Hi Group,

As mentioned previously in my "stereo upgrade" thread, I just bought a low mileage (36k) 2003 540i/6 that is in beautiful garaged condition. I am seeking advice on things I should do right away, or at least to find out what will be "most likely" upcoming issues with this car.

I have read a lot about leaking valve covers, valley pan gaskets and all about the time bomb cooling systems ... but I'd like to ask if folks could summarize these issues in this one post for my specific car (meaning ... I have no idea how many of these items BMW addressed and fixed by the time my late model e39 was produced)

Here is all I know about the cars history

Perfectly clear carfax

3 documented oil changes @ the dealer

1 cooling system check and top off of fluid (2 years ago)

... and a couple of trips to the dealer after original purchase where the computer says "tire pressure checks"

The local dealer did the pre-purchase inspection for me and didn't find a single thing to point out!! They did fail my MD inspection because of window tint but that was it. I did ask them to do a pressure check on the cooling system and to pull the covers to check for that pesky valve cover leak ... everything was fine. This car was only driven in good whether and very low miles at that (3+k per year for the last 3 years at least) Two owners ... first had it for 25k miles and the 2nd for 11k ... both had it serviced at the dealer.

I DO NOT see any documented brake fluid changes or cooling system flush / refills

Because the car looked in great shape, I wanted to jump right into the stereo upgrade. Unfortunately I discovered summer performance tires on it & now have to buy a full set of winter tire/wheels which ate up that money (although I did learn what I needed from the group when that time comes ;-)

I DO want to make sure to address any immediate TIME related issues with the car, even though the mileage is low (meaning for example ... will the cooling system parts fail over time like it will in miles?)

ASAP I will be changing the motor oil (bmw 5w30) and I will be removing the CDV and changing it out with a less restrictive unit ... I will most likely add SS brake lines and change/flush brake fluid (anything additional needed to make sure clutch gets flushed too?)

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated ... I plan on keeping this car for a long long time and do not mind spending $$$ if it means longer life/less risk of fatal failures (like upgrading to alloy radiator and cooling system parts IF called for and/or aftermarket water pump if it is an issue on my specific car)

I also like to do what I can in my garage but I am not an experienced wrench ... but I can follow good directions

Thank you all in advance for your comments and helpful hints and hope you don't mind me asking for this summary.
Michael in MD

2003 540i 6-speed
Sterling Gray / Black