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Interested in E61 Sport Wagon, can members share wisdom?

Discussion in 'E60 (2004-2010)' started by ///MTwads, Dec 23, 2016.

    • Member

    ///MTwads

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    My 2000 E39 528iT is in real trouble – it’s consuming ~10 ounces of coolant per day, largely because I have an 80 mile daily commute and I like to drive at 80, cuz I can! I’ve clearly got a crack somewhere – head, head gasket – and I can’t see the wisdom of sinking $ into a 17 year old car with 139k on the odo. I’m in tight shape cash-wise, and I’m finding a few 2009 5 Series Sport Wagons with mileage in the mid 50’s and prices in the $15 - $18k range. I love having a wagon because I like having the utility of cargo space in a vehicle that drives like a sedan. I also like driving something one doesn’t see on the road every day- like the wagon and my M635...

    Can anyone share whatever knowledge you have re the pro’s and con’s of the 2009 5 Series Sport Wagon – and what I should be mindful of if I buy a car with ~50k on the odo and add ~40k per year for the next 3, 4, 5 years?

    Any insight would be most appreciated.
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    MGarrison

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    Probably would be a good idea to avoid the V8's. Every succeeding generation of BMW get's more complicated with more electronics, etc. You get advancements in chassis design and evolution (arguably safety benefits and improved crash-worthiness come along with that. along with better nvh, ride quality, etc.), but various things do not seem to be as long-lived as in prior generations. Fixing your car, even if it were an issue as expensive as something like a cracked engine block or cyl. head vs. something like a head gasket, would seem cheaper than buying a new model, but it's hard to say whether one route or another is assuredly better in deferring or avoiding the niggling issues that crop up or seemingly nickle-&-dime ya to conniption-fit levels. Earlier cars are arguably easier to diy work on, of course Bentley manuals and internet resources aid substantially in diy maintenance and repair. If you're driving an automatic in you E39, at this mileage, no way to know whether your trans makes it the better part of the way to or 200k or more, or craps-out tomorrow. If ownership into higher mileages isn't in the cards, certainly nothing wrong with considering switching-out the E39 knowing that you might well be in the same place again in a couple of years having gotten an E61 into 130k+ mileages. I have heard a number of folks praise their E60's for comfort/quiet for road trips, and being a great daily driver. At a 139k, it's likely your E39 will need various front suspension pieces/bushings replaced sooner rather than later, along with other stuff such as, possibly, shock mounts, for instance. Cooling systems on 90's-00's bimmers are notoriously prone to develop leaks - radiators, expansion tanks, and the problematic original plastic-impeller water pumps. All of that would be an easy fix. If those are surely eliminated, doing something like a head gasket would obviously be more expensive. Charlson will know specifics for '09 E61 tourings - google "BMW E60 E61 problems or issues" and see what comes up. Worth noting that the negatives tend to seem more common in internet-related mentions, as it's a lot less likely someone will pipe-up anyplace to just comment this or that has been problem-free. If a car's working perfectly, obviously there's not going to be much discussion of problems.
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    ///MTwads

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    ///MGarrison, thanks very much for your reply. Yes, I've been nickeled and dimed for the last ~5-6 years with this car, but now as a Tollway Cruiser, am racking up miles, wear, etc. and if i "go deep" now and have even a minor fender bender i'll be toast economically-speaking.

    Will do the general-topic google that you've suggested and see what I can soak up. The car that I have seen for sale is a turbo'ed inline 6 3.0L powerplant, haven't had a chance to talk to my indie mechanic yet and plan to do so after Christmas.

    Lastly, I'm reminded that I missed adopting my normal BMW message board handle ///MTwads, maybe I'll upgrade shortly..!
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    MGarrison

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    Wasn't thinking about N54 engine specifics much in the first post - good idea to replace plugs every 50k, and original coil packs should be swapped-out for later ones. Electric water pumps prone to premature failure and forced limp-mode, good idea to replace every 50k, 60K+ might be pushing your luck. HPFP (high-pressure fuel pump) issues in most cars are probably resolved by now. Check for steering wheel airbag recall. Turbos need replacement eventually, I think around 100k miles or higher. You can google N54 issues/problems also. Usually, lots of info on bimmerforums, & elsewhere.
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    Garrison has you pointed in the right direction here. The e61 535 is a nice car for sure, great cruiser for the highway and ample room to boot. But with the upgrade there will always come more expense and parts are more expensive and less stuff that doesn't need special tools. The N54 engine itself is quite strong and has few internal issues as long as it is maintained. You will have oil leaks from the oil pan gasket, oil filter housing gasket, valve cover will crack and need to be replaced. The injectors if they are below 11 index will need to be replaced. Electric water pumps do fail, turbos do fail like mentioned around 100k. Some higher mileage cars do carbon up. Of course every so often the a electrical issue can come up like a CCC (car communication computer). Also make sure you change your t case fluid often because if not done issues do come up with these. Always have a car checked out before you purchase by a mechanic that knows these cars. ( I don't like surprises). Also I agree that most likely the 6 series would just need a head gasket done and cost would be quite less than purchasing a new car and having to iron out the issues. At least with the six you know where you sit and 130k is pretty low mileage for one of those so kudos on that.

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