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Old 10-25-2007, 09:21 AM   #1
georgost
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buying 2002 5401 M-exec 6-speed HELP

Hey there, new to the board and new to the world of BMW's. Working out a deal for a 2002 540i M-exec with the 6-spd and roughly 113k km. I don't know anything about these cars other than the fact that I thing they look incredible. I test drove the car, and it seemed fine, however was surprised that the car rides rather rough/firm....with only 17's thought it would be a little softer sprung. Is this normal?
The seller says that he is the second owner and has maintained regularly by BMW dealership.

What should I be looking for to make sure I am getting a good car?
Should there have been specific service performed
Where should I bring the car for a once over/certify?
I am likely to get the car for $23k with two sets of M rims, but both sets of tires (summer and winters) need replacing. I think this is a good deal.

What problems am I likely to encounter, or should I watch out for with a car like this...

Please Help!
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:46 AM   #2
europrince
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The car has sport suspension, so the ride is going to be firm. Watch for leaking head gaskets. Make sure the rear windows operate. e39s have a tendency to blow the rear window regulators. Make sure he provides you with all service records. Since he services his car at a dealership, I'm sure he won't mind having the car inspected there.
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:20 AM   #3
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^^agreed^^
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:07 PM   #4
georgost
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The seller has no problem having the car inspected at BMW or even having it certified at BMW provided I take care of the rubber.
Can anyone recommend a good BMW mechanic that they deal with to go over the car with me?

I called Toronto BMW and they have a 55 point inspection that they do for $35 or $50, but wondering if that is thorough enough, then again, I will also have the car certified at the same place as well.

Does the car have a timing belt or chain, and when is the recommended service for something like that.
Also, what about clutch life.
Also do you guys use a local shop or stricly BMW deleraship.
There is a place by my house (Toronto) in East York called Autotrend, anyone use them or heard of them
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:43 PM   #5
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Autotrend is a good shop, they guys there know BMW's very well.

in the 540 there is a timing chain, but there isn't a a certain milege you have to replace it, when the chain tensioner can't take up anymore slack, then that will be the time to replace the chain.
clutch life really varies between driver's, I've seen many replaced after a year, some will last longer, but you have to remember, a car this heavy tends to wear the clutch a little faster.
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Old 10-25-2007, 02:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
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in the 540 there is a timing chain, but there isn't a a certain milege you have to replace it, when the chain tensioner can't take up anymore slack, then that will be the time to replace the chain.

cant you just keep replacing the tensioner every 100K? to be on the safe side?
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:06 PM   #7
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cant you just keep replacing the tensioner every 100K? to be on the safe side?
it won't help, it's the chain that keeps stretching, once the chain stretches to a certain limit, the tension won't be able to give it the tension it needs, and besides the chain doesn't just stretch overnight.
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:33 PM   #8
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Autotrend is a good shop, they guys there know BMW's very well.
An investment advisor I work with takes his e39 540 there (lucky bastard has a 2007 M5 with full leather option as well) and I've driven him there a couple times to pick up his car. Yes, they are a very knowledgeable and professional shop, but I found them to be rather expensive. I know it may not matter much for an inspection.
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:49 PM   #9
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it won't help, it's the chain that keeps stretching, once the chain stretches to a certain limit, the tension won't be able to give it the tension it needs, and besides the chain doesn't just stretch overnight.

I see...so how would you know when your timing chain needs to be replaced?
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:47 PM   #10
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I see...so how would you know when your timing chain needs to be replaced?
your engine will make more noise than usual

if the chain has stretch more than normal, you will have timing issues, hopefully you will notice before that happens.
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:30 PM   #11
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I see...so how would you know when your timing chain needs to be replaced?
usually the OBD will give you missfire codes and u can hear the chain goes "clack clack clack".
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:35 PM   #12
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we probably don't have to worry about it till we hit 350K, anybody close to that?
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by europrince View Post
An investment advisor I work with takes his e39 540 there (lucky bastard has a 2007 M5 with full leather option as well) and I've driven him there a couple times to pick up his car. Yes, they are a very knowledgeable and professional shop, but I found them to be rather expensive. I know it may not matter much for an inspection.
+1
The labour rate is like 100 + for sure , just like a dealer. KEEP in mind that dealer will offer warranty on all their repairs.
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:37 AM   #14
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Hey guys, goping to walk away from the deal and try to find an auto. If anyone knows of a 540 M-tech automatic for sale (already ontop of trader, kijiji and craigslist) let me know.
Thanks.
btw...this car was in the trader, but still in kijiji and craiglists if anyone is interested. It is dolphin grey and looked super clean.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:38 AM   #15
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why are you walking away from it?
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