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 2003 BMW 530i

After six years of 8-series ownership, changing life circumstances called for new requirements from my daily driver (more practicality, lower costs of ownership). Of course, I wanted to remain within the BMW family -- and retain a somewhat powerful engine. I narrowed my choice to the E39 530i, with preference to sport package models. In October 2013, a month after selling my 840Ci, I came upon this 2003 530i Sport in good cosmetic condition, painted titanium metallic.

Typical for BMW's this age, it suffered from numerous minor issues which, if neglected, degrade value significantly: missing display pixels, fluid leaks, damaged front bumper cover, failed headlight adjusters, etc. By now, familiar with these problems, I wasn't overly concerned.

BMW 530i : front view

My '03 530i with repaired headlight adjusters and new foglights.

This purchase increased my involvement with the E39 chassis (I also own a 1999 528iT) and gave me a greater appreciation of its attributes and versatility. Up until recently, I've always considered myself a "coupe man", preferring 2-door coupes to 4-door sedans. Now for the first time I bought a 4-door car as my daily driver. Sacriledge!

BMW 530 : side view

The E39 Sport package includes black-out trim and 17" wheels

Unfortunately, I didn't fully diagnose the check-engine light before purchase. It turned out this car had two expensive hidden problems: failed catalytic converters and a slipping transmission torque converter. After debating the proposition of selling it or fixing it, I initially embarked on a "fix it" course only later to reconsider. This was the only BMW in my 20 years of marque ownership that resulted in disappointment (despite its wonderful handling and glorious exhaust note above 3500 rpm), and ended in my trading it for a considerable loss.

BMW 530i interior

The black/grey interior looks very business-like. All display pixels were repaired and aluminum rings were added to the cluster.

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Frankie
Willis, TX, USA