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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-04-2013, 11:32 PM
CTPDX CTPDX is offline
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Location: Portland, OR
 
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Mein Auto: '99 M Coupe
Thinking about a 2008 535XI Wagon...with salvage title

Hey there! Total newbie on the site, but have been a lurker for a few years, reading up on topics related to my '99 M Coupe.

Now, however, I have a wife and a baby...and we're thinking of getting a big wagon. We don't have the $$$ for a new 5 series, but I found a local guy selling a rebuilt 535XI wagon. The details are:
-- 24K miles
-- Premium package only (no Cold or Sport)
-- Front end damage, repaired by local shop (see pics)
-- No frame damage (body shop report forthcoming)
-- Interior & Exterior are near flawless
-- Test drive was absolutely exhilarating!
-- He said that he was contacted by BMW USA, informing him that the original owner had purchased the extended coverage (6yr / 100K), which was transferred to him...suggesting that BMW USA doesn't know it's a salvaged title. Possibly 1 year of warranty left, if I can find a willing dealer?
-- Asking price is $18K
-- KBB "Fair" value for a car with these specs is $26K, making the asking price 70% of the KBB, not the preferred 50%

I've read lots of pros / cons about salvaged cars, in general. I suppose I'm just looking for some input about***********:
1) Expected maintenance costs on these 535s ($1000/yr? $500/yr?)
2) Things to look for during pre-purchase inspection (Recalls, likely points of failure, etc.)
3) Sanity check: is it crazy to even think about a salvage title 5 series?!

I'm driving myself nuts reading about the car. People who have it, love it. I loved driving it, and couldn't feel anything that gave me pause. I know that BMWs have pricier maintenance, but is it order-of-magnitude more than your average Subaru (for example)? My M Coupe isn't THAT bad!

Please be gentle with my first, frantic post. I just want to make a decision about this car, and I'm trying not to be COMPLETELY ruled by my emotions!

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2013, 01:23 AM
10550i 10550i is offline
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Location: Orange County, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2010 550i M Sport
A salvaged title car usually is worth much much less than fair market. Unless you are going to keep it forever since you will have a very hard time selling it later, I would stay away from a salvaged car like that. Besides, i believe most of the banks will not finance a salvaged title car. $18K is way too much for that car.

I just purchased my 5er 2 months ago. I started looking at 07-08 335s everyday last Nov, then I was looking at 2008 535s with sports, premium, cold weather, navigation, and few other options but with a bit higher miles, and they were going for low 20s. I ended up buying a 2010 550i MSport with high mileage that was only a couple grand more than my topped out budget. Please do yourself a favor and don't rush into it. I know it is very tempting, but stay away from it unless you can get that for dirt cheap. $18K for a Salvaged 2008 535ix wagon is not a good enough of a deal. I believe you can find one that you like in the low 20s.

Good luck with purchase
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2013, 04:25 AM
Pearson10M Pearson10M is offline
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Agree w/10550i

  • Way too much money. $14000 max
  • I would looking what it requires to register a salvaged title i your state/area first. Some places may have rules.
  • Call your insurance company and see if any issues with insuring a salvaged title.
  • You may have a real hard time selling it later if you decide to.

I wouldn't do it.
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2013, 05:10 AM
andymax andymax is offline
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Location: North of Pittsburgh
 
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Mein Auto: 08 535xi
-A bank will finance a salvage title, but the value has to be right, as they still gotta get their money out of it in the event of a default. You may have to check a few banks.
-You need to understand the actual status of the title...if it is Salvage you will need to go through a few steps to get it to a registerable state. If the body shop does a lot of these, then they probably already converted it to the "R", or "rebuilt" status, which is registerable. The terminology in your state may vary. Make sure they got it to a registerable status.
-Insurance shouldn't be a problem, but of course ask your agent if your particular company will have any issues. I've insured R-titles before.
-535xi's are known for some persistent issues, such as the fuel pump, injectors, mechatronic sleeve, etc...do a bunch of research on this forum to understand what you may be in for.
-Be absolutely certain that the warrantys will apply. If you need warranty work, the mechanic under the car may notice the repairs and bring it unwanted attention.

Lastly, I'm a plus one on the price. A salvage car pretty much means you either commit to it long term, or accept the much lower value when it comes time to sell. I agree that $14K would be the top of the mark...

Good luck.

Last edited by andymax; 03-05-2013 at 05:15 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2013, 09:13 AM
CTPDX CTPDX is offline
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Sanity is starting to win out!

Thanks for the responses, everyone!

I've loved performance wagons / hatchbacks for a long time, and this is the first time I ever drove a 5 series wagon. It was lust at first rev!

But I'm realizing that I'm trying way too hard to rationalize the purchase. It'd be worth spending an additional $4-$5K to get a clean title, just for the peace of mind.

Interestingly, though, it turns out my great state of Oregon is a pretty lax in requiring inspections, etc. for reconstructed cars. Evidently, that makes OR a dumping ground for lots of salvaged cars. Which may explain why there are so many dealers/shops that specialize in rebuilding late-model cars.



