1999 528i sport package, good deal?

Got myself a '03 325ci with 53k miles a couple months ago and love it, it has the sport package.
now thinking of getting a second car as a back-up/winter car. Saw a
dealership near me, selling a 1999 528i Sport/Premium package, 170k miles, the dealer is selling it wholesale, it was a trade in. He offered it to me for $7900 since I bought my 325ci from their used car dept. They were originally asking about $9000 for it.
I searched here for reliability issues and it seems there is a 'vanos' problem with the engine but am confused as to what specific model this affects or what is the root problem of this and the remedies involved? Other than that, just normal wear and tear problems people have.
any yays or nays on this deal? The only other BMW am considering is a local trade in at another dealership, a 1995 525iT, with 107k miles, asking $7000 for it, one owner but seeing a 99 528i sport package was hard not to consider.
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There are no specific problems with that model. There are, like with any car, bits which wear out more quickly than others. The engine is shared with many other BMW models. The VANOS system can give problems as can other things. But there's no hard and fast time when and if this happens. If the car is a bargain - and only you can know this - set aside the money saved for possible repairs at a future date. And have it checked by an expert before buying. Might be worth getting a copy of the service history too.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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