Advice on Long Garaged 540i - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-01-2019, 10:30 AM
BSDGuru BSDGuru is offline
Registered User
Location: Fort Lauderdale
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 47
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 540i, 2015 435i
Advice on Long Garaged 540i

I have a 2003 540i that's been sitting in a garage for 3 years that I need to get rid of it. I'm just not sure of what to do. I "assume" that it's not safe to just jump and try to start it; the question is whether or not it would just be a can of worms to try to revive it.

Im concerned that if I have it towed to a service garage they're going to charge me $100s to tell me that it's going to cost more than it's worth to get it on the road. Im in a condo so I can't do much work on it myself.

What steps should I take to either get this back on the road or just unload it?
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 07-01-2019, 10:36 AM
viggen73 viggen73 is online now
Registered User
Location: PT
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: BMW 530i Touring E39
Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDGuru View Post
I have a 2003 540i that's been sitting in a garage for 3 years that I need to get rid of it. I'm just not sure of what to do. I "assume" that it's not safe to just jump and try to start it; the question is whether or not it would just be a can of worms to try to revive it.



Im concerned that if I have it towed to a service garage they're going to charge me $100s to tell me that it's going to cost more than it's worth to get it on the road. Im in a condo so I can't do much work on it myself.



What steps should I take to either get this back on the road or just unload it?
Can U ship it to Portugal? I would try to revive it but I'm totally bias... Is it manual or auto?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-01-2019, 10:39 AM
BSDGuru BSDGuru is offline
Registered User
Location: Fort Lauderdale
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 47
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 540i, 2015 435i
Quote:
Originally Posted by viggen73 View Post
Can U ship it to Portugal? I would try to revive it but I'm totally bias... Is it manual or auto?
I't Automatic. Maybe someone in South Florida has the same idea?
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 07-01-2019, 10:45 AM
viggen73 viggen73 is online now
Registered User
Location: PT
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: BMW 530i Touring E39
I would put some fresh gas and try to jump start it. How many miles on the clock?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-01-2019, 10:48 AM
BSDGuru BSDGuru is offline
Registered User
Location: Fort Lauderdale
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 47
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 540i, 2015 435i
Quote:
Originally Posted by viggen73 View Post
I would put some fresh gas and try to jump start it. How many miles on the clock?
67,000 Miles

Gas goes bad?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-01-2019, 10:49 AM
viggen73 viggen73 is online now
Registered User
Location: PT
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: BMW 530i Touring E39
Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDGuru View Post
67,000 Miles



Gas goes bad?
Yeap after 6 months it loses a lot of its octanes.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-01-2019, 11:12 AM
Joe-BMW's Avatar
Joe-BMW Joe-BMW is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Boston
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,473
Mein Auto: F10, E39, Audi Q7
67,000 miles, that thing is definitely revivable!
__________________
2003 540i|Jet Black|Gray Interior|M-Sport|WS NAV|Shades|PDC

Prior BMW's: 1987 325e|1993 740i|1998 740il|2001 530i|745li|2007 750li|2006 750li|2001 530i|2012 535xi|
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-01-2019, 11:59 AM
edjack edjack is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 15,108
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
After three years, the gas has probably turned to varnish. Do not try to start it until you have cleaned out the tank, and put in fresh gas.

It will also need fresh coolant, and a brake system flush, and probably a new battery.

You might be better off selling it as-is, and making it clear that the car has been stored.

Rob Siegel would love to get his hands on this thing.
__________________


Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.

Last edited by edjack; 07-01-2019 at 12:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-01-2019, 12:22 PM
528iAut 528iAut is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Moraira, Spain
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 2,272
Mein Auto: 1996 528i
Post a picture, we need to drool....
__________________
E39 528i Steptronic 1996, Comfort seats, Rear sunshade, Focal amplifier and front speakers, Oxford Green.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-01-2019, 12:33 PM
1BlinkGone 1BlinkGone is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: E SF Bay Area, CA
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 175
Mein Auto: 2003 530iA, prod. 4/29/03
GOOD HEAVENS YES!!! Bring it!!
__________________
2003 530iA Sterling Grey/Montana Grey base; Sport seats; M-Sport SW; Xenons; 17" S42 BBS/BMW Wheels
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-01-2019, 01:10 PM
Edgy36-39's Avatar
Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
Constantly Learning
Location: Northern Virginia
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,961
Mein Auto: 2016 X5, 2006 M3, 2002 M5
Is the car in decent shape? I'll spare you the "how could you let it sit for three years" question b/c 1. it's none of my business and 2. it's not relevant at this point. However, a car that sits for three years might indicate a lot of maintenance not done. What's the overall condition?