Ok, I'll try exercising some patience. I know every used car carries some risk and uncertainty, but it's the certainties about a salvaged car that I need to keep in mind!

Again, thanks for all of the feedback! I'm off to peruse the local for sale ads...
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2013, 10:46 AM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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You can also try looking nationwide through one of the larger dealerships like Carmax or Autonation. They will bring the car to you for little to no cost if you buy it from them and then you can look for a car from a warm weather climate (like California) and be more assured that you are getting car you'll be happy and safe in. I definitely would not put my wife and kids in a salvage car. Modern cars are like soda cans, when they get hit they are never as strong or as straight as they were new.
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Previous 3 cars (the 550 is my 38th car):
2005 530i - Prem, Sport, NAV
2006 Jeep SRT-8
2003 Infiniti G35 coupe
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2013, 01:33 PM
RIHI RIHI is offline
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I'm with those that repled earlier. To get a $4,000.00 discount for the car with that kind of damage is not worthwhile. If it was $11K then there can be discussion, but not at the price they are asking for. You are definitely going to buy a headache.
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  #8  
Old 03-05-2013, 03:41 PM
CTPDX CTPDX is offline
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Location: Portland, OR
 
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Mein Auto: '99 M Coupe
So there are 3 local cars that have come available, just this week (where were these last week, when I was stressing about a recon?!):

-- 2006 530XI with 70K miles for $22K (premium, cold weather) -- sold by the dealer that's been servicing it for last 6 years; willing to negotiate; maybe get an extended warranty thrown in?
-- 2007 530XI with 75K miles for $21K (premium, cold weather) -- solid local dealer
-- 2008 535XI with 55K miles for $25K (premium, cold weather) -- exact car I'd love, just more than we were planning to pay...unless we decide to take out a bit of debt, instead of paying all cash. Hmm...

I've never bought a car with 55-75K miles on it. Assuming all of the recall and maintenance work has been done correctly, though, is there any significant concern with getting a car with that many miles? They all look fantastic. Feels strange, but I do believe you get what you pay for. And I do believe that the engineering on these cars will keep it running for us for years and years to come.

Have I said thank you, yet? I appreciate the time and input from each of you! And I'll keep you posted on how things turn out...
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2013, 04:39 PM
ironman ironman is offline
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Location: NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: 530 xi wagon
Glad you didn't do the rebuilt 535xi. It would have been a constant headache if the "local guy" didn't do the right thing. Sophisticated automobile with lots of things to go wrong. I have an 06 530xi sport wagon premium cold package with 66k and it is a great car that is fun to drive, not what you would expect from a family wagon. Love the car! I have had some issues starting at about 60K. All routine, mostly front end, tie rods, control arms, brakes, rotors and a whole array of i-drive warnings here and there...restraint system failure, level control system malfunction. All false alarms fortunately. Make sure the maintenance is up to date. Be sure to find out what has been done to car up unitl now. They are not cheap to repair. I would not be afraid of the miles as long as it was properly maintained. The motor is probably good for as long as you want to put up with the rest of the car. 250k is not uncommon.

Last edited by ironman; 03-05-2013 at 05:36 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2013, 06:26 PM
MarkieXi MarkieXi is offline
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Location: MA
 
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Mein Auto: 535XiT/Mini Cooper
As a point of reference I bought a black 535xiT 6 months ago for $27500 with 68K miles. It has a lot of extras and a year of maintenance.

I do not know where people are getting their values from for the wagon, but I could not find any 535xiT for under 20K. At that range all I could find was 530xiT. The 530 is very good, but once I drove the 535 I knew that is what I wanted. : )

So far so good and I love the car. Would I buy one with a salvaged title? Probably not. Still that seemed like a good discount.

I noticed mine had the mechatronic sleeve of the transmission replaced just before I bought it. I guess this is around a $4K repair...
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2013, 10:00 PM
CTPDX CTPDX is offline
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Location: Portland, OR
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Mein Auto: '99 M Coupe
Wow, thanks for sharing about both the 530 and 535! I really appreciate the way folks in this forum are willing to offer up help and guidance!

I've contacted the dealers who have 535s (both are ~$25k with 50-70k miles), as well as those that have the 530s (both are ~$21k, with 60k miles). It's amazing how many I'm seeing, now. I swear I looked, last week! Maybe the universe is sending me a sign?

I do worry about getting something and being surprised by a pricey repair soon afterwards. That won't make my more risk-averse, Subaru-loving wife happy. . Maybe that's a reason to look hard at the 530 at the BMW dealer.

