In Reply to: Re: Surely an ///M5 can't be THAT unreliable(long) posted by JohnG on September 17, 2001 at 21:16:39:
That was my attitude precisely when I bought the car. I was a bit disappointed at the early demise of the engine, but I had already considered it a possibility in discussions with my fiancee so neither of us were more than disgusted when it happened. No bank breaking, etc.
Finding a competent tech will be tough. I took my car in and then pulled it out after the tech did not impress me. I'm glad I did. As I work on it, I realize one needs to be quite patient (or very smart) to do it right. I'm lucky as I have a pair of mech engg degrees and access to techs (via e-mail), but most are not that lucky.
Thanks for the info.
I'm okay with that - you experienced an out of the ordinary catastrophic failure, and if that happened to any car it would be expensive. If it happened to an M5 I had bought, then so be it - that's not too much money in my opinion, considering the type of car we are dealing with.
My point is that the M5 is not prone to these types of failures, it merely requires more periodic maintenance than a Lexus at a higher price.
I understand that IF something catastrophic does occur, it will be expensive. But it doesn't seem to expensive to me, in part because I'm comparing it to the ~$8000 rebuild that I want for my Camaro when it hits 200k miles or so(resleeve the block to achieve 383 cubic inches with all bore, no stroke increase).
My biggest concern would be finding a competent tech to do the work, the costs don't appear to be higher than the cost of a "performance oriented" rebuild on a late model Camaro/Corvette. A top end package for one of those is about $2500-3000 for all the parts ready to bolt on.
I am rebuilding the top-end of my M5. Cost me $1500 in parts and machine work. It might have been $800 or less on a 535i. I'm doing my own labour, but labour on a 535i would have been lower as well. The point being that if something does break you are in for a higher bill.
Should you run away from this car. NO! Some people have money for maintenance, but I have time and patience to learn and do it myself. Both are good ways to own this car. When I bought mine, I kept 20% is reserve from my budget. I need the $1500 immediately as the top end damage (spontaneous and unexplained) occured in 2 months of ownership!
The M5 is a robust automobile and you can be hard on it. But, it is not a Lexus. Those dudes build a 100 litre motor and pull 200 HP out of it. That is a formula for reliability. The M5 is a highly strung motor and will not be as reliable as that.
Whatever you do, go in with your eyes open!