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  1. #1
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    Member No: 49085 JakeC is an unknown quantity at this point JakeC's Avatar
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    My baby is only worth $8K!?!

    She's a 540iA Sport. She still looks like new inside and drives better than most new cars I have tested. Still plenty of power and handles pretty well. I've upgraded the stereo with A/D/S and some great subs. How can she be worth only $8,000? It doesn't seem right.

  2. #2
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    And falling hourly!! Sad but true. Not enough

    gizmos on the OLD e39s to satisfy todays buyers. The e39s also get slammed in the reliability areas.

    The e39 is not an investment no matter how much we love them.

    Plastics
    Electronics
    LED Display
    Cooling issues
    Delicate suspensions
    Viscous fans that lock up and disentegrate
    Valve Covers that look hideous after 6 months
    Oil Leaks
    Weak Transmissions (automatic) remember the E34 trannis that exploded in emissions testing?
    Power steering pump failures and leaks
    less than stellar safety ratings
    Cramped interiors (of course the car will for 2 adults and 2 kids
    Door handles that fall off
    Windows that stop working
    Special tools to repair fairly minor problems


    The above are things a 50,000.00-90,000.00 car should never have had. And are unforgivable by most consumers.

    Now wait til people start buying the new grop of gadget laden cars.

    Our cars may again look like a great deal when all the gozmos fail to function.

    Michael
    00 540 sport 6 speedMichael - Chattanooga Tennessee
    BMWCCA 65795

    00 540 Sport / 6 speed, SaharaBeige Metallic / SamanaBeige II Montanna Leather, 35% tint, Xenons, DSP, CD Changer, Auto dimming rear view mirror, rain sensing wipers, fold down rear seat, Style 32 staggard wheels, Hankook Ventus V4 ES 245/45/WR17/95W Fronts and 275/40/WR17/98W Rears. 152,900 Smiles and climbing!

    08 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 C Anniversary Edition Number 0064/3200 Copper and Vivid Black (FOR SALE)
    16,800 miles

    2006 GMC Sierra SLT all options

    1988 GMC Safari 400,000 miles plus and still going

    Other BMWs hanging around usually needing attention
    06 E90 330i sport pkg +all options
    98 E36 328i 5 speed Sport/Premium PKG
    00 e46 323ia Premium Pkg
    04 X3 sport/premium 3.0 six speed (back again)


  3. #3
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    Re: And falling hourly!! Sad but true. Not enough

    I understood that the E39 was a very safe car. All the safety reports I have read give it high marks. Are you sure about the "less than stellar safety" aspect you mentioned?

    The other stuff I agree with.plexus
    http://www.oldbmw.com
    00 540i M sport/6sp (Dieter)
    71 3.0CS euro (Anelise)
    84 528e (Florian - decommissioned)


  4. #4
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    if it does not have 16 airbag then its called

    very unsafe immediately. Newer cars have less then stellar records like the E60 failed many many tests that the E39 aced.
    The E60 was a faulty design from aesthetics and safety as well. One of the worst design in BMW's history imho. Yet the M5 drives awesome, but nothing else is excellent on it.

    The E39's issue is the horrible reliability. My E31 which considered as a nightmare maintenance car, is a bulletproof tank. Literally.

    The E39 528iT burns about 10% less gas then the E31 with the 4.4V8 and auto trans, yet the E31 goes much faster and quicker.

    The E39 is really a high maintenance finicky car with lots of issues and problems. They are not occasional problems, the question is not weather it will happen to my car or not, its more like WHEN ?

    if you read the 10 pages long trouble list with E39, you can start checking out all of them....
    1. Been there done that
    2. Currently an issue awaiting fix
    3. next issue coming up soon and fast

    its sad but overall the car is great to drive and has a good solid feel. I just miss my other BMW's reliability and solid build.
    I thought the E39 will be like one of them, but sadly its far from them.

    I think I will sell and opt out for a E46 325wagon soon.

    I will be missing the comfort and roominess of the E39 but I just can not deal with this constant failure of this and that. Not any major things, but those little nick-necks are driving me crazy.

    Subframe bushings, tailgate supports, FAN RELAY, vanos, cup holders, water pumps, thermostats, coolant sensors, etc.

    sure you can have any of these in any car, but not all at the same time !!!


