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Buying a Used 3-Series

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Comments

  • gerry100gerry100 Posts: 100
    Silly question but do the late model 3s usaul regular or premium gas?
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,634
    High Test Only, please!

    Remember Sinclair? I believe there was a Brontosaurus on the sign in Henna Red print.

    image

    Regards,
    OW
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I guess this type of humor is too sophisticated for me...
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 11,257
    I actually looked into ordering a Dakar ti through BMW Individual. They were going to charge me something like $3K for the "special color"- even though Dakar was available on the M Sport ti in Europe...

    And what's so bad about Henna Red?

    image

    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

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    It looks fine in photos. Get it out in the sun and it looks like vomit, IMHO... :surprise:
  • gerry100gerry100 Posts: 100
    Not to change the topic on my own thread but IMHO-

    Corvetts and Ferraris are bright red.

    BMWs and Porsche should be be sivler,Black, white or even better some of the very cool blues or intermediate colors offered.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    Get it out in the sun and it looks like vomit (Henna Red)

    Internal bleeding can be serious. You should see a doctor right away! :surprise:

    james
  • kc1976kc1976 Posts: 11
    Shipo,

    Thanks for your suggestion.

    This is the car I am looking at.
    http://www.shopautobahn.com/Flash/Used_InventoryFrame.html

    After comparing the Carfax report and the warranty report, I find that this car was CPOed in July and was sold to a new onwer in Aug. Somehow after only 2 months, the car was back to the dealer. In another word, the car may not be a CPO, it is just a used car with extended warranty.

    Do you think I should buy this car? Is there anything else I should watch out?

    Thanks a lot!

    KC
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Once a car is CPOed, it stays CPOed until the extended warranty expires. Now, that it only lasted in the second owner's possession is a red flag to me. Why the heck did they turn the car in such a short period of time?

    Look at it this way, there are LOTS of used 3-Series cars out there to choose from, and the best way to approach this is from a detached perspective. If you fall in love with a particular car before the rational side of your brain is satisfied, they you're likely setting yourself up for problems.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 11,257
    Do you think I should buy this car? Is there anything else I should watch out?

    I agree with Shipo. There are plenty of CPO 3ers out there, so you can afford to be patient and picky. That said, if you really, REALLY like this particullar car you could always see if the dealer will give you the name of the previous owner. There are any number of reasons why the car was returned- and not all of them are bad...

    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

  • kc1976kc1976 Posts: 11
    Shipo and roadburner,

    Thanks for your suggestion. I test drive the car today. This time I looked at the car more carefully. It does not have the typical certified preowned sticker on its windshield. When I asked the sales guy whether it is a CPO car, he said it is and when the 2nd owner turn in the car, they would go through the CPO process once again. But when I asked him for the inspection checklist, the only thing he can show me is the inspection checklist dated on July.

    I have the same thinking process as Shipo. I don't understand why someone would want to lose few thousands dollar in two months, which makes me feel really uncomfortable.

    I like this car because it is only 1 year old. It has 3 more years original warranty and 2 years extended warranty which can minimize my operating cost if I want to keep the car for 5 years. But I think I'm going to skip this one and keep looking.

    Several thoughts about E90
    I really like its style. The key is pretty cool. The car is pretty quite and stable when I'm driving. I guess it's because the dealer change the tires to non run flat. Just like other E90 owners, I don't like the cupholders. Also I don't feel comfortable with the brake. It does not repsond quite well for some reason.

    Shipo and roadburner, again really appreciate your suggestion.

    KC
  • My dad always told me to take any used car to an independent mechanic and ask for an evaluation before buying it. I'm looking at an '05 330 vert that is CPO'd and I'm wondering how valuable this really is. I've never purchased any used cars under any type of certification program before. Is this redundant and a waste of money or just being a smart shopper?

    Thanks,
    JR
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 11,257
    It really depends on the dealer. I've bought two CPO cars from Swope BMW in Louisville KY and was completely satisfied in each case- without an inspection. Unfortunately, some dealers aren't as competent. If the dealer has a decent reputation(particularly with the local BMW CCA members) the car can probably be purchased without the need for an independent inspection.

    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

  • kc1976kc1976 Posts: 11
    The problem the CPO dealer might be the only BMW dealer in the area. If you don't trust them, who else you can trust?

    I have been looking for my first CPO in the past couple months. I notice that different dealer handles CPO quite differently. Some dealers would CPO anything unless the car had accident before. Some dealer only CPO selected vehicles. So browse the dealer's inventory and compare with the Carfax report, you would probably know the standard of each dealer.

    KC
  • Hi guys,
    From the previous posts, I've gleaned that you're all quite knowledgable with anything BMW. And so, I'd like to get your opinion.
    Making my first BMW purchase this weekend (yikes!), previously owned a cute Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus. Finally decided to upgrade to a 2006 325 i. Have seen a few out there...ranging from $28K to $34K with mileage in the 20-30K range. Only interested in CPO. Pretty much no additional options, except automatic transmission. I'm going to try and negotiate for $25.5K. Do you think this is reasonable? I really think $34K is ridiculous, considering you can get an '07 for that much.
  • I'm looking to purchase a late model E46 for my wife... something with a minimum of Sport Seats.

