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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610

    hippo - why don't you get roundel?

  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    why get the Roundel, when so many of us are willing to pass its wisdom on this board. ;)


    You really should think about joining the BMWCCA. It's cheap, you get great mag, discounts on BMW parts, and participate in BMWCCA sponsored events
  • ghomazghomaz Posts: 68
    Hello all. I have decided to go in for a Certified Pre-Owned BMW. My budget is $30K. I now have to decide which "series" to buy. Personally, I like the 5 series but is there a significant difference in maintenance and ownership costs between the 3, 5 and 7 series? This is going to be a second car so interior space, trunk volume, etc. are not decision factors. Thanks for your help.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I got a 40% discount on my bra and a 33% discount on my alarm. So I have saved close to 100 dollars. The only accessory that I have paid full price (at US value) is my tail pipe trim. That was not big loss. The rest of my accessories were purchased in Europe. I go home to England to every other year, so I hope that my wife wants a new car in 2004. I'll go buy more parts unless the Euro is valued above the Dollar.
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    With that budget I would go for a 2001 330i and get maximum performance. You may only get a used 525 for that price for something relatively new and that would be a bit weak.
  • I have seen a very low mileage 2000 323i at a local dealer for what looks like a very good price (~$26k). When I asked why the mileage was so low, the only explanation provided by the salesman was that it had been a BMW owned car previously, the dealership bought it at an internal auction and had been using it as a loaner for owners with cars in the shop. He generated a CarFax report that seemed to confirm this.

    When I went on the test drive, the only problems I noticed were that the battery was dead when I first tried to start it and the front passenger side door would not open using the handle (from the inside or out) until the car had been turned on and off. The car started and ran fine after being jumped. Physically the car looked great (to my inexperienced eye).

    I have not returned for a second test to see if the battery is dead again. The car has been on the dealers lot for several months.

    The car has one year left on the warranty. Apparently BMW starts the warranty even though the car has never been sold on the open market. It has not been certified.

    Am I missing something, or, assuming the door and electrical system check out, is this a good deal? Something seems a little odd. Any comments?
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Is that a particularly good price? I just bought a brand-new 325i for $30,700, driveout. You'll have to pay TT&L on that $26,000 so I'm guessing drive out would be more like $27,500. That doesn't seem like such a good deal to me. What options are on the car?
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    100Nm to 120Nm is "officially" from BMW and yes, it does seem like a big jump. Don't tighten as much as you can - this could be dangerous, as the lug nut may snap off under pressure. You really should use a torque wrench for that. It's best to get the clicking type - I just got mine in the mail today from The Tirerack for $29. 1/2 inch is preferable to 3/8. A similar torque wrench goes for ~ $60 at Sears. Oh, you will also need a 17 mm socket - I got the thin wall type.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Just got an offer to refinance both our cars at 4.8% and this is NOT a promotional rate or a rate that fluctuates. It is not tied to our house either. It's amazing how much the rates have gone down!! All I need to do is send a fax with the payoff info - done and done. This will save us about $700-750 for the remaining term of the two loans.
  • dax9dax9 Posts: 7
    jeopardized – A month ago I purchased a Certified Pre-owned 2000 323i for 28,700. Same history as the car you spoke of. It's a great car. But I would not have bought it if it had the problems that you described – especially if it was not certified. Why get it when you know there are flaws from the getgo?

    Wait a little. They'll be other BMWs. Maybe not with as low a mileage as you want, but there will always be other features that will fill the gap. My car has a luxury package that wasn't part of my search criteria, but because it had really low mileage I went for it. In my experience, it didn't hurt to wait. The dealership I used had cars of all makes and models with varying packages coming in every week.

    Give your salesperson an ultimatum – that you won't buy the car with those flaws. That its the "only thing that's stopping you". See where it gets you.

    A question for all. I need to get snow tires. BMW quoted $124 per tire, $126 to mount and balance, and $130 for alignment.

    Town Fair Tire quoted me the same for the tires, but $9.95 to balance, and $29.00 to align. Big difference.

    I'm interested in finding out more about the pros and cons of going outside BMW for stuff that isn't covered under the Full Warranty. What do I risk?
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    Go to for winter tires. Wheel and tire packages are mounted and balanced - free. No sales tax - very knowledgable staff.
  • Went back out to BMW North and drove an M3 this past week. It was a great car, but was new so I did not take it over 4000rpm. Still waiting to drive one that has been broken in.

