Posted by LEW on January 09, 1999 at 13:13:40:
In Reply to: 540iA - Ultimate DR but poor build quality !! ???? posted by RJK on January 09, 1999 at 00:10:50:
: Being a recent visitor to this board and being interested in buying a '99 540iASport I am very concerned about the range and number of annoying problems people are having with the 5-series BMW (eg. doors rattle, windshield fluid leaks,erratic alarms, poor premium hifi, fluid steering, flashing radio illumination and many more).
: Is this car really worth $55,000 when you have to deal with the above ? Or are these problems just sporadic ?
: Is this really the ultimate car ?
: Thanks for the comments and safe driving !!
: SF Bay Area , Calif.
My 540 is my 4th BMW since 1976, starting with a 2002. That car was virtually flawless, but did require a valve job at about 120K miles. Kept it for 13 years. My next was a 1990 535 I drove for nine years, and sold to a friend who was delighted to get it. It was as tight as a new car on my last day of driving, and was certainly as fast. After eight years, I did rebuild the front end...also a head gasket...that was it for major stuff after many years of faithful and fun service. It still looks fabulous, and I didn't buy the new car because I "needed" it. It was time. In between I bought my wife a 318i...we didn't keep for very long because we got "extra" kids...it was too small.
I'm the guy who started the post on the "loose" doors, and yes my new car has some rattles. In my experience, BMW will make good on those (I've already spoken to the dealer and parts are in) and I don't expect much in the way of that kind of problem...once fixed they won't come back. BMW's are sporting, often (but not always...see the legions of boring BMW drivers out there?) owned by enthusiasts. They're built to be driven hard and are very repairable. You can keep one running to a new standard easily for many years. They are not perfect, however, what is?
This board is obviously "serviced" by people who love their cars, are sensitive to them, and demand perfection. Most Mercedes, Jags, etc. that I've experienced (or owned!) are just as problem prone (Jags more so) than BMW's....but usually the drivers are too uninvolved to know they have problems. As for Lexus, Infiniti etc....well...just drive the cars and report
back. If you want a truly fabulous drive and are want to get involved, just go do it....buy the BMW. Overall, quality in most areas is excellent, ride, body integrity, rust resistence and especially drivetrains, etc are world class. They're no more expensive to keep (keep well) than other comparable cars, but you have to pay to play. BMW's encourage fast driving (THEY ARE FUN!) so you'll probably use up more tires/brake pads/bushings etc. than in a Lexus. End of Epistle.