    1997 BMW 840CiA
    1990 BMW Z1
    1999 BMW 528iT (Hauler mobile)
    2002 Astro Van AWD
    2003 Nissan 350Z Enthusiast Package
    1987 BMW 535i with 5spd manual (for sale)
    1992 BMW 735iL (needs head and interior)
    1977 BMW 320i (project racecar)
    2007 Mazda CX9 AWD (Wife mobile)
    1998 Yamaha Blaster+Breeze

    1995 850CSI CD00177 (SOLD)

  5. #5
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    Yes | No

    Yes compared to todays standards it does not

    Which is how everyone looks at it. You know the old comparrison of Apples to Oranges. I experience that with my 2 sons every time they look for cars. I think the E39 faired well in it's time but like all windows that one closed.

    I feel very safe in my E39 but then again between one son and me, we have totaled 3 BMWs and they all gave their lives for us galantly.

    But getting back to today, they don't compare favorable against todays BMWs, Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, Honda.

    Sad but true

    Michael - Chattanooga Tennessee
    BMWCCA 65795

    00 540 Sport / 6 speed, SaharaBeige Metallic / SamanaBeige II Montanna Leather, 35% tint, Xenons, DSP, CD Changer, Auto dimming rear view mirror, rain sensing wipers, fold down rear seat, Style 32 staggard wheels, Hankook Ventus V4 ES 245/45/WR17/95W Fronts and 275/40/WR17/98W Rears. 152,900 Smiles and climbing!

    08 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 C Anniversary Edition Number 0064/3200 Copper and Vivid Black (FOR SALE)
    16,800 miles

    2006 GMC Sierra SLT all options

    1988 GMC Safari 400,000 miles plus and still going

    Other BMWs hanging around usually needing attention
    06 E90 330i sport pkg +all options
    98 E36 328i 5 speed Sport/Premium PKG
    00 e46 323ia Premium Pkg
    04 X3 sport/premium 3.0 six speed (back again)


  6. #6
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    I must defend the reliability of this 540 though

    Other than the very first E28 (which died at the bumper of an 18 wheeler along with me), my e39 540 sport 6 speed has been without a doubt the MOST reliable BMW I have EVER owned! When I was thinking about buying a different 5 series (last one was an E34), I talked with the parts department and at that time (2005), they all agreed that up to that time the E39 was the most reliable BMW. That has was probably due to the PO spending 5000.00 on repairs then trading it for an Infenity and then I bought it and most everything had been repaired leaving me a nearly new e39 to drive.


    Michael
    00 540 sport 6 speed Michael - Chattanooga Tennessee
    BMWCCA 65795

    00 540 Sport / 6 speed, SaharaBeige Metallic / SamanaBeige II Montanna Leather, 35% tint, Xenons, DSP, CD Changer, Auto dimming rear view mirror, rain sensing wipers, fold down rear seat, Style 32 staggard wheels, Hankook Ventus V4 ES 245/45/WR17/95W Fronts and 275/40/WR17/98W Rears. 152,900 Smiles and climbing!

    08 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 C Anniversary Edition Number 0064/3200 Copper and Vivid Black (FOR SALE)
    16,800 miles

    2006 GMC Sierra SLT all options

    1988 GMC Safari 400,000 miles plus and still going

    Other BMWs hanging around usually needing attention
    06 E90 330i sport pkg +all options
    98 E36 328i 5 speed Sport/Premium PKG
    00 e46 323ia Premium Pkg
    04 X3 sport/premium 3.0 six speed (back again)


  7. #7
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    Re: My baby is only worth $8K!?!

    I bought a 2000 540i Sport 6sp, black on black with the heat package which was in fantastic shape, no dents or issues, certified with 171k km's on it from a used car dealer for $8500 canadian less than a year ago.

    That's the beauty of buying used cars. My previous car was an 84 528e that at the time was 15 years old. I had it for 10 years and it gave me no problems outside of the typical maintenance issues.

    Based on the BMW price sheet for the E39 I bought, it was pretty much a $100k car in today's dollars.

    I was hoping the E39 would give me the same kind of reliability at the very least as the E28 but its proving to be a very quirky and expensive car to maintain. so I am not sure if I will be keeping it. Alas.plexus
    http://www.oldbmw.com
    00 540i M sport/6sp (Dieter)
    71 3.0CS euro (Anelise)
    84 528e (Florian - decommissioned)


  8. #8
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    Yes | No

    That's what happens with assets - up or down $

    We all seem to assume that our cars are worth what we have paid for them but that is not how it works. Cars with their on going servicing costs, registration costs, fuel costs are financially not worth anything except a big fat liability. But for me there is more than cost involved in owning a car.

