Last post on Feb 16, 2013 at 10:05 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
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BMW 5 Series, Sedan
#9974 of 12737 What should I look out for?
Mar 07, 2005 (2:14 pm)
I was reading the forum over here and it looked like a lot of helpful and friendly people. I looked through some of the topics to try and find an answer my question, but was not able to find everything. I have read though the BMW 5-series Owners: Problems & Solutions, the Acura RL vs. Audi A6 vs. BMW 5-series vs. Jaguar S-Type vs. Lexus GS as well as quite a bit of the BMW 5-series Sedans threads (499 Pages!!!!...wow).
So I thought it might be a good idea to post here...so here goes:
I am looking to buy a used 5 series. I found a 1998 540i (6 spd). It has 126000 km ( = ~78000 miles) and the guy is asking $21500 (canadian). Now I think the price is a little steep, I'll bring him down, that is not a problem (I hope). The question I have for you guys is....
What should I look out for when I go and have a look /test drive that car?
Is there something I should know is problematic with these cars to begin with?
Should I check for the VIN #'s in more than one place (if so, where)?
Of course, there will be the normal why are you selling, I'll get the vehicle history and get it checked by a mechanic etc...but prior to that, what little things, or telltale signs of possible trouble should I look for? Any little bit would help me out a great deal.
Thank you very much for your help.
#9975 of 12737 Re: What should I look out for? [overthere]
Mar 07, 2005 (4:44 pm)
Others will offer some suggestions but here's a start. Check if the radiator, expansion tank, water pump and fan have been replaced. These parts are made primarily of plastic and they tend to let go about the mileage you're looking at.
Some owners replace these parts as a preventative measure, check if your seller is one of them. If the car's been cared for there shouldn't be too many other systemic problems.
Good luck, it's a great car!
#9976 of 12737 Optional equipment for the 530
Mar 07, 2005 (6:06 pm)
Seriously considering purchasing a BMW 530. I know that optional equipment on a car is an individual preference. However, I am sure some of you 530 owners feel that if you are going purchase a car such as this, there is certain optional equipment or option package that needs to be on this car. If this is the case, I would greatly appreciate some suggestions. I live in the Dallas, Texas area, whether that makes a difference or not. I want to thank you in advance for any responses back and for the great information posted on the BMW forums.
#9977 of 12737 Re: What should I look out for? [mikar]
Mar 07, 2005 (7:02 pm)
Thanks very much Mikar.
I just came back from seeing the car. Test drove it as well. That felt nice very nice, even though the car was not well maintained. This is what I got from it:
1) His car had been keyed onthe rear left quarter panel. A good deep 16-20 inch scratch. I suppose it could be buffed out. Not really that big a deal.
2) The hoses were worn out...and there were noticeable swellings...no biggie I suppose, can be easily replaced.
3) There was oil around the head gaskets (all of them). Now I know what normal grime/dirt etc. in an engine looks like, and this wasn't it. Not good.
4) Felt my way around all external gaps. The hood had a much wider gap on one side than the other. The front quarter panel on the same side felt a little different...dont know how to explain it
5) The plastic lining on the wheel well (sorry don't know the right term) was popped out(both front). Nothing too much...but c'mon this is a 540i.
6) Are you guys ready for this...he stated flat out that he uses this car to haul his trailer. I could see the trailer parked in his driveway, and it lookd like it got frequent use. He said he hauls 4000lbs or so.
7) When he started the car, it did not sound very...well, there was almost a delay as the engine turned over and then it started.
8) Test drive was ok...I did stall the car once or twice...one hell of a sensitive clutch compared to my 325is...well he was pretty cool about that.
So all in all, a handshake and an hour later I'm back home. I don't believe I will be looking at that car again.
You know something, there was ample power in that car (first time I drove a 540i) but to be quite honest, it might be just a little too big for me. I might just go with a 330i or an older 328IS. (Where is that icon of banging my head into a wall?
Well, I think that's about it for now. Any further input/analysis/good old fashioned words of wisdom would always be greatly appreciated.
