: Newbie considering a 1995 540i M-Sport

11-21-2009, 05:15 PM
Hey Folks,

I've got the chance to buy a 95 540 M-sport and I have a few questions.

First off...let me introduce myself. I'm in Knoxville, TN and have been a huge Saab and Mercedes diesel fan for over 20 years. I like to turn my own wrenches and feel pretty comfortable with almost any work except getting into nitty gritty machine work...like rebuilding heads and such.

The car I'm looking at is my bosses and is in good shape, is oxford green, 6 speed manual, has all the M-badging and body mouldings, has the proper turbine wheels with decent rubber....but a little flat from sitting for a while. Has 135k miles, no rust, a couple of minor scratches on the paint, and the interior is excellent. The a/c, radio, and all that stuff works great. I would be the 4th owner and the service history is intact.

I drove the car today and was really impressed with the power and smoothness of it. It had been sitting for about 3 months without being started, but we let it warm up and drove it slowly at first. The clutch feels strong suspension seems tight...but may be time to replace a couple of bushings, and the brakes seem strong. There is a roar coming from the front end that sounds like either a bad tire, or a bad wheel bearing.

I was a little concerned when we finished the drive and the Low Oil Pressure warning came on. There was no indication of anything wrong, idle was smooth, no smoke, and the oil level was correct. Maybe a bad sensor? The owner said that had never happened before and I believe him. I noticed in the service history there had been a repair to the oil pressure sending unit in the past.

He wants $8500 for the car. Questions are:

Does that price seem about right?
How easy are these cars to work on for the home mechanic?
Any big problems with this particular model?
What else should I look for?

Any advice is appreciated, because I really LOVE this car and would like to own it....but want to know what I'm getting into before I jump.



11-21-2009, 07:03 PM
M-sports have EDC suspension, look into that because it is REALLY expensive when needing fixed.

Also, if the front control arms, tie rods, etc. need replaced it will cost somewhere upwards of $400 for good, quality parts.

$8500 is about right for a good condition M-sport, but I would make sure you get the engine oil part figured out before you even think about buying it.
Also, research the nikasil/alusil issue.

Finally, get a PPI (pre purchase inspection done) before you commit to the car. It will tell you how much money you'd be looking at spending in the near future on it.
Use this for your PPI, it is a great source. http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1189126&page=0&highlight=E34+PPI

Most of all, good luck! E34's are amazing, and you will definitely fall in love with it. You'll never look back at Saabs or Mercs again! :)

BTW I would love an M-sport!