A driver's dream car - 300,000 kms and still going strong!
The vehicle was purchased at 104500 km when it was five years old. The original motor-plan had just expired. All service records were available, and there was no indication of any non standard maintenance that had been conducted to date.
Since then maintenance has been conducted in line with BMW's recommendations - most of this work being done by myself, although the more difficult or time consuming tasks have been referred to agents or service centres.
Below is a complete list of items covered in just over 200000 km's of driving over the past 8 years since I purchased the car.
140000 km - Clutch slave cylinder seal perished - decided to replace complete slave cylinder.
180000 km - Radiator damaged by stone impact, causing a slight leak - decided to replace radiator.
195000 km - Water pump leaking - replaced.
220000 km - Exhaust system (front & Rear silencers) replaced due to corrosion in the rear silencer.
230000 km - One spark plug ignition coil (there is one per spark plug) cracked and shorted, which resulted in a power transistor being blown on the on-board computer. This meant that the engine was only firing on 5 cylinders. A quote for a replacement on-board computer from the agents was extremely expensive, and a home repair was chosen as the better route to follow (+/- US$5.00 for a replacement power transistor and a bit of solder saved a LOT of money). The spark plug ignition coil was also replaced with a new unit.
255000 km - Light Control Module (LKM) re-soldered. The car developed an annoying habit of blowing light bulbs (+/- 10 replaced over a period of 18 months). I picked up some excellent advice from the website www.bmwe34.net, which provides maintenance tips from fellow BMW E34 5 Series owners. The recommendation was to identify "dry joints" on the soldering on the LKM module board and re-solder any suspect joints. I decided to redo all the main soldering, which didn't take long, and the bulb problem has been resolved.
280000 km - Front suspension overhauled by agent. Although the overhaul was not essential, the steering had lost some of its precision, and considering that I regularly travel at high speed, a decision was made to conduct the overhaul.
295000 km - Rear wheel bearings replaced by the agents due to slight bearing rumble.
I am amazed that a 13 year old car can still provide such an exceptional drive and look so good.
The car is often used to travel long distances with very little traffic, where it really excels. Not only is it fast (cruising comfortably in the 170 to 210 km/h range), but it is very comfortable and surprisingly light on fuel. My overall average consumption is 10.8 L / 100 km. This car makes open road driving effortless, and is something that I always look forward to.
It is a relatively heavy car, and as a result, is not a hot hatch around town, but I've never felt a lack of power for city commuting. A limited low rev torque is a reality, but as soon as revs rise above 3000 RPM, acceleration is solid right through to the rev limiter, which kicks in at just over 6500 RPM.
The overall quality of the car is exceptional - this point being highlighted by the fact that there is absolutely no indication that the car is nearly 13 years old - the fittings throughout are of a very high standard. I have not used a single drop of engine oil outside the normal maintenance oil replacement.
I am sometimes tempted to replace the car with a more current model, but have not yet been able to bring myself to do this - it's just TOO good!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th July, 2007