The 530i: Status Quo   Recently updated !


Buying a car in the Netherlands is so easy. Whereas in Germany you need to go to a Landratsamt (district office) and might need new license plates, here buyer and seller go to the postal office, the seller shows a nine-digit code and the car’s license card (which is then cut in two by the clerk behind the counter), the buyer shows some Id, pays €10.10, and the deal is done. Cars retain their license plates throughout their lifetime, so while they don’t tell were a car owner lives (as in Germany), the car’s age can easily be deducted from the plate, and pretty much all information about a car except for the VIN number, owner’s name, and address can be found online.

The test drive and a closer inspection after taking possession of the car had revealed a couple of issues:

  • Moisture in right fog light: BMW part no 63176900222. If you don’t go for Hella, fog lights are pretty cheap, so I’ll probably replace it. Fixed
  • Moisture in both headlights: this seems to be a common E39 issue. They are about €500 apiece, so replacing them is not an option. One fix I have seen is drilling small holes in the top to let the moisture escape. I’ll try if running with the headlights on for a longer time helps, and then fill possible ingress areas with clear silicone. Fixed by driving with lights on for 300km
  • Worn driver seat side cushion: I’ll try to fix this myself. Fixed
  • Baggage straps in the trunk are missing: about €7 apiece, BMW part no 51478136450. Fixed
  • Tool kit is missing some tools: these are available from BMW, but buying all of them is pretty pricey, so I’ll try my luck at the junkyard
  • Tool kit lid is missing the proper screw: about €3, BMW part no 71111179444, and €2 for the threaded insert (71111179445). Fixed
  • Rust and minor dents/scratches in several places
  • DiSa valve: needs to be checked and possibly replaced, aftermarket parts with aluminium shaft are available
  • The remote control of one key is not working at all (dead battery), the other doesn’t always work after being dropped: I’ll have at least one of them repaired, which is much cheaper than getting a new key from BMW. Fixed
  • Interior air filters are dirty: I’ll replace these along with the engine air filter. Fixed
  • The footrest is cracked: about €25, BMW part no 51438208319. Fixed
  • The left triangle window sunscreen won’t roll up: BMW part no 51167110205. It’s about €270, so I’ll try to repair it or find a used replacement part. Fixed
  • Possibly some water ingress at the right rear door: if this is indeed the case, I’ll have to remove the door panel and check the door foil
  • The steering wheel has a couple of spots: I might try a leather repair gel to fill them. Work in progress
  • The Android navigation has no iBus interface, hence the onboard computer functionality is not available: adapters and a suitable app are available, but this is a more involved job as it requires tapping into the car’s wiring. Fixed
  • Interior and exterior are in need of thorough cleaning
  • Minor pixel errors on the dash
  • Left headlight trim is sticking out. Partially fixed

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