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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • If you purchased a 3-series under MSRP in Atlanta GA area dealer, please let me know. Thank you.
  • i am thinking about a 97 M3 sedan w/48k mi. Are there any issue's i should know about. there are two recalls for this MY but i would imagine they are taken care of. is this a good year. I like the power, 4dr and handling aspect. any info or direction would be greatly appreciated. I am also looking at the WRX
  • jbianjbian Posts: 10
    What is "a legitimate MACO fee"? Does it apply
    to ED? If it does, under what conditions? Is
    there anyway to avoid it? Thanks in advance.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    before I bought my '95 M3 in May of this year, I test drove a new WRX once more.

    bought the M3. 'nuff said.

  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    A couple of days ago, I started to have a problem with my ventilation fan. After the vehicle was running for a while, the fan just started to increase in speed until it was wide open. The light panel still showed like it should be running slow. I couldn't turn it down - only off. After I restart the car it works fine for a while and repeats the whole problem again after about 10 minutes. Does anyone know the name of the part that is not working? I have a service appointment for Friday and would like to tell the the exact problem - instead of them telling me that they could not reproduce the problem. I thought I read here that someone has had that problem.

    Thanks, Dave
  • I am looking at buying a used 3 series convertible. Are there any years that had more problems than others that I should avoid or be aware of? I can't afford the new convertibles, but has anyone owned a convertible AND a coupe, and can anyone tell me what the difference is like. This hall is great!
  • I think everyone should relax about the BMW pricing concerns. Here in Houston at any of the 4 dealerships the best you will do on any 3 series is about $500 under MSRP. Does that matter? No. This is the cost of the vehicle. This is what almost everyone who buys one here in town pays. This is what the market in Houston is like. It may be artificial, but this is what the car sells for in Houston. The most important thing in buying a new car is that you do not pay alot more than the next guy -- and I can tell you that in Houston it is like no haggle pricing on BMWs. Take MSRP and subtract $500 and then expect to pay $125 for the floor mats. If you do not like it then buy a different car or search all over Texas (like Garlyn Shelton in Temple) and pay a little less. The disadvantage will be that you might not get a loaner car when it is serviced at a Houston dealership. If the relationship with a local dealer is important to you then pay the extra money and get one locally.

    If you want $9000 off MSRP then buy a Ford Expedition or something and be happy.

    I loved dealing with BMW North here in town. I have about 10 reasons why they are the best --trust me I went to all 4 and met some good people at each one, but the management at the North location is by FAR the best in town. A little hint: Take the Hardy Toll Road north and exit 1960 -- You can get there in 20 minutes or even less (at 110mph on the Hardy) and the drive is fun. Above all else do not go to Momentum. (BTW Momentum and the 2 Advantage dealerships have the same owner--i.e. they are the same dealership)

    Email me with Houston questions:

    Auto vs Manual: A manual in the BMW is more reliable and costs $1300 less than a steptronic. Save the money, have more fun, and enjoy the shifting. I drive in traffic and talk on the cell phone and drink coffee like everyone else. The manual can be even more fun in traffic--when stuck on the interstate in a jam and traffic is going and stopping, picking the right gear can help smooth out the accelerating and the stopping -- I put it in 2nd and drive and when I see brake lights I let off the gas and the car almost stops itself--by the time it slows down, the traffic is usually going again and I just give it the gas and keep it in 2nd -- I usually do not have to stop. This is just an example. The manual can be more fun in traffic than an auto --it keeps your foot off the brake. Above all save the money and get a better, faster, more reliable car. It will also save gas money down the road and can lower emissions slightly for those who are environmentally minded. Not only that, it is good for the dorsiflexors of the left leg and will keep you from getting a blood clot on a long trip--It could save your life!

    Above all, get what you want.
  • Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all the info so far.
    brave1heart, what is a MACO fee? Please explain.
    leenelsonmd, let me explain. I am not looking to pay several thousand below MSRP on a BMW, because that makes no sense. What I am saying is that when I price out an Audi A4, BMW 325i, and Saab 9-3, the invoice prices are close to each other and so are the MSRP prices (to an extent). However, I know that I can get below MSRP on the Audi and Saab without much trouble. Yet, I know it can be a hassle getting a BMW dealer to go below MSRP. All I want to do is go in to a BMW dealer with a car all priced out, and make an offer to them that is invoice plus 3 or 4%. I think the consumer has a right to pay a fair price for a car and not be lured into paying MSRP when other equivalent makers are going below MSRP. I just want to know how one can go about this with a BMW dealer.
    Thanks in advance.
  • someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that the MACO fee is the pass-on advertising fees (newspaper, radio, etc) from the BMW dealership to the buyer.

    Whatever it is, there is NO MACO for ED. I did not pay MACO for my ED. If your dealer tries to pull this one on you, walk away.
  • Hello room.
    Long time no post...I know. Hey Nerd, I will give you the info when I get to my office in the morning. I have it on my computer at the office. I'll tell you exactly what she paid for the 5. I know it was a good deal. Let me write myself a not while it's on my mind.

