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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

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Old 01-18-2013, 09:27 AM
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FiveDriver FiveDriver is offline
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Location: Charleston, SC
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 196
Mein Auto: 1999 528i Blue/Sand
You know what I think would be helpful ??

Is it possible to post a list of typical Indy Costs for the usual maintenance items ??

You know, like the Vanos Seals.....what would you expect a good Indy shop to charge for either the V-8 or the I-6 with Beisan Seals ??

Or the Cooling System Refresh ??
Bilstein or Sachs Shocks ??

Speaking for myself, I'm not big on DIY maintenance. My time is worth more, I'd rather just borrow the Wife's Car and go earn my Daily Bread. I have 4 very good Indy BMW specialists within 2 miles of my house, but rather than survey them each time I want to get something done......I'd like to get some idea of the generic costs.

Has anybody had any Indy work done lately ?? Please post your cost.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:56 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Location: Sudbury, MA
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,500
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Indy labor costs tend to vary by location. Here in the NE, it's a bit more expensive than most places. A few indys will allow you to supply the parts, but most insist they buy the parts for you. This alone will increase the repair cost significantly. Some may or may not allow you to specify the repair part mfg (e.g. waterpump) since they may have a preferred parts source. Level of expertise is another factor as very few will even attempt a Vanos seal replacement (they'd prefer to replace the complete Vanos unit). Just know that any response may not be that applicable to your specific situation.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:06 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Location: Calgary
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4,692
Mein Auto: 2003 530iA
There's a web page that list the costs for labor. I posted it a looong while ago. It's by state, car model, job type, etc. Just google it and you should find it.
Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket
TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:58 PM
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FiveDriver FiveDriver is offline
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Location: Charleston, SC
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 196
Mein Auto: 1999 528i Blue/Sand
Perhaps the better question would be -- what does the Mechanic's Flat Hourly Guide say is the Reasonable Time for the work ?? How many hours does it take for a mechanic to do the Vanos job on a 528 ??

We can get the Hourly Charge at our favorite Indy.....there's a very good shop right here in town.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:15 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Location: San Jose, CA
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 10,835
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Dealers and many indies use the flat rate manual. They charge that amount. Most wrenches make their money by beating the flat rate.

I believe it's a much better approach to find a shop you can trust to do the work correctly the first time, and stay with them, rather than trying to play each shop off against one another.

These people are in business to make money. Their overhead is typically very similar among different shops.

I suspect an indie MIGHT consent to replacing the VANOS seals, but I'd bet he would charge you for the actual time it took.

Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.
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