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post #1 of 20 Old 5th April 2017, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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New Owner in SF - 2003 M5 Sterling Gray

Hello, I've been meaning to post for a while. Long time lurker and finally got my ducks in a row and purchased a car last fall. It is everything my wife needed in a "new" car - seats 4 people relatively comfortably and be able to carry the baby safely and quickly, is fast enough (has a go fast pedal that enables her to pass left-laned priuses), and is manual. Thus the only logical choice was an M5 and she was fine with it.

2003, 77k miles, sterling gray, sport leather, sunshades, fold down seats, supersprint exhaust, unnamed carbon fiber cold air intakes - I'm sure folks here can ID these, they might be Evolve CAI, but unsure as there's no markings on them.

It's been local to CA it's whole life, with 3 previous owners utilizing BMW dealers in LA as their servicing (at least on carfax), and the last owner having it for 4 years/15k miles - being serviced at his local Bavarian Independent shop..

This being our first stickshift car, it's been quite easy to learn to engage on steep SF hills as this engine has so much torque, and in reality you can't learn quickly unless you have a Muni Bus behind you honking madly at you to move!

Due to a DMV "computer outage" the week I purchased the car, my title is still "stuck" at DMV (yes 6 months ago) thus carrying temporary registration which requires me to go in every month to get a new temporary tag. Got to love DMV efficiency!!!

Glad to be here, will be looking to keep this car for a very long time. I can't promise I'll have time to post everything that happens on this car, but I'll try. As I usually say, "life could be much much worse."
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post #2 of 20 Old 5th April 2017, 06:07 PM
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post #3 of 20 Old 5th April 2017, 06:15 PM
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Congrats on the baby and car! Looks beautiful and with euro lens headlights and evolve carbon fiber intakes.... must be running a mafless tune also.
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post #4 of 20 Old 5th April 2017, 06:21 PM
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Congratulations on the 2 new additions to the family! A wife that agrees to a classic M5 while pregnant, she's priceless.
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post #5 of 20 Old 5th April 2017, 09:48 PM
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They're Evolve CAIs. I hope you know someone when it comes time to smog the car, visual inspection is getting more serious now that the tailpipe sniffer test isn't used.

Also, I'm going to be organizing a drive later in the month assuming it stops raining long enough. Will post something in the US West forum and on the Facebook group, if you're into that...
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post #6 of 20 Old 5th April 2017, 10:13 PM
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Welcome and congratulations! Seems like you picked up a nice one.


2016 F80 M3, Mineral Grey/Golden Brown/6MT - ED delivery 6/3/2016
2002 M5, Sterling Gray/Caramel
2007 Z4M Coupe Silver Gray/Black
1999 Mercedes ML320 (hauler...)
Too many kids' cars...
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post #7 of 20 Old 5th April 2017, 10:41 PM
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post #8 of 20 Old 6th April 2017, 12:01 AM
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Congrats! The M5 is an excellent car for learning how to drive manual— the torque makes it extremely forgiving and it's nearly impossible to stall, even if you start in third gear by accident. I learned how to drive stick in a 540i/6, but mine had an irritating CDV (clutch delay valve) that made shifting smooth pretty hard. I'm still unlearning bad habits from that, haha.

Also, kudos for buying an M5 as a family car instead of getting a boring crossover. That instantly makes you a cool dad

2000 540i Touring - current DD
2000 M5 - sold
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post #9 of 20 Old 6th April 2017, 12:20 AM
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Congrats fellow '03 Sterling Gray owner! I just bought mine last month and drove it from Seattle back to LA! Your engine bay looks really clean and those headlight are really making me want to swap my OEM ones out.

I have the Dinan CAI and while I didn't have the sticker, I printed the executive orders from the CARB website and had them with me, knowing for sure I'd need to present them. The lady doing the inspection at the DMV took a long, hard look inside the engine bay but somehow passed me! Guess I got lucky.

She then walked towards the back of the car and filled out the checklist like this:

Make: BMW
Model: Dinan

'03 M5 | 981 Cayman S |
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post #10 of 20 Old 6th April 2017, 06:16 AM
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And don't know how new you are to the forum ... but it's well know that Sterling Gray is the Fastest Color

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