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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is my first post on this forum and since I am not very familiar with it, I thought that I would ask some advice on purchasing an E39 M5. I have done some research here and see some of the things to look for like Vanos, clutch, etc.

I currently own an Acura NSX and have spent countless hours on NSXprime learning about these vehicles and have always heard great things about the M5. Since we now have a baby to consider, the NSX isn't very practical if I want to take out the family, but still want the performance of a race car and it's obvious that the M5 fits the bill. I test drove a few and loved it. I really miss the torque since the NSX has such a linear torque curve and most of it's power high in the rpm band with VTEC.

I am looking for a 2001-2002 and would consider a 2000, but I am deathly afraid of the maintenance issues that I have read here on this site. I would probably feel more comfortable with a CPO vehicle, but is that not such a big deal? Does it truly cover everything I would need to worry about except for clutch and tires?

I managed to find an 02 that has 9k miles and is completely pristine. It was owned by an older exec who barely drove it and certainly didn't track it or abuse it. (according to the salesman who originally sold and traded the vehicle in) The dealership is asking 56k for it and it is CPO, but they are willing to come down some I think. My question is what do you think would be a good price to get for an 01 or 02? Any differences between the E39 models? The sales guy said that he had never heard of any clutch problems and/or excessive wear along with any VANOS issues.

I test drove a 2000 and I think there was something wrong with the clutch as it was extremely hard to drive and the clutch would catch only after less than one inch from the floor. It was all around looser than the 02.

Any help would be appreciated as I think that 56k is way too high, but have seen them listed ALL over the place from 39k to 65k for the E39's.
 

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Of course, the salesman isn't going to tell you this particular 02 was one of the cars used in south carolina at the bmw M5 driving experience, and has been beaten on every day of it's life from 23miles on, cold or not, and it's had 7 clutches.... :1: :1: :1: I'd take anything said by a salesman with a grain of salt.
While a cpo warranty is not all inclusive, it is pretty decent coverage. Go to www.bmwusa.com for more info on what is not covered. If and when you buy, get to know your dealer and service advisor and give them some service businesss, the good will can pay off if anything questionable comes up on down the road.
Good luck with your search, in california, an 02 cpo with 9k at 56k seems like a pretty good price.
Mike

jlindy said:
I managed to find an 02 that has 9k miles and is completely pristine. It was owned by an older exec who barely drove it and certainly didn't track it or abuse it. (according to the salesman who originally sold and traded the vehicle in) The dealership is asking 56k for it and it is CPO, but they are willing to come down some I think. My question is what do you think would be a good price to get for an 01 or 02? Any differences between the E39 models? The sales guy said that he had never heard of any clutch problems and/or excessive wear along with any VANOS issues.

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Welcome aboard! Good luck with your search :byee55amg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
mottati said:
Of course, the salesman isn't going to tell you this particular 02 was one of the cars used in south carolina at the bmw M5 driving experience, and has been beaten on every day of it's life from 23miles on, cold or not, and it's had 7 clutches.... :1: :1: :1: I'd take anything said by a salesman with a grain of salt.
While a cpo warranty is not all inclusive, it is pretty decent coverage. Go to www.bmwusa.com for more info on what is not covered. If and when you buy, get to know your dealer and service advisor and give them some service businesss, the good will can pay off if anything questionable comes up on down the road.
Good luck with your search, in california, an 02 cpo with 9k at 56k seems like a pretty good price.
Mike
I agree with you there about the sales guy, but he kept on about how he personally sold the car to this guy and knew hiim well. The owner decided he wanted an X5 for his wife and traded it in. How long can I expect on a clutch with normal driving? (no tracking and not too hard on it during pleasure driving)

Since it was CPO, I thought that maybe I could lease it because it is under warranty for three years, but sales guy told me that lease's on used BMW's have terrible rates. I wouldnt' think that is completely true, but I have never leased a vehicle before.
 

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I'm considering selling my 2000 M5, Anthracite with 18,500 miles. I'm in the Chicago area...I noticed you're in St Louis. PM me or email me at [email protected] if you are interested in hearing more details about my car.

Thanks, Mike
 

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jlindy said:
I agree with you there about the sales guy, but he kept on about how he personally sold the car to this guy and knew hiim well. The owner decided he wanted an X5 for his wife and traded it in. How long can I expect on a clutch with normal driving? (no tracking and not too hard on it during pleasure driving)

Since it was CPO, I thought that maybe I could lease it because it is under warranty for three years, but sales guy told me that lease's on used BMW's have terrible rates. I wouldnt' think that is completely true, but I have never leased a vehicle before.
Welcome to the board! You will find loads of information here to help you with your purchase.

