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I've surfed this forum for years now and never had an M car. Wanted one but it never seemed right.
Strolling down the road past a privately owned dealer I saw a black M5 sitting outside. Asked the owner about it and said that his old mechanic bought the car and has since left the company without paying off the car debt back to the owner. I asked what was left owed and he stated for 3,200 plus tax I could bring her home. (Pandemic times are hard here in Michigan). Originally a Florida car with 92k miles and BMW service records of Rod Bearings at 81k miles and Clutch and Flywheel at 87k miles. It runs but needs some TLC its sat for a year through a Michigan summer, fall, and blistering cold winter.. What maintenance items should I be worried about before even bringing this beast onto the road? Journeyman Electrician and Journeyman Machine Repairman here so working on anything really isn't an issue.. yet, i haven't owned an M car so this might be interesting.

Any help would be appreciated on best oils to use. Anything regarding suspension or drivetrain checks. Winter is coming fast here so this car won't see the outside of my garage until next spring hopefully.
 

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Change oil and filter as well as air filters, charge battery
Ensure it shows 12+ volts not running, close to 14 volts running
 

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Nice find yinblake! I have faced similar situations a couple times and my recommendation would be to find the best local independent BMW shop you can and take it in for a PPI. Let them drive it, get it on a lift, hook up the diagnostic equipment and thoroughly asses the car. Rather than guessing you will know exactly what the car needs and it will be money very well spent.
 

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2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
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Research fuel injector issues, change fuel filter. (once you do, you'll be changing them)

If it was my car, I would replace all of the suspension components that are not new (just did this on a 2009 36,500 mile M6, its 11 years old - documented on this board under M6 section),

and make sure the shocks are all up to snuff. along with all the fluid changes that haven't been documented. oil, brake, diff

OH - and send off an oil report with current oil to Blackstone.

Sorry to hear about the hard times in Michigan. Not sure if it is really called for, sounds oppressive. But I digress......
 
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How do you guys find such cheap cars? I'm jealous.
EBay has some every so often but Craigslist and keeping a sharp eye peeled. That’s how many of the rare muscle cars are found. The issue is you need space. I’ve passed on 2 others that were below 5k, they were 06s in the SF Bay Area. Not worth the effort to ship it back to NJ.
 

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What maintenance items should I be worried about before even bringing this beast onto the road? Journeyman Electrician and Journeyman Machine Repairman here so working on anything really isn't an issue.. yet, i haven't owned an M car so this might be interesting.
I used to manage UAW skilled trades for a short time at local 735.
This car is easy to work on if you are a tradesman. Do it yourself and save thousands, seems like the hard stuff was already done so this is a score.

the first thing anyone should do with a car that has sat outside is ensure all the drains from the moonroof and the cowl are unclogged. don’t wash the car until you have done this. Resist the urge. These back up with dirt and leaves and on the E60 especially there is a drain that is right above the pass Front wheel.Right above that is the electrical box, if that drain is plugged water will back up in that box and flood the electrical box then overflow into the passenger side compartment on the floor, soaking the foam and carpets.

since the car will sit and you will want to fire it up during the winter DO NOT put in 10w-60. It takes along time for that oil to heat up and you know that machines need lubrication during cold start especially. 10w-60 flows like molasses below freezing. Go to Walmart and get the Mobil1 0w-40 “wine in a box”. It’s like $55 for like 12 qts. That’s what I keep in mine and I have 3. They are only driven around on my property. If you are gonna be running it long and hard then sure 10w-60 or 5w-50. you may want to avoid registering on the road until you can actually drive it. This makes for a good flush too since you don’t know when it was last changed and you likely have some surface corrosion on some parts of the engine if it has sat that long. The same amount of 10w-60 is like 2.5x that.

all the suspension links should be replaced around 100k miles, any thing that is rubber on BMW degrades very rapidly. You probably will need to replace all the weatherstripping around the fixed windows.

these cars have high parasitic drain so keep a maintenance charger on it, otherwise the self discharge will lead to sulfation. BMWs eat batteries and oil.
 

