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Buying a Used 3-Series



  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,667
    Why would a dealer keep a car for 30K miles? Are you sure it's been at the dealer this whole time? Most BMW loaner car programs require them to sell the car within one year and 15K miles..

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,408
    I think he's saying the car was at the dealer for service many times during it's 30K miles in which case Id stay away from it.

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

  • Thanks for the info. Yes, he said it was with them the entire time - part of a set of "fleet" vehicles that was driven by the manager, or a client, or some customer etc., The car is registered to the dealership - has been the entire time.
  • Good Sunday morning, guys,

    I have been shopping for used 2010 BMW 328i xDrive and narrowed down to two choices, as below -

    1. 2010 BMW 328i xDrive, Le Mans Blue/Beige
    - 13,5xx miles
    - Premium, Sport, Xenon, Parking Sensor, Heated Front Seats
    - Executive Demo from BMW North America's employee in Cliffwood Lake, NJ
    - Factory Warranty & Maintenance until Dec. 2013
    - Price: $32,750

    2. 2010 BMW 328i xDrive, Le Mans Blue/Saddle Brown
    - 8,5xx miles
    - Premium, Cold Weather, 17" Premium Wheels, NO XENON
    - Personal Vehicle owned by a lady for about one year before she traded it in for a Z4
    - Factory Warranty & Maintenance until Oct. 2013
    - Price: $31,500

    Both cars are in flawless condition inside out.

    As for the first car, the Sport Package is attractive, but since it doesn't do anything to the xDrive's suspension, the only thing I love is the sport seats. Parking sensor is useless and somewhat annoying to me. Xenon headlight is great, love it. However, the interior color is too bright for me, the high contrast between light beige and black/grey somewhat bothers me.

    As for the second car, the interior color is calming, love it. Cold weather package is a plus. 17" wheels do make this car stand up to the other car in term of look even without the sport package. During a test drive I noticed that this car drives more peppy, don't know if it's just me feeling more comfortable in this interior or the engine is better tuned or in better shape. However, the only thing I hate about this car is that it doesn't have Xenon headhlights, I'm wondering how much does it cost to isntall OEM Xenon and if it's worth it?

    Thanks guys for your thoughts.
  • 13,500 miles is USED in NJ or NY. Get the cheaper car.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,408
    Are both these cars stick or steptronic (automatic)?

    The beige interior (sand) is a killer for me because it is just very hard to keep clean. Top that with LeMans Blue and you better know a good detail shop or have a house account with Griots Garage.

    The first car has more going for it - sport seats & xenons. As far as I know, it would be expensive to retrofit the Xenon lights.

    Are these the asking prices or negotiated prices?

    Don't feel pressured to pull the trigger on either of these. 328i Xdrives are a dime a dozen and yours will pop up soon enough.

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

  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 187
    That brown interior is pretty cool.

    The beige interior is not that hard to clean because BMW leather is pretty tough. I have 50k now on my 328iT and the beige leather is still in good shape. The carpets are beat though. They can be cleaned but black or brown would show the dirt less - just like in any car.

    Xenons and adaptive lights are fantastic.

    And yes, bargain those guys down - you could get $5000 off what they ask. I got $4000 off a $27,000 car.
  • Hi... I'm new to this site and have a general question... I'm thinking about buying a 2004 330cci... do these cars have many 'inherent' issues I should be aware of? I'd like to go into owning it somewhat knowledgeable about what to expect... Thanks
  • First of all how are you guys?,the reason im here is cause i am planning on buying a used bmw 3series sedan. and well i actually found one, but im a little scared cause i think the deal is too good to be true i would like some input plz help!!!!

    Here's the link.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,148
    edited November 2010
    yes, the particular one you are considering would be ever so helpful. However, just for fun, I scanned through and checked the trade-in value of about 5 or 6 of them and NONE are "good deals."

    Lowest markup I found was $3500. Some are marked up more than $5k over wholesale!!

    And, lastly, the dealer steps on one of my personal pet peeves by stating, for example on the '06 red 3er, that it has "all options." Just by looking at the pics, I know it doesn't have the sport pack or Nav.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,667
    Convertible or coupe?

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • CapeCodCapeCod Posts: 117
    2002 325iX with 75000 miles.
    All the Carfax info is good...
    No accidents, no Rental history,
    two owner car...
    What problems could I be looking at before the 100k mark?
    I have heard about a rear bushings issue?
    The brakes always scare me... terribly expensive???
    This would be my retirement 'toy' but I do not want to go broke...
    Any suggestions of what to look out for....
    thanks. :)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,287
    What problems could I be looking at before the 100k mark?
    I have heard about a rear bushings issue?
    The brakes always scare me... terribly expensive???
    This would be my retirement 'toy' but I do not want to go broke...
    Any suggestions of what to look out for....

    The E46 3 Series has proven to be fairly reliable. The engine really doesn't have any weak points. If it's a slushbox you might want to ask if the transmission has ever been replaced and/or had the ATF changed. I'm always concerned about a car's service history, since BMW designs its cars and bikes with the assumption that they will be maintained by the book. This means changing the DOT 4 brake fluid every two years and changing the coolant(BMW brand ONLY) every three to four years. You really need to take the car to a BMW tech and have him/her perform a thorough inspection.
    As or the specifics of your car, at 60K-100K you may be looking at a water pump and thermostat. I'd replace them -along with the radiator- at 100K as a precaution.
    And yes, there are various suspension bushings that can go south. Make sure all the power windows work, the regulators can be problematic.
    Brakes aren't all that expensive- OEM equivalent pads and rotors for all four wheels run less than $390. Find a good dealer or indie BMW tech and join the BMW Car Club- most shops offer a 10%-20% discount on parts and/or labor.
    But above all, have it inspected by a good tech who knows BMWs. That is the best way to avoid winding up with a dog.

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

  • I am looking to purchase today a 97 with only 50,000 original miles and it can be verified, sound like an amazing car. Only bummer its automatic with the sport package. What would you say its worth and is it really worth 2k more than the ones out there with 30k more miles?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,148
    At that price point, the miles don't add a whole lot. About a grand more than one with 100k. Even if perfect and all maintenance up to date, trade value is in the $5k zip code. If this is private party, I'd be hard pressed to pay more than $6500 for it.

    This could also vary by where you live. If you live where it is summertime year round, convertibles probably command more of a premium than here in the northeast.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    And if it has the original radiator in there, you're gonna want to pull that out first thing, and replace it, along with the water pump These radiator necks are notorious for blowing up in your face. (been there, done that).

    Low miles isn't always a good thing, Age also ravages rubber parts, belts, hoses, seals, etc.


  • Looking for an AWD 3 series with a manual transmission. What will I have to pay to get one with a CPO warranty? I am in the NY Tri-state area.
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