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A BMW Dealer Tried Mechanically Totaling An M5, So The Owner Fixed It at Home For 90 Percent Less

Alex goes over his ridiculous invoice.
Alex goes over his ridiculous invoice.
Screenshot: LegitStreetCars

When the BMW dealership gave Alex Palmeri a $17,000 estimate to fix his 409,000-mile E39 M5, the car was declared mechanically totaled. At that price, it would cost most of its value to repair. Palmeri wasn’t ready to give up, though.


Unsurprisingly, a lot of the work that the BMW dealership claimed was necessary really wasn’t. In one case, the dealership recommended replacing valve cover gaskets with only 2,000 miles on them. They also said it needed brake lights, despite the brake lights still working, and wanted him to replace some fluids that were also recently flushed and replaced.

But still, the M5 needed a lot of work. Despite not having any experience working on BMWs (though he’s a Mercedes master tech and clearly has a great garage setup) Palmeri jumped in and took care of every necessary repair.


He documents every repair and how much it costs compared to what BMW would charge. The video, on his channel LegitStreetCars, is really worth checking out:

He left a few things off, like replacing the catalytic converters and an airbag light, but with only 5 hours of work he finished most of the $17,000 repair using only $675 worth of parts.

Mack Hogan is Jalopnik's Weekend Editor, but you may know him from his role as CNBC's car critic or his brave (and maligned) takes on Twitter. Most people agree that you shouldn't listen to him.

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Fritz O' The Ham

“Despite having no experience working on BMWs”

He’s got a YouTube channel and a two post lift in his garage. The article seems to want to sound like some yokel with only a passing knowledge of cars (I.e. ME) managed to miraculously fix a car at a staggering savings.  

It seems to me like a guy who knows a lot about fixing cars in general. Why would he go to a dealership anyway?