Should I sell my 98 540i? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 09-05-2006, 10:52 AM
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Should I sell my 98 540i?

I just bought a 98 540i from a private seller in the paper (my first BMW). Before purchasing it, i took it to a local dealer to look over the car. They said the engine was in good shape and that the only repair the car needed was new catalytic convertors. The gentleman got this fixed before I bought it but I am sure that he used cheaper after market parts. The total cost for the job (i saw the receipt) for both cats was $1,000. I have driven the car for 5 days and the check engine light came on. I am getting errors for 02 Sensor Circuit Malfunction, Fuel Trim Malfunction, and Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Malfunction. Additionally, yesterday the right rear window would not come up. I could hear the motor but the window wouldn't move. Should I be alarmed and try to get my money back on the car? Are these signs of some more problems to come? I would hate for this car to become a continous money pit."
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-05-2006, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmorshed
I just bought a 98 540i from a private seller in the paper (my first BMW). Before purchasing it, i took it to a local dealer to look over the car. They said the engine was in good shape and that the only repair the car needed was new catalytic convertors. The gentleman got this fixed before I bought it but I am sure that he used cheaper after market parts. The total cost for the job (i saw the receipt) for both cats was $1,000. I have driven the car for 5 days and the check engine light came on. I am getting errors for 02 Sensor Circuit Malfunction, Fuel Trim Malfunction, and Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Malfunction. Additionally, yesterday the right rear window would not come up. I could hear the motor but the window wouldn't move. Should I be alarmed and try to get my money back on the car? Are these signs of some more problems to come? I would hate for this car to become a continous money pit."
take a deeper look into these before thowing in the towel... sometimes a simple bad o2 sensor can cause multple codes to come up like that. Also, the window thing - the cable probably came off the pulley - that happened to me about a month after I got my 528. It took a little coaxing, but I was able to get the cable back on the pulley and it works like a champ now. take the door trim off and pull back the black insulation and give it a look.

Jason / 1997 528i
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#3 (permalink) Old 09-05-2006, 03:41 PM
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It all depends on what you want in a car. And what you paid for that car.
A 98 540i...you should be expecting some repairs and should have put aside some money to bring the car up to par. I hope you have done research on the model before you bought one, and also check out the maintenance history to see what has already been replaced.

What is the mileage on the car?? It's hard to tell if things are going to break, especially electronics, so even if the PPI checks out good, you still gotta know which of the major parts and common faults on the particular car that have been replaced already, and which are still running from day 1 (which means it's about time to kaput!)

With a history check of the car's maintenance records, that shoud help you decide if you should keep or return the car.

Good Luck!

2012 Porsche 911 GTS
2008 ford F150 Foose Edition
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#4 (permalink) Old 09-05-2006, 04:02 PM
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dang man...cheap sellers on luxury vehicles...know how that goes. Good luck with that....had a sorta similar ordeal with a cheap seller on my new Infiniti I30...the guy didn't pay to tag it and title it while it was in his posession and now the state is sending us the bill. Let's just say he's going to get a visit from us quite soon. Well....so that's not an engine ordeal, but still....I know how you're feelin. Good luck man....keep me posted on how it turns out.

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#5 (permalink) Old 09-05-2006, 11:24 PM
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Appreciate the feedback gents. It has 86K miles and has had a 3 owners so I didn't get much detail on the service history of the car. I do realize that I need to spend a few bucks to get it up to par as I got a really good price.
I plan on getting the round of repairs and will keep my fingers crossed that nothing else major goes wrong anytime soon. I do indeed love the ride and did my due dilligence in searching and found nothing else that stacked up to the 540i for the money. I also realize that it is a higher end used car that requires TLC.

As a side note, I did also note a coolant leak from the front of the car. My mechanic said that he read a buletin about it and that there might be a 3 dollar part he can get his hands on to fix it. He said if that doesnt work it it will mean a new radiator. That might mean cutting my loses if thats the case.

Anyhow, it sounds like there are some very intelligent people in this forum that have worked through these issues and are enjoying the E39 which is a real relief to hear. I look forward to bragging about my 540i and getting some nice pics soon.

Ciao
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-06-2006, 07:05 PM
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I can understand your anxiety. I bought a 99 540 last year from a bmw dealer.
The car ran fine for a year had 65,000 miles..now at 82,000 all of the sudden everything started breaking.I had to replace the radiator, seatbelt seat sensor, rear window shade, brakes, o2 sensors, maf sensor, rear window motor, tires. I have everything fixed now and it is pleasure to drive. This has been the highest maintenance vehicle i've ever had. I have driven Lexus, Chevrolets, Volvos ,Acuras I generally put between 150,000 to 225,000 on a vehicle before trading it. I have never had this much go wrong with a vehicle. They are a pleasure to drive , but your pockets need to be deep. Hopefully you will fix everything and it will be good for awhile. Take your time and be patient they are great cars just high maintenance.
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#7 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 03:38 PM
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Remember my comment about aftermarket cats? This thread speaks briefly to that problem and also to which aftermarket cat works best:
Another Success With the 43005's - The BMW 5 Series (E39) Message Forum

<span style='colorurple'>Eric S.</span>
2006 Honda Odyssey EXL-RES
2006 Honda Accord V6 EX-L Sedan
1999 BMW 540i 6-Speed (Sold to M3UOND on 9/21/06)
1991 Honda Civic Si - Occasional Beater
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#8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2006, 12:49 PM
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Where are you from? 99.99% of cats out there that are OBDII compliant are still only 49 state legal.

If you live in CA, these won't work. You'll have to shell out lots of $$$ at a high end exhaust shop or go OEM.

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