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  #1  
Old 11-25-2003, 09:02 PM
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Location: New York
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BMW not a bad car!!

Gentlemen,

Just bought myself a 97 BMW 528I 5spd with 100k miles so far I like it a lot, but it is too early to say any thing about it. I know this is not a BMW forum, but I know lots of you out there must of have some experience with these cars and since it is not a BMW your opinions are probably non- biased.
Thank you for your time
Alex
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2003, 02:53 AM
Bud
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BMW water pumps are notoriously short lived. The pixels on the instrument panel go out. The plastic latch mechanism for the trunk breaks. The radiators break on the V8's. Lots of electronic problems, etc.

BMW likes to use plastics where Lexus and Mercedes use metal. A lot of switches and controls seem to be afterthoughts. Everybody complains about the cup holders but German cars shouldn't have them anyway.

The trunks are small and so are the seats. The materials, fit and finish of the interiors are not as good as Mercedes. The bodies and basic engines are bulletproof and the handling and brakes are addictive.

The 528I a wonderful ride and the E39 BMW is a classic. It took me a long time to get over my BMW's. Too bad my wife won't let me buy another one
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2003, 03:23 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Blackhawk, CA
Posts: 8
I've had my '97 540i for about 18 months now--bought it with 68K miles, and now has around 110Ks...pretty heavy use.

Generally quite reliable. I've had to replace the cooling system at a cost of $1600 at around 80K mi. Cooling problems triggers strange electrical problems (like one headlight not working, some warning messages showing up in German, etc.) but once the cooling system was replaced, all's well. But I believe this is more of a V8 issue.

I've had serpentine belt come off on the freeway a few months back, but that was a minor repair. But had to have it towed, so it was a hassle. Also replaced battery, brake pads, etc...normal stuff.

Otherwise no unusual problems. Not a rattle heard inside, even after 110k miles. Pretty solidly built. How BMW can manage to have the car ride so nice when it handles so well is quite amazing. Paint/finish holds up quite well...people don't believe that my car is a '97..they think it's brand new!
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  #4  
Old 11-26-2003, 04:10 AM
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Location: SF Bay Area
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A good friend of mine got a 94 740i around the time I got my 91 300SE. I thought the 740i had a better all around feel - handling matched the stiff suspension where the the 300SE had an odd combination of stiffness and too much roll. The BMW's sea of identical switches on the black expanse of center console was confusing but the stereo controls made sense. The pigskin texture leather didn't do much for me and the stiffness of the BMW seats made me wonder if orthopedics is all that important.

Another friend has a 97 740. I don't think much changed between the second gen and third gen 7-series. I can't think of what the 97 740 offers that I prefer to what the S420 offers. Mind you I don't care about 0-60 times and skidpad g's. Rolling living room wins it for me.

Sixto
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  #5  
Old 11-26-2003, 08:34 AM
it leaks, its german
 
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Personally I dont like the 7 cars but the 5 cars are nice little cars. Bullet proof mills and gear boxes, very few leaks other than power steering hoses, good handleing solid little cars.



Joe
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2003, 09:31 AM
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I always love it when people refer to a car as a "little" car, especially when it's not little size wise (like a 5)
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  #7  
Old 11-26-2003, 09:46 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 412
Quote:
Originally posted by mbtjc
I always love it when people refer to a car as a "little" car, especially when it's not little size wise (like a 5)
My thought exactly.

But it depends of course. If you are used to be driving a Ford Excursion w. lift-kit and monster wheels. Then a 5'er is merely a bump in the road.
Here in Europe the 5'er looks rather big when parked next to a VW Lupo. :p

Congrats with the 528i!

Freestyler
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  #8  
Old 11-26-2003, 10:12 AM
it leaks, its german
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: raleigh nc
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Quote:
Originally posted by mbtjc
I always love it when people refer to a car as a "little" car, especially when it's not little size wise (like a 5)


I'm 6'6", 230 pounds, everything except a crew cab fullsize truck and a 140 is small. Damnit! I get out of a 129 and it sounds like a cork coming out of a champange bottle. Getting in one involves a lot of folding and grunting sounds. Any other questions? LOL



Joe
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  #9  
Old 11-26-2003, 06:46 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New York
Posts: 101
Thank you all

After reading all of the threads, I guess the BMW 528I seems a bit more reliable than the V8, which is very good news for me.

I was looking at Mercedes sedan but not easy to find a five speed so I ended up with the 528I BMW.

Compare the 528I to my 16V, it is not as fun but atleast the A/C is working.

Once again thank you all for your opinions. Lookslike there are more pros then cons when it comes to BMW.

