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Buying a Used 3-Series

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  • Thanks for replying! I can definately do the 75 a month....I just heard problems with transmissions and such especially with the high mileage....I am in love with the car...but I don't want to be screwed you know.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,861
    I just heard problems with transmissions and such especially with the high mileage

    Some BMW automatic transmissions have failed at 100,000 miles, others have gone over 200,000 miles without problems. The key to a BMW's long term reliability is to keep it maintained by the book. If you buy the car, don't hesitate to ask any questions. I'll be happy to help.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • Thanks roadburner....I decided not to buy.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Went for a 2000 328Ci coupe with Premium Package--leather, moonroof, xenons, etc. etc., 68k miles, grey/grey. Original MSRP $39k (window sticker was in the glove box). My price, $12,400 +T&L. Or about the same as a two-year-old base Elantra. :P Oh, it's a stick. :) One owner trade on a new Bimmer, bought and serviced where I got it. Dealer had the complete service records, including recent new brakes, tires, battery, major servicing, etc. Having some minor bodywork done to take out some scratches and dents (part of the deal), then it will be all miiiiiiiine. Except for a tiny hole on the passenger side door interior trim and a little dig on the rear bumper, it looks new (or it will after it leaves the body shop). It drives great, very smooth and rattle-free, great linear tracking and handling (of course).

    Time for my second childhood. :shades:
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,861
    Sounds like a great car. Just stay on top of the maintenance. I'd change the oil every 7.5K and I'd also replace the transmission and diff oils if they havent been done already. Keep the coolant changed-BMW coolant only-every three years and the brake fluid(DOT 4) every two and the car should run well for a long time to come.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Thanks. Those things have been done recently (oil was just changed today) and I put about 7500 miles a year on my car, so I should be good to go (knock on wood) for awhile. It will be fun driving a stick again--especially one with 193 hp. :) I told my son and daughter who are still at home I'd teach them how to drive it. I told them, if they can play video games, they can drive a stick. Eventually it will be my daughter's car... if she is a real good girl the next few years.
  • We agree to our 1st BMW-have wanted 1 for a long time. It's a 3rd car for when my wife doesn't need to drive her all-wheel drive Sienna minivan and I'm not using my Accord for work (outside sales).

    Anyway I think we did well to find

    a 2006 325ci Black with 10,500 miles for $23,500 CPO Only 2 options are heated seats and Steptronic Automatic

    The search really evolved..........we had serious negotiations on a 2000 325i with 68k for $11500 and a 2005 325ci with 48k miles-$19,800 CPO with the same options as the one we bought. We worried too much about out of warranty issues (and it drove a little sluggish) with the 2000. We like the 2005 but the grey color was a little bland-we drive 2 grey colored cars now and were attracted to the low miles and extra year of original warranty and certified warranty with the 2006. This will be kept in the garage-we'll drive in winter when roads are clear and put on about 5-7k miles per year.

    Any thoughts or advice-we take delivery on Tuesday.
  • docgarydocgary Posts: 17
    Sounds like a great deal! What part of the country do you live?

    Out here in the northeast (New Jersey), a 2006 325i CPO with under 20k mileage
    will never sell south of 25K - trust me - i've been searching for 6 weeks!!

    I've owned 2 BMWs -1994 325i and 1997 540i -
    at 10,000 miles, the car hasnt even been broken in!!

    I have found a 06 325i (would have preferred a 330)
    27K mileage, silver with black interior (the only interior worth having IMO)
    cold weather/premium package, maintenance package,

    This car stood out from the previous six I test rode.
    I'm not in need of a fast off-the-line speedster -
    Been there done that - and I have a motorcycle for that rush.
    This 57 yo ex porche owner is simply looking for that great handling,
    fun car that only BMW has.

    The prior six all had a degree of a "ridden out" feel -
    too much dampening in suspension ,body roll, generally a tired feel.

    This puppy woke up the second I stepped on the pedal. Very clean in and out.
    Garaged, well cared for.

    I will seal the deal this weekend -
    $25,000 OTD incl tax. (no $ down 60 months, 3.9%)

    If you get your deal and the car has no negative surprises,
    You have gotten a SWEET DEAL!!

    GOOD LUCK
    DOCGARY
  • Live in NH, bought in Peabody Mass. The sticker said 26900, internet price was 25,500. No surprises and we are very happy. We put 500 miles this week to go over 11k. I think the economy and a rear wheel drive car this time of year up North gave us great leverage. It's truly in better shape than my 07 accord and my wife's 08 Sienna. Love the look of the black coupe.

    My only 3 comments not complaints are that

    1. There is a ton of brake dust-although it just came off easily
    2. Maybe I've been driving it too enthusiastically but we are getting 21 mpg according to computer
    3. The speedo reads 3 mph higher than GPS.

