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Buying a Used 3-Series



  • ronsteveronsteve Posts: 435
    I've recently started lusting after 328 wagons, but not sure when/if I'd ever make a move away from my Volvo V70. The primary motivation is getting a manual, for the more sporty driving experience (and BMW vs Volvo provides some of that, shifting or not!) and that a manual out-of-warranty is not as scary as an automatic out-of-warranty.

    So my biggest question is this... how much of a consideration should 328xi vs. 328i become? I know if I stay away from the xi's that will really limit my choices, but how noticeable is the 250-lb weight penalty of the xi? And are there significant differences in reliability/repair costs down the road with an xi (I know there's not much to speak to that from this generation, but maybe the older 325's will shed some light?)
  • It was car buying time for me now and i'm confused which ones to pick. I was inclined towards bmw. With the budget I have, I was looking for a 2006-07 BMW 328i. All the cars in my range either have high mileage or accident report. Also. I want to know if buying a car that has a few months of CPO would be a good idea or do i not need it at all. Also, can somebody advise me on what I need to look from maintainance perspective?
  • I'm considering purchasing a 2008-2010 3-Series sportwagon and need to get honest opinions regarding reliabilty. Maintenance and overall impression of the vehicle. HELP!!!!

    thanks guys

  • ronsteve did you ever purchase a wagon? I'm in the same boat. I'm torn between a 2009-2010 Volvo V70 (non-XC) and a 2008-2010 BMW 3-Series wagon. Just wanted to see if you made a purchase.

    hope this finds you well

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Nice cars. A bit maintenance heavy, especially if you rely on the dealership--it's gonna hurt sometimes. You'll probably have to deal with Run Flat Tires, which a few people like, but most don't enjoy the noise and harshness, or the expense. I'd recommend avoiding them and getting regular premium tires + BMW's spare tire kit, or some space saver kit (pump + sealant).

    It would be great, once you're out of warranty, to take your car to a good independent shop; also join the BMW club of America for parts discounts.

    Buy the nicest example with the lowest mileage that you can afford.


  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,280
    What Mr. Shiftright said. The 328i is pretty reliable overall. The key is maintaining it properly- here's my recommended schedule:

    Oil and Filter- Every 8,000-9,000 miles, using a BMW filter and either BMW 5W-30 Synthetic, Castrol Syntec 0W-30, or Mobil 1 0W-40

    MT oil or ATF- every 50,000 miles using BMW proprietary fluids

    Brake Fluid Change- Every two years using a DOT 4 fluid; ATE Super Blue, BMW DOT 4, and Castrol LMA are good choices

    Coolant- Every 3-4 years; using BMW coolant only

    You shouldn't need brakes for 90,000-100,000 miles at least

    Tires should last 40,000-50,000 miles

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

  • ronsteveronsteve Posts: 435
    ronsteve did you ever purchase a wagon?

    No, I'm staying put for now. The extended warranty on my V70 runs out next June, at which point I might revisit the discussion.

    Would still LOVE to get my hands on a Bimmer at some point, but they're so hard to find with the stick.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,593
    Well, I topped off my radiator with (gasp) Prestone!

    I suppose the bottom tank is going to fall off now!
  • Hello all,

    Would anyone offer their purchasing recommendation on the following?

    2008 BMW 3 Series 328xi CPO Off Lease

    36k miles, all service performed at dealership

    BMW dealer asking $27,500 from posted $29,500 sale price

    Automatic Transmission/ Premium Package/ Leather Seating/ Xenon High Intensity Discharge Headlights/ Satellite Radio System/ Rear Ski Bag/ Hands-Free Multi-Function Remote w/Keyless Ignition/ BMW Assist/ Bluetooth

    I haven't started negotiating yet, but salesperson/dealer looks motivated to sell.

    Not sure if the offer is fair or out-of-line. Any advice is appreciated.


  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,280
    edited August 2011
    Well, I topped off my radiator with (gasp) Prestone!

    I suppose the bottom tank is going to fall off now!

    It's your car and your choice, but no way would I use anything other than BMW, Mercedes, or Zerex G-05 coolant in a BMW. Using the proper coolant is cheap insurance- use of an incorrect coolant explains why many older Bimmers suffer catastrophic cooling system failures.

    From my friend/tech guru Mike Miller- writing in Bimmer magazine:

    BMWs are incredibly sensitive to operating fluids, including coolant. I've always felt this is due to the metallurgy used in the engine construction, but there is no way to know for sure. On neglected cars, aluminum oxidation builds up in various places within the engine, including on older models, between coolant hoses and aluminum fittings. That is the most obvious manifestation of aluminum oxidation. It causes the worst problems inside the sometimes tiny coolant passages of the cylinder head, where it can act like hardening of the arteries, restricting or even cutting off the supply of coolant to various parts of the cylinder head. This sometimes presents itself as phantom overheating with no known cause, though more often than not the cylinder head gasket blows before that.
    I learned long ago that using phosphate free Original BMW antifreeze mixed 50-50 with distilled water and changing it every 2 years, of even four years on hotter running OBD-II models essentially eliminates aluminum oxidation. The cars I maintain don't blow head gaskets or have chronic overheating problems.

