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I was driving on the highway earlier this week when I noticed a slight roaring noise when I let off the accelerator. After a little while the noise became much louder and the clutch became "sticky". The noise seemed to be coming from the rear of the car and also seemed to be coming from the outside, not the interior.

I got to my meeting and had the car towed to the dealership here in town. The estimate came back that I needed a completely new differential!
The total cost was going to be somewhere near $6000! The car is a 2000 E39 M5, with around 150k.

First, does the diagnosis sound right? All I read about is replacing seals/fluids. Seems like very few need a full differential replacement.

Second, what are my alternative options? I see where I can buy a rebuilt E39 differential for roughly $1300, and ship 'em my old core. Has anyone had any experience with doing this?

Also, any ideas what the labor would be to just swap the part? Risks involved here?
I am thinking about having it towed to another shop for a second opinion. The car is only worth roughly $8k, I am hesitant to dump most of that value into repairs.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

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I would suggest that $6,000 is a little high, but I don't want to be accused of violating any rules or suggesting that any M5 owners either have lots of money or not enough :eek:

It could very well be the differential, it could be the wheel bearings or it could possible be a suspension issue. You can buy a used differential for under $1000 (member Clemster has one for sale currently) and installing a differential is a couple of hours maximum. There is really no need to buy a rebuilt one - as you noticed they rarely go bad. There are several places that do a good job for a good amount of money and they are not all that hard to rebuild although getting some of the parts can be challenging.




PLEASE NOTE THAT I DO NOT OWN AN M5 AND THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED TO BE ARROGANT. PLEASE READ THE IMPORTANT REVISED DISCLAIMER THAT APPLIES TO THIS POST
 

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I was driving on the highway earlier this week when I noticed a slight roaring noise when I let off the accelerator. After a little while the noise became much louder and the clutch became "sticky". The noise seemed to be coming from the rear of the car and also seemed to be coming from the outside, not the interior.

I got to my meeting and had the car towed to the dealership here in town. The estimate came back that I needed a completely new differential!
The total cost was going to be somewhere near $6000! The car is a 2000 E39 M5, with around 150k.

First, does the diagnosis sound right? All I read about is replacing seals/fluids. Seems like very few need a full differential replacement.

Second, what are my alternative options? I see where I can buy a rebuilt E39 differential for roughly $1300, and ship 'em my old core. Has anyone had any experience with doing this?

Also, any ideas what the labor would be to just swap the part? Risks involved here?
I am thinking about having it towed to another shop for a second opinion. The car is only worth roughly $8k, I am hesitant to dump most of that value into repairs.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

If it is in fact the Diff, I would try Diffsonline.com I've heard great things about them and they are local to me. $6000 seems really steep. The diff will for sure run you around 1200-1500$ plus an install. Clemster has one for sale on the FS board which would be significantly cheaper than a newer reman one.
 

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That's a pretty catastrophic diagnosis, the symptoms you describe leave a lot to the imagination. Sticky clutch meaning stuck to the floor? or hard to depress?

NVM I see Rob has spoken
 

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Well, at this point in time I see no reason to ever take one of these cars to a BMW Dealership. They are old enough that any competent independent repair shop can service them without any concerns for proprietary software, etc. The dealership is called the "stealership" for a reason....

In general, a "roaring" sound is typically a bearing. Whether it's a wheel bearing or maybe one of the bearings in the diff is next to impossible to diagnose via the internet, but a bearing going bad after 150K miles isn't really abnormal. I would look at a used diff with lower mileage and/or a rebuilt diff. Don't even consider paying BMW $6K for this...

Best of Luck!
 

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It's hard to help diagnose your problem based on the current description, but based on what you said, it doesn't sound like a "bad diff" to me. Also I'm not sure what your clutch has to do with the noise unless the noise is coming from the transmission, maybe a throwout bearing?

Edit - I would definitely get it towed to another shop. Do not tell the second shop anything about the first diagnosis. Just tell them your symptoms and act like this is your first shop visit.
 

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OP, I picked up an M5 with a bad diff last week. It's more of a whine when on power or off power when the weight of the car is pushing the crank (engine). When letting off power during a brief period of drive train "equilibrium" there is no noise while the load transfers from pulling the car along to being pushed by the car. If you get what I mean.

It looks like the reason the diff failed in this car (at 169K miles) is the seals leaked on the prior owner and lost its fluid.
 

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Hi,

I just got the same diagnose for my 2000 E39 M5....

I don't have a sticky clutch, only a singing noise. The dealer also said that the differential needs to be replaced completely which was overhere in Holland 2500 Euro excluding taxes and excluding labour. Although my dealer is not a stealer ( in fact they charge less labour hour costs since my car is older then 10 years, making them even cheaper then a dealership from a normal carbrand) this is the first time ever I scratched my head if I want to put that amount of money in this car......

I will follow this thread therefore, but what I was reading overhere was something about leaking. Mine is nowhere leaking and never did anywhere. M5 runned at the moment 193XXX km's and although I understand that something can break down the costs of this job is pretty much making me doubt to even keep the car.....

I will contact later a M5 specialist in Belgium but that is for me around 640km return drive......
 

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Hi,

I just got the same diagnose for my 2000 E39 M5....

