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Buying a Used 3-Series

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Comments

  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    This is an '04 coupe. (The 325Ci coupe typically cost a couple grand more than the 325i sedan when new.) You know the history... Low mileage... Excellent condition... Lots of options, including both the Sports and Premium Packages... $20,781!

    What are you waiting for? ;)
  • pacoman2pacoman2 Posts: 1
    I discovered this great site today. I am from Canada, Victoria BC to be exact. I see on the internet prices seem to be about $5000 less in the USA then where I live. Does anyone have a suggestion of any web site I should be looking at on the internet as to the best location to buy, ie state or city, as I will fly out and drive back.I am looking for a 2003 325 as that fits my budget...
  • aesparkyaesparky Posts: 1
    I found a 2003 BMW M3 SMG for 18K thats in in prestine condition which i think is a pretty good deal but I dont know much about BMW's. If anyone can help me. What questions should I ask him about the car. :confuse:
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The first question I would ask is, why are they selling it for half it's Kelly Blue Book value?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 123,000
    It is a scam.. E-mail the seller, and you'll soon find out..

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,126
    Way too cheap; think salvage title, flood car, theft recovery...

    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

  • robl1robl1 Posts: 25
    Car #1 2004 BMW 325xi, 16k miles, CPO, Premium, cold weather, xenons. Many light scratches on finish. Clean Carfax. BMW dealer asking $27,800.

    Car #2 2003 BMW 330xi 32k miles, premium package (Chevy dealer, not CPO). Clean Carfax and nice car but on test drive had vibration at highway speed like a wheel was not balanced properly. Told salesman I woouldn't consider car until I could test it again without vibration. He said we could make a deal contingent on this being satisfactorily resolved but I won't negotiate till I can get a good test drive. I thought I could use this car to help with BMW dealer negotiations.

    Anyway car 2 would be great if not for vibration problem.
    What would be a reasonable offer for Car 1?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,126
    Well, it all comes down to how much you value the extra power of the 330xi. I would definitely have the 330ixi inspected by a good BMW tech; the Chevy techs probably have trouble changing wiper blades on Cobalts- never mind troubleshooting a vibration issue on an AWD BMW.
    As for the asking price of the 325xi, it sounds about right. To confirm this go to BMW NA's CPO model search and find comparable cars within a few hundred miles of your location. I've found that there is usually $1000-$3000 of wiggle room built into the price, depending on the car, the dealer, and how long the unit has been on the lot. I'd offer $24,000 and be happy with a final number around $26,000+TTL.

    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

  • robl1robl1 Posts: 25
    Roadburner: You may be right on in your price call for the 325xi, I offered $24,900 by email and he countered with $26,400. I assume this means he would take a $26,000 counter offer. The car would be warranteed til 2/24/10 but I certainly wouldn't put 100,000 miles on by then. Free maintenance ends 2/24/08. I wonder if I should offer to pay $26,400 but ask him to throw in 100,000 mile maintenance (which is worth $1000).
    For the 330xi I have a good BMW mechanic to inspect it. I don't need or crave the extra power however. Also a review of posts at edmunds shows a lot of tire complaints with the 2003 330xi and I suspect the vibration is a tire issue.
  • digby3690digby3690 Posts: 3
    Looking at 325i 2006 with premium and sport package has 27000 miles for $28028. We have looked in our smaller community and do not have quite the selection. We have been quoted slightly higher price with less options.

    Thanks in advance
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,126
    I wonder if I should offer to pay $26,400 but ask him to throw in 100,000 mile maintenance (which is worth $1000).

    Well, the worst he can say is no... :D

    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

  • canman1971canman1971 Posts: 61
    Hey Guys, I just bought a 04 325IT Wagon with 37000 miles on it for 23000 on paper. They gave me 29000 for my trade, which was more than I paid for it, so I think I made out pretty well. Great shape, it is black with no scratches, which amazes me. My question is, where can I get a good after market warranty? I still have time. The dealer wanted my to buy theirs, but it was 1720, which I know is robbery. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  • donnabgood1donnabgood1 Posts: 39
    I personally wouldn't buy anything other than a BMW manufact. warranty, period. what was the quote 1720 for? 6 years/100k thru BMW? If so buy it. If was a not a BMW dealership where you bought your car and not a BMW service contract then go to a BMW center and get their 6/100k from them directly..before you hit 4 years or 50k miles.

