Is this a decent deal? Please help! - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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)

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#1 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 05:49 PM
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Hey BMW Enthusisasts!

I have posted on this board before when looking for a car for my brother in law. Now, to make a long story short, my beloved Lexus ES300 has given up the ghost and I am thinking of crossing over to the BMW realm :P

Here is the car I am looking at, and I would like your brutally honest opinions if you could provide them. I really don't want to get stuck with repair after repair again . . . and I need this car to last at least 2-3 years.

- 1995 BMW 525i
- $5,600US
- 120,000 miles
- Fully Loaded
- 5-Speed Manual Transmission (I like stick )
- Cassette
- Dark Green Exterior
- Tan Leather Interior
- pw, pdl, power roof
- alloys
- Spotless and all original
- No rust, dent, scratches, etc.
- Sold with safety certificate and emissions testing
- 1 year powertrain warranty

I really appreiciate and value any input you guys can offer. If you could also offer some tips about the best/most reliable 5 series BMW, I would love that too!

Best regards,
Bryan
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 06:13 PM
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By the way, if you guys think this is a decent deal, then i am maybe going to go look at it tomorrow. I have always loved BMWs, and now that I am almost 22, insurance has FINALLY started to settle down!

If you could also comment on the cost and frequency of repairs, as well as the availablility of used parts that would be excellent

Regards,
Bryan
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 06:13 PM
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sounds good to me...I just bought similar car with more miles 2 months ago in California for $7,000.

<span style='color:green'>1994 325i </span>- - - 75,000 mi.
No mods - - - very happy as is!
<span style='color:green'>1995 525i </span>- - - 154,000 mi.
No squeaks or rattles... unreal!
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 06:19 PM
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Sweet! I am starting to get excited now! (Althoguh the dealer will never know that :P )

I live in Canada and this car is Canadian, so it might not be valued as high as a California car (due to out winter driving).

Thanks for your input! Anyone else care to add?

Thanks!
Bryan
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 06:38 PM
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Also, a couple of other stupid questions:

- What are the "globes" on the outer headlights for?
- Does the rear seat flip down for extra cargo space?
- Is dual climate control standard?
- Can the seats be vinyl instead of leather?? Is leather an "option" ??
- Am I taking a huge gamble by buying a 525i with 120,000 miles? How long do these cars usually last?

Thanks!
Bryan
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 10:47 PM
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Is the 525i a decently economical car to drive? Or is economical and BMW oxymorons? Any input is appreciated!

Bryan
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 02:51 AM
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I don't know if the specs are different in Canada than the UK, but if not the following applies -

Globes? I don't know what you're talking about.

Vinyl!!!! You've just insulted every BMW owner there is - LEATHER is an option VINYL is an option on 74 fords.

Rear folding seat is an optional extra - these cars aren't meant for the DIY'er to be filling with lumber and bricks (though that's your choice).

Dual climate control is an option on 5 series before 1998

And 125,000 miles on a well serviced car is nothing, these things are good for well over 200k - If you look in the forums you will see some members are honoured as being part of the over 200000 mile club.

Economy? I don't know what the petrol prices are in Canada but, I believe, well below the price here where a 2.5 ltr car is never deemed as economical - however your cousins on the other side of the boarder would deem a 4.4ltr 540 economical so really it depends on the price of juice.

Just buy and enjoy.
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#8 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 04:02 AM
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For the small engine size, the car is a bit of a gas hog.

There is a possibility that it could have "leatherette" - a high grade vinyl. Although its most likely leather.

On that year, it was optional but also - most likely it has the dual temperature zones.

Maintenance can get pricey, especially if the suspension is getting weak. The BMW is completely different than the lexus and will let you experience a whole different driving experience, but along with that will come a lot of *goofy* repairs. Tire life is also gonna be a lot less than your lexus. We have a toyota camry (same chassis as es300) and 17" tires will last 40+k mi, on the BMW we're lucky to hit 15 - 20k. Its just beacuse of the suspension set up.

Its a great car and if it has been well maintained and you continue to keep it up, it should last you to 200k and well beyond.

Parts availability here in the US has been great, but Im not sure about in Canada.

I hope this helps some.

good luck

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#9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 08:48 AM
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Thanks for the responses guys!

I am going to go take a look at her today.

