Last post on Jul 28, 2013 at 1:08 PM
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BMW 5 Series, Car Buying, Sedan
#48 of 400 Need your advice -- 2005 BMW 530i or 2004 BMW 545i?
Apr 05, 2007 (10:43 am)
I am in the market for a used (but not too used) 530 or 545. Like everyone else, I'm looking for the most bang for the buck, but I am also thinking ahead to re-sale value (I have a bad habit of not keeping cars more than 3 years). My budget is about $30k - $35k. I'd prefer not to go older than a 2004 model (forgive me, but I actually like the Bangle style). I have my eye on a 2004 545i (51k mi., PP, SP, CP, prem. audio; asking $34k) and a 2005 530i (31k mi., no options; asking $34k). My heart (and right foot) are telling me to go for the 545, with 325 hp and lots of extras. My conscience is telling me I don't need the "extras" or the bigger engine and to just get the 1-year "newer" vehicle with 20k less miles. Who do I listen to?
#49 of 400 Re: Need your advice -- 2005 BMW 530i or 2004 BMW 545i? [carjax]
Apr 05, 2007 (4:28 pm)
The 530 will give you plenty of bang for the buck over the OUT OF WARRANTY 545. The 3.0 I6 is very smooth and has plenty of torque. These cars are very particular when it comes to maintenance and you will save a fortune and have a lot more peace of mind driving a car with some warranty left. You can call a dealer ahead of time with the VIN# to confirm how much warranty is truly left.
#50 of 400 Re: Need your advice -- 2005 BMW 530i or 2004 BMW 545i? [carguy70]
Apr 09, 2007 (11:34 am)
Good advice. Thanks!
#51 of 400 What nice, high performance beemer to buy?
May 11, 2007 (6:10 pm)
Before asking my big question, I need to get this off my chest and just wondering: WHY DO MANY CAR MANUFACTURERS MAKE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION CARS THAT SUCK, BREAK DOWN QUICKLY, AND BURN GAS RAPIDLY BUT THEY RARELY MAKE NICE STICK SHIFT CARS THAT GO FAST, LAST LONGER, AND ARE MORE FUEL EFFICIENT?
I was looking at several cars available; a 1993 325is Stick Shift Coupe, a 1995 740i or a 1990 750iL witha v12 and low mileage, and a nice 1994 530i or 540i with an automatic.
First, I was looking for a BMW with good condition and at a low price but runs great because soo I'm looking to strip the car and rebuild it with some high performance parts. As for my driving needs, I need a car which might have a manual transmission that would react better in a city environment as opposed to an automatic. Don't get me wrong, I can take an automatic as well, but it must shift nicely in stop and go traffic. Also, I need a car which has nice horsepower and get up and go, like a v8 or v12. But, since the car's being used in city driving, I need overall fuel efficiency in a car.
Let's look at the 325is. It is stick shift, which I might like since I don't like automatics. But overall, what would be good for city and highway driving, as well as Motorsport driving? Auto or stick? Stick has 5 gears which can be selected rapidly at lower RPMs for increased acceleration where as autos have 4 and are slower at shifting with power reduction. The problem is this car has a inline 6 which might have nice power, but may have struggling against cars with 8s or 12s and it might not catch up to an M3. Also, the car is small and agile, which is great for cornering and grip and reduced weight for faster acceleration, but it is only a small 2 door car. And, it weighs just as much as a 5 series or a 7 series and is only limited to a 6.
Next, the 1994 530i. It has a 3.0 V8 which is a peppy, fuel efficient v8, it is a 4 door sedan with a pretty roomy trunk, and is reminiscent of an M5. The downside is it is an automatic, it is a bit heavier than a 3 series which may reduce acceleration, grip, and cornering. Also, I don't know how good a mini-v8 performs it Motorsporting.
A 540i stick shift is a M5 knock off, but is very rare, pretty high in price, and are more available in auto than it is in manual.
Third car is a 1995 740i. Newer model car, but may cost more in parts and probably spend more in replacement parts than high performance upgrades. Heavier car, bigger car for even more reduced acceleration, grip, and cornering. And its an automatic.
Lastly, a 1990 750iL. Again, v12 excellent for high speed, acceleration is no problem for a v12, extremely roomy interior and trunk, but it is an automatic and a v12 will cost astoundingly more than its 740 counterpart and may still need more parts even after repairs.
I'm leaning towards the 530i since it has less drawbacks, but should I go for it since 530i stick shifts are rare? Or should I do a tranny swap out and end up with all advantages and no drawbacks? Or should I enjoy it as is?
