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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 05-05-2012, 06:54 AM
Wilson1911 Wilson1911 is offline
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Location: CT
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 44
Mein Auto: BMW 335i N55
1994 530i

http://www.bmwofbridgeport.com/used/...304f6e65e3.htm

I am hoping to go look at this car today...does this look like a reasonable price? What should i look out for? Purpose of the car would be a third vehicle for around town and having fun
Other experiences or obsevations about this model would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2012, 07:07 AM
BMR_LVR's Avatar
BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Location: Asheboro, NC
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,264
Mein Auto: 1992 525i
Hello Wilson. The car seems to be clean, but there are some things to look for. With that engine, you need to know if it has the Nikasil or alusil block. You want the alusil. The Nikasil coating on the cylinders would be degraded by the high sulfur content in the fuel and cause a loss of compression. The only fix was engine replacement. Go to Wikipedia and search Nikasil engine and you can learn about it. You can research the block number to find if which it has.

Look for maintenance records. The cooling system is a known weak point on these cars and needs to be overhauled every 100K miles or so. Try to see if there are records to indicate when it was last done. If no records on it, then anticipate spending ~ $600 for materials alone. You can do it in one afternoon if you do the work yourself. Budget another $500 or so if you have a mechanic do it.

The front suspension gets worn on these cars. If you drive it, it should feel tight and responsive. If the car begins to shimmy at about 50-55 mph, then the front end needs work. Pretty pricey on quality parts and again, pretty pricey if you have a mechanic do the work.

Another possible weak link is the transmission since it is an automatic. A lot of the reliability factor has to do with whether or not it was serviced properly. I'm not certain, but that model may have come with "lifetime" fluid from the factory. I personally don't believe in that theory, but some say to not change that fluid for fear that new oil will cause the transmission to fail sooner if the old oil has been in there a long time .. something about the old clutch material in the fluid keeping the transmission from slipping. There are a lot of strong and opposing opinions about the subject on the net.

If you work on cars yourself, make sure the get a copy of the Bentley manual. It can be purchased in hard copy form or downloaded in PDF format.

Hope this helps some.
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Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
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Last edited by BMR_LVR; 05-05-2012 at 07:09 AM.
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2012, 07:10 AM
Wilson1911 Wilson1911 is offline
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Location: CT
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 44
Mein Auto: BMW 335i N55
Really appreciate the advice. Thank you.
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2012, 01:07 PM
Gravik Gravik is offline
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Location: Boise
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 667
Mein Auto: '91 535i/5
The whole nikasil issue isn't super relevant anymore. If the car has been driven 180k miles without issues and it still drives good, then there shouldn't be too much to worry about. Pretty sure there's someone on Bimmerforums who has 300k+ miles on his nikasil block.

You should however get a carfax on the vehicle as well as have it thoroughly inspected by an independent shop if you're serious about buying it,.
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1995 525iT. 178k miles. Magnaflow exhaust. SOLD
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