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Discussion Starter #1
Test drove a 2000 M5 with 82,000 miles today. It was the first one I've ever driven and I have a few questions.

1. First off there was more play in the steering than I thought, Could this be the Thrust arm bushings I've read about? How costly is that?

2. The trip comp thing under the speedo/odometer, I pressed both buttons numerous times and nothing happened? How does that work?

3. Obviously cup holders were broken. Can they be replaced?

4. It was extremely hard to get the trunk to open, The button inside wouldnt work and i had to put the key in the trunk and turn it random ways while pulling up on the button by the lisence plate. How is it supposed to work?

5. The drivers power fold mirror tries to fold out too far and it just keeps clicking?

6. The seat heaters wouldnt stay on. The lights would illuminate for a second then shut off?

7. My friend in the backseat noticed a squeaking noise. I didnt hear it. Is there any common noises that would come from the rear? Do these have crappy RSM's and RTAB's like the E46?


Any help is appreciated, My main concern is the steering. I know it wont be as direct as the E46 M3 I drove but It definitely has too much slop/play in it.
 

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Hello,

Some answers for you:

1) There should be no play in the steering; seems awfully low miles to have sloppy steering. I seem to remember getting my thrust arm bushings replaced, might have been causing a brake wobble if I remember, but the steering was never sloppy. Not particularly expensive to replace bushings.

2) The display is toggled by pressing the button on the edge of the indicator stalk inwards. The values are reset in the computer mode of the nav screen. You can choose which of the values are displayed on the OBD via the secret menus. More of that when you've bought a car!

3) They do break easily; not actually sure how easy they are to replace.

4) The trunk should open very easily if you push the button above the numberplate unless it is locked, should always open using the button in the footwell.

5) The mirror does not sound healthy at all. It shouldn't do that.

6) As above, it shouldn't do that. When you turn it on, it should stay on until you turn it off.

7) The rear sway bar brackets sometimes break, often cause a knocking sound over bumps.


Sounds a bit of a substandard car to me mate; hopefully your next experience will be better! There are plenty of good ones around.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello,

Some answers for you:

1) There should be no play in the steering; seems awfully low miles to have sloppy steering. I seem to remember getting my thrust arm bushings replaced, might have been causing a brake wobble if I remember, but the steering was never sloppy. Not particularly expensive to replace bushings.

2) The display is toggled by pressing the button on the edge of the indicator stalk inwards. The values are reset in the computer mode of the nav screen. You can choose which of the values are displayed on the OBD via the secret menus. More of that when you've bought a car!

3) They do break easily; not actually sure how easy they are to replace.

4) The trunk should open very easily if you push the button above the numberplate unless it is locked, should always open using the button in the footwell.

5) The mirror does not sound healthy at all. It shouldn't do that.

6) As above, it shouldn't do that. When you turn it on, it should stay on until you turn it off.

7) The rear sway bar brackets sometimes break, often cause a knocking sound over bumps.


Sounds a bit of a substandard car to me mate; hopefully your next experience will be better! There are plenty of good ones around.

Thanks a lot, seems to be a lot of little problems. Price is 15000, haven't found anything else within 500 miles that's under 18
 

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Thanks a lot, seems to be a lot of little problems. Price is 15000, haven't found anything else within 500 miles that's under 18

Without sounding like a snob, if you do not recognize the value in spending a few thousand more on a $15k car to avoid some very expensive issues, you should reconsider the M5.

Spend $1000 on the suspension, $400 on the mirror, 200 on the trunk, 1200 on new seats, 600 on the pixels/display.... there you go.

I know folks selling very nice, well sorted cars, and they deal with tire kickers saying "there's one for $15000, your price is too high"...there is a reason the market values cars without issues...those issues cost money to fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I see where youre coming from but I would rather buy one a little below my budget so I have some cushion money for when something does go wrong. Anyway, the cluster is $299 to fix at vdorepair.com, everything else is just parts and my time. I realize these cars are expensive and WILL have problems. There just isn't anything worth looking at within 600 miles or so. I'm getting tired of waiting its been 3 or 4 months. I check ebay, autotrader, m5board, bfc, even craigslist.
 

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All BMWs are quite expensive to maintain, but well worth the fun! If you look at Bimmer or Roundel mags, you'll find some that are really decent and fairly priced.
 

