291,000 miles on my '97 528i. Anyone with more? - 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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  #1  
Old 12-18-2004, 09:10 AM
netjazz netjazz is offline
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291,000 miles on my '97 528i. Anyone with more?

Just spent $3100 to rebuild my original auto transmission on my '97 528i ( I am original owner)with 291,000 miles on it. People say I am crazy to put that kind of money into a car with such high milage, but I would rather have this car believe it or not, than a new Honda or Camry as a second car.(Got a new 545ia that is also a delight). Does anyone have higher milage on a '97 or newer 5 series? I would like to go for 400,000. ANY THOUGHTS ON THIS? After fixing the tranny , I am now committed (or should be).
Netjazz
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2004, 06:41 AM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2004, 07:09 AM
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Mine is year 2000 with 109,000 on it. I can't believe there is somene driving more than I do I drive some 5 hours each day!

I know what you mean about keeping this as a second car and not some Honda or Toyota. Keep going! Thats my plan! Why 400,000??? I would say 500,000 is a nicer number. Then you can sell it to BMW museum and they will give you a brand new M5 in exchange

Anyway, CHEERS!
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2004, 08:04 AM
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My '99 only has 81,000 on it so I have a ways to go.

The way I look at it is if the car is in otherwise good shape, and you are putting less into it a year than what it would cost to finance/lease a new car then you are doing well. The fact that you sill like driving the car is extra points right there. Good luck on going to the 400K mark!
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2004, 08:58 PM
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Any other major problems with the car? That kind of mileage is very encouraging since I plan to buy newer E39 this year and put at least 150K miles on it.
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2004, 03:56 AM
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Lifetime transmission fluid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by netjazz
Just spent $3100 to rebuild my original auto transmission on my '97 528i ( I am original owner)with 291,000 miles on it. ....
I was wondering about the trans fluid. BMW say "lifetime", no need to ever change the fluid. And some people say "nothing is lifetime". Did you ever changed the fluid on your tranny? Did the shop that rebuild your tranny say something about that? Could that be a factor for the tranny gone bad?

Whats your opinion?
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  #7  
Old 12-21-2004, 09:57 AM
jnejman jnejman is offline
 
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I own 2001 530i with 82,000 on it.
I have heard that these I6 engines run forever Congrats on your milage!!! Keep on going.

Having said that, I have a couple a questions for you:
1. what kind of parts did you have to replace so far and at what milage? (I personally had to replace a fan clutch, thermostat, one of the control arms and main clutch.
2. what kind of maintnance do you perform (how often do you change oil, fuel filters, differential oil etc)?
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  #8  
Old 12-21-2004, 05:02 PM
netjazz netjazz is offline
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Response to above questions. Very Long.

Lifetime fluid does NOT last a lifetime. At 280,000 miles when coming to an abrupt stop, my transmission failed to downshift, but when I started moving again it would downshift with a bang and changed gears harshly. Thought it was gone, but when opened it was loaded with 280,000 miles worth of guck and sludge.After a good cleaning, flushing and new lifetime fluid added, it changed gears smoothly again. (If I had it to do over again, I would change LIFETIME fluid every 100,000 miles, which my BMW dealer now agrees with). That lasted till 291,000 miles when a washer,I am told broke loose and destroyed my 3rd & 4th gears. So I got the total rebuild which I am not happy with. The car is changing gears quite hard,especially in 3rd gear,both up and downshifting. They tell me the tranny has to break in, but I think I am getting a snow job. They asked that I drive it another week or two, but I doubt it will improve. Got a 12,000 mile, 12 month warrenty from this independent shop for what that is worth, but got a feeling they will give me a rough time with this, since it does not always shift poorly. We will see.
Overall the car has been a winner.A list of repairs performed over the years and approx. milage at the time follows from what I can remember.

Cat. Conv. at 75m (covered under extended warrenty)
Radiator, thermostadt and water pump at about 125m and AGAIN at abt. 220m This problem seems to be very common on the E39s, so if it hasn't happended to you yet, expect it. Comes with the territory.
Still have original muffler.
Put in new struts and front end work at abt. 250m. Car handles and rides as smooth as can be. Not a rattle to be heard, ever.
First battery at 200m.
Except for regular maintainance by the book at BMW and oil changes with non-synthetic oil every 10/12,000 miles at BMW, that's about it. Burns a quart of oil every 10,000 miles. I think that's pretty good performance, and it still looks terrific also. No one can believe it has 291,000 miles on it. Must have been a car built on a Wednesday.
This is why I still keep the car. Just can't part with it. Alternate my 140 mile round trip commute between my '97 528ia and my new 2004 545ia sport which is also a great car so far.(8500 miles) Hope you find this information helpfull.
Netjazz
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2004, 08:04 PM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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The tranny thing get me worry a little, because there if I can't change the fluid in it, than it means there is nothing I can do to keep it in good shape.

I do wonder about that though. You changed the fluid at 280,000 and then a washer brock loose at 291,000? I am getting a feeling that you don't trust a 100% that this is the true story? ("..a washer, I am told, ...").

