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Buying a Used 3-Series

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Comments

  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Assuming the previous services were performed at a BMW Center (and why wouldn't they, when scheduled maintenance is free?), any BMW dealer should be able to pull up the maintenance history.

    Here's another thing to keep in mind: You will also qualify for the complementary oil change service one year after the previous service was performed, regardless of the mileage remaining on the service indicator. I purchased my '05 325Ci about 11 months after its last oil change service. One month later, I qualified for a free oil change, even though my service indicator showed 2500 miles remaining. And instead of merely performing an oil change service, they went ahead with the entire Inspection I service.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    You will also qualify for the complementary oil change service one year after the previous service was performed, regardless of the mileage remaining on the service indicator.

    That is no longer the case. Why? Apparently research has shown that synthetic oils that meet the BMW LL-01 oil spec oxidize so slowly (if at all) that time is no longer considered a limiting factor. As such, BMW has retroactively recinded the "One oil change per year, regardless of miles" guideline.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    "BMW has retroactively recinded the "One oil change per year, regardless of miles" guideline."

    Wow! :surprise: That's news to me. I'm guessing this change of policy occurred within the past few months? Does this new policy apply to all BMWs? (Or just new purchases?)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As I posted elsewhere, it is my understanding that BMW issued some sort of a service bulliten a year or two back that reversed BMW's position on yearly oil changes. I'll dig around to see if I can come up with it. That said, it seems that most dealerships are still willing to change the oil for free after one year.

    Thinking about this further, if a driver puts in the full compliment of miles during the maintenance period, not only are they going to get three oil changes, they're also going to get coolant and brake system flushes AND a set of brake pads, rotors and sensors (if needed). On the other hand, if a car is only driven sparingly and needs to be brought in for "yearly" oil changes, there exists a fairly high likelyhood that that car will never reach the mileage limit on the maintenance program before the time limit expires, and that in turn means that the car may not wear its brakes out enough for a "free" replacement. My bet is that a couple of extra oil changes is WAAAAY cheaper than a set of brakes, so, why not throw them in as well. :P

    If I come up with the notification regarding the one year rule, I'll post it.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Yes, please let me know if you see any BMW notifications regarding the one-year oil change rule.

    I just called the Service Dept of my closest BMW dealer. The service advisor confirmed they provide a complementary oil change service every year, regardless of the service indicator. If the service indicator is reasonably close to zero, they will also perform the other services at the same time and reset the indicator. If the service indicator is still several thousand miles from zero, they only perform an oil change, and they do not reset the indicator. I asked if he had seen any TSB recommending against this policy, and he replied "no".

    I also recall another dealer told me the same thing a couple months ago when I was requesting service information on a potential CPO X3 purchase.
  • rts3rts3 Posts: 26
    Just called my dealer and set up a "1 year low mileage" oil change. I still have 7000 miles left before the next oil change. The service person checked my service records after I gave her the VIN number and told me that even though my mileage does not qualify for oil change, the 1 year period makes it eligible. She could also tell that the other regular stuff like fluids flush etc. was already performed and the car is tip top in that aspect. Now I'm not sure if this is a general policy, or she did it for me to gain my business (I'm a first time customer .. so this is a nice bait to hook me up for more expensive service down the road and my warranty expires next year).
  • kc1976kc1976 Posts: 11
    I just turned down an offer from dealer. It's a 2004 325i CPO with premium package and 31K miles. We have been negotiating for 3 weeks via email. He came all the way down from $28,900 to $22,580. I thought the fair price should be around $21,500, I added another $500. But the sales guy did not want to mark down the price anymore.

    So no deal today. Do your guys think I miss a good deal?

    thanks

    kc
  • rts3rts3 Posts: 26
    No you did not. $21,500 is more than fair. CPO is just 2 years of warranty and that also not as comprehensive as regular. If you wait till January, I bet you can find 2004 325i with similar features for around 20k + TTL.

    I bought my 2004 325i for 20900 at Carmax with 35k mile with premium package and excellent condition. And got 5 year bumper to bumper full warranty for additional $1900 (There's a 50 deductible for that though). And that was a month back. Prices come down as the year changes since in Jan people will perceive it as 4+ year old model, and its regular 4 year warranty would have most likely expired.

    Just move on to another dealer. I can't believe he was quoting $28,900 to begin with .. this is just a scam!
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Is that 5 years of warranty starting from the original purchase date, or is that 5 years from your purchase at the Carmax dealer? (I assume the latter...)

    Also, who is underwriting this warranty? I assume this must be thru Carmax. If so, how is this warranty different from other 3rd-party warranties? For example, when you take your car to a BMW dealer for warranty work, how is the money for that warranty work actually paid to their service department?
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    With only 31K miles, I think $22.5K is a good price for a 2004 CPO 325i with PP, depending on its overall condition, and if it has any additional options -- especially if it has leather seats instead of leatherette. Does it have auto or manual? I prefer manual in the 325 series, to get the most out of that engine, but there's no denying the steptronic tranny adds more value within the U.S. market.