Well, I'm going crossed-eyed looking at cars, so I'm calling it a night. Thanks, everyone!
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2013, 04:49 PM
zolabmw zolabmw is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 530xiT 6MT
2007 530 xIT 6MT Sport

I have an excellent 530xIT 6MT sport available now having just traded up to a 2010 version. Send me a PM if interested - price in the low 20s - has 59,000 miles and is in perfect condition.
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  #13  
Old 03-06-2013, 05:40 PM
10550i 10550i is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 550i M Sport
CTPDX, I just did a search on autotrader.com and found 31 listings of 535xi Wagons for sale, with prices ranging from $19K to $26K maximum limit. Here is the link if you would like to check them out. Have fun.

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...orm=true&Log=0
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  #14  
Old 03-06-2013, 07:46 PM
RIHI RIHI is offline
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I'm glad you stayed away from the Salvage Title vehicle. That is definitely a headache waiting to happen. good luck with your search.
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  #15  
Old 03-06-2013, 07:57 PM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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Mein Auto: 2008 535i
I have a 2008 535i with 60K miles, bought new, well maintained, and garaged the whole time. It is in excellent shape and has had only regular maintenance and the only repair was a burnt out angel eye. I am looking at, in the upcoming months, a new battery, rear pads with brake fluid flush, an oil change, and not much else I can think of.

Everything is expensive, though. Just the windshield wipers and cabin filters, both easy DIYs, cost well more than double what they should.
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  #16  
Old 03-06-2013, 08:04 PM
st1sj st1sj is offline
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I would prefer a lower mileage car that has not been in an accident. You pay more upfront, but think of it as insurance (sometimes they work, sometimes they do not).

Regardless, the 5 wagon is really nice.
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  #17  
Old 03-06-2013, 08:39 PM
RIHI RIHI is offline
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I would prefer a well taken cared of, well maintained high mileage car than one that has been in a wreck.
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  #18  
Old 03-06-2013, 09:00 PM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st1sj View Post
I would prefer a lower mileage car that has not been in an accident. You pay more upfront, but think of it as insurance (sometimes they work, sometimes they do not).

Regardless, the 5 wagon is really nice.
I agree, that's why I picked up my 550 with 20k miles. However, for some that is not feasible, so everyone needs to get the best possible car their budget will allow. Regardless of mileage and year, more importantly is a well maintained car.
Also, I would not trust my wife and kids in a car that has been in a bad accident.
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[B]2008 550 - Carbon Black/Black - M-sport, Cold Weather, Premium, NAV, Comfort Access, Logic 7 (LOADED, every option except night vision)

Previous 3 cars (the 550 is my 38th car):
2005 530i - Prem, Sport, NAV
2006 Jeep SRT-8
2003 Infiniti G35 coupe

Last edited by pjinca; 03-06-2013 at 09:01 PM.
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  #19  
Old 03-06-2013, 10:50 PM
CTPDX CTPDX is offline
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Well, I'm deep into searching out 535s and 530s, now. To be honest, I hadn't considered buying out of the 100-200 mile range, but it might be worth it. That's how I got my M Coupe.

I've been talking to the dealer who's got the '06 530xi (70k miles, ~$21k), and he's mentioned that he's seen very few 530s in for serious repairs, as compared to the 535s which tend to have turbo-related (HPFP, etc.) issues. My reading on this forum, and elsewhere, suggest that the 530 is a really solid car, and should do really well if it's well-maintained. But isn't that the truth for all cars? :-)
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  #20  
Old 03-07-2013, 02:42 PM
MarkieXi MarkieXi is offline
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Have you driven a 535 yet? I recommend you dont drive one if you are thinking about a 530. The 530 is great, but once I tried a 535 I knew that is what I had to get. YMMV.
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  #21  
Old 03-07-2013, 05:36 PM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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Yeah, don't drive the .35 if you are considering the .30 or the .28.
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  #22  
Old 03-15-2013, 08:08 PM
CTPDX CTPDX is offline
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And now, the rest of the story...

As a postscript to this thread, we ended up getting the 2006 530XIT from the BMW dealer. It has 70K miles on it, but is in pristine condition...and the single previous owner bought it and serviced it at the same dealer for 7 years, so they showed me the full vehicle history. Ended up getting it for $20K, which seemed very fair, given the amazing condition of the car. I also took them up on their $600 "Oil Changes For Life" deal, which gets me 2 changes per year for as long as I have the car. Seemed like a good idea.

After having it a week, I'm officially in love! My little M Coupe is tremendous fun, but this 530 wagon is a SMOOTH ride! And, I can feel comfortable having my wife and daughter in it.

Thanks for all of the advice, suggestions and sharing, folks! It's nice to have some voices of reason out there when I stop thinking with my lead foot, instead of my brain! :-)

Here's the new ride, and its precious cargo:
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  #23  
Old 03-15-2013, 08:25 PM
10550i 10550i is offline
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Congrats on your "new" BMW!!! Welcome to the 5 family. That is a very nice 5 wagon, and in great condition. I am pretty sure it will take care of you and your precious cargo in the years to come. Enjoy!!!
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  #24  
Old 03-16-2013, 10:27 AM
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gmnmsclM540i gmnmsclM540i is offline
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Three pretty ladies. You're a lucky man. Congrats!

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