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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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Old 06-26-2010, 12:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question for a potential 1st time BMW owner

I have two questions.

My car (1999 Passat) is on it's last legs. I need to buy a replacement car.

Given the current economy, I don't have a lot to spend on a car. (I'm a small business owner so one never knows!!)

I found a two-owner, 1997 528iA for sale at a Lexus dealership for $3,997. The car has 188,125 miles.

From Car Fax:

Year purchased 1997, Private lease, Estimated length of ownership 3 yrs. 3 mo., odometer reading at sale 46,300
Year purchased 2000, Personal, Estimated length of ownership 9 yrs. 7 mo., odometer reading at sale 188,125


I don't do a ton of driving, my office is in my home so basic driving = weekly errands and kids to school during school year ~ 3-5 mile each way.

Of course one must consider a variety of factors for the specific car, but in this groups' opinion what is the mileage expectancy for a 1997 528iA?

I am going to look at the car on Saturday - what key questions should I ask?

KBB gives the following valuation for a private sale:

Excellent $3,825
Good $3,400
Fair $2,700

Thanks so much for any words of wisdom!

Lisa

Last edited by jzonewarrior; 06-26-2010 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
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You have the fax, so+ service records, but the $ seems a bit up there...
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to the Werkz.

I don't know any really indepth detail about this model but you should get a mechanic ro similar to check it out if you aren't too skilled in this area. You want to make sure that the log book shows all the scheduled maintenance as being performed.

See what sort of warranty you can get them to supply or as an add on.

See if you can get to the car before it is started for the day, look for a milky affect in the coolant or on the expansion bottle cap(its a bad sign), start from being stone cold over night to see what sort of noises are coming out of the engine at start up, look for smoke or excessive condensation from the exhaust, get someone else to drive it off and do a couple of drivebys for you to listen to the car from the outside, and again check the exhaust for ecessive smoke (bad sign). A mechanically minded freind would be a good assistant for Sunday.

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Old 06-26-2010, 12:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey witeshark and brettski thank you for your quick replies & brettski great detailed info.

I've heard very good things about BMWs, likely out of my price range but maybe an older model with solid record is an option?

My brother works on Mazadas for a living - not sure if his knowledge is a good transfer to a BMW but he won't let me buy a car without him looking at it so perhaps he can provide some good guidance!

I also found the following car:

1997 BMW 318i
Miles 138,987
$2,695
Fresh trade in!! Priced to sell quickly!! Car might need a headgasket. Car over heats.

Car comes with a Carfax Buyback Guarantee.

Preowned Saab Inventory - Andrews of Princeton, Minnesota

Is a headgasket a big deal? OMG that is probably a total rookie question but ... that's why I joined the werkz, so I could ask rookie questions.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Depening on whether its just a gasket or a cracked head as well. There are other issues that can cause overheating, but it is something that your brother will know about because regardless of the make, most combustion motors will have some exposure to this sort of issue. I'll get flamed for saying this, but BMWs are still based on the regular car design, just with some extra technology and enhancements added, but they are prone to the stuff that all cars suffer from with neglect. Your brother will know what to look for in a generic way, and the other stuff to look for might be covered by someone more familiar with these models. Good luck
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi!

I have a 1999 528i with 120k miles on them.. got it last nov 09...

Rides smoothly. I am sure you will enjoy this car.

Good Luck

Jericho
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I own an E39 528i and personally I've found the car to be pretty reliable...it's let me down once and that is because of my own fault (exploded the differential and that is a long story). If the car has been maintained, has seen regular oil changes, and has been taken care of I don't see why it can't give you another 30,000 miles+ of solid driving...

However, that price for the car seems a little on the high side and I would try to get the dealership to drop it down a little bit more which I bet they will if they are really interested in selling the car. Best of luck!
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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ask what needs to be done to the car,are there books with the car, has the car been in an accident and if so what was the result.. What is the absolout minimum you would accept for the car
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