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)
I'v been pouring over the forums for the last few days, and I've found a ton of great info.
I'm going to be first time BMW buyer, and I have decided on the 5 series with a manual tranny.
I've found a 2001 with about 70,000 miles and a clean Carfax for $23,000. Besides the price, what kind of inspections should I have performed, and what can I exect to pay for the inspections. What should I check for on the test drive.
This will be my daily driver, so I want to get a great car.
I've also seen plenty of 1997 528's at about half that price, should I consider those as well.
I bought a 2001 530i s/p/5spd exactly last year for the same price and mileage. This is my first bimmer and i have to say it's a great car. Forget the '97 528. You always want more power! Plus, the 2001 looks more current with matching body color moldings, XENONS (!!!!) and clear lights.
That car should have had at least 2 Inspection I's and 1 Inspection II. Try to find out if the oil was changed in between inspections and whether the brakes and rotors have been changed. If it's a manual, find out if the clutch was replaced (not that it would need it but it would be nice to know).
Call around to your local independent BMW mechanics and/or dealers and get an idea of what they charge for the Inspection I and Inspection II. This is a fun car to work on other than trying to figure out what the codes are but things like fluid changes, brakes, rotors, etc. can be done by you if you have the patience and desire. You can also get a Bentley manual for just over $100 to help you plus this and other forums.
Look under the hood to get an idea of how it was maintained. Look at the tread on the tires, make sure you get it to speed on the highway and check alignment. Some 528/530 have a shimmy which can have a variety of sources. You may also want to have an independent mechanic check it out for which may be money well spent.
As you said, you're looking at a 2001 530 and secondly a 1997 528. I drove a 2001 530 for the last 3 years and a 1997 528 for 3.5 years prior to that. The 530i was a night-and-day difference for me. It was smoother, quieter, more powerful, *much* better sound system, superb steering (in some ways better than the 545i I have now), and better styling than the 528. Because 1997 was the debut year for the E39, I felt there were some rough edges to be worked out, and these were worked out very nicely in the 2001 model year.
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