Alex
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  #10  
Old 11-26-2003, 07:03 PM
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Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
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We had a 1997 528iA that I sold to my neighbour. She's a "Mom taxi service" that really loads miles on. The car only had about 41,000kms when I sold it, and she's at over 160K in just over two years.

It's held up well, though there are some gaffs. She's had some tranny trouble, but it was covered under warranty. It cropped up just ONE WEEK before the factory warranty expired. Close shave. The new autobox seems to be holding up.

The seat heater switch broke in the "on" position, and that wasn't too expensive.

Many people also think it's a new car, but there are some cosmetic problems when you get close enough. I am PO'd at the rock chips on my hood until I see her BMW. Maybe she tailgates, maybe it's easily chipped paint, who knows.

She loves the car and plans to drive it for many more klicks. It's a risk selling a car to a friend, but this worked out well.
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  #11  
Old 11-26-2003, 10:25 PM
azhari
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I've always preferred the handling on a Beemer.

I was in love with my brother-in-law's E30 for a while but couldn't get myself to buy one due to the more expensive (compared to MBs) cost of parts and services where I'm at.

Cheers.
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2003, 12:16 AM
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Location: east Tennessee (southeast USA)
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I have only owned one BMW and it was no good, but I always hoped that others was not as bad. A few years ago- I had a 1982 BMW 735i. What a piece of JUNK it was. The car had a certain sensor, that would not let the car start when it was hot unless it was unhooked. However, when it was cold, it would not start unless it was hooked up. The aircleaners on these cars was bad for breaking as well. The steering wheel also had an awful "squeak" when it was cold outside while the wheel was turning. The car had numerous squeaks and rattles, the climate control was completely inoperable. The buttons would not stay pushed in, the radio had been removed when I bought it and there were loose wires just hanging in the opening. The illumination lights in the window switches in the console were always illuminated, even with the ignition off. I only bought this car as a second work car and the good news is I only paid $650 for it, so I could not complain. I also later found out that it had a 2.8L engine out of a 5-series, so it was not even the original engine, but still that car would simply FLY. It was one of the fastest cars I had ever driven, even with that smaller non-original 2.8L. I guess the car had been abused. I also learned it was originally a northern car and I found rust hole in the trunk, as well as rust on the passenger floor panel. Needless to say- I wanted to get rid of that car. I advertised it for I think $1000. I do not remember exactly what I sold it for, but it was a little more than I actually gave for the car, so I was happy about that. That was many years ago, so I do not remember the details. I do know that car has kept me from buying another BMW. I know this was only one car and I am sure there are some good BMW's out there. I considered a 89 735iL before, but passed on it.

I most recently got to take a ride in a 1997 BMW 740IL to drive down to see the Lexus I bought. That BMW was a great riding car, with some neat features. However, when I shut the passenger side door, the door handle on the door panel seemed way to flimsey for a premium luxury car. It had too "give" in it when I pulled it.
I am going to stick with Mercedes, Lexus, Toyotas, Acuras, Hondas & Nissans and perhaps someday a new Chevrolet Silverado.
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  #13  
Old 11-27-2003, 03:01 AM
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Location: S.F. Bayarea
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Bimmer sure handles well if the suspension is tight. I fixed up a 90 525i stick, head and suspension. What a sweet ride. Makes one feel young. My son drives a 91 735i. The big six is probably the most robust engine BMW ever made. Even though it has a slush box, the drive is also lots of fun. Bentley publish a fantastic manual for it, a very good thing for the Bimmer owner, cause you'll need it.

On the other hand, MBZ has a calming effect. The only time I shoot par, I drove wife's MBZ to the course. Felt extreamly calm that day.
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  #14  
Old 11-27-2003, 05:27 AM
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Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Posts: 215
The E39 has few faults. They are bit heavy on brake pads and disks, the rear suspension top mount can break up and the upper suspension arm can wear. Listen out for a creak if you lean on the back of the car.

The pixel problem on the displays has been mentioned, as has the radiators. The rear electric windows can sieze if they are not regularly used. In the UK, we had the nickasil problems on both the sixes and the V8s, but I think most of the US sixes were iron blocks.

Air bag light can come on caused by a fault in the wiring to the seatbelt pretensioners and the passenger occupancy mat in the seat can fail (at least on RHD cars).

Nice cars, a bit low profile, especially in dark colours. For those who want a decent drive, but not be noticed.
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Last edited by neileg; 11-27-2003 at 08:40 AM.
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2003, 08:43 AM
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Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
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I owned a 1974 BMW 2002tii, manual 4 speed a long time ago (picked it up new off the lot). Really a great, fun little car. Kinda wish I had turned it into my "garage queen".
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