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E39 M5 (1998-2003)

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  #1  
Old 05-23-2008, 11:47 AM
ddelruss ddelruss is offline
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Is this 2001 E39/M5 a Good Deal?

I am looking at getting my first BMW, and I have a BMW "collector" friend/associate who is willing to make me a deal on his M5. He has owned a bunch of BMWs over the years, selling and buying pretty frequently, as new cars catch his eye. He is not the original owner of the M5.

Anyway, the car is a 2001, black with black leather interior with those blue accents (sorry I forget the name for them). Not sure on upgrades, but the car has been "babied" and looks perfect. It has 50k miles. I have seen but not driven yet.

He is offering to me for $26k. This appears below blue book, but that may not be the best source of info. So I am asking you guys, what do you think?

What specific questions should I ask regarding the car?

Damien
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2008, 01:02 AM
Xkalibur7 Xkalibur7 is offline
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WOW!!! 01 with 50K, for only 26$. Sounds like a good deal if the car was well taken care of and serviced mostly by BMW! As for being babied, that is a term i think some people use loosely...maybe to help sell the car. I'm sure it has been well-taken care of, but the car is an M5, and unless its a 70 yr old man who drives it once a week on sunday to church, then it's not actually "babied".... M5's, like any other M model, were meant to be driven for performance and the luxury is the nice add-on BMW gives to this beast of a touring car. Though, most M5's are not beat to death and have been managed well throughout their life, either by a BMW dealership (you would hope always), or a well trained technician who is certified to work on BMW's. You do not want a shade-tree mechanic fixing your BMW, especially an M car with a chiton's manual!!!

First: I would ask your friend if the car has had its Inspection II done? It's close to the mileage for that inspection, and would save you close to a grand (depending on the dealership and repairs/tuning that is required) if it has already been done. You can google the Inspection process that the M's go through...there is an Inspection I and an Inspection II phase.

Second: I would get the VIN # (last 7 is all you need-should start with BZ) and call your local BMW dealership Parts/Service department and ask them to run the the vin for you. They may say they can't do this, but they actually can! One of my good friends is a shop foreman at a BMW dealership and said this is legit. They are not allowed to release you the paperwork or certian specific details, but they can answer most questions you have, such as repair/service history. This can answer Question 1, in reference to the Inspection.

Third: I would ask your friend any repais/services he had done to the car, whether or not it was at BMW or somewhere else. Don't mis-understand me, not all BMW's are serviced at BMW...this doesn't mean they were improperly serviced, it just means BMW has no records of it, and you are not guaranteed the work done on it, unless it was with genuine BMW parts (those carry a 2 yr warranty regardless)

Lastly: Ask questions about the clutch/tranny (of course). Listen for the "Vanos" at idle and rev. Make sure the exact same synthetic oil has always been used (the weight was never changed), inspect the tires (mainly rear) they tend to get expensive...and the rear wear down faster than the front...ALWAYS!!!, and lastly inspect the interior/electronics and the exterior. There are more standard questions you can ask, and i'm sure someone who is more of an expert on these than i am can point others out to you...but your best bet is to keep googling the questions and search the forums here!

It appears your friend probably deals with Bimmers alot, and has most likely taken great care of the car; your best bet is to actually drive the car....fall in love with it....which you will, and then weigh your options...are you willing to sink an additional grand to ensure the car passes BMW's inspection? Having BMW inspect the car and make any necessary repairs,upgrades, & tune-ups will give you the freedom of mind and comfort of knowing it was done properly...cus if it wasn't...it falls on their dime!!!

All in all... 01 M5's are tough to find with that low of miles at that price...they usually fall closer to 29$. If the car is legit and checks out fine in BMW's service history...I'd say go for it! But remember...it's a used car...they are not your original miles! And don't "baby" it... DRIVE IT! that is what it was built for! Actually... they should be pampered...i just laugh when i see ads that state the car was "babied" and its being sold by a 23yr old!

Best of luck in your purchase...I myself am looking for an M5...i just recently sold my E30 vert...so i'm in the hunt for a good family/fun touring car!

