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  1. #1
    Registered Member
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    Member No: 119706 Bmw540san is on a distinguished road Bmw540san's Avatar
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    Yes | No

    It kind a gets expensive when you have 2 aging E39

    Maintenance: 540 2 pre cat O2 sensors $110
    528 2 pre cat O2 sensors $130

    Repair: 528
    tie rods, boots, clamps $120
    front struts and parts $450
    alignment $80 (est.)


    Total: $890

    This is with me doing the labor and finding the best possible price for reputable brands. Imagine doing this at the dealer, probably $2500 bill.

    On top of it, 540 needs new struts as well. This is why you put money aside. It hits you all in the same tine.



    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
    Staggered 18" style 32 OEM wheels
    3.15 open differential
    Remus exhaust
    AFE CAI with improved heat shield
    Z3 shifter
    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
    Powder coated valve covers-satin black
    CDV delete
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module (aftermarket daytime running lights)

    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
    Staggered 17" style 32 OEM wheels
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module
    Custom made sun blinds for rear seating area

    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
    Direct Lift Pro Park 8
    Campbell Hausfeld 28 gallon oil lubricated air compressor
    Newair ACP-1400H portable air conditioner and heater
    Auto Enginuity scan tool with BMW enhanced option
    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts




  2. #2
    Ed CT
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    Yes | No

    It's still cheaper than a new car; plus you get to

    drive an E39! Almost 150,000 miles on mine, and I still consider it a very reliable car - when it crosses this line, I'll consider another purchase.

  3. #3
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    Member No: 25422 larrychew is an unknown quantity at this point larrychew's Avatar
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    Yes | No

    Still less than monthly payments...

    I mentally put away $350 a month for repairs/refurbishment for my 190K 2000 528i. So if I need a $900 repair/maintenance item I just tell myself that was 3 months of payments.

    AAA does a study every few years to determine when a car should be traded in/sold for a new car is the lowest cost of ownership was the main criteria. Answer: Never. Repair it no matter how expensive.

    Be sure to arrange an "agreed value" on your can with your insurance carrier if you have a lot of repairs/refurbishment on your car so that you're not upside down if the car is totaled. This very little increase in premium to increase your coverage beyond the Blue Book value.

  4. #4
    rwthomas1
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    Yes | No

    Re: It kind a gets expensive when you have 2 aging E39

    On several cars I have owned I have kept detailed records. Never, ever has any of them exceeded $100/month to keep running averaged out over the time I own the vehicle. And that is throwing money at them, whatever they need, when they need it. I laugh at the idiots that think a monthly payment is the way to go.

    The secret to a good life on modest income is NO DEBT. You'd be amazed at how much extra cash you have without paying interest on everything.

    RT

  5. #5
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    Yes | No

    "Agreed value" insurance?

    Is this common across different carriers? We totaled our E46 wagon a year ago and I tried to get value for recent work, including brakes, shocks/struts, a bunch of sensors, and Vanos seals. Got nothing beyond book value. They said it was all normal maintenance. Any hints on how to arrange for "agreed value," and do you get it updated as the year goes by and work gets done on the car?
    '03 525i Sapphire Blu/Grey, SP, Nav
    '02 325it Orient Blu./Grey, SP, Nav
    '98 323is Arctic Sil./Blk, SP
    '95 M3 Cosmos Blk./Blk

  6. #6
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    Yes | No

    Must be differences in insurance companys (m)

    My daughters old Jetta was totaled (rear ended) many years ago, I showed our insurance company (Commerce) receipts for recent purchases for new tires, exhaust, etc. They increased the payment by $900.

  7. #7
    plexus
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    Yes | No

    Re: Still less than monthly payments...

    However... I had an 84 528e that i bought when it was 15 years sold. it had been meticulously indy serviced up to that point. except the guy didn't do the timing belt and... got'cha! so the indy bought the car from him and did the head. the car was in fantastic shape when i bought it for $4600 CDN.

    After 10 years of being a daily driver but with only about 8k km average a year (i don't commute), i had put my share of repairs into her including a clutch, total front end suspension and steering where 2 of the biggest jobs. but the back end rusted out badly and unsafely.

    Eventually "he" needed about $3k in repairs (front end again, i think a stuck injector but that would have to be diagnosed and repaired whatever it was, rear wheel bearing and some smaller things). if i spent the $3k i would still have a rusted out unsafe car. so i felt it was prudent to retire him and get a "new" car.