#52 of 400 Re: What nice, high performance beemer to buy? [joyrider147]
Jun 14, 2007 (5:49 am)
WOW! I don't feel comfortable giving a full response to all your questions b/c your post is a little over my head (OK - alot over my head ).
A car that's not too small, but good for city driving, stick shift, v8, and can race. That's a lot to ask.
I'd forget about the 7-series - I think it's too big to drive in the city.
I would think the 3 would suit your needs if you're single or just don't use the back seat much. Otherwise, a 5-er is the way to go.
#53 of 400 Re: What nice, high performance beemer to buy? [joyrider147]
Jun 14, 2007 (7:51 am)
1. Beemers= BMW Motorcycles
Bimmers= BMW Automobiles
2.I'm leaning towards the 530i since it has less drawbacks, but should I go for it since 530i stick shifts are rare?
Read this before you look at any early M60 powered BMWs.
3. Or should I do a tranny swap out and end up with all advantages and no drawbacks?
Converting a post-1990 BMW to a manual transmission is often MUCH more trouble than it is worth. It can be done, but it can be a very expensive and time consuming procedure.
4. I would strongly recommend that you attend several high performance driver schools-such as the ones offered by BMW CCA- BEFORE you modify your chosen Bimmer. I say this because 99% of BMW drivers are woefully unable to drive a stock-never mind modified-Bimmer at anywhere near its true potential.
5. If I wanted an inexpensive BMW that can be modified easily and somewhat cheaply, I'd find a nice E36 325i or 328i. There are tons of engine and suspension parts available.
#54 of 400 2002 540i 6 MT
Jul 13, 2007 (11:11 pm)
Like a lot of people, I have considered a BMW for many years but have yet to buy one. I want my first purchasing experience to be a positive one.
I am looking for a family friendly but sporty and upscale car for me. My wife has a van and we have 2 kids under age 3 (ie 2 car seats). My last 3 cars have been non-luxury Japanese cars - Outback wagon and 2 Accords. I am looking for something a little more sporty and have always admired BMWs.
I am considering a used 2002 540i 6 MT wi 57000 miles. Its certified used from a dealer for asking price of $24900. What sort of issues should I look for when evaluating such a car? What sort of maintenance and service costs are typical for such a car?
The dealer provided a carfax which indicates 2 owners. It also indicated a battery and catalytic converter being replaced in 2004. It was in a minor accident and the front bumper was repainted in 2005.
Aside from the particulars of this car, is there anything in general that I should look out for on this kind of car?
Is this the BMW to start with?
#55 of 400 Re: 2002 540i 6 MT [nowakj66]
Jul 14, 2007 (6:35 am)
It sounds like a great car that if you don't jump on I might. Geez, I've seen the 530i from that year up in that price range, so a 540i 6-Speed is a bargain if its in good shape.
Things to look for:
1) Oil changes at least every 15,000 miles (using BMW LL-01 certified oil)
2) Brake fluid changed every two calendar years (using DOT 4 brake fluid)
3) Engine coolant changed every three to four calendar years
4) That "Service A" was performed at around the 30,000 mile mark
5) Inquire with the dealer what the cost will be for "Service B" (due in 3,000 miles)
Other things to consider:
- What kind of tires are on the car? I ask because the OEM summer performance rubber have long since worn out.
- The brakes are probably going to be ready for replacement within the next 15,000 miles or so. They are a fairly easy DIY job and oddly enough less expensive to do than the ones on our Minivans (go figure), however, dealerships seem to like to charge top dollar for the job. Check around for pricing (hint: find a good independent BMW shop).
- If you live where it snows, you will NEED a set of winter tires. You can either buy a complete set of wheels and rubber from TireRack for a little over $1,000, or you can poke around on the second hand market. Wheels from any E39 (the generation of 5-Series you are looking at) 540i or 530i SP will fit over your brakes.
Good luck and keep us posted.
#56 of 400 Re: 2002 540i 6 MT [shipo]
Jul 14, 2007 (7:33 am)
Thanks Shipo - great advice. The carfax does indicate oil changes and services aprox every 15000 miles. Should I be concerned that the catalytic converter was replaced in 2004?
I hope to see the car in person this afternoon.
#57 of 400 Re: 2002 540i 6 MT [nowakj66]
Jul 14, 2007 (8:06 am)
That's a little odd but I wouldn't worry about it too much. Could have been something simple like a piece of road junk mashing the converter or something.