Bmw Used Car Help

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by sk8erboy, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. sk8erboy macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2005
    Hi Guys,
    I'm in the position of buying a used car. This will be my first. I'm looking at some 10 year old BMWs... less than $4,000.00
    I found an add that looks pretty good, just want some of your feedback.

    Here is the description and pictures:
    Price $2,995
    Body Style Sedan
    Mileage 186,669
    Exterior Color Green
    Interior Color Tan
    Engine 6 Cylinder Gasoline
    Transmission Automatic
    Drive Type 2 wheel drive - rear
    Fuel Type Gasoline
    Stereo AM/FM Compact Disc Playr
    Doors Four Door
    Stock No. D725
    VIN WBAHC2311LBE27352

    Shows great! Get up and go! Drives strong! Must sell! Must-see! Going fast! Priced to sell! Special offer!

    Driver Air Bag; Air Conditioning; Alloy Wheels; Cruise Control; Rear Window Defroster; Power Seats; Leather Seats; Power Door Locks; Power Mirrors; Power Windows; Power Steering; Sunroof/Moonroof; Tinted Glass; Tilt Wheel;


    So what should i look for in a used BMW, especially one that is about 10 years old? Any advice... what should i look for in a used car??
    should i look at a different series? (I don't want to step up to a 12cylinder)
    is this a good price for what i get??



    srry im not sure where this thread belongs?
  2. jimsowden macrumors 68000


    Sep 6, 2003
    Anything with 150+ is going to be a little whooped. In your range I'd look for like an old civic, maybe a 99 (no rice) or corolla or something.
  3. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    Older BMWs are high maintenance and it's very costly to work on them. And parts for them are expensive. I would definitely stay away with those miles!

    Whatever you decide to do and whatever used car you buy please don't buy it before having an independent mechanic look it at. I can't stress that enough.

    Good Luck!
  4. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    that thing is going to be a nightmare to keep up. Even though it's a BMW, it still only has 50,000 miles left at best.
  5. CompUser Guest

    Yea, 186,000 or how many ever it has is a lot. My uncle had a 5-series once long ago- similar vintage of that one- it got stolen from him and they never recovered it. I can guarantee that you will have some electrical problems as it seems most european cars. There are a lot of things that can get break at this point- A/C, transmission, alternator, fuel pump, starter because this car has so many miles on it. Then there just the typical european car poor electrical systems, especially door lock, sunroof, and window mechanisms.

    It is a beautiful car, I think European cars are the best looking, but just be prepared to keep it running. If you can't do the work you'll have to pay someone at $150/hr to fix your car with expensive parts.

    Japanese cars have an incredible resale value and for $4000 you probably won't find anything you truely love. If you can afford to keep one running, I would hunt around for one with lower miles.

    Good Luck

    Edit: I don't know where you live but if you live in a snow prone area, you don't want rear wheel drive. I love watching my neighbor struggle up his (hill) driveway in his RWD lincoln LS. He usually ends up parking it in a neighbors driveway that is flat because he can't make it up.
  6. cycocelica macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    Redmond, WA
    A used BMW? With 100,000+ miles?

    Save yourself the troubles and nightmares and buy a Civic. Your wallet will thank you.

    Rule of thumb: Never buy a used BMW.
  7. panoz7 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    I tend to agree with the above posts... a used bmw, especially one with that many miles is not the best bet. If you're set on something german I'd take a look at a pre 1995 mercedes... we had one in england and that thing was a tank.

    That said, I'm going to be trading in my car for a 1970's bmw 2002 just as soon as I can afford the increased maintenance costs. I derive most of my everyday enjoyment out of driving cars, and that old bmw just makes me happy. The increased cost of keeping it running is more then worth it to me.
  8. bimmerkid macrumors newbie


    Oct 14, 2006
    San Francisco
    I know of a Bravaria that is still running today with 348k miles on the original engine and tranny... Get an e30 (1984-1991) BMW they are tanks! I have a 2000 328i 5spd w/ 121k on it :-D
  9. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Clovis, California

    How are you at turning wrenches on cars? I can't offer any advice about this BMW unless I know your mechanical abilities.
  10. haleyvan macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2006
    why not?
  11. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    This post is relatively worthless without a link to the ad, and an actual model BMW you are looking at! If it is an E30 325 or E30 318i you should be fine for well over 200k miles on the odo.

    Service history on these cars (including anything high miles) is going to be crucial!. Typically a BMW will have had an overall better life than a Honda / Toyota of the same vintage. It has to do more with the type of buyer of the BMW. If you can find a single, or 2nd owner car, that can also be a good way to find a clean, solid car.

    You will want to watch out for oil leaks, loose suspension components (shakes rattles) and depending on your personal budget, exhaust leaks. They are mostly bullet proof, and you are best to get a 325i or 325is of this vintage.

    On the e30 BMWs you will be best Avoid the 325ix (AWD), 325ie (e stands for economy) models, as they have minor issues with the AWD system that can be super expensive to fix. The 325ie is simply low on power, and not the most desirable car of this vintage. 5 speed manual is going to be a slightly better gearbox, however their Automatics are also fairly solid, but not many know how to service them!

    While they can be found for less than $3000, the better cars are going to be within $5000 - $8,000 range for a budget BMW.
  12. D0ct0rteeth macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2002
    Franklin, TN
    guys, this thread is 6 months old. Im sure hes made up his mind on the car :)

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