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Buying a Used 3-Series



  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,389


    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • a good deal ? or not...
  • I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago. I just looked at a silver 2004 325 xi at a Honda dealer. The car has 89K miles, has been on their lot for almost two months, and does not appear to have had the normal detailing work done on it.

    They have put two new Bridgestone tires on the back, but there is a Continental tire on the left front and a Goodyear on the right front. They have agreed to put matching Bridgestone's on the front.

    The car is also a smoker's car, with a noticeable although not overpowering cigarette smell. They have offered to try to get the smell out in connection with detailing the car.

    The car was originally listed for $11,999. They have lowered the price to $10,999. They reduced the price an additional $250 today without my making an offer.

    I plan on having the car checked out by my mechanic prior to any purchase, as I am not mechanically inclined. Any thoughts on the pricing and/or negotiating strategies?

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,389
    Does your mechanic really know BMWs? If not, find a real BMW tech. In any case, the mismatched tires tell me that the previous owner couldn't afford to -or didn't care to- properly maintain the car. E46 3ers aren't exactly rare, and I'm sure that there are better ones out there.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I second roadburner's suggestion; give this car a pass and keep looking.
  • quraeshiquraeshi Posts: 3
    Can anyone tell me what the galves # is for a BMW 535i 2008
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,268
    Anywhere from $500 to $30k.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • with the current intrest rates. Why don't you just step un and get a new 3 series. i got 0.9% financing. New 3 is much nice in general and much prettier.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited April 2011
    I don't think 0.9% financing makes up for the $30,000+ difference in price between a new 328i and a 10 year-old 330i.

    And to answer the original question, I'd personally choose the E46 over the E36.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,386
    hey fedlawman! Where have you been? Everything OK?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited April 2011
    Hey NYC, nice to hear from you. Thanks for asking!

    I've been lurking...not much to contribute to the forums I guess. These threads all seem to be going in circles lately, just new people jumping in and asking the same old questions.

    Everything's great though. My M is still going strong.

    BMW really needs to introduce the FWD 1-Series so we can get some lively discussions going again!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Did you go looking for a used car and find that prices were so high that it made more sense to buy a new car instead? Or found that your trade-in was worth a lot more than you expected?

    If so, a reporter wants to interview you. Please email no later than 3pm Eastern on Thursday, May 5, 2011 and include your daytime contact information.
  • sirius9sirius9 Posts: 13
    edited May 2011
    Looking at a 2009 328xi automatic black/black sedan with 36k miles for ~$25k (not including tax). Clean carfax, 1 owner, had maintenance at 20k miles and 35k miles. Hesitant cuz of the mileage - thoughts? Anything I should look for specifically when I check it out? TIA.

    p.s. - Carfax shows floor mats were installed twice at the beginning of the life of the car for some reason. Non-CPO cuz it's at a VW dealer (was previously leased from BMW, then a trade-in to VW). Brakes and tires are original.
  • arctic56arctic56 Posts: 17
    You don't mention how it is equipped, so it is hard to comment on price. The mileage should be of no concern. I always wonder why some are CPO'd and some are not. It is typically determined by a calculation of what it will cost to bring it to CPO level versus what the will be able to sell it for. It is also determined by how much they have to buy it from BMW finance for. Body damage and or tires are some of the major factors for the first point. The floor mat issue could be that there are factory available carpet and rubber floor mats. Both may have been replaced which isn't uncommon. Have someone check for body damage and repaint. That would be my guess. Carfax only tells you what someone makes an effort to report, so it is not the final word. Good luck.
  • sirius9sirius9 Posts: 13
    It seems to have xenon, keyless, sunroof, cold weather package and some components of premium - lumbar, power adjust, memory seating--not sure on the leather though.

    It's not CPO'd cuz it's not a BMW dealer--that's my guess.

    My hesitation with the mileage is someone racked up ~18k a year since they had it (it's only 2 years old)--this shouldn't be a consideration?

    I have to drive 1.5 hours to get to the car, have to find a 3rd party mechanic that's not my normal guy...hopefully that goes over well.

    Thanks again.
  • sirius9sirius9 Posts: 13
    The 2009 328xi black/black sedan with 36,500 miles is actually a base model with only single disc cd player, sunroof, heated seats. Tested the heck out of the brakes, and they seem good and tires are about 6/32nds. The VW dealer will warranty everything for 3 months too, and I'm still covered under the factory warranty for about ~13k miles or til 2013.

    $24,750+dealer fee+tax

    Any thoughts on this deal, arctic? Thanks.
  • scottfreenscottfreen Posts: 1
    Hey Guys

    im looking at buying a used 2010 328i from a bmw dealer with 13k miles. in terms of features its got

    M Sport Package, Value Package, Moonroof, Power Front Seats With Memory, BMW Assist With Bluetooth, Satellite Radio4-Wheel ABS, Climate Control, Dual Zone A/C, A/C, Rear A/C, Vehicle Anti-Theft System, AM/FM Stereo, CD Player, Auxiliary Audio Input, HD Radio, Rear Wheel Drive, Gasoline Fuel, Heated Mirrors, Heated Exterior Driver Mirror, Heated Exterior Passenger Mirror, Power Door Locks, Power Steering, Driver Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag On/Off Switch, Side Air Bag, Side Head Air Bag, Rear Head Air Bag, Leather Seats, Bucket Seats, Adjustable Steering Wheel, Tires - Front Performance, Tires - Rear Performance, Traction Control.

    Its not certified though. I was told that bmw does not certify some cars if they are newish/low miliage as it add to the price (thats at least what the dealers say when i ask them why its not certified). The funny thing is other dealers i have spoke with say "never" buy a used car if its not certified". "if bmw wont certify it something most be wrong" What also purturbs me is that I saw a similar car same model/year/similar miliage but with the premium package that was certified.

    The price point is where i want to be at 33K out the door. Does that sound like good deal? Is there something I am missing in regards to it not being certified and when i look at the car what should else should I be looking for (this is my first bmw)?

    I've also noticed that prices vary alot based on geography. I found at 2011 in Atlanta with 12300 miles for 30K before taxes. that seem like a heck of a deal (I'm in southwest). thats a big clip from las vegas prices. also the prices seem cheap on the east coast NYC area. is that just due to possible wear and tear from the cold weather? gId=66025579&listingRecNum=1&criteria=sf1Dir%3DASC%26mkId%3D20005%26stkTyp%3DU%2- 6mdId%3D20444%26rd%3D100000%26mlgId%3D28867%26crSrtFlds%3DstkTypId-feedSegId-mkI- d-mdId-mlgId-yrId-prcId%26zc%3D85226%26prcId%3D28828%26rn%3D0%26PMmt%3D1-1-0%26s- tkTypId%3D28881%26sf2Dir%3DASC%26sf1Nm%3Dprice%26yrId%3D34923%26sf2Nm%3Dmiles%26- rpp%3D50%26feedSegId%3D28705&aff=national

    thanks again

  • sg208sg208 Posts: 5
    It's possible. I just got a 07 328xi with 44k miles in Utah over the weekend and the price was $3K lower than what I can get in Idaho, where I live. It was only 5 hours ride home so I took the plunge. If you can save $3K by travelling a few hours, I'd say DO IT. You get a change to drive long in your new used bimmer. Atlanta from the southwest maybe a bit crazy but definitely doable.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 66,612
    CL ad..

    Over 100K miles, but looks decent....


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,386
    And It is a stick too. Yummy!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • ronsteveronsteve LooavulPosts: 437
    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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,838
    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.

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,389
    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

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • ronsteveronsteve LooavulPosts: 437
    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: 19,657
    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: 10,389
    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.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

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