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· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello ladies, hello gentlemen.

It's a pleasure to find myself among such well-informed enthusiasts and professionals who are willing to help!

Thank you all for sharing your precious knowledge - I believe that BMWs are a whole different breed of machines. Machines that need understanding, attention, and properly-timed mechanically-correct care.


Please don't stop reading my post just yet.

Don't throw things or spit at my avatar - you might damage your screen.

I DO have a valid excuse for my presence here without owning a white-n-blue.

The thing is - NOBODY EVER TOLD ME THAT BMWs ARE SPECIAL OR DIFFERENT. I always had an idea that BMWs are more expensive because of extra luxury options, or because of the well-known brand, or because of selling less cars then the others, and a whole bunch of other very wrong reasons.

I was so very wrong about BMW and nobody said different, so I didn´t bother to check more carefully.

Now I am 31, owning my second car (careful with that monitor, I tell you!), and finally got curious about mechanical differences between different cars.

So that is when all the BMW technology appeared to me and smacked me hard. Real hard. I simply lost interest in most car brands' technology. Why bother - BMW always got something better...

So I have decided to buy E39 530d this year.

I am trying to get some useful info, tips, advices, and ideas about this car, and I am counting on you to help me with my doubts. I will open a thread with my questions.

Born in Moscow, grew up in Tokyo, living in Lisbon. Huh.

Reeeeally anxious to get a BMW... Glad to meet you all !!!

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
:welcome Oh, and being in Europe, you may want a very close look at BMW diesel models. The 123d and the 335d are amazing cars! :bimmer
Amen to that.

Both are out of my reach though.

I am guessing my first BMW will be E39 530d.

It's cheap here in Portugal - 12000€ and up.

I love the looks and the feeling of it. It will need the M5 bumpers and decent lights, but my mind is made up - 530d is my way to go.

Would you guys recommend manual or automatic? The car is going to have around 180000km.

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Automatic has a "lifetime seal" so I doubt that many of them had the transmission fluid changed.

If I get an automatic I intend to change it anyway. Everyone who changed it said it was old black nasty stuff and that it's important to change it.

I would have to find a very experienced professional though, they say it's a very delicate process.

Or just a manual.

I was also thinking that maybe an automatic is a bit more well treated - it never went to redline, never mischifted, never let the clutch go too early or too late. What do you think about this theory?

Is there anything special I have to look for while I choose, like defects I can see or feel while test-driving?

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
And the FIAT is actually better then I expected.

If we forget about the noise and vibrations - it's not bad.

Pretty nervous engine, too. Most 1,9 TD engines are just not enough to race this stock Stilo.

115hp diesel, 9€ of fuel for 100km (13$ for 60 miles). I went from Lisbon to Barcelona and did not get tired - that was unexpected.

So I would say that FIAT was a more pleasant experience then I expected it to be.

(I need a real car though...)

· Premium Member
1,706 Posts
Automatic has a "lifetime seal" so I doubt that many of them had the transmission fluid changed.
Believe me when I say that "lifetime fill" is a bunch of crap. It's technically true for most people as the "lifetime fill" is usually good for the average mileage that the average owner will put on before they sell the car. Past that, it becomes a real problem.

I've seen photos of the original fluid coming out of Automatic transmissions with 120K miles and it does not look pretty. Typically you will see metal shavings and discoloration. I had mine flushed at 60K miles and I still feel like I should have done it sooner. Now I'm making sure I get it done every 2 years/20,000 miles. I'd prefer to keep my transmission in good shape for as long as possible and shelling out some $$$ to do so is a lot cheaper than having to shell out BIG $$$ to replace the transmission.

Although, I would definitely go with the manual transmission. I think it's the safer choice between the two particularly when you're talking about a pre-owned vehicle.

· Help from over the pond
3,230 Posts
"Liftime fluid" Ha Ha Ha, 1st change 70-80,000 miles and every 30,000 there after, I have this information from ZF Dortmund Germany after I had a service on my box there....they make them.

My box had 135,000 miles on it when I had it serviced and was told it may last approx 3-5k miles due to lack of fluid change and sure enough it went at 3k mikes later and I had to change the box, myself in my yard as I couldnt get anyone to do it, not to bad a job to be honest, I would have no problem doing it again if need be.

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for clearing that out for me.

Sounds like I was right, but now I'm just positive the fluid will be changed the same day I get the car itself.

Do you know how much it might cost?

Is it difficult to do? Does the gearbox need to be dismounted from the car?

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Well I asked ZF by e-mail if they agree with changing the fluid, which id the fluid exactly, and a couple of advices but I guess they're to busy solving some economic crysis (I honestly hope the are not) or something but unfortunately they didn't respond.

Well, I don't doubt you in any way and I really appreciate your attention. I will change the fluid, of course.

Some good news here:

I think I have found THE ONE and will have the green (pink in case of €€€) in a month or so.

If this doesn't work out exactly the way I'm planning it - I will have a freakin nervous breakdown, I swear.

Year 2000, 110000km (68500 miles). One owner. Car looks beautiful inside, very careful owner and ridiculous mileage.

Round steering wheel (M), electrically adjusted seats, no defects/errors/broken details.

No TV, stock wheels, stock bumpers. Whatever. I will choose those myself.

Now here's something I don't understand:

How do I sleep now? I got like a month and a half to go.

How did you do it? Drugs and alcohol make sense but not to me - I don't drink, don't smoke, and believe that drugs are for the weak and the unfortunate, of which I am neither.

I can't think about anything else. This is tough.

· 42, The meaning of life
2,402 Posts
Congrats on joining the BW community. I have recently purchased my first BMW as well, did pretty much the same process as you are now, research, ask questions, choose car, change transmission oil. There are some very valuable human resources on this site, and they give willingly of their advice and experience, don't take what they tell you too lightly, because quite often their advice has come from direct personal experience, which can be expensive to get for yourself. Enjoy your "new" car when you get it, expect a few speed humps at first, as you should with most used cars.

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)


GOD !!!


Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I am a happy man.

100% happy, no ANDs, BUTs, or MAYBEs.

As planned, I got my first real car - a BMW 320d sedan 150hp.

Some time has passed and I changed my mind from getting a E39 530d to E46 320d, for several reasons.

1: All the 530d have LOTS of miles, and are all from 1999 to 2001.

2: This is Europe. Lisbon to be precise. Here's a couple of examples for you to get an idea what driving in the center of Lisbon is all about:

example 1

example 2

I don't want to push myself through THIS on a 530d.

3: Can't switch cars with my wife if I need a small car for some specific trip (I offered her a Suzuki Swift DDiS for her birthday a month ago) - she warned me she will NEVER drive a car that big. Not unless it's a real emergency, like ME dying (= can't drive), or something.

So I got myself a E46 320d. One of the good-looking ones. And full of extras like leather, the coolest steering wheel, sport suspension, etc etc etc.


I am simply SHOCKED. I knew I was getting a very very well-engeneered car, but COME ON!

This is just ridiculous. I smile every time I step on the gas or brake pedals.

I am still getting used to the idea that the whole "beauty-and-the-beast-all-in-one" package is actually mine, so "stay tuned", I'll get my sanity back.

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