2001 BMW 525i wagon- should I buy it?

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Kevin Price
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2001 BMW 525i wagon- should I buy it?

Postby Kevin Price » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:28 am

Hello all,

Long time no talk, but a question and favor to ask:

My parents' neighbor in Pasadena is looking to sell a 2001 BMW 525i wagon (123kmi, $3,200), and I'm thinking of buying. It's in great condition, always garaged, all dealer service records, good cosmetics. It seems to be priced well given its condition, age, etc. This would be for my wife and/or me until our oldest daughter turns 16 in about six months, then probably hers.

Questions:
1. Can anyone recommend a good independent BMW shop in Pasadena for pre purchase inspection?
2. Any comment on make/model/pricing/reliability? Is this good-to-go or run-away?

I understand repair costs and maintenance obligations on an older car like this, and would do most or all of the work myself (with my 15 1/2 year old helper). Still, I don't want and endless project.

Thanks in advance for all replies!

Kevin

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Richard Jung
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Re: 2001 BMW 525i wagon- should I buy it?

Postby Richard Jung » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:07 pm

Hi Kevin,

We have a 2001 325IT Sportwagon with the same engine with more miles. The car has been very reliable. Engine, autotrans, suspension and interior have held up well.

That said, german cars do need more care than a Honda or Toyota, and there are typical BMW issues you should be aware of. There's a list of things to look for on the BMW forums, but here's some of them:
- Cooling system (plastic rad and exp tank, hoses, waterpump, belt) needs to be replaced every 70k or so. Vendors sell a kit, so do it all at the same time.
- 2 Main suspension bushings front and rear.
- Power window regulators.
- AC final stage resistor module.

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John Fendel
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Re: 2001 BMW 525i wagon- should I buy it?

Postby John Fendel » Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:39 pm

1. Can anyone recommend a good independent BMW shop in Pasadena for pre purchase inspection?

I've dealt with Avus Autosport in Glendale for years. Friendly, knowledgeable people.
(818) 500-7663 Ask for Andrew.
#ALSaware, GRC Performance, Red Line Oil

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Toby Larsson
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Re: 2001 BMW 525i wagon- should I buy it?

Postby Toby Larsson » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:37 pm

Richard is spot on and I would add cam sensors (intake and exhaust) fail frequently and so does the many plastic and rubber hoses/connectors under the intake manifold. None of that renders the car inoperable but will throw a CEL. An OBD2 scanner will be your best friend, otherwise good cars.

Kevin Price
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Re: 2001 BMW 525i wagon- should I buy it?

Postby Kevin Price » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:45 am

That's exactly what I needed- thanks to all!
Kevin

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Eric Clements
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Re: 2001 BMW 525i wagon- should I buy it?

Postby Eric Clements » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:33 pm

And the oil filter stand O-ring will be leaking...

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Kurt Rahn
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Re: 2001 BMW 525i wagon- should I buy it?

Postby Kurt Rahn » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:45 pm

Kevin Price wrote:1. Can anyone recommend a good independent BMW shop in Pasadena for pre purchase inspection?


I use and strongly recommend DTM Auto Salon in Pasadena: 626-585-8825. Ask for Erik or Eddie and tell them I sent you.
==============
Oversteer is better than understeer because you don't see the tree you're hitting.

Kevin Price
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Re: 2001 BMW 525i wagon- should I buy it?

Postby Kevin Price » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:02 pm

Thanks for all the replies- another buyer beat me to it. According to Autotrader it was the second cheapest 2001 525i wagon in the country, and it was beautifully maintained. I knew it wouldn't last.


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