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Things to look out for in a 530i

12950 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Edgy36-39
I'm looking to buy a 530i with about 110,000 miles in it. I have some questions below that I hope you guys can help me with.

1. How do I find out all the included original options just by VIN#? Will a dealer typically be helpful with this type of inquiry?

2. Owner strictly followed BMW maintenance schedule which means oil change every 15k miles. I'm a little bit concerned about this. Is there anything that a pre-purchase inspection at a shop can do to check if engine condition is ok?

3. The car has 19" wheels, which Im not really sure if I like or not. I would like to hear from folks who have had a similar setup what they think are the main advantage/ disadvantages with this tire size.

4. Any other things to look-out for?
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All you need to do is give the last 7 of the VIN to your dealer and they should be able to not only telling you all original factory options, but also all Dealer service history. If they give you any trouble shoot me a PM and I can see what I can do to help.

1. How do I find out all the included original options just by VIN#? Will a dealer typically be helpful with this type of inquiry?
2. Owner strictly followed BMW maintenance schedule which means oil change every 15k miles. I'm a little bit concerned about this. Is there anything that a pre-purchase inspection at a shop can do to check if engine condition is ok?
Although BMW does suggest 15k, I've always found oil break down is very severe by that point! I also don't think you need to do it every 3k as your local oil change shops would have you believe. I personally do mine roughly every 7k. If you have free maintenance still at the dealer then I would do it your self in between what they are doing. Just a suggestions that's worked for me on all of my BMWs.

We actually created a kit just for this, specificly for the E39 530i. You can find that kit here:
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E39-530i-M54_3.0L/Maintenance/Engine/Inspection_1/ES263047/?utm_source=bimmerfest&utm_medium=forum&utm_content=postreply&utm_campaign=postreply



On the service history you get from the dealer you can tell when the oil has been changed in the past. These engine are pretty solid, as long as you get it on a good regiment once you get it you should be good to go!

4. Any other things to look-out for?
->Be sure to check the cooling system on any E39 530i (M54) as they are prone to failing ie. when was the water pump replaced? We created a cooling system refresh kit bc the problem is so prevalent and to aid in being proactive with this problem.

With that mileage the water pump at minimum should have been replaced by now. BMW thought it was a good idea to use plastic impellers in these cars and they were very prone to cracking and leaving you stranded. This is where the aftermarket stepped in and designed a metal impeller water pump. BMW did revise their design and used a slightly stronger composite material but it is still prone to the same failures. On my personal cars (01 E46 Coupe & Sedan, & 02 X5 3.0 "All M54's") I've upgraded them all to the metal impeller. Those where all done prior to be being employed here.

The Cooling System Refresh Kit's we offer were created in 2 different levels, depending on what you feel you need. All of those factors were kept in mind when they were made.
You can find them here for your future application:
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E39-530i-M54_3.0L/Engine/Cooling/Refresh_Kit/?utm_source=bimmerfest&utm_medium=forum&utm_content=postreply&utm_campaign=postreply

Hope that helps, please feel free to PM me with any questions!

Cheers,
Joe
Faster inner tire wear on this 530i

Thanks for the responses.

Seller also mentioned that this car tends to have faster wear on the inside of rear tires. What could be the underlying rootcause for this? He has the 19" M5 wheels on this thing.
You say that as if it's a bad thing. :p

The "replicable" wear of the rear tires is partially due to the way the car is designed and the type and brand of tires you have mounted. You get the handling that BMW is known for...for a good reason...and that has to do with how the rear suspension is designed. And if you have a staggered wheel set up (rear wheels are wider than the front)...this will also have an affect on how the rear tires wear.

This is another reason to pay close attention to your tire's inflation and choosing an air pressure that works for you and the way you drive. Always start with the recommended tire pressure that is located on the driver's door jamb sticker. Then adjust up or down based on what feels right for you...and/or if you see excessive tire wear.
Thanks for the responses.

Seller also mentioned that this car tends to have faster wear on the inside of rear tires. What could be the underlying rootcause for this? He has the 19" M5 wheels on this thing.
Have your shop read any codes that might have previously existed. They can actually look back a certain period of time. If I had know about this, I would have had it read as part of pre inspection. Would have saved me thousands of dollars.
PM Sent!
I'm looking to buy a 530i with about 110,000 miles in it. I have some questions below that I hope you guys can help me with.
Couple things:

1. Car maintained at BMW does not mean it is in good shape. With engine oil changed every 15K miles, No. 1 enemy is "SLUDGE"!!!
Just go a Google Search Images for "BMW Sludges":



- Open the Oil Filler Cap and look inisde for Sludges. If you see Sludges, then run away from the car. The M52, M54 motor has a "Baffle" (open the Engine Oil Filler Cap and you will see it) which may hide the problem. The Sludge may be hidden below the "Baffle". But the car being in TX may help b/c the weather down there is not that cold.

Sludge builds up when you deal with:
a. Short trips less than 3 miles
b. COLD weather (like the North with snow).
c. Long oil change intervals like 15K.


- Most of us here change our oil every 4-6K miles or so, give or take. We (the bimmerfest enthusiasts) don't believe in 15K oil interval, even with Synthetic Oil.

2. Cooling System is No. 2 on the list, if car has not had any Cooling System work, then it needs a Cooling Overhaul soon.

3. Any other items can be addressed later; (I will link you to all the DIYs if you passed the first 2 tests above!):
- Changinging Trans + Rear Diff Fluids
- CCV, ICV DIY
- Suspension Overhaul
etc. etc.
More than one post on this I see? :rolleyes:

Another known problem -- Final Stage Unit (FSU) Do a search, it's a fuse in the HVAC that will drain your battery overnight. Find out if replaced.

QSilver -- the car is not a sport, so should the rear wear be that apparent?
I must have missed that part...I don't remember reading if it was a sport or not. And I'm at home now so I can't look up the suspension specs in the TIS to verify any info (Mac CPU).

Is the camber of the rear wheels that much different between the regular suspension and that of those with the sport pkg?
...QSilver -- the car is not a sport, so should the rear wear be that apparent?
Also you may want to check that the headlight adjusters are still good. If I had known this earlier, may have been able to acquire the car at a reduced price.

It's not a huge problem though and the DIY is generally straightforward and there's plenty of help available on these forums...I should know :p
I will say 530i is a great car but the oil change should be at 5,000 miles. Time for cooling and suspension maint.
+1

I have mine changes out every 5k miles.
Although BMW does suggest 15k, I've always found oil break down is very severe by that point! I also don't think you need to do it every 3k as your local oil change shops would have you believe. I personally do mine roughly every 7k. If you have free maintenance still at the dealer then I would do it your self in between what they are doing. Just a suggestions that's worked for me on all of my BMWs.

Cheers,
Joe
You may not have missed -- he mentioned it another post.

Is the camber of the rear wheels that much different between the regular suspension and that of those with the sport pkg?
I've read that the camber is increased, can't point to proof though.
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