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Buying a used 5 Series

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  • Forum Members, your opinions, please, on to buy the 95':
    Here is the ad for the 95 model: "112k highway miles, july 95 manu, owned since July 96 (I saw the forum link talking about the v8 US gas issue + I have a bmw mechanic to do a prepurchase inspection), owner bought a x5 and now willing to part with the 530i - asking $7400, Kelly BB=$8390"

    Please note:
    1. I owned a 89 325i (same indi bmw mechanic as noted above), 5 spd, sold it for a minivan (wife mostly drives), and now ready for a "fun car to drive on weekends" (I work out of my home)
    2. I still have the 95 dealership brochure, all these years.
    3. I read the msn.auto.com reviews on the 95 and 2001-03 and both seem like incredible cars.
    4. 95 is out of warranty, 2001-03 may not be, therefore, trying to gauge maintenance costs.
    5. 2001-2003 5 sp = $17-$23k, + I would need buy a plane ticket to inspect (all autotrader + cars.com listings are out of state). The 95 listing is 5 miles from my home.

    Anyone have owner's experience or opinions of the 95 530 5spd vs 2001-03 530i 5 spd?

    Thank you. Paul
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Assuming that it has a full service history, the updated engine block and has had the oil, coolant and brake fluid changed on schedule, I'd say go for it.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Thank you for replies, to date. Paul
  • I am looking to buy a 2006 550i with about 14K miles. I have heard from several people the high cost of maintaining Beemers. Is is worh the high dollars. I can get a fully loaded Acura RL or GS 350 for less than what I will pay for the 550 (but I love the way it drove on my test drive).
    How has your experience been with the 550?
    What is the mileage that you get?
    Any maintenance issues?
  • Uh-oh, you missed spelled Bimmer, this seems to be a sore spot for many folks on these forums ;) .

    I am sure many will offer the same advice. You can't compare the RL and GS 350 to a 550. Comparing a 6 cyl. to an 8 is, well, just wrong. Especially those two cars which are not known for their sportiness. The RL and 350 are fine cars and will provide better gas mileage (I don't have the #'s for the 550 as I have a 535) but won't be as much fun to drive. It all depends what you are looking for. You may want to consider the M if you don't want to spend as much but want a sportier ride.
  • We're looking at purchasing a '98 528I with about 58K miles on it from the original owner. It's in almost excellent condition other than a major scuff on the lower fender. Always serviced at the dealer, no accidents, etc. with a clean carfax record. We're also looking at a '98 Volvo S90 also low mileage, 50K miles, excellent conditon. Does anyone know of any major issues on the 528I or the volvo. We just sold a '95 530I with 160K mi. We loved it. We're leaning toward the BMW but would like some input.
  • Hello,

    I'm looking at older BMWs for sale. Which is the better option... an older car with less miles or a newer car with more.

    '94 BMW 525i w/ 102,000 miles. $3900 Blue Book $6,045

    or

    '98 BMW 528i w/ 175,000 miles. $4795 Blue Book $7925

    Both vehicles are in very good condtion. Assuming I'm have no personal preference to either, which makes more sense from a financial and reliability standpoint? Which would be more inclined to need repairs in the near future?

    Thanks,
    Stephen
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,023
    Assuming I'm have no personal preference to either, which makes more sense from a financial and reliability standpoint? Which would be more inclined to need repairs in the near future?

    I'd lean toward the E39 528i, only because I think it's one of the finest large cars BMW has ever built. That said, I'd say to decide which one YOU prefer and then have it inspected by a good BMW tech. Once you know what may need repair you can make a much more informed decision.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Has anyone had success with LeaseTrader or the online lease companies like Fleetrates or LuxuryMotors etc?

    Also, I had a used car salesman recommend a long term (like 7 year) on a used 5 series...and said in 3 years, you can trade in for a newer used car again and have equity built up. Do you really think using a 7 year loan, you would have equity after 3 years of payments? and not upside down? for example, I can get a 2007 550i for about 50k with 10k miles....how much value would it drop in 3 years, 30k more miles?
  • I have to agree w/Roadburner, the e34's are very nice but BMW consistently evolves. So the e39 is a logical choice. I just totaled my 94 540 and am still looking for the right e39 to replace it. Don't worry about mileage to a degree, focus on maintenance. All BMW's are good for at least 200,000 miles when maintained.
  • coop9coop9 Posts: 2
    Mileage is definitely more important. I bought a 1997 528 last year that had 162,000 miles on it and since lst year, I have had to have the heads rebuilt (4000.00) replace the catalytic converter (1900.00) plus and about 2500.00 of other misc things. Before I bought the car, I had a pre-purchase inpection done at an import place and it checked out fine but, the next time I would take it to a BMW dealer for that inspection because, they know their cars best.

