BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am wondering if it is better to buy a M5 with lower mileage (in 8/10 overall condition with < 80K miles), or should I get one that has around 100K miles with more maintenance done that is in similar condition? In other words, would you sacrifice 10-30K miles on an equal appearing car (in terms of paint, interior condition, body, wheels etc) that has done stuff such as: radiator/cooling system, clutch, suspension, fuel pump and so forth? I am looking for a lower mileage car and will have around $8k to keep to the side for unforeseen repairs and maintenance. Or should I take that extra $8K and put it on top of the $22K I have to spend on the car? Lots of confusing questions but this the only place I can get a solid answer. Thanks in advance.

Z
:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
whatever your heart chose

when i buy my car i follow my heart. no logic. if i like the color, how it drives, sound, handle, smell then i buy it. don't care about milage
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,617 Posts
Personally, anything sub 100k miles that has had a lot of the major work done to it (suspension, seals, under hood bits, drive train bits, etc) AND still has good condition paint is what I would shoot for. You should be able to pick up a nice car for $22k -- $8k for incidentals will get you a long way.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,793 Posts
Buy low and more $$$ or low and less $$. Spend the money on maintenance items on high milage one, it isn't hard. Or buy close to mint and enjoy @ higher $$$
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
749 Posts
Maintenance and condition over miles. Mine today at 89k is in much better condition, especially mechanically, than it was 5 years ago at 66k. And it took a good (bad) amount of money to get it there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chuffykow

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
I'm in the same boat

Maintenance and condition over miles. Mine today at 89k is in much better condition, especially mechanically, than it was 5 years ago at 66k. And it took a good (bad) amount of money to get it there.
I got my car ~18 months ago with around 115k miles on it and have put a lot of $, time, and effort into getting it right. And now at around 145k on the clock, I'm about to sell it (after I get the radiator replaced.)

Only major items left to do would be a rear suspension refresh (links/arms/bushings), coil overs, and eventually the clutch and rear main seal (for when the clutch eventually goes.) But I've done a ton of other stuff, like hood and trunk struts, replaced some plastics, fixed rear-view mirrors, new suspension mounts up front, front suspension refresh (links/arms/bushings) timing chain tensioner, replaced door handles, etc. Finding a car where the little stuff isn't neglected can be a big deal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
749 Posts
suspension refresh (links/arms/bushings)
Not trying to get too off-topic here, but what is the purpose of replacing the links and arms? I just replaced my thrust arms, but that's only because they came with new thrust arm bushings and ball joints already pressed in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Maintenance and condition over miles. Mine today at 89k is in much better condition, especially mechanically, than it was 5 years ago at 66k. And it took a good (bad) amount of money to get it there.
It's not always easy to tell how a car was cared for but when you come across a car like BEASTMW's you know you're getting great specimen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,337 Posts
I am wondering if it is better to buy a M5 with lower mileage (in 8/10 overall condition with < 80K miles), or should I get one that has around 100K miles with more maintenance done that is in similar condition? In other words, would you sacrifice 10-30K miles on an equal appearing car (in terms of paint, interior condition, body, wheels etc) that has done stuff such as: radiator/cooling system, clutch, suspension, fuel pump and so forth? I am looking for a lower mileage car and will have around $8k to keep to the side for unforeseen repairs and maintenance. Or should I take that extra $8K and put it on top of the $22K I have to spend on the car? Lots of confusing questions but this the only place I can get a solid answer. Thanks in advance.