    But who knows, someone who really likes and wants your car may see it one day and "make you an offer you can't refuse" or you could end up with the only Toyota 2000GT in the country which now has an expected market value of over $500,000 (not bad for a $6,000 purchase decision in the early '80s and a Toyota !!!!).

    But the best thing about the E39 to me is driving it, especially after the suspension/shocks modification I did. I know I've lost my money on that one and twice as it turned out, thanks to the BMW safety recall on the front spring mount in 2005?, but I gained more of the sheer driving pleasure that did not come from BMW but did come from my wallet. And I also learned a bit more about BMW and what Iím saying in this post.

    I can afford to buy a new BMW but I still havenít done it for the past 19 years, I suppose I do value my money more than I think.

  9. #9
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    Yes | No

    Yeah the countdoun on depreciation begins

    when the salesman hands you the keys on any new car. One of the best deals in the world is a 4-10 year old BMW that has been cared for by it's previous owner(s). It finally becomes closer to what it's worth after time and the big hit of depreciation is over. From there it gently declines in value until it no longer has much value except to maybe you or someone like you.

    I have instilled in my sons and ex wife and countless students the simple advice to never buy new as it is never justified. If you must have new, you are looking at driveway jewelry and probably deserve the big hit in depreciation.


    knowwhatImean?

    Michael Michael - Chattanooga Tennessee
    BMWCCA 65795

    00 540 Sport / 6 speed, SaharaBeige Metallic / SamanaBeige II Montanna Leather, 35% tint, Xenons, DSP, CD Changer, Auto dimming rear view mirror, rain sensing wipers, fold down rear seat, Style 32 staggard wheels, Hankook Ventus V4 ES 245/45/WR17/95W Fronts and 275/40/WR17/98W Rears. 152,900 Smiles and climbing!

    08 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 C Anniversary Edition Number 0064/3200 Copper and Vivid Black (FOR SALE)
    16,800 miles

    2006 GMC Sierra SLT all options

    1988 GMC Safari 400,000 miles plus and still going

    Other BMWs hanging around usually needing attention
    06 E90 330i sport pkg +all options
    98 E36 328i 5 speed Sport/Premium PKG
    00 e46 323ia Premium Pkg
    04 X3 sport/premium 3.0 six speed (back again)


  10. #10
    BG
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    Yes | No

    Excellent advice to buy used but....

    Here in heartland USA, it is close to impossible to find a used BMW with manual transmission. Selections might be better in California or Washington, but around here, almost all were bought as prestige driveway candy or for college coeds, and auto trans. and extra stuff is how all are equipped.

  11. #11
    Bimmer5Michael
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    Yes | No

    Roundel or auto trader

    will usually turn up several E39s with manual transmission.

    I have bought cars as far away as Texas before. Sometimes if you are buying used ya gotta do a little work. Fortunately there is usually someone here close enough to go look at the car for you if the car is far away. You can also find a broker (a legitimate one), then contact the owner, ask for pdfs of records and whatever other info you can get. Then if you feel it's the right deal, find a bank and send a deposit that b oth of yhou must sign when you get there, hop on a plane and go get it. I have never been brave enough just to pay for a car and have it shipped to me. That did happen in reverse one time though with an antique tractor. I had stopped to eat and a guy asked if it was for sale (it was on a trailer behind my truck). I said everything out there is for sale for the right price. He got on the phone and we worked out a deal with his friend (on the phone) for the trailer and the tractor and I never actually got home with the tractor. I did get home with a big smile.

    Buying used means putting in the time, checking things out, taking your time to find the right one (there are litterally 100s of these 540 sport with 6 speed cars avaiable somewhere in the US daily)

    Michael
    00 540 sport 6 speed.