    I have to tell you all about this weekend. Friday, I went to my doctor. We're good friends and he loves cars as much as I do. Well, in his office wing, one of the fellow doctors on staff basically moved on the fly of the moment with his new girfriend(half is age). He left his wife with the house, cars, boat, etc...and the divorce settlement. To be honest, the marriage was over a long time ago. Well, my doctor friend asked me if I would be interested in buying a car. He said he didn't have a use for it. He told me it was a 3 series, 97 or 98 model, but he wasn't sure. The ex wife wanted to get rid of it. I told him that I just purchased a 325 about a week and half ago, but it wouldn't hurt to look at the car. He gave me her number and I called her Friday afternoon. Sat I drove to her house. She told me she wanted to sell the house, boat, a car, and a few other items. As we walked to the garage, I noticed the 3. In fact, it was a M3 1998 model. She was only interested in keeping her S500 Benz and ML430 Benz. She said she didn't like the BMW. It was too small for her taste, ugly, and she couldn't drive a 5 speed, plus the fact that it was her husbands car as well. He didn't want the car. He kept the 911, the motorbikes,a house in CO, and the new girfriend with a new boob job(ex wife's words). So, everything else was left to her. She wanted to get rid of the BMW as soon as possible. I asked her how much did she want for it. She said she was not trying to make anything off of it, but just wanted to get rid of it before she moved back to Florida. She said it's worth $ 27,000 plus from a friend she spoke to, but she told me if I could buy it asap, she would sell it for $ 15,000. She had all of the records, all serviced by Classic BMW in Dallas. I had a chance to drive the car and have the car checked out. Friends, I purchased a 1998, M3,flawless, 34K miles, for $ 15,000. No Joke. I couldn't pass up such a great deal. In less than 2 weeks, two new cars. With the money I saved with the low interst rate on the 325ci last week, everything balanced out.
    I wish all of you a wonderful thanksgiving and to be mindful of those who are not as well off as some of us. I'm making turkey dinners this year on thanksgiving day at a local homeless center.

  • tennberg: What you say about audi/bmw/saab is true. The prices at the invoice level are similar. Audi and Saab will deal more because they have to. The Houston BMW dealerships almost never go below $500 off MSRP. They still sell alot of BMWs. Why go lower if people pay that much? I am not saying it is right, but the free market is the free market. What if they were charging $1000 over MSRP? They can do that too if the market would allow it. The fact that the majority of BMW dealerships do not sell much under MSRP has a huge impact on resale value and this helps all BMW owners (of course they had to pay more up front). I wish I could have gotten my car for 3-4% over invoice (all of my previous cars that I have purchased new were from 1-3% above invoice). Unfortunately I could not find someone in town to sell the car for that so I had to decide if I was willing to pay MSRP for my car and if it was worth that much to me. I do not regret the purchase at all, but that is a personal decision. All that I am trying to say is that these numbers invoice/msrp are reference numbers only. In a free market system people can charge what they want and if the market tolerates the price, then that is the price. All that really matters to most people is that they are not paying alot more than someone else who walks in 5 minutes later. If BMW profits more than Audi and Saab, it is because they have a better product and a better corporate strategy. Good for them--they will be able to keep making great cars.

    climatecontrol: Unbelievable deal. I love it. We should meet in Centerville and go driving some time. Those E36 M3s are beautiful.
  • my oh my, when it rains, it pours!

    I can't believe you snagged an M3 for that price! I thought I was reading an Ann Landers column or something... I'm still laughing ;-)

    Maybe you'll find another cheap one in Germany to buy when you're here in a few weeks!
  • BTW tennberg, if you look carefully there are some dealearships that will make some better deals -- many of them have been discussed above. Your best bet for a BMW is to go with ED. This will maximize your savings. Another way to save money is to join BMWCCA and they will give you a minimum $500 rebate on any new BMW or CPO car if you have been a member for a year.
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    What a deal on the m3! The story almost sounded like one of those old jokes. I wonder if the doctor will like his new 'unbearable lightness of being'. But that's OT. Now you have 2 cars--Verrucht and Ausgezeichnet! (That's German for crazy & outstanding) :-)
  • abcnycabcnyc Posts: 101
    I am planning to switch to winter tires and I was wondering if there was anything special that is required to store my summer tires. Should I over inflate a little ? I have the same question when I store my winter tires next fall.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    <<< Not only that, it is good for the dorsiflexors of the left leg and will keep you from getting a blood clot on a long trip--It could save your life! >>>