If the car is in OK shape, there is a chance it could be sold for decent money after some relatively easy sprucing up is done. I'd almost guarantee that any service station you have tow it would give you inflated estimate, then a lowball offer to buy the car. Then change fluids (maybe), quick detail and sell for $6-7K, maybe more if it has the 03 M aero bits. Do you care about leaving money on the table, or just want the problem off your hands?

Whatever your answer to that question, first step is as others have stated - new gas, see if car runs.
__________________
BLUE HEAVEN:
Interlagos Blue 06 M3, Autologic tune, K&N CAI, Agency Power midpipes and exhaust, Fortune Auto coilovers, ///M Pedal Kit, UUC SSK. MRegistry listing here.
LeMans 2002 M5, Black/Tech Graphite, Rogue SSK, Dinan exhaust, PSS9 coilovers, Euro rotors, iPod integration. MRegistry listing here.

Wife's chariot - 2016 xDrive 3.5i, Sapphire over Black. M Sport, Premium, Cold Weather, Driver Assist and Plus, Luxury and MultiContour Seats, Roof Rails, Harman Kardon

Last edited by Edgy36-39; 07-01-2019 at 01:11 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-01-2019, 03:32 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Beaverton, Oregon, USA
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,339
Mein Auto: 2001 E39 540i
So, I assume the car is garaged in Florida, right ?
If yes, give me a call. I'd fly to Florida, spruce up the car, and drive it back to Oregon....Seriously, PM me...!!
__________________
<=E39=>
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-01-2019, 05:39 PM
Burning2nd's Avatar
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift Arm
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,593
Mein Auto: e39, e83, e60
step 1 check the oil level..

step 2 check the coolant level..

step 4 start it...
__________________
Specializing In Breaking Things Professionally


15486372<-----

Last edited by Burning2nd; 07-01-2019 at 05:41 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-01-2019, 06:06 PM
Santaclaus4 Santaclaus4 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Hockinson Washington
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 367
Mein Auto: Two 2003 540i Msport's
Charge the battery first before you try to jump-start it. The gasoline that's in it is getting old but it's probably good enough to start and run the car.
__________________
2003 540i M-sport
If you put cheap parts on your car, you'll soon have a cheap parts car.
The law doesn't determine right from wrong. They are unrelated.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-01-2019, 06:50 PM
BSDGuru BSDGuru is offline
Registered User
Location: Fort Lauderdale
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 47
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 540i, 2015 435i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgy36-39 View Post
Is the car in decent shape? I'll spare you the "how could you let it sit for three years" question b/c 1. it's none of my business and 2. it's not relevant at this point. However, a car that sits for three years might indicate a lot of maintenance not done. What's the overall condition?

If the car is in OK shape, there is a chance it could be sold for decent money after some relatively easy sprucing up is done. I'd almost guarantee that any service station you have tow it would give you inflated estimate, then a lowball offer to buy the car. Then change fluids (maybe), quick detail and sell for $6-7K, maybe more if it has the 03 M aero bits. Do you care about leaving money on the table, or just want the problem off your hands?

Whatever your answer to that question, first step is as others have stated - new gas, see if car runs.
I've done enough research to know thats a bad idea.

The reason is that I bought a new car and procrastination; $5K wasnt enough of a motivation at the time.

I think I'll probably take my chances with one of the local BMW shops. They may be hungry in the summer for some business and not burn me too badly.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-01-2019, 07:03 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Beaverton, Oregon, USA
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,339
Mein Auto: 2001 E39 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDGuru View Post
..
I think I'll probably take my chances with one of the local BMW shops. They may be hungry in the summer for some business and not burn me too badly.
They probably will not try to burn you badly, if you point them to read this thread first.
And just say no...to any job they quote.


