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Buy decision: 02 or 03 540i?

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by ckeinath, Mar 31, 2008.

    ckeinath guest

    Post Count: 1
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    Two cars, both 6spd with Sport pkg:

    02: 68K miles. 3rd owner, spotty mtc. recs for last two owners (2 years / 18K miles). Dealer maint. for 1st owner (4 years/50K miles).
    Has more bells and whistles (Cold Wx pkg, Nav, PDC, Prem. sound, etc), + Dinan exhaust and short-shift, tinted windows, + a few others... and is a local car. Visual inspection OK and drives excellent...
    Asking price 23K.

    03: 75K miles. 1 owner, excellent mtc. recs; with documented work on known probs (cooling system), and has had a new clutch + brakes. BUT, none of the bells/whistles (which I have to admit, are attractive).
    Located 800 miles away... has had a dealer pre-buy done (no major issues, needs thrust-bearings). Definitely the more meticulously maintained car.
    Asking price 23K.

    Will make a decision after my local mechanic looks at the 2002. BUT, would definitely welcome any thoughts or comments!

    GregS_WI guest

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    Not even close

    Buy the 2003. Even if the 2002 was the only one available I wouldn't touch it with at 10ft bank account. These are awesome cars but maintenance is frequent and frequently expensive. I would not buy without maintenance records enough to satisfy me that the car was well maintained.

    CWP is nice if you live in cold areas. But that only gives you heated seats, headlight washers, and the ski bag. I really like it, but I live in Wisconsin and drive my car year round (heated seats are nice at -30.)

    NAV is probably out of date and is expensive to update it. A $200 TomTom will serve you better, and fit in every car.

    PDC --- pu-leaze tell me you don't need this to park a sedan!

    Premium sound -- still sucks and is harder to modify with after-market parts. You won't miss it if you get a car without it.

    As they say, it's your money, but that 2002 has 'money pit' written all over it.

    Good luck -- be satisfied with which ever you buy!

    kbuicker guest

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    I'm selling my 01 with all the goodies if you're interested. I've already fixed everything that is notorious on these models.

    * 62k miles
    * Titanium Silver
    * Grey leather interior
    * sports package (M wheel, sport seats, black trim)
    * OEM 03 rear M bumper
    * 03 front bumper
    * tinted windows
    * fog lights
    * H&R Lowering Springs
    * 19" MRR GT-1 rims- no rim rash- BMW emblems
    * Bridgestone tires (newish, plenty of miles left on them)
    * new ceramic brake pads
    * new OEM rotors
    * 'Power Acoustiks' amp with two 10-inch subs
    * DICE integrated iPod Player
    * business CD
    * Chrome Magnaflow muffler with tip- 14829 model
    * automatic with manual shift
    * no tears or stains in interior
    * climate control
    * Xenon auto-adjust headlights
    * normal chips in hood, but not bad
    * detailed and polished regularly
    * non-smoker
    * garaged
    * maintenance in past: radiator replaced, MAF replaced, new expansion tank, dash pixels fixed.
    * car is fast, runs smooth, no problems at all. Good car. Selling to get SUV since I am a new dad!

    North Dallas Area: $21k

    email saveitk@gmail.com

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