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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I've been a lurker here for a few years now, and I'm now hoping to join the M5 club. I've been actively looking for the last few weeks (currently own a 2001 540i), and a nice one just came up locally for a good price. However (like always), it's not perfect. The owner says it has an "intermittent problem with the throttle actuator", and that once the engine reaches operating temperature, it goes away. I'm going to check out the car in person this afternoon, but just wanted to ask the knowledgeable people around here:

- I've read a lot on the FAQ here and searching the forums, on what to look for, items that need special attention on E39 M5s, etc... no mention of a throttle actuator. Is it usually called something else?
- Could it be VANOS related noise? Besides the noise, when there is a VANOS issue, what else should I look for?

The car checks out in Carfax (not a guarantee, I know), so hopefully everything else checks out in person. I'll ask for service records, get the car through a PPI/CPO Certified list, all the usual stuff, and maybe post pics here later.

Thanks!

Marcos
 

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As part of your PPI, you should get a readout of stored error codes. That should shed more light on stale issues. Your PPI needs to identify which issues are current, and what real problem is "going away at operating temp". VANOS is a fairly overblown problem area; it doesn't sound like you have a reason to suspect it at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like its not happening.

So, I got the pre-purchase inspection done at a local reputable shop (I do all the work on my 540i there), but it seems the car is way too beat-up, even at the price the guy is offering it for (he's asking $12K). Over the phone, it sounded like $3K worth of labor, and then add all the parts... that's too much. Leaking valve cover gasket, timing chain cover gaskets, repainted/repaired back bumper, etc. I think there's some suspension parts that need to be replaced too.

Overall, it was $200 well spent. I think I'll keep looking for a better specimen.

Thanks guys! I'll keep looking at For Sale posts in here.

Marcos
 

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Sorry to hear of the disappointment, but this is a perfect example of why a few hundred dollars spent upfront on a PPI is never money wasted.

At 12K, that car must have some high miles on it.
 
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