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View Full Version : E39 Guru look in here


Manimillion
11-15-2007, 11:46 AM
I am looking at e39 540i/6's for getting through winter.

What are the pro's and con's of this car? How is the reliability? I am ultimately looking for a car with around 100k or less kilometers.

I know there are a couple of guys on here who own them, some are even from the Ottawa area, your help would be appreciated.

Paul540/m3
11-15-2007, 04:05 PM
I'm running mine in the winter. Mine is a 98 (no DSC, 107k on it) and I have no problems with a set of capable snows. I also added a LSD which made significant difference but not necessary. Just don't expect it to be a hummer and drive smart and you'll be fine.

All this being said I also drive an S4 occasionally in the winter and it is leaps and bounds better and they aren't to expensive now either. Might be worth your time taking a look at one.

DINAN 3
11-15-2007, 07:18 PM
Though I *love* my 540ia, I'll be the first to admit that it's a poor choice to own as a "strictly" winter car.
Forget snow.....just some minor dampness and you better treat that gas pedal like its got a raw egg underneath.

Manimillion
11-15-2007, 11:15 PM
Though I *love* my 540ia, I'll be the first to admit that it's a poor choice to own as a "strictly" winter car.
Forget snow.....just some minor dampness and you better treat that gas pedal like its got a raw egg underneath.

To be honest, it is going to feel like slow as shit after driving a 10 sec car daily till couple weeks back...

I just want to make sure this thing is reliable and wont' break down in -40... I know the e34's had a nikasil problem with the block, do the newer ones have similar issues?

DINAN 3
11-16-2007, 12:58 AM
As long as you maintain her well, she'll love ya back.
Don't forget.....BMW's tend to be driven harder than the average car...so you have to make up for it in maintance.
If the previous owner didn't take proper care of her and you don't do your homework, you'll be left holding the bag.
Ask for documented proof of all Inspection I & II being performed on schedule and in addition make sure the cooling system, valve cover gasket and suspension have been replaced every 120'000 KM's or budget for it.

chromius
11-16-2007, 12:31 PM
To be honest, it is going to feel like slow as shit after driving a 10 sec car daily till couple weeks back...

I just want to make sure this thing is reliable and wont' break down in -40... I know the e34's had a nikasil problem with the block, do the newer ones have similar issues?

I'm going to have to agree with "DINAN 3". 540 is a poor choice as a dedicated winter car. Yes It will be reliable providing the cooling system has been replaced recently and the car has been well maintained. That's not a problem. The e39's don't suffer from the Nikasil problem like the e34's. It will get you through the winter no problem, but it won't be great. It's lack of a proper LSD, along with a sensitive gas pedal, tempermental clutch, and very intrusive stability control really makes it a ho-hum winter car. It'll work, but won't be the best. And don't get me wrong, I love my 540, and would reccomend it any day. But as solely a winter car there are better choices. If you can wait until the snow falls, you can give mine a shot and see what you think.

Just as a disclaimer... my experience with the 540 in the winter is based only on one winter with crappy tires. So I've got a brand new set of good winter tires on for this winter, and I'm hoping it will be much better with this rubber. So take my analysis above with a grain of salt.

Axxe
11-16-2007, 12:40 PM
528iT FTW.

NOTORIOUS VR
11-16-2007, 07:30 PM
Quattro FTW

DINAN 3
11-17-2007, 06:08 PM
Thought quattro's with age have reliability issues and are expensive to maintain ?

Manimillion
11-20-2007, 01:26 PM
Quattro FTW

I drove an S4 which was only 4 years old...

-Drivers door didn't unlock
-Keyless entry didn't work
-Climate control didn't work
-Some of the window switches didn't work
-Power seats didnt' work...

For a 4 yearold car, I think thats quite a bit of problems. And anyone who I talk to abuot VW's or Audi's they all have problems.