    Anyway we are very pleased. Good luck with your car and thanks for responding.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Comments on your comments:

    1) Keep after the brake dust, if you don't it will become almost permanently adhered to your wheels. If you have no intention of tracking your car you might want to consider low dust pads. I've used PBR/Axxis pads on my BMWs and have had exceptional results (i.e. braking power similar to the OEM pads and virtually no dust).

    2) The beauty of your car is that if you keep your foot out of it, you can actually get over 30 mpg on the highway and more like 25 around town.

    3) All BMWs (and virtually all German cars) will read a couple three MPHs high at 70 MPH. I read a good explanation a couple of years ago on why that is (something to do with laws regarding speedometer error), however, I don't remember the details. That said, I suspect that you'll find that your odometer is pretty much "dead-on-balls-accurate".

    Enjoy your new ride. ;)

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • docgarydocgary Posts: 17
    "There is a ton of brake dust-although it just came off easily"

    I'm surprised the following product is not known by all...

    There is an aluminum plate set that simply fits inside each wheel.
    Its sold in pairs or in 4's. There are a number of vents in the plates
    allowing for air to pass in a specific direction preventing the brake dust
    to settle on the outside of the wheels! The vents prevent any excess heat
    from occuring since you are blocking alot of the brakes ventilation.

    I've used this product on ALL of my cars including BMWs, MBs and Porsche.
    Honestly, the wheels maintain their bright look and virtually no build up
    of dust - all i do is wipe them off maybe once every 2-3 weeks!

    And thats only because im a bit obsessive.
    Between weekly washes, you dont even need wiping the wheels.
    The only caveat to this is if use older carbon pads - they will get dirty.
    Also, its wise to take them off if at the track.(increses temp)

    The product sells in all mail order car supplies...

    I'll check my mags and re-post with the name...

    PS - the product is priced around $50 - 75 for a set of 4.

    docgary

    Well worth it!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The problem with the dust shields is that they inhibit the cooling of the brakes and often lead to warped or hot-spotted rotors. I'll NEVER-EVER even remotely consider those devices for any of my cars.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,861
    The problem with the dust shields is that they inhibit the cooling of the brakes and often lead to warped or hot-spotted rotors. I'll NEVER-EVER even remotely consider those devices for any of my cars.


    But it's better to have clean wheels than effective brakes, right?

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • hey all, im currently looking at a 95 m3 with 55,000 miles. it has a K&N filter with a dinan carbon fiber intake, a carbon fiber hood from VS racing sport, 3pc SSR rims, full exhaust, H&R springs and struts, Dinan strut bar, different brakes(not sure what they really are she ddnt specify), Dinan carbon fiber head covers,carbon fiber interior, sunroof, as for audio she has an integrated DVD alpine deck, coaxial components, 2 10" JL audio subs in a hidden box mounted to the top of the trunk. Now my problem is how much would something like this cost?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Short answer: Less than a 1995 M3 with 55,000 miles on the clock that is bone stock. Much less in fact.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    What a shame - 95 is the best year for the E36 M3. Non-staggered wheels and OBD I. Another fine car destroyed by JC Whitney...
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,861
    Now my problem is how much would something like this cost?

    About $5000 is all I'd pay- tops.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • hey jus outta curiosity....y so little?? nd if the car was stock...how much would it b worth?
  • docgarydocgary Posts: 17
    Well, in all the cars I've installed dust shields in,
    not one proved to be a problem re; warped or hot spotted rotors.

    That's not to say it couldnt or wouldnt happen -
    it just never happened to me in 5-6 cars over the last 10-12 years.

    Now, I NEVER have taken my cars to the track nor drive them in an
    exceedlingly aggressive way;.(unless the're true race cars -ie my 98 carrera..)
    The few times i've had brake service on them there was no issue of rotor defect - only the pads to be replaced.

    I believe the dust shields could .indeed, cause problems
    if hard braking (racing/motocross) were common.
    Or, in VERY hot environments...

    But in New Jersey driving moderate conditions - ill take my chances.

    Docgary
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I agree the dust shields are fine for a grocery getter.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    It's hard to say without seeing the car, Depending on condition, complete maintenance records, personally knowing the owner, etc., a bone stock 95 M3 with 55K miles should fetch between $10K and $15K.

    BTW, some of those upgrades don't necessarily decrease the value of the car - but they don't increase the value either. The Dinan parts and suspension are likely OK, but all the cosmetic do-dads will scare away a BMW enthusiast because the quality is questionable and it brings images of an immature owner with a high likelihood that the car has been abused and not properly maintained.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,861
    The Dinan parts and suspension are likely OK, but all the cosmetic do-dads will scare away a BMW enthusiast because the quality is questionable and it brings images of an immature owner with a high likelihood that the car has been abused and not properly maintained.

