1986 BMW 5 Series 535i 3.5L inline 5 from North America


These are the junk of BMW


The first thing to go wrong with the car was the fuel pump relay, that happened 10 minutes after I got the car.

The second thing was the water pump.

The third was the clutch; I got that replaced and it cost a great deal of money, because the disc exploded into a white powder.

200 miles after I got the new clutch in, the input shaft snapped on the tranny, and then the ball joint broke and put me in the ditch.

I love BMWs, but these cars are crap.

General Comments:

I would not recommend buying one at all.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2007

12th Jul 2007, 04:09

Sounds like you bought a lemon.

14th Aug 2007, 19:44

Sounds like he bought a junker and now blames it on the 20 year old vehicle that was probably never maintained, and that he thought he was getting a great deal on, compared to the other ones costing more $$$.

My 524 came with all service records from new, and was superbly maintained. Guess what, it cost me more than a lot of them out there, but has been a gem. The most expensive BMW or Mercedes you will ever buy will likely sell for $1,000 or less.

21st Jan 2009, 12:37

Yeah, I'm sorry but I owned 2 identical 535 5speeds and these were the toughest cars I've ever had... This guy bought a piece of crap. At 19 and 21 years old each when I had them, I put 25,000 on EACH car in a year. I was taking trips @ 1,000 miles each way with not a single breakdown. Yes, the cars had minor problems but they're fricken old and were never meant to be garage queens!!! There is NO better car you can pick up for less than a few grand that can do what this car can.

18th Jan 2010, 08:04

I've had an '86 535i for 5 years. Bought it for $1,100 with 179,000 and now has 288,000. Still runs strong and is a pleasure to drive in every way, and a very tough and reliable car.

Many long trips, most notably 1000 miles Boston to St. Louis loaded to the gills in 90 degree heat, then back - no problems.

Have spent about $1000 a year on regular maintenance and repairs. Suspension work, water pump, rear axle right side have been the only big items.

23rd Mar 2010, 05:58

I've got an '86 Bimmer. 535i... been in my family since new. 237500 miles and goes great. Chronic problems with the relays, but once you know where they are, it's just a pop of the hood and replug.

1986 BMW 5 Series M535i 3.5 from UK and Ireland


A soon to be appreciating classic


Had to have the head redone at 110,000. Partly my fault because the water pipe hose split and caused it to overheat.

Seats have been changed and re done.

General Comments:

Wow what a car. Its great looking (Metallic Dark Green) and really goes and is reliable.

It is very thirsty and the original TRX tires are hard to source. My sits on 17" ones now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th March, 2006

1986 BMW 5 Series 528i SE from UK and Ireland


Armchair express!!!


The backs fall off the front seats, and the cloth wears out on the side of the drivers seat.

Watch out for rusting fuel pipes on top of the tank sender unit; remove the inspection cover to reveal this hidden and over looked problem inside the boot on saloons.

Dashboard's service interval L.E.D.s fail to reset when the back up battery goes dead, which can cause the eco gauge to stop working in time, then the speedometer can stop as well!

On the M30 engine, the electronic throttle bypass that controls the idle speed from cold is useless. Changed it under warranty and gave up; no change in cold start slow running (only 500 RPM). However it still runs in mid winter and soon warms up. It's just an annoyance, with it being on the verge of stalling for the first few minutes each morning.

General Comments:

The car, otherwise, is a pleasure to own and drive. It's as reliable as the Planet Earth, a superb motorway cruiser. The 4 speed auto gearbox, in lockup, the engine is only turning over a mere 2100 RPM at 70 mph.

What a motor that 2.8 six pot on E.F.I. really is. Overall average is 17.5 MPG over a year's motoring (and that's driven modestly). Lots of short trips of less than 4 miles contributes to the poor figures. In heavy traffic it's down to 13 MPG. The best over 30 MPG. I still love it, the E28 is a winner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2004

9th Nov 2006, 11:00

A proper fuel-injected E28 5-series (`82-`88), should not have any issues with cold-start-up. A coolant temp. switch (sits just behind/above the thermostat housing). It has a a wire or two (depending on model) coming out of it. It reads the coolant temp.. When dead cold, it will allow the car to idle at a higher than normal speed for 2-5 min., about 750-1000 rpm. Once the engine coolant has warmed, this switch allows the rpm to lower to the normal rpm, about 550-750 rpm. It is crucial to make sure the correct switch is installed for the model - if not, very poor running will result. Also verify that the cold start valve is functioning properly.