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Hey everyone, I just joined the forum as I'm contemplating buying an E60 M5. I've been reading a lot of the information here and learning where I can, but I have a few questions I wonder if you all can share your experience on.

I'm looking at the E60 M5 and one of the concerns I have is potential repair costs and down time. I've read quite a bit about SMG issues, engine rod bearings, and the like. But reading it can make it seem like any M5 is doomed to lifetime of trouble! I know from past vehicles that sometimes problems can appear overblown if you spend too much time on message boards because the owners there are so focused in on their vehicles. So I'd like to ask this:

I'll be looking for a SMG vehicle with 40k or less miles on it - it will be a daily driver for me with no backup car to get to work. Can you share your experiences of what issues you had with your M5 in the first 50k-60k miles and how many different times you were unable to drive it, and for how many days the down time lasted? Order of magnitude of yearly costs for fixes would be great too if you are comfortable sharing that. (If your answers are "I never had issues like that" please share that too!!)

I have some other questions, but the above is the most critical to me. I'll chime in with some other questions if there is enough interest in participating! Thanks in advance to anyone who shares!
 

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Find a one owner, west coast, low mileage car. I've had mine for 11 months. my commute is 50ft from my bedroom so I can't really comment on daily driving. if I had to commute into downtown Houston from Katy, sugar land, the woodlands, etc I'd find another car to daily drive or go with a manual. Houston traffic is the pits. during my search I came across a lot of m5's listed 4sale in Houston by boutique/used car dealers. When I dug deeper, I found that they were all 2-4 owner cars. Look at carmax, bmwcca.org classifieds, private 1-2 owner ads. Carmax warranty is bulletproof.

Jcolley is selling his car. It has a few miles, but it's sorted and ready for a new owner.

I've only dropped coin on maintenance so far. However, Po did have some work done on the smg.


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Bought mine at 37k miles and now have 54k. Only Alternator and battery so far (bought alternator and paid to have someone put in, bought battery, put it in and registered it myself all for under 920 bucks). It was my daily driver, but just bought a new car today to handle daily driving duties so I can save the M5 for occasional drives. Around 60K you might want to change rod bearings. Right now till next summer I have at least 4800 in maintenance to do including rod bearings, brakes/rotors, SMG fluid change, and new tires next summer. Gas will be your biggest expense if you drive in stop and go traffic. If you get your own oil and filter, and pay a place to change your oil you might only spend $82 - 98 bucks for an oil change. Count on .1 quart being burned every 100 miles or so. Yes if things go south it can leave you with a 4k repair bill (clutch), but I am on the original clutch, and I think it has a good life ahead of it. If you are constantly flooring it from a dead stop your clutch will most likely wear quickly. I have only floored it from a dead stop maybe 4 times, and have never used launch control. It may be a 25K car now, but still can command big $$$ to maintain. Realize that if you can diagnose stuff and buy the parts, you save on the 100-300% markup of parts a shop or dealer charge. Definitely get software and diagnostic cable to pull/clear your own codes if you decide to get one.
 

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My clutch went out around 48k miles which I think is the normal life of the clutch system. They are not as expensive as you may think, Bimmerzone has good pricing on them when the time comes, around $1600.

The concern that people have on the SMG is the red cog of death but again that is really a replacement SMG hydraulic unit which hopefully comes down in price again around $3500. Mine lasted 100k before going out so don't be afraid of going forward with a purchase.

Just remember that no part on a car lasts forever.

Lastly SMGs are faster than a 6MT and that's all that counts in the end LOL!!
 
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DinanS2+ e60m5 6MT, s38b38 e28m5 TT/ST3, e30 TT/ST4
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My experience has been pretty uneventful for the last 80,000 miles of my ownership. I have NEVER seen a RCOD :rofl:. My e60 m5 is my daily long haul commuter, but much of my commute is normally 50' to my office.

With that said, I am either on the road (not including my other vehicles) 20,000 to 30,000 miles a year AND flying 100,000+ miles a year. The other day, I drove 560 miles in a day for a lunch meeting in Vegas. I also regularly commute up to the Bay Area and Phoenix, instead of flying. Flying 100,000 miles a year in First Class pales in comparison to piloting an m5 across our Western coastlines, deserts, and mountains. Many times, I'd much rather drive, than fly. And I would not drive, if I didn't trust my m5.

Regarding cost of ownership and maintenance...it will be expensive. My rule of thumb for ///m ownership: I slash old school maintenance intervals in half. I replace my oil every 3000 miles and before/after every track session. In the last 80,000 miles, almost all of my rubber bushings, wheel bearings, control arms have been replaced once, if not twice, as part of routine maintenance. I've replaced my battery, alternator, belts, hoses , oil cooler, and power steering pump. When you are under your car every 3,000 miles, you notice things, at least I do. When you notice things, you can address them, long before maintenance gets out of control.