I ended up buying, but did look into leasing. What the dealer told you is partially true. Lease rates on used M5s are horrible through BMWNA but fine through independent banks. Go to leasecompare.com and check out a few rates there.

The clutch question has no real answer. Do a search, you'll find HUGE variations in clutch life that do not seem to correlate with driving styles. 20K miles to >50K and still going strong.

Good luck. I would get a CPO car if you can.
 

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Clutch wear is pretty variable. I've heard of people getting 7k miles or 70k miles. I bought my car cpo with 40k on it, and the clutch was slipping immediately. Turned out to be a leaking rear main seal, so oil was leaking on the flywheel. The whole think was covered underwarranty. I have 60k on the car now, and the clutch is pretty solid, no slip, even under hard acceleration. Unless you happen to get a unit with a defective self adjusting mechanism (just luck of the draw, i believe) and are not too abusive with hard launches, i think the stock clutch will last reasonably well (at least 50k). When my clutch was replaced, the dealer told me there was plenty of clutch material left, but it was oil soaked (at 40k miles, and with a month or so of it slipping under my ownership).

BMW lease rates will vary, depending on the car. I leased a used 98 528 back in late '00. BMW fs was having an end of year deal, and they had a special lease rate on 98-99 I6 e39s that worked out to about 1.9%, and i was able to write off a bit of it thru my business. I sold the car after 2 of the 3 years and wound up a few $k ahead, without putting any money down on the lease. On a limited production car like the M5, i doubt there are any good incentive type leases out there. I do think cpo is valuable, it's paid for itself on my car!
Mike

jlindy said:
I agree with you there about the sales guy, but he kept on about how he personally sold the car to this guy and knew hiim well. The owner decided he wanted an X5 for his wife and traded it in. How long can I expect on a clutch with normal driving? (no tracking and not too hard on it during pleasure driving)

Since it was CPO, I thought that maybe I could lease it because it is under warranty for three years, but sales guy told me that lease's on used BMW's have terrible rates. I wouldnt' think that is completely true, but I have never leased a vehicle before.
 

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Hi and welcome.

I just bought my '01 in December, 25k miles and as close to pristine as you can expect. CPO, new tires, new clutch, new brakes. Paid $51k.

I've found that buying a CPO car from a dealer you will pay a bit of a premium, but IMHO the benefits are worth the couple of grand. Be sure to leverage the dealership to include everything the car came with (tools, fresh tire goo, cargo net, flashlight, all manuals, all keys, etc.) These are things you can't get from a private party or Joe-Bob's Auto Mart. (No offense to Joe-Bob's if one really exists :) ).

That said, $56k for a super low miles '02 isn't too far off (but is probably a bit high) - provided it is super clean, smells new, and drives well. Obviously look at color/interior combinations offered to be sure it's the one you really want - it's worth much less to you if it doesn't suit your taste.

Good luck!

Paul
 

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Welcome!

There is a huge amount of info here on the resale value of the E39 M5s.... some of us have been recent shoppers, and as such could probably quote asking prices based on the various VINs seen on autotrader, etc. As a point of reference, I picked up my 03 with 16k miles for $58k in October

You're asking three different questions: 1. Is this a good price; 2. What goes wrong with different model years; 3. Do I need an extended warranty.

Lets do the last first. Can you afford to pay $3k to 20k in one shot for a rare disaster? Will you not mind, over the course of a few years, spending a few K with misc issues? Do you want to 'self insure'? I believe in extended warranties, so I bought a cpo warranty. There are better extended warranties (better coverage) but mine was cheap (around $1300, dealer cost) - I'll cover the non-coverd items that might fail out of my pocket. (I view the cpo like Major Medical) I like that BMW does the work and pays the claims.

Now to the first question. Is 56k for a 02 cpo with 9k a good deal? I've been seeing around $7-9k 'steps' for each year. If I add 7k to $56, I get an 03 for 63k with a cpo and 9k miles. OK price. A tad high, but 9k is low miles. So I would agree that 56 for the 02 is a bit high... If you want that car, you could probably offer 50 and settle on 52-53. (You're in a good place to bargain- warm climes do not see a winter price depression)

BUT, personally I would rather have the 03 for that price. An 03 with 25k and a cpo miles will be 54-57 (bargained hard)...

One word of caution- there is a pretty big disconned between KBB and the market. Edmunds has corrected their pricing a bit. Be advised that asking and selling are pretty far apart.

I snooped for 8 months, and shopped hard for 4... if you do your homework, you will be rewarded.

On reliability issues, the 00 seems to have slight issues. Statistically speaking it may be riskier. the late 01 and latter models have some changes that might be nice to have. If you are looking for electronics goodies, the 03s have the DVD nav, but you can add that to an 02 for $1500.

