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Old 03-12-2007, 11:51 PM   #1
Spike
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New to the show

Hello, All!

I am an ex-Beemer rider who's looking for some beginner advice when it comes to getting a Beemer car. I put on about 100k in the six seasons I had my bikes, before some a-h tried to save 15 seconds at a blind left hand turn and took me out. (What's that expression: there are only two types of riders - those who've had an accident and those who are going to have an accident.) I miss riding from point A to point B via C, D, E, F & G for the love of the ride. Now I have to take a car everywhere and the only time I look forward to going somewhere is when I drive my Dad's 325i.

Now I have two little girls, responsibility, blah, blah, blah and need to get a new car but I'm hoping this is my opportunity to get back into the BMW groove.



I'm thinking mostly about a 5 Series, so here are some quick questions of you current 5er owners.

1) There's lots of press about problems with overheating and other maintenance issues. Do you think they're overblown? (There will always be maintenance on any vehicle, but as long as it doesn't leave me, or more importantly, my wife, stranded or cost us a second mortgage I can live with it.)
2) Are there any reasonable fixes for these problems (ie new aftermarket parts)?
3) Are there there some specific models or years you'd recommend over others, or some you'd suggest staying away from?
4) Can anyone recommend a good independent (ie non-dealership) mechanic in the Oakville/Mississauga area?
5) Any other hints, advice, helpful suggestions you'd give to a newbie?

Any input would be most appreciated.

Spike
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:06 AM   #2
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Welcome to the board.

I need to know a few things:
what is your budget?
are you looking for a car to daily commute?
does HP matter to you?
are you planning on modding it?

if you can afford it I would recommand a 2001 or newer 530i sport, but if your budget is low a 97-98 540i sport is a great car as well.
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Old 03-13-2007, 05:34 PM   #3
Spike
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Thanks, Quack.

Budget: $10k, if possible

Commute: my regular commute is 25km/day (550km/month), which is hardly a commute. As for weekend romps on twisties, family outings up north, etc., who knows - hopefully 500-800km/month more.

Horsepower is definitely second to handling. (Space and reliability, as mentioned before, is important, but as far as the drive goes, handling comes first, then HP.)

Modding: Initially, modding is not a major concern, but I've found that the more I enjoy and appreciate something, the more I want to do things to it to make it more "me". (If there are things I can do to strengthen weak links from a drive or reliability standpoint, those will be the first mods, and then go from there with performance mods...)

Another question: does anyone have experience with Touring 540s - is there a major handling difference? My experience with other makes of sedan vs wagon would suggest that handling goes from tight to floppy by adding extra weight where it doesn't belong, but from what I've read the Tourers are supposed to be pretty close...
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Old 03-13-2007, 05:57 PM   #4
Red_Liner740
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i like the way my e34 touring handles....yea, having a huge sunroof and all that mechanism up high doesnt help, but its nice...

with 10k to spend, u're looking at either an e34 5 series or an e39 528i, u're not gonna find a e39 540i for 10k

both cars are hard to find in manual format...the only way i'd take a BMW, their automatics are shit.

Tourings are even rarer...but can me made to look beautiful.

my choice? if i had 10k

a nice 94 or 95 525i touring manual, yea only 190hp but a much bigger aftermarket than the m30/m60 engines.

second choice?

96+ e39 528i a friend just bought a beautiful one, black, tinted, 5 speed, 17" style 5's for $7700.

its a real looker...
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:35 PM   #5
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if you had to buy a E34 the best choice would be the 535i

but for $10k it is possible to find a 97-98 540i, of course it won't be in the best shape & most likely have high mileage, I remember seeing a couple of 540i's for less than $10k in the autotrader last week, 1was auto & the other is stick.
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:52 PM   #6
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here's one of them, I guess the other one I saw is sold http://www.trader.ca/search/Results....ategory=&CAT=1
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:25 PM   #7
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^^

sorry, let me rephrase that....not gonna find any NICE 540i MANUAL for less than 10k

dont forget that even a 8K car after taxes and all that BS is creeping up to the 10K mark
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Liner740
^^

sorry, let me rephrase that....not gonna find any NICE 540i MANUAL for less than 10k

dont forget that even a 8K car after taxes and all that BS is creeping up to the 10K mark
you don't have to rephrase, if you read my other post I already said it won't be nice & most likely high mileage like the one I posted.

some people don't mind buying ones that need a little work, when I bought my 540i I knew I was going to need 4 tires, catalytic convertors & some minor maintaince, I saved $5000 compare to the going rate of 540i at that time, & I only spend $2500 in repairs.
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:51 PM   #9
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despite what the common opinion is on this site, i love my auto, i dont have time to worry about shifting when im on the phone and what not, you are going to have to spend a bit more than 10 g's only because for 10 you will get something with high km and mostly likely alot of parts will need replacing. With that aside keep your eyes on the trader and dont settle for a car, wait for one that has been taken care of and properly maintained. These cars are great to drive but you have to be prepared for the up keep costs. if you do get one RMP is the place to take it, rocco will take care of you. he's got one of his own so he knows the most common problems. Lastly i would go with a 540 but thats just me
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Old 03-14-2007, 11:43 PM   #10
Spike
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I was looking through the Autotrader and came across an add for a 1994 530i. They describe it as "3.0L, V8, 5 spd., synthetic, loaded, Oxford green with tan leather." Could anyone tell me what "synthetic" would refer to here?

Question for Red Liner740: When you say BMW "automatics are shit" are you referring to their shifting effectiveness, their ability to stay where you want it in the power band or do you mean that in your experience their reliability is shit?

Question for kurupt k: when you refer to needing to "be prepared for the up keep costs" do you see those costs as being significantly more than for other "loved" cars or is it more that, if you want to keep a car, ANY car, on the road, you need to assume there will be maintenance costs? I know I'm going to spend something to keep a car going (at least with these cars the parts, knowledge and enthusiasm is around to do some of your own work, and lots of advice from people who seem to know what they're talking about! )

Observation: Has anyone else noticed that the vast majority of Beemers out there for sale have way more klicks on them than basically any other car makes out there? It seems like a "low mileage" Beemer has 50k+ more on it than a "low mileage" anything else...!
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurupt_k
despite what the common opinion is on this site, i love my auto.................


..................if you do get one RMP is the place to take it, rocco will take care of you. he's got one of his own so he knows the most common problems. Lastly i would go with a 540 but thats just me

amen to all those!!!!

if i wanna shift gears, i switch to my steptronic and off i go, manual shifting...i get tired of it once i hit some traffic, back to auto! no complains! yes, manual is better in many ways, but quite frankly, i dont give a damn!!!
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:32 AM   #12
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auto is for girls jk
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekz
auto is for girls jk

no, E36 is!
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:06 PM   #14
Desisuperman
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why not consider an older model 7 series, maybe a 730 or 740? I'm pretty sure their resale value is less than the 5 series. Plus you'll get plenty of power and it will accomodate your family much better.

Check repodepo last time i checked they had a few 7 series.
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:22 PM   #15
europrince
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If one is really tight and must stick to a $10k budget with little room to spare, by look at a 5 series to begin with? Yearly upkeep can easily be $2k or so. I'm at $3-4k, but I do a lot of driving.

That being said, if you can spare a few bucks a year on repairs and maintenance, the e39 540 is one hell of a ride!

Last edited by europrince; 03-15-2007 at 04:24 PM.
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