Transmission and motor mounts required to remedy a bad shake.
Suspension components wore out (not shocks)
Tail lights work intermittently.
Window regulators failing.
Trip meter not working.
Heated seats not working.
Rear door would not close in the winter.
Transmission acts up occasionally. Shift hiccups and torque converter lock-up kicks out in 4th.
Heating and air-conditioning system acts up. Temperature control is off and it always puts heat out of the defrost vents even if the air-conditioning is on.
What I like about this car and BMW's in general are the ride and handling. I just don't feel confident driving other luxury cars, as they are too soft and isolated from the road. Precise steering, confident road holding ability and great brake feel are what define the BMW driving experience for me. I would add power too, but my car has none!
For a 15 year old car that has lived its life in a rust belt, there is surprisingly little rust on the car. One problem area that BMW's of this vintage suffer is the lower door seams. I have compared my car to newer 7 and 5 series and find that mine seems to have fewer weak areas for rust.
The in-line 6-cylinder engine in this car is ill-mated to the 4-speed automatic. I find that it just really bogs down when shifting into 4th at 60km. Although if I leave it in sport 3rd, it feels quite a bit quicker, though still slow off the line. A 5-speed manual transmission would be a better match for this engine. I think it boils down to the fact that this is a heavy car with a smallish engine. Maybe that's why the newer ones have a V8 in them. Problem solved. I drove a 740i with a sport package (lower final gear ratio) and it really flew!
The interior of the car is everything I've ever hoped for in a German designed car. Black leather, walnut trim – it looks like business! Not like the bungled new 7 series, which looks like it was designed "not in Germany".
As for mechanical problems, I expected them for the age of the car. Mostly I just live with the problems, unless they are a safety concern – then I get them fixed. Due to the transmission problems I am having, I will be looking for a newer used BMW, preferably a 528i with a 5-speed manual.