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  #1  
Old 03-17-2013, 08:45 PM
wielder of thor's hammer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
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late 90's Bmw 5-series a decent car?

I have recently been looking at a few 98 and 99 BMW 528I's. Before I consider purchasing one I want to here what the forum thinks of them. They usually seem reasonably priced for their mileage. And I imagine being an inline 6 working on one would be comparable to my current 300e.

Also if there are any common issues I should look for when inspecting these cars pre-purchase I'd greatly appreciate that information also.

Thank you or your time.

Jay

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Old 03-17-2013, 09:08 PM
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Cooling system such as plastic radiator, themostat and water pump. Suspension such as front hrust arms. Overall that six is a stout motor. Dead pixels, window regs, brake bulb sockets...
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:22 PM
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I just picked up a 540i /6 speed.

Trunk leaks, parasitic draw, pixels on dash dim/dying, constantly telling you to check rear bulbs. My car only has 80k

The major weak spot is the cooling system. They say you have to check it with a voltmeter from time to time.

Great car otherwise.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:43 PM
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late 90's Bmw 5-series a decent car?

Driving dynamics-wise, one of the (if not THE) best cars of the 90s. Can't comment on reliability personally though.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:10 AM
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If it doesnt surprise you when it pukes it coolant from any 100 plastic parts from the cooling system, the drivetrain will last a long time. Everything else will break. Bought and sold many of them. Can barely keep them fixed long enough to sell, but they are so popular and i can pick up plenty of mildly needy ones cheap enough that i keep doing it. i would never keep one for myself.
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2013, 12:14 AM
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They don't hold up as well as a Mercedes Benz from the same era but they are nice driving cars and in some ways , a little more techie. I would go for an E320... oh wait, you're in NY, and early W210's can rust. This may be bad advice given your location.
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2013, 09:24 PM
wielder of thor's hammer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I knew I'd get some good answers around the forum. I'm assuming the dead pixels are an instrument cluster issue?

Also, are there any metal replacement upgrades available for the cheapo radiator/coolant parts? anything coolant related outside the engine is usually a fairly simple fix from my experience, so that wouldn't necessarily deter me. unless were talking heater core lines...

Alabbasi- my dad had a 97 E420 which I was in love with and hoping to snatch up until the timing chain snapped at around 160,000. Since then I've been unsure of the W210 but I'd imagine the 320's have a more dependable engine? I live on eastern Long Island ($$$) so a garaged, rust free W210 wouldn't necessarily be too tough to find.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtysocks View Post
Alabbasi- my dad had a 97 E420 which I was in love with and hoping to snatch up until the timing chain snapped at around 160,000. Since then I've been unsure of the W210 but I'd imagine the 320's have a more dependable engine? I live on eastern Long Island ($$$) so a garaged, rust free W210 wouldn't necessarily be too tough to find.
I bought mine with under 70k miles. I changed the timing chain out at 110k miles. It's now got 194k miles and it's been very reliable. Still fast, silky smooth. A/C works great,interior looks great and all the electrical works (except for a few dead pixels on the display).

It averages 20mpg and can get up to 25mpg on the highway. If you can find one, go for it. Just don't neglect oil and transmission changes and roll in a timing chain every 100k miles.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:23 PM
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210 E55's or E430's are great cars and very dependable.
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  #10  
Old 03-18-2013, 10:58 PM
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2001-02 E430's are the model to look for.

E55's are coming down in price as well, not to long ago the local Range Rover dealer had a pretty decent 2001 for $12k or so.

I'd be more concerned about E55's being beat on, and you can't get them with AWD. AWD is nice in the winter and most W210's up our way have it.

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