I let my warranty expire at 50,000 miles, which was 58,000 miles ago. I didn't feel I needed it because 1) I have a 6 speed, and 2) all the maintenance I performed was not covered. I replaced my rod bearings as preventive maintenance 24,000 miles ago. My clutch was replaced 90,000 miles ago -- by the previous owner.

My e60 has never left me stranded. Came close...once...The only time I was without this m5: when my Dinan 3.91 diff blew up (whole other story).

My best advice, don't concern yourself with the years or miles. Focus on the owner/seller. There are a few of us on this board and on another board, where we buy/sell high end watches. The motto is: Buy the seller first, then buy the watch. Documented papers and service history are just the start of the due diligence when investing in a watch. The same can be applied to purchasing a car. I found two of my m5s from members on this Board. There is NO WAY I would buy an m5 off a lot -- maybe a BMW dealership.

Check out our classifieds...jcolley probably has one of the most documented 2006 examples you can find.

Good luck in your search.

And yes, SMGs are faster than 6MTs at draining your wallet if you don't have a warranty.:tonquesmilie:
 
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My experience has been pretty uneventful for the last 80,000 miles of my ownership. I have NEVER seen a RCOD :rofl:. My e60 m5 is my daily long haul commuter, but much of my commute is normally 50' to my office.

With that said, I am either on the road (not including my other vehicles) 20,000 to 30,000 miles a year AND flying 100,000+ miles a year. The other day, I drove 560 miles in a day for a lunch meeting in Vegas. I also regularly commute up to the Bay Area and Phoenix, instead of flying. Flying 100,000 miles a year in First Class pales in comparison to piloting an m5 across our Western coastlines, deserts, and mountains. Many times, I'd much rather drive, than fly. And I would not drive, if I didn't trust my m5.

Regarding cost of ownership and maintenance...it will be expensive. My rule of thumb for ///m ownership: I slash old school maintenance intervals in half. I replace my oil every 3000 miles and before/after every track session. In the last 80,000 miles, almost all of my rubber bushings, wheel bearings, control arms have been replaced once, if not twice, as part of routine maintenance. I've replaced my battery, alternator, belts, hoses , oil cooler, and power steering pump. When you are under your car every 3,000 miles, you notice things, at least I do. When you notice things, you can address them, long before maintenance gets out of control.

I let my warranty expire at 50,000 miles, which was 58,000 miles ago. I didn't feel I needed it because 1) I have a 6 speed, and 2) all the maintenance I performed was not covered. I replaced my rod bearings as preventive maintenance 24,000 miles ago. My clutch was replaced 90,000 miles ago -- by the previous owner.

My e60 has never left me stranded. Came close...once...The only time I was without this m5: when my Dinan 3.91 diff blew up (whole other story).

My best advice, don't concern yourself with the years or miles. Focus on the owner/seller. There are a few of us on this board and on another board, where we buy/sell high end watches. The motto is: Buy the seller first, then buy the watch. Documented papers and service history are just the start of the due diligence when investing in a watch. The same can be applied to purchasing a car. I found two of my m5s from members on this Board. There is NO WAY I would buy an m5 off a lot -- maybe a BMW dealership.

Check out our classifieds...jcolley probably has one of the most documented 2006 examples you can find.

Good luck in your search.

And yes, SMGs are faster than 6MTs at draining your wallet if you don't have a warranty.:tonquesmilie:
Tisk tisk Woody....stay slow and leave the fast cars alone hiha
 

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Tisk tisk Woody....stay slow and leave the fast cars alone hiha
:king3: :imnotworthy: hihahiha

Driving a slow car fast is a lot more fun than driving a fast car slow.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Some great input here, please keep it coming!

Any advice on year model variations I should know about, or items i should inspect when looking at cars for sale?
 

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I'll be looking for a SMG vehicle with 40k or less miles on it - it will be a daily driver for me with no backup car to get to work.
In a word, you're nuts for considering this car in your situation. Unless, you are replacing some other exotic daily commuter (Ferrari?, Lamborghini?)! You don't say what you'll be replacing. You can't get more exotic than Formula-1 derived V-10 and 7-speed SMG. With that comes finicky (fussy about one's needs or requirements) behavior. There's a steep learning curve with these cars in terms of driving responses and maintenance requirements. Wait until your situation allows you own a true exotic car under the right conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In a word, you're nuts for considering this car in your situation. Unless, you are replacing some other exotic daily commuter (Ferrari?, Lamborghini?)! You don't say what you'll be replacing. You can't get more exotic than Formula-1 derived V-10 and 7-speed SMG. With that comes finicky (fussy about one's needs or requirements) behavior. There's a steep learning curve with these cars in terms of driving responses and maintenance requirements. Wait until your situation allows you own a true exotic car under the right conditions.
Thanks for the response. I'm replacing an SRT8 Jeep with a 7.2L high compression stroker and huge cam. It is a beast that surges, shakes like crazy at idle, sometimes stalls, took me a year to tune properly (while being DD'd the whole time), etc. It is far more powerful than the M5 so I'm not too worried about that aspect. In terms of actually driving, I think of the M5 as a refined, conservative vehicle, not exotic. The M5 will have far better handling, control, and manners. I am worried about having a vehicle that may not always be operable or that costs a fortune because it needs major repairs often (this gets to your point on maintenance).