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I see where youre coming from but I would rather buy one a little below my budget so I have some cushion money for when something does go wrong. Anyway, the cluster is $299 to fix at vdorepair.com, everything else is just parts and my time. I realize these cars are expensive and WILL have problems. There just isn't anything worth looking at within 600 miles or so. I'm getting tired of waiting its been 3 or 4 months. I check ebay, autotrader, m5board, bfc, even craigslist.
Im not sure im understanding you. You want to buy a car for cheap that has a lot of issues that already need to be fixed, so you have a cushion for when something goes wrong? Because the gauge is easy to fix and everything else is just "parts and time?" EVERYTHING is parts and time! You are looking at several thousand dollars in potential repairs, ASSUMING you noticed everything wrong with it now and assuming it has no other problems crop up in the immediate future. The gauge is the LEAST of your issues, you didnt even mention it needed pixel repair you just mentioned you didnt know how to use the computer function. Squeeking suspension noise and play in steering are both going to be necessary and expensive fixes.

When you BUY a cheap M5, something WILL be wrong with it. That is waht we are trying to tell you. If you cant afford 18K and a "cushion" then you probably cant afford an M5 right now. Cold, but true. At the VERY LEAST, you have a LOT more research to do before you should seriously look at an M5.

Not to mention someone driving around with broken suspension and loose steering probably doesnt care much for other regular maintence, much less preventative maintence. Doesnt seem like a good M5 to me
 

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One more thing: before you buy, ask the dealer to let you take the vehicle to an independent technician for a pre-purchase inspection. What you've found so far may just be the tip of the iceberg - be VERY thorough and don't jump into it!
 

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I see where youre coming from but I would rather buy one a little below my budget so I have some cushion money for when something does go wrong. Anyway, the cluster is $299 to fix at vdorepair.com, everything else is just parts and my time. I realize these cars are expensive and WILL have problems. There just isn't anything worth looking at within 600 miles or so. I'm getting tired of waiting its been 3 or 4 months. I check ebay, autotrader, m5board, bfc, even craigslist.
Good luck with the hunt. 3-4 months? :) I spent 9 months on the M5 and the TT.

Remember to ask the board for input if you find one, odds are you'll get inputs- also once you need a PPI, ask for a member to recommend a local shop (dealers are often really poor on PPIs)
 

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When you BUY a cheap M5, something WILL be wrong with it. That is waht we are trying to tell you. If you cant afford 18K and a "cushion" then you probably cant afford an M5 right now. Cold, but true. At the VERY LEAST, you have a LOT more research to do before you should seriously look at an M5.
IMO the OP appears to be doing his research and is being sensible in allocating a chunk of his total budget to fix immediate issues. Pretty much every car out there will need money spent, not just the cheap ones. An 18k car will not be guaranteed to be free of issues and a 15k one isn't guaranteed to be a lemon.

Having said that, this particular example sounds fairly poor and I would be looking elsewhere for my 15k - the good cheap cars are out there if you look hard.
 

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Test drove a 2000 M5 with 82,000 miles today. It was the first one I've ever driven and I have a few questions.

1. First off there was more play in the steering than I thought, Could this be the Thrust arm bushings I've read about? How costly is that?

2. The trip comp thing under the speedo/odometer, I pressed both buttons numerous times and nothing happened? How does that work?

3. Obviously cup holders were broken. Can they be replaced?

4. It was extremely hard to get the trunk to open, The button inside wouldnt work and i had to put the key in the trunk and turn it random ways while pulling up on the button by the lisence plate. How is it supposed to work?

5. The drivers power fold mirror tries to fold out too far and it just keeps clicking?

6. The seat heaters wouldnt stay on. The lights would illuminate for a second then shut off?

7. My friend in the backseat noticed a squeaking noise. I didnt hear it. Is there any common noises that would come from the rear? Do these have crappy RSM's and RTAB's like the E46?


Any help is appreciated, My main concern is the steering. I know it wont be as direct as the E46 M3 I drove but It definitely has too much slop/play in it.
1. The steering feels far looser than on an M3. There really is no comparison at all. Try another M5 to see if it feels the same. Did you turn Sports on to stiffen the steering? Brake reaction bushes don't affect steering.

