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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 08-11-2019, 08:56 PM
bulldog2036 bulldog2036 is offline
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Mein Auto:
2001 525i


Looking at buying a 2001 525i with 85,000 miles and a standard transmission. Not new to BMW's as I own a 2010 128i and a 1997 Z3. What are the common issues related to this model and what would a fair price range be to pay....it is in excellent condition and professionally maintained and owned by a certified BMW technician. Appreciate your responses in advance.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:20 PM
BrokenBMWboi BrokenBMWboi is offline
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There are 2 links to some articles. Definitely look out for cooling system issues, I would bring a obd2 scanner and check everything over. The door seals can go bad, so check the floor on every side under the mats for moisture. Window regulators are a common issue, so make sure they go up and down without clunks or such. Check trunk took kit for all tools. On startup a vacuum sound should come from the passenger side wheel-well, this is the Air pump, which can be a costly fix and will normally trigger a check engine light. Other than that just check for things as you would other cars. (Accident damage, rust, etc...)
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:41 AM
effduration effduration is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 528i, '03 530i '06 X5
I would want to see car, drive it, decode the VIN and pull a carfax.

But not knowing anything, here are a couple of my thoughts. I have looked as dozens of E39s and have bought several

Price of E39's are a low levels. You can get good running 530i's for $1500 - $2000 sometimes less. Yes - there are extremely low mileage 530i's and 540i's going for big $ but that's rare

a 530i is almost always worth more than an 525i
Manuals are worth more to E39 fans than automatics, but the reverse is true to general public
black interior ages better than tan / gray
I have a slight preference for an '03 car vs an '01 car - condition-dependent
Avoid DSP - you have more options to upgrade audio with Non-DSP
A car from a salt-free state is worth more than a salt-state car

long-time ownership by A BMW tech is a plus, short-term ownership is worth less.
Full set of records is also a plus.

Again not knowing anything, I would say the value of this car tops out at $3000-$3500. Any more and there better be a great reason to buy it.
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