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Too good to be true?


2000 BMW 4.4 6 speed man.160k nice looking, semi-outa the way location. 2yr. warranty (details not known). Now heres the question. conspicously low price w papers for complete replacement of clutch system (incl. flywheel) as well as mass air sensor. What could have caused this? and what other damage could be waiting to curb this mighty sedan? I’m terribly skeptical, but I’m in love with this ride and want it to be the deal for real. Thanx -ja

There is no other car in the entire universe whose clutch is easier to destroy than the BMW 540i. It’s not that it is a weak system, it is just that people drive the living ***** out of them. It is a great feeling driving a 540i 6 speed really hard, and plenty of people do.

I made more money (and its my favorite BMW)off the E-39 than any other BMW. Great car to drive and great car to make a paycheck off.

Probably has new tires also, so easy to burn them off.

Old School knows the car well so pay attention. 160K miles can do in lots of clutches on lots of cars. A mass air sensor on a 2000, its a 10 year old car that’s all. If you buy this car put away a bunch of money per year for repairs, parts and labor are expensive. Make sure you have a good mechanic in your area, since a BMW dealer will take you to the cleaners.

Any 10 year old car with 160K miles will need repairs on top of the usual brakes, tires, and oil changes. If you can afford the asking price and have about $3,000 per year available to handle repairs, it will be a great car.

You mentioned an out of the way location avd a very low price. Did you find this on Craigs list but the car is out of town and they offered to ship it to anyplace in the country free? If so, it’s a scam 100% of the time, there is no car.

In additon to the three good posts here, I would add that this car will likely become a money pit very soon. Have you thought about why the owner wants to sell it??? He’s driven the best of its life off it, and now the expensive repairs start.

Do you have at least $3000 per year in available loose cash to maintain this vehicle?

Someone here said that “there is nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes”. That holds true for a BMW as well, IN SPADES. If you can’t afford a new BMW, you probably cannot afford a used one like this either.

The “2 year warranty” has very little value if you read the fine print.

It probably is an easy car to fall in love with.

If you look at the CarFax history of a lot of 5-series bimmers, a typical pattern emerges - first owner drives it 50k miles through the lease or the 4-year full warranty. They look at the repair history and think about what this would have cost if they had paid out of pocket, and assume that repairs will increase, so they quickly sell the car. Second owner buys it thinking that they are avoiding the initial depreciation. Second owner has a few $1000 - $2000 repair bills in the next 30k-40k miles. They figure that things will get worse after 100k miles, so they sell it. Eventually, the car ends up in the hands of a BMW enthusiast who buys their parts off the internet and does nearly all their own work. The car then goes on to 200k miles (V8) or 300k miles (straight 6) rather cost-efficiently, but with occasional Saturdays spent in pieces on the garage floor. I have 3 BMWs in that category. We love them. They look great and drive great, but I tell my wife and daughters that if I die tomorrow, dump the bimmers and get Toyotas because paying someone else to maintain a fleet of 200k mile bimmers will be cost-prohibitive.

I personally would not buy a V-8 Bimmer. The 6s have adequate power and get better mileage and longer lifespan. I understand the appeal though.

Make sure it’s not a scam. Do you do your own work? And make sure you get a complete maintenance history, not just papers about the clutch and MAF replacement. Has it had the radiator and water pump replaced yet? If not, it’ll likely need them soon.

I dunno, I’ve driven both the 4.4L and the 2.8L E39. The 2.8L seemed quite letheragic to me, performance was no better than the run of the mill domestic family sedan. It was a let down to say the least. The 4.4L was much more potent, and was more in line in what I was expecting a high end european sports sedan to be. The E39 is one of the best looking sedans ever produced IMHO though.