Z
:confused:
How soon are you going to be looking? I'm going to put mine up for sale probably by June/July. I'm close and might have what your looking for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
That is right around the time frame I am thinking I will be hopefully making a purchase. I was hoping to find something I like between now and September. I see a lot of nice looking M5s out there on cars.com and autotrader, and here on the forum, but most are 1200+ miles away. I have seen some on craigslist, but you know that goes, and they are either beat up looking or high mileage and most are in LA. I saw a guy on the forum here who bought a M5 out of santa rosa...I was eyeing it too..lol. Got to love a California car. Thanks for all the input. Any pictures of that car you are possibly putting up for sale GBPackerfan1963 ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Oops..I realized I could look at your profile to see the pics. I am new to this forum and forgot I could possibly see them in your profile. Sorry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,337 Posts
Oops..I realized I could look at your profile to see the pics. I am new to this forum and forgot I could possibly see them in your profile. Sorry
No problem. All my mods are in my signature. Just so you know as everyone who has been on the forum for awhile, I don't baby my M5. I drive it like I stole it pretty much every day (as least a little bit). I haven't and do not have any Vanos issues. I stay on top of preventative maintenance issues. I run my Peake reader about once a month to check on codes. She is not a garage queen, even though she looks like one.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at gbpackerfan1963 at me dot com.
 
  • Like
Reactions: huckleberry65

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
From past experience, be very cautious buying a high mile example unless you have a enthusiast owner who has a vast history of what work has been done. These are some of the most costly cars to fix if you don't have mechanical expertise (like myself) and have to pay someone to fix her. Preventive maintenance is imperative with this car and that alone isn't cheap. My first time around I started with a 77k mile 2001 for $18K about 5 years ago with very little history. She made it to 105k miles before I let her go. I had a huge investment in a high mileage car. This time around I've purchased a much lower mile example for a more money but my hope is that I'll get a less costly run out of her. We'll see. My point being, with these cars "cheap" can be very expensive. What you save early on, you may pay twofold later to repair. This forum will be very expensive too as you will learn to fear just about everything happening you read about on here. That being said, this site will literally save you thousands in costs if you take the time to do the homework necessary with these cars. This is one of the most helpful groups of enthusiasts around and we've all learned the hard way. Learn from others mistakes so you don't make the same. Good luck with your search!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,632 Posts
I would second the idea of condition before mileage. I bought mine from a BMW dealer (so no history, other than warrantee) with 114,00x miles. In the 2.5 years and 4x,xxx miles that I've owned the beast, I have spent about 2K on maintenance and repairs (fuel door corrosion, etc.). And about 4K on items to make me happy (info-tainment mostly).

I know of at least one current owner who having bought a low mileage example, and, well $20k+ in repairs and maintenance later, it is still not right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Agree with everyone else here: condition > mileage. Another thing to watch out for is all the rubber bits. Bushings will go bad with years of heating and cooling, and these cars have them everywhere. If someone has taken care of a bunch of the various bushings around the car in recent years (control arms, transmission/exhaust support, etc...), that will save you a ton of cash/effort in the first couple years of ownership.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
I happen to agree with condition over mileage. But even though the PPI looked good, and the car was clean and appeared maintained (with maintenance history), there's still a LOT that can happy. Especially if you're trying to restore your car to like-new condition. Here's my story:

Purchase Date: 11/2012
Purchase Price: $16,5
Purchase Mileage: 116k
Options: M-Audio, no folding seats, no rear sunshade, carbon black exterior, black interior.
PPI: Needs new rear right wishbone, fan clutch, slight leak on diff input seal, some paint imperfection, new power steering hoses, new belts. Engine, and spinny bits all seemed good. No rust.

Things I've either done myself, or had done in the last 18 months:
*belts
*PS hoses
*all front and rear suspension arms and links because all bushings ended up dried/torn in the first year.
*new windshield trim
*spark plugs
*fuel filter
*wheel refinishing
*instrument cluster repair
*paint correction + opticoat
*paintless dent repair
*both pre-cat O2 sensors
*new hood emblem
*new ///M color sticker for rear M5 logo
*new air filters
*new rear door vapor barriers
*new battery
*new intensive washer pump [cracked and leaking]
*replaced misc bulbs
*new AC control unit
*new front driver wheel liner (pork chop)
*misc stuff I might have forgotten to type while looking through my spreadsheets.
Parts total: $3,573.75 Labor total: $3,376.00 Sum Total: $7,436.23 including 7% FL sales tax.

Additionally about $1k in audio upgrades and misc creature comforts.

So to sum up: I now have a 135k mile car that has cost me (including purchase) about $24k out of pocket in the last 1.5 years.

