What it is like to own an E34 M5 in financial terms (well a decent one)

What it is like to own an E34 M5 in financial terms (well a decent one) - BMW E34 5-series Forum

First things first I bought this beauty in 2013 (September 28th) so i am now over three years owner of this car. The Time I bought it, it had only valid TÜV (German technical inspection) for 3 days. But the overall condition was surprisingly mint. Previous owner planned on daily it, but well you might guess staying in traffic with an 80s (car is actually 90) Sportsclutch is kind of a pain in the arse. He was a true E34 fan, but bought an VW Diesel for daily usage and stored the M5 in Garage for almost 1.5 years with occasional drives. So I had despite the perfect rust and crash free (despite some minor dents on bootlid and 2 scratches on front bumper and front splitter) a garage queen. This sounds great but was not in fact. Engines oil was old and the engine itself was really bad in the first minutes. It got better at the end of the test drive, so I stopped and negotiated the price with the guy, because I smelled a steal right there. My buddy (mechanic) supported me with some tasks and basic maintenance first. Car passed technical inspection with no problems and I took it out for some spirited driving afterwards. And since then it is my trusted car friend.
But now in details what it costs me to run a car like that:
Insurance: 305€ (25 years old, only damage I do not on my car, classic car insurance with second car at same company, no crashes in record and no points on my licence (I honestly do not know how I manage that, I know people loosing their license driving way slower than me)
Tax: Euro 1 for 8 months/year: 363.12€ for a whole year it would be 544.68€.
You can choose to go Euro 2 with the car, but it messes up with the individual throttle body setup and the car gets confused and I heard stories of it not going that well. I had done it for the 535iA and it was not working well in the winter, so I manipulated the system and put a broken fuse into the regulation unit for the additional regulation. Worked well after it and noone noticed it since 6 years.
Fuel consumption: Well to be honest I do not count it. If you care about your fuel consumption and drive an M5 you drive simply the wrong car. And when I get into the M5 this does apply. the trip computer says 12.6l/100km and on my recent trip onto the Nürburgring in late August I managed a total of 12l/100km (Trip computer said 11l/100km that lying bast_rd). You might think what? Well this is the effect of this car. It was a trip of 668 km of which only 42 km were on the track and 50 on the roads around the Nürburgring (to cool car and breaks of after one lap and see the beautiful Landscape and awesome cars and get the Nürburgring vibe). The rest was on the Autobahn. I even reached 270km/h 4 times and about 200km were done with above 160km/h average speed, which is fast if you have traffic flow aside of you. The rest was just 130km/h driving, and there the M5 shines in terms of fuel consumption. And by shining I mean it does not totally suck.
repairs so far: Well as the car had 182.000 km engine and transmition wise everything was sound. Differential and rear was awesome mint condition. Refurbished leveled suspension, new springs and everything. Well this was part to the fact that the previous owner did some burnouts I think, since the rear tires were new as well, but were some poor rubber, so I got myself some Hankook Ventus, which were good at first, but now I think they could be better on track..but well that is another story for another post. To the problem Area: The front axle. It is well known in the hardcore E34 community, that the car lasts forever, but front suspension is gone after about 200.000km. And well mine was no exception. After one year I realized that everything on the front is starting to fall apart, so I got my hands on replacement parts. Front Shockabsorbers: 314,27€ each, M-Tech Springs: 98€ each, small stuff that got broken during replacment: ~95€, help from an M-Technik Expert: 100€ but totally worth it, if you have a realationship with some pros care for it and they help you out for cheap. He gave me good in depth tips, otherwise I would have gone to BMW directly and that would be crazy expensive, because M is short for MEGAEXPENSIVE, sadly. Upper control arms 180€ a pair. Lower (aluminium) control arms 400€ (yeah M-specific…)both. The mid bits of the multi linkage system were around 150€, I actually lost the bill for that which is annoying, because most of the time my car is the only thing I manage really good, because otherwise this will turn my financials into desaster and this leads to personal desaster and so on…. so manage your car right, life is at least not completely out of control.
Engine electric failure: This year the distributor cap and distributor fingers failed (Well one part, but I bought both parts, since I do not want to put it on and off again soon, and I did not want to find out which one, but I think it was the distributor finger). Both parts 130€ of course original =)

Found a picture on my phone of the Lower control arms... the tentacles on the right are the Ignition cable from a V12 which I replaced the day I got the linkage arms =) yeah when I have a carworkday it is not a normal 8h day.... sometimes days run out of time before I am finished if you know what I mean. And yes it is a 10 minute job, is never a 10 min. Job!
Found a picture on my phone of the Lower control arms... the tentacles on the right are the Ignition cable from a V12 which I replaced the day I got the linkage arms =) yeah when I have a carworkday it is not a normal 8h day.... sometimes days run out of time before I am finished if you know what I mean. And yes it is a 10 minute job, is never a 10 min. Job!

So last point on the list regular Service:
New oil every Year, since the car only does 4k in average a year (I have chosen ARAL Ulimate, I know it is not the best, but the car is 25 years old, and well this oil is better than anything they had back in the day!) 10W50. It does not see winters, so a 5WX is not necessary. And I really drive it warm very carefully till oil is at about 75°C which is after around 12 minutes. So if you floor it before and have a big engine, it is not even warm! Remember that! Oil is taking way longer than your coolant to reach temperature!
I have changed transmission oil once (ATF 2) and Differential oil (I do not remember, but it was the one that was in manufacturers manual, since I did it in my buddys workshop the litre prices were lower than buying one or two litre bottles,). Then the same service (which can be seen here: https://www.carthrottle.com/post/a573qyb/) I changed V-Belts etc Airfilter and so on. This one time biiiig service 130€, normal annual it is around 30€ for oil and oilfilter and maybe 10 for the airfilter, really cheap those parts.
Oh and of course as I bought the car I replaced the Spark Plugs with new oil…and air filter.

Conclusion: So I do not know exactly and I sure as hell forgot something in the above description, which is only done with the help of my markings and bills, which are actually very untrue, since I am spending also time on the lifting ramp if I imagine some new noises which are not there and only after I looked I am okay again… this meme with the girl thinking ohh he does not love me anymore and the guy thinking about a new ticking noise…well I do understand him, completely true. And small parts I bought at the workshop, just because I needed them I do not even have a bill for them, so I guess in total add another 200€ on top. I drove this car now for 12.000km. Engine and transmission and differential and chasis and suspension are sound now, suspension was not before me, the rest I kept clean. So now I try a hard making me cry calculation, how much I spend per km for this car.
Fuel in total ~ 2060€
Insurance for 3 years: ~1150€ (with previous rates higher)
Repairs: 1781.54€
Tax: 1089.36
Service: 210€
additional: 210€
6500€ for 12000 km
…. each km with this beauty was about 0.54€. I actually have to admit this number is less than I expected, but the money figure is like ohhh god I spend that amount on my car…. realizing that I live in a crappy apartment which is smaller than the garage I park that car in….(which I got for free since I care for a house from neighbours from my parents, where the car is parked often, because my daily is normally with me in the city…no garages for reasonable money here to be honest, just the university one which is for free, but the downside some students f*cking suck at driving). Ohh what I could have done with those 6500€……a few good roadtrips. And compared to my daily that is a lot more (If that car disappears into thin air it would have cost me without tax and insurance and lpg (fuel) around 0.05€ per km and around 0.10€ with both, god old beaten E34s are just too cheap). And I have to say if I would not have a buddy who lends me his lifting ramp and sometimes his skills (well actually more often then I like to admit) the number would have easily trippled.
But damn really 6500€…. damn I am struggling to get the 200€ for a possible Roadtrip to Ljubljana end of November….(yes man you do not need a ton of money to do roadtrips: https://www.carthrottle.com/post/w689jex/)
But maybe I will do another thing in November than that (August and Oktober were Nordschleife trackdays for example, November definitely not, driving skills on a rainy November day on that track…deadly for the car and possible for me as well. So cheers stay safe and this was a long article, I basically wrote to share my pain for calculating the running costs, which were lower than I expected, and front suspension will not need replacement soon, and I got that money infront since I negotiated a good price which will stay my secret =). And sorry for the freaking long text possibly nobody read it so far=)but if you did here is a lap from Nürburgring, of which I edited out some parts of the audio:

So cheers have a nice day or evening or what ever enjoy your time and have a beer. I know actually I am a bad example putting up pictures of empty beers ,while working, online, but hey….. I surely forgot something and I am up for discussion, answer might take a little while, but I enjoy discussions=).

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