There are some stories of guys changing the fluid just to start having problems.

I want to change my tranny fluid, but thats too scary... who changed your fluid, the dealer or the independant shop? Do you suspect a connection between the fluid change and the damage 11,000 later?

I have 110,000 on my 2000 528i Steptornics. By the way, I am using syntetic oil and my engine does not burn any oil. It stays at the same level between oil changes.
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2004, 08:10 AM
waapples waapples is offline
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wow, that's impressive.

i have 99 528i 5spds manual tranny w/ 55,400 miles.

i guess i'll be driving this car for a while w/o too much problems.
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  #11  
Old 12-28-2004, 01:16 PM
tsaros tsaros is offline
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Mein Auto: 540i -6 -99
~262400 Miles, unless my conversion from KM to miles went wrong
¨164000KM, Nothing except for a clutch is replaced.
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My 540iM -6
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My old 528i Touring -98
H&R+Bilstein Sprint, E39 M5 OEM Wheels 245+275, CDV Deleted, M50 intake manifold, BBTB (Sold 2005-07-15)
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2004, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsaros
~262400 Miles, unless my conversion from KM to miles went wrong
¨164000KM, Nothing except for a clutch is replaced.
Yup, it did.
*
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2004, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsaros
~262400 Miles, unless my conversion from KM to miles went wrong
¨164000KM, Nothing except for a clutch is replaced.

That translates into about 101,680 miles.
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2004, 03:16 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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I have a 2001 with 52k on it. I'm out of warranty so I guess everything should go wrong now, right?

Just the other day one of my high beams took a nose dive. Now I gotta see about a replacement.

Other than that, I did have some issue taken care of under warranty but nothing super major. The I-6 engine design is a winner.

I figure I'll want a 2006-7 545i/6 but we'll see....
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2004, 06:03 PM
gr8330 gr8330 is offline
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98 528i with 49010 miles and one new radiator
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  #16  
Old 12-30-2004, 03:00 AM
tsaros tsaros is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagoo98
That translates into about 101,680 miles.
I went really wrong even
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My 540iM -6
E39 M5 OEM Wheels and Cross Spoke Composite II 42 18", CDV Deleted, Eisenmann Race 2x76mm,Rogue Engineering Short Shifter (+WSR), Rogue Engineering Camber plates, Stoptech SS Brake lines, Axxis Ultimate, Bilstein PSS9, M60 intake. (Sold)

My old 528i Touring -98
H&R+Bilstein Sprint, E39 M5 OEM Wheels 245+275, CDV Deleted, M50 intake manifold, BBTB (Sold 2005-07-15)
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  #17  
Old 01-19-2005, 06:03 PM
BMW528i_Bilal BMW528i_Bilal is offline
 
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2000 BMW 528i with 80,000miles

Looks i have a long way to go with this car.
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  #18  
Old 01-19-2005, 07:29 PM
emPoWaH emPoWaH is offline
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Is there any preventive maintenance that keeps the radiator, thermostat, water pump, or catylic converter from needing replacement/repairs?
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  #19  
Old 01-19-2005, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsaros
I went really wrong even
Yup, it did.
*
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  #20  
Old 01-19-2005, 08:24 PM
jetstream23 jetstream23 is offline
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Have you scheduled Inspection XXVIII yet? I think that's a 300,000 mile Inspection !
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  #21  
Old 01-19-2005, 11:58 PM
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I just hit over 100,120 yesterday. Engine is still running smooth as silk.
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  #22  
Old 01-20-2005, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waapples

i have 99 528i 5spds manual tranny w/ 55,400 miles.
I have a '99 528i 5 speed w/72,000
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  #23  
Old 01-20-2005, 08:36 AM
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Mine has about 62,000 miles on it. A couple of days ago my instrument cluster went out. So, for the past couple of days, I've been driving without a speedo, tach, fuel gauge or temp gauge. Also, doors wouldn't lock and windows weren't working properly. Turns out that my ambient temp sensor was hanging down and got ground down which caused the cluster system to short out. At 62k miles, I'm thinking this car was a [email protected] purchase, and this is when everything starts breaking down. Last night, I replaced the sensor and the right tire fender wall where the sensor is supposed to go. It was about $30 in parts and 20 minutes of my labor. I'm glad that my mechanic nor the dealers couldn't get me in until next week. They probably would have charged me an arm an a leg. Your mileage stories on yours cars give me renewed faith in my baby to withstand additional miles.
Thanks, guys.

oh yeah, what is the recommendation regarding changing the lifetime fluid in a manual transmission? I think that the dealer wants to charge something like $650 for the lifetime transmission fluid flush.
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  #24  
Old 01-21-2005, 12:27 AM
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gerchy gerchy is offline
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Congratulations! That's quite a mileage ...
We want pics!
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  #25  
Old 01-21-2005, 05:18 PM
MHH MHH is offline
 
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I have a 97 528i with 114,000 and I have replaced the upper and lower control arms, brakes all around. I will need to chage the front bearings soon as it sounds like I have studed tires.

Keep going for the 400K
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