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Mr_530i

E39 M5 Buying Advice

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Hi All, 

 

Sorry if this type of post has been covered a million times. Looking to buy an e39 m5, I am not expecting one to be in the best condition but would like it to be priced fairly for the condition and to be an honest car.  Happy to sort any problems later. 

 

I have not owned a BMW in a few years. Therefore I am bit rusty, so my question is.... What tell tale signs should I look for and what the common problems?  

 

This is the car I am interested in buying 

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-E39-M5-2002-FBMWSH/224087322804?hash=item342ca530b4:g:EtcAAOSwsvhe4iMw

 

Thanks everyone. 

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You've probably seen this but  if not....

 

https://www.pistonheads.com/news/general/bmw-m5-e39--ph-buying-guide/31567

 

The one you are interested in seems to have a good pedigree, not a bad price and been well-looked after. If it has been looked at periodically by CPC it would indicate that a previous owner was an enthusiast. Photos in the ad are pretty awful so hard to tell bodywork condition and if there is any rusting. Hard to pick out any 'common' problems other than the sort of things you would expect of an older car.   Good luck looking. 

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All depends on the situation and budget.

 

I would always budget at least an extra £2k to rectify any small problems / issues or replacement of wear and tear items in the first couple of months of ownership.

 

I purchased my M5 earlier last year, my budget for buying one wasn't huge. I did factor in an extra £2k for things that needed replacing.

I bought from the lower end of the market, purely based on the fact the car isn't going to be a daily driver and I am fairly handy with the spanners.

After 6 months of ownership I had spent nearly £2k putting things right and freshening the car up, this included items such as suspension / steering parts and bushes as well as a new clutch and dual-mass flywheel.

 

Again, due to the age of the car - there will be money to spend.

I'm currently putting money aside to sort out the small areas of corrosion which I am aiming to have done in around 24 months time.

 

With all that said, I am still elated that I did manage to buy one of my dream cars, I fear that if I left it longer I would have missed the boat.

The good thing is that good examples are holding value if not beginning to appreciate slightly - so I think my car is worth at least what I have spent on it added to the purchase cost, at least how I justify it anyway :D

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Agree with all the above. 

 

Looks like it's had some sensible maintenance carried out by the last enthusiast owner.

 

".....would benefit from some minor cosmetic attention over time, with typical areas such as the boot, sills and rear arches just starting to show some signs of age."  That's a 'glass half full' comment from the optimistic current owner! I'd want a really good look under the car, in particular under the plastic sill covers and a close inspection of the jacking points. Easy to spend north of £1500 on good quality remedial work removing corrosion/new metal & paint here. Correcting the corrosion around the rear wheel arches and boot lid isn't cheap since each panel would require re-painting as well. Nobody's doing good prep & paint work nowadays for less than £300-350 per panel.

 

The other important (read as, expensive) issues of immediate concern might be the timing chain guides on an engine with that many miles on it. They may be fine, or had work done on them in the past, but listen out for untoward noises. If not done already it would be worth changing the timing chain tensioner - a 20 min DIY job.

 

Rod bearings? The internet is awash with apocryphal messages of doom about rod bearing issues on these engines. Don't buy into it since they may be perfectly fine. Listen for noises and maybe have some regular (at every oil change) oil analysis done to check for undue amounts of copper and lead.

 

Have to say, that car looks like one of the better ones at that price point. Have a good chat with the owner because, as with most cars, you're 'buying the owner' not just the car. You'll soon find out if he's a real deal enthusiast or not. I'd be using the corrosion issues to leverage a better deal though.

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Thanks for help guys. I am now an M5 owner. The car isn't in the prefect shape, needs some work doing to it but atleast it runs and drives. I would say its in the upper middle, between bad condition and good condition. I hope I don't regret buying it. 

 

First job on the list is too sort the leaking diff. 

 

Does your M5 feel fast below 2k RPM? I find the throttle response is not very active, you have to press on it hard to make the car move, and when it starts moving it starts moving, but not enough to glue your head to the back of the seat. 

