driving.
There are a couple of other advantages that the 530i has over that generation of the 540i 6-Speed.
- The 530i has even more responsive steering (Rack & Pinion) than the already good steering of the 540i (Recirculating Ball)
- The 530i SP has the same size tires front and back which allows for tire rotations (which will extend the life of the tires) as opposed to the staggered setup of the 540i 6-Speed.
- The 5-Speed 530i SP is generally more plentiful when compared to the 540i 6-Speed (which includes the SP suspension setup), so you should be more easily able to find the color and option combination that suites you.
As for deciding between your Accord and the 5er, well, I'm biased to say the least so I'm probably a very bad person to ask for an opinion. FWIW, I am not a fan of Hybrids for many reasons so of course I'd suggest you go for a 5er.
#62 of 400 Been thinking about it as well
Jul 15, 2007 (5:25 pm)
trading to a 5 series, wagon. 530XiT. my choice is easy, it is too expensive, so
I am staying put until i can afford one.