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Buying a used 5 Series



  • scottinkyscottinky Posts: 194
    trading to a 5 series, wagon. 530XiT. my choice is easy, it is too expensive, so
    I am staying put until i can afford one.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Shipo - thanks for all your help on this. The 540i experience got me thinking - I liked the car but I was not too excited to be the third owner. I also like black interiors as opposed to light. The other thing was inexperience. It *seemed* like a nice BMW 5 series but I was not sure if I was looking at a rare version or an odd duck.

    What *is* the best way to score a certified 5 series with one owner?

    Is there any any chance an '02 or '03 will come this way? Most one owner 5 series seem to be leases. SO am I too late for a one owner '03 (ie they have all come off lease already?) Is '04 more likely?

    If I see a car from a private seller or car max, is there any way to get the car certified at a BMW dealer for the extended warranty?

    Again, thanks in advance for the tips.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm not sure what the rules are on certifying a used car, however, I do know that some folks have had second hand cars certified. I suppose the best place to search for information is at your local dealership.

    Keep us posted.

    Best Regards,
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    Check the BMWCCA classifieds and the CPO section of BMWNA. BMWCCA go back to day 1 and BMWNA go back 6 years.

    Two other things; avoid lease cars, they have not been maintained any better than the schedule of "free" service, and you do not need certified cars or definitely you do not need to purchase extended warranties or maintenance plans.

    I have a 2002 530i SP 5 speed with 93000 miles. My costs that would have been covered by either extended plans are $1402. My understanding of extended warranties and maintenance plans are they will cost approximately $3500.

    CPO costs are as negotiable as the car, it is in the price, but you will pay between $1000 and $1500 more for a CPO. A BMW Dealer will not lose money with a CPO package, but they may break even since you will likely come back to the dealer for service, covered and non covered.

    Extended plans have profit and commission included. If they cost $3500, there is probably $1750 of profit and commission. That leaves $1750 of coverage; CPOs cost $1500 more and my costs have been $1402 and I am passed the last scheduled service. That should give you a good idea of what an average BMW will cost to maintain by the schedule.

    Also, keep in mind that with tires my total cost of service and maintenance is $7173. I roughly follow the service schedule recommended by Mike Miller, BMWCCA tech editor, and have also bought a replacement wheel and had a bent wheel repaired.

    I hope this helps your decision process. I highly recommend a 530i.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Thanks for the tips 530ir.

    I can see the $1402 in service costs but how did it get to $7373 with tires?
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    Scheduled, service beyond BMW's recommendation; $2139.42.

    Recurring, mostly tires; $3019.07.

    Damage, wheel repair and replacement wheel; $621.00

    Unscheduled, Mostly preventive radiator replacement and brake and master cylinder issues; $1393.06.

    Annual costs the last 4 years including 2007 so far has run $1500 to $1800.

    The $1402 is what an extended warranty, maintenance plan or CPO would have covered and is in the $7173.
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Can you tell me at what mileage you replaced the radiator?
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    75,365; it coincided with flushing out the coolant system in the fall after 4 years. I do not know if it was absolutely necessary, but I wanted to do it before I had to do it.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,270
    I do not know if it was absolutely necessary, but I wanted to do it before I had to do it.

    The radiator in my wife's 1997 528i was replaced at @8 years and 125K miles, it cracked when it was removed in order to replace the water pump. Who knows how long it would have lasted if it had been left alone? FWIW, the radiator in my Club Sport is still going strong at 12 years and 110K miles.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    I'd read somewhere where early 2000's (I cannot remember if it was just 5 series or just 6 cylinders) had problems with the plastic piece cracking where the radiator hoses attach at around 100k miles. I put it on my list of things to do several years ago. Older BMWs should not be a problem, I do not know about newer.
  • piperjackpiperjack Posts: 14
    Hi all,

    I am considering buying a e34 525i with a manual tranny.

    I am looking for advice on the following points:

    1) What are the common wear and failure items on this model?
    2) How long will the engine last (miles) on average? How about a clutch job?
    3) Are certain years better than others from a reliability standpoint (new electricals, etc)?
    4) What kind of mileage are you getting on this model?
    5) Overall level of satisfaction from owning this model (i.e. good value or not good value at say $4-5K compared to a $15-16K e39)

    Thanks in advance!
  • ferozferoz Posts: 14
    Hi folks; I know most of you have tons of experience and knowledge on 5 series Bimmers. leterly I´m looking to buy a 2002/ 03 5 series. I know that i don´t want the m5 or the 525/528.

