In Reply to: Surely an ///M5 can't be THAT unreliable(long) posted by JohnG on September 17, 2001 at 16:57:31:
I am rebuilding the top-end of my M5. Cost me $1500 in parts and machine work. It might have been $800 or less on a 535i. I'm doing my own labour, but labour on a 535i would have been lower as well. The point being that if something does break you are in for a higher bill.
Should you run away from this car. NO! Some people have money for maintenance, but I have time and patience to learn and do it myself. Both are good ways to own this car. When I bought mine, I kept 20% is reserve from my budget. I need the $1500 immediately as the top end damage (spontaneous and unexplained) occured in 2 months of ownership!
The M5 is a robust automobile and you can be hard on it. But, it is not a Lexus. Those dudes build a 100 litre motor and pull 200 HP out of it. That is a formula for reliability. The M5 is a highly strung motor and will not be as reliable as that.
Whatever you do, go in with your eyes open!
I'm on this board and the M5 mailing list in preparation for a possible E34 M5 purchase after I finish school and become gainfully employed (4 or so years). The reason I want this car is because I love the looks, features, and performance of the E34 thanks to driving my sister's 91 535i. So I want the ultimate E34, and that means M5. I expect to pay between $19-30k for a low mileage (<100k) pristine example, maybe a bit more if I can find the Euro Daytona Violet 3.8 Touring that I REALLY want.
I know from previous experience that automotive message boards make EVERY car seem like an unreliable POS, simply because there isn't much reason to post unless you are having problems. The Camaro boards and even the Acura TL board make those very reliable (in my experince) cars seem like 1970's AMC products.
So I am assuming that the M5 is going to be a pretty reliable car, with proper proper maintenance. I know that cars cost money, and eclectic cars like M5's cost more money to own and drive. Replacing the self leveling in the rear, new water pump, new radiator, new A/C, and periodic valve adjusments are no big deal to me, and I expect to have to to that sort of thing on a 15 year old car no matter how low the miles.
So, given proper maintenace and upkeep, I think an E34 M5 can be a reliable daily trasport and road trip machine. Am I right? Just in case I'm wrong, I'll be keeping my 99 Z28 Camaro for my "new" car ;-)