Are they very reliable? How expensive to run?


Asked by Apr 17, 2013 at 11:01 PM about the 2002 BMW 5 Series 530i

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 18 year old son would like to buy one of these.  I am unsure about the reliability and
the running costs. Do you have any suggestions.  Most of the reviews say fun to drive but
a money pit for fixing and unreliable after 100,000.  Thank you.

14 Answers

I'd put him in a powerless protection of airbags...yes the scion~

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

He's gonna take it to the limit, so if it's uncertain for you, it will definitely be uncertain under extreme a new scion~ after the first collision you'll thank me~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Michael Tutty

The electrical systems can bankrupt you, which is why the seem such a 'good' buy for price used. The parts prices are usurious, and the labour can be as bad. I would not touch one on a bet.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
Tom Demyan

Parts are expensive and if you aren't going to replace them yourself, it will cost you more than a domestic or asian vehicle. Handling is awesome though. Go through the BMW forums to see what others are saying about the car if you still are thinking about purchasing one.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

Tom is usual...but in my opinion when he says 'Aisian" draw a distinction between Japan and Korean built... for example Toyota v. Kia.. Opinion not fact.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Michael Branan

As someone who actually owns a '01 E39, unless your son is into turning wrenches, there is plenty to learn about one of the most sought after Bimmers ever built. The issues most of us run into are ABS related. Meaning that anything made out of plastic will usually fail in the 10 year/100K area. The vehicles are great beyond 300K, but you have to LOVE them accordingly. Parts ARE NOT EXPENSIVE if you know where to shop. Most of my suppliers are less than 1/3 of the dealer's list price and delivery is usually free. If you need any specific help, let me know. If you son is headed off to college, you may want to look else where.

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.

yeah, but to put a nice car in the hands of an inexperienced driver can only lead to heartbreak...yes I was young once...contrary to popular assertions~

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

You ask 'how expensive to run?" a good question would be 'how expensive to insure for an 18 year old' that is where your money will go.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

gotta deliver a few newspapers (we don't do that anymore) or deliver pizzas with his sparky-fresh leased scion- leased because once he's in a crackup (which will happen) he'll be protected~ ...of course take it out of his allowance which will almost pay for insurance for the man~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Michael Branan

The E39 is one of the safest vehicle build. The big variable is the age of the vehicle and the young man's driving prowess. It is a sports sedan for sure, but not over powered and if the airbags have been serviced, a safe ride still.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

no one knows what an E39 is and there is no mention of it in this post, so yes mr three headed avatar, you're being somewhat presumptuous to assume that an 18 year old will be able to lay a claw on this type of vehicle. Thanks for making me look this up~ feller-

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

An E39 a chassis for the BMW. Spend more time looking up. That being said getting an 18 year old a BMW is a terrible idea. Wait till he can buy himself one.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Moe Cauthen

Yes Bmw are expensive to maintainthey are very unreliable if youhad a handyman that can fix it that's a plus


Stop trying to tell the man how to raise his kid. If he wants to buy his kid a bmw then he will, he won't listen to a stranger online. With that being said any car can break down, My parents bought me a used Mercedes when I was 18 it was only About 3-4 years old had 45k miles on it I'm 21 now and I just got rid of it, never got in an accident and no problems. Now I drive Lexus rc350. If your son takes care of his car of your car then there should be no problems, 2002 is a bit old so you might want to do your research. As long as he doesn't try to burn out the transmission and knows how to take proper care then he's fine, you won't need to think about fixing.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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