BMW 5 Series

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Foz, Dec 27, 2002.

  1. Foz


    Does anyone own own a BMW 5 series? How do you like it? My friend is offering me his 540i for $11.5k. It's a 1995 with 108k miles. It's got a fast V8 engine, but gets lousy gas mileage.

    I'm currently driving a 4 cylinder Neon, so it would be quite a change.
  2. 4 banger Neon to a V8 BMW.

    Call your insurance company for a quote on insurance, and look at your annual cost of fuel. It's about to REALLY jump. Than there is the cost of repairs. Last time I looked BMW mechanics/parts are more than Dodge Neon parts.

    Get all the facts than you can make the decision that is right for you about the car.
  3. miniTrdr


    personally went from a 97 geo metro 3 cylinder to a new 2001 325 convertible - for some reason they wouldnt accept the trade in :) couple of my friends have 3 series also - repairs will cost you - should check out what a certified used 540 goes for. plus i try to stay away from selling/buying expensive stuff from friends.
    had a 5 series for a couple days while mine was in shop - even more solid than my 325. i like BMW but i also have full maintenance warranty - only replace tires for i think its 48k miles.
  4. Foz


    Thanks rtharp and niniTrdr.

    That's a good point about fuel, repairs, and insurance all going to cost more.

    Since I trade from home and don't commute anywhere, I really don't drive much. So the added fuel won't be a big expense. (Although I still need to find out whether the BMW requires premium fuel.)

    Since it is an older car and I won't have any payments on it, I'm just going to have comp and collision insurance on it, so insurance won't be a whole lot -- but still more than for the Neon.

    Before the Neon I had an Audi and the repair costs were always outrageous. I swore then never to buy an import again and here I am considering one -- and a high mileage one at that. I should look at what kind of a domestic car I could get for the same money.
  5. nitro


    I think it is a OK if it does not have major problems.

    Check to make sure that:

    1) The tires don't need replacing
    2) The breaks don't need replacing (drums/pads/calipers/etc)
    3) Catalytic converter or other exhaust parts does need replacing
    4) If it is a manual, check that the clutch is in good shape
    5) Check to see if it has been in an accident. There are places now on the Internet where you can track some of this. Someone who has experience can tell just by looking for the clues. Have someone drive behind you and see if the car "points" correctly.
    5) Check to see how much life the starter and other ignition system parts are likely to last
    6) Get a compression check on the engine
    7) Roll down all the windows to make sure the window motors are working, as well as the door locks, etc.
    8) The fuel injectors go bad as well - if you can, have this checked.

    etc etc.

    These are things that wear out and need replacing.

    In short, take it to a mechanic and ask him what you can expect to pay in the near future because of normal wear and tear.

    BTW, I would check with Carmax to see what the equivalent car goes for there.

    Best of luck,

  6. Foz


    Ah, thanks, Nitro. I'll do these.
  7. rs7


    I think if you want to see what you are getting into, it is a good idea to have the car checked out like Nitro says.

    But even if all is ok, I would do this for a reality check:

    Call a BMW dealership, and also an independent brake shop.
    Find out what a brake job costs on this car. Compare this to what it would cost on your Neon.

    Also, pick a part. One of my favorite indicators is a wheel.
    Call your Dodge dealership, and find out what it costs to replace a bent (or otherwise broken) wheel. Then call and ask what it costs to replace a wheel on the BMW.

    These will give you a general idea of the difference in maintenance. No matter what the car does or does not need now, it will require maintenance during the time you own it.

    I know I paid less than $300 for a wheel on one car I had, and over $2000 on another. That's big money. They don't care how old or new your car is, or what you paid for it. This stuff is just expensive. And good luck looking in a junk yard. I paid less at a dealership than they tried to take me for at a junk yard. And finding a used part is a whole other issue. And knowing if it is a good part, again another issue. I personally would not know a cosmetically repaired wheel from a really good new one.

    Good luck,
  8. It takes premium fuel. The bigger first question, is the price even a good value? All BMW V8's until 96 were prone to abnormal cylinder wall wear and the factory would warrant them, but only to 100K. Since a fix wasn't made to this engine until much later, the only way BMW could save its reputation was to replace the engines with the same defective design, until they could find the problem. They eventually found that the blocks cast in Nikasil reacted with the high sulfer content of US gasoline, but that their flagship V12 blocks made from Alusil, had no such problem.

    If this 5 has an original engine or a Nikasil replacement short block, you would be out of luck, Some cars had as many as 4 short blocks. Here's how to determine which which compound the engine is cast in:

    You have to get underneath the car and fine the casting number located below the number 3 cylinder:

    Nikasil M60B40 1 725 963 or 1 742 998
    Alusil M60B40 1 745 872
    Alusil M62B44 1 745 873

    Here is a sample of recent wholesale prices from a national auction chain, which seem to indicate that this car is too much money:

    12/18/2002 BAY CITI.... $ 11,000...50K.. RED
    12/18/2002 DAYTONA..... $ 10,000...79K.. GREEN
    11/27/2002 FRDKBURG.... $ 7,900....97K.. GLD
    12/20/2002 NEVADA...... $ 7,500....85K.. GREEN
    11/14/2002 RIVRSIDE.... $ 8,400....104K. ARCTIGRY
    12/04/2002 UTAH........ $ 14,300...74K.. RED
  9. nitro



    That is seriously deep information and well researched.

    nitro :cool:
  10. I wouldn't expect anything less from Mad Max!
    #10     Dec 29, 2002