    I did drive a 330 5sp and WOW! That is a great car. I have not driven the 5sp and it was a totally different car than the auto. Acceleration was brisk and cornering was great. I loved how you could coax it to oversteer and really swing around corners. It even made me think for a few moments about dropping the M3 and just getting a 330, but I figured that I should go ahead and splurge while I can since the wife is on board with everything. I will say that I like the 5sp more than the 6sp. The 5sp is easier to shift and the 5th gear ratio is even higher than in a 6sp (meaning rpms at 80mph are lower in the 5sp than in the 6th). I would have thought the 6sp would have 5 relatively close gears with the 6th gear being very high for cruising down the highway (in my imagination it would be nice to go about 100mph at 3500rpm).

    I took two friends out there with me. One ordered an M3 and the other (a girl) is going to order a 330. She was going to get the auto, but after driving the manual she understands the difference. The manual gearbox on that 330 just puts a grin on your face and beads of sweat on your forehead.-->It is sortof like having xxx with your car--wonderful.
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    What brand of bra did you buy for your car? My wife got the BMW-supplied bra when she bought her 2002 325Ci. It doesn't fit well, and the section on the hood flaps like crazy above 70mph. I am wondering if a different brand might fit better.

    Thanks for your help.
  • There is no reason to go to the dealer for snow tires! I've had snow tires for my 94 325is since the winter of 96, and in fact they wore out only at the end of the winter of '01. If I dont buy an '03 330xi I need to buy 4 tires for this winter. Here's what I did.

    I went to my local independent BMW repair shop and bought 4 steel wheels, 4 318i style wheel covers and 4 snow tires. He had obtained the package from Tire Rack and I didnt have to pay for shipping. (He gets a discount, so he made some $$ and I saved some $$.) Every fall I'd swap them on, and every spring I'd swap back for my summer tires.

    Any reputable tire center should be able to sell you 4 wheels and snow tires. I didnt want to pay for fancy wheels, so just went with conventional steel rims and orig. equipment wheel covers. If your local tire center can't get the wheel covers, Tire Rack sells those too.

    My summer tires are the 225-55x16's, and I bought 65 series snows. This time around I'd buy 60's, not 65's.
  • I understand that moisture can build up under these. Any experience? Sometimes I like the look, but I was talked out of the idea many years ago for this reason.
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    I have not seen moisture accumulate just due to humidity. But, the fabric will tend to hold moisture from dew and rain. Leaving a bra on for a prolonged time will eventually damage the paint by causing it to "blush". Dirt and bugs will also accumulate under it and cause light scratches over time.

    I have concluded that a bra serves a purpose only when driving on roads that are prone to have gravel ot heavy truck traffic. Otherwise, they are too much trouble. A case in point - I always put the bra on my wife's '97 Integra when doing highway driving. After five years, it has numerous rock dings on the sides and hood that are not covered by the bra.

    So, what is the use? If the front of her BMW gets too chipped, and I can't repair the chips with touch-up paint, she'll just have the front of the car painted. Cars are made to enjoy - not to be a burden.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    "My wife got the BMW-supplied bra when she bought her 2002 325Ci." ==> it's nice of BMW to help spice up your intimate life on top of building great cars :o)
  • Hello everyone,
    I'm looking to purchase a 325i auto in the bay area (CA). I'm getting a quote for $32755 + tax and doc fees.
    Is this a good deal? This my first car BMW purchase, so thanks for any help.

    1210 auto
    635 xenon
    430 paint
    1320 leat
    2455 prem pk
    645 del
    240 ad
    31755 total invoice price
    32755 $1000 over invoice
  • $1,000 over invoice sounds like a good deal. I got the same quote today when I stopped by to look at a similar equiped 325i.

    What is the going finance rate these days? I bought my last car when the stock market was a little better and didn't have to finance it but I can't do the same with this one. Does BMW finance offer something under 5%?
  • They were offering me 6.25% with good credit.
    What dealer did you shop at? I'm looking for a car with those options in steel blue. The car my dealer quoted me is sitting on a boat now. And I want one now.. :o)
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