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97 540 what to do

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by tmtch, May 9, 2010.

    tmtch guest

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    I've owned 7 BMW's in my lifetime. Starting from my first one in 78, a 320I, right up until now, a 97 540i( auto).This one has 116000+ miles and I'm 60 now and I worry about the expense that I can incur going forward with it. It's a weekend car, I do errands and got to a golf course now and then. I'm lucky if I put 3000-4000 miles a year on it. While it doesn't have any issues now I know I'm looking at value cover gaskets and some possible ball joint problems.I've had very few issues with it. Just the normal ones that go with the age and model. I also worry about the transmission, will I have any issues going forward. My question and assistance I'd like, is what should I do? Keep it, ( I have no car loan) and deal with any upcoming issues or sell it and find another BMW? And what car would you recommend? I'm getting closer to retirement and I do see myself getting to many more cars. Just one more good one. It doesn't have to be a 5 series, I'm open.
    Thanks and I 'm looking forward to your comments and recommendations.
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    John in VA

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    If you enjoy it and have room for it, keep it. Put aside each month (in an interest-bearing account) what you'd pay as a car payment for its replacement and use it for repairs when they become necessary.
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    +2 :) :)
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    How often were the fluids changed and maintenance performed? What are your driving habits and do you do long trips or short ones? Do you do the work yourself or do you get the car serviced? You should be changing the oil, brake fluid, and coolant regularly, even though you put few miles on the car. Your oil should probably be changed yearly and coolant and brake fluids every two. Transmission and differential fluids should be changed according to the older intervals. Is the transmission fluid original? Driving so few miles means moisture can build up more readily in the oil and brake systems. With 116k, what have you already replaced?

    You should sit down and consider the cost of upcoming major repairs and compare it to the cost of a new or used car payment. Usually, the cost of ownership for an older vehicle is less. However, the cost is sporadic. It's excellent fiscal advice to set up an account to smooth out the variation. You'll keep a car you like and know well and it should save you some money. With so few miles driven it seems a new or newer car would be a greater expense than could be justified.
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    +3 and with the little mileage you put on it, it is less likely to break down enough to even notice the pinch in the wallet

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