    Congrats on your new Bimmer.
  • canman1971canman1971 Posts: 61
    Thanks for your quick response. What does that go for from BMW? I didn't get it from a BMW dealer. The previous, and only owner, bought it from the one near my house. Have you heard anything about warranty direct?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,126
    1. Join the BMW Car Club of America
    2. Find a good independent BMW tech. Don't even think about taking it to places like Jiffy Boob.
    3. The E46 has proven to be a very reliable vehicle, so forget the non-BMW extended warranties; they are legalized gambling- and the house almost always wins. Instead, put $1500 in a money market account as a cushion for unexpected repairs, which should be few and far between. That assumes that your 3er receives proper maintenance.
    4. Enjoy the drive.

    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

  • canman1971canman1971 Posts: 61
    1. I think I already did, but I have to check. This is my second BMW. I had a 2000 323i, and had a extended warranty, which did pay for itself after I needed a new radiator, new ball joints, 2 new window motors, and a rear coil spring.

    2. I do have a good BMW tech. He did all the work on my last car. I'll go to the dealership for the next year though cause I still have the warranty and maintenance plan.

    3. Yeah, I am always skeptical of these things, but my last warranty paid for itself due to some repairs.

    4. Thank, already enjoying it. Quite a difference going from a BMW to a FJ Cruiser back to a BMW.
  • robl1robl1 Posts: 25
    I ended up buying a 2003 330xi but not from the Chevy dealer but from my local foreign car repair shop (they also sell lots of off lease Mercedes, Audi and BMW cars). Premium package, steptronic, Harmon Kardon etc. New tires, new brakes. 1 year/12000 mile bumper to bumper warrantee. Price $23,430 (includes all dmv fees) + $1405 sales tax = $24,835 OTD. Nice ride and handling but I probably also would have done fine with the 325xi.
  • kandie2kandie2 Posts: 1
    I am thinking of buying a '94 325iC for me and my son to share - he has been wanting a car and I would like to have a second one anyway. I have done research on the pricing it is listed at $7900, but after averaging the retail price on kelly, edmunds, and nada, I am prepared to pay only up to $6500 - it has 125K miles and is listed as a certified used car. My question is regarding maintenance and upkeep on getting a car this old. The mileage is actually pretty low for the year and it seems to be in pretty good condition and it is a certified used car. Do you think this is a good buy for the price?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I never heard of a car being certified at 13 years old and 125K. Who is certifying it and what does that mean? Not BMW.

    My two cents is that such a car is high risk for trouble. I'd prefer you chose a BMW with fewer miles. But others may disagree---it's only my two cents remember...

    Price seems high also, so it had better be an absoutely pristine unit.

    If you're hot for it: a)run a CARFAX b) have it checked top to bottom by a BMW independent shop (about $150 bucks) and c) ask to see all service records.
  • raudiaudiraudiaudi Posts: 8
    I have narrowed it down to three options with BMW
    1. Lease a 2007 335i or 2007 328i (I will see if the turbos are worth the extra dough when I drive it). If anyone has payment numbers on these two cars with a 36 mo. lease, I would like to know what to expect.

    2. The local dealer has a 2004 525i with 15k and is CPO asking 38.9k I think I could talk them down a bit and go with BMW's 2.9% 60 mo. financing. Downside, BMW is very vague about the CPO program, at their website, they state under the covered tab--engine, transmission, then under the what is not covered, they state engine, transmission, it seems to me that they have sort of a carte blanche type attitude if they will take care of a problem under the CPO---SCARY!!! Any bad experiences with BMW CPO? Also the 4/50k will be up sometime in 2008, I will have to see the in service date. And I know this is a 3 series blog, but again this is what I might do.

