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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I've been looking at 01-03 M5s and found 1 I like. I also looked at a 2000 today and was taken by surprise.

The first, and the one I'm really looking at (90% convinced) is a 2000 Gray with black interior. 57K miles. Priced to moved, well under blue book and I like the broker (easy to work with and no pressure). They'll give me time to take it to the awesome independent shop I've been using for the last year for a pre-purchase inspection. The pixels in the dash are 80% trashed. That's the only problem. The car felt solid - engine and suspension are like new. The car is cleaner than anything I've been looking at (which is about a dozen cars the past few weeks). 2 owners: the first only had it for 3 months in NY and the second was a NY then California, with the majority time in CA. The car is also a 5/2000 model which I think gets passed the ring/oil consumption concerns.

The second car I'm looking at is an 03 silver on black/aluminum (which I like better) with 64K miles. The interior is much cleaner, with the new Nav system and all the great stuff that goes into an 03. I think either the rear CVs need replacing or the shocks - it's got a bad thump to the rear over hard bumps. I'm ok with that as my 540i needed new CVs and the problem was workable. The price is a little higher than I want to pay albeit doable. Price is competitive and ideally I'd like to own an 03. The dealer kept prodding and pushing to make a deal though, so I told him I'd get back to him tomorrow.

But the 00 feels better. Better taken care of. I can appreciate the cosmetic upgrades but at the end of the day I simply want a great car that performs well (engine and suspension are my primary interests). Plus, I'm only 29 (with a wife & 2 kids) and think I'd be happy with the simpler model until I'm a little more established.

Another dealer told me the 00 and 01 models are faster - the later ones got tuned down. I told him I think that's bs but am wondering if you guys know any better.

With the 00 I need a new cluster and garagelink.

With the 03 I need some work on the rear.

I think the better deal is the 00, emotions aside, so I'm heavily leaning that way. Gonna sleep on it though. I've got Carfax and they both check out.

Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks ahead.
 

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I just had the same choice, and went with a '00. The difference in price was great enough that I could do the upgrades and still be in the black compared to the '03.

A couple of things - the garage link takes about 20 min to install. Buy the thing for $120 or so at the dealer, get a dremel and the square is already marked out for you once you take the overhead panel out. Wiring harness is right there also. Piece of cake, and I am not all that mechanically inclined.

BMW will replace the instrument cluster, at least in NA, regardless of mileage. There is a thread here with the contact, but I just discussed this with my dealer here in Cincy and it is a no brainer, i just have to pay for the labor (about $150). I believe the problem isnt actually the cluster, its the vdo cable that runs to it.

Also, if you have the cash, change the steering wheel to the M3 with the round airbag. Made a world of difference to me. I have an M3 to begin with, so it was familiar, but it also seemed to increase the directness and steering effort more to my liking. Costs about a grand, but worth it. Again there is a thread (i believe on the first page) on it with the part #'s.

Any other questions you have, you can PM me or just post it here. The baby is being fussy so I am up LOL.

-Kirk
 

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I'm not so sure....both are comporable in mileage, and both have minor, workable problems. But my take on the '00 with the pixel issue is that #1) any M5 nut knows that BMWNA will, at the very least, meet the owner halfway on replacing the dash (if not the whole way, or if the owner pays labor, etc). #2) letting the pixels detiorate over time to eventually be 80% dead indicates that the owner isn't exactly overly concerned about fixing the problem at all. My pixels are 99% present, and those few missing ones drive me nuts to the point I'll take care of it very soon.

The '03 suspension issue....that problem sounds like it appeared rather recently, rather than over the course of months (maybe years) like the dash issue with the '00. However, who would drive a car with broken suspension parts? I just wouldn't feel great buying a car only to nurse it home until I fixed the suspension.

I'm sure both cars are nice, and the mileage isn't bad at all. The '00 - '03 cars are identcal driveline-wise (only a few cosmetic issues b/w the '00 and '01). But the bottom line is that these cars were 80K new, and that people willing to drop that kind of coin usually take care of their cars and fix any broken parts immediately. I had to shop for months to find the one that was mechanically sound. I'm not suggesting to forget these two and keep shopping - just know that they are out there.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Also, if you have the cash, change the steering wheel to the M3 with the round airbag. Made a world of difference to me. I have an M3 to begin with, so it was familiar, but it also seemed to increase the directness and steering effort more to my liking. Costs about a grand, but worth it. Again there is a thread (i believe on the first page) on it with the part #'s.
I was just over at bimmerfest searching for this. Probably a mod I'd do.
 

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Other things I just thought of...

Nav system (I call it the Shatner Nav system since I saw it on Star Trek when I was about 8) will need to be updated if its not already. Plug and play retrofit (supposedly) I will be doing mine this weekend. You can but the whole kit from bimmernav for about 3k.

Check to see if the thrust arm bushings have been replaced, MAF sensors, CPS sensors and have someone else on the board explain the carbon build up thing, because I cant (its in the parked thread near the top, talks about all the issues and what you can do).

I think there is also a thread around here somewhere about all of the changes between the '00 and '03, its wasnt all that significant to me given the 20k delta in price.

What options are on it btw? The one that I wanted that I had to sacrifice were the active seats.

Also, if you have young kids, I can give you the p/n's to retrofit the LATCH system and how to put an infant seat in the car in about 2 min.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Other things I just thought of...

Nav system (I call it the Shatner Nav system since I saw it on Star Trek when I was about 8) will need to be updated if its not already. Plug and play retrofit (supposedly) I will be doing mine this weekend. You can but the whole kit from bimmernav for about 3k.
This is near the bottom of the list for me, given that I've been using my phone to navigate all the dealerships and brokers I've been to lately. I'll look into it later.