Manimillion
11-20-2007, 01:27 PM
I'm going to have to agree with "DINAN 3". 540 is a poor choice as a dedicated winter car. Yes It will be reliable providing the cooling system has been replaced recently and the car has been well maintained. That's not a problem. The e39's don't suffer from the Nikasil problem like the e34's. It will get you through the winter no problem, but it won't be great. It's lack of a proper LSD, along with a sensitive gas pedal, tempermental clutch, and very intrusive stability control really makes it a ho-hum winter car. It'll work, but won't be the best. And don't get me wrong, I love my 540, and would reccomend it any day. But as solely a winter car there are better choices. If you can wait until the snow falls, you can give mine a shot and see what you think.

Just as a disclaimer... my experience with the 540 in the winter is based only on one winter with crappy tires. So I've got a brand new set of good winter tires on for this winter, and I'm hoping it will be much better with this rubber. So take my analysis above with a grain of salt.

Thanks Adam...

Can the stability control and such be turned off?

chromius
11-20-2007, 02:03 PM
Thanks Adam...

Can the stability control and such be turned off?

Yep, the DSC can be turned off. The only issue with that is that with the DSC on, it has the ABD (Automatic differential braking system) which acts like a limited slip diff by using the brakes to stop the spinning wheel and transfering the power to the wheel with the most traction. With the DSC off it turns that function off as well, so you get left with a peg leg. Which isn't the end of the world, but it does limit the traction a fair bit.

One thing I will say, the past few days where the mornings have been quite cold, I have remembered all the features on this car that do make it quite nice to drive in the winter if you get the cold weather package. The heated steering wheel is great, heated seats, heated washer nozzels, heated mirrors, and auto climate control. So it's not all bad.:)

Also, after looking again at the tread left on the winter tires I ran on last winter, makes me realize why I had no traction last winter. So I may have jumped the gun on saying it wouldn't be a great winter car, because those tires were in pretty bad shape. I've got some great winter rubber this year though, so I have high hopes it will be good this time around.

Axxe
11-20-2007, 02:27 PM
Yep, the DSC can be turned off. The only issue with that is that with the DSC on, it has the ABD (Automatic differential braking system) which acts like a limited slip diff by using the brakes to stop the spinning wheel and transfering the power to the wheel with the most traction. With the DSC off it turns that function off as well, so you get left with a peg leg. Which isn't the end of the world, but it does limit the traction a fair bit.

One thing I will say, the past few days where the mornings have been quite cold, I have remembered all the features on this car that do make it quite nice to drive in the winter if you get the cold weather package. The heated steering wheel is great, heated seats, heated washer nozzels, heated mirrors, and auto climate control. So it's not all bad.:)

Also, after looking again at the tread left on the winter tires I ran on last winter, makes me realize why I had no traction last winter. So I may have jumped the gun on saying it wouldn't be a great winter car, because those tires were in pretty bad shape. I've got some great winter rubber this year though, so I have high hopes it will be good this time around.

Yeah, they aren't that bad. Before my Dad figured out how to completely disable DSC it was frustrating for him, since the TC was still on and wouldn't allow any wheelspin. We have a very steep driveway, only way to get up it is with some wheels spin, no way to carry speed onto it, especially if there are other cars parked on it already :D

jeffrie
11-20-2007, 02:31 PM
Big, heavy, safe, reliable well balanced beast of a car.
Think it would be a great winter car also.

Thought quattro's with age have reliability issues and are expensive to maintain ?
depends on the engine it has
Cars are bullet proof especialy it's drivetrain, other then the front end that has to be fixes every other year (not as expensive as it sounds).

2.8 24V very reliable although cost to own is horrid and no power.
2.8 30V Same as 2.8 but at least you have power.
1.8T or 2.0T best choice other then the V8.
2.7TT this is the one that had all the reliability issues (although stand alone seems to solve all of them).
4.2 V8 best choice IMO.

europrince
11-21-2007, 11:12 AM
the e39 540 is an amazing car. it saddens me to hear that someone wants to relegate one to only winter use.