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Buying a Used 3-Series



  • .......and make sure it is rear wheel drive. An automatic transmission or an Xi only give you half a bag, and don't let bad weather scare you. My 325i with snow tires is better in the snow than my wife's X3 with all-seasons. I will attest to that. I had a 325Xi for about 9 months several years ago and it just does not handle as well as my current 325i. I only drive manual in my cars, but when I drive my wife's X3 I shift her automatic transmission so I have never experienced what you are talking about. I will have to drive it in pure auto mode and see if I notice anything.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Agreed, RWD rules! :shades:
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 11,837
    I only drive manual in my cars, but when I drive my wife's X3 I shift her automatic transmission so I have never experienced what you are talking about. I will have to drive it in pure auto mode and see if I notice anything.

    The autobox in my wife's X3 shifts fine in manual or automatic mode.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • ghareghare Posts: 1
    Hi there, I am thinking of buying a 1993 320i with 68,000K for $5,500. It appears to be in excellent shape, other than one annoying feature, that being a loose fitting cloth material loosely fitted on the inside door panel. The seller says this is normal but I have never seen this before. I first thought it was placed there to somehow protect the cloth on the door by the owner. This car came from japan and has had only 2 owners since new and hardly driven, maybe comments on price and any other tidbits of info would be appreciated
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,218
    Is this here in the US? Is it a sedan, coupe, or convertible?

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • I am considering buying a 1999 BMW 323i as my car to finish out my last year at college and to drive to job interviews with. I need some advice on basic maintenance costs (tune-up, oil changes, tires, etc.). I've been shopping around for a nice used car for a couple weeks and found the BMW on the used dealer lot while I was looking at another car. The BMW doesn't appear to have any physical problems and has approximately 110k miles on it. In my research a lot of people seem to have needed to do a lot of the more expensive repairs before the 80k mark.
    Any ideas on what kinds of repairs I might be looking at? Is it possible to get a look at the maintenance records for the car (I read in one consumer review that BMW doesn't release those)?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,218
    will you be doing your own maintenance or paying someone else? If someone else, who? Dealer or indy shop? Taking a bimmer to a bimmer dealer is very expensive. If you have an indy shop that specializes in them, I would give them a call and ask what they charge for various basic preventative maintenance items.

    BTW, tires aren't specific to BMW, so that will cost you the same as any other car with the same size tires.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 63,427
    I'd certainly join the BMW Club ( to take advantage of their discounts and advice in their forums. That should cut costs somewhat. I'd have someone look the car over, especially things like control arm bushings. I'd also have someone tug on the upper radiator hose to see if the radiator inlet pipe breaks off (stand back!).

    Also play with all the dials and switches, and check the HVAC system for proper function.

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  • Hello Folks..Just came across a pre-owned 2013 328i deal. It has 21000 miles in ~1yr and it was sold to the dealer in a Manufacturer Vehicle Auction. It is Lux line+Prem Pack+Tech Pack+Cold weather pack+Lighting pack+Driver Assis Pack and the dealer has very good price tag on the vehicle. Any suggestions/experience with Manufacturer Vehicle? I really love the deal, however, I am not familiar with Manufacturer Vehicle handling..?? Are 21000miles/yr too much? Is it a good call to buy the vehicle..? Any suggestions would be appreciated..!! I'm California.
  • I own three 3-Series BMW's, more because my wife and kids like them rather than my own personal tastes. Here are some things I've learned:

    1. My wife's 2008 328xi has a chronic a/c problem, which the dealer has never been able to fix. As a result, the Freon has to be recharged frequently. The dealer has tried to stick me with the cost of repair on this issue. I had to raise hell with them to get them not to charge me, and to warrant the work they've done. If you do a little research online, you'll find out that this has been a problem for 3-Series BMW's, but BMW won't do a recall on it.

    2. Everything that the dealer does is going to be expensive. My wife's car had a no-cost maintenance deal on it. Once that ran out, we've been taking the car to a repair shop with a mechanic who knows BMW's. This has been considerably cheaper.

    3. Take the car to a mechanic you trust for an inspection BEFORE you buy the car. The dealer will not want to let you do this, but do not back down. The mechanic should produce a report on any issues with the car, along with the cost of repairs. The inspection should cost you $100, but it is well worth it. I have walked away from two cars that I had planned on buying based on the mechanic inspection. On the flip side, another time the garage was so impressed with a car I was looking at it that one of the owners stopped by to tell me to buy the car.
  • subbu1subbu1 Posts: 4
    Am planning to buy a used 2008 328xi with 50k miles on it. Has sports package and premium package and asking price is around $18k. However when I test drove it, it was pulling way to the right side. Seller told me that the front tires need to be replaced and he had replaced the rear tires with gft abt 5k miles ago..also the alloy wheels seems to have some dust accumulated and he said that it was the brake dust as it has the sport package. Can anyone advise me if this is normal? And if it might indicate any issues. I would get it checked before I buy it anyways but wanted to get some opinions from the experts. Also any common issues I should watch out for..
  • Hi, while this is almost a year after the fact I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. I had a 2002 VW Passat with cloth seats and door panels...they did the same thing and I thought it was unusual until I did a little research and found that many of them do that, seems that the adhesive just breaks down and no longer will hold. Plus the it to my daughter and they would take it to a place to get it cleaned and they used super strong vacuums on the door cloth..helped loosen it I'm sure...traded it last week for a 2007 328i...the VW had less than 62k on it...had it for 11 years...was 2 owner.
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