Check to see if the thrust arm bushings have been replaced, MAF sensors, CPS sensors and have someone else on the board explain the carbon build up thing, because I cant (its in the parked thread near the top, talks about all the issues and what you can do).
I read through the whole carbon issue thread. I started and turned off the 00 car a half dozen times trying to trigger the check engine light. Will keep at it but think I'm ok for now.

I think there is also a thread around here somewhere about all of the changes between the '00 and '03, its wasnt all that significant to me given the 20k delta in price.
Exactly.


What options are on it btw? The one that I wanted that I had to sacrifice were the active seats.
Heated seats. Sport seats (working in all directions). Phone wiring in place. No phone or Nav CDs.


Also, if you have young kids, I can give you the p/n's to retrofit the LATCH system and how to put an infant seat in the car in about 2 min.

My son is 8 months and my daughter just turned 3. The LATCH system is there so I'm good. I checked the belt and they lock like they should too (some cars I looked at didn't lock right in the rear seats. Big problem for me).
 

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Nice! You are good to go. Glad to hear the board has done some (more) good.
 

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I'm not sure I agree with the theory that the dead pixels indicate a previous owner who didn't care. BMW Service Advisors don't necessarily offer up the help from BMWNA to fix the cluster. Most will simply tell the owner that the whole cluster needs to be replaced and that it is big bucks. You have to be the kind of M5 fanatic who visits helpful websites like this one to find out that BMWNA will step up if asked/pushed. I vote for the 00. If it "feels better", go with your gut (and a PPI of course!).
 

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I just had the same choice, and went with a '00. The difference in price was great enough that I could do the upgrades and still be in the black compared to the '03.
This is a key point. Get the '00 and pocket the difference. You'll be happy with the '00, and so will your wallet. The $$ saved can easily cover angel eyes and other upgrades. I'll always go with the pedigreed car that 'feels' tight and new rather than model year as the deciding criteria.

Good luck.

Dave
 
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Put the emotions aside and buy what's best for you. From what I can see, it's the 2000.

best of luck,

Michael
 
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I just had the same choice, and went with a '00. The difference in price was great enough that I could do the upgrades and still be in the black compared to the '03.

A couple of things - the garage link takes about 20 min to install. Buy the thing for $120 or so at the dealer, get a dremel and the square is already marked out for you once you take the overhead panel out. Wiring harness is right there also. Piece of cake, and I am not all that mechanically inclined.

BMW will replace the instrument cluster, at least in NA, regardless of mileage. There is a thread here with the contact, but I just discussed this with my dealer here in Cincy and it is a no brainer, i just have to pay for the labor (about $150). I believe the problem isnt actually the cluster, its the vdo cable that runs to it.

Also, if you have the cash, change the steering wheel to the M3 with the round airbag. Made a world of difference to me. I have an M3 to begin with, so it was familiar, but it also seemed to increase the directness and steering effort more to my liking. Costs about a grand, but worth it. Again there is a thread (i believe on the first page) on it with the part #'s.

Any other questions you have, you can PM me or just post it here. The baby is being fussy so I am up LOL.

-Kirk
Why update the steering wheel with an m3 wheel rather than an 01-03 m5 steering wheel? Are you using the the m3 competition steering wheel with suede?
 

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I am of the opinion that it the quality of the miles is more important than the quantity of miles. An M5 with 25k miles could have been to the the dragstip dozens of times, thereby decreasing the engine's longevity. On the other hand an M5 with 50k miles, albiet and older car, could have been taken care of better than a new model with less miles on the car. This is where vehicle history and previous ownership is important.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Well I made a decision. :)

So I'm driving to get the 00 and the 03 dealer calls. He says, "Why not.?" I say the price is too high and give him my top price, out the door. He says, "Come in. Let's make a deal."

So you know what I'm thinking.

An hour later I find myself arguing for them to ignore me and sell the car to someone else!! I thought that was odd.

So I gave the 00 broker a check for a few grand, drove it up to my mechanic & they gave it a quick once over (they were busy) and signed off on it. I'll go back for a better inspection later.

The 00 broker also gave me 3 days to return it, which only one other dealer would do. So I'm pretty happy with being the proud owner of a low mileage 2000 M5.

:D
 

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Why update the steering wheel with an m3 wheel rather than an 01-03 m5 steering wheel? Are you using the the m3 competition steering wheel with suede?
Arent they the same wheel? And no - I went with leather rather than Alcantara for durability.

-Kmac
 

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Gratz!!!!
 

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If your having trouble in the rear seat, be sure that you are inserting them into the correct receptacle, orientated correctly. If you turn the buckle around or try and put the center belt buckle into the passenger side receptacle they will not lock in.

As for the rear clunk, it could be as simple as a rear sway bar bracket which are common failures on the M5s and cost $20 and take 20min to repair.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
If your having trouble in the rear seat, be sure that you are inserting them into the correct receptacle, orientated correctly. If you turn the buckle around or try and put the center belt buckle into the passenger side receptacle they will not lock in.
Heh. Yea - I made that mistake a few times before. But I meant the belt doesn't lock when fully extended. My dad's '97 740 has the same problem. It'll lock if you pull the belt out quick enough, but won't stay locked at full extension - like it should.

As for the rear clunk, it could be as simple as a rear sway bar bracket which are common failures on the M5s and cost $20 and take 20min to repair.
Good to know - but this felt different than a sway bar bracket. It was all over. You may be right though - I don't have enough experience yet to say. Either way, the pushy dealer shrugged it off and changed the topic when I brought it up.
 
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