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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 03-20-2013, 04:34 PM
tjalsma tjalsma is offline
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Location: Kettering, OH
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: Hyundai
Recommended year/model for new BMW owner

Hello Everyone,

I've always wanted a BMW. We are selling our current vehicle and "down-sizing" so we don't have a car payment anymore. The budget is about $6k (I know, not much).

I live in the area code 45419 - Kettering, Ohio USA. Looking within a 50 mile radius, many of the models that are coming up are '99 540i's.

So, I am sorry for the vagueness of this post but I am asking for some input on what I am getting myself into. I know many vehicles come with their own host of issues (Volvo's and timing belts, etc.) so I'd like the input of users on here as to exactly what model, year, and variables I should be aware of with purchasing my first used BMW.

Thank you so much for any information!
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:41 PM
HTK12 HTK12 is online now
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Location: Finland
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 828
Mein Auto: E39 540i
How much your willing to spend on maintenance per year? BMW's are quite expensive to maintain compared to hyundai..
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:43 PM
tjalsma tjalsma is offline
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Location: Kettering, OH
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: Hyundai
We've budgeted about $150 for miscellaneous car repairs and upkeep per month.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:20 PM
HTK12 HTK12 is online now
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Location: Finland
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 828
Mein Auto: E39 540i
Do you plan on DIY or taking it to mechanic? Since these are old cars there are quite a few things to go wrong.. Few things to mention: cooling system, valley pan, ABS, suspension, oil leaks, electric gremlins etc. You might want to google information about maintenance costs. First year can be really expensive..
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:37 PM
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rexgo rexgo is offline
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Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 215
Mein Auto: 97 528i
Some good reading: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ight=best+year
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'97 528i, 99k DD
'91 CRX Si, 114k
'83 Supra, 109k
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