In Reply to: Re: Prospective 525i Owner Needs Advice posted by DPK on January 31, 2000 at 15:42:06:
: Nothing is EVER safe or understood when buying a used car of any kind and can be very costly with Bimmers and Benzes.
First line of defence is you. Drive at least 3 or 4 cars like the one you want to buy to get a good performance and condition baseline. Check the records...no records, run don't walk away. Any owner or delaer who has the service records is happy to show you the documentation. Pay attention to the dates and milages. Look for recurring problems, then check those areas during your inspection. Take notes (make a check list) of the general condition, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Now, if the car will cost more tan 2000,00 arrange to have the car inspected. If this care seems to be the one, spend the 150.00 to have checked well, including checking the front suspension. Do a title search. I have seen some really great totaled or flooded cars, but I did not buy any! Before actually purchasing the car, make sure the owner or dealer has on hand a "clean", available title.
Buying the right car is a little magic, a little skill, objective reasoning, good timing, and a reasonable amount of luck.
The older e34's had timing belts 89 and 90 (slight maint. isue) Don't let that throw you off just remember to change it every 50,000 miles.The later 525i's are almost as powerful as the 535 (less torque). If you want to start a family feud, just ask which 5 series looks the best, and performs the best. I have a check list if you would like one, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have been buying VOLVO's since 1975, so the BMW had some seriously big reliability shoes to fill. To my surprise the BMW not only is as reliable, it has a soul. That soul does require very careful maint.
Hope I have helped a little.
85 535i 5spd 278,000
86 528e 5spd(RIP) 250,000
87 535i 5spd 210,000
89 525ia 163,000 my daily driver