    3. Go with a 2004 3 series with the E46, which I have heard was a great car if you stay away from the completely sealed and unmaintenanceable auto tranny of the 2000-2001 years. But the cracking rear subframe issue has me very afraid of even touching the car, bummer about this car because I would love to own one and feel for those that do. So there again, it leaves me with a 2004 5 series to avoid the rear subframe problem that to my knowledge is part of the 3-series up until 2005 or go with an 07 3 series. I will take any opinions or guidance in this matter.

    Life is expensive, get a good job to pay for it all!

    Thanks in advance..
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 123,000
    The best lease deals are on the 328i model, but they aren't outstanding.. AWD models are considerably more expensive to lease.

    The '04 525i will be painfully slow... 184 hp.. Also, first year of production...lots of glitches (not with the engine, though).

    E46 3 series? Get the performance package model.. Sedans from '03-'05 and coupes up through '06.. Go CPO if you can find it.. '05-'06 models will be $28K-$34K for nice CPO versions..

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • raudiaudiraudiaudi Posts: 8
    Good idea about the 525i, don't want to get stuck with a slow car...

    I don't need AWD, I had Quattro in an A4 and it was great for Colorado, but now that I will be in Las Vegas, I don't see the point unless I want it to really rally around the corners.

    The E46, from other forums that I have read refers to the 3 series cars that have been prone to the rear of the subframe cracking. But the E92, which began in 2006 I guess doesn't have this problem. Please educate me if I am incorrect on this. So I guess that leaves the '06 CPO or new 2007, which I will have to evaluate price and lease offers.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 123,000
    The subframe issue is real... But, I think we are talking about less than 5% of the models (maybe, way less). And, it is probably something you could have checked before buying.

    I wouldn't avoid the model because of that issue.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Subframe cracking is more common that you'd think. Saabs were great for that. My suspicion is that low profile 18" and larger tires are one reason for this.
  • crnhskr80crnhskr80 Posts: 2
    Hello Everyone:

    New forum member here - great feedback from what I have read so far. I am looking to purchase a 2001 BMW 330ci convertible. The car has 35,000 miles. I would welcome comments on this specific model or the 2001 3-series in general.

    Thank you.
  • peekapeeka Posts: 3
    I recently purchased a 325i 02' sedan. It has 74k miles. Im not concerned w/ the miles since I have 2 others and both ran awesome. My 97' 328i ran up to 190k miles and never had any issues. This was a spur of the moment and I had no time to shop for financing so I paid cash (using my credit card) for the vehicle. Now that it is mine, I would like to obtain a loan for the car. I'm having trouble finding any lenders to secure the loan because of the mileage. Is it even possible? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    have you tried e-loan.com?
  • albrtkimalbrtkim Posts: 1
    Hello all, I am interested in buying a used bmw at an auction which would have high mileage (67k to 110K) (I previously bought a 00 7 Series with 169000 mileage at the same aunction for $6400,$1k in repairs, ran fine, but sold it since i was in school and couldn't afford the upkeep), but I just graduated, I want to avoid car payments, so i figure since i would buy it cash, with no car note, I would have the extra money fix it (when necessary). Keep in mind I still have my college car 00 focus with 150k miles on it. Any suggestions with the long term upkeep of a older high mileage Bimmer.
    Or should i just get a post college Honda, and work my way up to new Bimmer.

    Thanks in advance
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think a 3 series under 80K miles might be a decent risk, but over 100K, you're going to run into the same upkeep problems you had last time. Usually (but not always), higher mileage auction cars have been kicked around a lot from owner to owner and dealer to dealer. These are not lease returns or rental units, so more risky IMO.
  • oceana143oceana143 Posts: 38
    with CPO, how much room is there generally for negotiations. For example, if the car is offered for $26,900 but Edmunds TMV is about $25,500, how much of a dollar amount or % are they generally willing to talk?
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