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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Bimmer Posters

I'm currently driving a 1999 530d SE Auto with 160k miles. It runs a dream and apart from a few electrical problems (ignition barrel last year) is a lot of car for its age. I've owned the car for 4years and it has been luxury motoring. I bought it for £4k and its probably worth £1.5k now if I'm lucky!

I've the opportunity to buy a friends late 2003 320d M Sport, manual gearbox with 68k miles on the clock, and full BMW service history. He's the only owner but I'm wondering is it worth taking the risk with the turbo saga that potentially ruins the 320d's. I don't know if it was earlier models, pre-2003 or lower horsepower models which were mainly effected by the turbo problems on the 320d's, or if it is a problem across all of the 320d's.

My dilema is should I keep running the 530d (which is at the end of its depreciation cycle) until it falls apart and then eventually look for a 330d or another 5 series Diesel. Space is not an issue and 3 series would suit fine. The only reason I'm considering changing is fuel economy, although I'll have to spend £3k+ to change. I currently do approx 300miles/wk and currently getting 32mpg(town) 40mpg(motorway) on the 530d auto.

Advice and experience appreciated:)
 

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Going from the experiences of others, I'd be more concerned about the risk from swirl flaps with E46 320d's than I would the turbo. A turbo is expensive but generally not terminal, swirl flaps are however. Buy it, remove the swirl flaps, change the oil regularly and keep your fingers crossed on the turbo.

But if you're happy with your 5 series and it's serving you well, then I'd be tempted to stick with it a while longer while you put cash aside for its eventual replacement
 

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Do remember that compared to the number of 320d's on the road, the percentage of people that actually have turbo problems will be very small.

By their very nature, car forums like this (and others) serve to make users think a particular problem is more prevelant than it really is. I mean, you rarely get anyone coming on to say "My car is running perfectly..." yet there must be thousands out there running perfectly, or else BMW wouldn't be selling cars any more...

I'd go for it, and get the flaps done ASAP...
 

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Have a drive of it if you haven't already, think you might miss the grunt and smoothness of the 6 cylinder compaired to the 4 pot. If not remove the swirlflaps change the crank case breather to the vortex type and service it well, should easily clock up the miles :thumbsup
 

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Garmcqui makes a very valid point. :thumbsup

I have a 2004 320d (150bhp) and went for this over an earlier model as I did some research on the turbos.

Saying that I did make a point of getting my swirl flaps removed asap!

You may be best keeping on to your 5er! It might give you another 100k ;)
 

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having had a E39 and an E46 ............. keep the 530 a while longer and continue to say for when she leaves this land
 

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Put it this way, i wish I never brought my 320d, been nothing but trouble and has cost me and arm and a leg!
 

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having had a E39 and an E46 ............. keep the 530 a while longer and continue to say for when she leaves this land
I agree with this line of thinking.. The E39 is a great car, and you never know what you'll get if you buy the E46 then the turbo goes pop!

So I'd probably keep the E39, enjoy your motoring, save some cash then get a newer model, with less mileage so the risk of the above happening is less.

I also hear that the 320d's turbo is more prone to fail than a 330d one, probably as it's a smaller sized engine, and the turbo has to work harder. It's why I won't be keeping mine past 60k (ish) miles!
 

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If your car is running well and not giving you any problems I'd be inclined to keep it and run it until it starts costing you. I was going to upgrade car but I've decided as my car has been mostly problem free in about 40k (now nearly 104k on the clock) I might as well keep it as I know everything about it...when it starts costing me an arm and a leg to repair that's when I'll look into changing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the sound advice guys.

The more I've thought about it, and read your comments, the more I'm convinced to keep the 530d..... until I need to change it. Its better the devil you know than the devil you don't, and the 320d's do have a rep for potentially going wrong.

Touch wood the E39's been relatively problem free up to now so there isn't really any need to change it, aside from fuel efficiency, and getting a slightly newer toy. I had an oil and filter change in a private mechanics who specialises in BMW's and they said it should be good for another 100k.....

Happy that I've made the decision to keep it and see how long it runs for! Thanks again guys, good to hear your opinions.:)
 

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Thanks for all the sound advice guys.

The more I've thought about it, and read your comments, the more I'm convinced to keep the 530d..... until I need to change it. Its better the devil you know than the devil you don't, and the 320d's do have a rep for potentially going wrong.

Touch wood the E39's been relatively problem free up to now so there isn't really any need to change it, aside from fuel efficiency, and getting a slightly newer toy. I had an oil and filter change in a private mechanics who specialises in BMW's and they said it should be good for another 100k.....

Happy that I've made the decision to keep it and see how long it runs for! Thanks again guys, good to hear your opinions.:)
Think youve made the right call :thumbsup I love my 320d specially with the little tweeks Ive done to it :cool But an E39 530d yes id have a piece of that any day if the week :)
 
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