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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
Thank you for sharing so much information, it´s a great place to learn.
I have the opportunity of buying a very cheap e39 525 tds with around 600.000 km´s and I´m trying to understand what problems can I expect and if it´s worth having headaches with.
So if anybody can talk about their experience with these cars would be great.
I actually have an e36 316i coupe that I drive everyday, but family has increased and is going to have another member by the end of the year so I need some extra space, and don't want to leave bmw...

Thank you in advance.

My best regards for you all.

João Martins from Portugal
 

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Welcome!

Difficult question to answer because at that mileage a lot of the usual problem areas will have been done - possibly more than once. I think really we'd need to know more about its service history to be able to opine on what might still need to be done and whether its a sensible buy.

Things like if/when certain things have been replaced:
- Injectors, turbo, clutch, timing chain (by huge mileage you're talking about it will either have been done or will probably need it in the not too distant future), all suspension components, brake lines.

I'd also probably want to get an oil analysis done to see if it indicated any bad wear in the engine.

Rust and corrosion would be something important to know about as that can be really expensive to fix as well.

Generally and if well looked after these engines are very robust and reliable - but at 600k kms you really need to be sure it's been well looked after as they're not cheap to fix.
 

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I had a e39 525tds and kept it until it had done 368 thousand miles. it still ran superbly and was on its original turbo. the only thing changed on the actual engine was a water pump at around 300 thousand miles. It was a manual so had a couple of clutches also. Rust was starting to be the biggest enemy as well as a few worn suspension parts. They are not rockets by modern diesel standards but I still think they are one of the best built bmw out there.
cheers
jim
 

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Yeah, a friend had one that he ran out to about 280k at which point accident damage finally did for it. But prior to that it was on its original clutch and turbo. It had had one (possibly two) injectors, a complete suspension set front and rear, aircon compressor, water pump (as a result of failure somewhere in the late 100ks), two thermostats, a radiator and a set of glow plugs that I know of. No doubt some other bits and bobs which now escape me but I think those were the headlines so nothing unreasonable. Maintenance regime had been BMW main dealer as prescribed so it was well looked after but certainly not cosseted either in terms of its maintenance or usage. It was also basically an ashtray on wheels and washed only when being serviced.

As you can probably tell, I had rather a soft spot for the old bus!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much for your help and info.
It´s really going to help me make the right decision.
My e36 coupe 316i has a very robust engine and even dough it has some esthetic problems it never lets me down I´ve done 60.000 km´s in the last three years.
As the family has grown I need more space but I don't want to leave the BMW world, not having money for big investments, I thought the e39 had the right looks and necessary budget available with what I gain from selling my car.
I have another e39 525 TDS touring insight and for maybe for another couple o hundred euros I´ll make a better decision having attention to all the details you all kidly mentioned.

P.S - It´s heartbreaking having to sell my e36 coupe, it really is the car of my dreams. Evog I understand perfectly your soft spot, I think I´ll cry when my e36 leaves me. jeje
 

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My previous car 530d e60 I had from 70k miles and took it to 250k miles before I sold it. It was all motorway miles but i used to change the oil every 6k miles myself. I had no issues with that car. My current f10 timing chain went at about 80k miles and nothing but trouble.
My old e60 only had 1 previous owner, full service history and I drove and maintained the car properly.
So I guess what I'm trying to say it all depends on how well looked after it has been and how it's been driven in the past.
For example if it has ever been used as a taxi then stay away.
If you do purchase it then the first thing I will recommend is change the timing chain.
If its automatic then change the sump oil.
Other than that I wish you well
 
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