    I probably put in that average of $100/mo in the car, give or take. I have detailed records as well and can check but that is about right over-all.

    I scraped the E28 (sadly) and bought a 00 540i sport for $8500. so, an extra $5500 over the repair of the E28 for the E39.

    I think there does come a time when you have to consider retiring a used car. when you feel like the money going into it could get more value if it were put into another newer car, such as in my example.

    But that E28 got 25 years of service in a wintery salt laden part of the world (Toronto) as a daily driver all that time! 295k kms on him and if it were not for the rusted body, he'd still be on the road! Mechanically he was a fine car only needed the usual work.

    Lessons learned:

    - get rust protection on a regular basis
    - do not compromise and use cheap suspension parts, use good parts
    - do regular maintenance
    - synthetic oil worked well for me in this case
    - consider repairing critical bodywork damage sooner than later
    - keep buying used cars!


  8. #8
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    Yes | No

    Agreed value is arranged in advance...

    and you need to pay an additional premium amount which is not
    very much. Probably about $75-125 annually.

  9. #9
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    Member No: 73612 PeterBivo is an unknown quantity at this point PeterBivo's Avatar
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    Yes | No

    'Tis true! My '98 528 193k needs a RF wheel (m)

    bearing. Bearing, hub & bolts about $160.00 plus 2 hrs labor. Our '03 X5 4.4 w/100k has the valley pan leak issue plus seeping oil from the head gaskets, belts etc... About $400.00 in parts from Autohausaz and about 9 hrs labor. Still less expensive then car payments. My dealer up here lets me get the parts from autohausaz and they do the labor. Local indy won't let me supply the parts so he doesn't get our business:)


  10. #10
    Bimmer5Michael
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    Yes | No

    Yep, last year I put 600.00 in parts on my 88 GMC

    Van. Some would say why, I sad why not. Replaced the steering gear and PS pump because they were leaking, replace all the shocks, brakes, then bought new tires for it. Sometimes I replace my tires earlier than usual and donate them to some students here running on slick tires. I had planned on that being my tow vehicle but then I bought the 06 GMC Sierra truck which needed emissions work, luckily that was only 86.00.

    This summer I plan to replace the PS pump on the 540, the Final stage for the HVAC, new tires, and a new bumper cover for the front.

    Then the VAN needs some body work and paint, freshen up the interior and use it for a business delivery until I decide if I want to hot rod it.

    Then, actually in a few days tires for the GMC Sierra Truck, diff fluid change, front and back, transfer case fluid change, replace the passenger seat switch.

    The Harley, I plan to just ride ro sell.

    So while I dont have 2 e39s to look after I do have a few vehicls that require care.

    But you know besides the money it takes to keep all this stuff going, it's always calming for me to repair something because I can just drive something else while it's down for repairs.

    The real expense that bothers me most is insuring what I have especially since probably 5 out of 10 people out there don't bother to insure their vehicles.

    Michael ([email protected])
    00 540 sport 6 speed

  11. #11
    BG
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    Re: Still less than monthly payments...YES

    Your lessons learned are excellent advice. Except when rust or other major problems overwhelm a car, it is usually much cheaper to repair than to replace. But consider, lots of people like to replace their car periodically. Why else would the concept of leasing exist?

  12. #12
    Registered Member
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    Member No: 119706 Bmw540san is on a distinguished road Bmw540san's Avatar
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    Re: It kind a gets expensive when you have 2 aging E39

    Amen to that. I make decent money, but I'm not rich. Regardless, my fund for E39 is always well funded. It's very satisfactory when you don't have to scramble for the money or go with cheap parts.



    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
    Staggered 18" style 32 OEM wheels
    3.15 open differential
    Remus exhaust
    AFE CAI with improved heat shield
    Z3 shifter
    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
    Powder coated valve covers-satin black
    CDV delete
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module (aftermarket daytime running lights)

    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
    Staggered 17" style 32 OEM wheels
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module
    Custom made sun blinds for rear seating area

    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
    Direct Lift Pro Park 8
    Campbell Hausfeld 28 gallon oil lubricated air compressor
    Newair ACP-1400H portable air conditioner and heater
    Auto Enginuity scan tool with BMW enhanced option
    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts



  13. #13
    Registered Member
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    Member No: 119706 Bmw540san is on a distinguished road Bmw540san's Avatar
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    Yes | No

    Re: Still less than monthly payments...

    Funny, I was just thinking about it. Each binder of E39 records has well over 60 pages of stuff. I don't even want to add that up and that's with me doing about 95% labor.



