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Hello fellow E39er's!

I am interested in purchasing an E39 (have loved them since I was kid) and wanted to get your thoughts on pricing and if I should go for it or pass. Any and all thoughts would be MUCH appreciated. Details on the car:

2001 BMW 540i - with sport package and 174k miles. He has performed the following major services and is the 3rd owner and has meticulous records for maintenance since day 1 of purchase of the 1st owner.

• Radiator (and related cooling system components) - 167,700 miles/May 2018
• VANOS units, timing chains and chain guides. Also did the valley pan gaskets - 155,000
miles/March 2017
• Front struts and rear shocks & thrust arms - 142,600 miles/March 2015
• Automatic transmission (changed fluid after 120k and it crapped out, so he replaced
with a new one) - 139,200 miles/July 2014
• Alternator - 132,000 miles/May 2013
• New rear tires - 171,700 miles/Aug 2018

He has had the car for the past 10 yrs and has moved onto an Audi. I test drove it today and it was literally in mint condition, you could tell he is OCD about his cars. He is asking 7K and I brought him down to 5.5k.

Please let me know what you guys think! Looking forward to joining soon!
 

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7 is a tad high. While mine is not as mint it has had all the required maintenance. mine is a 99 Sport w/ a six speed. I got it about a year ago w/ 199,000 miles. The only issue with mine is the paint on the hood is somewhat dull. It has upgraded brakes and springs. Along with 18" staggered M wheels. I got mine for $4700. The auto isn't as desirable IMO. Not sure if the 2 years make up a $2300 difference. It is a FUN car.
 

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seems like a well-maintained car. Even with all the work the PO did, and chain guides and valley pan gasket are big ones, I would estimate annual maintenance on the order of $1500-2000, and that's if you do the work yourself. Are you prepared for that?
 

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Wow, 1-2k? This would be a second car for me to work on, I would probably put a max of 3-5k on a year. Would it still require that type of maintenance given it won't be my daily?

Thanks for the insights! Keep em coming!
 

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I was thinking you would drive it more.

But, yes, even 5k of year-round driving in well-maintained 20-yr old 540i with 177k miles will cost you $1500 /yr in maintenance give or take IMO.
 

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Most components will wear out due to mileage; some by age. It's an eighteen-year-old car. $1-2k may be max. If this will be a "weekend" car, it'll probably be okay.

Looks like the car has had most major issues addressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, all! Any input on the pricing? Would you think 5.5k is too high all things considered with maint, etc?
 

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seems like a well-maintained car. Even with all the work the PO did, and chain guides and valley pan gasket are big ones, I would estimate annual maintenance on the order of $1500-2000, and that's if you do the work yourself. Are you prepared for that?
How do you figure that? My last 540i I had to replace the torque converter and that wasn't even close to that. This one I've had a year and outside of an oil change and a few bulbs I haven't put a dime into it. Brakes are simple on these cars what other maintenance costs $1500-2k?
 

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Thanks, all! Any input on the pricing? Would you think 5.5k is too high all things considered with maint, etc?
I think $5.5k is a fair price given all the work that has been done and the condition. There is no barometer for these cars, it's a matter of you feeling right about it and writing a check for what it is worth to you after you have done your due diligence and it seems you have.

I paid $8,750 in May for mine. It had 92k miles on it and NONE of the work he has done has been done on mine and some of it is surely in my future. My car was similarly meticulously maintained. It was very clean in and out. Mine is a 2003 and it has the true M suspension that I guess only 2003's had. I also have the staggered M-Par wheel setup which again is only for 2003. In addition, the 2002/2003 radios are more easily retrofitable for an AUX if the PO hasn't done it. This 2001 car may have the early NAV too with the 4:3 screen.

My ONLY regret, not getting a 6-speed.
 

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How do you figure that? My last 540i I had to replace the torque converter and that wasn't even close to that. This one I've had a year and outside of an oil change and a few bulbs I haven't put a dime into it. Brakes are simple on these cars what other maintenance costs $1500-2k?
How do I figure that ? 15 yrs of E39 ownership. and those amounts are averaged. Some years its more, some less. I also know OEM parts prices are going up big time.

Heck, take a look at what the prior owner of the OP car has done in 10yrs of ownership. I don't think $ spent on maintenance stops now that the PO did all that work.

potential things I see in the next 5 yrs with the OP's car w/ approx 180k miles currently

wheel bearings,
brake calipers
exhaust or cats
ABS module
anything in the suspension that wasn't done
starter
alternator
engine mounts
steering rack?
interior bits that fail - blower motor, MID display, HVAC unit, FSU, a steering wheel re-wrap, etc.
 

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How do I figure that ? 15 yrs of E39 ownership. and those amounts are averaged. Some years its more, some less. I also know OEM parts prices are going up big time.

potential things I see in the next 5 yrs with the OP's car w/ approx 180k miles currently

wheel bearings,
brake calipers
exhaust or cats
ABS module
anything in the suspension that wasn't done
starter
alternator
engine mounts
steering rack?
interior bits that fail - blower motor, MID display, HVAC unit, FSU, a steering wheel re-wrap, etc.
that's why I don't buy OEM. Those issues can happen on any make of car.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks all! I was able to get him down another $500, so the price is at 5k. Plan on getting it inspected tomorrow.

Any other comments are much appreciated!
 

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ID give him 6 if it was manual...

its an automatic so that makes it not possible for me personally..

BUt it sounds like a good deal..

Will be like what i do when i sell mine.. BUT ill get that price with about another 100k on it.. lol
 

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Sounds like it's had all the Big Ticket items replaced. 540i is more temperamental than the I6 versions but a bit more rewarding on the right foot. Just be prepared for repairs here and there, and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.
 

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Sounds like it's had all the Big Ticket items replaced. 540i is more temperamental than the I6 versions but a bit more rewarding on the right foot. Just be prepared for repairs here and there, and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.
FWIW my 540i is easier to work on for general things than my wife's Jeep Liberty, FACT.
 
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