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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Why are used 540's so cheap?

I currently have a '94 530i with the V8 engine. It has been a great car and is still running strong. I have been thinking about getting a 540i around the 2003-2004 model year. It appears that one can be had with low miles (say, less than 60,000) for around $18k. This would appear to be a bargain. Is there something I should know about the 540 series? Are they trouble prone?

Last edited by dvtent; 01-11-2010 at 11:29 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There's nothing wrong with them its the same as the 7 series they are V8's and people just think they cant afford to run them with fuel prices the way they are, also maintaining them is the other key factor, they seem to think big car ...big money to fix, which is not the case, Im just waiting for the E65 750i to drop a little more.. Here's some reading on the 540:

Car review: BMW 5-Series E39 (1996 - 2003)

http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/index.htm?md=537 (2003 -2009)
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks for the timely info.

I'm looking at an M5 with 90 on the clock and other than terrible gas mileage, I don't see it as a bad car for the money.

My concern is, having never driven the m5, how streetable is the car for a daily driver? We have pretty rough roads in winter.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NVMYE36 View Post
I'm looking at an M5 with 90 on the clock and other than terrible gas mileage, I don't see it as a bad car for the money.

My concern is, having never driven the m5, how streetable is the car for a daily driver? We have pretty rough roads in winter.
Same as any other car, the more you drive them on rough roads the more you need to service suspension components...
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Actually.....

I'm looking for how the m5 suspension handles minor potholes and snow.

I've got an e36 non m. It was great with studded snows, I had chains for it but never had to use them. Now that I have the m and tein basic suspension components, the car is like it 's on rails and a blast up the canyons but now it gets stuck in it's own shadow and rides like a cattle car. I was streetable with non m suspension.

As I look to the m5, having never driven one, 1) is it too sport to use at all in the winter and 2) is it too much hp to have any fun up the canyon.
My question on 2 comes from driving a 400hp vett and I couldn't find a place around here to get out of 3rd gear.

It should have an lsd and room for chains if I got into something in the mountains.

i don't mind replacing inner and outer ball joints or rear bushings. As you stated, those are wear items.

They just got a used one in at a local dealership I'll try out. I'm sure that will answer my questions. It's too high priced, rough, and not my color combination but at lest it'll give me a feel for what it is.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Personal opinion the 540 is a hell of a lot of car for the money. I don't think they're "cheap" though. But I guess that's relative.

As for the M5. My father sold his 2002 M5 last year, 39,000 miles on it, $24K. It did have previous accident damage from the original owner but it was fixed right. That car was an absolute blast to drive. Great for everyday driving if you like driving an aggressive car. Definitely not a race car but it is aggressive. If you're use to driving a Vette (as I am too) it is leaps and bounds ahead of the Vette as far as comfort and ride. Never drove either in the snow though.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NVMYE36
As I look to the m5 1) is it too sport to use at all in the winter and 2) is it too much hp to have any fun up the canyon. My question on 2 comes from driving a 400hp vett and I couldn't find a place around here to get out of 3rd gear.
#2 - "too much hp" LOL. Seriously - I'd think that the right tires should let you really enjoy it all the time - especially stock. You can of course get snow tires for winter or chains etc if a tire like Michelin Pilot Sport A/S (all seasons - which I have on my Z and love. Shop aroud and test drive some and see what you like. An E39 M5 is a legendary car! Good luck!
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Did you ever pick up the silver bulbs for your directionals? I was at the dealership the other day and I was ogling at the porches and they had
factory clear corners with amber bulbs. I thought about your car and I was thinking to myself, for 118k for a porche you think someone in purchasing would make the connection?

We'll see on the 5. The one I'm looking at is quite clean and the perfect color combo. I love the style. I need someone to help me justify the it could be practical too.

example..... it would be my first car that is a 4 door or..... you can still take it skiing ..... or it's smooth as glass on a road trip?????

Truth is, I know I want it. I always drive spirited if I can. I just don't want to chew on my kidneys from time to time.
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