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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I have been looking into the E39s for quite some time and I am aware that parts are more expensive, and that i will have to keep up on regular maintenance.

However im wondering how much a year other owners spend on these DIY repairs and everyday expenses.

Im wondering this because im weighing out the cost of an older i.e 2003 540i compared to a newer import, i.e 2007+ Subaru WrX which would be serviced at the dealership.

Many Thanks!
 

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Comparing a old car vs new car with warranty is a loaded question. While you do have a warranty, you lose a lot more in depreciation.

Take it from a long time owner that does alot of pro-active maintenance, most owners will tell you it will cost on average $1000 a year in parts for DIY maintenance after the 8yr, 100-130k mile marker.

That amount doubles if you have work done at a trusted INDY and triple if you do it at the dealer.

Depending on the condition and service history of the E39 you buy, the number can vary.

Good news is after that "100-130k, 8yr mark," after most preventative overhauls are done. It drops down to less than $500/yr in misc plastic things that break from age as prices have gone up recently on misc trim pieces from limited production.

Finally, gas can add up for a V8 version depending on your annual mileage and local gas prices. But since you own a GMC sierra in Canada, this is a minor point.
 

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In about 4.5 years and 44K of ownership, I have spent about $3,300 in maintainence replacing my Vanos seals, front suspension, cooling system and some other minor repairs. I supplied nearly all the labor. But my car now drives like near-new and has great reliability. If you DIY, these cars are very affordable. If you send them out, not so much.
 

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$1K per year is maintenance after the car service has been brought up to date.
 

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The more important question is the comparison with a Subie. If the Subie fits your needs, and is comfortable and satisfying to drive, you'd be foolish to buy an old Bimmer.

Also, if you live in the snow belt, the Subie is much more practical. Put four top-rated snow gobblers on it, and go anywhere safely.
 

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Six years of ownership on a '98 528, all DIY maintenance, one of my best cars ever. Its my daily driver, so I keep it in excellent fitness.

Average $1353 per year.
 

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I've spent 13 large in 30 months completely restoring the car, including upgrades.

90 percent of the work done by my indie.
I wish my wife would give me free rein like that! Still, that is an incredible value when you consider the price of a new car.

I'm in it for about $1,200 for the past two years. Of course, I am not OCD and still have a "to-dos." These cars can be fairly rough on tires, so expect an annual / bi-annual replacement of tires depending on how much or aggressively you drive. Furthermore, cost depends a lot on your expectations. If you expect the e39 to be "like a new car" you are going to sink a ton of money in it. You have to set your own limits on what you want to spend.
 

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The more important question is the comparison with a Subie. If the Subie fits your needs, and is comfortable and satisfying to drive, you'd be foolish to buy an old Bimmer.

Also, if you live in the snow belt, the Subie is much more practical. Put four top-rated snow gobblers on it, and go anywhere safely.
My company car is a Subie Legacy, 2011. It's got 30k on it, not one thing has gone wrong with it.
My 540 hasn't needed any repairs in the last 2 years, it has 138k on it. I've done tranny, diff, and brake fluid changes this summer, that's it.
 

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Absolute Bargain E39

If you buy a top specification E39 like my 535iMSport with all the extras after about eight years the previous owners will have taken the massive depreciation and a car that cost £65,000 POUNDS, multiply by 1.5 for U.S. or Australian dollars, you can get here for about £3,000, because the price of gas is so high nobody wants a big engine, even those who do a small mileage like myself sometimes overlook the fact that the fuel cost is not important compared to tax and insurance, and as I am now an old geezer with a clean licence and large no claims bonus it's quite cheap to run, and BOY, is it enjoyable instead of running around in my wifes' Ford Focus.

It has cost a big lump recently with the chain tensioner, guides, etc breaking up, but it's still not burning any oil at 185,000 miles so the basic block is sound.

I have been so depressed having been without it for two weeks whilst BMW came up with the correct bits for my indy to fit, but all is sweetness and light now I have it back.

So go and buy a lovely top end E39 from an old, rich family who haven't had smokers,dogs or children in it and you will be very happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks alot for the insight!
The main reason I am considering an E39 over a newer import is the prestige..or respect associated with such a car, something I can bond with over time as I learn, not beat to hell and discard it.
I also love the subtleness of it, not flashy look at me....hopefully police will think the same :D

Within my family there is a 2003 Z4 3.0 (which I love!) and a 2007 X3 both of which are maintained at the Dealership for much more $$.

Also insurance on the E39 would be much lower than any newer vehicle, especially at 24 with a few previous tickets
 

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Watch the insurance!!

Thanks alot for the insight!
The main reason I am considering an E39 over a newer import is the prestige..or respect associated with such a car, something I can bond with over time as I learn, not beat to hell and discard it.
I also love the subtleness of it, not flashy look at me....hopefully police will think the same :D

Within my family there is a 2003 Z4 3.0 (which I love!) and a 2007 X3 both of which are maintained at the Dealership for much more $$.

Also insurance on the E39 would be much lower than any newer vehicle, especially at 24 with a few previous tickets
If you are only 24 and have a "few" tickets, the cost of insurance in the UK would be several thousand pounds if you can get cover at all.
For a car of this capacity and with Sport tag on it, which makes insurers scared, you need to be at least 30 with a clean licence.

I am so lucky not to be done yet as the acceleration is neck bending, I inadvertently came from a slip road onto an "A" road and wanting to get ahead of the stream, put my foot down and I was doing 120 MILES per hour before I knew it.
Fortunately being only an "A" road and not a motorway rthere were no automatic cameras to pinch me.

Over 100 in UK is automatic disqualification and a possible dangerous driving charge.

I also have a "Road Angel" on the windscreen to warn me of beams from cameras or police cars, but they may be illegal over there, they are in many European countries but not the UK at present, although one guy had a big fine for having an even better gizmo that sends a beam out from your car to neutralise the incoming radar. The police said it screwed up their system for several minutes Ha Ha!!
 

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........Also, if you live in the snow belt, the Subie is much more practical. Put four top-rated snow gobblers on it, and go anywhere safely.
I respectfully disagree with the first sentence, and endorse the second 100%. 40 years in Cleveland driving RWD cars w/ snow tires have never failed me.

Thanks alot for the insight!
The main reason I am considering an E39 over a newer import is the prestige.......especially at 24 with a few previous tickets
The main reasons I bought BMW's are the Motor's and the 50/50 (plus/minus) weight ratio. I had several Mazda's before the BMW's. At 58, I remember seeing the 3.0's race at Daytona. At 24 I also had a few moving violations, so don't worry. Just learn how to fly under the radar.:thumbup:
 

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Snow joke

I agree with Indiansfan about the snow which we very rarely see a lot in Southern England, and when we do it's total chaos, the snowploughs and grit are usually in the wrong place, so although my E39 Beemer is useless on snow with summer tyres it wears all year, I just leave it at home and use the front wheel drive Focus to go anywhere that's open.

As for "Keep below the radar", that's a joke, as there are now loops buried in the road all around the motorways and these are linked to cameras watched from a central control, you can only enjoy a bit of speed out in the countryside on smaller roads. But the police say publicly that you have about 10mph extra to do before they prosecute on motorways, then small village roads they are much tougher.
 
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