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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Awhile back I put together a basic calculation for cost of ownership of an M5 vs. 540i for a yearly basis....used it to assess my own understanding and help others (I shared it on another forum).

I was wondering if anyone would be willing to take the time to share their ownership costs either since ownership or over the past 3 years. I would qualify this request by saying you need to drive at least 5000 miles a year and have owned the car for at least 1 year.

If some people are willing to share this, I'll compile it into a spreadsheet to help assess the average costs of ownership. This will help me, obviously, but might also make a good forum resource for newbies to examine and easily see the common parts that fail/need replacement.

Also, if you provide costs, please provide a breakdown of at least what was covered under the cost, if you DIY, Indy, Dealership, and if you can break apart labor vs. part that'd be great too.

Thanks all. If this doesn't catch, I understand, but if it does I look forward to the results :)

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Cemessi,

I can build out a seperate unit for U.K. costs to stay compatible; and yes, it will help in identifying the most common cost areas and weighting those areas in all e39 m5s as likely to fail/need replacing, if that makes sense.
 

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I use the "MX Tracker" spreadsheet provided by a member here. Car is from 11/99. Currently has about 194,xxx miles on it. I drive the car April to November every year. Cost per year includes repairs and mods. Anyway, it's telling me this:


<table style="border-collapse: collapse; width: 144pt;" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="192"><col style="width: 48pt;" span="3" width="64"> <tbody><tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td colspan="2" class="xl66" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 96pt;" height="21" width="128">Miles per Year (avg)</td> <td class="xl65" style="border-left: medium none; width: 48pt;" align="right" width="64">18,876</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td colspan="2" class="xl66" style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21">Cost per Year (avg)</td> <td class="xl65" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" align="right">933</td> </tr> </tbody></table>
 

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9 months and I have only put in $300, and about to pay $1200 for a clutch. Getting some other things fixed as well preventatively - fan clutch, FSU, rear main seal and an SSK installed. But the old clutch still works fine, just squeeks, so I am keeping the old one
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I mean no offense, but are you sure it's the clutch that's squeaking? I'm not intimately familiar with the clutch on the m5 or even the e39, but I've seen squeaks from throwout bearings or simply clutch pedal springs.

$1200 is not bad :)
 

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I mean no offense, but are you sure it's the clutch that's squeaking? I'm not intimately familiar with the clutch on the m5 or even the e39, but I've seen squeaks from throwout bearings or simply clutch pedal springs.

$1200 is not bad :)
Its from the clutch assembly not necessarily the clutch itself though. Its mostly due to a worn pressure plate and the spring being aged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ahh, annoying. At least it's gotten a good life for you :)
 

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NOT to pee on your parade, but I suspect the costs will be all over the place. My car, for example, has been incredibly reliable. And, my extended warranties just ran out, but I could have gotten by WITHOUT them, as it turns out. VERY LOW cost of ownership, after purchase, anyway. Other will have horrendous expenditures.

And, since experience with these cars can be so variable with regard to cost, it won't tell you anything useful.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jclyman -

Absolutely. That's not a problem, that's a finding! If I get 20 samples and the average is $1000/year but the standard deviation is $800/year, then that in and of itself is a worthwhile result.

My calculation awhile back was that over a 5 year period it would cost $2200/year for the M5 ownership of driving ~15-20k miles per year. That includes tires, clutch, oil changes, top-off oil, and everything to maintain the car generally speaking. If that sounds high, think about it like this: Over a period of ~100,000 miles, it would cost $11k to maintain and operate this car. For comparison, my Honda Civic SI (a 2006 model, nonetheless) has cost me probably $3.5-4k by that point and does not include any sort of major mechanical stuff....that's just basic maintenance and tires.

I think it'd also be good to start getting a feel for what the "normal" is....do 75% of owners experience low/normal maintenance costs, but the 25% who get screwed are REALLY paying alot?

Thanks for writing!
 
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Jclyman -

Absolutely. That's not a problem, that's a finding! If I get 20 samples and the average is $1000/year but the standard deviation is $800/year, then that in and of itself is a worthwhile result.

My calculation awhile back was that over a 5 year period it would cost $2200/year for the M5 ownership of driving ~15-20k miles per year. That includes tires, clutch, oil changes, top-off oil, and everything to maintain the car generally speaking. If that sounds high, think about it like this: Over a period of ~100,000 miles, it would cost $11k to maintain and operate this car. For comparison, my Honda Civic SI (a 2006 model, nonetheless) has cost me probably $3.5-4k by that point and does not include any sort of major mechanical stuff....that's just basic maintenance and tires.

I think it'd also be good to start getting a feel for what the "normal" is....do 75% of owners experience low/normal maintenance costs, but the 25% who get screwed are REALLY paying alot?

Thanks for writing!
$2200 per year is dreamland. It will run you more than that in fuel alone (Roughly $3k by my estimate of 14mpg average and paying $2.90/gal). Oilchanges every 7500mi will run you ~$100 if you DIY using 10-60 so add another $200 there. Tires will be once a year for rears and once every other year for fronts. Figure $6-800 for those. If you happen to have an inspection II (30k, 60k, 90k, 120k, etc.. if you're maintaining the vehicle properly) come around, factor in another $1200 for a stealer or $800 from a reputable indy (cheaper if you DIY).