    I do love to drive it because no other car can handle the road like a BMW and the brakes are off the hook. I also have a mercedes and between the two cars and putting premium gas in both, I may trade the BMW for something with lower maintenance cost. Having two high maintenance cars is not fun.
  • pstsepstse Posts: 2
    Hi,
    I am looking at these two cars. Here're the stats
    2004 530i CPO warrenty til' Sept 2010. It has 36K miles asking for 30K.
    2005 530i warrenty til' Nov 2008. Not a CPO. It only has 20K miles asking for 32K.

    Assume both cars have the same spec, what would you pick? Since ext warrenty last til Sept 2010, would I be better off picking up the 2004 CPO? Or go with the low mileages newer car (actually, I believe the 05 is only 2 month *newer* than the 04) since it has less wear and tear...

    Thoughts?
    P
  • If everything else is equal, it is probably worth $2000 to get 16,000 miles. Other things to consider though are:

    Check maintenance records on both cars; any BMW dealer should be able to access this information with the VIN #s;

    Find out if either car or both were leased; probably both;

    If both cars were leased and only maintained to "free" services; the CPO car makes more sense the closer you will be to 100,000 miles when the CPO warranty expires.

    Chances are either car will be fine.
  • pstsepstse Posts: 2
    Hi 530ir1150r,
    Thanks for your input. Yes, both are lease returns. As to svc record, I tried checking with local dealer and they refuse to reveal the recording citing privacy issue (Sign!)

    Do you have any ballpark figure on how much $$ should set aside annually on wear/pair for these types of cars?

    TIA
    P
  • Their refusal to reveal maintenance history tells me their is little if any history to reveal.

    My personal experience with my 2002 530i SP, 5 speed and Premium Package is:

    2002; $ 117.59
    2003; $ 43.38
    2004; $1819.35 (new tires and wheel repair)
    2005: $1744.21 (new tires)
    2006; $1609.38 (preventive radiator replacement)
    2007: $3185.51 (brake problem, snow tires and wheels).

    I think you can expect $1500-$2000 per year. Automatics probably will be more expensive over time. Also, remember that extended warranties and maintenance plans would only have saved me $1400, not counting deductibles.

    I just had my oil changed at 105k and the dealer advises the belts need changed ($250) and the front brakes and rotors need replaced soon ($650).
  • bristol2bristol2 Posts: 736
    Hi all,

    Currently excited about a 530i with 31k miles, 6-sp manual (manual is a 'must have' for me) for $27,998.

    Questions:
    I assume it is a lease return. When you guys (Shipo & 530ir) refer to 'only free maintenance being done', what is the disadvantage suggested by that comment? I thought all maintenance for a that reliable?

    I am going from a loaded v6 Accord sedan with 6-speed, giving up approx 20 hp with the move to the BMW. Will I be disappointed by the get up and go?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I assume it is a lease return. When you guys (Shipo & 530ir) refer to 'only free maintenance being done', what is the disadvantage suggested by that comment? I thought all maintenance for a that reliable?"

    I'm not sure I understand the question. Could you please rephrase it?

    "I am going from a loaded v6 Accord sedan with 6-speed, giving up approx 20 hp with the move to the BMW. Will I be disappointed by the get up and go?"

    Will you be dissappointed? I doubt it. Even if it is a tad slower than your Accord (and it may very well not be, BMW is very conservative with their HP ratings), I suspect that the overall driving experience will be so far superior to the Honda that you won't even notice.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • bristol2bristol2 Posts: 736
    I'm not sure I understand the question. Could you please rephrase it?

    I guess what I'm trying to ask is, should I be more cautious knowing that the car I'm looking at was a returned lease?
    Also, I have read a couple of times about BMWs being certified beyond the usual warranty, should I assume that would only be true for cars that were bought? I'm assuming a leasee would have no interest in an extended warranty.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I think I've found where you've posted your questions. ;-)

    I wouldn't worry about buying a lease return BMW simply because the maintenance during the lease period is free so the chances are extremely good that any lease return vehicle has been maintained properly. If you're not sure, typically the dealer will print out the entire service history of the car.

    By buying a used BMW from a BMW dealer, there is a good chance the car has been CPOed (setup as a "Certified PreOwned vehicle), and as such it will come with a limited 100,000 mile warranty. Said warranty isn't as good as the bumper to bumper warranty of the new cars, however, it covers most of the expensive bits. I believe that you can opt to buy both a fully B2B warranty as an extra cost item (I don't recommend this) as well as an extended maintenance plan that covers all maintenance up to 100,000 miles. The extended maintenance plan is a pretty good deal, especially if you aren't inclined to do a lot of your own maintenance.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
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