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Older BMWs

My son just turned 16 and wants to find an old, decent used car. A friend has a 1987 BMW 528e that he wants to sell for $1500. It runs well, but needs some work. We want to have it inspected to find out just what needs to be done. Is this a good choice of vehicle or will we be pouring money into it forever?

Luxury cars need luxury-level repairs. When that car was newer, it was a true delight that was worthwhile to repair.
After 23 years, it will be a source of constant headaches, and those headaches will be very costly to cure.

Even after you fix the current, known problems, there will be an ongoing litany of problems cropping up, simply because of the age of the car.

Yes, you will be pouring money into it forever.

Run away. This is nearing antique status, and it might even be hard to find parts. The 528e was not especially good, either, with a limited amount of power. You will be pouring money into it forever.

I agree with those that say “run away”. This is not a good car for a 16 year old. It won’t be affordable.

Have the inspection. Then talk to the inspector about what type of repairs and costs are associated with the vehicle. Needs some work is usually a red flag.

Get use to it. it will always need some work. A “friend” would give you the car with a disclaimer.

Your mechanic will love you for buying this car.

This was a $30k+ car when it was new and a $1.500 car now. It is still, however, a $30k car to repair. The car may have depreciated, but parts and labor have not. A nice BMW is expensive and an old BMW is even more expensive. $1.500 buys a decent Japanese/Korean car, but not a good BMW.

Not ever car BMW makes is a luxury car. These car are made for the masses in Germany. The 528e will show you no more issues than any other 1987 car. This is a timing belt car,extremely easy to work on. It is not a CIS car,pretty much a salesmans car.If you are going to buy an '87 car this one has a lot going for it in regards to simplicity and reliability.Do not expect it not to have issues though. The engine actualy was designed for lower rpm and higher mpg,all the good about a BMW with none of the complex electronics.The price is
$500.00 not 1500.00 though,walk on this if he wants 1500.00. Car with no issues brings 1500.00

I agree, if you’re the one footing the bill for the repairs, you may as well sign another mortgage and prepay the mechanic.
If he’s footing the bill for everything, let him get what he wants

Any car from '87 is now 24 years old. I had an '85 Mercury Marquis, a good car but it cost money to keep on the road. Old cars are just old. Next, you have an old BMW. Not a bunch of these sitting in salvage yards with cheap parts.

This could be a great car, but it certainly is going to cost a lot of money to keep it on the road. At this point it would be a good car for a hobby, but not so good for a daily driver.