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Discussion Starter #1
Been a member here for a long time, but only just recently put up my first post. After using this (and other forums) for repair help, I realized it's time to start giving back. I own a 2000 E39 528i Sport pkg. IMNSHO, the E39 is the greatest sedan ever put on the road. Just handles like a dream. Nicely responsive and well behaved in the corners. And does she corner! Have owned this car since 2003 and if it was a 5 speed (was ex wifes car) I'd own it forever. I see an E46 in my future.

I've been working on my cars for over 20 years. And will fix, except for the deep internals on an automatic transmission, anything on them. The list of what I've repaired on mine is fairly long. After all, at 234,000 miles things will break. Just off the top of my head: cooling system (yes everything in it, except the heater core and bypass valves), suspension and steering (both ends and again just about everything), CCV, alternator, valve cover gasket, and even some body work. Plus all the maintenance (belts, plugs, all fluids, etc.)

In my spare time, of which there's been little the last 4 or so years, I enjoy road racing. Been racing SCCA since 1998. Own a Spec Miata, which I hope to race again soon.

Other vehicle: 2005 Chevy 2500 hd crew cab diesel.
 

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Sounds like you've got lots of experience working with vehicles period let alone with BMW's. And I agree with you at 200 thou miles they will require some work if you want it to run as it can. I look forward to your input. I haven't worked on a BMW since the early 80's and I've noticed that technology sure has changed quite a bit and I'm unfamiliar.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cars are cars. Mechanically, they don't change that much. Engineers design, accountants redesign and something with compromises gets built. Lol

It's the electronic controls that change. More and more computer control over all the bits and pieces. Most of the time this is good. But other times it's another layer of added complexity, that has it's own failure points. Or worse, when electronics are used to compensate for inferior (read as less expensive to manufacture) engineering. And when the manufacturer doesn't allow or makes it difficult to access the computer systems, it can be extremely frustrating.

What do you have? Don't be afraid to jump right in. For example, the brakes work the same way as they did in the 80's, except now there's an abs system added into the mix.
 

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You're correct everything has changed to a point that I can't work on my cars anymore. I don't have an Electrical Engineering Degree so I can't identify the most elementary parts of the car anymore. I still restore old cars like old Volkswagens generation 1, but my newer vehicles I have to take them into the Shop for repair or preventative maintenance. That's my story and the manufacturers are making me stick to it. And I presume that it's not over yet; i.e.: the Tesla and models to come just like them
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you know your way around the mechanical bits, you can still perform all the maintenance. The internet is helpful to reset the counters (oil change, etc.)

When it comes to repairs, same thing. But an OBD2 scanner is essential. They're cheap now, no excuse not to get one. my impression is that the later Bmw's are actually a little easier to get access into the systems, but I'm not speaking from first hand knowledge. It is possible to access the various systems using a terminal window. But a pain to hunt down all the commands in the forums. Good thing is that once a repair is made, the computers notice it, sometimes, and clear themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The repair situation is actually getting worse, there is a movement by the manufacturers to encrypt the networks in the cars. Making it impossible to access the systems. And it's all under the guise of software licencing. We owners licence the software in the cars, we don't own it. The road this leads down is frightening. But that's for another thread.
 
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