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Buying a Used 3-Series



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,407
    Maybe I'm radiator shy, having had a BMW radiator blow up in my face (1996 3 series) and another fall apart in my hand as I wiggled the top hose.

    I've give it the "tug test". If you can wiggle the top hose and the radiator doesnt' crack right then and there, it has more life in it. If it does crack, better you know now than on the road.


  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "my 1995 3er hasn't required any of those items in over 114,000 miles."

    I was going to make a wisecrack about your driving ability and manhood, but changed my mind at the last minute... :blush: I need to save my wisecracks for people who really need them (you know who :P ).
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,284
    I need to save my wisecracks for people who really need them (you know who ).

    You and me both!

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

  • Hi. I'm looking to buy a 2006 325i with anywhere from 20 to 36k miles. Can anyone offer me advice on

    1. buying cpo versus non-cpo
    2. buying from bmw dealer versus non-bmw dealer
    3. a very aggressive let's just say a 2006 325i automatic with prem package with 36k miles on it, cpo.

    of course during my visit to the dealer they said a cpo is definitely worth the premium you pay over a non-cpo. but i bet if i was in a non-cpo vehicle they would've said it wasn't a must.

  • OK so I need help in determining if I am expecting to much out of the dealership that I bought my used 3 series from or If I was treated badly. Please see my history below:

    I bought a CPO 2007 3 series coupe last week with about 22,500 miles on it.

    When I went to see the car there were scratches on the car and I told the dealership to fix it. The told me that the car just came in and that there was someone waiting to buy the car so I better take it as is.

    After fighting with my salesperson for 30 minutes they finally decided to touch up the car and make the scratches less visible. They said that they had no time to fix it and that I could come back and get it fixed.

    I felt pressured to take the car so I bought it and told them that I will come back. I went back today and they said that they still did not have time and that I should come back next week.

    I also noted that the back window was tinted. The detail guy informed me that all the windows were tinted and that he only removed the front windows. I can barely see out of the back window at night because the tint is so strong. I went back today to ask them to remove it just like they removed the front ones and the service guy told me that they had to wait until the weather was hot because the tints come off easier.

    I also noticed that the front carpet was heavily stained. I asked them to clean it and they told me that they could not get the stain out and that they would have to think about ordering a new carpet. They came back and said that they would not be able to order me a new one.

    When I went to pick up my permanent plates today they gave me a yellow slip that said I had to get the vehicle inspected in 7 days. I asked them why the vehicle was not inspected before they sold the vehicle and they told me that they were not obligated to.

    This vehicle also has a squeaking sound when I step on the brake. It goes away after about 15 minutes of driving. The service guy told me today that it is normal to hear that sound and that I just need to break the car in.

    I am very upset about this whole experience. I feel like I did not receive the best service possible. I am really upset about the tinted glass and they fact that I have to take a day off to get the car inspected. I did not notice it but I was riding around with the car for one week without having an inspection sticker. I could have received a ticket. I don't think that is right.

    Does anyone know if the dealers are required to have the vehicle inspected before they sell it?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    I think posting URLs to dealerships is against the membership rules??

    Anyway, with a handle like that, you should WORK for this outfit. Or maybe... you already do!!! ;)
  • Romboggie, sorry to hear about your experience. I dont know if they are required to inspect the car before selling, but one would assume so. I have never heard that the brakes will make squeaky sounds till the car breaks in. I just had my brakes replaced and I have no such problem. In fact, I heard the squeaky sound that's when I bought the car in and they found out that the brakes was worn below specifications.

    I bought the car from a shady dealer (pls. see my previous post) and then I took the car to another one for a throughout inspection, only to find out that I have to have quite a bit of parts replaced.

    Ask for the 140 points check list if you do not have it and see what they did to your car. I suspect a lot of dealers pass on the car without inspecting it and call them pre-certified. Get a second opinion and check on the brakes with another reliable dealership.

    good luck
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,284
    Check out post #384 and #388. I'll only add that you should never allow yourself to be pressured into buying a car. If the car you're looking at isn't right- or made right prior to delivery, another one will come along- unless you want something like a Mercedes SSK or Bugatti Royale...

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

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,663
    Not to offend...but did you fall for the "I have another guy waiting to buy this"?

    I do however understand getting caught up in the moment of a new vehicle (some of us have problems with this) so you're not alone...

    My experience with my CPO's IS350 was the exact opposite of yours. I could not see any difference between my car and a new one. Not one ding or scratch, very well detailed, new floor mats...and yes it does have a new inspection sticker. I doubt it's required but it is a nice courtesy in a vehicle of this level.

