Started looking for a 535i or 540i this week. I currently drive a Volvo C70 T5 (stop giggling) lovely in a straight line and amazing sound system but show it a bend and it falls over lol
Anyway drove 250 mile round trip today to look at a 540i. Chap said it had a wedge of service history and had been looked after well by previous owner, I did ask if there was any noise from the timing chain before venturing off to see it. He told me engine was quiet and pulls like a train!
So I turn up at his place (after a 2 hour drive), take a look at the car and it looks very tidy indeed, off to a good start me thinks. After a brief chat he leaves me to go over it so to speak. For some strange reason I decided to check all the panels 1st, have a look in the boot and under the bonnet etc. So popped the bonnet, had a fumble for the catch and low and behold one of the kidneys fell out! Not a great start but ever the optimist I am sure things will improve, had a poke in the boot and found water all over the place (o.k can't be anything major can sort that no problem!) Then I decided to inspect the brakes, started with the rear OMG what is that? Let's just say I would not be surprised if the were the original disks and the car has done 140k miles! o.k no problem, nothing a couple of hundred quid wont sort out, better have a look at the fronts I think to myself, you guessed it look like the originals again, I use the term brakes loosely because I don't they would brake anything let alone a 300hp monster of a car. Anyway I was soon going to find out the brakes would be perfectly sufficient as the car had nowhere near the 285hp BMW quote. I had mentally totted up expenditure to sort the brakes out and thought to myself well if it's £500 to put it right it's still a good deal. I thought I would save the best till last, decided to start the beast, turned the key and guess what? A huge roar as it springs into life accompanied by a lovely rattle (and this on a warm engine!) It starts to quieten down and sounds o.k, having a good listen to it I decide to stick my ear down by the drivers side wheel, to my surprise the engine with no rattles seems to be rattling from the timing chain area of the engine Deciding at this point I am not going to take the car home even if he gives it to me for free I decide to rev the engine up a bit and see what it sounds like it did not really want to rev but after some persuasion the revs climb to 2k, at this point it went from a roar to kind of wet fart sound, Assuming the car has actually got 8 cylinders my best guess would be it was running on 6 of them or the plugs had not been changed for 50k miles. Anyway the seller comes back and asks me how I am getting on! Not sure what to say I ask for a test drive, he takes me down the road (didn't let me drive for some reason!) I ask him to use the kickdown or put it in 2nd and give it the beans, he says o.k, puts it in manual mode 2nd gear and puts his foot on the floor (me sat next to him fully expecting to be thrown into the back of the car by the g force) and nothing happens apart from the sound of a wet fart and a slight surge of trq, then it momentarily takes of before farting again! he looks at me says 'i think it was in the wrong gear!!
So anyway I politely suggested there might be something wrong as I expected the car to pull a bit better than it did, he promptly suggests the car has covered 140k miles and the performance will deteriorate over time! To cut a very long story short as much as i want a 540i I decided to get back in the C70 for the long drive home ( then got stuck in traffic on the A34 for an hour)
Anyway guys I guess the moral of the story is 'if a car dealers lips are moving they are probably lying'!!!
I still have a 535i with 80k miles and a full history to check out so there may be hope for me yet!
I did ask to see the wedge of history as well, he handed me a service book with 6 stamps (last one at 80k) and an invoice for a water pump! ha ha