Do not believe A SINGLE WORD the salesmen tell you. Easier than trying to figure out if they are lying.. :)

Ard

PS Talk to the original owner- I was VERY skeptical with all the deals where I couldn't conenct with the folks that had owned the car.

PPS If you find something, post a query here- someone may know the car, or be willing to do a drive by for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all of the advice so far. I appreciate it.

Ard, do the 03's have anything else besides DVD Nav that might steer me towards an 03? What type of issues (statistically) do the 00's have vs. 01 or 02?
 

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jlindy said:
Thanks for all of the advice so far. I appreciate it.

Ard, do the 03's have anything else besides DVD Nav that might steer me towards an 03? What type of issues (statistically) do the 00's have vs. 01 or 02?
For my price range, I was looking at 2000's and 2001's. I am glad that I ultimately went with 2001, since it has a thicker steering wheel, large screen NAV, different headlight design, etc.

I was able to buy my DVD Mark IV unit and upgrade it myself (plug and play). I sold my CD Mark III on eBay, and I think the switch probably cost around $400-500.
 

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ard said:
Do not believe A SINGLE WORD the salesmen tell you. Easier than trying to figure out if they are lying.. :)

Ard
Good advice. They might not necessarily be lying, but they just might not know the history. Or, for example, it could be an "auction car" and they don't want to tell the prospective buyer - "we got it at auction with no manuals, no mats, only one key, and have no clue where it came from."

I obtained a Carfax and a BMW report that showed all the recorded servicing and technical issues on the car. I was able to compare the two and piece together a history. These are not guarantees, but along with the story, just another source of info. Of course, if you can talk to an owner, even better. Caveat emptor, as always.

Also, I bought it when it still had about 8 months left on the factory warranty, as an additional safety net. Mechanics have told me the car is solid.
 

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jlindy said:
Any help would be appreciated as I think that 56k is way too high, but have seen them listed ALL over the place from 39k to 65k for the E39's.
I noticed that you think 56k is way too high. But do you mean way too high for the E39 or just in general?

Because, the new M5 (E60) is about to be released, though in USA you have to wait another six months?!?

So, you might have a look at the E60 too? :)
 

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Statistically speaking, (on failure rates) you'd need to be BMW to answer that question. My impression is based on gleaning info from hundreds of posts here. You'll need to do some searching- use "vs" or "versus" with a few 2000, 2001, 2002s thrown in and you will find plenty. The older the car, and the more owners, the higher the chances for poor treatment- plus if you buy a car out of warranty, you are faced with aftermarket warranties and their coverage can be spotty.

AFAIK, the main differences from 2002 to 2003 are DVD nav (you can upgrade for 1500) and no rear side airbags in 2002. (Someone will chime in if this is incorrect.) There are some electronics compatability issues with older models (so that adding Sirius, Bluetooth can be more expensive. Like an extra 1-2k)

Ronin makes a good point about salesmen- my BOL, owner of a few dealerships several states away, points out that you try to keep the salesmen pretty ignorant as they cannot be trusted with facts. They may, in fact, have been given wrong info- which they are 'truthfully' relaying to you. The classic is an auction car, delivered to the lot as 'a trade in from our XYZ location'.

Have Fun

A
 

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ard said:
and no rear side airbags in 2002. (Someone will chime in if this is incorrect.)
Partially correct...they were a no-cost option that had to be specified on the order for the car in 2002. Almost all USA 2002 M5's were delivered without rear bags it seems. If the car has the rear bags, the top back corner of the door panel will have AIRBAG insignia (like the front doors) and the inside C-pillar will have HPS embossed in the material up near the light. In both 2001 and 2003 the rear side airbags (along with rear head protection bags) were standard on all cars.

Chuck
 

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In addition to the above mentioned changes in MY 2003...

The 2003 was the first MY to have the factory spare Aux Input.

good luck with your search

al
 

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Do not believe A SINGLE WORD the salesmen tell you. Easier than trying to figure out if they are lying.. :)

And sometimes the service advisors are "out to lunch". Recently, when my wife brought our '01 in for an oil change, the BMW service advisor asked her if she wanted to have the tires rotated! Our car has a stock, staggered setup. Could he have been that incompetent, or is that the kind of stuff they pull on women all the time?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
MortenDK said:
I noticed that you think 56k is way too high. But do you mean way too high for the E39 or just in general?

Because, the new M5 (E60) is about to be released, though in USA you have to wait another six months?!?

So, you might have a look at the E60 too? :)
I meant that 56k is out of my budget and a little high for what I would pay for a 2002 E39. I love the power of the E60, but I prefer the looks of the E39's. I'm not a big fan of the idrive either. Before I can do anything, I have to sell my NSX which shouldn't take long if I get serious becasue it is in amazing condition.
 
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