    I don't think you would have received a ticket...there is some grace period (not certain of the length of time)

    Although, if I did have items for them to perform I would have insisted it be done before I took delivery.

    I was very close to getting a CPO'd 335 and would have expected/insisted on the same service; the brief visit with the BMW dealership in my area lead me to believe that I would.

    Manufacturers make money on CPO's...I'd let BMW know how the dealership has been treating you.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,403
    Page 122 of this month's Car and Driver (a shadow of my formely favorite car magazine) there is an article written by none other than Csaba Csere detailing some of the finer points of BMW's CPO program and his buying experience when he took delivery in January 2009 of a CPO 2007 335i sedan.

    Here is someone who has driven every car on the planet for the past g-d knows how many years, I assume has the funds to purchase any car he wants within reason, and he uses his own money to buy a CPO 2007 BMW 335i with just over 23,400 miles on the odometer.

    He said the original MSRP was somewhere around $49,000 and he picked up the car for $32,500 (others like blueguydotcom have reported even cheaper). He says short of a few stone chips, the car looks like new inside & out with not even a door ding.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • pharm30pharm30 Posts: 36
    I am thinking about test driving a CPO 2007 335 coupe - 19K miles.
    auto, leather, premium, sport, paddle shifters, nav. $39,750.

    Not real familiar with BMW, coming from Infinitis, I thought I might try something new.
    Opinions on price? not sure if this one qualifies for low APR (I thought I saw some used BMW could get 0.9% ?)
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,403
    only MY 2006 CPO 3 series qualifies for .09 financing. The '07 should get you 3.9%.

    Do yourself a favor & drive the car with a 6 speed manual transmission. Make sure you HAGGLE a lot off the asking price. I'd say start by lopping $5500 off the asking price and see if they go for it.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • zayirzayir Posts: 4
    Newbie here, starting to take a look at a pre-owned (or CPO) 3-series of model years 2006-2008. Budget is around 23K for the car, excluding taxes and others. Seeing a lot of 2006/330i CPO model in dealer lots that has around 40K miles. There is extended warranty of 60 yr/100K mile on these cars. Initial dealer quotes are around 27K (did not start to negotiate till now)

    Questions:- 1. What would be a fair price for a 2006/330 with 40K miles, in Bay Area ?.
    2. Any advice on whether or not to go for it ? (my other option is most likely a 2007- 328)
    3. There is a 2007 -328 ex-loaner car for about 25K. Need inputs on if its okay to buy an ex-loaner.

  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,577
    In considering a used BMW, you should: 1) see the service record and 2) buy an extended warranty. As has been pointed out repeatedly, German cars are very expensive to fix and maintain.
  • zayirzayir Posts: 4
    Thanks carnaught !

    I am looking only at CPOs; so, extended warranty should come standard (6yr/100K miles)

    Is there anything specific to be looked upon in the service history ?

  • crortega9crortega9 Posts: 1
    Hi, I have the chance to purchase a fully loaded 2008 335xi coupe with about 20,000 miles for $36,000. Is this a good price? The car is in immaculate condition. Thanks!
  • zayirzayir Posts: 4
    Looking at 2006 330i with 32K miles on it. The car has extended warranty + maintenance till 6 yr/100K. What is a good price for this car in Northern CA ?. :confuse:
  • vlmvlm Posts: 5
    I'm looking at a 2001 325i wagon with 147,000 miles on it.

    I will drive it as my principal car for the next 18 months at which point my insurance will revert to normal.

    I would want to keep it on after that as a utility, haul bike, around town, farmers mkt type of car.

    Do 3-series make it this long?

    It is being offered for $7600.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,407
    Yeah, sure, a well cared for BMW can do that distance and more---but I wouldn't pay $7600 for a miled-up car. More like $6000 should be plenty.

    You can figure, statistically, that a modern car can do 175K-225K before major catastophe sets in---but a car like the one you're thinking of buying has to have had good care.

    It makes no sense to buy a miled-up car that hasn't had much maintenance, with everything deferred for YOU to take care of. If it hasn't had suspension work, or cooling system work, you're going to be paying for that soon enough I think.

    Get it checked out thoroughly at an indy shop and then use the report to negotiate a better price.


  • vlmvlm Posts: 5
    Mr. Shiftright-

    Thanks for the response. According to Kelly Blue book, the retail is $9110 and the private-party is $7110. It has sport and premium, multi-cd, roof rack, and leather.

    Thanks for the tip on suspension, etc.

    I will take it to a mechanic for pre-purchase for sure.
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