Now, just to address a few raised issues:

- Gas is much cheaper in Canada than it is in the UK . . . right now, we pay about $0.80/Litre, which is WAAY WAAY cheaper than the UK. What probably ticks you off is the WE complain that gas is too expensive :lol:

- I'm not sure how to describe them . .. they look like crystal balls in the light assembly. I really like the look, but wondered if it served a purpose other than aesthetic appeal?

- According to Edmunds.com, the 5-Speed 525i gets 19mpg city and 28 mpg hwy. My 5-Speed ES300 gets even less at 19mg city and 26 mpg hwy. If this is true, then I don't think the 525i is a gas hog . . . It weighs 100 lbs more than my ES300 but gets better mileage

- Are you serious?! You only get 20,000 miles on a set of tires?! Do you use a higher-performance tire or something?

- I am asking if the car is fairly economical from a mechanical standpoint, not fuel. I think I can handle the fuel, btu I just don't want to sell one problem car to buy another . . .

Thanks for the help guys!!
Bryan
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 08:54 AM
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If anyone could answer the following questions as well, I would be most appreciative!

1.) How much should I expect to pay in repairs each year? This is very important . . . I don't want to get rid of one problem car to buy another . . .

2.) What are the most common problems with the car, and the estimated cost to fix? How much does a clutch replacement cost?

3.) What is the stock tire size? I have a fairly new set of pretty expensive Blizzaks that I am hoping will fit . . .

4.) What is the stereo setup in the car? Is the amp separate from the head unit? Is it difficult to install an aftermarket head unit? I just bought the new Alpine CDA-9835 (sweet deck!) and am hoping that it will work in the Beamer. If the speakers are only 2 ohms or something, it could cause problems . . .

5.) Do the 525i's come with remote keyless entry?

6.) I have heard that BMW parts are not as expensive as people think . . . I know OEM Lexus parts were expensive, so BMW is probably comparable?

7.) How does the RWD 525i handle in the snow? I live in Canada so it is kind of important . . .

8.) Is the car difficult to work on? Can only BMW technicians or specialists work on this car?

9.) You can see the rims in the picture above. Are these BMW rims? They don't look like the ones I see on other 5-Series BMWs . . .

10.) What type of light bulbs does this car take? I just bought Sylvania SilverStars for my Lexus and it would be perfect if they fit the BMW too!

11.) Is the 1995 525i what is called the E34 body style?

Thanks for your input guys! Hopefully I can get some responses before I go to look at the car B) If you wouldn't mind including the question numbers when responding , that would be very helpful! Thanks thanks thanks!!

Regards,
Bryan
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#11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 09:17 AM
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And Sp0rky,

I absolutely love the pics of your car!!! It looks so amazing!

I love the Angel Eyes! Did you buy a kit to do that? Is it expensive? I tried to do a custom angel eyes kit on my Lexus, but they turned out dim It was a lot of work to . . . had to put my headlight assembly in the oven to pry it apart, and had to make the pastic rings myself cause no kit is available . . .

And what year is your 5 series? It looks so sweet!

Regards,
Bryan
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#12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 01:08 PM
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d3ity will become famous soon enough d3ity will become famous soon enough
I just bought the EXACT same car, for the EXACT same price with 124,000 miles...
And another 93 with 90,000 miles for a similar price

At that age, you may have to put some money into the front suspension, i dumped around 1000 into both cars to get the front suspension up to state inspection standards.

Still though, great cars.

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#13 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 01:16 PM
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d3ity will become famous soon enough d3ity will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally posted by bdonkersgoed@Aug 11 2004, 10:34 AM
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>
1.) How much should I expect to pay in repairs each year? This is very important . . . I don't want to get rid of one problem car to buy another . . .

Depends how you drive it, how often you drive it, Generally they're very good on repairs, in my experience.

2.) What are the most common problems with the car, and the estimated cost to fix? How much does a clutch replacement cost?

http://www.bmwe34.net/E34main/Troubl...will_break.htm

3.) What is the stock tire size? I have a fairly new set of pretty expensive Blizzaks that I am hoping will fit . . .

4.) What is the stereo setup in the car? Is the amp separate from the head unit? Is it difficult to install an aftermarket head unit? I just bought the new Alpine CDA-9835 (sweet deck!) and am hoping that it will work in the Beamer. If the speakers are only 2 ohms or something, it could cause problems . . .

