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Buying a Used 3-Series

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Comments

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,011
    BMW CPO cars are only as good as the dealer who sells them. I've bought two CPO cars from my local dealer(Swope BMW in Louisville, KY) and in each case they were delivered in excellent condition. And, like the BMW ads proclaim, in each case my friends thought I had bought a new BMW.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Roadburner, I think you are absolutely right. the car is as good as the dealer. However, I would have thought that BMW would some some kind of quality control. I would have never thought that they have the guts to skip the 140 points check and faking the documents.

    the exterior of the car looks great, except a few ding and dents at the bumper which they promise to fix but did not. it is the mechanics of the car which I am worried about.

    the car has been in the shop for more than a month now, which is making me very upset.
  • about 30 miles a day round trip.

    I also have a benz which I bought brand new and now gave it to my wife, only 3 years old and drives beautifully, not a single problem so far, now I miss it.

    I never thought about buying a second hand car but given the economy, I thought I should keep the cash in hand just in case. Now that I think about it, should have just bought a new one and avoid the headache, eh.......

    I thought about the maintenance plan also, but they are quite expensive. I think you can negotiate down the price?
  • thank you, I certainly will when I find out next week what's wrong with the car
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,886
    Any suggestions are much appreciated.

    I only have 2 suggestions, and neither can help you now, but hopefully in the future.

    1. NEVER buy a car you aren't happy with after a test drive. I don't care what anyone tells you, you will NEVER be happy with it.

    2. NEVER send someone else to pick up your car. Only you know what you want. Plus, a car deal is not a car deal until you take delivery. You could have walked away with no financial penalty at any time UP UNTIL you took delivery, which you allowed someone else to do for you.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,652
    I'm in the process of purchasing a new vehicle (current one totaled).

    I'm torn between a 07 CPO 335i coupe (totally loaded) auto :( ...and an 06 IS350. Both one owners (purchased around the same time so they are the same age).

    the 335i has 48k ish miles so the additional 2year 50kmi would kick in shortly. My main concern is the reliability and maintenance of the 335. We're expecting our 4th child in about a month or so...so this would be Dad's car (mini-van as 2nd vehicle). I'd hate to burden the family with huge costs for "my" indulgence.

    I can't help think what the car has gone through the past 50k miles...especially with two turbos spinning...plus the car has all the options which are nice on a new car...but maybe a problem with a used one,

    What are the 'regular' maintenance costs?
    What are the upcoming maintenance items/costs? (is there a 60k service?)

    It sure looks good and drives great :)
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I would strongly base my decision on how long you plan on keeping it.

    The 335i is a sweet machine, but I don't trust that TT motor yet - too many potential issues, known and unknown.

    If you were buying new and keeping it for 3-4 years, I'd say go for the Bimmer. But a used first year 335i - no way.

    Get the Lexus (or an Infiniti G35).
  • Jeremy,

    I don't think I got the checklist. I have to go back and look. Definitley disclose the name of the dealer, AND the sales guy. Car buying is stressful as it is, you shouldn't have to deal with this after the sale..

    And take your service to another dealership as well
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    The mind says:

    Go with the Lexus. I love my BMW's, but even if you have no unusual problems with the turbos, the maintenance is going to be expensive.... You're going to need both brakes and run-flats in 25k miles and remember that:
    a. It's both pads AND rotors for the BMW
    b. The run-flats are more expensive than go-flats.
    It's also possible that you'll need shocks and struts around 75K as well.

    I've owned 4 3-Series over the past 10 years and I've loved them all, but I confess that I'm somewhat reluctant to own one out of warranty. No problems on my 2008 so far, but my 2003 required 4 window regulators, 4 coils, and a windshield wiper fluid tank. All under warranty, of course, but after 50k miles, it cost one of my friends $500 for one window regulator.

    In short, BMW's are expensive indulgences, and I don't think that you're going to be unhappy with the IS350...