    With only 31K miles, I would also enquire on its original purchase date. In my opinion, a car originally purchased in July 2004 (with almost 3 years of warranty coverage and one year of maint plan coverage remaining) is more valuable to me than a car purchased in Nov 2003. KBB might not care how much free coverage remains on that car, but I do.

    The ultimate determination is how much do you like this particular car? Is there anything about this car that stands out, in your opinion, from any other 2004 325i -- such as the color combination, or its overall condition?

    Have you researched its maintenance and repair record? Any BMW service advisor should be able to look this up on their computer. All they require is the last few digits of that car's VIN. Also, you can ask to see the detailed 4-page CPO inspection report.

    I disagree slightly with the previous response to your question, because I think the CPO process adds more value to the car in addition to the CPO 2yr/50K extended warranty. We just purchased a 2004 X3 3.0i with 27K miles, from a BMW dealer out of state. Thanks to the CPO certification process, this X3 was equipped with brand new brakes on both front and rear axles; 4 brand new tires; and a brand new battery. Anyone familiar with BMW maintenance will quickly point out how expensive the brakes cost to replace.

    Here's my point: The CPO certification will require replacement of parts sooner than they would otherwise be replaced. For example, if I remember correctly, the dealers are normally required to replace brakes when the pads wear down to 2mm or below. However, at CPO inspection, they must be replaced if they are at 5mm. Hence, with a CPO car, you might get lucky and avoid/delay some maintenance costs you might otherwise incur with a non-CPO car.

    Hope this helps... :)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,582
    Also, who is underwriting this warranty?

    Good question! My indie BMW shop has told me some real horror stories about 3rd party warranties that he's had to deal with- some want him to use "white box" or off-brand rebuilt parts rather than OEM or equivalent items. I'll take the BMW CPO warranty over a 3rd party insurance policy any day...

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

  • rts3rts3 Posts: 26
    I definitely agree that CPO vehicles are good. All I was saying that you did not loose out on a great deal. Such deals will keep coming especially if you wait a couple of months.

    In terms of CarMax warranty, my MAXCARE plan starts from date of issue (10/12/2007) and ends after 5 years or 60k additional miles whichever one is earlier. Currently I have 36k miles on my car. I paid $1949 for it, and my warranty will expire on 10/12/2012 or 96k miles, whichever is earlier. The warranty is applicable anywhere on "any BMW Dealer". The only difference is that you play $50 deductible at CarMax and $75 deductible at BMW dealer. Also, the deductible is per visit and not per part/problem. So one can wait to go for the warranty service once you want a few collective items looked at.

    I'm not justifying my purchase (Though my car is made in July 2004 and have 8 months manufacturer's warranty left, it has premium package, steptronic tranny etc.!). All I'm saying is that don't worry about that deal .. just be on the lookout - you'll get better deals.

    I 100% agree with BMW certification. I'm sure the company CPO processs has to stand behind its reputation, but that does not make non-CPO BMWs bad .. maybe a just bit risky if they don't have a warranty.
  • kc1976kc1976 Posts: 11
    Thank you for all your feedback.

    This car has steptronic tranny and leather. The overall condition is very good. The dealer replaced 4 tires. It still has one year original warranty remaining.

    I like this car because it's an off-lease and maintained by the same dealer.

    I have done tons of research in the past month. It looks like different dealer handles CPO quite differently. The one I negotiated with only CPO trade in/loaner/off lease. But several other dealers in the same area would also CPO Corporate Fleet/Auction which I don't like. Some would replace all 4 tires. Some would leave the old tires with 60% tread.

    I have access to Black Book. So I am pretty sure their cost can't be higher than $20K with all the mark up. I thought I gave them the right amount of profit. Obviously they don't feel the same way.

    Probably start to look for 06 models if I can't find a good 04.

    KC
  • gerry100gerry100 Posts: 100
    I may be changing jobs and giving up my company car and facing the need to buy my own over the road car for the first time in 19 years.

    Usage would be for business trips and travels with the wife.

    Being a " car guy" I can't just go the usual practical Ford/Chevy/Toyota route as I enjoy driving too much.

    Late model certified "3" looks like the way to go but I'll be choosing between thw AWD version and the RWD.

    As a track driver in my 911, I've come to appreciate RWD an light weight for pure perfomance driving but livin gin the NE, AWD is attractive.

    Do the AWD models eat tires faster?

    Pleas help me choose. Inputs/Comments appreciated
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,582
    Buy a RWD Bimmer. Purchase a set of winter tires and wheels from Tire Rack and do the changeover yourself. It takes me all of 45 minutes, and that includes cleaning and storing the take-offs. Unlike Audi, BMW doesn't consider their AWD models to be top-rung performance cars. Coming out of a 911, I think you'll find the RWD variants much more entertaining to drive- especially if you find a 2004 -2005 Performance Package(AKA ZHP) car. I know more than a few people who prefer them to the E90 3ers.

