5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60)Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)
My 86 Volvo is finally dying & I am looking to purchase a used 5-series. I particularly like the style of the 1990-95 - my budget likes these years as well. I wondered if anyone had any advise as to which year or model is a good bet or which to avoid. I understand any model can be a lemon or no trouble at all (I also own a Land Rover, notorious for problems, but have never had any problems with her) but am looking for a starting point. Anything anyone could offer would be appreciated!
The only advise I can give you, you already know. With BMW the latter in the series the better. However after saying that, I bought a "used" 97 528i. The only "problem" I have had with it so far has been a replacement of plugs after one bad morning of a very rough start. After the plugs replacement months ago, the car has been fine.
If purchasing older, I would do two things: 1) a hot oil flush and 2) a transmission flush - not the older type of "flush" which was really a drain and change, but a true flush. At Midas here in Vancouver, they are charging $150 for the trany flush, so it must be cheaper south of the border. The hot oil flush is $40.
I am sure others have their own opinion – and hope to see them here – but here is my 2 cents. If we are talking about the E34 (verses an E39, etc), than buy the latest model year that you can afford. Easy enough to say – but why? In my opinion there are significant engine differences between earlier and later years – if you want more details than look at a manual (for example the Bentley manual).
My 1995 (have put over 130K miles on it) has a M50 (with VANOS) engine and runs very nicely. I am not into the whole power/performance aspect of BMWs (stock is enough for me – especially driving in the US). If you want more power/performance then look at a 530, 540, or M5 (hey, they are more fun to drive!). I specifically bought the 525 because it is a very common car and relatively easy to find parts for, fix, and find someone to service it (other than the $$$ grubbing dealer). I would sell you mine but plan to get another 75K miles out of it first.
If you are serious about a 1995 E34 send me a private message and I will send a list of problems that I have encountered over 8 years of ownership.
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