Nice deck, it will work, there is no seperate amp in bimmers from the factory, you can add one, but get new speakers with it.

5.) Do the 525i's come with remote keyless entry?

Look at the rear view mirror, if it's "thick" it has the keyless entry reciever.

6.) I have heard that BMW parts are not as expensive as people think . . . I know OEM Lexus parts were expensive, so BMW is probably comparable?

BMW parts are similar, a little pricy.

7.) How does the RWD 525i handle in the snow? I live in Canada so it is kind of important . . .

Its RWD, if it has traction control, thats a plus, but it still not gonna be good in the snow.

8.) Is the car difficult to work on? Can only BMW technicians or specialists work on this car?

Buy a bentley service manual, most things you can do yourself.

9.) You can see the rims in the picture above. Are these BMW rims? They don't look like the ones I see on other 5-Series BMWs . . .

If they say BMW on them, they're BMW rims.

10.) What type of light bulbs does this car take? I just bought Sylvania SilverStars for my Lexus and it would be perfect if they fit the BMW too!

It takes normal 9005 and 9006 bulbs. Unless its euro spec with projectors.

11.) Is the 1995 525i what is called the E34 body style?

The e34 body style encompasses

89-95 BMW 525i 530i 540i

Thanks for your input guys! Hopefully I can get some responses before I go to look at the car B) If you wouldn't mind including the question numbers when responding , that would be very helpful! Thanks thanks thanks!!

Interspersed in quote

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#14 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 01:40 PM
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Ok - I cant answer all your questions, im running out of time, hwoever when i get back later I will answer as many more as I can.

1st. the headlights - that crystal ball looking thing on the outer lights is a projector for your low beams, it helps "throw" and aim the light instead of just having a bulb like other cars. The inner ones are your high beams.

In 95, it should have keyless entry

Yes, 89-96 5 series is called the e34. and mine is a 1990

It is RWD and it does have traction control, but its kind of a funky version of it, and just cuts power. No individual braking systems.

The tire sizes are : 205/65/15
225/60/15 (there are other sizes that fit, but these are the most popular.) Like I said, we had a camry before so its a lot like the ES and I bet the tires on the e34 are too wide.

Standard 9006 bulbs are fine.

The stereo is a 10 speaker headunit and amp w/ built in x-overs.
6 speakers up front, 4 in the rear and the amp in the trunk.

The car CAN be easy to work on once you figure out the "tricks", not too hard at all though.

BMW parts AREN'T as expensive as ppl make them sound, seriously toyota and lexus parts cost more.

I did the same exact angel eye kit that your talking about, was easy and they're plenty bright - just need BRIGHT LED's

sorry, was running out of time and i answered questions that were already answered. <sigh> - ill be back later, tell us how she looks and test drive her!

BTW: the rims look like replicas of another type of BMW rim. Theres a trick to tell if they're real or replicas. ill tell you later, it's kind of funny.

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#15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 01:57 PM
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Awesome answers guys! This is SO extremely helpful!

A couple more things:

a.) One person said there is no external amp, and another said there is an external amp. In order to get my Aline deck in, I guess I am going to have to do some rewiring to bypass the factory amp? Are the speakers really crappy? Cause I used the stock speakers in my Lexus and it sounded great.

b.) My Lexus ES300 tire size is the exact same!! P205 65 R15!! What a lucky coincidence! The Blizzaks I have are actually from a previosu car so they are P205 55 R15s, but I think they should probably work if they work on my Lexus . . .

c.) Judging from the website I viewed, it seems as if, from a Luxury Car Standpoint, BMW parts are "cheap". Plus, there is a much bigger aftermarket for this car than my Lexus. Just the brake lines alone for my Lexus are $1400CAN and there is certainly no aftermarket alternative I am thinking that BMW is almost comparable to Toyota or Honda . . .

d.) You made those Angel Eyes yourself?! They look incredible! It was so much work for me to make mine . . . I had to use a long acrylic rod and bend it by heating it up in the over etc. . . I wish mine looked as bright as yours!

e.) So, I guess in '95 Keyless Entry and Traction Control were standard?

f.) Can anyone tell me what all of the OPTIONS are on this car so that I can see if it has them when I go to look at the car?

g.) I believe that the rims are either imitation or authentic M5 rims. At least, I have seen these rims on pictures of M5s while conducting some research today . . .
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