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The story is not over yet, if a mechanic that owned the car decided it was not worth the $3,200 owed than I would have to be prepared for a few surprises
This was my first thought. But after hashing it over for a few weeks I decided $3200 to get the car gives me thousands and thousands for whatever lie ahead.. fingers crossed everything goes fairly smoothly and I can get some go-fast parts
 

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Research fuel injector issues, change fuel filter. (once you do, you'll be changing them)

If it was my car, I would replace all of the suspension components that are not new (just did this on a 2009 36,500 mile M6, its 11 years old - documented on this board under M6 section),

and make sure the shocks are all up to snuff. along with all the fluid changes that haven't been documented. oil, brake, diff

OH - and send off an oil report with current oil to Blackstone.

Sorry to hear about the hard times in Michigan. Not sure if it is really called for, sounds oppressive. But I digress......
Don't even get me started on the leadership here in Michigan..
 

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I used to manage UAW skilled trades for a short time at local 735.
This car is easy to work on if you are a tradesman. Do it yourself and save thousands, seems like the hard stuff was already done so this is a score.

the first thing anyone should do with a car that has sat outside is ensure all the drains from the moonroof and the cowl are unclogged. don’t wash the car until you have done this. Resist the urge. These back up with dirt and leaves and on the E60 especially there is a drain that is right above the pass Front wheel.Right above that is the electrical box, if that drain is plugged water will back up in that box and flood the electrical box then overflow into the passenger side compartment on the floor, soaking the foam and carpets.

since the car will sit and you will want to fire it up during the winter DO NOT put in 10w-60. It takes along time for that oil to heat up and you know that machines need lubrication during cold start especially. 10w-60 flows like molasses below freezing. Go to Walmart and get the Mobil1 0w-40 “wine in a box”. It’s like $55 for like 12 qts. That’s what I keep in mine and I have 3. They are only driven around on my property. If you are gonna be running it long and hard then sure 10w-60 or 5w-50. you may want to avoid registering on the road until you can actually drive it. This makes for a good flush too since you don’t know when it was last changed and you likely have some surface corrosion on some parts of the engine if it has sat that long. The same amount of 10w-60 is like 2.5x that.

all the suspension links should be replaced around 100k miles, any thing that is rubber on BMW degrades very rapidly. You probably will need to replace all the weatherstripping around the fixed windows.

these cars have high parasitic drain so keep a maintenance charger on it, otherwise the self discharge will lead to sulfation. BMWs eat batteries and oil.
This is great advice regarding the water drains. Anyone know of a DIY thread on it? You actually answered a question I had about starting in temperatures below 0-20 degrees. I do not plan on driving it in the winter at all. I have a beater winter car. Can't trust these drivers around here, not to mention I live 1 mile from Lake Michigan so I can go into work clear skies and come out to 1-6 inches of snow.
 

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This is great advice regarding the water drains. Anyone know of a DIY thread on it? You actually answered a question I had about starting in temperatures below 0-20 degrees. I do not plan on driving it in the winter at all. I have a beater winter car. Can't trust these drivers around here, not to mention I live 1 mile from Lake Michigan so I can go into work clear skies and come out to 1-6 inches of snow.
I have a post about it and a pic of the dirt that fell out. It’s significant. You can search my postings. But the short answer is remove front pass wheel. There will be like a pelican bill rubber thing hanging down. You can stick your finger or a screwdriver to clean out the bill. Or just pull on the bill and it will come out easily. It’s kind of a grommet.
 

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What's that stuff? May have seen some about 5 years ago...
 
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Drain all the fluids (engine oil, coolant, gearbox, diff, brakes) replace, send motor oil to Blackstone for analysis.
Change all the filters, battery, reset all codes - see if any come back. That'll give you a start, then just start working through whatever comes up.
 

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Not a winter car:

1. 176 degree Thermostat overcools engine to the point fuel dilutes oil.
My water temperature on a 10 degree day was 160 F leading to poor gas mileage and sludge formation and overtaxed PCV system

2. 19” V-rated winter tires in cold weather telegraph every frost heave destroying bmw ride and suspension bushings

3. salt causes galvanic corrosion between mix of aluminum and steel parts.
Try changing suspension parts on a winter driven car, let alone getting wheel bolts off

4. Anyone that can afford upkeep of an m5 can afford something more appropriate and satisfying to drive in the winter
 
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