  12. #12
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    +1, I agree






    "Drive It Like You Stole It, A Sickness for Quickness"
    The Bottle Rocket "King of Spray" 2 Stage Nitrous Oxide
    Dare to be different and stand out among the crowd of me-to-cars!
    No guts, no glory! Tire smoke, not traction control!
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    NOS Progressive 2 Stage Controller with port injection
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    DDE Enhanced Angel Eyes, Smoked Lenses
    Koni FSD's/H&R Springs, BAV Brass Caliper Bushings
    Eisenmann Race Exhaust (from H8-Rain's car)
    ///M5 3.15 LSD
    ///M5 Sway Bars, Front & Rear
    Energy Suspension Polyurethane Sway Bar Bushings
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    Leather Z weighted shift knob (thanks H8-Rain)
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    Staggered M Parallel 66, Xenons
    Modified CDV, UGDO
    Euro Storage Tray (thanks Zombywolf)
    Redline in Diff and Tranny
    Passport 8500 X50, Escort ZR3 Laser Jammer
    G-Tech/Competition Pro Data Logger
    Auto Enginuity OBD-II Scan Tool
    25% Tint, X-Pel, LoJack
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    BMW CCA Member Boston Chapter

  13. #13
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    Yes | No

    My 2002 540/6, 90k miles, 100% options.......

    plus optional BMW bluetooth and voice command, DVD Nav upgrade, lots of recent service and PM. This was a $62K car new and I would guess it might be worth $10k to the right person. Makes me nuts because it does not make sense to sell it even though I don't need it. Tried to trade it in a year ago, and the GM dealer did not even want to take it. Sad.

    That being said, I do still smile when I pull the car cover off and take if for a run. Hard to put a price on that.
    2002 540 6 speed, Steel Blue/Black interior, totally loaded with every option, and now with built in Stealth One/Valentine 1. 18" Staggered Privat wheels. I am loving the power again!

    2003 525iT, Silver/Black, non-sport, 18" Staggered BBS RC wheels. T boned and traded away.

    2000 540 6 speed, Biarritz Blue/Sand, M5 shifter, XM Radio Valentine One/Stealth One hardwired in, 17" style 5 wheels
    Sold but never forgotten.

    2001 525i, stock, great car that got me hooked, sold

    [IMG]][IMG]

  14. #14
    rwthomas1
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    Re: My baby is only worth $8K!?!

    I fail to see the problem? Unless you paid too much what is the issue? The way I look at it you can own a GREAT car for far less money than the original purchase price. Most (sh)people think cars are "worn out" at 100K, turn them in and live perpetually in monthly payment land. Thats when I'm buying. I find nice used cars, I have the skills to keep them up, and all at far, far less money than most everyone I know.

    The average schlep is driving an Accord/Camry/Sonata/etc. and paying through the nose for it as well. Most everyone can't believe how nice my 11 year old 540I is or how well it drives. Of course, dealing with small and large maintenance issues on any older car can be a PITA. If you can do it yourself or at least know enough to make informed decisions about repairs, costs can be quite reasonable, even for a used 540.

    Used "luxury cars" are the best kept secret out there.

    RT

  15. #15
    BigRickMc50
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    Re: My baby is only worth $8K!?!

    Here, here.

    The last (and, I guarantee, the ONLY) new car I ever bought was a 1979 Toyota Celica that I purchased for my (then) wife when our '72 Charger hit 100k. Now, my older son has that Charger, and the Celica turned into a boat anchor when my ex fried the engine with a stuck thermostat when she didn't read the temp guage.

    I've since owned 6 Bimmers, from (2) '87 325 's, an 89 528, a'94 740il, a'98 528, and a '03 530; all bought used and (relatively) cheap; still have the last three.

    Those who are only concerned about impressing others, are the ones who keep buying new cars. I thank goodness for people who buy a new car every two or three years, because they flood the market with low-mileage cars, driving the prices down for me. As we all know, if you take even moderate care of a Bimmer, they will last for many years and miles. I'll GLADLY forego the unnecessary electronic wizardry (and attendant repair perils) to save the sky-high depreciation of ever buying another new car. (Unless I inherit eleventy gazillion dollars, then all bets are off.)

  16. #16
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    Yes | No

    Gets worse as repair $$$ become bigger % of value


    2002 540 6 speed, Steel Blue/Black interior, totally loaded with every option, and now with built in Stealth One/Valentine 1. 18" Staggered Privat wheels. I am loving the power again!

    2003 525iT, Silver/Black, non-sport, 18" Staggered BBS RC wheels. T boned and traded away.

    2000 540 6 speed, Biarritz Blue/Sand, M5 shifter, XM Radio Valentine One/Stealth One hardwired in, 17" style 5 wheels
    Sold but never forgotten.

    2001 525i, stock, great car that got me hooked, sold

    [IMG]][IMG]

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