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      02-17-2010, 09:52 PM   #1
room335
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Question Should I Buy This 540i?

Found a clean 1998 540Im sport package, 5 speed manual, 112,000 miles at a used car dealer. Has clean CARFAX, 2 owners, passes smog. It came from Florida originally, then off lease it was a CPO, then went to the used car dealer. Has newer 2001 alloys. Only problem is the dealer does not have any service records. Should I take a chance, knowing that at about this age is when the dreaded radiator problems come up, and I will not know if they have already been fixed? Asking price is $7000.
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      03-19-2010, 11:26 AM   #2
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Take a look at the radiator itself. It may have been upgraded - you'll see metal sides. Or replaced by the same model- to the best of my knowledge, they don't last that long. In that case it is porbably living on borrowed time - I know that mine gave up at about 60K, but it lived significantly longer for many others.

In any case, radiator replacement is a pretty straightforward DIY job, perfectly documented by now.

Take a look at http://540i6.com/probsfixes.html for more things to look out for.

My pain points always were window regulators and door locks - check them all for seamless operation.

By the way, clean Carfax doesn't mean jack - came across E28 last year, virgin Carfax record, beaten to hell - none of accidents were ever reported to insurance and were all fixed under a tree. There will be many telltale signs of that, though.

--
http://e39diaries.blogspot.com/ 2003 E39 540i6
http://e28diaries.blogspot.com/ 1988 E28 535i co-pilot
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      03-20-2010, 04:39 AM   #3
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Just in case you are still looking - I grabbed this article from the April 2010 issue of Bimmer Magazine. It gives you an excellent appreciation of the pros and cons of the E39, including what makes a good deal. Enjoy.
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File Type: pdf 5series.PDF (947.1 KB, 310 views)
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      04-14-2010, 11:36 AM   #4
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i'm looking to purchase an 03 540i sport...thanks a lot for the PDF, great help!

Last edited by BIMMER//DRIMMER; 04-14-2010 at 03:51 PM.
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      04-17-2010, 08:03 AM   #5
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You are welcome. My 528i is in the bodyshop now, getting a complete re-paint. The paint itself was in excellent condition, but after 200K kms, the road rash got to the point that I was tired of repairing it, and in the past year, my wife and I managed to have a few minor 'discussions' with the local obstacles in Belgium. I'll post pics once it is redone. You can't go wrong with an E39 5 series that has some TLC in its history. Be careful of the 540i quirks, but with the right 'stuff' done to it in its past, you should be OK.

Cheers.
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      04-17-2010, 06:39 PM   #6
BlackOutJoePi540i
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I got my 03 540i msport last summer with 42K on it. Here is a pic, (I need a better camera), I need to take some new ones
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      05-03-2010, 05:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackOutJoePi540i View Post
I got my 03 540i msport last summer with 42K on it. Here is a pic, (I need a better camera), I need to take some new ones
Yes please - post better pics! Cheers.
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