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Discussion Starter #1
I have been searching long and hard for a 2001-2003 E39 and anything with less than 60K miles I am all over initially. I was so excited last week as I found a BMW dealership in Phoenix that just took one in on trade and found it the day it listed:

2002 BMW M5, $19,800 - Cars.com

Was so excited assuming that if this was at a BMW dealership that it was going to be great shape and the asking price was just under $20K. I was so ready to buy. Talked on the phone to the salesperson and he said it was a great car and that it was going through their BMW inspection before it goes for sale as they will go over the entire car and fix anything they find. Upon waiting a day he gets back to me and says that they fixed the seat cables and put rear brake pads and sensors, and rear sway bar bushings.

I then received pictures and saw a big gash on the right front bumper, dash showed some pixels out, rear power shades where hanging like something was wrong, about 3 small dents, and 3 out of 4 rims had rash.

I then got back to him and asked how did you miss the rear shades and pixels if you did an inspection how can I see this when you did not. He went on to say it is an 11 yr old car and they don't make it perfect but fix only things they feel they need to sell the car.

Am very disappointed as I would expect much more from a dealership and they went on and on telling me how they are owned by Penske and that they sell only quality cars and have a reputation to uphold.

Don't like to bash people or dealers but take a look at the pictures on cars.com. You wont be able to see much of the things I saw. Just hope if they sell to someone not local they disclose everything and that the person does not buy site unseen. Good price by the way just wish they would be a bit more honest with the car. A Independent PPI would of caught all this stuff and would embarrass their service department and standards of selling a used car.

This just upholds my thoughts of buying from someone on the forum. Seems people here are honest and if there is something wrong they disclose it.
 

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I looked a 3 2001-2002 M5s with mileage ranging from 57K to 78K when i bought mine last November.
Although all 3 were very well taken care of they still have a ding or two and a couple of wheels with rash on it.

Unless the seller goes out of his way to first prevent any curb rash in 10-11 years, avoid car getting dinged by anyone in 10 years of ownership there is no way you will find the near perfect car you are looking for. Some sellers spend $1000-$1500 getting rid of all the dings and curb rashes before listing the car but thats not to say that teh car never had any dings/rashes to begin with.

The rear shade isn't a high dollar issue and the dead pixels are a well known issue with teh car (and other models/cars).

For the model year, mileage and price the cars seems to be a good buy but you forgot to mention the No-1 reason to avoid this car, the lack of service records. The dealer might be able to pull carfax and service records while teh car still had warranty years ago, that in no way is a substitute for a well documented service history by a private owner.
There is a reason why most of us look for private sellers.

In some cases, the cars being traded in at teh dealer are the ones with issues that the seller was unwilling to take care of. The dealer doesnt require a clean PPI when trading teh car in, because they are going to trun around teh sell tehc ar right back to public.

Spend a little more and buy a privately owned well documented car and it will save you money in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have no problems with little items I just expect it to be disclosed and not find that out in pictures. Is it wrong to have high expectations that a BMW dealer that goes on-and-on about how they have such high standards and such to not disclose things like this? Like I said I bet a PPI would destroy this car.
 

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Unless the seller goes out of his way to first prevent any curb rash in 10-11 years, avoid car getting dinged by anyone in 10 years of ownership there is no way you will find the near perfect car you are looking for. Some sellers spend $1000-$1500 getting rid of all the dings and curb rashes before listing the car but thats not to say that teh car never had any dings/rashes to begin with.

The rear shade isn't a high dollar issue and the dead pixels are a well known issue with teh car (and other models/cars).

For the model year, mileage and price the cars seems to be a good buy but you forgot to mention the No-1 reason to avoid this car, the lack of service records. The dealer might be able to pull carfax and service records while teh car still had warranty years ago, that in no way is a substitute for a well documented service history by a private owner.
There is a reason why most of us look for private sellers.

In some cases, the cars being traded in at teh dealer are the ones with issues that the seller was unwilling to take care of. The dealer doesnt require a clean PPI when trading teh car in, because they are going to trun around teh sell tehc ar right back to public.

Spend a little more and buy a privately owned well documented car and it will save you money in the long run.
Could not agree more.

There are perfect cars out there, but you'll pay for them. At that mileage, for that price, I'd say that car is a decent deal. Some minor cosmetic issues are to be expected. If the brakes were shot, the tires were bald, the VANOS was whining and it wouldn't go into 3rd gear, I'd say you have every right to complain.

A nicked bumper, crooked shade and some wheel rash isn't a big deal.
 

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Like what was already reiterated this is a fair price for the problems you noticed. They could fix these minor problems but would have end up selling at $23K and up. Get a PPI and if there isn't anything catastrophically wrong with it, I'll second the earlier statement that it's a very fair deal. You can't be so naive to expect a perfect M5 for that low mileage at that price. You just can't.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The point I was trying to make is not that I expect it to be virtually perfect but expect a BMW dealership to be a bit more at disclosing everything about the car. Do you there is an issue of taking 14 pictures or so and put on cars.com and not have one that shows the rash on the front end or having it go through a BMW inspection and not disclosing some items?

That was what I was trying to make. I don't disagree that it is a decent deal for the asking price.
 

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I am sorry but you continue to miss the point.

Why do you expect the dealer to be forthcoming about some facts that will only turn a good majority of the perspective buyers in the other direction.
Its sales 101, they always give just enough information to get you interested, if you are able to spot some defects in the picture, they wont hold any information back, if you are too excited and dont look at the pics in detail they will deal with your questions when you get there.
I dont think any dealer out there would put the information you are looking for in an ad, a private party might (and in some cases even they dont).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I am very ethical and forth coming. Maybe that is why I am not in the car business selling cars. I talked extensively with the sales manager on the phone and asked tons of questions that where later answered when I got detailed pictures.

