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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all

First time poster, although I have been reading for some time.

I am looking at purchasing a 97 - 99 528i, but even models of that age are quite expensive here in Australia and many have high kms.

There is however one I have been looking at, which I would like to seek your advice on if I may.

It is a 99 model, 229,000 kms. I took it for a drive and it did drive very nice, with everything feeling nice and tight. When we pulled up however and popped the hood, I noticed the expansion tank was leaking. I had said to the guy that this was a known issue with this model and I would need to think about it all.

His original asking price was $5700 AUD, but with the leaking expansion tank I can get him down to $4000 AUD.

This is very cheap compared to most 97 - 99 models here going for between $6500 - $10000.

So my question is, given the relatively high kms and the expansion tank issue, would I be stupid to buy this particular car? I have already priced the cooling components, but a BMW specialist here also said that once they have done this many kms, they tend to use more oil than fuel.

Any and all advice most gratefully accepted.

Regards

Richard
 

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leaking expansion tank could indicate rest of cooling system is also due replacemt t

consider cost of total replacement of cooling system, radiator, hoses,thermostat , water pump and fan blades & fan clutch . factor total cost before you buy.
 

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German cars tend run hotter than domestic cars thus will burn oil at some point ... I've seen BMW's with less than 100k miles burn oil - I think if you can take what an average car like this will sell for locally and minus the cost of repairs plus i'd minus another $500 USD for your time and hassle you'd be ok - thats what I would do at least - be sure to have a PPI done if you have not owned one of these before and do not know what to look for - and when factoring costs DO NOT factor in the cost of DIY I would use a Indie shop cost ... thats my .02 cents! Cheers!
 

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Hi all
... sfuff deleted ...

but a BMW specialist here also said that once they have done this many kms, they tend to use more oil than fuel.

Any and all advice most gratefully accepted.

Richard
While some people report high oil consumption, this is not inevitable.
FWIW, my 2003 530 is now getting ~25,000 km per litre at 159k km. While my engine is not identical to the one you're considering, it is in the same family.

I bought the car with 111k km and who knows what brand or type of oil in it. The oil did appear to be clean & new. I have reason though to suspect it was the cheapest dino oil available. By 114k km I was down a little over a litre => 3k km / litre or worse :cry: I was not a happy camper.

Over the next several months I did three things
1) changed to Total Quartz 9000 Energy 5W40 which is a synthetic & BMW LL01 approved. An immediate improvement to more than 15k/litre. Others too, have reported that oil makes a difference.
2) renewed the entire CCV. I noticed oil consumption increased when it went bad enough to create drivability problems. After replacing the CCV, was better than after 1) so I suspect the CCV was creating some oil consumption.
3) replaced the OFH gasket, notorious for leaks. Probably minimal effect, mine was weeping rather than gushing.

I should mention too that I change oil at 10k km. It's possible that consumption could increase if I observed BMW's ~25k km recommendation.

The advice above to renew cooling system components is good. I'd follow it if I bought the car you're considering.

EDIT: someone above recommended a PPI. Strongly agree. A good mechanic may find lots of parts close to failure. In my opinion a PPI is the best money you will spend on the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Although it does sound like a great deal (when you look at local prices here), and I would be likely to repplace cooling system in any case, I think it may be just a little risky.

Even though the car did not seem to overheat when taking it for a test drive, I cannot be sure as to what may have occurred prior to me driving it. May be best to walk away from this one, pay the additional $ for something that appears to have no immediate issues and then do what I need to do with cooling system etc.

The problem here is that most cars have very high kms usually 200 -250 +. Oh well the search goes on I guess. I would rather wait for the right car than take a chance on something that may or may not be good.

Thanks for the advice and I will continue to read in the meantime and keep looking depite people here telling me that I should not buy an old Bimmer :)

Cheers

Richard
 

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Mine is a 98 528iA with 195,000+ miles. Does not burn one drop of oil between 8,000 mile oil changes. I think the later 3.0s tend to use more oil as they do run hotter than the 2.8s.
 
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