Could I have bought a $25k M5 with lower mileage in better condition? Sure. But I now know the pedigree and history of damned near everything in my car. It looks amazing, it drives amazing, it sounds pretty good and I can't imagine what car I would replace it with. Is it worth it? To me, yes. There's no new car for $25k that has the unique mix of class, comfort, performance and prestige as the e39 M5.

It's not like ANYONE should be surprised that it's not trivial to maintain an old German car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
I'd second condition over mileage. In your case is rather but higher mileage for a documented car.
I bought mine with 116k miles and haven't had to do much (except a suspension refresh and valve covers when purchased). At 132k now with no issues since purchase but an original alternator I replaced.

And to answer an earlier question about why to replace the control arms-the bushings need replacing around 100k miles or so and the arm has to be replaced. You can't just do the bushings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
From past experience, be very cautious buying a high mile example unless you have a enthusiast owner who has a vast history of what work has been done. These are some of the most costly cars to fix if you don't have mechanical expertise (like myself) and have to pay someone to fix her. Preventive maintenance is imperative with this car and that alone isn't cheap. My first time around I started with a 77k mile 2001 for $18K about 5 years ago with very little history. She made it to 105k miles before I let her go. I had a huge investment in a high mileage car. This time around I've purchased a much lower mile example for a more money but my hope is that I'll get a less costly run out of her. We'll see. My point being, with these cars "cheap" can be very expensive. What you save early on, you may pay twofold later to repair. This forum will be very expensive too as you will learn to fear just about everything happening you read about on here. That being said, this site will literally save you thousands in costs if you take the time to do the homework necessary with these cars. This is one of the most helpful groups of enthusiasts around and we've all learned the hard way. Learn from others mistakes so you don't make the same. Good luck with your search!
Plenty of good sense here^^^^^

A lot depends on what sort of owner you intend to be. There'll will be those who drive their car hard, do minimal maintenance, plan to spend little money (but have a few unexpected & maybe costly breakdowns?) then sell it on having ticked the M5-thing on their car bucket list. At the other end of the spectrum are those who buy into an M5 planning long term ownership. Long term ownership will mean expense if you want your car to be reliable AND preserve the unique driving dynamics of these vehicles: if you want both characteristics you will suffer serious and sustained wallet damage.

If you fall into the long term ownership demographic, whether you intend to buy high miler or low miler, you need to go into the whole M5 ownership thing with eyes wide open + have a big 'war chest' of money to do immediate servicing/maintenance as well as longer term preventative maintenance. I bought 78k mile 2001 model last August, was the best one I could find (and it was good) and paid top money, since then I've spent £6k on 'over the horizon' maintenance. Yes, I'm in it for the long term.

It's not all bad news! Everyone agrees that the car is an amazing drive but the E39 M5 is a robust and durable machine: 200k miles is not unheard of. (It can also be a reliable one if you spend the money on proper maintenance). How many Maseratis/Ferraris/Lambos/Astons/TVRs of the same vintage will reach similar high mileages, even with no-expense-spared servicing etc? If you do keep on top of the maintenance and show some mechanical sympathy then this iteration of the M5 will go the distance.

I considered buying a Porsche 911 (993) Carrera 2 Coupe and an Aston Martin V8 Vantage (model year 2005) before I settled on the M5. Yes, a much bigger price ticket for those two buying used compared to an E39 M5, but they ain't cheap to run or maintain either (you really need a mortgage just to run an Aston in the UK). Owning a not-that-old TVR would also be a financially ruinous experience because of their poor reliability and associated running cost issues.

For similar (probably better?) performance the E39 M5 isn't that expensive to own in comparison to the above. The Beast is a super car, not base-model Honda Civic, so it's unrealistic to expect bargain basement running costs.

Best money-saving advice is to stay away from franchised BMW dealers for maintenance/servicing and find a good independent specialist.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
749 Posts
And to answer an earlier question about why to replace the control arms-the bushings need replacing around 100k miles or so and the arm has to be replaced. You can't just do the bushings.
You can indeed have the bushings pressed out and new ones pressed in - search for X5 thrust arm bushings, that's how it's usually done. Unless you're talking about the ball joints.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top