Vanray

Buying a Used BMW E39 – How Hard Can it Be?

15 posts in this topic

Not a fun experience, but twas ever thus. Unless you're lucky enough to know of a cracking privately owned example coming up for sale and get your foot in the door, it seems there's little alternative to sifting through the ranks of vehicles that are damaged, neglected, trashed, hideously modified etc. People have very different ideas of what 'excellent condition' means unfortunately.

Sent from my Vodafone Smart ultra 6 using Tapatalk

Vanray and FireFox-89 like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not a fun experience, but twas ever thus. Unless you're lucky enough to know of a cracking privately owned example coming up for sale and get your foot in the door, it seems there's little alternative to sifting through the ranks of vehicles that are damaged, neglected, trashed, hideously modified etc. People have very different ideas of what 'excellent condition' means unfortunately.

Sent from my Vodafone Smart ultra 6 using Tapatalk

Excellent condition is the most over used description in all car adverts ever, not just e39 bmw's.

I was never looking for a bmw as 99% of owners drive like pr*cks, no indicators (are these an option?) No care for speed limits or other drivers.

eBay search for local (30miles) cars as I was sick to death of "excellent condition" driving miles to look at a POS cars, my e39 came up and it looked good so thought I'd have a look, it's a truly original well kept immaculate 1 owner car, 77k 520i, the owner was only selling as he was 83 and had to revoke his licence due to a detached retna which was his 5th and will never recover from, £1500 and paid £1250.

I bought my wife a 2006 1.8 tdci cmax, 1 owner, 33k, 11k stamps, immaculate, it's a beautiful car, 15 miles from my house, yes it's gay but it's so new like and clean it's like a brand new car, I love it but never ever thought I'd say that about a ford cmax but £1800 for a nearly new car....

So in my long conclusion, it doesn't matter what car it is buy the best car you can find. It's all good and well looking for a "sport" or whatever but I'd take a immaculate lower spec over a battered higher spec, most cars are upgradeable anyway. Cruise, bumpers, M sill pates etc can all be upgraded.

You end up with a far better car.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally I found a lower spec car with two owners in 17 years, last owner for 12 years. Full history and in excellent condition (minor marks), no dents or rust and straight as. My 523i has covered 82k miles in 17 years.

 

Now all I need is a set of turbine wheels to complete the looks, upgraded brakes and suspension planned along with keeping it as is...

BMW 523i.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since I'm looking into buying one later in the year it doesn't fill me with confidence lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hang in there, I almost gave up and bought a mk4 Golf GTI, glad I didnt.....

Mk4 golf gti 1.8t was one of the best cars I've ever owned, 299bhp and did 40mpg on a run 32mpg round town, handled amazing after tt subframe and eibach arbs, very cheap to run, fast, It was a cracking car. I only sold it as I need a family car now I'm going to be a dad, it was a 3dr.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in London and travelled to bognor Regis to look at an excellent condition e39 sport.

I asked the guy the night before if it had any oil leaks.

He said no.

Got there and the whole bottom of the car was soaked with oil.

Went upto north London and same again.

Ended up with an se model with no rust and no oil leaks.

Sent from my E6653 using Tapatalk

Vanray likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum, I like the Blog! I can't believe the 525 owner, just repeating himself and getting more irate! What a nob lol

Vanray likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That green one that you we're asking about a new clutch? It probably didn't need a new clutch at that mileage. E39 clutches seem to last a long time. In fact there was an e39 530d sport touring with well over 200k and still on original clutch and it was remapped too on this forum and is still in use. Also the service intervals for both petrol and diesel e39s is about 17-18k miles if going by the dash service indicator. So again that green one actually sounded fine if it did have a main dealer history all its life. 

The point is that yes e39s maybe old but they are still a superior build to brand new insignias/ avensis/ prev generation mondeo etc which are built to last about 5 years max. I am not sure what company cars you have enjoyed the perks of owning but to measure an old e39 by the same yard stick is a slightly skewed way to approach buying one I would say. In the past I have owned 2 e39s; 525i sport and a 530d both autos and both were on the whole very reliable and covered about 100k miles combined with them both.

 

Glad you found a nice one in the end though. 

Vanray likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great link and thread, very amusing.

 

I often think about buying another E39 to compliment my current one, but the OP's account of all the crap out there is mainly why I'm put off from doing it. 

 

I was lucky with mine. Bought eight years ago from it's first and only previous owner, a mate of mine as well.

 

Glad you found one in the end.

Vanray and Hairyarse like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only just seen this

 

IMO; hard, unless you ask lots and lots of questions and ask for lots and lots of pictures!

 

|I suppose I was very lucky when I bought my previous 530i off Scott (Zion) on these forums; very well looked after, just had bodywork niggles that were soon sorted

 

However; my recent experience has been annoying; saw some local that were heaps even though the seller though they were 'in excellent condition bar some age-related body issues"... That's the biggest bullshit line there!

 

  • The 528i I went to see was utter shite compared to his description; that was a day and £120 of train tickets wasted!
  • The 530i I have now has been maintained and serviced within an inch of its life; just has bodywork issues that will be in to have sorted next week (part 1; back end and sills) and then the front end respray will happen later in the year etc...

I'm a savvy car person and a seasoned BMW owner I like to think... There are a lot of triers out there and a lot of bullshit artists too!

 

And stay away from anyone on the FB pages trying to sell their E39; all of them speak that funny, modern text-talk language... Shows the level of intelligence IMO :P 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the thing is, so many look very good in their ads - I bet 80% won't live up to the seller's descriptions. 

Vanray likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had to travel from London to Chandlers Ford to get mine. It wasn't quite as advertised, but luckily the dealer didn't know much technically, so I knocked him down a few hundred quid for relatively simple fixes :)

 

One 530i Sport I looked at was priced at £3800; had 97K miles, was an auto, silver with light green interior (actually quite nice in the flesh, although I admit it sounds crap), but on viewing looked like it has been in a sand storm or polished with an angle grinder; had mould all over the rear seatbelts and headlining ("that'll be from the valet mate"); had a random bunch of broken trim thrown in the boot; had a flat battery (despite me asking the day before viewing to take it for a test drive) and generally was a POS. I reckoned it needed a new rear window plus full respray at least; so I emailed the dealer and offered him £1000 - his words "come in and we'll talk about it". Funnily I couldn't be arsed, but clearly he knew he was taking the piss at nearly £4K

 

It is a minefield though; glad I don't do it very often.

Vanray likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now