I don't have a sticky clutch, only a singing noise. The dealer also said that the differential needs to be replaced completely which was overhere in Holland 2500 Euro excluding taxes and excluding labour. Although my dealer is not a stealer ( in fact they charge less labour hour costs since my car is older then 10 years, making them even cheaper then a dealership from a normal carbrand) this is the first time ever I scratched my head if I want to put that amount of money in this car......

I will follow this thread therefore, but what I was reading overhere was something about leaking. Mine is nowhere leaking and never did anywhere. M5 runned at the moment 193XXX km's and although I understand that something can break down the costs of this job is pretty much making me doubt to even keep the car.....

I will contact later a M5 specialist in Belgium but that is for me around 640km return drive......
You should look into getting a used differential and using a shop who specialize in driveline repairs, rather than a dealer. Diff's normally last the lifetime of the car so there are good used diff's available. And a simple visual inspection will show the condition of the diff. Member Clemster on here probably has diff's and his prices are good.
 

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You should look into getting a used differential and using a shop who specialize in driveline repairs, rather than a dealer. Diff's normally last the lifetime of the car so there are good used diff's available. And a simple visual inspection will show the condition of the diff. Member Clemster on here probably has diff's and his prices are good.
He does have a couple kicking around, I snagged one the other day LOL.

I think if the diff' fails it's usually due to seal failure and subsequent letting the diff' run dry of oil.
 

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Who would have thought of acquiring a used differential from Clemster? :dunno:

hiha


Post #2:
I would suggest that $6,000 is a little high, but I don't want to be accused of violating any rules or suggesting that any M5 owners either have lots of money or not enough :eek:

It could very well be the differential, it could be the wheel bearings or it could possible be a suspension issue. You can buy a used differential for under $1000 (member Clemster has one for sale currently) and installing a differential is a couple of hours maximum. There is really no need to buy a rebuilt one - as you noticed they rarely go bad. There are several places that do a good job for a good amount of money and they are not all that hard to rebuild although getting some of the parts can be challenging.




PLEASE NOTE THAT I DO NOT OWN AN M5 AND THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED TO BE ARROGANT. PLEASE READ THE IMPORTANT REVISED DISCLAIMER THAT APPLIES TO THIS POST

PLEASE NOTE THAT I DO NOT OWN AN M5 AND THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED TO BE ARROGANT. PLEASE READ THE IMPORTANT REVISED DISCLAIMER THAT APPLIES TO THIS POST
 

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Thanks for those tips.....

I will search in Holland if we have something like that overhere also the suggested board members are most of the time living in the USA, so it has to be send to Holland. Even if they would like to do this I have another problem which is called my work, I can only plan one day ahead, the next day I can be in a plane to Asia, Africa or south America.....

Planning is a big problem for me but I can search if we have something like that in Holland.

Thanks for the tips so far.....
 

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First specialist told me there were not much parts avalible for the differential.......

Found another one who said was no problem can refurbish it. Problem was that was around 3,5 hours one way for me. Solution my BMW dealer takes the car in, unbolts the diff and send it to the specialist. They refurbish it and send it the back to the BMW dealer. They mount it and around the 15th of August I can pick up the car again........

Problem of so late is that I fly tomorrow to Egypt and have to be on a ship for a month for work, very happy with my dealer and the specialist, job is done for a 3rd of the costs I heard before ME IS A HAPPY MAN!!!!!!!

Regards,
Eric
 

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My diff broke a tooth off the pinion three months after I bought it. I could have picked up a used example for $600-$1000 which isn't a bad way to go considering this is an unusual failure for most cars. I ended up upgrading to a Dinan 3.45 unit and paid a local independent Euro specialist shop about $1100 for the replacement labor along with a couple of other small jobs. I think an independent differential specialist should be able to rebuild the stock unit for significantly less than $1000 if the gears are OK and you would have around seven hours of labor for the removal and installation job. I will sell my car before I let a dealer work on it.
 

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@Gzig5,

That is all very nice but you forget one major thing that are the prices in the USA, I live in Holland. The prices for almost everything in USA are cheap and very very cheap if you compare it with Holland. Still if I let it fix overthere I still have big costs for transport, so no option at all, comparing prices is comparing a mosquito with an elephant......

In short I think you didn't buy an M5 overhere when bringing it to the dealer is already too much money hehehe, maybe you have to go to the dealer since BMW offers (in Holland) strong reduced prices on labourwork, making them much cheaper then a normal carbrand like for example VW/Opel/Ford etcetc... They started doing this in the beginning of this year overhere and since BMW operates globally I think maybe they do the same in the USA....

However that is all off-topic we are talking about a differential not about if something is expensive or not and also not if you bring your car to the dealer or not. So let's keep it on-topic..
 

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My diff broke a tooth off the pinion three months after I bought it. I could have picked up a used example for $600-$1000 which isn't a bad way to go considering this is an unusual failure for most cars. I ended up upgrading to a Dinan 3.45 unit and paid a local independent Euro specialist shop about $1100 for the replacement labor along with a couple of other small jobs. I think an independent differential specialist should be able to rebuild the stock unit for significantly less than $1000 if the gears are OK and you would have around seven hours of labor for the removal and installation job. I will sell my car before I let a dealer work on it.
I have an extra M5 3.15 ring and pinion gear I would let go cheap if anyone has a broken tooth. You can get all the parts to rebuild the diff from Bimmerdiffs. I built mine using all his parts and it wasn't very difficult. You will need access to a press to do the job.

+1 on Clemster (Adam) being an amazing source for all M5 parts. His prices can't be beat either.
 
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