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#1 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 12:52 PM
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BMW virgin would like the facts of life explained.

Hi everyone,
As the title suggests, I have never owned a BMW. My Infinity G35 was just totaled (by a teenage girl on a cell phone) and I find myself in the market for a new car. My budget is 12-14K. I have started doing a bit of research and it looks like I am in the range for an 01-03 at 80-100K miles. I don't really have a preference at this point between a 3, 5, or 7 series. I am somewhat concerned about maint. costs after having several expansive repairs on my wifes VW passat (because it was German). I have driven a friends 3 series and it was great and he really loves the car.

Here is my question. Are there any years/models to either look for because they have been very reliable or any years/models to run away from because they have been in the shop more than on the road.

Thanks in advance and I love what I have seen so far

Germanengineered
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#2 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 01:42 PM
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In general, 3's are more reliable than 5's which are more reliable than 7's.

In general, six cylinders are more reliable than 8.

It sounds to me like what you need is probably a 2001-2003 530 with under 100K, which is easily accomplishable on your budget.

I would recommend a manual transmission over an automatic if you can find one. Having maintenance records is good too.

Good news for you--prices on these cars have dropped a lot.

In the for sale section of this forum, there is a very well-kept 540 for sale that you'd almost certainly love. It has been maintained by an enthusiast, so you're more likely to get a great car.

If you want info on common maintenance items, just use the search functions--there are threads entirely dedicated just to that topic.



1999 E39 540i/6-VF Stage 1 S/C, Dinan exhaust, Dinan strut+shock braces, Dinan ltwt flywheel + clutch, Dinan Brembo BBK, Dinan monoball, H&R Springs, Koni Yellows, M5 sways, Dinan forged 18" wheels, &c.

1995 E38 740i. Highly modded. Faster than you.

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#3 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 02:10 PM
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Good suggestion

Thanks for the advice. I had been looking over some of the previous posts and it didn't seem like there was consensus on what was the best "first time" for a newbie. I will be heading over the for sale forum to see if there are any in the area that have had an enthusiast giving them some TLC.
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 08:10 AM
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Well I'll tell you this--I started my BMW ownership with an E39 5 series, a 1997 528i, and I think it has hooked me for life. I own an E39 now, and still think it's one of the best cars ever built.

The car is long gone now. It saved my life. I T-boned a Ford E350 van that made an illegal left hand turn in front of me; I was going about 50mph, and walked away without a scratch.



1999 E39 540i/6-VF Stage 1 S/C, Dinan exhaust, Dinan strut+shock braces, Dinan ltwt flywheel + clutch, Dinan Brembo BBK, Dinan monoball, H&R Springs, Koni Yellows, M5 sways, Dinan forged 18" wheels, &c.

1995 E38 740i. Highly modded. Faster than you.

Sold 2-28-07: 1997 E36 M3/4, 8-30-05 RIP 1997 528i


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#5 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 08:28 PM
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i love my 7, but who doesnt love there bimmer. as far as cost go, it hasnt been too bad but i also do my own repairs. if you call around you can usually find decent prices on parts, and would pay 4times the cost at the dealer.

good luck
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 06:42 AM
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get a 5. Much more comfortable than the 3 and more reliable. Most of the posts for help are from guys with a 3. Especially the e36, seems to be unreliable, but it could just be the 5's are better maintained.
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolvegase34 View Post
get a 5. Much more comfortable than the 3 and more reliable. Most of the posts for help are from guys with a 3. Especially the e36, seems to be unreliable, but it could just be the 5's are better maintained.
In general, the online community of 3 owners are young n00bs--therefore more questions about fixing stuff.



1999 E39 540i/6-VF Stage 1 S/C, Dinan exhaust, Dinan strut+shock braces, Dinan ltwt flywheel + clutch, Dinan Brembo BBK, Dinan monoball, H&R Springs, Koni Yellows, M5 sways, Dinan forged 18" wheels, &c.

1995 E38 740i. Highly modded. Faster than you.

Sold 2-28-07: 1997 E36 M3/4, 8-30-05 RIP 1997 528i


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#8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 03:42 PM
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^ and there were like a billion 3's sold

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