Should I buy this Beamer?

frankiesezfrankiesez Member Posts: 1
edited May 2014 in BMW

Hey all first time poster, was hoping I could get some advice/insight.

I'm trying to get a handle on whether the horror stories about Beamers and their maintenance are true.

My mother in law is getting rid of her 2008 5-series (I'm embarrassed to say I'm not sure which one, but I believe its the xi), just under 40k miles. She will sell it to me for around $15k (KBB is between $17 and $21k). The first owner was a BMW OCD/Type-A maniac and took immaculate care of it, and my ma in law basically only drove it 1.5 miles to her school and back home per day.

My father in law who bought it for her was really impressed with the meticulousness of the first owner (and my father in law himself is quite meticulous) who buys them new and gets a new one after 20k miles or so. He is likely going to buy additional cars from this private owner.

I currently drive a 2002 Nissan Altima SE, 3.5L with just under 160k that I love. I'm not necessarily a 'car guy', but do like to drive on trips, love to feel the road and feel a good engine under me. We have our first baby on the way, and I will say that in all likelihood, I should replace my car soon as I also have a client-facing job and my Altima is showing some wear.

Again, trying to weigh whether I will feel like a bigger dope for passing up getting a $20k car for $15k, or after spending thousands of dollars in maintenance and overpriced oil changes.

Oh also it has 2 years left on a warranty (not sure which one, or if there are different ones). I am told by a friend who is a car guy that I will probably need to do brakes/rotors soon. I will pay cash for the car.



  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited March 2014

    I'd find an indy mechanic (or dealer) you can trust. Then get it checked out with a thorough pre-purchase inspection. That should give you an idea of what to expect.

    And if you don't want to get yelled at (like me B) ), the bikes are generally called Beamers (or Beemers) and the cars are called Bimmers. I never can remember so I just call them BMWs.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482

    Sure, you should definitely have the car checked out in a pre-purchase inspection, and I would try to find a good independent BMW shop to take care of the car for you, but otherwise I don't think you'd be foolish. It's a nice car. It'll cost more to maintain than your Altima, cost more for gas, and will probably have more repair issues---that's just a fact of life. Might be a good idea to review this particular car's history to see if it's been naughty or nice for your MIL. A glance at some invoices might give you a point of comparison to your Altima. In any event, at 160K your Altima is getting long in the tooth anyway.

    Also I don't think the car is really worth $20K, so it's a bit of a bargain at $15K but not a steal.

  • konacougkonacoug Member Posts: 196

    You should also find out what the warranty covers, who will do the work and the terms. BMW's are expensive to maintain and you will be looking at a large bill when the car hits the 60k mark

  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Member Posts: 263

    First, buy the car if you like it; your MIL does not want to put her grandchild in any kind of jeopardy.

    My guess is the car has been kept very clean, but probably not maintained other than oil changes. It is 6 years old with 40k miles. Several questions; how long do you intend to keep it?

    If 2 years and then buy your MIL's next vehicle, keep changing the oil and do whatever needs done when it needs done. The warranty probably is good to 100k miles and you will not get there in 2 years. You will be out at most 3 oil changes, a set of tires and spark plugs. Brakes are only an issue with boy racers. My 2002 530i went over 150k miles before needing brakes. It now has 212k miles and has cost me 12 cents per mile to maintain/repair including tires.

    On the other hand, if you intend to keep the car for 10 years, again my guess is the car has not been maintained. In the absence of documentation, assume nothing has been done. Therefore, plan on changing the oil every 5000k miles (if turbocharged) or 7500k miles (if not turbocharged); transmission fluid (and differential(s)) should have been changed at 30k miles then every 60k; brake fluid every two years; coolant every 4 years and replace the radiator, water pump and thermostat between 75k and 100k miles; air filter every 30k miles and fuel filter every 50k miles. Over 10 years, you will have brake work and at least one battery and two sets of tires. BMW's do cost more to operate, but they are cheaper to maintain than to repair.

    I'm sure I am forgetting something. If you want to keep it for the long haul, maintain it and you will love it forever.

  • sunny48sunny48 Member Posts: 24

    Have someone check the cylinder head bolts when they check out the car for you. There is a post on here showing that they can be an expensive repair if not under warranty. They are aluminum and some shear off. Otherwise, this sounds like a lovely car.

  • jks24jks24 Member Posts: 67

    Help please!! 2014, 12,400 miles, 535i- negotiated 52,400 for the car-Lux package, Lux seating, nag, Lux lighting, sunroof, park assist. Karmon radio, what should I pay? I cannot find a used price for a 5 2014 anywhere. Thank you!!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482

    Why don't you cut and paste your post into this topic? You'll probably get a faster response:

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