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

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,280
    I'd guess that $26,000 would be a fair price.

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

  • hiluxssrghiluxssrg Posts: 6
    edited August 2011
    $26,000 would be a good price to get it at. I guess I can offer $25,000 to start negotiations, but I wonder if that is too low?

    I got a phone call yesterday from an Infiniti salesperson offering a competitive offer on a 2010 G37X and now I feel a bit torn between the two cars.

    Wish I could get both.

    Thanks for the input.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Well you cannot negotiate successfully if you can't get up and walk out. And if they let you walk out (literally or metaphorically by phone), and don't call you back, then your offer was too low. If they counter, you're still in the game.


  • I am consdering at 2009 that is at a local toyota dealership. When looking up on the VIN on car max I found that the following

    one person owned it then ....
    - it was offered for sale by a nearby BMW dealership as a certified PreOwned BMW.
    -then 5 days later it was sold at auction (Listed as a dealer vehicle Sold at auction)

    The Toyota dealership registered it after the auction so they obviously got it there. My question is, is it still a Certified Pre Owned BMW? It's not listed as such, but if it was certified as preowned then sold to another dealership wouldn't it still be certified?? As I understand it Certified PreOwned have extra warranty that may not come with the car if it's not :confuse: a certified preowned.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,640
    It's possible that you could find a previously certified CPO vehicle at a non-BMW dealership. But, it seems doubtful that the original dealership would pay BMW the $1500 or so to certify the car (and add the warranty), only to send it to auction a few days later...

    The only way to know for sure is to give the VIN to someone at a BMW dealership and ask them to tell you if it has the CPO warranty.

    That isn't information they will normally give out, except to someone that owns the vehicle.. You might have to drop in and kindly ask a service advisor for a favor....

    If it is CPO, then that warranty transfers to whoever owns the car.. Don't tell the Toyota dealership, or they may jack up the price.... ;)


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,280
    That's what happened with one of the cars I was looking at. The selling dealer gave me the Carfax that clearly stated the car had been sold as a CPO BMW previously. A friend at my BMW dealer confirmed that the CPO warranty was still valid. It was a nice car but a painfully boring color combo(silver/black).

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

  • Good morning.

    I realize there's no easy answer to this, but how do you factor in mileage when deciding whether to purchase a used BMW? I'm looking at a 2003 330ci 2D coupe with 137,000 for about $9500. That seems to be pushing the limit, but I've seen BMWs push well into 200,000 or beyond.

    I realize it's all a bit of a crapshoot, but the car does have a very consistent maintenance record going back to its birth. Is there some guide or formula or something that would help?

    Thank you!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,147
    edited September 2011
    Factoring mileage into what? The purchase price? Any online pricing guide takes mileage into account. And 137k on a 9-year-old car isn't exactly outside the bell curve. It is right within it, as a matter of fact (just a hair over 15k/year).

    High mileage doesn't always scare me. It all comes down to how it was taken care of. If it is ultra-clean, well maintained, and everything checks out by a mechanic prior to purchase, I see no reason why such a vehicle wouldn't last you for years to come.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    As a rough guideline, I'd knock off about $1200 off asking price for mileage at least. Actual value depends a lot on condition and the options the car has. It could be worth from $7000 to $9500.


  • Hi Everyone,

    It's been a while since I last posted a msg. The first car I got out of college was a 2002 Ford Mustang V6 manual, it was a fun car to drive and was problem-free, perfect for a young out of the college kid. I had since gotten a 2002 Jaguar S-Type and a 2007 Mercedes E350 Sport. The E350 was a lease and after I returned the E350, I kept the Jaguar. The Jaguar had too many problems so I decided to get a new car. I really wanted a manual sports car but it was nearly impossible to find a manual 328 coupe, so I finally caved in and got an automatic. I actually bought it back in June, by just looking at the numbers, it seems like an ok deal, but the condition of the car is amazing, the interior looks absolutely new, and that's why I think this is a good deal. Dark Gray exterior with black interior, and black walnut wood.

    2008 BMW 328i Coupe
    Premium Pkg
    iPad adaptor
    Automatic with sportshift
    34,500 miles
    CPO to 100,000 miles
    Bought it for $26,400 (not including tax), and a 2.9% loan.

    Although the car drives tight and I do like the look and interior of the car, it seems a bit slow to me. It is certainly a lot slower than the G37, not to mentioned it's not as well equipped. Overall, I am still happy with the car, but I think I will look at other options harder next time if BMW doesn't match their competitors in the future.

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