    Spoken like a true MD!!! I feel the same way about driving a manual in traffic.
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    No, not photoshopped. The new 5 is really going to be that ugly!!
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    Ipatty, I paid the MACO on an ED. In Houston, I don't think there is any way around it. I know Shipo paid it on his ED too. As long as the dealer is advertising, they are going to pass the cost on. In small markets, they probably don't advertise outside of the newspaper. Like leenelsonmd said, anything less than MSRP is good. I manage to get more than $500 off MSRP but it was real slick. If my wife determines that she wants a BMW in the next 18 months, we will probably go to Temple. We have enough vehicles at the house that a loaner will not make a difference. At Momentum, you don't get a loaner after your car flips 50K miles anyway. When purchasing a BMW, there are really two things to look at: 1)Do you want to pay the best price? or 2) do you want the best service? Personally, I have read some horror stories about individuals that took their Bimmers in for service to the local center. They would then get questioned on why they purchased out of the city, etc... I've only had one bad experience with Momentum and that was my first service advisor. Guess what, I no longer use him.
    In TX, there are a ton of fees that they add. On an ED, do not pay the Inventory Fee. If you can convince your dealer not to pay MACO, good. Otherwise, just cough it up. ED is a bargain by any standard. I don't think there is a way to get a BMW cheaper. I think we pay the cheapest prices in the world for a BMW 325/330.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    BMW pricing varies by region. My hunch is that Houston has a lot of well-paid professionals from all the tech and oil companies down there and that the BMW network of dealers is tightly controlled. Here in Boston, there is too much competition between dealers and pricing is more competitive. If you are having trouble getting at least $1,300 off, shoot me an e-mail and I will get you that price from Peabody. There have been at least two or more people that bought a car at that price from Peabody based on my referral.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    ... stands for marketing and advertising co-op or overhead or something... I forgot. It varies by region and possibly even by dealership. It is the only legitimate fee that dealers should charge and I would request to see it on the invoice before I pay it. You are not supposed to pay MACO on ED cars but I remember shipo and a few other posters ended up paying it. It's one more thing to negotiate with your dealer before you sign the deal.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    that's unbelieveable, climatecontrol!


  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    It won't hurt to inflate a little, although I don't see how it could help either, as long as they are removed form the vehicle. Make sure to mark the tires, so they'll go back to their original wheel well in the spring. I am planning on putting on my snow this Sunday if I get the time. I will be driving from Albany to Boston with my summer tires in the snow that's forecast for tomorrow - it should be fun :o)
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    I planned on putting mine on this weekend, too. We almost never get snow around here until mid-DEC but they're calling for 6" tonight. Maybe I'll just telecommute tomorrow.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Watch the speed limit during your telecommute. We've had snow on the ground 3 times here in Albany already but this snow storm forecast for tomorrow looks a lot worse.
  • Hey congrats on your 2 new cars. Would you mind posting some pics if possible of both of them in the photo gallery? I would love to see them.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Congrats on the M3! Is it a coupe or sedan? The M3 sedan was my dream car not too long ago.
  • hgeyerhgeyer Posts: 188
    I asked this a few weeks ago, with no response :(

    What is the recommended psi for LM-22s on a 16" wheel (2002 330i)?

    I'm inclined to go with 35 psi all around, but am unsure whether I should follow the 33f/38r that work for my all-seasons.
  • Hi Guys,
    I thought I would sneak in while I'm on my extra long lunch break today.
    I'm still trying to get over the situation myself.(She kept calling the younger lady "boob girl",too funny) I just wished I knew about it before I bought the 325ci. The story is so funny. I could tell that this lady had plenty of money. Most "rich" people tend to stay loyal to M-Benz, but she was so serious. She couldn't stand the car. Plus she made the car sound "low budget" to her standards. It may as well have been an economy car in her eyes.
    We finalized everything today. I had 2nd thoughts about the car at first, but I realized I couldn't pass up such a deal. With the 325ci,my payment is half as much as I budged for and the payment for the M3 is cheap as well. I put the extra money I had set aside for the 325ci on the M3, and financed the rest for 2 years. I told my doctor buddy that I'm staying out of his office for a while. Every time I come to see him it's costing me extra money HAHA...
    I have 3 cars now. I'm going to sell the Olds Intrigue. A young man down the street that I know is looking for his first car. Father told me that he is very responsible and a good kid. I'll sell it to him for cheap.
    Centerville is a good idea. I'd love to come race haha!
    Oh yea, I'm going to see if I can get some pictures over the holidays. I need to break down and buy a digital cam.
    The M3 is silver,5 speed, 34K miles, extended warranty to 100K,. I haven't really driven the car much yet, but I've been told that it's a lot of fun. I'll give a report this evening.
    Nerd, if you have an email address, please send it to me.
    I hope you all with have a great rest of the work day.
    P.S....I haven't told my sister about the car yet.
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    You lucky dog you!!! That is like a dream come true. I would have done the exact same thing even if I had to turn around and sell it for book value. But I would never do that:-)

    Maybe I should get friendly with some middle-aged rich ladies in my neihborhood and see what they have parked in their garage :-)
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