Seriously, here's what I would do:

-- Buy and install a new charged battery. The battery in the car is probably very old and dead anyway.
-- Buy a few gallons of fresh super unleaded gas, and pour it in.
-- Check the level (and replenish ? ) the engine oil and the coolant.
-- Start it, and drive it across the country...I'd buy it as offered above.
__________________
<=E39=>

Last edited by Chedley; 07-01-2019 at 07:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-02-2019, 02:06 AM
Burning2nd's Avatar
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift Arm
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,593
Mein Auto: e39, e83, e60
lots of other thinking here..

Literally you probably dont have to do anything but try to start it..

have you even turned the key?
is it dead?

everyone is acting like we are putting a shuttle in orbit.. its a fricken 20 year old bmw...

check fluids
apply voltage...
run it..

It didnt just magically blow up..

IF it even starts, If your really concerned.. crank it over a few times b4 letting it start (*pull the fuel relay or d/c the fuel pump) so you can crank it.. to get oil moving..
__________________
Specializing In Breaking Things Professionally


15486372<-----
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-02-2019, 11:28 AM
Mr.Yuck Mr.Yuck is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Brookeville, Md.
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 341
Mein Auto: 99 540i
I'd charge it up, drain as much gas as you can, add new gas and some fuel line cleaner, check the oil and fire it. 67k is NOTHING. The only problem I see is if you had some mice use the thing for housing.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-02-2019, 12:18 PM
u.nanimous u.nanimous is offline
Certifiable BMW Whackjob!
Location: SE Michigan
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 5,268
Mein Auto: 1999 740iS, 2008 335xi
After sitting 3 years that battery can fry the alternator! If you don't put in a fresh battery follow the jumpstart instructions exactly in the owners manual!!!
Personally I'd put a wrench on the crank and give it a few turns by hand before turning the key (with the proper fuses pulled). That is of course after checking the oil.
As for the gas I guess it depends on what kind and how much is in the tank, but pouring in a couple gallons of fresh stuff won't break the wallet and will definitely be a simple and good thing.

Sent from the future using Tapatalk downloaded to my neural implant
__________________


2005 Venture Extended LT - what else you gonna drive when you have 6 kids, cargo and still want better than 10MPG
1999 740iA - long term project/summer DD
2000 Impala LS - RIP 12/23/2016, officially totaled by insurance company
2001 330xiA - fXtXeX/son project - now April's car
2008 335xiA - winterbeater Impala replacement
2002 530i/5 - 2.5 years searching...and it is John's car
1989 535i/5 - the spare car
2002 325xiA - to be Charlotte's when she gets her license (?2019?)
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-02-2019, 04:43 PM
edjack edjack is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 15,108
Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
After sitting 3 years that battery can fry the alternator!

How so?
__________________


Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07-02-2019, 05:42 PM
Burning2nd's Avatar
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift Arm
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,593
Mein Auto: e39, e83, e60
id be more curious to know what kind of charge remains.. I bet its hold 8-10 volt still

the battery is not going to fry the alternator
__________________
Specializing In Breaking Things Professionally


15486372<-----
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 07-08-2019, 12:18 PM
BSDGuru BSDGuru is offline
Registered User
Location: Fort Lauderdale
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 47
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 540i, 2015 435i
The battery was completely dead 2.5 years ago

Last edited by BSDGuru; 07-08-2019 at 02:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07-08-2019, 01:52 PM
crazy4trains's Avatar
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Milton, WV
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,513
Mein Auto: 2002 530i Sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
step 1 check the oil level..

step 2 check the coolant level..

step 4 start it...
I'll bite:

What's step 3?
__________________
2002 530i
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-08-2019, 03:26 PM
Hitdog540's Avatar
Hitdog540 Hitdog540 is offline
Hitdog540
Location: Stoughton, MA
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 301
Mein Auto: '03 540/6, '15 550
Step 3 - pray!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07-08-2019, 03:33 PM
barleymanz barleymanz is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Kansas City
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 108
Mein Auto: 2001 540i 6spd
There is a ChrisFix YouTube video for on restarting an abandoned car. Lot of the same things as listed above, but you may also want to pull the spark plugs and spray a little fogging oil in the cylinder to give it some lubrication before starting it for the first time.

Good luck!


Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest
Reply With Quote
Reply

See More Related BMW Stories


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
© 2001- VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.