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

  • rts3rts3 Posts: 26
    Good thinking. Seems like you really liked the car ... but paying a few thousand dollars for 2006 model will help in the long run in terms of resale value ... not to mention that the '06 is newly designed with excellent power to weight ratio. Meanwhile keep looking for a good deal on '04 .. it doesn't hurt. Good luck!
  • rts3rts3 Posts: 26
    Is this where you bought your tires from:

    http://www.tirerack.com/snow/preferredpackages.jsp

    It seems like the preferred package is:

    Bridgestone Blizzak WS-60 (Studless Ice & Snow)(4) 205/55-16 $416.00
    Optional Road Hazard Program: additional $12.48 per tire
    Sport Edition E1 (Bright Silver Paint) (4) 16x7 $396.00
    Package Total: $812.00

    A complete set for under 1k sounds good. Is anything else required to be purchased?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,582
    complete set for under 1k sounds good. Is anything else required to be purchased?

    Nope; the package should come with lug bolts as well, so all you should need is a good jack, a torque wrench, and a-most likely- 19mm six-point deep well socket.

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

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,380
    Gerry, I have a '06 330 xi. I believe this model/year go for around 34-36K now. The car is a blast even though some prefer AWD, imho, the difference is not that much of a trade off in handling performance for the added traction in inclement weather.

    Unless you plan on tracking the car, it is a great daily driver with enough athleticism to make you smile.

    The tires I have are Continental SSR A/W RFT's (run-flat tire) with 13K miles wearing dead even as I have rotated them every 5K based on the advise of the great board members who know a heck a lot more than me about cars. Best car to date for me. Try to get the sport seats if you can.

    Have fun shopping and check out the RS4 if you've got the cash!

    Regards,
    OW
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    I know more than a few people who prefer them to the E90 3ers.

    Good point. I might just be one of them, although I haven't driven the "ZHP", nor have I driven the '07 3ers.

    But, here's my $.02 worth:

    1) I don't like how BMW removed the spare for the E90 platform, and now provides RFTs instead.

    2) I was given a 2006 325i sedan (auto) as a loaner over a 3-day weekend several months ago. Although the cabin was a little more quiet and refined than my '05 325Ci, I can't say I would choose it over my car. It makes no sense given the HP differential, but my car seemed a little quicker. My car has a stick, but I'm not so sure if "stick vs steptronic" fully accounts for this perceived difference?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,582
    The only new Bimmers that excite me are the 135i based Concept 1 Series tii:

    image

    and the M3 sedan:

    image

    If the tii makes it to production with a limited slip I could see myself picking one up on the ED plan next year. As for the M3 sedan, I think of it as an updated E28 M5- and a perfect family car that can hit the track 4-5 times per year. But I think I'd still rather have a vintage M car.
    Again...

    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
    "If the tii makes it to production with a limited slip I could see myself picking one up on the ED plan next year."

    I think I'll join you...
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,380
    I'd probably stick with the normal 135i...if I fit in it! Default would be the 335.

    What will the Concept tii price be...mid-40's?

    Regards,
    OW
  • robl1robl1 Posts: 25
    I bought a used 2003 330xi with steptronic. Put it in sport mode and its a blast to drive. Winter tires won't get you into the garage on my uphill driveway through snow but an AWD 3 series will. The AWD don't seem to be hard on tires in the pre-RFT models.
  • kc1976kc1976 Posts: 11
    Hey guys on the board,

    Try to become a new bimmer owner in the next few weeks. I just saw a CPO 2006 325i today. The car looks very nice and the price falls into the right range.

    But I have several questions hopefully can get the answers from you.

    1. I have seen lots of complaint over the reliability, especially the tires, of E90. This car has Bridgestone R16. Do you think it would have the same problem?

    2. The car has repair history. The description is "solenoid valve for camshaft adjusting unit dirty/blocked" Do you think this defect will cause any issue in the futher?

    3. This car is only 14 months old. It has already had 2 owners. The first one is a local personal owner. The type of ownership for the 2nd one, from carfax report, is blank. I am wondering if the 2nd owner is the dealer. If the 2nd owner is not the dealer, it sounds odd to me. What makes a owner hold a car for 2 months and then sold it?

    I might be a little over cautious. But you know, $30K is not a small amount of money spent for a used car. Thanks advance for all your advices.

    KC
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    1) The only thing "Bridgestone R16" tires tells us is that the car has Bridgestone tires in the 16" wheel size. What you need to identify is what model of Bridgestones are on the car (probably Bridgestone EL42s).

    2) It is rather unlikely that the dirty solenoid valve will cause any future issues.

    3) It is highly likely that the second owner is the dealership that currently has the car.

    4) If the car has been Certified Pre-Owned (CPO), it sounds like a fair deal, if not, I might be inclined to take a pass.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,380
    I always consider if the CPO was the loaner which would be a more suspect candidate. Is there any real way of knowing? I assume Carfax will let you the history but can you ever know for sure?

    Regards,
    OW
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,582
    What will the Concept tii price be...mid-40's?

    That would be my guess. I'm hoping Dakar Yellow and Henna Red will be optional colors.

    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
    Henna Red?!?! Phhheeeewwww!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    P'rhaps you haven't yet gotten a handle on roadburner's particular sense of humor. :shades:
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