Help with buying a used car

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by muffinman, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. muffinman macrumors 6502

    muffinman

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    #1
    I am looking at a 6 cylinder automatic 1994 BMW 325iC automatic convertible with 161,090 miles on it for about 5000 dollars.

    I was wondering what kind of mileage a car like this would get and if the asking price is a fair price. Would this car be high maintenece?

    If you have experience with older BMWs could you tell me what you thought about them?

    Thanks.
     
  2. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #2
    hope you don't think this is condescending

    dunno about the specifics, but I can tell you from experience (my Dad has been a dedicated Volvo owner for years) that with a car like the BMW, you're going to have some difficulty getting parts. Not in the sense that you won't be able to get them, but in the sense that you're looking at having to order them; it's not like you'll be able to go to Advance and pick up a new starter motor, for example. The price probably will be about the same, but the core charge probably will be higher, and then you're looking at shipping charges on top of that.

    the nightmare scenario: you need to get it fixed, you can't do it yourself, and you have to take it to the dealer. My local Ford dealership charges $89 an hour for labor. I don't even want to think about what a BMW dealership will charge.

    I don't mean to bring you down. I'd love to have a BMW :D
    And I'm certainly no expert. Just thinking that you should be aware that the maintenance costs for a car like that are going to be a bit steep. It's something you should consider.
     
  3. n8236 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #3
    Used Car rules

    1) Get one that has cheap maintenance (Japanese)
    2) Car w/ easily found parts
    3) Miles of 12/15k a yr for avg condition
    4) Carfax

    ------------

    From what I know of BMWs, it's sort of a hit/miss sort of thing. You can get one that has little to no issues, but also ones w/ all sorts of problems. If you're uncertain which type it is, I suggest you skip it because the consequences of picking up a bad one will make a serious dent in your wallet.
     
  4. muffinman thread starter macrumors 6502

    muffinman

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    #4
    How can you tell what type it is?
     
  5. n8236 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #5
    That's exactly the catch, German or European cars in general are notorious for having maintenance or repair costs. At least compared to their Jap counterparts.

    If you are certain of purchasing this BMW, I would certainly bring it to a mechanic shop and have them look over it and get an inspection on it. It's 100 dollars for the inspection, but it's definitely worth it if u're gonna purchase something of this magnitude.
     
  6. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #6
    Generally, you can get the VIN and go to BMW and look up it's history. You can also find out from Carfax if it's been involved in any auto accidents, etc.
     
  7. muffinman thread starter macrumors 6502

    muffinman

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    #7
    do used car dealerships allow you to "borrow" the car and take it to a mechanic?
     
  8. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #8
    My 2001 VW Jetta hasn't needed any outstanding maintenance, well, other than the oil pan shield falling off and that only fell off due to hitting it while going to fast on a ramp.
     
  9. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #9
    No, but I'm sure you can have a mechanic go to the dealership to check out the car. Best thing to do is go to a person that's close and knows about cars. IE, someone in your family has worked on cars a significant amount and is able to spot certain things (for one thing, you can easily tell if it's been in an accident in the front if the car pulls to the left or right a bunch. Another thing is you can tell the age of the engine practically. If it's an old car and the engine looks brand new, it's probably brand new).
     
  10. muffinman thread starter macrumors 6502

    muffinman

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    #10
    a 1994 bmw is very different than a 2001 vw jetta :p the exterior and interior (from the pics at least) look well kept. im just worried about the 160000+ miles on it. how many more miles do you think it has in it?
     
  11. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #11
    My post about the Jetta was in response to this

    Seeing as VW is a German car. ;)
     
  12. muffinman thread starter macrumors 6502

    muffinman

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    #12
    so does anyone know if its okay to buy a bmw with 160000 miles on it? how many more miles does it have in it?
     

Share This Page