    Two cars have caught my attention and I was wondering what people thought were fair prices.

    Car #1: 2005 330i ZHP (performance package) w/20k miles (Private Party Sales)
    Pretty much has everything on it, Sat Nav, Cold Weather Pkg, Xenon, all the creature comforts - just no automatic (of course)

    They are asking $32,900 OBO which puts it over the PP sale using edmunds calculator.

    Car #2: 2004 330i Ci Convertable w 33k miles (Used Car Dealer)
    Automatic, Sports Package, Performance Package, Automatic, Xenon, Cold Weather Package

    They are asking $28,700 which seems like a pretty reasonable deal (which is at Trade In value using edmunds calculator - initially suspicious given the low price).

    Both cars have clean Car Fax reports, but will be taking either one to an indy mechanic.

    Dave
  • kc1976kc1976 Posts: 11
    Hello all,

    I am about to reach a deal.

    2005 CPO 325ci 26K miles, one lease return
    Premium Package
    Sport Package (but no 17inch alloy)
    Black
    Xenon Headlight
    Leatherette

    Asking for $24,500 which is about the same as Kelly Blue Book Retail.

    Do you think it is a good deal?

    A little bit info for the folks looking for a CPO. I happened to find out today that the MSRP for CPO is $1450 but the real cost for the dealer is $850. The dealer needs to do lots of work to bring the car to like new condition. However, some of the work are actually covered by original manufacturing warranty, which is free if you buy the same milegage and year car without CPO.

    KC
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 89,037
    How does it have the Sport package without 17" alloys?

    The coupe comes standard with the sport suspension, but the Sport package includes seats and 3-spoke steering wheel.. If it really has the Sport package, I'd want the 17" wheels..

    MODERATOR

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • kc1976kc1976 Posts: 11
    I don't understand either. But I checked the vehicle warranty information. It does have the sport package.

    kyfdx, do you think it is a reasonable deal?

    thanks

    KC
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 89,037
    If it's CPO, the deal looks decent.. What was the in-service date? Sometime in 2005 would be better than late 2004, obviously...

    I'd ask them to put 17" wheels on it... You'd probably get new rubber that way, also..

    Forget the warranty info... Does it have sport seats (manually adjustable thigh pad), and the 3-spoke sport steering wheel?

    MODERATOR

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • kc1976kc1976 Posts: 11
    Hi Kyfdx

    The in service date was July 05.

    My bad. I actually went to see the car one more time today. It does have 17" wheels! Yes, it has the sport seats!

    The trade in value in KBB and Edmunds are at least $24K. I suspect the black book whole sale value is roughly $21K-$22K. And the dealership throws in CPO, 4 new tires and some recondition work, which cost about $2K. So I guess dealer can roughly earn $500-$1500 over the deal.

    If I can get the financing on time, I'll take it tomorrow.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    KC
  • Hi people

    I want to know BMW 2004 328 4DR Seden, 60000 miles Maintainese Cost If i bring the car to BMW dealer or Private body shop.
    For example.
    1 .Oil Change
    2. Replace tire and Tire Rotation (Do i have to use the tire from BMW dealer and how many miles i suppose to replace the tire?)
    3. Transmission Fluid
    4. Engine Cooltant
    5. Replace Spark Plug
    6. Replace brake Pad
    7. Replace brake
    8. Inspection
    9. Replace Head Light
    I heard after 5 years, BMW used car starts having small problems specially the electronic systems which is true?

    I appreciate for anyone's help.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    A 2004 328i? Sorry, doesn't exist, at least not here in the States anyway.
  • My Mistake. i mean to say BMW 2004 325i. It is a typo. I apologize
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 11,257
    I want to know BMW 2004 328 4DR Sedan, 60000 miles Maintainese Cost If i bring the car to BMW dealer or Private body shop.

    First off, if you haven't purchased the car yet, I would strongly advise you to have it inspected by a qualified BMW tech. Not much goes wrong on the newer 3 Series, but you still want to buy a good one.

