Older BMW M cars are revered for their handling prowess, performance and fun-factor. However, owning some of them now can just be more of a headache than anything else. That’s because some of them, such as the E60-gen BMW M5, are very complicated and high-strung, leading to a lot of expensive things breaking and frustrating electrical gremlins. So when Road & Track’s Brian Silvestro bought a used E60 BMW M5 for $10,500, a very low price for that car, we were very curious to see how it held up.
Silvestro’s M5 sports a 5.0 liter naturally-aspirated V10 that makes (or made when new) 500 hp and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. That free-breathing V10 is a thing of joy, as it revs past 8,000 rpm and makes a glorious noise. However, that high-strung nature means that it typically doesn’t have the longest life span. Which is why when Silvestro bought it with 154,000 miles on it, many fans were worried his engine might die soon after purchase.
Surprisingly, the mighty V10 is still kicking, even if it’s not running perfectly. He has some chain rattle noise coming from the front of the engine, which likely has to do with the timing chain/tensioners/VANOS or some sort of combination. He’s also pulling two engine codes, which claim the engine is, ironically, running both too rich and too lean.
He also claims that the suspension is in pretty bad shape, feeling like it’s going to shake apart over rough roads. So it most likely needs new shocks, springs and all sorts of suspension bushings.
Despite having those issues, though, Silvestro still took it to Watkins Glen to flog it on the track and it held up admirably. The only real issues it had on the track was that its brakes boiled during hard driving.
So despite being a great car, one that has a brilliant engine and is very fun to drive, it can be a very expensive headache if not maintained properly.