Joe
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  #3  
Old 05-25-2008, 01:04 AM
HPizKing HPizKing is offline
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There has been much discussion on the boards recently that E39 M cars have lost a lot of value in the last six months so the price is not all that surprising. You obviously want to learn as much about the ownership history of the car as possible, have it checked out by someone you trust who knows the M cars and their eccentricities, and have your favorite body guy tell you whether it has ever had paint work done so you know what you are getting into. Beyond that, these cars have a very weak clutch which goes at 40-50K so that would be one of my first questions...it is a quick $2500 bucks unless you do it yourself. Good luck...they are worth every penny imho.
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  #4  
Old 05-26-2008, 08:08 PM
ddelruss ddelruss is offline
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OK, thanks guys. One reason I am a bit nervous about it is that I haven't driven these before, so I won't necessarily know if something isn't quite right. E.g., if it is underpowered but still a lot more powerful than the wimpy cars I have driven, I may not notice. I also don't have anyone [I trust] who knows M cars, or a "body guy". In terms of advice the best I can count on is 1) CarFax/Autocheck and 2) the seller. The seller, being a co-worker with a sterling reputation (especially vis a vis cars) would be loathe to dump it, I think.

He offered to sell me his 01 X5 for $13.5 and ended up selling it for 14k to CarMax so that price was a decent one.

Anyway thanks for the advice, I will continue to consider this potential purchase. Asking about Inspection 2 and running the internet checks are a good start.

Damien
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  #5  
Old 05-27-2008, 05:56 AM
CSBM5 CSBM5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddelruss View Post
Asking about Inspection 2 and running the internet checks are a good start.

Damien
It's way too early for Inspection 2. BMW's system will indicate an Inspection 2 somewhere around 60k miles give or take.

No matter what the condition of the car, you should budget a few grand/year out into the future for maintenance.
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  #6  
Old 05-27-2008, 07:10 PM
Xkalibur7 Xkalibur7 is offline
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HPizKing,

I've seen M5's with 80K + miles with the original clutch still operating fine. I would bargain to say that clutch life depends on the driver...the casual driver may take better care of the clutch, vice, a young, speed enthused adult, who, like most people with M cars, may drive the car harder and wear the clutch out quicker.

CSB M5, iwouldn't say 50K is way too early for Inspection II. some have it done, depending on personal preferences, around that mileage, while others wait for the CPU to tell them when its needed. Inspection II is still worth asking about.
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  #7  
Old 08-23-2008, 10:55 AM
beemerb0y beemerb0y is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HPizKing View Post
There has been much discussion on the boards recently that E39 M cars have lost a lot of value in the last six months so the price is not all that surprising. You obviously want to learn as much about the ownership history of the car as possible, have it checked out by someone you trust who knows the M cars and their eccentricities, and have your favorite body guy tell you whether it has ever had paint work done so you know what you are getting into. Beyond that, these cars have a very weak clutch which goes at 40-50K so that would be one of my first questions...it is a quick $2500 bucks unless you do it yourself. Good luck...they are worth every penny imho.
the fact that they have lost a lot of value in the last 6 months is true.. im looking at an 01, 57k on the clock, clean title, for a few bucks under $20,000
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2013, 12:51 AM
mylifeasapc mylifeasapc is offline
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Thats becoming extremely rare but there are two others with 50k on the clock for ~$20k

Start here to compare a few examples. I've already done a lot of the heavy lifting. I built a spreadsheet that has every E39 M5 (currently 100) 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.
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  #9  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:21 PM
ard ard is offline
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IMO, thinking of maintenance in terms of "Inspection X" is woefuily inadequate.

OP, you are in Dublin (norcal) there have got to be places for you to get a thoriugh PPI done. Get them to run the CPO inspection checklist, along with a dump of the DME and a VANOS function test. Add to that a careful bodywork inspection. (repaints done properly are fine-IMO jsut good maintenacne- you want to find poor repairs or major repairs) Dont assume this 'car collector' didnt make a mistake when HE bought it. Dont assume a car is 'clean' if there is nothing in autochgeck/carfax...they suck.

If you can get a dealer to pull the service/mainentnce hisoty, it will list the 'dealer code' for each visit/repair. Decode this and you can crosscheck where it lived and where it was serviced. People have been known to call a friendly SA and get a verbal 'yes no' or rundown on the car.

m5board dot com...best M5 forum in the world

A
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