Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-11-2012, 11:07 PM
Newbie528 Newbie528 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: S.F. Bay area
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 288
Send a message via Yahoo to Newbie528
Mein Auto: Corvette
~ ~ OMG: 2001 530i Hit 154K miles..Now WHAT ~ Keep/Sell it ? ~ ~

Hi guys,

For the last few weeks it's been bugging me that my car has hit over 154K miles. It's a 2001 530i (just so you know). I did the cooling overhaul 2 yrs ago. Got new front brakes & rotors also 2 yrs ago. Also changed the oil pump seal, valve cover seal, some belts & idle pulley....all this 2 yrs ago. Recently got new tires. My power stearing hose (from the oil container) has a little leak. I keep adding the ATF oil in it (one quart every 1-2 yrs). I'll just replace the darn hose when I have time. That's all for now!

Due to 154K miles, I'm getting a little worried now Should I keep the car, maintain it, and keep driving......OR sell it and buy a new one with low miles? Newer ones (E60) are almost twice the price, even if they have around 100K miles on them And knowing BMW's, they will also need a lot of TLC ($$$$/repairs). My biggest worry is that due to the higher (154K+) miles, if one day something like the engin or tranny (more worried about the tranny) goes out, it's gonna cost in thousands, which is a dreadful feeling in my stomach right now. That's why I'm having a hard time trying to figure this out.

Or I can just sell it and go with a Infinity G35, M35, (don't know much about the Lexus) or something similar. However, I have fallen in Love with the BMW 5-Series (especially the 530i model). It's a perfect combination of class, power, sporty, comfort, and everything I could want.

IF...........and that's a big "IF", I do intend to keep this one, what other things/repairs should I be expecting in future. I have not done any tranny oil/filter change, due to the mixed stories I've read here. I do keep the regular oil changes at 5-7K (using Mobil1 5-30W, and Mahle oil filters).

Your help would be appreciated and a Life Saver (Im ready to go in any direction, just need some valid opinions)

Thanks in Advance!

Last edited by Newbie528; 09-11-2012 at 11:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 09-12-2012, 04:27 AM
AnotherGeezer's Avatar
AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
Hofmeister Kink
Location: ManchVegas, New Hampster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,798
Mein Auto: 2003 530i/5
Flip a coin.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-12-2012, 05:02 AM
Fudman's Avatar
Fudman Fudman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sudbury, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,231
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
At 154K, your car is just broken in!

If you DIY, this is what makes the e39 affordable. For the e39, you have a HUGE support network for problems and DIY fixes. Forget the e60, if you even think about DIY. e60 owners don't know the working end of a screwdriver. Visit the e60 forum and you'll see what I mean. The major technical question is "dealer or indy?"

If you DIY, you have already solved some of the major problems. A suspension refresh will make the car ride and handle like new. At $1,200 in parts, that's a bit pricey. But it is chump change compared to car payments. If you are looking for a "no worries" driving experience, go Japanese. But that would involve additional cost.

I personally believe that the post-100K miles on a well kept e39 are the best and cheapest miles you can get. Once you do cooling, suspension, Vanos and CCV upgrades, you should get another 75K-100K of great driving. If you haven't changed your ATF at 154K, leave it be. Even if the slushbox craps out, the cost to replace it is cheaper than buying a different car.

Just my $.02
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:46 PM
BM109R's Avatar
BM109R BM109R is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: MD
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 159
Mein Auto: BMW E39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
At 154K, your car is just broken in!

If you DIY, this is what makes the e39 affordable. For the e39, you have a HUGE support network for problems and DIY fixes. Forget the e60, if you even think about DIY. e60 owners don't know the working end of a screwdriver. Visit the e60 forum and you'll see what I mean. The major technical question is "dealer or indy?"

If you DIY, you have already solved some of the major problems. A suspension refresh will make the car ride and handle like new. At $1,200 in parts, that's a bit pricey. But it is chump change compared to car payments. If you are looking for a "no worries" driving experience, go Japanese. But that would involve additional cost.

