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Old 01-23-2006, 10:25 AM   #1
jpgurl
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used BMW recommendations

My dad is shopping around for a used BMW. He's looking at 5's and even 7's. Model year 2000-2004 ish. I know you have all had some experience with these models and I've also read there are some avoid like the plague. But as I was not in the market myself, I didn't pay full attention to the "ones to avoid" list. If you have a free sec and can steer me away from the bad ones, I'd appreciate it.
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:28 AM   #2
rumatt
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Don't just about all 7's make the list of cars to avoid?
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:30 AM   #3
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Early E65 (2003? +) 7s were plagued with countless electronic issues. I'd avoid 2004 5s simply for how f*cking ugly they are.

With the E39 5s, 2001 was the first year of the 525s and 530s. 2000 and earlier, there was the 528. For the entire E39 run (1996-2003) there was also the 540. The 5s received a minor facelift for 2001 along with the new engine choices. Also, IIRC, the 2001 M54 engines had issues (fan fires, faulty thermostats, etc).
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:47 AM   #4
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sorry, I should be more specific... 5's and 7's that are the older bodystyles. So I guess, E39s and 7's that aren't E65s (which I don't know what the E number is).
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgurl
sorry, I should be more specific... 5's and 7's that are the older bodystyles. So I guess, E39s and 7's that aren't E65s (which I don't know what the E number is).
E38s.

The E38 ran until 2002. The E39 ran until 2003.
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:54 AM   #6
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Out of that range, I guess I'd go w/ a 2003 525i or 530i because:
-BMW v8s have cooling system problems
-Any 7 seris is going to have more stuff to break (although the e38, is IMO, one of the best looking BMWs of all time).
-2003 was the final model year of the e39 (might as wll get the "best of breed").
That being said, with any modern BMW you're going to have to replace the cooling system at 60-70k, and will be replacing lots of suspension and brake components along the way. The electronics in a 2003 should be pretty solid for awhile.

If you do go w/ an e38, you want a 2001 (the final model year). 2002 MY 7s were actually e65s.


As TD said, avoid the newer models-- they're ugly and they're much more complciated. The only way I'd consider one is leasing a new one.
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Old 01-23-2006, 11:04 AM   #7
lip277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumatt
Don't just about all 7's make the list of cars to avoid?
Hardly. My early (1995) 740i and my Mom's late (2001) 740i have been very good cars. I have a friend that had his Toyota bought back under the Lemon Law so - It's all a matter of perspective. There are many many good examples of 5's and 7's out there.

The only major thing that has been done to mine was a new engine due to the Nikasil issue (covered under warranty several years back and is very well now past being a current issue for these cars). That was only on the M60 powered cars (1993 through 1995) so probably out of scope due to the age of what you're looking at.

That being said - These are very complex cars. When something could go wrong - bring your wallet. The E38 & E39 are nearly identical in terms of systems so the issues that apply to one generally apply to the other (and for the V8's - the engines/transmissions are also the same).

My Mom's has ~65,000 miles and mine has 98,000 miles.

It all comes down to finding a good example by getting a VERY thorough PPI and dealing with whatever is found. Suspension issues aren't too common other than just 'wear' items that would apply to pretty much to any BMW.

Take a look here for some info-
http://www.e39garage.com/
http://www.bmwtips.com/
http://www.e38.org/ (this is a great compilation of info)
http://www.seattle7s.com/tips.htm (this is some more stuff to look through)

Those links have some FAQ's on things to look for in selecting a car and other good info-

Have fun.
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Old 01-23-2006, 11:14 AM   #8
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I'm scared of buying any of the newer BMW's used unless they are CPO'd. The fact they everything is electronically controled scares me.
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