1983 BMW 5 Series 533is from North America


Great fast german sedan


Only things that went on the car were the hydrogen reservoir sphere (for power assist) and leaky heater core.

TRX tires are brutally expensive, but grip like crazy..

General Comments:

My first 5 series. Was third owner. 3.3L inline six produced tons of smooth power. Engine just begged to be revved. ZF 3 speed transmission shifted without fault.

Hated the power assist for the brakes - used a silly system of a spherical reservoir that contained hydrogen. When that leaked, brakes would not come on immediately - but with a 1 to 2 second delay - not nice when driving 140kph plus and a car pulls in front. Downright scary, I changed one pair of underwear because of that..

Other than that, I cannot fault it. Not too hard on fuel. Love the chassis, handled smartly.

Interior seating is comfortable, they come close to Mercedes in quality and feel.

Gotta keep up with engine maintenance, listen for valve noise - noisy rockers means new cam and followers (usually caused by using crappy oil and not following proper intervals for changes..) Fantastic motor as it is a proper chain drive, not a belt. Can take quite a bit of abuse.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd September, 2009

1983 BMW 5 Series 528e 2.7L from North America


Even after 25 years, this car's refinement and quality shows through, particularly on the highway


Replaced entire exhaust system.

Starter would make only buzzing sounds, replaced it with a used one.

Apparently, the idle control valve was dirty, causing poor starting and excessive time using the starter to get the engine running. Starts up right away now after cleaning.

Alternator no longer charged the battery, replaced it.

Rear drivers side coil spring was snapped in two places, replaced all four springs and rear struts.

Floor was swiss cheese, replaced with new sheet metal, not surprising for a 25 year old car where salt is used extensively on the winter roads.

General Comments:

Once I had the idle control valve problem fixed, the car fires up and runs great.

Fuel economy is very good considering the age and mileage, averaging 23-25 MPG in combined city/highway driving.

Car would be peppier off the line with a manual transmission but gets the job done adequately. Three speed transmission is obviously geared for economy, shifting quickly to third gear. You really have to stomp the accelerator to move quickly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 2008

1983 BMW 5 Series 528e from North America


Great car for very little money


Fuel pump @ 257K. Fuel tank was also badly rusted from sitting.

Sunroof cable was broken when I bought it. I fixed it but it leaked, I'm pretty sure I screwed up the gutters putting it back together.

One of the back windows didn't roll up or down. I didn't bother fixing it.

Torque converter and flex-plate @ 260K.

General Comments:

I took a gamble and bought it non-running and with 257K for $300. Once I fixed it, I was surprised at just how great of a car it still was.

Nice car to drive, particularly nice on the highway. Even without an overdrive it was hard to keep under 80. Motor was smooth and easy on gas. I averaged 20 in the city and 24 to 28 on the highway, depending on how fast I drove.

Overall a very well built and reliable car. Nothing leaked and it used very little oil for the mileage. The only major problems were the fuel system and torque converter.

The fuel system was most likely due to age and sitting for three years before I bought it. It was easy enough to fix, a new pump, filter and cleaning out the tank cured it.

The torque converter and flex-plate were most like due to to some idiot doing neutral drops. The torque converter stripped the input splines, and the flexplate was cracked in some spots and completely broken on others. Despite the obvious abuse, the transmission itself was not damaged and performed flawlessly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2008