2. Press the OBC button on the end of the left stalk to switch between the options. If you are talking about pixels missing on the dash, then thats a repair job although I wouldn't pay $299 for it (paid £80 here in the UK)

3. Don't bother. I bought the cubby hole for £5 for the rears and I never use the fronts. They don't function and if you go fast around a corner, whatever drink you have will fall out.

4. There should be a boot/trunk release on the key. If the button isn't working on the drivers side then thats an issue. The boot lock can often be stiff due to lack of use.

5. I've seen this before, its a broken cog I think in the mirror. Can be left but if you keep using it eventually the mirror will give out and no longer fold at all, or be folded and not fold back down.

6. YellowGixer on here had that problem I believe, can't remember the solution.

7. They can squeak, RTAB's are not a problem on M5's

The advice of members on here suggesting to buy a car in better nick have a point. I understand you wanting to hold an amount of money back and its a good idea certainly but don't feel that you can just solve it with parts. Whilst this is true, some of the parts are enormous amounts of money and you would be far better getting a car that did not need such things. Its certainly recommended to get the most expensive car you can. I always budget for a set of Pilot Sport 2's and a clutch which in the UK is about £1500 ($2500) and thats before anything breaks.

They don't all cost lots of money to run, I run mine of very little by fixing everything myself. But I had an oil leak on a previous car once and it took BMW 4 weeks and £2,000 to fix it.
 

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Only thing I'll comment on is the steering: an m5 has solid, hefty steering with moderate "feel". It's well dampened in my opinion, but not at all like an m3 or Evo or something truly built for the track.

If it feels loose, consider the condition of the tires. Were they new high performance tires? Was this a car where you feel the pressures would've been dialed in and checked recently?

Bad bushings and such usually lead to vibrations in the steering because everything is not tight and snugged up. If there was no vibrations, but the steering felt "loose", I'd expect it to either be your subjective feeling or tire related. On the "feeling" side, a recirculating ball like this has alot different feel...personally, I like the heft and solidity.
 

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In addition to all these small things you need to consider important things like previous maintainence history. If the car needs tires, brakes, spark plugs, fuel filter, etc. etc. it will add up to another couple thousand very quickly, and thats just so you can drive it!

Personally, I would pass on that one and keep looking in your budget. One will come up. All those small things wrong shows the previous owner didnt care enough to spend money to keep it nice. It is also very advisable to drive at least one other M5 if you were set on this one. You need a baseline to compare driving quality.

I paid 13,XXX for my 2000 because it has high miles. It was also a one owner car with pretty good maintainence records and no indication it was ever tracked, raced, or excessively beat on. I spent 4 or 5 months looking for the right car.

Good luck, and don't lose hope!
 

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I would walk away from that one as well. That many questions makes me wonder what is still hidden.

Do not get anything without a PPI. Mine cost about $180 and the issues that were found were fixed by the dealer and would have cost me much more than the inspection.

I just had the pixels done. I dropped the car off, went to Mexico for two weeks and picked it up today. $419CAN. Not cheap but worth it to me. No fuss, and since they kept it in their shop, no worries about the car doing a runner while I was gone.
 

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Top tip, try to look for an 01- up m5. Since the 2000 was the first of the e39 m5 (well 99 speaking) to come out it tends to have more problems than the 01 + m5's from my experience and from friends experience as well. The piston ring design wasnt that good which ment more oil consumption which you dont want to deal with. So look for ones that have the new design on them. I forgot exactly what date it was changed but its a good thing to keep in mind. Also keep in mind the vanos issues, so check for any hard "clunking" noise or a bad diesel rattle sound. That will indicate usually a sign of a bad vanos, and you dont want to deal with that at all lol. Good luck with the search!
 

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Your selection pool opens up significantly if you were to consider travelling around. Some don't like buying sight unseen. In a bigger city, you might be able to get two or three to look at. Then you can either road trip it home or have it shipped.

I don't see nearly the amount in FL as I do CA.

And +1 on the PPI. See if you can get it done at an shop that has E39 M5 expertise. So while you may not have driven umpteen M5's before as a fair basis for comparison, your impartial PPI shop mechanic may have.
 

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pay up a little now for a lower mile car and it will save you money and a ton of headaches in the long run...patience helps too!
 
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