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16 minutes ago, Mr_530i said:

Does your M5 feel fast below 2k RPM? I find the throttle response is not very active, you have to press on it hard to make the car move, and when it starts moving it starts moving, but not enough to glue your head to the back of the seat. 

 

Really depends what you are looking for .... I've never found them lacking in the acceleration stakes, even when taking things easy passengers know they are in an M5... The amount of times sunglasses perched on the top of a passenger's head have disappeared in to the back seat is un-measurable... 

 

The speed pick up is very linear so whilst it may not feel fast the speedo will say another thing, I would never say I've had to press the accelerator hard to get the car moving in fact the reverse. I often use 2nd gear to pull away and would say you need a few revs but nothing too much to get moving - 3rd gear is also easily doable from a standstill as well.

 

You might be well advised to run a MAF check through the secret menu as poorly MAFs can hinder performance without throwing any codes...

Edited by Seesure

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Remember it's not a diesel where most of the torque is low in the rev range. Our revvy V8 produces its torque at much higher revs. Most of the action is above 3500 revs where there is massive shove all the way to the red line. Try it in third gear. It should make you grin!

 

The lack of throttle response could be any number of factors. MAFs, camshaft position sensors, issues with VANOS solenoid boards (which is a DIY job if you're confident with the spanners), 'soft' failure of the fuel pump. Throttle position sensors are a thought as well.

 

See if there are any codes first and then take it from there. Check the fuel trims too as they can be indicative of poor performance but not throw a CEL until they reach the very end of their adjustment.

 

(I had fuelling issues due to a blocked fuel filter which disappeared after a new filter + fuel pressure regulator).

 

Hey! We need pictures of your Beast or it never happened!

 

 

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Thanks guys, all advice taken on board.  I’ve never been a diesel lover and I also don’t like modern cars. 
 

Think it might be that I’m just used to driving fast cars such as 330i (e46) and 530i (e60) so was expecting this to feel crazy fast. 
 

I’ve put v power in and it’s seems to be doing better. The more you drive the better it seems. I think it’s because it’s been sat supposedly for 9-8 months. 
 

Sorry don’t have many photos just yet. 

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25D22660-21E9-46B2-847E-BE8FEACE58E6.jpeg

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Very nice.

 

If you havent already, I would suggest obtaining a copy of INPA and a cable to read values from the car.

What I have found is that various things, especially sensors can wear which reduces performance but isnt enough to throw the check engine light.

 

A quick and easy test can sometimes be to unplug the MAF sensors so the car runs in speed density (alpha-n) mode, if it feels quicker and sharper then it may well be a few worn sensors, namely the MAFs.

INPA was vital for me when diagnosing the car and reading live values.

There is also a new freeware tool from ECUWorx that allows you to read live vanos values.

 

Enjoy the car, inevitabley at this age there will be work to do - as I knew when I bought mine, but wouldnt change it!

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On 20/08/2020 at 12:40, AlexGSi2000 said:

Very nice.

 

If you havent already, I would suggest obtaining a copy of INPA and a cable to read values from the car.

What I have found is that various things, especially sensors can wear which reduces performance but isnt enough to throw the check engine light.

 

A quick and easy test can sometimes be to unplug the MAF sensors so the car runs in speed density (alpha-n) mode, if it feels quicker and sharper then it may well be a few worn sensors, namely the MAFs.

INPA was vital for me when diagnosing the car and reading live values.

There is also a new freeware tool from ECUWorx that allows you to read live vanos values.

 

Enjoy the car, inevitabley at this age there will be work to do - as I knew when I bought mine, but wouldnt change it!

 

I'm going to have to have a road trip to yours one week Alex and get my dangerous lowly Jap import 530i plugged into INPA to see that all is as it should be (or not maybe)? ;) 

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I'm going to have to have a road trip to yours one week Alex and get my dangerous lowly Jap import 530i plugged into INPA to see that all is as it should be (or not maybe)?  
Your welcome anytime mate.

Sent from my BBF100-1 using Tapatalk

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