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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-02-2005, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

I have no clue on what car I'm going to be getting myself this year, but I do have some interesting options. My first choice is a 1995 BMW 540i manual. Can anyone tell me that has the V8 or knows about them, some common issues to look out for.

A) How much is the inspection 1, and 2 run on these cars.

B ) Gas mileage and fuel tank size

C) Common niggling issues that drive you nuts about your cars (faulty plastic pieces, electrical issues, etc.)

Some basic info would be nice. Just so you can know some stuff about myself, I'm 17, will be paying for it by myself, (payments, insurance, gas, repairs) I have a decent income for my age so I can afford maintenance as long as it isn't too extreme. I currently drive a 1994 Mazda 626 V6 5 speed, and have had no troubles whatsoever with it. I know the same probably won't be said for the 5er, but I feel it would be a worthwhile upgrade.

I have roughly $15,000 to spend and am considering the E34 540i, the E39 528i,
the E36 328i, and for fun an E36 M3.

Let me know what you guys think!

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-02-2005, 02:20 PM
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I did a type 2 inspection on the same car. It ran me about 700 dollars. I can provide the list of everything they did, if you want, sometime tonight.

For me, the gas mileage is 17.4 MPG between city/freeway. I'm 19 and have a heavy foot, so you should get at LEAST this.

The biggest issue of the 530i/540i is the Nikasil problem. Here's a link:


Basically, the cylinder walls in the M60 blocks -- the 4.0 V8 in the 1995 540i -- is lined with Nikasil. It reacts very, very badly with gasoline containing high sulphur, boring through the walls, and killing the block quickly.

If you want to know whether or not a particular 530i/540i faces this problem, the best thing you can do is pay CLOSE attention to the idle. Let the car run for a few minutes in neutral, open the door wide, and hold it, and if it's shaking, there's a problem.

Also, do a compression test. That will tell you whether or not you are facing the infamous Nikasil issue.

If you encounter an E34 540i, and it has 100,000 or more miles, and the compression test comes back favorably, then you shouldn't worry. Just put premium gas in it, and you'll never run into any problems with the Nikasil.

E34 owners on bimmer.info have run Nikasil blocks up to 200,000 miles. Just be cautious about the issue -- not overly paranoid.

You can easily buy an E34 540i with a six speed for fifteen grand. The problem is, FINDING one. They're fairly rare cars, being that they only made the E34 with the 4.0 V8 AND the six speed in one year in the States -- 1995.

I pay 200 bucks a month for full coverage on Geico. No accidents, no tickets, been driving two and a half years. That should give you a rough estimate of your insurance.

Also, since you have 15K to spend, look to see if you can get a 1997 540i with a six speed -- first year of the E39. Personally, I prefer the styling of the E34 over the E39, but most would opt for the newer 5-series.

Good luck with your purchase.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-02-2005, 03:45 PM
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99 528i -- love it!
i got sports premium package and it's amazing
just a nice car inside and out except that 200hp doesn't help much at all if you like the acceleration -- though it can go above 140mph

get an average of 19-20mpg

member and partial creator of the Pimpin' The Auto club
m20 pwr: "oh yeah baby, pour some acid on my penis"

R.I.P. fast 6
"drive hard
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 09:38 AM
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I agree, be careful about the nikasil, but don't run from a rough idle - that can be caused by many things and is an easy fix. the proper way to test for nikisil is with a leakdown test. Take the car to an inspection shop that knows BMWs before you buy. You will have a few goofy problems with the car, I can almost garauntee that. The e34s also have some weakpoints in the suspension up front. Thrust arms go rather fast and end up shaking on the freeway, or shuttering while braking, etc. All is all, they are great cars, though.

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