    Now for your questions regarding costs. In most cases, the best way to keep maintenance costs reasonable is to find a GOOD independent BMW tech; you will save 25%-50% on service compared to the dealer. I also advise joining the BMW Car Club of America, since many independents and dealers offer 10%-20% discounts on parts and/or labor. All modern BMWs use a Service Interval Indicator to inform the driver when routine maintenance is required. On a 2004 325i an oil change will be called for at @15,000 mile intervals. A minor service(Inspection I) will come up at 30,000 miles and a major (Inspection II) service at 60,000 miles. I perform an "extra" oil change at 7,500 miles in my driveway. An oil change using synthetic oil will cost $60-$100, an Inspection I $150-$300, and an Inspection II $450-$800. Coolant must be changed every three years-using BMW Coolant ONLY, while the DOT4 brake fluid should get flushed every two years. I assume the car has an automatic? If so, in the newer cars I change the so-called "Lifetime" ATF fluid and final drive oil every 100,000 miles. Note that my mileage and cost numbers are approximate. For example, if you change the oil yourself using a BMW filter and Mobil 1 0W-40 or BMW 5W-30 synthetic the cost will be under $45. On the other hand, my local BMW dealer charges very reasonable rates for some of the services that I don't have the time and/or desire to perform. The dealer only charged me $110 to change the ATF AND the synthetic final drive oil on my wife's 5 Series, and they changed the coolant and the brake fluid on my 3er for just $143. Your car uses a more exotic ATF, so expect to pay $250-$450 more for the ATF service.

    As for tires, you best bet is Tire Rack. I have their tires shipped to one of their recommended installers who charges $10 per tire to mount and balance.

    I heard after 5 years, BMW used car starts having small problems specially the electronic systems which is true?

    In my experience, the common problems for 3 Series cars of that vintage are not that numerous. The water pump and radiator can be expected to need replacement at 60K-100K intervals. The power window regulators can be failure prone, but replacement is fairly simple- a DIY if you have a few tools. Otherwise, the E46(1999-2005) 3 Series cars have proven to be very durable. So much for the internet myth of unreliable BMWs. I have a 1995 318ti with over 112,000 miles on it and the only electrical items I've replaced are a couple of tail light bulbs and a brake light switch.

    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

  • Great Info ! I appreciate It!

    Sorry for my questions. I am educating myself since i really plan to get a BMW later.

    My Case:
    My friend is selling his 2004 BMW 325 AT for 20K but i am thinking to just get a new basic 2007/2008 BMW 328 to avoid those maintainse cost. I dont mind the 12K difference and i know BMW has 4 year free maintainese plan which sounds good. I am just worried how much i should spend on repair and maintainese after 4 years. (I plan to keep the car for 8-9 years). My prediction is driving 12K-15K miles per year and i am not a speeding driver.

    Question 1:
    To make it simple, from my case, if i get a new 328, after 4 years, how much i should expect to maintain/repair the car if i joined the club? I know a IS 350 is about $500 per year for maintainese + repair after 4-5 years and Acura TL is about 400$ as well but i can't find accurate number for BMW 325/328. From what you mentioned above, i come out the number as $473 - $600 every year after 4 year usage and assume nothing breaks and just regular maintainese and replace tires and brake pads. Is that close to what you guys are paying right now?

    Also, is 2007/2008 328 approved to be reliable yet? Is there any big recall going? I am going to be better off with 2005 325/330 model seems it has been tested by more users?

    Thanks!!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 11,257
    From what you mentioned above, i come out the number as $473 - $600 every year after 4 year usage and assume nothing breaks and just regular maintainese and replace tires and brake pads. Is that close to what you guys are paying right now?

    Pretty close; some years will cost more than others, but it should average out.

    Also, is 2007/2008 328 approved to be reliable yet? Is there any big recall going? I am going to be better off with 2005 325/330 model seems it has been tested by more users?

    Well, it's still a bit early to determine the long-term reliability of the current 3 Series. I don't expect it to be horrible, but that's just a guess on my part.

    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'm in the market for a previously owned BMW. I like the 2005 325i and have found alot on Craigslist. The one I am interested in has 25,000 miles and has all the features and color that I want. The price is $20,500. The seller is an independent car dealer who gets his cars from BMW finance dept. He is going to fax me the carfax report and there will be one year left on the maintenance warranty. I would prefer to buy a CPO from a dealer but the prices I'm finding are over $25,000. Here are my questions:

    1) Should I stay away from Craigslist and only deal with a BMW dealer?
    2) If I go ahead with this, is there any reason why BMW wouldn't honor the maintenance warranty? (i.e., the car was not serviced by a BMW dealer)
    3) Would you have the car inspected by a dealer even though there is a maintenance warranty?
    4) If I call a local BMW dealer with the VIN number would they share the maintenance history?

    My one friend feels that if the warranty is in place I don't need to have it inspected since everything would be covered.

    Thanks for any feedback - it is greatly appreciated.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I would definitely have the car inspected - mostly to ensure it hasn't been involved in an accident.

    It sounds like a nice car at a somewhat too good to be true price. If the car is sound, it's a heck of a deal, but the price is cause for some caution.

    Good luck!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 61,004
    Definitely have it inspected like others have suggested here. CARFAX does NOT....repeat....does NOT....show all accidents, even major ones. This car could be fine, a great deal, or it could have been smacked up 5 times.

    Other than prior collision damage, there's really not too much that could be wrong at this low mileage, but you should look for signs of abuse, including smoke-smell, undercarriage damage, manipulation of the VIN tags, or the use of mickey-mouse parts, such as cheap tires, cheap oil filters, etc.---always a bad sign on a BMW.

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