He knew I was very interested and not local so I could not simply come take a look.
 

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I agree with the above posts 100%. You are looking to purchase a car that was over 70K new 11+ years ago. From what I gather from another post (http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/sale-wanted/171170-2003-m5-sale-3.htmlwhere) you are looking to spend under 22K but require full service history, updated maintenance, etc. As you are finding out, this is not easy. After 11 years cars have curb rash, scrapes, etc. and if not repaired will have a lower asking price. So, you have a choice to make and as I see it you have 3 options:

1) Keep looking and hope you find what you are looking for
2) Increase the amount you are willing to spend
3) Consider that some cars are not going to be "perfect" and make a sacrifice or two.

Please understand that I write this post with a full understanding and respect for what you are going thru. The M5 bug has bitten you and most, if not all of us have been there. In this particular case, IMO the dealer did not mislead and it is quite possible the car is in "good" shape for the average consumer considering the age of the car. This is why BMW dealerships don't sell cars over 5-7 years old. It is almost impossible for a car of this age not to have blemishes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ideally that is what I would like to spend but am flexible for the right car. I have found a few but they sold quickly. I don't expect to find a perfect one given it is an 11 yr old car. Just about everything I have found has a few issues here or there.

The dealership did mention by the way they usually don't sell anything over 6 yrs old as this was rare for them.

No offense taken from your responses. I am here to get advice and do take it all in. At one point I did not want anything with over 70K miles but have came off that. I am just damn picky and know what I want and may offend some people but not my intention. There are many of these in very good shape as the majority of the ones I have found actually are in this forum. I really think that is where I will eventually find mine.

Thanks for the comments and continue to respond as I am sure I will post many times getting advice on potential ones I have find.
 

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Hang in there, it's difficult to find exactly what you're looking for, but have a look at this one: LINK

Okay I know it's not perfect, the right cup holder is broken, the drivers seat isn't really in mint condition and the hood emblem needs to be replaced. But the color combo is really gorgeous in my opinionmmmmmm

Something around 18-19k is okay for this M5, and it's on the east coast:cheers:
 

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Ideally that is what I would like to spend but am flexible for the right car. I have found a few but they sold quickly. I don't expect to find a perfect one given it is an 11 yr old car. Just about everything I have found has a few issues here or there.

The dealership did mention by the way they usually don't sell anything over 6 yrs old as this was rare for them.

No offense taken from your responses. I am here to get advice and do take it all in. At one point I did not want anything with over 70K miles but have came off that. I am just damn picky and know what I want and may offend some people but not my intention. There are many of these in very good shape as the majority of the ones I have found actually are in this forum. I really think that is where I will eventually find mine.

Thanks for the comments and continue to respond as I am sure I will post many times getting advice on potential ones I have find.
Good luck with your search. I'll be buying later this year and am keeping an eye on the market. I'm not quite as picky as you are since it will be a daily driver and pick up some of those chips and dings along the way, but I still want to make sure I get a mechanically sound, well maintained car that will hit 100k+ miles without major issue (like my E36 M3 did- 145k, may it RIP).

I think you will be happiest looking here and in the Roundel and at your local cars and coffee, etc. I'd be very leary of ANYTHING at a dealership given what you are looking for. They simply don't cater to enthusiasts like us- your odds of finding a 60k mi. 2003 for 20k with a 2" binder of records being sold by an honest used car sales guy are about the same as winning the Powerball. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the link. I love that exterior color my favorite. Ideally I try to stay away from these indy shops as the cars are usually through the auction system with tons of owners and lack of maintenance history. When a private person sells I can get a feel as to how it has been taken care of by talking to the owner and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have come to the conclusion that I will have to spend more which is OK. Was close to buying one of the members cars in here that is a 2003 with 87K miles on it by the way.
 

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Thanks for the link. I love that exterior color my favorite. Ideally I try to stay away from these indy shops as the cars are usually through the auction system with tons of owners and lack of maintenance history. When a private person sells I can get a feel as to how it has been taken care of by talking to the owner and such.
Correct.

And BMW dealers are no guarantee that it's a solid car- they buy from, and sell to, a lot of the same auctions the indy shops/little dealers do.
 

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Hang in there, it's difficult to find exactly what you're looking for, but have a look at this one: LINK

Okay I know it's not perfect, the right cup holder is broken, the drivers seat isn't really in mint condition and the hood emblem needs to be replaced. But the color combo is really gorgeous in my opinionmmmmmm

Something around 18-19k is okay for this M5, and it's on the east coast:cheers:
I stopped counting at owner 3. It looks like it changed hands every couple of years, and failed inspection once. If it were me, I'd run from that car... Here's the Carfax (which is provided free off that link):

CARFAX Vehicle History Report on WBSDE93452CF90778
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ouch,
my inclinations are correct when it comes to finding one of these at some sort of dealership. I even called that before I saw the carfax. Been through many owners and the auction system.
 

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It was a short conversation but he started telling me, "it's a great car....for it's age." Then he started going into how he felt the clutch would need to be changed in about 10k miles. But then he admitted to not have driven the car. I did the car salesmen math and assumed the clutch was very close to expiring. Nearly $20k is a lot of money for me. I'd rather buy from an enthusiast on here if I can.
 
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