Will keep you updated.
p.s. Thanks for reading all that...hehe
#9978 of 12737 Re: Optional equipment for the 530 [ktp]
Mar 07, 2005 (8:25 pm)
If you are referring to potential resale value, the more options the better. That said, the sport package seems to be mentioned most in terms of future resale. A BMW with sport package handles differently from one without (and the seats are different, too); whether you like it is a subjective call. Drive one with and one without to see which you prefer.
My 02 530 5 spd has everything except the upgraded stereo, navigation, and full cold weather package (it has heated seats and headlight washers). For me, the sport package was a must and most of the other toys are nice to have.
Whatever you buy, you can't go wrong. It's a great car.
#9979 of 12737 Re: Uhmmm, It's gone again [kyfdx]
Mar 07, 2005 (8:39 pm)
Gone and gone. I had emailed my salesperson and informed them that with the $500 increase unless it was a near invoice deal I would not be interested in the 05 model. Well.. their reply was that was a apparently a "mistake" and asked if I has printed such information out ? Well "NO " Grr also did any one else catch the Sport was listed at 2k on the 06 instead of 3k ? Making the 06 Sport effectively equipped $500 less that the 05..
In any case now I wonder was this not to be leaked until all 05 model's were dumped Or was it really a mistake on BMWUSA part.
#9980 of 12737 Re: Uhmmm, It's gone again [dl7265]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
Mar 07, 2005 (9:25 pm)
You never know what they are including in the packages from year to year.. I'd be surprised if a comparably equipped '06 is actually cheaper than an '05.
#9981 of 12737 Re: Optional equipment for the 530 [ktp]
Mar 08, 2005 (5:17 am)
I have a 2005 545 six-speed with SP, CWP (don't imagine you need that in Dallas), NAV, PDC, HUD, SAT Radio and rear impact airbags. I love the Sports Package but also have gotten very fond of the Park Distance Control. This is the first large car I've ever owned and I find the PDC very damn useful. Similarly, the Active Steering is very handy in parking garages. But if I had to choose between the two, I'd take the PDC.
NAV is very handy. I've lived in the Metro Washington area for 30 years but the NAV is still very helpful.
Similarly, I like the Heads Up Display although I'm not sure it's worth the $1000 they charge for the thing.
SAT radio is a ball. I had no idea I'd like it as much as I do. Very pleasant getting in the car at the end of the day and deciding what I feel like listening to on the way home. Seriously consider this if you have a long commute or are just into music.
I passed on the audio upgrade. It just doesn't sound $1800 better than the standard audio that comes with the car. Mind you, if you're a real audiophile, you might want to consider it.
Let us know what you decide.
#9982 of 12737 Re: Optional equipment for the 530 [cassidym]
Mar 08, 2005 (6:07 am)
I recall reading one review that said the PDC drove the reviewer crazy. It would never stop beeping when proceeding out from the garage and going back to the garage.
Not a problem for you?
#9983 of 12737 Overthere, input/analysis/words of..
Mar 08, 2005 (7:22 am)
I'm not a mechanic, but am reasonable knowledgeable about cars. The problem, as I see it, is that this 540 is no cream-puff, and all work on BMW's is $$$$. Reviewing your itemization:
1) Deep scratches can only be buffed to a certain extent, complete refinishing of entire body panel is necessary for proper job, best part of $1000 (US).
2) Hoses and belts must be maintained, I'd guess no less than $1000 for the whole ball of wax.
3) Oil seepage at gaskets is not uncommon, probably not too big an issue if not really leaking, but not cheap to make like new.
4) Has been in a front-end accident--was it fixed competently? (hard to feel confident given obvious parts mis-match)
5) What would make a wheel-well liner pop out? Lots of time on rough (off) roads is all I can think of. A 5-series is NOT a sport-ute.
6) Towing a trailer?! Unless he was practically giving you the car, I'd call this a deal-killer.
7) Engine slow to spin--at the very least, it needs a battery, but any electrical/ignition problems will cost.
8) Test drive--well, these 5-ers do drive nice, even if beat-up, but do you want to own it?
I guess there's a right price for everything, but I think you get my point, this particular 540 could be a money toilet, and has seen very hard usage. I'd look for a more gently used example.