Thursday, December 10, 2009

1995 BMW 530i Touring

This is such a desirable car.

The E34 5 Series were brilliant cars. Introduced in 1988, BMW built them through 1996. They were fast, roomy, well built and reliable. (That's not just an opinion. The E34 received best-in-class ratings from Intellichoice in 1991, and scored near the top all other years.)

The 530i Touring has BMW's 3.0 liter V8 in it. This engine, known as the M60 engine, eventually became the 4.0 liter engine found in later 5 Series, 7 Series and 8 Series BMWs. It had four valves per cylinder and chain-driven dual overhead cams. The engine pumps out 218 HP.

When it comes to style, the E34 5 Series cars have it all over the later E60 cars. Everything about the E34 is understated. Nothing jumps out at you. Every piece of the design just works. (The same can be said of the E39 5 Series.)

This car has some features that are very desirable to me. It has the dual sunroofs, which, no pun intended, is a really cool feature in the summer and it has heated seats, a nice feature to have in the winter.

One undesirable feature, which the seller mentions, is it's a "Nikasil" engine.
BMW used Nikasil, an aluminum, nickel, and silicon alloy, to line the cylinders of the M60 engines. The cross-hatched Nikasil linings react with high sulfur content gasoline. This reaction causes damage to the top of the cylinder bore. The damage prevents a good seal from forming between the piston and the cylinder wall, causing a loss of compression in the combustion chamber. BMW extended the warranty on Nikasil engines to 10 years / 100,000 miles and corrected the problem on later engines. My guess is that if the car hasn't exhibited the problems by now, it never will. The sulfur content of gasoline is much lower now than it was in the 1990s.

I'll soon need to replace my rapidly aging E36 (204,000 miles and still going strong, but for how long?). This would be the perfect car. It's a perfect combination of sportiness and comfort wrapped in a good looking useful station wagon body. In my world, an "everyday car" doesn't get much better than this. Hmmm...

Located in Dayton, VA, click here to see the eBay listing.


alfaguy said...

You are absolutely correct with regard to the Nikasil issue. Any cars that exhibited the problem were fixed with a new shortblock provided by BMW during the service campaign that affected these cars.

So, if a car had the problem it's been fixed. If it hasn't had the block replaced and does not exhibit any issues, chances are pretty good that there are no and will be no issues now or in the future.

I know of one car, a '94 with a 4.0that has over 210,000 miles on the original block and has never had any issues.

Also worth note, that not many people may know, is that the V8 in the 530 that you feature is a 3.0. The small displacement V8 was only used for a few years and then dropped/replaced by the 4.0 which later became the 4.4.


greyintheusa said...

One of the greatest daily drivers anyone could wish for, imho. I drove an E39 528it for a little while and loved it, but my girlfriend hated it. She hated the Allroad, too. Go figure.