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Hello. I would like to buy a 1993 M5 that has a reported 110K miles for $10k. From the pictures i saw it looks very nice. Very clean interior and motor. i talked to the dealer and asked how many previous owners. She was reading the carfax and said 3 or 4. Should this be a deal breaker or am i paranoid? What would be the best course of action for me to take? Thank you for your time. John
 

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I'd say 3-4 owners over a 18 year period is pretty reasonable. Only concern would be if it looked like the last owner was bailing out quickly.
 
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I'd say 3-4 owners over a 18 year period is pretty reasonable. Only concern would be if it looked like the last owner was bailing out quickly.
Is there a way to tell how long certain owners had possession of the car?
I'm fairly certain that the carfax/carproof reports only gave the number of owners
 

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Carfax lists the dates that registration changes, so you can figure out how long each owner had the car.
 
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my car has about 4 or 5 previous owners. It had 136 k when i got it a little less than 2 years ago. I would say most E34 M5's either have a lot of owners, or very few. Theres no real in between. Granted i have been putting a lot of work into mine, including a new head gasket...the internals all looked very good. What makes these cars go from owner to owner is that they require a lot of money to maintain and some people are just to cheap to keep it up, so they get rid of it when servicing is due. Also, the pure allure and appeal of the E34 M5 makes just about anyone wanting to buy one on a whim. And, the fact that they keep their resell value and are so collectable makes it easy for an owner to sell. With that said, I would not be hesitant to buy it because it has 3 or 4 owners. If you want better piece of mind. Get compression test, or leak down results...and test drive it first. I got mine from Ohio but live in CT, and the owner sent me the car without even having a down payment. I drove it for a couple days, and was satisfied so i sent him the money and then he sent me the title....now that was a deal. I paid to have it shipped of course. Good Luck and if its your first M, welcome to the board/family
 

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I contacted a shop that will do the compression test, leak down test, and check a few other things for 150 bucks. Money i think will be well spent. I will also check out the carfax this week.
Thanks and i will keep posting. i love these cars.

 

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thats a good move. Have them do the usual pre purchase inspection to look at all the suspension, bushings, steering and drivetrain components....Just getting it on a lift and looking underneath will tell a lot.
 

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Mine had 4 owners when i bought it in 2001, I think the history, receipts and length of last/current owner is more important

No good being a 1 owner car and had hardly any servicing for the last 8 years,,

just my 2 :M5thumbs:
 

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Hello. I would like to buy a 1993 M5 that has a reported 110K miles for $10k. From the pictures i saw it looks very nice. Very clean interior and motor. i talked to the dealer and asked how many previous owners. She was reading the carfax and said 3 or 4. Should this be a deal breaker or am i paranoid? What would be the best course of action for me to take? Thank you for your time. John
I'm familiar with this particular car - I nearly bought it back in September, but passed on it after a test drive.

At the time I drove it, the driver's seat was broken with the common E34 seat twist issue - I told them that was a deal breaker. The other issue the car exhibited was that the car would not idle properly - when slowing down and coming to stoplights, it would hold 1,500-2,000 RPM for 30-40 seconds before resuming idle. Brake rotors are warped, and the front end needs a suspension refresh badly - tons of play in the steering that should not be there.

That car has been sitting on dealer lots since 2008, and is not a CA car - original owners were in Indiana and Chicago - where the car lived most of its life, before being traded around to dealers starting in 2008 - first going to a dealer in Indiana, then in Oregon for a year and a half, then moving to Sacramento where it currently sits.

The car is also missing the badges and the 1993 style side mirrors - which were taken. The car is definitely a genuine '93 because of the wood interior, and it has the Motorsport door handles - but a few things don't add up. There's also some rust bubbles around the gas compartment and along the bottom of the doors. I really wanted this to be 'the' E34 I bought, but I was scared off by the problems - and also the dealer's unwillingness to negotiate on price. I'm uncomfortable buying a car that has essentially sat on dealer lots for the last 3 years without an owner - the worst possible thing you can do to one of these cars is to let it sit.

I decided to wait for another E34 in better shape... even a higher mile one. The cosmetics of this car are nice, but the only treatment it has gotten in 3 years is a bunch of joyriders beating the crap out of it on test drives without properly warming up - and there is a known mechanical issue with the idle control. Who knows what kind of oil they put into it, if they ever did an oil change? I'd be very very skeptical of this car.
 
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