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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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  #1  
Old 11-30-2012, 01:46 PM
mhw58 mhw58 is offline
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2002 530i advice on purchase?

I have found a 2002 530i with manual transmission for sale in my area and car looks nice. The mileage is higher than I would like at 175 k but he has done the following maintenance:
August 2010 Repairs attached New Clutch, 7-24-9 Routine Oil changes Struts all around, 3-22-12 Valve Cover Gasket, 3-22-12 Tune-Up, 3-22-12 Replaced DISA Valve, 2-16-12 Thermostat, 1-09-11 Left Upper, Left Lower Control Arms, 1-09-11 Right Upper, Right Lower Controls Arms, 1-09-11 Battery, 1-09-11

He says it needs an alignment and the rear passenger window regulator doesn't work which is no big deal to me. Tires are pretty new, price seems fair at around $5600. Does this sound like an okay deal to you all or should I hold out for a lower mileage car?
Thanks for the advice.
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2012, 02:01 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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The mileage is high but the price is good. You could get another 100K out of this car. When was the cooling system replaced? That is usually done at 100K intervals. The tranny and engine are bombproof, as long as proper maintenance is done. Your front suspension is pretty much done. Hence, there are minimum repair expenses other than cooling. If the balance of the car is in good shape, it could be a decent buy.
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2012, 02:08 PM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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+ 1 with Fudman. The only thing I do not see is Vanos but that is not critical.
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  #4  
Old 11-30-2012, 03:07 PM
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DPP528 DPP528 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 528i Sport Prem 5Spd
Don't forget about CCV issues / vacuum leaks. Take the dipstick out and put it back in while it's running to find out if the vacuum system is good. The engine pitch should change if there is vacuum pressure (this is good). If not it could be a bad CCV (especially if the plastic on the end of the dipstick is black with dirty oil). Regardless it's still not the end of the world, it'll just eat oil until you fix it. Also if you do end up buying it change the MT fluid and diff fluid immediately. Don't fall for the "Lifetime Oil" nonsense, you'll notice the difference with new oil.
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2012, 03:39 PM
mhw58 mhw58 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
The mileage is high but the price is good. You could get another 100K out of this car. When was the cooling system replaced? That is usually done at 100K intervals. The tranny and engine are bombproof, as long as proper maintenance is done. Your front suspension is pretty much done. Hence, there are minimum repair expenses other than cooling. If the balance of the car is in good shape, it could be a decent buy.
Thanks for the info. I'm not sure what has been done on the cooling system and he doesn't mention the breaks either. I seem to recall reading the front end of the 2003 is different than the 2002, do you know what the difference is? I do love the front end of the 2003's I have seen.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:28 PM
Bandem Bandem is offline
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I'd say the seller is very important. Male or Female? And age?

If the answer is male and age is under...hmm...25?...I'd say walk away no matter what "Maintenance" has been done.

Also, what modifications does it have?
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2012, 01:51 AM
adam98540 adam98540 is offline
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I would jump on that. A recent clutch and all that suspension work is pretty damn nice. Is the shifter still tight and not resting under 5th before it warms up? Oil pan gasket is another expensive concern. You really don't find too many cars with big ticket maintenance like that already done though. Usually a seller thinks their car is some pristine specimen because they replaced the expansion tank when it popped.

In fact, if it doesn't work out for some reason this doesn't work out or you decide you want lower miles, can you send me the link to the ad? What's the color combo? Sport package?
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2012, 05:53 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhw58 View Post
Thanks for the info. I'm not sure what has been done on the cooling system and he doesn't mention the breaks either. I seem to recall reading the front end of the 2003 is different than the 2002, do you know what the difference is? I do love the front end of the 2003's I have seen.
The front end of the 03 is identical to the 02. The makeover (AEs, bumper, etc.) occurred between the 00 and 01 years, I like. I forgot to add that service records are critical. Don't take their word for it.
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2012, 01:31 PM
mhw58 mhw58 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandem View Post
I'd say the seller is very important. Male or Female? And age?

If the answer is male and age is under...hmm...25?...I'd say walk away no matter what "Maintenance" has been done.

Also, what modifications does it have?


I asked the seller if it has a clean or salvage title and no response so I'm getting a bad feeling it is salvaged. Walking away unless it's a clean title.
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2012, 01:49 PM
adam98540 adam98540 is offline
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Originally Posted by mhw58 View Post
I asked the seller if it has a clean or salvage title and no response so I'm getting a bad feeling it is salvaged. Walking away unless it's a clean title.
Do you have the VIN? Don't take the seller's word for it.
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