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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 07-04-2013, 04:01 PM
taklung taklung is offline
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Talking Which one is the better option?

Happy 4th of July!

First time poster here and hopefully an e39 owner soon!

I am currently looking at two options here and would like you guys to weigh-in on them and teach me something.

#1 - 540i M-sport w/ 55k miles @$16995 from eDirectMotors - No service records
WBADN63433GS57442

#2 - 540i M-sport w/ 108k miles @$11980 from Nesco - Full service records, 1 owner
WBADN634X3GS57289

My subjective assessment: Despite both cars being the same, they drive slightly differently which I am attributing to their age and different wear and tear patterns. #1 is a front runner for me due to the low miles, but I couldn't help but notice a slight rumble in the car that was ever present as well as some squeaking while driving. #2 did not exhibit the rumble, however the brakes felt a little mushier and may need to be replaced soon. #1 also has the navigation option and they will be fixing the dead pixels in the cluster ribbon. #2 has a standard radio but there are also dead pixels in that display. I did not completely review the service records for #2, but the dealer tells me the cooling system has been replaced.

I am not too savvy with cars, but buying either one is affordable for my income and I am ready to pay towards maintenance. Let me know what you think should weigh into my decision to buy either one.

Sidenote, if you guys know any used car purchasers in the Fort Worth area that will exceed a Carmax appraisal, let me know! I have a 2005 GTI automatic to offload somewhere.

Thanks for reading!
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2013, 04:04 PM
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the540wgn the540wgn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taklung View Post
#1 - 540i M-sport w/ 55k miles @$16995 from eDirectMotors - No service records
WBADN63433GS57442

#2 - 540i M-sport w/ 108k miles @$11980 from Nesco - Full service records, 1 owner
WBADN634X3GS57289
both are waaaay over priced IMO.
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2013, 04:10 PM
taklung taklung is offline
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Understood. I can probably talk down option #2, but #1 is a firm price. Based on KBB, #1's suggested retail price is $16,480 in excellent condition, but NADA says $13,000. #2's KBB valuation is $12,642 retail and NADA says $10,525. Neither factors in the "rarity".
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  #4  
Old 07-04-2013, 04:13 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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In my experience, KBB is not very accurate and I agree. Both are overpriced.
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2013, 04:16 PM
taklung taklung is offline
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What is a fairer price for the two vehicles?
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  #6  
Old 07-04-2013, 09:05 PM
Bandem Bandem is offline
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Originally Posted by the540wgn View Post
both are waaaay over priced IMO.
I'd pay $20 no problem for a '03 540i M-Sport bone stock with full records and 55k miles.

It may be to much on KBB or TMV, but price levels work different when people actually know what they're doing and know the cars they're buying.
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  #7  
Old 07-04-2013, 09:07 PM
taklung taklung is offline
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Originally Posted by Bandem View Post
I'd pay $20 no problem for a '03 540i M-Sport bone stock with full records and 55k miles.

It may be to much on KBB or TMV, but price levels work different when people actually know what they're doing and know the cars they're buying.
I wish the 55k one had full records!!!
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:07 AM
FiveDriver FiveDriver is offline
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You would want to get a BMW-savvy mechanic to look at these two -- rumbling noises and mushy brakes could mean almost anything. Are these dealers offering ANY kind of warranty ? Do you have access to CARFAX or Autocorrect ?? Also, color is important.....at least to me. What are the interior/exterior color combinations ??

At those prices -- the cars would have to be near perfect. After Tax & Title, and the inevitable first unanticipated repair job.....you're going to have $20K wrapped up in this car.
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  #9  
Old 07-05-2013, 08:37 PM
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IndiansFan IndiansFan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taklung View Post
I wish the 55k one had full records!!!
I guess you want a black on black 2003 540iA...........! From the web sites, both cars look to be well cared for.

I would call both dealers tomorrow and let them know you are considering a PPI for the car. See links below for Independent BMW mechanics in your area.

Car No 1. looks clean from the web site. They provide many shots of the car, which is good for long distance buyers. I don't care for the navigation option, but that would not be a deal breaker. Note that there are two different tires on the car (Pilot Sports on the rear). I would demand that a $17K car have 4 matching tires!! Also note that there is a crack or scratch in the rear window! I would ask them what the 26 historical events are as reported by AutoCheck VHR. An Inspection I should have been done at 15-20K and 45-60K miles. Inspection II would have been due at 30-40K miles.

The downside is they state that $16,995 is the sell price. $17K is high in my opinion, but there are other BMW specialty used car dealers who would ask $20K for the same car. If it were in perfect shape with service history, it may be worth the asking price. I would want to try and find out how long the first owner had the car, and when the car was sold to the second owner. Why did the second owner decide to sell the car? You have to decide if a car with 50K less miles is worth the additional $5K.

Car No 2. Without any additional information, I may be inclined to pursue this car first. It is a one owner car. You indicate it has service records. I would want to look them over to see just what was repaired/replaced. I would want to know what specific items in the cooling system had been replaced. This may be the better of the two, if items that will fail in the 80-120K mile range have been addressed. You also indicated that they may come down on the sale price.

I would contact one of these independent shops in your area for additional help in making your desision.

http://www.bimrs.org/profiles/Lone_Star.html

http://www.bimmershops.com/near/fort-worth-tx/

If you give them the VIN, they may be able to research some service history thru their computer data base. That would give you a starting point as to which car to pursue first.

They also would be a good source for having the pre-purchase inspection performed. Ask them what the cover in their pre-purchase inspection. You want to make sure that the inspection is not just a safety inspection. If you are ready to buy one of these two cars, then it may be worthwhile to have the independent look them over. Mention the issues that you noticed to get their opinion.

I would also ask the independent mechanic if they have knowledge about the two dealers. That may also assist you in your evaluation

Here is a good link to E39 information. Lots of good reading.
http://www.bmwtips.com/

Inspection I and II information.
http://www.bimmerzone.com/category/T...nspection.html

Make sure that you are completely aware of what it will cost you to operate this 10 year old car.

I might be inclined to go with Car No 2 and set aside the $5K savings from Car No 1 for maintaining the car for the next few years.

Good luck with your search.
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Last edited by IndiansFan; 07-05-2013 at 08:43 PM.
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