    My thoughts exactly. I'd bet the farm that the owner is a typical "bling it and brag" poseur.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • hello and thanks in advance.
    i found an '03 325xi with 73K miles for a reduced price of $13K. Carfax reports a lease and then 1 personal owner. this would be my first bmw, assuming it checks out would it be a good deal or something to stay away from due to the mileage?

    thanks, jbd
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,861
    assuming it checks out would it be a good deal or something to stay away from due to the mileage?

    First off, if you haven't purchased the car yet, I would strongly advise you to have it inspected by a qualified BMW tech. Not much goes wrong on the newer 3 Series, but you still want to buy a good one. The mileage wouldn't worry me one bit- assuming that the car has been maintained by the book. In my experience, the common problems for 3 Series cars of that vintage are not that numerous. The water pump and radiator can be expected to need replacement at 60K-100K intervals. The power window regulators can be failure prone, but replacement is fairly simple- a DIY if you have a few tools. Otherwise, the E46(1999-2005) 3 Series cars have proven to be very durable. So much for the internet myth of unreliable BMWs. I have a 1995 318ti with over 112,000 miles on it and the only electrical items I've replaced are a couple of tail light bulbs and a brake light switch.

    In most cases, the best way to keep maintenance costs reasonable is to find a GOOD dealer independent BMW tech; you will likely save 25%-50% on service. I also advise joining the BMW Car Club of America, since many independents and dealers offer 10%-20% discounts on parts and/or labor. All modern BMWs use a Service Interval Indicator to inform the driver when routine maintenance is required. On a 2003 325xi an oil change will be called for at 15,000 mile intervals. A minor service(Inspection I) will come up at 30,000 miles and a major (Inspection II) service at 60,000 miles. I perform an "extra" oil change at 7,500 miles in my driveway. An oil change using synthetic oil will cost $60-$100, an Inspection I $150-$250, and an Inspection II $350-$550. Coolant should be changed every three years-using BMW Coolant ONLY, while the DOT4 brake fluid gets flushed every two years. I assume the car has an automatic? If so, in the newer cars I change the so-called "Lifetime" ATF fluid, transfer case oil, and final drive oil every 50,000 miles. Note that my mileage and cost numbers are approximate. For example, if you change the oil yourself using a BMW filter and Mobil 1 0W-40 or BMW 5W-30 synthetic the cost will be @$50. On the other hand, my local BMW dealer charges very reasonable rates for some of the services that I don't have the time and/or desire to perform. My dealer only charged me $208 to change the ATF transfer case oil on my wife's X3, and they changed the coolant and the brake fluid on my 1995 3 Series for just $143.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • I guess this is the right place to ask this question. Please forgive me if this is not the right place. I was previously considering a g35x, but recently came across a 06 330xi that i found online.
    details- 46 k miles on it, carfax report is clean with one owner and personal use.
    asking price is around $24k, it has premuim, nav, cold weather package, logic7, everything i would want in my BMW and in the color i want...
    First off, i need to get the car inspected, how would i go about doing that?. The car is at a non-BMW dealership, so how would i go about getting someone to check it out? how much would it cost me to get it inspected?
    Also should i be worried about the miles on it, a little under 3 years on the vehicle, with 46k miles, also factory warranty expires in 4k miles and is this a fair price for the car. The question about extended maintenance and warranty packages? how much? are they worth it? I know this question has been asked millions of times here, and i've gone through most of the threads, but just can't come to a decision about them.
    Thanks in advance.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,861
    It sounds like a good price. As for the inspection, you need to find a good BMW dealer or independent tech. Start your search for independent BMW techs here. The cost should be less than $200. If the dealer won't let you take the car to a BMW dealer or tech then simply move on.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • I have found a 1985-1987 BMW E30 325e and was wondering if you guys had an opinion on the car. It is 1000 dollars and has 195k miles. It is a 5 speed manual and has brand new tires. The condition is pretty good (the paint is worn along with the interior, but its not too bad). The car has been taken care of (routine oil changes and such). I do most all my repairs myself but I have noticed that prices of BMW parts can be a little more expensive (correct me if I'm wrong). I do want to keep costs down including repairs. If you could help me with a decision that would be great.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    Good model, price is right, but you should have it checked out by a BMW shop regardless to make sure there's nothing expensive in your future.

    Here's your list of potential problem with this early 3 series:

    Checklist for 3 Series

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • How long do you think this car can last?
    Obviously you can't know how this individual car will last but do you have a rough estimate on a well maintained E30 325e?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,861
    Lots of E30s make it to 250000-300000 miles with little drama. If you do buy the car, join the BMW Car club. You'll get access to great technical support and many dealers and independent shops offer significant discounts to members. I think you will be surprised at reasonable cost of most all E30 parts. If you do plan to work on the car yourself you should pick up the Bentley E30 repair manual.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

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