    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
    Staggered 18" style 32 OEM wheels
    3.15 open differential
    Remus exhaust
    AFE CAI with improved heat shield
    Z3 shifter
    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
    Powder coated valve covers-satin black
    CDV delete
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module (aftermarket daytime running lights)

    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
    Staggered 17" style 32 OEM wheels
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module
    Custom made sun blinds for rear seating area

    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
    Direct Lift Pro Park 8
    Campbell Hausfeld 28 gallon oil lubricated air compressor
    Newair ACP-1400H portable air conditioner and heater
    Auto Enginuity scan tool with BMW enhanced option
    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts



  14. #14
    Registered Member
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    Pembroke, MA, United States
    Member No: 4328 jimlev will become famous soon enough jimlev will become famous soon enough jimlev's Avatar
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    Yes | No

    Same here, my 540 folder is ~2" thick-mostly from(

    doing mods, I have never added those costs up but know it's way more than the maintenance costs over the last 11 years. The old saying "if you want to play you gotta pay" is alive and well.

    Both Volvo folders together are less than 1/2" thick, maybe BMW should use Sweden and Japan for reliability models.

  15. #15
    Registered Member
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    Member No: 119706 Bmw540san is on a distinguished road Bmw540san's Avatar
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    Yes | No

    Re: Yep, last year I put 600.00 in parts on my 88 GMC

    Nice thing about all that is that you can sit in any of the vehicles and make long relaxing trip without worry of breakdown. On the side note, I have a another friend who's about to join the club.



    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
    Staggered 18" style 32 OEM wheels
    3.15 open differential
    Remus exhaust
    AFE CAI with improved heat shield
    Z3 shifter
    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
    Powder coated valve covers-satin black
    CDV delete
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module (aftermarket daytime running lights)

    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
    Staggered 17" style 32 OEM wheels
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module
    Custom made sun blinds for rear seating area

    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
    Direct Lift Pro Park 8
    Campbell Hausfeld 28 gallon oil lubricated air compressor
    Newair ACP-1400H portable air conditioner and heater
    Auto Enginuity scan tool with BMW enhanced option
    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts



  16. #16
    Bimmer5Michael
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    Yes | No

    Yeah I always keep a spare car just for that

    reason. It lowers my anxiety when doing repairs. Of course most people would not be caught dead in an 88 gmc safari van, or the 06 truck, or for that matter the harley. In reality though transportation is transportation, riding in style is another thing. I just like driving and it almost matters not what it is that I drive, of course some roads do require the correct tools.

    That's great about the new member. The club needs new blood and new ideas. Most of the folks I know are crotchety ole Bleep Bleep Bleep like me.

    Several of the Porsche people have BMWs and it might be great if they could cross over to the club as well. A few of the BMW folks also own Porsches.

    Nevertheless, Spring is around the corner and hopefully the events planned will work out and we can have some fun. I recommended a weekend outing of camping, autocrossing, cooking, and other events.

    Michael
    00 540 sport 6 spd

  17. #17
    Steve
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    Yes | No

    +1

    The sales tax on a new 5er or similar car is about $6,000. Then you have the pesky depreciation of about $5,000 per year in the first few years.

    Getting rid of an E39 for pure economic reason in favor of a new car doesn't add up. I don't think most E39 owners are spending $5,000+ per year fixing their cars.

    If a person wants a new car, by all means they should go out and get one. But, using the "reason" that they cannot afford to keep fixing the old E39 falls short. If the car is unreliable or unsafe, that is another story.

  18. #18
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    Member No: 30282 dsalinas is on a distinguished road dsalinas's Avatar
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    Yes | No

    Are you planning on doing the bearing install

    yourself? If so, perhaps you could do a write up with pics. I need to do my left front and the only write ups I have seen are for the 540.

    jet black 2000 528iA
    sport premium package
    MB Quart speakers
    two Alpine amps
    MTX subwoofer
    AudioControl equalizer
    Dice interface for iPod
    BMW CCA member

  19. #19
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    Yes | No

    If it was summer I would attempt it but (m)

    it's still mid-winter here in Northern Michigan & I do not have access to a warm bay. My dealer will do the install (2hrs labor) and I'll get a loaner for the day:)


  20. #20
    rwthomas1
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    Yes | No

    Re: +1

    Here in RI the property taxes on vehicles are high enough I never own anything newer than five years old. That and the sales tax too. Why give the crooks more of my money to spend?

    RT

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