    Questions on the 530 /540.

    1). What is the diffrence between 530 / 540, is it just the engine or other features?
    2). What are the original tire and wheel sizes on this models, no need to look in to F1 530 just "top line"
    3). What it the bhp on the 530? Is there a very clear power diffrence with the 540?

    Thanks one and all for this info and help;


  • simmomisimmomi Posts: 11
    Hi all...
    Wanted to get some opinions. I'm thinking about purchasing my first BMW to replace my '92 Mercedes 300E. I have found a '97 White on Tan 528i with 101K miles.

    This car has been in the same family since first purchased. Car went from Mom to daughter, then to daughter's brother.

    Car has been very well maintained, and is in overall excellent condition. I have not yet got it to my wrench for a Pre-Purchase Inspection. Will be doing so in the next couple days.

    Seller was originally asking $12,500 for the car but has already shared with me that he will take nothing less than $10,500.

    Any suggestions on stuff I should consider, or things to look at before buying?

    I've driven a bunch of 528s recently, mostly 97s and 98s (to stick with the cast iron engine blocks). This one seemed to drive a little better than the others, but it could just be that I liked it best. Even the cars that weren't in the greatest of shape drove very well, so it's nice to see that the cars are consistent.

    I have found cars with higher mileage with asking prices in the $8K - $9K dollar range. From what I've seen, this car definitely stood out as the best in the bunch.

    I look forward to being able to share some good news about my future car soon. Thanks in advance, and best regards.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My only comment is to ask why you are overtly trying to avoid the new block that debued in 1999? The aluminum block with iron or steel (I don't remember which) cylinder sleeves has proven to be very robust, easily a match for the cast iron block.

    Best Regards,
  • simmomisimmomi Posts: 11
    First, thanks for your reply.

    The reason I am primarily looking at the 97/98 cars is because of BMW owners who do not properly maintain their cars, and allow them to overheat. My wrench has seen on multiple occasions the 99 and newer cars where someone has allowed the car to overheat, which CAN cause probs with (I believe I have this right) the head pulling studs out of the block. I'll have to confirm that is correct, but I believe that's what I was told. He's seen cases like this, and the repairs to fix such a problem are very costly. Personally, I'm not interested in dealing with this.

    It's not a big deal for my wrench to deal with that for his own cars as it's just his time (next to parts).

    Anyway, that's the reason. I would love to have a 99 or 2000 model year car, as they have so many more options available. I just don't want to end up fixing someone else's mistake.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I think that he's making a mountain out of a mole hill. Even in 2001 when BMW was shipped a batch of faulty auxiliary cooling fans by a supplier for six cylinder 3-Series and 5-Series cars (which resulted in LOTS of cars being overheated), the engines didn't suffer any significant damage. One individual that I know personally had his overheat with less than 10,000 miles on the clock, and prior to having the cooling fan recall performed. In the last six years he has taken that same car to over 100 track events and has in excess of 120,000 miles on the engine and it is still as tight and free of any exceptional fluid use as it was before it overheated.

    Could it be that a few engines were overheated to the point of damaging the engine? Absolutely, but I don't believe it is as rampant of a problem as you've been led to believe. In fact, depending upon my next contract, I might be back in the market for a 1999 or 2000 528i as I personally prefer the aluminum block engines.

    Best Regards,
  • scottinkyscottinky Posts: 194
    our local dealer has a gorgeous '06 530XiT AWD wagon with 9K on it, and a 100K
    extended warranty. I have never owned or driven a bmw before, but the 4yrs of
    maintenance and warranty make this potential purchase VERY appealing. I believe
    they are now asking under book value, at $39.9. Is there more room to move on this
    car? What types of things should I look for? It has everyting except NaV.
  • ferozferoz Posts: 14
    What is DSP radio?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,270
    What is DSP radio?

    Digital Signal Processing. You paid a premium for it on the E39, but the sound was still pretty underwhelming.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Digital Signal Processing. You paid a premium for it on the E39, but the sound was still pretty underwhelming."

    You know..., I test drove a 530i with and without the DSP system, and try as I might, that engine note sounded exactly the same to me on both cars. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • 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 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 + 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,
  • 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


    '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?

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,270
    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.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • 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 much value would it drop in 3 years, 30k more miles?
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