1998 BMW 5 Series 540ia 4.4L from North America


Beautifully performing car, if you like the repair shop


Catalytic Converters went at 46k.

Battery at 40k.

Dashboard Pixels went at 40k.

Water pump and radiator 72k.

Thermostat 72k.

Oxygen sensor 46k & 78K.

Airbag sensor 75k.

Tie Rod and Bushings 72k.

Air Conditioning Unit 80k.

General Comments:

The BMW 540 is a beautiful car as well as top notch when it comes to performance of a sports sedan.

The reliability is absolutely terrible for a 63k vehicle. I understand that there are certain things that you give up when you buy a performance car, but the items I have listed should have lasted at least till 90-100k. The list cost approx. $9,000.

The previous owner was my father and it was kept in a garage for the life of the vehicle. It has never seen 130k nor pushed past the red line.

This is unacceptable for any car. BMW should learn about what happens to unreliable luxury cars... ask Cadillac and now Mercedes.

This will be my last BMW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th April, 2006

30th Jan 2007, 03:24

I also have a 98 540iA. I hate this car. It is the 3rd BMW I have had and definitely the worst!

Things to go wrong-

Sunroof broke

O2 sensors

Gaskets (valve cover and intake manifold)

CD changer doesn't change Cd's

Random dash lights coming on

Rear lights randomly turn off

Rough idle

Suspension rebuild

If you push the traction control button it turns the car off

Plastic around the stereo pops out

Plastic on seat controls broke off

Hole in my cat.

This is by far the worst car I have ever had! It is uncomfortable with many blind spots!

27th Dec 2007, 07:05

Wow, and I thought maybe the Car shutting off when you press the Traction Control button was just me!

Amen, this car is a junk pile. Soooooo glad to be rid of it.

1998 BMW 5 Series 520 SE 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Great Car, Get One And Enjoy


Nothing has gone wrong. Great car comfort. Leather interior, quite, looks just great. I love it.

The only issue that I have is the clutch is sticky when the car starts first.

General Comments:

Quite, fast when you push it and looks great.

Leather interior is great, huge interior and huge boot. Al round a very nice car, nothing I've had so far comes close!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th April, 2006

1998 BMW 5 Series SE 2.5 from UK and Ireland


Fabulous car, best car I have ever owned. Buy one now, buy one now!!!


The thermostat housing fractured where the hose joins causing the engine to begin to overheat. (this is a common problem apparently, along with radiators on the V8's)

ABS sensors have all gone. The housings all crumbled and were attacked by salt corrosion.

General Comments:

Fabulous!! Absolutely fabulous.

This is quite simply the best I have ever owned.

The car has covered 170000 miles and runs like a trooper. I brought it with 76000 miles on the clock and was slightly worried about buying a car with some many miles (was chosen as an opt out company car).

It does 32-33mpg (fair bit of motorway work). handling is sublime for such a big car. It can show a clean pair of heels too many so called sports cars. I opted for a manual to up the fuel economy (but I understand that the resale is better on an auto)

It feels immensely safe with all its airbags etc. the seats are comfy for all day long driving.

I do all my own servicing, as it soooo easy. I can change my oil and filters every 5-7k (not needed I know, makes me feel better!). This car just goes on and on!!!

It looks the bizz when I turn at work, snubs the noses of the bosses with my private plate. I am sure customers think they have one of the bosses dealing with them simply because of the car.

I changed the front and rear lights to the angel eye and clear lenses (this is a must! as it knocks of 5yrs of its age!) I brought a set of 17inch alloys off ebay for £500 and the car looks the daddy!

Would buy another one tomorrow as it has been amazing (make sure you go for the SE as it comes with cruise as standard)

Buy one now. Buy one now. Buy one now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th February, 2006