I personally believe that the post-100K miles on a well kept e39 are the best and cheapest miles you can get. Once you do cooling, suspension, Vanos and CCV upgrades, you should get another 75K-100K of great driving. If you haven't changed your ATF at 154K, leave it be. Even if the slushbox craps out, the cost to replace it is cheaper than buying a different car.

Just my $.02

Is the e60 really made to be complicated and difficult to DIY or is it just that there isn't much support yet since they are still young in years? If a tech at the dealership or indy shop can learn to work on it, so can we, right? With a good service manual as a guide ofcourse.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-14-2012, 06:05 PM
540iman's Avatar
540iman 540iman is offline
resident, old fart
Location: N.W. Indiana
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,504
Mein Auto: 2002 540i sport
Is there something special about 154,000 miles???? 150, 160, 200K means nothing if car has been maintained. 300,000 is often heard of. What made you get your undies in a wad about $154K?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-12-2012, 07:44 AM
tmvE39/E53/Z32's Avatar
tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Seattle --> Atlanta
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,883
Mein Auto: 03 540, 06 E53 4.8, Z32TT
Sounds like you have your E39 in good shape, why the thought of selling it? 154K isn't that many.
__________________

FS 2001 ///M5
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=791509
2000 Dinan S1 //M5 (my DD) 06 DINAN E53 4.8iS (wife's DD), 90 Straman Z32TT (my pride & joy ride)

Gone, but not forgotten: 01 E53 3.0i, 01 525i Sport, 03 DINAN 540i MSport and 91 Z32TwinTurbo
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-12-2012, 11:54 AM
Newbie528 Newbie528 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: S.F. Bay area
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 288
Send a message via Yahoo to Newbie528
Mein Auto: Corvette
Wow! Out of 179 views only 4 replies? Fudman, you make valid points. I'm thinking Japanese, but what compares to 530i? My suspension seems okay up to 120 mph easily.... However, is there any tweaking or maintenance on it that I can do?

Also, I'm always worried about the tranny! It's been good to me. But I fail to understand why almost every car does a tranny filter change & oil flush, BUT for a BMW it's a no no...it might break after the oil/filter change! Not doing any tranny preventive maintainance IS why I'm so jumpy and worried !!!

So, what's the verdict?!

Last edited by Newbie528; 09-12-2012 at 11:56 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-12-2012, 12:04 PM
SilverE39's Avatar
SilverE39 SilverE39 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Francisco/Belmont
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 712
Mein Auto: '01 530i S/P 5sp
Keep the car. Doesn't sound like you have any issues other than a small leak or two.Mine just hit 230xxx and still runs smooth and have no issues other than regular maintenance (Oil change every 4 months, inspection I, II, etc..).
__________________

OEM M5 F Bumper | Rep R Bumper | Magnaflow 14815 Muffler w/ glasspack Resonator | Koni+H&R Sport | CDV Deleted | Eibach f/r sway bars | Hard-wired V1 Radar
e60 shifter w/ZHP shift knob | 18x9 Style 42 OEM | Continental DW 255/35 | Zimmermann Xdrilled w/Akebono Ceramic Pad | 35% Madico tint | Infinity Basslink
Eonon 5124U Navi unit w/backup cam | Thule Bike Rack | CF interior trim wrap
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-12-2012, 12:24 PM
johnd. johnd. is offline
Registered User
Location: Plymouth Meeting, PA
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 58
Mein Auto: 01 530i Sport 5MT
Hi Newbie528,

My car is at 121K and it's 11 years old. It needs new brakes and rotors and control arms and I just ordered a new set of tires from tirerack. I am keeping the car since the thought of a car payment over my head for the next 5 years on a used e60 is not a good feeling for me. I will keep her for another 10 years since I had a e28 for 17 years (535is). I would keep yours.

Take care,
John
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-12-2012, 02:39 PM
adjmcloon's Avatar
adjmcloon adjmcloon is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 560
Mein Auto: '99 528iT sport
Keep it, pay it off, and maintenance it. It will love you long time.
__________________
2001 530i tiAg sport (sold)
2002 540iA sport (sold)
2006 330i sport (sold)
2008 535i-6 sport (sold)
1999 528iT sport (sold)
2002 525iT alpine sport
1990 325i sedan
1990 325is coupe

Last edited by adjmcloon; 09-12-2012 at 02:41 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-12-2012, 03:26 PM
Flybot's Avatar
Flybot Flybot is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Louisville, Ky
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 772
Mein Auto: '98 528
How is it any different than 153,000? Whats the big deal.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-12-2012, 03:30 PM
Chaser's Avatar
Chaser Chaser is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 153
Mein Auto: 530iA
Well you actually seem quite torn about this, or even seemingly over concerned. For brevity anyway, if your car has been maintained consistently throughout its life then there's nothing to worry about. Tranny failure variances are always all over the place. Forums have seen failure reports at 50k miles and no tranny issues at 200k miles on the same model car.

Only your checking account will dictate, or less harshly it's your choice. Either you can prognosticate about failures all the time, and thus not really enjoy your car IMO, or you can get a Japanese car. Sorry but you are in a BMW forum. Goodluck.



Sent from my ADR6410LVW using Bimmer App

Last edited by Chaser; 09-12-2012 at 03:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-12-2012, 04:17 PM
champaign777's Avatar
champaign777 champaign777 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Champ
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,051
Mein Auto: 2003 530 Sport Twins
For people who like E39 there is no such question
E39 Are The Best Cars for the Money !
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-12-2012, 04:37 PM
AnotherGeezer's Avatar
AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
Hofmeister Kink
Location: ManchVegas, New Hampster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,798
Mein Auto: 2003 530i/5
Mine hit 125k last month and everything is in tip top condition. I plan to be buried in this car.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-12-2012, 05:01 PM
seemyad's Avatar
seemyad seemyad is offline
BMW ****ie
Location: Seattle WA
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 600
Mein Auto: 530i Sport Package
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie528 View Post
Hi guys,

IF...........and that's a big "IF", I do intend to keep this one, what other things/repairs should I be expecting in future. I have not done any tranny oil/filter change, due to the mixed stories I've read here. I do keep the regular oil changes at 5-7K (using Mobil1 5-30W, and Mahle oil filters).

Your help would be appreciated and a Life Saver (Im ready to go in any direction, just need some valid opinions)

Thanks in Advance!
I'm a tranny matters as much as the engine kind of guy.

Change the Tranny Fluid. Fudman has a writeup on it (Fudman. Why do you suggest not changing it?)
I'm a fan of magnetic drain plugs to trap metal shavings ($29 drain plugs not cheapies)
DISA ~ $180 (super easy DIY)
MAF Sensor ~ $280 (super easy DIY)
Fuel Injectors may need to be balanced (nice to do with extra coin but not required)

You already did the heavy lifting. Keep her. Drive her. Enjoy her for years to come.

Stick $85 a month away for her (=$1020 per year) and do a major DIY each year on her with the coin. If nothing to do one year get new tires or something. Or buy parts for following year project OR take a driving tour vacation that year with the coin. Enjoy without the worry. Life happens no matter how well we try to plan. Roll with the punches and enjoy the the time between rounds.

.

Last edited by seemyad; 09-12-2012 at 05:14 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-12-2012, 07:03 PM
Fudman's Avatar
Fudman Fudman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sudbury, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,231
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post

Change the Tranny Fluid. Fudman has a writeup on it (Fudman. Why do you suggest not changing it?)

.
The conventional forum wisdom is if you haven't changed your ATF by 100K, leave it be. I changed mine at 93K and it's been fine. More importantly, don't flush the tranny. I think changing the ATF at 150K+ should not cause any issues, if done properly. But many have gone 200K+ without changing the ATF with no issues.
I think a suspension refresh is in order, though. 150K is far too long on the original suspension. The difference would be day and night.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-12-2012, 05:51 PM
YinD YinD is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Denton Texas
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 162
Mein Auto: 2003 540iA M-Sport
I have owned several Hondas and toyotas before my bimmer. The driving experience cannot be matched. But I will say that I have never had to worry about broken parts during a repair or service as much as the bimmer. The plastic is so brittle. I also have a backup third car.

So I guess it depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for another used bimmer because you love the way it drives, then stick with what you have. If your looking to find something with less wrenching involved then buy a Lexus or Infiniti.
__________________

2003 BMW 540i A M-Sport with factory Navigation and CD changer; winter package
1997 Toyota Landcruiser 40th anniversary edition

~split personality~

Last edited by YinD; 09-13-2012 at 06:13 AM. Reason: spell check...
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-12-2012, 08:06 PM
granlund granlund is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Dayton, OH
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 551
Mein Auto: -02 530 & -92 325is
I'm almost exactly at the same position as you with my 2002 530. 153k with new brakes, suspension, clutch, all fluids and various other small things in the last 2 years. However, I'm so economically and emotionally in to this car that I couldn't possibly think about getting rid of it. Therefore my plan is to keep it as a highway car for the next 100k/10 years. Why fix it up for the next owner when you can take advantage of it yourself?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-12-2012, 10:06 PM
IndiansFan's Avatar
IndiansFan IndiansFan is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Rocky River, OH
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,003
Mein Auto: '99 528iT
Keep it, maintain it for at least the next 4-6 years. I'm at 225K on the wagon and 90K on the sedans. Rust is always my downfall w/ DD cars.
__________________

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
Benjamin Franklin

2001 530iA STEEL BLUE/Sand - Sport/Premium/Cold Package
1999 528iA JET BLACK/Black - Sport/Premium/Heated Seats
1999 528iT CASHMERE BEIGE/Sand - Sport/Premium Package - 5 speed
1982 Fiat 2000 Spider - BLUE METALLIC/Blue
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-13-2012, 06:35 AM
energizedmortal's Avatar
energizedmortal energizedmortal is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Manhattan, New York
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 625
Mein Auto: 2003 530i
I'm at 165,000 original ATF. I do believe that there is no better car for the money in existence yet. This car is my soulmate. Even if the transmission went I'd bench her until I could afford the repair. If I did have to shell out 4 grand sooner or later it would still be a lot less than starting over and getting a car I can't fix myself. It is argued that the e39 may be the best product BMW has made to date. Life after e39? I want to give the F10 a few more years and see how the computer and repairs play out. So far literature says they're not made the same anymore and you don't want to own something that will cost another fortunate after 50,000 miles.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-13-2012, 07:46 AM
eparayno's Avatar
eparayno eparayno is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Vista, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 714
Mein Auto: 2001 530i
This thread is almost as dumb as the ones asking which muffler to buy.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-06-2012, 05:26 AM
xxthr4sh3rxx xxthr4sh3rxx is offline
Registered User
Location: Ontario, Canada
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 34
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by eparayno View Post
This thread is almost as dumb as the ones asking which muffler to buy.
A little comic relief
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:56 AM
AnotherGeezer's Avatar
AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
Hofmeister Kink
Location: ManchVegas, New Hampster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,798
Mein Auto: 2003 530i/5
Quote:
Originally Posted by eparayno View Post
This thread is almost as dumb as the ones asking which muffler to buy.

Or which oil, headlights, tires, wheels, bumpers, angel eye bulbs, brakes.....
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 09-13-2012, 08:52 AM
mio_e46 mio_e46 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Peoria, Arizona
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 374
Mein Auto: 2003 530i
I was at the same place a few weeks ago ... I do believe the E39 body is the last best body BMW has made! I myself don't like the issues the E60 has had and the F11 is to far out till I can afford to won and maintain. This may be the last BMW I own ... I decided to keep mine and maintain it and when my daughter turns 16 give it to her and then I replace it something else, I'm also leaning towards a Lexus or Infiniti - IMHO BMW and Mercedes are getting to technologically advanced to the point where I may not be able to DIY that its not cost effective! Long live the E39!!!!!!! best of luck!
__________________
2003 530iA Sterling Grey on Black - SP, PP, Auto

2003 530iA Alpine White on Tan - SP, PP, Auto - SOLD
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 09-13-2012, 09:28 AM
gnilson gnilson is offline
Registered User
Location: Morristown NJ
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: North Jersey
My 528 has 195k on and still runs great. Its a little beat up but still looks good from 10'. My son is 15, so when he gets his license, this goes to him and I will go looking for a newer, nicer E39 w/manual and do it all over again. Absolutely love this car.
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms