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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

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  #1  
Old 07-17-2016, 08:45 AM
ssbmw528i ssbmw528i is offline
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Location: France
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: BMW 528i E39
E39 how much did you pay, how much have you spent and how much more will you spend

So how much did you buy your E39 for, how much have you spent on it so far and how much more are you willing to spend before calling it a day.

I bought mine for 2000€ (£1600), have spent 1000€ so far, not sure how much I'd be willing to spend if I have a major problem, but would hate to see the car go.
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2016, 09:06 AM
Barracuz Barracuz is offline
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Location: Providence, R.I.
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,047
Mein Auto: 2001 525i 5 spd
I bought mine for 3500 bucks last year from an old Syrian salesman at 160k or so. Major purchases were:

Clutch-$600for parts and labor
Front Shocks- $350 parts and labor
Ball joints, control arms and bushings and other suspension bits- Around $500 just in parts and tools and diyed
Tires and alignments-$550 or so
Brakes and rotors- $200 parts and diy
Window regulator- $150 parts and diyed
Regular Maintenance filters and oil- Around $400 bucks
Miscellaneous parts +spares (fsu, cup holders, emblems, hoses)- Around $200 max
Detailing and cleaning- $200 maybe with rags and cleaners

This is all in about a year and a half I'm currently at 196k miles. I'm Confident that she'll last me another year. Expected maintenance in the future will be rear shocks, rear diff or tranny bushings, serpentine belts, water pump and maybe clutch fan will I'm in there. Cars runs and drive fine now, would just like to tackle it before I have to miss a day of work.

As for how much do I plan to spend? Well unless I completely blow up my transmission or engine where I would need to dish out 1000 bucks or more at once, I would sell it. But as long as repairs stay within budget I'll try to keep it.

Though I am looking to trade for a subaru wrx or and audi at the moment
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  #3  
Old 07-17-2016, 11:09 AM
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matt540 matt540 is offline
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Location: Michigan
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2,974
Mein Auto: 2000 DINAN 540, 1983 745
Bought mine for $12.5k with 72k miles in 2008 and have spent way too much to let her go. She currently has 117k miles and still going strong.
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2000 Dinan 540 Dinan F&R strut tower brace, M5 F&R sway bars, Koni Sports, Eibach springs, Powerflex polyurethane bushings, Dinan stage 2 engine software, Stage 1 trans software, Zionsville cooling kit, resonator delete, Dinan exhaust, Dinan TB, AFE cai, 18" style 5's, 235/40/18 275/35/18, Ultimate cup holders, rear cup holder delete/coin holder, Hella taillights, clear sides, Depo AE, M5 spoiler
1983 745 turbo, style 138 wheels
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  #4  
Old 07-17-2016, 11:23 AM
topazblue540 topazblue540 is offline
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Location: Houston
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 23
Mein Auto: 2001 540i
I bought my 2001 540i for $7500 w. about 95K last summer. Since then:

1.) Rear manifold cover replacement / repair: $750
2.) MAF: $200
3.) Maintenance: $500
4.) Radiator Hose: $100
5.) Headlights (Umnitza): $800
6.) Timing chain tensioner: $50
7.) Wiper blades, floor mats, car cover: $300
8.) Wheel sensors (cheap ex Amazon): $45
9.) Audiovox bluetooth module: $50

This week:

1.) Water pump replacement / repair: $350
2.) ABS rebuild: $150

End of year:

1.) Replace shocks / springs or go with coil overs: $1,200
2.) Refurbish wheels: $500-600

Next year:

1.) Repaint front end & replace fog lights.
2.) Probably AC service of some kind.
3.) Short throw shifter

In the next 30K Miles (at the rate I drive in two - three years):

1.) Timing chain guides, valley pan, reseal motor: $3000-4000

As long as the car looks presentable, I'll keep it. Rust is not an issue here in Texas but our summers are extreme. I will probably keep it for a minimum of 5 years more. It's rare to see an E39 on the road down here, in a few years I'll be the only one left! LOL
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2016, 11:29 AM
hqstu hqstu is offline
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Location: New Zealand
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 104
Mein Auto: 03 530i MS
Paid about USD 3900 about 6 weeks ago, and have since poured about USD 2800 into it doing CCV, DISA, VANOS, Water pump, Thermostat, pulley, spark plugs, valve cover gasket, badges, door seals, cleaning, underbody shields, filters, oil etc etc... still have a rear main or sump gasket oil leak to sort....
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  #6  
Old 07-17-2016, 12:03 PM
MKJS MKJS is offline
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Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,043
Mein Auto: '99 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barracuz View Post
I bought mine for 3500 bucks last year from an old Syrian salesman at 160k or so. Major purchases were:

Clutch-$600for parts and labor
Front Shocks- $350 parts and labor
Ball joints, control arms and bushings and other suspension bits- Around $500 just in parts and tools and diyed
Tires and alignments-$550 or so
Brakes and rotors- $200 parts and diy
Window regulator- $150 parts and diyed
Regular Maintenance filters and oil- Around $400 bucks
Miscellaneous parts +spares (fsu, cup holders, emblems, hoses)- Around $200 max
Detailing and cleaning- $200 maybe with rags and cleaners

This is all in about a year and a half I'm currently at 196k miles. I'm Confident that she'll last me another year. Expected maintenance in the future will be rear shocks, rear diff or tranny bushings, serpentine belts, water pump and maybe clutch fan will I'm in there. Cars runs and drive fine now, would just like to tackle it before I have to miss a day of work.

As for how much do I plan to spend? Well unless I completely blow up my transmission or engine where I would need to dish out 1000 bucks or more at once, I would sell it. But as long as repairs stay within budget I'll try to keep it.

Though I am looking to trade for a subaru wrx or and audi at the moment
LOL, just about exactly the same except I have to do chain guides asap.

Jim
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  #7  
Old 07-17-2016, 01:02 PM
AH673000 AH673000 is offline
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Location: Delaware
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 406
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 528i
$6000 with 106,000 miles five years ago.
Do all my own work.... $2000 in parts since ..
Now has 132,000 miles and looks and performs like new .

1997 528i 5 speed manual . 100% Original with no outstanding issues.
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  #8  
Old 07-17-2016, 01:27 PM
528iAut 528iAut is offline
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Location: Moraira, Spain
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 65
Mein Auto: 528i
Well, got my car for free, it has 193.000 km on it. This car seem to have had some issues and some morron mechanics working on it who just ripped the covers of without bothering looking for the fasteners, long beam and flash beam does not work, probably an LCU problem...
Got an oil change, got the airco working again, it was out of coolant, new headlights, entrance protector door seal drivers side and some other small crumbled plastic parts are changed, so nothing major yet. Seems maybe I have to look at the transmission, sometimes its not too keen on shifting up from 1st or 2nd gear, and the ABS yellow loght is on in the dash, but cruise control works.
My wife says I am not allowed to spend any money on the car so I dont know what will be fixed in the future...
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E39 528i Steptronic 1996, Comfort seats, Rear curtain, Oxford Green.

Last edited by 528iAut; 07-18-2016 at 02:12 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2016, 02:47 PM
StRaNgEdAyS StRaNgEdAyS is offline
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Location: Caboolture Australia.
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 319
Mein Auto: E39 535/6
I bought mine from a wholesaler for AUD $5000, I've probably spent the same on it by now...

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2016, 03:16 PM
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boostmaster boostmaster is offline
Glutton for punishment
Location: In the garage
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 745
Mein Auto: BMW 528i
I purchased mine for $1100. It was a basket case. I think I have $7k into it with the price of the car, insurance and registration. I've also refurbished EVERYTHING on this car. It's almost new. (from new head, injectors, new gaskets, new sensors, new mounts, new water pump, new t-stat and housing, new headlights, new ccv, rebuilt heater control unit, new fan clutch, new fan relay wiring, rebuilt MID, new CD player, speakers, new, euro armrest, all new suspension, new brakes, new rotors, new wheel bearings, new ebrake, cables, new clutch and flywheel, all new seals on trans and shifter bushings, new windshield, new window regulators, new weatherstrip, new sill plates, new shocks and springs, a set of rims with snow tires, new battery, misc odds and ends, there's more I haven't even listed...(this inlcudes an $80 shop visit to check codes and smoke test as well as a $100 4 wheel alignment) - It all adds up.

Had a friend of mine who owns an S-type Jag comment on how clean my car was. He said it felt like new!! Well, hell, it better, after all the money I've spent.

That said, it's not a powerful car but it's comfortable and gets the job done as a DD. And it's not half bad lookin' either. 155k on the clock.

Last edited by boostmaster; 07-17-2016 at 03:18 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-17-2016, 05:41 PM
1baker11 1baker11 is offline
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Location: Kansas
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: 1994 Chevy Caprice Wagon
1997 540I. Paid $2600(more than I wanted) has 241K miles currently. Wife's daily driver. Only bought a different cassette as the original didn't work. Front cup holders, rear also.

Very near future it will have an oil change, maybe a thermostat, or water pump also(we'll see. Guage is reading hot. Just started today).

If we get a year and a half out of it, I'll be happy. Two years and we got our moneys worth.

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  #12  
Old 07-17-2016, 06:22 PM
Barracuz Barracuz is offline
Nothing to read here...
Location: Providence, R.I.
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,047
Mein Auto: 2001 525i 5 spd
Oh yeah insurance registration and taxes. ****ing taxes. I paid 700 bucks on black book value tax for a 3500 car. Plus 600 every fiscal year because taxes...

I have my car insured u see my uncle. Even though I have a spotless record since I was 15, but because I'm under 30 and single and male makes me a bad driver. My uncle is married and has a few at fault accidents yet he pays 300 bucks less for the same coverage.
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  #13  
Old 07-17-2016, 11:58 PM
Jezzee Jezzee is offline
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Location: Joensuu, Finland
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 520 E39 Touring-02 MSport
520i Touring M-Sport ( EURO ). Engine is M54B22. 2002 and paid 5200€. Soon I have to change some good-old oil pan gasket and oil filter housing gasket. Going to do those when next time changing oils. Find some REALLY good DIYs btw for those.
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2016, 12:45 AM
Jezzee Jezzee is offline
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Location: Joensuu, Finland
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 520 E39 Touring-02 MSport
Oh sorry forgot... I think I spent just that much money to my BMW that it keeps working fine, and of course a little bit extra to modify it and buying some little cool stuff to it. And if something really major comes up I think I don`t sell it, just put it to garage or somewhere to wait for motivation.
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2016, 01:36 AM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift arms
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,856
Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
01 540 with 121k on it.... paid 11.5$

put 3 grand in to the engine, (timing, valley pan)
put 3+ grand in to the suspension
put 1,000 $ worth of tires on
put 500$ worth of brakes on..
thts 7500$ Ill just round it to 10 grand..

I put 10 grand in to a 11.5 grand car and put 120,000 miles on it


Ill put another ten in to it if it doesnt send a piston thru the block (and even then ill just replace the engine)

The only thing that will stop me from keeping the car is RUST... or extensive body work
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  #16  
Old 07-18-2016, 06:21 AM
fw_fw fw_fw is offline
BMW: Freude am Fahren
Location: Helena, AL
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 82
Mein Auto: 2003 530iA Sport
2003 530iA in Sapphire Black purchased June 2016 for $10,600. 1 Owner, 27,800 miles at time of purchase.

Since then:
$900 on tires, mounting, alignment
$900 on cooling system, belts, pulley, and fluid change
$150 on PDR
$60 for HVAC Fan FSR
$175 for GROM Bluetooth
$75 for phone mount
Sweat Equity on Clay Bar, Paint Correction, Polish, Sealant, Interior Detail

She is in every way (physically and mechanically) just over 12-15 months old in terms of condition

Still to do: Instrument Cluster missing pixels, headlight adjuster replacement

Plan on keeping her for a long time........

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2003 BMW 530iA Sport Sapphire Black over Grey (DD)
2006 BMW 330ci 6MT ZHP Silver Grey over Grey (WW)
2014 BMW X1 xDrive35i M-Sport Mineral Grey over Nevada Black Ultimate HK (gone)
2011 BMW 328i M-Sport Alpine White over Nevada Black (gone)
1999 BMW M Roadster Estoril over Estoril (gone)
Others: 4 Mazdas, 7 VWs, 7 Hondas, 1 Acura, 2 Toyotas, 1 Hyundai, 4 Nissans, 1 Eagle, 1 Jeep, 1 Mitsubishi, 2 GMCs, 2 Chevrolets, 1 Merkur
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  #17  
Old 07-18-2016, 08:13 AM
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Wgosma Wgosma is offline
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Location: SoCal
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,587
Mein Auto: 98 528i 5-spd sport pkg
Fw-Fw: really nice car! How did you find one with such very low mileage?! Must be a bit of a story there....
Thanks/Bill
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98 528i - 5 spd, Cold Weather Pkg & OEM Sport Suspension
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  #18  
Old 07-18-2016, 08:58 AM
fw_fw fw_fw is offline
BMW: Freude am Fahren
Location: Helena, AL
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 82
Mein Auto: 2003 530iA Sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wgosma View Post
Fw-Fw: really nice car! How did you find one with such very low mileage?! Must be a bit of a story there....
Thanks/Bill
Cliff's Note version: Patience and luck, happen to be the first one to respond to the online listing.

Been looking for a relative low mileage E39 530iA for a month or so, was selling my X1 to cut some costs with my first born starting college and number 2 not far behind. It just showed up on cars.com late one Saturday afternoon, a new 530iA listing showed up without pics. Mileage was unbelievable, so I checked the VIN for options.....perfect. Sport package, Xenon, M-Sport Suspension....good.....grey interior...better than beige but wanted black. Black exterior......it's been 27 years since I've had a black car, and I swore I would never again as they are near impossible to keep clean. Still, went ahead and sent an inquiry to the dealer, small-town Wisconsin Chrysler dealer, who responded the following Monday morning and sent me some pics.

Spoke to the sales manager about the car at that point. it was a 1 owner owned by a gentleman who recently had passed away from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). He was a personal friend of the car dealer's owner and they are now selling it. Hardly driven, and then not in the winter. 27,869 miles!!! Autocheck and carfax confirmed, with an interior that looks brand new (except for the busted cupholder (of course))!

However, it is still been a Wisconsin car it's whole life, was it REALLY never driven in the snow. They sent me then some chassis pics that showed the car wasn't hardly even driven in the wet. Even the tires' date code match the car manufacture date!!!

Forget about the black exterior, it's a "new" E39!!! One final check: the inspection report (clean except cracked original tires & cupholder) and some haggling......I pulled the trigger!!

Had it shipped to me, speaking to the sales manager afterwards he told me that they never pull an online ad until the car leaves the lot, and he could have sold the car 50+ times over, including some other dealers, based upon the phone calls and emails! My guess is that this car would have set on a BMW specialty lot for $15K.....

Even with it being so low miles and hardly used, many of the familiar E39 maladies still apply: Cupholder, Instrument Cluster pixels, headlight adjuster, rear doors leaking, FSR issues. Good news is that after those are done the car looks like something that just got CPO'd at a BMW dealer!!!
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2003 BMW 530iA Sport Sapphire Black over Grey (DD)
2006 BMW 330ci 6MT ZHP Silver Grey over Grey (WW)
2014 BMW X1 xDrive35i M-Sport Mineral Grey over Nevada Black Ultimate HK (gone)
2011 BMW 328i M-Sport Alpine White over Nevada Black (gone)
1999 BMW M Roadster Estoril over Estoril (gone)
Others: 4 Mazdas, 7 VWs, 7 Hondas, 1 Acura, 2 Toyotas, 1 Hyundai, 4 Nissans, 1 Eagle, 1 Jeep, 1 Mitsubishi, 2 GMCs, 2 Chevrolets, 1 Merkur

Last edited by fw_fw; 07-18-2016 at 09:00 AM.
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  #19  
Old 07-18-2016, 10:51 AM
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Wgosma Wgosma is offline
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Location: SoCal
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,587
Mein Auto: 98 528i 5-spd sport pkg
Quote:
Originally Posted by fw_fw View Post
Cliff's Note version: Patience and luck, happen to be the first one to respond to the online listing.
Outstanding, very nice looking car - looks like you're right on top of the key maintenance items too (i.e. cooling system!).
Thanks for sharing /Bill
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98 528i - 5 spd, Cold Weather Pkg & OEM Sport Suspension
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  #20  
Old 07-18-2016, 11:51 AM
avu3 avu3 is online now
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Location: Cordelia, CA
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 220
Mein Auto: '02 540iA Sport
12K with 100K miles in 2011. Paid extra because they did a bunch of work to it just prior to delivery - trans service, suspension bits, wheel refinishing, etc.
I have not kept specific track of costs, just the repairs/dates. Costs are mostly guesses. And all DIY except one coolant flush and the Throttle Body repair and the keys.
Alternator ($400)
2nd Trans flush w/labor ($1k) and waiting on fluid for the 3rd. ($200 - diy this time)
Valve cover and upper timing cover gaskets ($200)
PCV Valve, Sucky Jet ($200)
Timing Chain Tensioner ($75)
Brand new Key w/programming/labor ($300)
Key Repair on the original ($50)
Washer jets and tubing ($100)
Battery ($200)
Throttle Body w/labor ($800)
Sun Roof Rails ($30)
Electric Fan ($250)
Fog Light, Fog Light Trim, Headlight Bracket ($125)
Temp Sensor & Wiring ($50)
Wheel Arch Plastic ($50)
Jack Pads ($50)
Tail Light Gaskets ($20)
Spark Plugs ($100)
A/C Fan ($100)
Trunk Struts ($30)
Front Struts & mounts & alignment ($400)
Brakes ($200)
Driver & Pass Seat trim ($80)
Driver & Pass seat switches ($90)
Crank Position Sensor (?)
Sway Bar end Links ($75)
Rear Shade Repair ($50)
fuel filter/regulator ($80)
Bunch of Oil Changes
Wiper blades a few times
Air Filters
3 sets of tires

I've also got all the coolant hoses, water pump and water tank on hand.
Water Pump & Gasket $145

As far as when will I call it?
Well I just spent another $450 today on a valley pan kit and radiator. As long as the car is still fun to drive I'll do the timing chain service when its needed. No plans to retire it.

Scott
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  #21  
Old 07-18-2016, 12:41 PM
BCZoom BCZoom is offline
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Location: PA
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: '03 E39 530i
2003 530i with 113K miles when purchased.
$6,290

It was a 1-owner, 100% dealer maintained vehicle. Carfax shows everything, including the oil changes were done at the dealer.

The car is immaculate inside and out and so far, needs nothing.

It came with new tires but they're MasterCraft. Never heard of that brand so I put a set of Pirelli P7's on it. About $580 installed.

I've purchased a couple accessories (a new Valentine V1 , WeatherTech floor mats and that aftermarket cup holder) but otherwise, no other costs... yet.
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  #22  
Old 07-18-2016, 03:10 PM
kingfisher1 kingfisher1 is online now
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Location: st.louis mo.
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 74
Mein Auto: 528i
2000 528i,M-Sport with 228k.Had all new suspension,dashboard,window's main board,tires,brakes,exhaust,vano's,radiator,wa-pump.Air compressor.This kid had his mom give it to him and he wanted to sell for his truck needed to be fixed.i bought it for 2,000.I have put wiper blades on it and last month the alternator went bad.500.00Been a great ,great ride.I think i will need an new ignition soon cause it will not let the key go in sometimes,but a little jiggle..
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  #23  
Old 07-19-2016, 02:14 AM
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pudl pudl is offline
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Location: Wien, Österreich, EU
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 827
Mein Auto: E39 530dAT 2001 M-Sport
Bought it for 4000, spend about 2000 a year with taxes and all. I also spend many hours tinkering with it.
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  #24  
Old 07-19-2016, 04:36 AM
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thumper600 thumper600 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: SW
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 385
Mein Auto: '95 540i M-Sport, 01 M5
well, 2003 paid way to much for a 95 supercharged e34 540/6 but driving it for the last 13 years all I've done is regular maintenance, (oil shocks, tires, belts, brakes, etc. etc. etc.), and have gotten 108K relative trouble free miles both on and off the track, then there was the '99 540/6 which was cheap because it needed a new radiator, ($100), struts, ($280), a battery, ($120), and a timing rail kit, ($600), sold that one and turned right around to purchase an "01 M5 which from purchase needed and has had installed to date struts, ($600 for B8's all around), a timing guide kit, ($700), brakes and rotors, ($120 for front and rear rotors, (it's not what you know but who you know), but the EBC yellow stuff pads were pricy), and an oil change. All in all one cannot put a price tag on anything mentioned because of the smiles per mile produced.
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  #25  
Old 07-19-2016, 12:03 PM
PrimeSuspect PrimeSuspect is online now
Driving Dorethy
Location: Wichita
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: 2001 530i
Bought my '01 530 for $5500 with 126k miles in 2013. I've rougly spent $4,000 for struts & springs (H&R), front and rear control arms, inner and outer tie rods, rear ball joints, Vanos seals, entire cooling system, engine mounts, oil pan gasket, OFH gasket, belts and idler/tensioner pulleys, front O2 sensors, front and rear rotors and pads, CCV by-pass, valve cover & gasket, fuel filter, trans filter and fluid, battery, coil packs, plugs, two door lock actuators, tires and Style 42 wheels I refinished. Thank goodness I do my own maintenance.

The car has 139K miles and runs smooth as butta.

Last edited by PrimeSuspect; 07-19-2016 at 12:09 PM.
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