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E39 M5 (1998-2003)

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Old 04-04-2012, 09:56 PM
Imola 4.6's Avatar
Imola 4.6 Imola 4.6 is offline
Imola 4.6
Location: Glendale, CA
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 340
Mein Auto: e34 530i
Looking to buy..

Hey guys, i just sold my X5 4.6is model in Imola Red, now I am on a hunt for the e39 M5, i would like to know some major issues on this car at around 100k miles and up.. and is this one a good buy?

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Old 04-05-2012, 05:07 PM
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MikesE39 MikesE39 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Houston
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 875
Mein Auto: 03 530i Loaded
Man that is one nice ass e39 M5. I look at the prices of these allot because i want to buy one in the next yr. The price is perfect in my opinion. and if you bring cash with you i bet u can close it for $15,500 or even 15k. in my opinion owning an M car is gonna be allot of maintnace Low or high milage. if you think about it 100k isnt much for a 10 yr old car.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:49 AM
Imola 4.6's Avatar
Imola 4.6 Imola 4.6 is offline
Imola 4.6
Location: Glendale, CA
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 340
Mein Auto: e34 530i
ya i was thinking the same also, thank you !
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:54 AM
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golferjohnm golferjohnm is offline
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Location: Bellingham, Washington
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 705
Mein Auto: '01 540i 6sp '01 X5 4.4
that is really sweet, plus you'll only have to tweak your sig

let's hope they have the full folder of service/maintenance records and a PPI can help in negotiating, although it seems well-priced

beast of luck, lol
'01 540i 6-speed, blk/blk, upgraded stereo w/sub, passport, Dice Mediabridge and some cool M-stuff
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:07 PM
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mark_m5 mark_m5 is offline
Overly Intellectual
Location: Where the money is.
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,532
Mein Auto: 2002 M5, 2001 996 Turbo
Incredible. That's what they're going for now?

Seems like only a few years ago, I paid $41k.

That one has modded exhaust, CAI ducting, and front bumper, as well as a blacked-out grille. Just seems like too sweet a deal. I'd have a mechanic do a once-over. With mods, it's possible that it was ridden hard...

Things that could be wrong:
  • Main bairings could have play. Listen for rattles in the engine.
  • VANOS issue or MAFs could be problematic. Watch for rough idle and weird powerband behavior, esp. cold
  • Driveshaft flex coupler (takes place of U-joint) cracks
  • Missing/broken rear stabilizer bar/ brackets
  • Check Engine Light issues that might have been reset (bring a code reading tool and plug it in the OBD2 slot, or have a mechanic scan it for history)
  • Cam position sensors
  • Electrical things not working, like:
    • Windows
    • Mirrors
    • Seats (cables inside stretch and they become inoperable)
    • Door locks (actuators can lock up)
    • Bulbs (hopefully not from RUST)
  • Body rust
  • Fluid leaks: cooling system can be problematic, but oil leaks might be worse. Check the fluids (assuming the engine is cold when you get there. If it's awrm, they may be hiding the cold engine start behavior)
  • Worn struts
  • Worn Brakes
  • Worn clutch
  • Missing pixels in the dash display
  • Weird tire wear
That's a start.

EDIT: You posted a month ago, and it's still for sale... guess you took a pass on it?

Grammar: The difference between "knowing your sh*t" and "knowing you're sh*t."
"A world that is 'idiot proof' is a world that is only fit for idiots." - Racer X / 6'er

Last edited by mark_m5; 05-09-2012 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:37 AM
mylifeasapc mylifeasapc is offline
Registered User
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 39
Mein Auto: 04 X5/05 545i
Start here to compare. I built a spreadsheet that has every E39 M5 for sale across the country under $20k. It includes prices, miles, ownership records and more. Definitely join up at M5 Board too. Tons of information.
His: 2006 M5
Hers: 2005 545i

Selling: 2004 X5
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