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View Full Version : Question for current/former E39 owners


bschmidt25
07-23-2012, 03:48 PM
I'm looking at purchasing an '06 or '07 530xi. I currently own an '01 E39 touring (525). It's had most of the common E39 issues over the nearly 100K miles I've driven it: cooling system failure, front suspension / thrust arms, and rear subframe bushings - but has otherwise been pretty trouble free for me. Save for the cooling system failure, it's never left me stranded. I'm comfortable doing most of the maintenance myself, but when it gets into transmission issues/maintenance and electrical issues, I prefer to leave it to the pros. Just wondering what your experience has been with the E60 compared to the E39. I personally have found the E39 very easy to work on and am wondering if the E60 is similar in that respect. Does the E60 still have the cooling system woes of the E39? Any major issues on the E60 that I should be looking for or worried about? Thanks in advance!

Theduke
07-23-2012, 07:53 PM
I upgraded from a 2001 e39 540 and had the same experience you had, some suspension, cooling, but easy to work on and understand. I recently bought a 2010 535i with X Drive, 6 MT, and Msport package and absolutely love it. It is a bit scarier than the E39 for the fact that everything is controlled through the I-Drive - it scares the hell out of me. I still have have factory warranty and plan on keeping an extended one if it covers it.

The engine is also shoe horned in the bay and not nearly as much room to work in. Not sure if the 530 is much different than 535 other than turbos???

Inside the E60 is a little more refined than E39. Nav and logic7 sound system is nice ..... As well as the seats that come with the M-sport package!

I think you will like it

borderchris
07-23-2012, 07:58 PM
Stay away from the 545i, if you're worried about cooling (and leak) woes.

I love my 550i- metal radiator end-caps, and she's been pretty bulletproof with standard TLC. My e39 has been a friggin' money pit from the day I bought her; coolant, electronics, leaks, suspension woes. I've had fun working on her, but I leave her to the wife now.

Yes, I love my e39, but you know what? After putting a grand into the suspension (Eibach / Bilstein) and some good 19" rims / tires, my 550i is just as much fun to drive as the 2003 530i Sport (5 speed BTW). It's just more refined, is brutally powerful (you see that duality, there?) and really takes good care of the driver. In a BMW way.

The 530i in e60 trim is good, with 255 HP, but suffers the same DISA/CCV/cooling woes as the '39. If you must have an I6, get the 535i- It gets decent milage and is quite snarly when called upon. If you don't mind getting (consistently) 25MPG on the freeway, get a 550i-you won't regret it.

MUST HAVES: Sport (active roll system), Logic 7, Navigation (the little screen without it looks odd) and avoid SMG like the plague. Don't go near the 525i- way too heavy for 200 or so HP. Same with the 528i. (Sorry guys!)

bschmidt25
07-23-2012, 08:51 PM
Thanks for the replies so far! I drove a '07 550i/6 the other day and loved it. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to convince the wife that's the route to go. We tend to rack up the miles and I have a long commute, so our gas bill is high enough already. Plus this one will be her daily driver, so she has more pull this time around :) . My must haves are Logic 7 and Sport and she wants Nav and xDrive. It's been harder to find all of these options than I would have thought.

As far as maintenance, I'm worried about all of the electronics on the E60 more than anything - things I can't diagnose/fix myself. Haven't had the DISA or CCV issue on my E39, but I know what to look for so I'm pretty comfortable with that. 535 would be nice but the good examples are on the high end of our price range or have a lot of miles.

Thanks again guys!

TangoRed
07-23-2012, 09:12 PM
Stay away from the 545i, if you're worried about cooling (and leak) woes.

I love my 550i- metal radiator end-caps, and she's been pretty bulletproof with standard TLC. My e39 has been a friggin' money pit from the day I bought her; coolant, electronics, leaks, suspension woes. I've had fun working on her, but I leave her to the wife now.

Yes, I love my e39, but you know what? After putting a grand into the suspension (Eibach / Bilstein) and some good 19" rims / tires, my 550i is just as much fun to drive as the 2003 530i Sport (5 speed BTW). It's just more refined, is brutally powerful (you see that duality, there?) and really takes good care of the driver. In a BMW way.

The 530i in e60 trim is good, with 255 HP, but suffers the same DISA/CCV/cooling woes as the '39. If you must have an I6, get the 535i- It gets decent milage and is quite snarly when called upon. If you don't mind getting (consistently) 25MPG on the freeway, get a 550i-you won't regret it.

MUST HAVES: Sport (active roll system), Logic 7, Navigation (the little screen without it looks odd) and avoid SMG like the plague. Don't go near the 525i- way too heavy for 200 or so HP. Same with the 528i. (Sorry guys!)

OP, if you're looking for the most reliable E60 I'd shy away from a 550i. That potential internal coolant leak issue is quite expensive to remedy. The active roll system is awesome but will eventually leak. Definitely get the nav system. The 528i is stronger than the 525i, but sits in between the early 530i and later 530i (the years you're looking at). The 528i coupled with xdrive is probably a slug though. The 530i will still suffer from cooling system issues. Check the mechatronics (torque converter) for any leaks.

There have been reported failures of the idrive screen. Just something to be aware of.

borderchris
07-24-2012, 07:58 AM
OP, if you're looking for the most reliable E60 I'd shy away from a 550i. That potential internal coolant leak issue is quite expensive to remedy. The active roll system is awesome but will eventually leak. Definitely get the nav system. The 528i is stronger than the 525i, but sits in between the early 530i and later 530i (the years you're looking at). The 528i coupled with xdrive is probably a slug though. The 530i will still suffer from cooling system issues. Check the mechatronics (torque converter) for any leaks.

There have been reported failures of the idrive screen. Just something to be aware of.

Incorrect- 545i, with the N62B44, has a major and documented issue with the coolant valley tube. The 550i has the improved N62B48, which according to pretty much every mechanic I've talked to, as well as club members, has not had any notable issues with that, due to an improved seal design. I guess we'll see, though, since there arn't that many super-high milage 550is out there.

Tango, you drive a 2010, right?

TangoRed
07-24-2012, 11:01 AM
Incorrect- 545i, with the N62B44, has a major and documented issue with the coolant valley tube. The 550i has the improved N62B48, which according to pretty much every mechanic I've talked to, as well as club members, has not had any notable issues with that, due to an improved seal design. I guess we'll see, though, since there arn't that many super-high milage 550is out there.

Tango, you drive a 2010, right?

Indeed I do. I could've sworn someone on here suffered the leak on their 550i. Guess not. :thumbup:

BickUW89
07-25-2012, 10:15 AM
The 550i has the improved N62B48, which according to pretty much every mechanic I've talked to, as well as club members, has not had any notable issues with that, due to an improved seal design. I guess we'll see, though, since there arn't that many super-high milage 550is out there.

My 2008 550i with the N62B48 engine has 64,600 miles on it, and it runs as good today as the day I bought it four years ago. I haven't had one single mechanical problem with the drive train.

The 2008-2010 550i drivetrain is about as bullet-proof as BMW has ever made. :thumbup: