Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 5th October 2010, 09:57   #1
abk
BHPian
 
abk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NOIDA / Gurgaon
Posts: 276
Thanked: 8 Times
Exclamation BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report

Dear moderators, can this thread be moved to Ownership Reviews section? For I am going to post my ownership experience of the 3,000 miles that I've driven so far now my German mistress

What has taken my breath away:
  1. Insane Power delivery: The car has now clocked more than 137k miles. Yet she's monstrously eager to jump off at the press of the gas pedal (learning American automobile jargons. LOL!). It sprints to an absolute fast beast when the sports mode is engaged. I've had few scary moments overtaking other vehicles (cars and looooong trucks) on single roads, realising on the hindsight oncoming vehicles were all above 100kmph. So far now I've very effortlessly touched 130mph (~210kmph) on stretch of road that i was sure no cops were around. Don't want to land up behind the bars doing 100mph+ speeds that's why the restrained gas pedal push only on absolutely safe stretches of the road :(
  2. Audio system: Not sure who's the OEM but the sound quality is absolutely compelling.
  3. Looks: It still looks gracefully shining. The stance is menacing. Albeit, the appearance could be limited only to my pair of eyes.
  4. Cockpit lights: At night with all the orange indicators subtly lighting the cockpit the experience transforms to warm delightful luxury. I love the feeling.
  5. GPS navigation unit: Although not too functional because the maps are loaded from CDs which have long been out of production (Navtech). Yet, the slanted orientation of the entire controls including the nav unit exudes a cosy man-in-control sense.
  6. Beige interiors: Though I've always admired black-on-black, however, my first tryst with beige interiors has been very mood lifting.
  7. Gentle lights: The gradual coming on & off of lights when door is opened or closed is smooth as opposed to sharp bright or dark transition.
  8. Comfort seats: All sections of the seats are adjustable. Coupled with the adjustable steering i can continually adjust my driving posture and give my ailing back adequate rest.
What nags me or I wish she had:
  1. Beeping sound in reverse gear: I discovered one of the parking distance sensors on the front bumper is missing. Could this be the reason for the sensors to get activated every time the reverse gear is engaged?
  2. A li'l nervous braking: I test drove 2 BMW 330 xi (one auto and other manual) a Merc S500 to realise this is not characteristic of a German car. The car when braking feels very heavy. Yes, it is heavy at 2,000+ kgs but braking does not inspire much confidence. Any clues what could be at fault?
  3. Remote locking does not work: Master key of E39 in USA comes sealed with a rechargeable battery unlike the US version where one could open it up with a screw driver and replace the regular CR2025 battery. It seems the rechargeable battery is dead. Will cost more than US$200 to replace the key. I have already been snickered at by a bloke at a gas station that I've had to open the door manually by inserting the key.
  4. Alternator conked: The battery light (red) came on after about a week or two of driving. I suspected the battery wasn't charged (the indicator on the battery was black) enough and driving long would charge it. One Friday after midnight driving on dark US30 highway to Walmart I saw suddenly the ABS indicator came on. After a while one after another indicator came on turning the cockpit to a colourful Diwali evening! The headlights turned off and engine stopped. Fortunately, i could safely pull over to the shoulder because of the momentum. Later it was diagnosed as failed alternator. In total shelled out about US$800 for alternator replacement + towing (road side assistance was not covered in the insurance then).
  5. Steering rather hard: BMW manual says it is a sign of alternator not able to deliver enough power to the steering. I suppose the new alternator is working fine the problem lies with the steering. It takes some effort to turn the car.
  6. No heated seats: When I experienced my friend's Merc C300's heated seat i immediately knew i needed it for the comfort of my back. Alas! E39's comfort seats do not have heating capabilities.
  7. Service Engine Light: The computer read the code (140) as Oxygen sensor malfunction in the catalytic converter. Fortunately, the state of Indiana does not carry pollution/fitness check on cars. The behaviour of the light has been erratic until last week. It would come on when i refill the tank and would disappear after a couple of days. Since last week it has stayed on despite the tank being refilled twice.
  8. Front tyres worn out and possibly misaligned: Need to replace the front tyres and get an alignment check done. The sides of the tyres have been heavily balded whereas the treads in the middle are relatively still quite deep. I plan to get the new tyres on the rear wheels and exchange the existing with the front as it is a RWD & it has already started to become a li'l icy in the mornings.

I guess i could ramble on & on.. Lemme take a break and post a few pics. Although I search for solo pics of my German mistress but couldn't find more than one without me. Please ignore the human form
Attached Thumbnails
BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2013.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2025.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2027.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_1992.jpg  


Last edited by abk : 5th October 2010 at 09:59.
abk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th October 2010, 10:07   #2
abk
BHPian
 
abk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NOIDA / Gurgaon
Posts: 276
Thanked: 8 Times
Default The beeping sound issue - now resolved :)

Thanks to the several Bimmer forums on the internet that encouraged me to look a li'l more into the problem. As I mentioned earlier I found one of the distance sensors in the front bumper missing. I kept wondering whether it was likely that just one of the sensors has gone missing whilst the bumper bore no brunt of anything untoward. After learning the symptoms of how to check whether the parking sensors have gone kaput it occurred to me that the sensor might have got dislodged and hiding somewhere inside the bumper where it was detecting an obstacle & therefore beeping the moment the parking sensors are activated. Voila! That indeed was to be. I found it hanging precariously in some dungeon inside the bumper. Arched my hand & extended hard to finally find it, pulled it up with a cable, cleaned it and fixed it back. Engaged the reverse gear and the beeping was gone. The sensors were back to working as they should. Extremely thrilled to fix it myself than to visit a BMW dealer (called stealer on bimmer forums!)

Last edited by abk : 19th October 2010 at 10:08.
abk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th October 2010, 09:26   #3
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,713
Thanked: 88,942 Times
Default

ABK, as requested, I have moved your post into a new ownership thread.

Congrats on the 540i! The E39 remains the best looking BMW (ever) in my books. How about some pictures with only the car in the frame

Quote:
Originally Posted by abk View Post
The car when braking feels very heavy. Yes, it is heavy at 2,000+ kgs but braking does not inspire much confidence. Any clues what could be at fault?
It's a 10 year old car. Have the entire braking system checked up (pads, discs, master cylinder etc.). Also, your car weighs around 1,700 kilos, not 2,000.
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th October 2010, 09:37   #4
Distinguished - BHPian
 
jkdas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Thiruvananthapu
Posts: 9,661
Thanked: 1,389 Times
Default

Also, you said that the tyres weren't in a good condition. Hope the newer ones sorts the breaking part after you get the rest of stuff checked as pointed out by GTO.
jkdas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th October 2010, 10:11   #5
BHPian
 
khan75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Atlanta/London/Dubai/Delhi
Posts: 371
Thanked: Once
Default

Looks delicious! Don't neglect the exterior - the car needs a good round of buffing.
khan75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th October 2010, 19:42   #6
BHPian
 
superboy44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: ludhiana
Posts: 249
Thanked: 26 Times
Default

this is one of those cars that seems to have frozen in time, absolutely timeless classic.
for me its right up there with merc w124 series.
simple clean lines, really elegant.
superboy44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th October 2010, 21:01   #7
Distinguished - BHPian
 
FlyingSpur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 3,937
Thanked: 1,331 Times
Default

Congratulations! The E39 is one of my absolute favourite BMWs, especially in M5 guise but what the heck, this one's a beauty. Nice detailed opening post there, and yes, we do need some beauty shots of the car at some nice location. Wallpaper material, no less. Enjoy!
FlyingSpur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th October 2010, 21:22   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Mpower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,432
Thanked: 1,682 Times
Default

Congrats. also my fav too.

One of my friends Ananth owned this car and I drove it extensively. It was manual with sport package through. What a car! absolutely an orgasmic experience. I see from your wheels that this is not a sport.

Also you have bought it at a stage in its life when it requires some high$ maintainence but I guess you already know that.

BTW, you in Ft.Wayne?
Mpower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2010, 11:42   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
PlatzdaTurbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,304
Thanked: 314 Times
Default

What a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL car !! & with insane power at that.
This statment particularly made me tremble with excitement - 'So far now I've very effortlessly touched 130mph (~210kmph)' on stretch of road that i was sure no cops were around.
Truly insane.
PlatzdaTurbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd October 2010, 07:14   #10
abk
BHPian
 
abk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NOIDA / Gurgaon
Posts: 276
Thanked: 8 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlatzdaTurbo View Post
What a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL car !! & with insane power at that.
This statment particularly made me tremble with excitement - 'So far now I've very effortlessly touched 130mph (~210kmph)' on stretch of road that i was sure no cops were around.
Truly insane.
Lemme thank you PlatzdaTurbo on behalf of my German mistress! Yes, I feel quite boyish about the speeding but the gas pedal fervently begging to be pressed a li'l harder was too compelling for a mortal soul not to yeild to the temptation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Congrats. also my fav too.

One of my friends Ananth owned this car and I drove it extensively. It was manual with sport package through. What a car! absolutely an orgasmic experience. I see from your wheels that this is not a sport.

Also you have bought it at a stage in its life when it requires some high$ maintainence but I guess you already know that.

BTW, you in Ft.Wayne?
Mpower you have summed it all up in most condensed expression - orgasmic is the experience. Nothing short of it. Yes, although most of my mates strongly discouraged me to bring home a German mistress I would & could only turn a deaf ear to them. I have already lightened by wallet a bit BUT it is nothing to compensate for what you have already called it - an orgasmic experience. Am quite close to Fort Wayne. Am in Warsaw about 30-40 miles north west of Fort Wayne.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspur View Post
Congratulations! The E39 is one of my absolute favourite BMWs, especially in M5 guise but what the heck, this one's a beauty. Nice detailed opening post there, and yes, we do need some beauty shots of the car at some nice location. Wallpaper material, no less. Enjoy!
flyingspur I did not know much about German cars before buying this. I was quite bent upon buying a Merc ///AMG until I found this Bimmer within reasonable distance. Without much of a wink got her under my ownership. Around where i live there's hardly a car to choose from, let alone a German (err by German I mean only BMW or Merc. No other!). Inspired by learned enthusiasts like you commenting on this thread I got a li'l active to put my camera to good use this evening. Lemme know if they please your eyes reasonably

Quote:
Originally Posted by superboy44 View Post
this is one of those cars that seems to have frozen in time, absolutely timeless classic.
for me its right up there with merc w124 series.
simple clean lines, really elegant.
superboy44 frankly speaking i was more inclined to buying a Merc because of the looks. As much as I absolutely adore this Bimmer I would make no qualms about finding a Merc better looking than a BMW until today. An attribute that i forgot to mention earlier on that i like a lot is the engine making a faint whoosh much like a flight engine. No wonder BMW made jet engines too and has traces of engine audio left as lineage. LOL!


Quote:
Originally Posted by khan75 View Post
Looks delicious! Don't neglect the exterior - the car needs a good round of buffing.
khan75 wish she was edible. LOL! Please check out these pics and advise if you think the sheen & depth of the looks could be enhanced significantly by detailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Also, you said that the tyres weren't in a good condition. Hope the newer ones sorts the breaking part after you get the rest of stuff checked as pointed out by GTO.
jkdas yes the front tyres are almost gone, especially at the edges. I would soon get a pair of new tyres given that frosting has already started. I plan to put all weather tyres instead of winter tyres. Will that be a moderately sensible thing to do? I have never driven through / on snow before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
ABK, as requested, I have moved your post into a new ownership thread.

Congrats on the 540i! The E39 remains the best looking BMW (ever) in my books. How about some pictures with only the car in the frame



It's a 10 year old car. Have the entire braking system checked up (pads, discs, master cylinder etc.). Also, your car weighs around 1,700 kilos, not 2,000.
GTO thanks a lot! I have never felt so disposable in my life, that too for a machine :( However, knowing that it indeed is how I stand relative to my mistress here's she in as much glory as I could capture. Had plans to take her to a park amidst the riot of natural fall colours but it seems it has to wait until the next fall. So here's for the warmth.

Btw - thanks for the correction. Yes, she is not as overweight as I was under the heavy impression of.

All: I got the servicing done, which is essentially replacing the engine oil. Have very disappointing story to narrate (later). Am not sure of big towns and cities of the US, at least where I live I can very safely vouch all these specialists (muffler & brake, body work, lubes, tyres, radiators, etc) are worthless bunch of fellows. They hardly know about cars. Looks like any Joe walking down the road is offered jobs in these specialist shops. Shocking!
Attached Thumbnails
BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2039.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2041.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2042.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2045.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2046.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2048.jpg  

abk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd October 2010, 09:50   #11
BHPian
 
taranonline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: India
Posts: 279
Thanked: 105 Times
Default

such a awesome car to drive. I am jealous.

Wish we had all these beauties in India.
taranonline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th November 2010, 10:21   #12
abk
BHPian
 
abk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NOIDA / Gurgaon
Posts: 276
Thanked: 8 Times
Default Adieu :(

Its almost about time I said to my fond German mistress "So long!". How much it pains me in addition to my aching back which is forcing me to return to India. Well, personal emotional ramblings apart here are a couple of videos of things I tried during the thanksgiving weekend.

Some mild rubber burning of my BMW. However, the yellow/amber light would cut in and not let me spin the wheel as freely as I'd have loved to. Looks like the slip/skid sensor needs to be disengaged to get a real good burnout:


And here's my friend's almost new Merc on the sports mode for me to attempt a quick spin followed by pedal-to-metal drag acceleration:


Unfortunately on either of the German beauties I could not get down to do drifting. BMW would constantly have the stability controls kick in whilst the Merc is an AWD without the hand brakes
abk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2010, 10:47   #13
abk
BHPian
 
abk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NOIDA / Gurgaon
Posts: 276
Thanked: 8 Times
Default So long!

Here's the final set of pics of my German mistress. I had the opportunity of taking her out on the heavily snowed roads & i must confess driving a rear wheel powerful beast with almost bald front tyres is quite a nightmare. Even a gentle tap on the accelerator pedal tends to sway her back nervously before the stability controls kick in and straighten her up Lesson learned: If I ever happen to be in US again where it means driving through the snow & on icy road conditions I'd either have an AWD or front wheel drive vehicle. And yes, it is probably going to be another Bimmer no less than the 5 series. Loved her immensely & miss her now. Back to my ailing OHC and trying to sort my orientation of right hand driving protocols quickly.

Here's a feast for your eyes. She remained, through days dark & bright; through the rain & the shine - always mine!
Attached Thumbnails
BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2151.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2160.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2161.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2162.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2163.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2183.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2184.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2185.jpg  

BMW 540i (E39) Initial ownership report-img_2187.jpg  

abk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
To Buy a 1994 BMW 316i or Not. Now: 1995 BMW 540i AT? snap316 Luxury, Imports & Niche 34 20th March 2016 12:50
BMW M5 Spotted Thread (w/Pics) - E28, E34, E39, E60, F10 v12 Super-Cars & Imports in India 477 19th November 2015 10:57
Need help with Mods for a BMW 540i! SOBOSpeedster Modifications & Accessories 14 23rd August 2012 00:40
Beeping sound when reverse gear is engaged in BMW 540i abk Technical Stuff 14 3rd August 2010 05:55
Audi A4 3.0 TDI - any competitor? EDIT : Booked A4. Further EDIT : Got BMW 540i V8! SOBOSpeedster Luxury, Imports & Niche 75 8th June 2010 10:12


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 06:45.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks