1986 BMW 5 Series 528e 2.7 liter from North America


BMW makes benchmark cars and this is just one example


Nothing manage, just replacing parts due to age.

General Comments:

I bought a 318i in 1986, didn't want a 4 door at the time. The 528e was different looking in a cool way, and when I found a clean one 6 years ago, I had to have it. Been slowing restoring it for the last couple of years, not going crazy, just trying to make it look fresh.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th September, 2014

1986 BMW 5 Series 535i 3.4 gasoline from North America


Comfortable, with looks and performance


Wear items. Brakes, drive shaft, shifter bushings, ball joints, clutch, water pump, distributor cap, clutch fan.

General Comments:

I do all my own maintenance as per the BMW manual, so I save money.

I was going to buy a 2009 Audi A5, but I just couldn't part with the old 535i, so I kept it!

I decided to fix the left rear control arm alignment with eccentric bushings, instead of buying the pricey new control arm, and it worked out beautifully!

I maintain it well, but it is a very old car. I just continue fixing things on the car, because I really enjoy the car.

I have a temperature gauge and tach intermittent problem right now, but I am going to fix that somehow. Bad ground?

A/C inoperable because of a suspected temperature control switch. Still has the original charge!

Can't see spending 20k to 30k on a newer car that I can't do much work on. The engine runs great! It's a great car.

I washed the engine and the car was running poorly. After testing out all the components, it turned out to be a small layer of grease on the crank TDC sensor! Cleaned it and haven't had any problem. It's difficult to diagnose because it's pre-ODB2.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2014

1986 BMW 5 Series 528e 2.8 liter straight-6 from North America


The Ultimate Driving Machine!


More than a few critical sensor failures.

3x engine oil leaks.

Radiator needed replacement.


Interior component issues.

Electrical issues.

Needed a new stereo at 95,000 miles.

General Comments:

This was the very first BMW I bought. It was the best car I have ever owned thus far. The mechanical functions were excellent. It's what a German car should be like. It was solid, and drove like a tank without compromising performance. The suspension was excellent. The engine was spectacular.

I did have several issues with electronic components.

Some of the auto seat adjustment functions failed just after 100,000 miles.

The stereo was useless at 95,000 miles.

I had several issues with mysterious oil leaks.

The radiator needed to be replaced at 99,000 miles.

Many interior components were coming apart.

Then I had a mysterious water build up in my trunk. Neither my dealer, shops or myself could figure out where the water was coming from (not rain water...).

Despite some problems, this BMW performed. It was what a German car should feel like. I regret selling it after 166,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th July, 2013

5th Sep 2013, 15:02

The mysterious water leak in the trunk was usually the result of worn gaskets/seals around the tail lights. I had the problem with mine, and finally locked myself in the trunk while my wife ran a garden hose over the car. There was the slightest trickle that came from the lower edge of the light. Once the gasket(s) were replaced... NO MORE LEAKS!!!

5th Jun 2014, 15:26

Now that's marriage.

22nd Jan 2015, 20:01

Your story made me laugh out loud! I am now the proud owner of a BMW 1986 528e! In the process of restoring it to pristine condition and enjoying the heck out of it, especially since it has such a great look. Sounds like you really like your car!!

1st Sep 2016, 13:55

If you happen to see this message, my MIL just purchased a 1986 528e. Its interior is literally falling apart. It has over 300,000 miles on it. It does run and the A/C works. In your opinion, after restoring one yourself, is it worth it to restore it?

Have you had any problems with the timing chain/belt? Someone told me yesterday I should consider it junk; that it wasn't worth the cost to restore it and that this model in particular has running issues with a faulty timing chain/belt. I need it to be reliable once I spend the money. Your opinion is much appreciated.

4th Sep 2016, 05:03

If something has this many miles I would sell. And buy a used low mileage one while the other is still running. Reliable at 300k to me is OK just as a second car or sell it. Or just buy a new one if you drive this much.