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Buying a Used 3-Series



  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,294
    I'd guess that $26,000 would be a fair price.

    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

  • 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    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.

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  • 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: 64,880
    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: 10,294
    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).

    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

  • 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: 22,103
    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.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    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.

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  • 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.

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,294
    The 328i is a LOT more fun with the manual. The 335i automatic is a much better combination- although I'd still prefer a manual...

    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

  • I will manual is a lot more fun in general, but I just couldn't find any manuals. Probably 99% of the BMWs now days are automatic.
  • Am looking at a 2001 330i convertible with just under 50k on appears to be in good shape - just under $16K price it a keeper?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,294
    it appears to be in good shape

    As always, I strongly recommend a pre-purchase inspection performed by a good BMW tech. Once you know the true condition of the car you can begin to discuss price.

    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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    "all new cars are the same, but each used car is different" the value is very much pinned to the condition, service records and owner history. Once you know THOSE things, then the question of value is easier to research.

    That's why getting a pre-sale inspection is important. But at least drive the car first. Even if you aren't a mechanic, you can often tell if some very important components aren't working right. You can also look and smell and learn a lot.

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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited October 2011
    To underscore your point...

    My son has been looking for a used car and had settled on a mid to late 1990s Audi 90/A4 2.8 Quattro 5-Speed; the first car we drove was a late production Audi 90 with only 90,000 miles on it and in very nice shape. A few dogs with fleas later we drove a nearly cherry looking A4 a year or three newer than the 90 and with 140,000 miles on the clock.

    On the surface the Audi 90 was a better deal because the only obvious flaw was a crack in one headlight lens; on the other hand, the A4 was desperately in need of rear struts and brakes and had a few other cosmetic flaws (and also had a complete service history from its one and only owner). Which one did we buy? The A4 with 140,000 miles on it. Why? Because after a good long test drive in the Audi 90 I stopped by a Dunkin Donuts, grabbed a few napkins and swabbed out the tail pipe tips. When I pulled the napkins out they were saturated with a considerable amount of oil; the same test (which was one of many) on the A4 revealed some nice grey dust. :)
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The old napkin in the tailpipe trick!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Funny thing, in all of the years I've been looking at old cars for friends and such, this is the first time I've ever actually seen a tail pipe with any significant oil in it.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    heh...I would have thought you'd start a fire ;)
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited October 2011
    I'm actually surprised you found any. I wouldn't think any oil could make it that far back through the chain. Whatever the headers don't crisp, I would think the heat all the way down the chain (and the cats and muffler) would catch/vaporize anything left.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm thinking plenty of oil can make its way through the system before everything gets all hotted up; I checked maybe ten minutes into the drive, long enough to allow anything heading downstream to make it to the end, but not long enough for everything in the system to burn off.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    That makes sense.
  • foxyesqfoxyesq Posts: 26
    I am considering purchasing a certified 3 Series. The Car Fax report indicates that the car has been in accident, but comes up negative for airbag deployment. Since it is certified and no airbag deployment, I assume that the accident was minor (probably a fender-bender that someone reported for insurance and liability reasons). However, I am skeptical about purchasing a car that has been in a reported accident and don't know if I can completely trust the fact that the car is okay based upon the fact that its certified and looks good to me.

    I looked over the care carefully and cannot find anything wrong but I am not an expert. Should I pass on this vehicle, take it to a mechanic or trust the certification process and go with it? The asking price seems reasonable (perhaps a bit low) and probably accounts for the fact that the car was in an accident. What do you think? :confuse:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    edited October 2011
    The BMW Standards state that a car cannot have a "disqualifying" CARFAX report. So the question you need to ask is what is a "disqualifying" CARFAX criteria? My impression is that some minor damage doesn't disqualify a car but the CPO standards are, I believe, pretty specific on what constitutes minor damage. If entire panels have been replaced that's a different story than a dent and some paintwork IMO.

    You should ask to read the manual of their CPO standards that covers this, just in case.

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  • foxyesqfoxyesq Posts: 26
    I was able to find a brochure with BMW's CPO standards on the web. Very interesting for anyone who is looking for a CPO --even with a clean Carfax (body standards are on page 8).

    The link to the brochure is:

    My belief is that it is up to the dealer to certify that the car complies with BMW's standards. There are some unscrupulous dealers out there. However, my feeling is that if it is certified and shouldn't have been, there is a warranty and recourse against the dealer and BMW. Anyone agree or disagree?">link title
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    Well sure, there isn't going to be someone from the BMW factory doing this at every dealership---so the dealer does the certifying and, one would hope, makes BMW itself legally liable to back that up.

    The manual says:

    "For the purpose of evaluating CPO Program Eligibility, any
    vehicle where a Component as listed on the Unibody Review Chart has been replaced WILL NOT be eligible for
    CPO enrollment. Vehicles where these components have been repaired will qualify for enrollment provided that the
    repair conforms to the functional requirements of the body component (example: doors meet alignment and operation
    standards if the rocker or pillar[s] were subject to repair)."

    So what I'm reading here is that a car could take a pretty hard smack, but if it were all straightened out and no welding or gluing of panels, rockers, A pillars, etc, took place, then it could be CPO.

    Okay, good detective work! Now we know a lot more than we did yesterday.

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  • I had a new 2006 325iX and it would hesitate as much as 3 seconds whenever I tried to accelerate from anywhere near 30 mph like to pass somebody such as slow truck or a bus. That delay was the most annoying characteristic of any car I have ever driven. I had at the dealer at least 3 times and the loaner cars they gave me all had the same identical problem - 330i, 328i, 325i. The dealer was not able to do anything about it besides lip service and I came to realize that it was a characteristic of the car. It seems to be caused by the Steptronic transmission that shifts sequencially so when it downshifts from 5 to 3 lets say, it holds off the engine until it completes the shift. As I said it can take as long as 3 seconds. Making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic is something you can't do, as well as passing on a winding country road, the 3 seconds might put you in a compromised position. If you are thinking about buying a 3 series any year, be sure to test drive it. Take the car up to about 35 mph and then demand power suddenly as if to pass someone. You will see what I mean. Its not at all the ultimate driving machine.
  • I had a 2006iX and it had a hesitation problem whenever you accelerated as if to pass someone. The dealer couldn't fix the problem and all the loaner cars they gave me had the same thing. When you test drive this car, bring it up to about 35mph and try to accelerate. You will notice a definite hesitation as much as 3 secnods. If this doesn't bother you then go for it. I could not deal with it.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I think the thing you're missing is that if it has an automatic transmission, it isn't an ultimate driving anything. If you want a true BMW, get one with a stick.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,294
    I think the thing you're missing is that if it has an automatic transmission, it isn't an ultimate driving anything. If you want a true BMW, get one with a stick.

    Exactly- but even so, the 325i and 328i slushboxes I've driven have not displayed any adverse driving characteristics(if you don't count the missing third pedal).

    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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