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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 06-16-2008, 02:14 PM
biodragon1 biodragon1 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Mein Auto:
Question 5401 shopping...please help!

I've been kicking around the idea of picking up a nice used bimmer and looked at a 1998 540i. But i've heard horror stories about junk radiators, water pumps and cheezy suspensions. The car looks to be in good condition but if these stories are true then the maintenance and upkeep could easily cost more than the car in short order. Any advice, suggestions, words of wisdom here? The car has 138000 miles on it. I've never owned a bimmer but over ten years that doesn't seem excessive.
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:08 PM
Melrose Melrose is offline
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Location: Lenexa, KS
 
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Mein Auto: 540i
I bought one (540) with 80,000 joined the BMW Car club local chapter. It saved me a bundle of money on advice, wine, gimme hats t-shirts, and loaner specialty tools etc. I am in the " Friends of BMW" Book, which means if my BMW breaks down in Kuala Lampur, I have friend who will help me fix it.

I have replaced a reservoir tank and sensor for $100. in parts. An oil change for $50. Other than that nothing. I need hoses for the radiator $70. headlights that are sanded from high speed driving, so for 15,00. miles driven that is chump change. The parts are in many cases cheaper than Cadillac, so it isn't bad. Ig you want a low cost car get a Toyota or Lexus, but even they have problems it's just the morons who own them don't keep accurate records.

However, if you can't or won't do these minor repairs, forget it. The dealers rape you to the tune of $120 per hour by the book. Get ramps and coveralls and do it yourself.
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:15 PM
Melrose Melrose is offline
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Location: Lenexa, KS
 
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Posts: 252
Mein Auto: 540i
Sorry but that was 15,000 miles. In Montana you will really enjoy its max speed. Here it's a death sentence with no shoulders water-filled ditches and two-laners with monster trucks. I can only get it up to 70 on one interstate.

One thing to keep in mind is parts. I am 30 miles from a dealer and 120 from the best dealer. Be prepared for a mailorder existence.
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