Problems to look for in a 2003 E39 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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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 12-13-2017, 03:19 PM
ZombieMachine ZombieMachine is offline
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Problems to look for in a 2003 E39

I love the 540 E39. I finally found a really clean one but I don't know much about this car and was wondering if anybody could recommend some issues to look for?
Thank you!!!!
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:39 PM
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dms540i dms540i is offline
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This forum has everything you need in the “stickies” section up top. See the thread called “how to easily find information on your e39 ...” or something witty like that. If you look through it you find a lot that a former forum member called “Bluebee” compiled. Take a look. She did a great job getting to the bottom of many many issues and linking the best diy threads together with amazing clarity. Here is one entry that is well worth the read. Brand new to BMW ownership- what to do first?
https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=850913



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Old 12-13-2017, 04:49 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Browse the three Stickies on the home page. If you are serious about this car, locate a BMW specialist for a pre-purchase inspection.

Both the I6 and V8 have their own set of issues. If the car is without service/repair records, it'll be a problem.

Read this document. It's dated, but has a good amount of info:

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/at...4&d=1314737014
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Browse the three Stickies on the home page. If you are serious about this car, locate a BMW specialist for a pre-purchase inspection.

Both the I6 and V8 have their own set of issues. If the car is without service/repair records, it'll be a problem.

Read this document. It's dated, but has a good amount of info:

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/at...4&d=1314737014
I agree with edjack. You should use your own visual and test drive to sift through the cars not worth of consideration. If you come across a "serious contender", that has some good history, drives well, and the owner looks like one who cares for his cars, THEN invest in having a "pre purchase" inspection done. This will cost from $200 to $400, as it will entail at least a couple hours to go over the car. Seriously, this can save you thousands, and prevent a potential disaster...and even if the inspection comes back less than stellar, if it is a nice car otherwise, use the inspection as negotiating power to drive a better deal.

BUT, you should find a good independent BMW service specialist in advance. Explain that you are looking to purchase a car, and have them inspect it....often times they can be a good resource to help you find a car....perhaps they know a good customer looking to sell. Plus, a trusted BMW service specialist will pay you back in spades helping you steer around a bad car, and ensure proper maintenance and avoid future problems on your purchase.

The basic concerns on any higher mileage BMW would be the following: brakes, oil leaks, wheel bearings, door seals, rear ball joints, suspension control arms (and thrust arm bushings), water leaks from door vapor barriers, seat rails (seat rail twist), sunroof drains, and general operation of radio, nav, AC/HVAC, and other accessories. Also, condition of dash and radio pixels...though that can be fixed by sending them out, around $250 to $350 for each.
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:06 PM
ZombieMachine ZombieMachine is offline
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Thank you!!

Awesome!! Thank you guys!!
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