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Thread: New M5 owner in January & Initial Impressions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Peachtree City, GA
    My Cars
    '02 M5

    New M5 owner in January & Initial Impressions

    Hello to All!

    New owner in January of a used M5 on the board. Save for a couple of maintenance pieces, car is all stock.

    I have always had an itch for an E39 M5 since seeing this: , but they always seemed to be just out of reach. I have one. It's my first BMW so I have a lot to learn. I have driven it just over 600 miles in and around town and on a road trip (90% interstate, 240 miles each way).

    Observations (in no particular order):

    great build quality! I can't get over how well the doors close - love the solid THUNK with no rattle.

    good engine power - could be applied better IMO, see next bullet

    geared very short. not sure why first gear is 4.23, it is useless AFAIC and a .83 O/D...she's turning 2800 at 80mph. I'm curious why its geared the way it is (I haven't studied the clutch yet - is it fragile or very small?)

    shifter kinda sloppy. most likely time for M5 Jed's unicorn nuggets. Car already has his rear diff bushing.

    driver's seat not very comfortable for me after a couple of hours...still working on finding a good position.

    first car I have ever had to read the manual just to listen to the damn radio!


    Upon my return from my road trip, she was surging slightly under steady throttle which progressed into a "Engine Failsafe Prog" message and ultimately bad misfire and a SES light. Looks like I need TPS sensors (yay!), might as well change the CPSs while I'm in there.

    AND I'm getting a shimmy in the wheel from about 55 down to 45, but only under light braking. If I stand on the whoa pedal, no shimmy. Survey says worn out front bushings. More fun...

    lastly, a velocity dependent "whistle" from the passenger side front - I'm thinking front wheel bearings.

    So I'm sitting at about $3 per mile in service parts so far.

    My apologies for the negative nature of this post - not how I want to announce my presence to the board. I enjoy driving the car (for the most part). And I appreciate that the cooler something is, the more of a pain in the *** it is.

    For those of you about to flame me with "what do you expect for a 17 year old car with 150k on the clock?" - I chose this car because I intend to DD it. Wasn't going to pay a premium for a low mileage creampuff and run up the ODO. I was expecting to have to perform some level of maintenance, just not in the first two weeks of ownership.

    So far the knowledge on this board has been impressive and saved me lots of time diagnosing my woes. Hopefully I can contribute to this in some meaningful way.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Mountain Home, Idaho
    My Cars
    1997 Z3
    Sounds like the seller couldn't afford to maintain the car properly. Sounds like they dumped it rather than fix it. I'll bet they knew about these issues when they sold it.

    Water under the bridge at this point though. Put the money into the needed repairs and the car will reward you for years to come. I've had two BMWs with 300k on the odo when I sold them. I haven't had an M5 yet. It will be my next car. Having had 7 (I think( BMWs over the years, I know what to look for, and I know what I'll be getting into. They are great cars, especially the E39 M5.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    My Cars
    2003 M5, 2002 540iT
    Did you fix the ses issue yet?

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