I currently own a X5 (E53), and looking to add a E60 525 or 530 (diesel, Auto). I know all the niggles of a BMW owning the X in another country, but need some advice on the 5 series. My budget is £5-6k - I looked at Audis and Mercs but they are not for me.
I spoke to a mate of mine and he listed the following things to look out for, having owned one himself until recently. Please could you help by letting me know if there are any other things I should be inspecting prior to pruchasing the car - thanks in advance.
Primary things to look out for:
Diesel Swirl flaps issue (up to 2007 I believe) – check these have been changed on diesels as this was a recall issue from memory.
Listen out for irregular idling sound or any loss of power on accelerating (v.discrete initially) as this indicates turbos on way out or DPF issues (check for soot near bottom of engine bay and diff coloured smoke on revving from rear).
Electrical – turn off the sat nav/radio etc a number of times – CCC unit problem (the whole dvd/cd drive unit and HDD) common, screen fading out, lines or colour changes on screen - indicate failure, can be repaired for cheapish, but no guarantee it will work, so best to avoid.
Airbag sensors always going off on these things, and once one light is on, the whole airbag system is shut down, so tell him to slam doors jump on seats ensuring none are triggered.
Msports – wheels always crack due to stiff suspension and low profile, check wheels for repairs/cracks
Bonnet catch jams often too and well as door lock failures, so check these by opening/shutting a few times.
Tell him to turn on all the electrics in the car, then shut down/lock the car and then come back to in 5 mins – if an error comes up on high rate of electrical discharge, walk away, that’s like anything from the startermotor/battery/micropowermodule/ccc unit/alternator.. etc and you wont know until you’ve spent on practically all of them!