Have you had specific issues with your car that make you rule it out as a daily driver?
 

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Thanks for the response. I'm replacing an SRT8 Jeep with a 7.2L high compression stroker and huge cam. It is a beast that surges, shakes like crazy at idle, sometimes stalls, took me a year to tune properly (while being DD'd the whole time), etc. It is far more powerful than the M5 so I'm not too worried about that aspect. In terms of actually driving, I think of the M5 as a refined, conservative vehicle, not exotic. The M5 will have far better handling, control, and manners. I am worried about having a vehicle that may not always be operable or that costs a fortune because it needs major repairs often (this gets to your point on maintenance).

Have you had specific issues with your car that make you rule it out as a daily driver?
The only thing that rules mine out as a daily is MPG :dunno: but it is not like it came as a surprise.
 
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Thanks for the response. I'm replacing an SRT8 Jeep with a 7.2L high compression stroker and huge cam. It is a beast that surges, shakes like crazy at idle, sometimes stalls, took me a year to tune properly (while being DD'd the whole time), etc. It is far more powerful than the M5 so I'm not too worried about that aspect. In terms of actually driving, I think of the M5 as a refined, conservative vehicle, not exotic. The M5 will have far better handling, control, and manners. I am worried about having a vehicle that may not always be operable or that costs a fortune because it needs major repairs often (this gets to your point on maintenance).

Have you had specific issues with your car that make you rule it out as a daily driver?
I would consider the E60 M5 as an unreliable DD, you might go 2 years without problems but most cars have problems.
I have had mine 18 months and had the following:
Idrive (this was broken when I bought the car, but still)
Throttle actuators
New Engine
Throttle actuators again
13,000kms driving.

I wouldnt call it the best DD to have, maybe I had bad luck. But with 90,000km on the car when I bought it, it should still be in good shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I would consider the E60 M5 as an unreliable DD, you might go 2 years without problems but most cars have problems.
I have had mine 18 months and had the following:
Idrive (this was broken when I bought the car, but still)
Throttle actuators
New Engine
Throttle actuators again
13,000kms driving.

I wouldnt call it the best DD to have, maybe I had bad luck. But with 90,000km on the car when I bought it, it should still be in good shape.
Great info, thank you. How much down time did all that result in?
 

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Idrive 10 days
Actuators 8 days
Engine 10 weeks (warranty job, original idny f*cked me about) once the engine was here and they started, 10 days start to finish and 1 day was lost to me gutting the front cats.

Most of the time its time ordering parts from the states which takes time.
 

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In a word, you're nuts for considering this car in your situation. Unless, you are replacing some other exotic daily commuter (Ferrari?, Lamborghini?)! You don't say what you'll be replacing. You can't get more exotic than Formula-1 derived V-10 and 7-speed SMG. With that comes finicky (fussy about one's needs or requirements) behavior. There's a steep learning curve with these cars in terms of driving responses and maintenance requirements. Wait until your situation allows you own a true exotic car under the right conditions.

I couldn't agree more. As my sole transport, hell no. Regardless of the cost of fuel, I would hate stopping every other day to fill up.
 

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I would like to add it also depends on how much you drive daily as I now only drive 16 miles a day so I don't think it would be a bad daily driver now compared to a few months back when my commute was 132 miles a day.

Also in the 65k miles I have added since ownership I have only had 2 throttle actuators replaced and the SMG unit......not bad considering what others have gone through.

Al the other parts I have added was of my own choice :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I would like to add it also depends on how much you drive daily as I now only drive 16 miles a day so I don't think it would be a bad daily driver now compared to a few months back when my commute was 132 miles a day.

Also in the 65k miles I have added since ownership I have only had 2 throttle actuators replaced and the SMG unit......not bad considering what others have gone through.

Al the other parts I have added was of my own choice :)
That is about the length of my commute - 12 - 15 miles or so each way. I usually put 10k miles or less on a vehicle per year.

Question: The issues you has with throttle actuators, does that immobilize the vehicle or can you still get to work that day if it happens first thing in the morning?

How about Vanos problems (btw, what the hell does the Vanos system do anyway)? Do those cause the vehicle to be undriveable?
 

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That is about the length of my commute - 12 - 15 miles or so each way. I usually put 10k miles or less on a vehicle.

Question: The issues you has with throttle actuators, does that immobilize the vehicle or can you still get to work that day if it happens first thing in the morning?

How about Vanos problems (btw, what the hell does the Vanos system do anyway)? Do those cause the vehicle to be undriveable?
Throttle actuators will reduce power to a set rpm like 2500 (limp mode or whatever you want to call it), it is a pain to drive and picks up speed slowly but is drivable, I had it occur on the way back home and cruised 65 miles with no issues.

Vanos issue is something I have never had so can't comment on but a search on here should yield a plethora of info on the subject.
 
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