The Bmw E34 is a strong car with bulletproof engines (except the
nikasil V8), but around 70-120k miles, you will need to have a full
bank account or good tools and understanding wife/husband.
This is what will or might happened from the most to the least
probable, by the well known Bill R:
1. Self locking bolts on cam
oil spray bar. Look for worn camshaft lobes from this.
2. Hood & trunk gas lifts.
3. Front suspension: tie
rod ends, ball Joints, possibly struts
and bearings. Thrust
bar links and bushings. Rear differential mount and rear
5. Fan clutch on water pump.
rotors, pads, sensors, timing belt and tensioner (M20), brake
or clutch switch.
7. Exhaust components, usually muffler. O2
8. Heater control valve, Fan
speed control whether sword or resistor pack. A/C compressor.
9. Differential speed
10. Clutch, Driveshaft ujoints center bearing guibos.
11. Radiator and hoses. Thermostat.Water
12. Doors restraint (the metal bar that stops the door from
opening too far) is attached to the very thin metal of the
door frame and is starting to fatigue and crack.
13. Gauge cluster, usually capacitors
repair for 5.00in parts or purchase 750.00 rebuilt unit.
box, excessive play on center, sometimes just an adjustment.
15. Light control module (LKM)
repair or replace.
16. Seat cables modified. Arm rest repair. Door panels above
armrest coming unglued.Sunroof drains plugging and sunroof
seals out of aligment.
bearings front and rear, usually front first. Sealed unit
you must buy the entire hub. Cv boots on rear axles.
18. Oil canister (oil filter housing) valve is failing. This
is BMW mistake. Canister needs to be changed (M30 engine only).
19. Fuel pump relay and main relay.
20. Glove box latch.
21. Excessive play in shifter handle on automatic. Adjustment.
22. Automatic transmission depending on maintenance.
23. Timing chain tensioner.
24. Fuel pump.
25. Occasionaly an oil pump. Not that common.
26. Occasionaly a headgasket.
Common on M30 engine with the coolant that had not been changed
every 2 years.
27. After 400k miles, you should change your engine :-)
Always bring the E34 you want to buy to a BMW dealer or an independent
mechanic to have it checked, this could save you a lot of money.
Thanks Bill R.