If you track the car, just start lighting $100 bills on fire because it would be cheaper.

Figure $4000 per year for a daily driver (15-20k/yr), for a reliable M5. If you get one that breaks a lot, add another 2000 per year. Also, dont forget to add $5k to the price for preventative maintenance/repairs when you first buy it. Despite M5's becoming affordable (price wise) to the average joe, they're still expensive to maintain...$80k cars require $80k maintenance, even if you bought it for $20k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ummm...I wasn't including fuel because that's not part of maintaing or repairing the vehicle to my knowledge... :)

My $2200 a year was incorporating everything else though and DIY for pretty much everything up to the level of clutch replacement (i.e. DIY wheel bearings). Parts were bought off indy suppliers, unless unavailable. Tires were mid-level; not the highest priced. It was mainly $1000-1500/year, except for as you pointed out those expensive years that come around where you are dropping $3-4k.

Again, getting actual data from members who have owned their e39s for awhile would help this endeavor. I've read hundreds of comments from people about what to expect and what they spent in one off situations, but only about 5 comments where people have spent the time to detail out their spend over a longer period of time.

If anyone wants more actual hard data, contributing to this would be very helpful.
 

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I bought my '02 M5 February 26, 2010 and took delievery of it March 5, 2010. Below is what I have in her so far:

Initial fresh-up service performed by BMW Dealer:

-Oil service (10w60)
-Transmission fluid service (LT2)
-Differential fluid service
-Fuel filter replaced
-New wiper blades + wiper deflectors
-E-brake tension adjustment
-Rear sway bar bracket replaced
-Update NAV software
-Program rolling locks feature and seat memory to key
-Replace oil filter housing mounts
-CD Changer mounting screws
-Clean undercarriage and inspect for leaks, etc (found slight leak in PS hose only)

Total cost: $711.02 (labor and fluid parts ONLY)

Parts for the above service are below (paid in advance @ BMW Dealer w/ 15% BMWCCA discount):

-Oil filter w/ O-ring = $14.XX
-Fuel filter = $67.XX
-Oil filter mounting grommets (2) = $29.48
-CD changer mounting screws (2) = $0.64
-Stablizer/sway support bracket (1) = $12.92
-Hex Bolt w/ washer (1) = $0.54
-Set of BMW wiper blades (2) = $73.15
-Left & right wiper blade deflectors = $82.44
-(4) Jack pads = $49.52

Other BMW accessories purchased @ BMW Dealer:

-Black all-weather floor mats (front) = $46.75
-Black all-weather floor mats (rear) = $29.75
-ZHP Gearshift knob = $87.34
-M5 chrome license plate frame = $40.00

Parts not purchased @ BMW Dealer:

-All new exterior lamp bulbs (not including HID bulbs OR fog lamp bulbs) = $54
-2500K Nokya Yellow fog lamp bulbs (9006) = $16
-Glass polishing kit to refinish fog lamp lenses = $40
-Clear Lamin-X protective film for fog lenses = $25
-Refinish plastic headlamp lenses = $80 (outsourced through local vendor)
-Full interior & exterior detail = FREE (services provided by myself)


Grand total as of March 10, 2010: $1,495.55
 

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Ummm...I wasn't including fuel because that's not part of maintaing or repairing the vehicle to my knowledge... :)

My $2200 a year was incorporating everything else though and DIY for pretty much everything up to the level of clutch replacement (i.e. DIY wheel bearings). Parts were bought off indy suppliers, unless unavailable. Tires were mid-level; not the highest priced. It was mainly $1000-1500/year, except for as you pointed out those expensive years that come around where you are dropping $3-4k.

Again, getting actual data from members who have owned their e39s for awhile would help this endeavor. I've read hundreds of comments from people about what to expect and what they spent in one off situations, but only about 5 comments where people have spent the time to detail out their spend over a longer period of time.

If anyone wants more actual hard data, contributing to this would be very helpful.

I can go back and fish through all of my parts receipts for the previous 5 years, but I can tell you with 100% certainty its between 3-5k per year. I didnt include insurance. $1500/year would fly if the car wasnt a daily driver. Take it from experience here, most people arent giving you the full picture. I avoild the Indy like the plague, unless I dont have the time to do a certain repair. Wheel bearings on these cars are an easy DIY, as are clutch replacements (if you have a lift). There is nothing "hard" to do on these cars, if you've got the right tools and the skills to do it all. Modding them gets expensive really fast (everyone says they wont, but they ultimately do).

Edit: I just did some rough math, this past year I spent roughly $8k on the M5 (including $3600 in fuel). Brake Pads, Rotors, Tires (square setup, so I did 4), Alternator, plugs, oil/filters, wheel bearings (front only). I did all the work myself. These cars arent cheap...and Im a bit depressed now. I wish I still had extended maintenance and warranty.
 

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