'97 535 vs 540.

Hi, I have a possibility of buying either a '97 535 or 540. The 535 is in manual and 540 in automatic.I was wondering what would you suggest that I'd choose
and most of all, is one of them more prone to break downs than the other? Both of them are in good shape with around 65k miles. I'll be using them mostly in the city and only 4-5 times a year on long journeys. What's the (realistic) fuel consumption on both of them? Is there going to be big difference? Thanks for your help. Regards, Raphael
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My 535 (manual) uses around 9.5 liters/100 km on the motorway and at least 13 liters in town driving. The clutch is not very nice and I would not recommend a manual if you intend to do a lot of town driving. I don't think that the 535 is much different from the 540 with regard to failures. Hope this helps.
--
G. Tarantino - Switzerland
1997 BMW 535 (149,000 miles)
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about the sports mode that there's in the 540 (it'[s suppose to stiffen the suspension)? I can't seem to find any info on that on the net. Is it just a gimmick or something really usefull? I drive in Poland and there're hardly any highways, so when you go out of town it's as close as you can get real life racing (deadly and a lot of fun if you have enough power swirving between huge trucks!! :) ). Regards, Raph
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Since you're looking at an old car and are worried about running costs, money is obviously tight. So get a decent 6 cylinder one - they're more frugal on fuel, and have lower repair/maintenance costs. But still adequate performance, and better steering and handling.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I have a 1994 540, if I could swap it for a 535 I think I would! It guzzles the fuel, yet way outperforms the 535, what is important to you?! I would also go 5 speed over auto if I could do it again, only for consumption reasons and fun factor, the BMW auto gearbox is super smooth (although I had to have mine rebuilt at 125k miles!) the 535 engine is reportedly bullet proof, the V8 engines reportedly had issues... maybe in the 97 year range those issues were cleared up. My 540i runs very well, in 3 years it has needed no work - except tranny.

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But isn't the E39 535 a V8? It is in the UK. The largest 6 is the 530.
There was an E34 535 6, though, and that had the reputation of a bomb proof engine.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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London SW

Yeah, it is a V8. I saw it last night and what can I say, V8 sounds almost like a symphony!!! That's why I'm wondering if I should get 535 or 540 (as fuel consumption shouldn't be that different, is it?). The problem that I found was that the 540 that I saw has an EDC. I'll be driving this car mostly in Poland where roads are no where close to being decent especially because of the extreme conditions (-30 centigrate in winter and +30 during the summer). EDC (electronic damper control) is suppose to be great but I heard that the shock absorbers cost a fortune to replace and on these roads their lifetime is around 40%-50% of what they're on proper ones. I know that the 535 uses the standard sachs absorbers and they're way cheaper than the EDCs. Does anyone use this system? Is it any good and worth the extra money? Regards, Raphael
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I know that you can swap out the EDC for regular shocks when the time comes if needed... I would not worry! go to http://www.bimmer.info/forum/forumdisplay.php?f  and ask there, they are the best and most knowledgeable guys on this...
London SW

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London SW

Thanks a lot guys. I appreciate your help. I think that I'll go for the 540 as its a GREAT car from what i heard the consumption in a 540 is same as in 535. If anyone ever used the EDC please let me know if its close to the m-technik version ie. the one that has a stiff suspension? Thanks for your help once again. Regards, Raphael
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I have heard something about 800 Euros per shock absorber!
Frank
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There are many reports on 540i with broken Auto transmissions, because BMW does not recommend a frequent change of ATF and claims instead that the factory ATF fluid will last the car's life. This claim is only valid if you think tat a car's life should end at 100 k miles. It is very recommended to change ATF at least every 80.000 miles to increase tranny lifespan. There is another known issue with elder 540i (do not know if this also affects the E39): They have an oil pump which is mounted inside the engine and hiden in the oil pan. This pump tends to become loose after years. So it is a good idea to remove the oil pan and check the oil pump and tighten its mount if necessary.
Frank
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Citroen - Made in Trance
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haute in die Tasten:

Don't forget that a lot of BMW autos burn out their clutch packs if they are raced above 2500rpm while in neutral or park -- ie what you would often see during an emissions test in some areas.
-Russ.
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They did - in the '80s. ;-)
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Somebody wrote:

No MODERN BMW does this. This was the older ZF transmissions. The problem was fixed around 1990 or so and any transmission built or replaced after that data has the fix.
Some things on the internet are like pissing in a swimming pool - it may be diluted with time, but it's never completely gone.
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I've seen it happen on a 1995 E34.
I've seen it happen on a 1992 E32.
For both, I read TSB's regarding them, for those model years, in the mechanic's AllData system.
I don't know when it stopped happening. Apparently, neither do you.
Like all information on the Internet, you may ignore it if you wish.
-Russ.
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Don wrote:

Eeewe...
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