    The heart says:
    On the other hand, life is short and love doesn't come often or cheap, so....
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "a. It's both pads AND rotors for the BMW
    b. The run-flats are more expensive than go-flats.
    It's also possible that you'll need shocks and struts around 75K as well."


    A couple of counterpoints:

    A: BMWs are some of the easiest cars I've ever worked on from a "brake job" perspective. It typically costs me about $120 per axle for Pads, Rotors and the sensor (should it be needed). Geez, the parts for our Dodge Grand Caravans aren't even that cheap.

    B: I see absolutely no reason to use RFTs on a late model BMW. If the car is purchased, drive'em till they drop and replace them with GFTs. If the car is leased, drive SP tires for 10,000 and non-SP tires for 20,000 miles, replace them with GFTs, and then put the factory rubber back on just prior to lease end.

    C: I cannot say that I've ever seen any evidence that suggests that struts on BMWs go any sooner than other similar cars, those from Lexus included.

    Personally I wouldn't hesitate to own a BMW out of warranty. Will maintenance be more expensive than our minivans? Probably. Will said maintenance be as expensive as some folks seem to think? I kind of doubt it. :)

    The heart says:
    On the other hand, life is short and love doesn't come often or cheap, so....


    I couldn't have said it better. :shades:

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,011
    C: I cannot say that I've ever seen any evidence that suggests that struts on BMWs go any sooner than other similar cars, those from Lexus included.

    I've never replaced a strut on one of my Bimmers before they hit 100,000 miles.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • joe05joe05 Posts: 11
    I'm looking at purchasing a 98 to 03 BMW 3 Series sedan or Z3 as a second vehicle. What are the common issues of these vehicles that would want an owner to sell or try and dump on the market? I know maintenance thru a BMW dealer can get expensive, but a quick peruse thru CraigsList showed a number of mechanics willing to work on BMW's.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,011
    What are the common issues of these vehicles that would want an owner to sell or try and dump on the market?

    The E36/E46 BMWs don't have all that many chronic problems. Water pumps fail at around 60K miles but they are not expensive or difficult to replace. Automatics can be problematic. Almost everything else is pretty simple and straightforward. If you don't know BMWs it is essential that you have a potential purchase inspected by a qualified BMW tech. Don't automatically rule out using a dealer; some offer quality work at very reasonable prices. You also should join the BMW Car Club of America.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Hey Burner, you must keep that paragraph saved as a word document. You seem to use it every couple of weeks.

    Don't forget to add control arm bushings, ball joints, rear shock mounts, subframes, radiators, power window regulators, and lifetime automatic transmissions. :surprise:
  • joe05joe05 Posts: 11
    Thanks Roadburner. I've also liked the timeless classic lines of the BMW.I have a friend who is a Audi mechanic and he says that you have to be wealthy to afford the upkeep on Audi, not a real ringing endorsement. I my hope is that BMW does not fall into that category.
  • joe05joe05 Posts: 11
    Don't forget to add control arm bushings, ball joints, rear shock mounts, subframes, radiators, power window regulators, and lifetime automatic transmissions.

    Yikes! You would prefer a 5 speed tranny, or anything but a BMW?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Manual tranny - absolutely.

    All cars have their problem areas (yes, even the Japanese). BMW's aren't any worse than any other car. If you maintain it, it'll last forever.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,011
    Don't forget to add control arm bushings, ball joints, rear shock mounts, subframes, radiators, power window regulators, and lifetime automatic transmissions.

    I tend to forget about those items as my 1995 3er hasn't required any of those items in over 114,000 miles. And der slushbox ist verboten in any of my daily drivers.

    As for my 3er, I think it's going to end up serving as my primary track toy once more; the 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 is very close to being traded for a 2003 540i 6 speed. The 2003 540i SPs all have the European M Sport package with an even more aggressive sport suspension as well as a very sharp M Technic bodykit. I figure that at 52 I need at least one geezermobile in the garage... :P

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • You're really pushing your luck on the radiator. :P
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,011
    You're really pushing your luck on the radiator.

    For some reason the fours don't go through radiators like the sixes and eights do. Go figure...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

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