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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 12-04-2004, 06:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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As some of you may have already known, I just checked out the BMW 328i today, and....I didn't take it home today...

background info: 1996 328i, black on tan leather, 5 spd, 152k miles.

Here is why...

I thought I had a good deal , but I guess not.

The car was not in 'good' condition at all. It was in at best in 'fair' condition, this alone brings down kbb value to $6400.

1. Car had body damage to front nose panel/grill, owner claimed that it was new damage, never knew until I pointed it out, looks like a truck backed into it, no damage to lower bumper. -can someone give me a ballpark figure on body shop repair?

2. This was told to me, that seats were a 'bit' worn, a 'few' door dings, and some rock chips. In reality, seats were really worn, and cracking, in addition to armrest, not entirely unsalvagable though. Backseats and passenger seat are at in fair-good condition, drivers seat is in obvious poor condition. Dings were very noticeable and about 1" in size. More than just a couple, around 5-7 on drivers door. I couldn't really tell what was a paint chip and what wasn't, the car was pretty damn dirty.

3. paint scratches, a few light ones that can probably be buffed out, and a couple that can't, (deep...)

4. Engine bay was dirty, but mechanic checked out out, mechnically speaking, the car is spot on, there is a ticking noise that bothered me and the mechanic on our test drive. He suspects the rocker arms/ oil pump...or something in that area. Owners claims he asked dealer about it, dealer supposedly said it was no big problem.

5. Rear lower trim needs to be replaced, heavy wear and scratches present.

6. Fog lights cracked and need replacement...original description said 'new' fog lights...

Original asking price was $6800, original KBB value was $7300 on good condition.
I offered $6000.00, but it seems a bit much now. No way...

I think $5000.00 would be pretty reasonable, all things considered...

Anyone have any good advice? I will try to talk to him about this, but anything over $5500 I think I should just walk away.




Guess I can't have my BMW yet...

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Old 12-04-2004, 07:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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anyone? I really need some advice here, I want to buy it but really I need to put some work and money into it.
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Old 12-04-2004, 10:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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well, despite nobody replying, I found out that I can order a whole new nose panel and grill (97+ version) from bavauto for $170! No need for a body shop, but can somebody give me a short DIY on whole to remove/install the nose panel? I did a search, and el pres said himself that you need to remove headlights, corners and radiator shroud in order to access the nose panel...

I just need a basic outline so I have an idea of what i'm doing what I replace the nose panel.

For the interior wear, I will try and clean the seats as best as I can, and then buy some sort of cotton pillow that matches the leather and fits perfectly in the drivers seat, in order to cover up the visible wear. Also I'll get a wheelskin leather steering wheel cover, matched with my interior to cover up the worn steering wheel.

For exterior, I am sure some of the scratches will come off with a good buff, and the deeper scratches I think I can do some kind of touch up...

I'll just leave the door dings.

Paint chips were mostly on the nose panel anyway...

Rear bumper trim costs $25.00 from bavauto...

hmm, this actually make work. We'll see. I should've taken pics, I had my camera but I had forgot...i'll keep you guys updated.
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Old 12-04-2004, 10:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i dunno man, seems a lot to me for not so good condition 328. man, if it was me, id probably walk away. im sure there is a better beemer waiting around the corner.
but thats me, if you fell in love with the car, go for it. if not, follow your heart!
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Old 12-04-2004, 10:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would walk away, 150K miles, problems here and there.......


How much money do you have to spend?
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Old 12-04-2004, 10:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I tried, but good condition 328's range from around $8k-$12k, if I can get it for around $5500, I'd be getting a steal for the price, even with all of the flaws, as most are easily repairable.

150k miles is a bit high, but managable, again like I said, engine is in top notch condition, bmw certified maitenence records/dealer records, its jsut cosmetics.

Approximately $500 will need to go into cosmetic repairs...including nose panel/grill, trim replacement, paint touch up...

do you think its possible for me to paint the nose panel myself? custom matched spray paint, it comes primered I think, and some clear coat.

I will also need to repaint the mirrors, they are a bit scratched.

If I can get it for around $5.5k, I think it'd still be a steal.
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Old 12-04-2004, 10:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would be weary at 5,500. Honestly I would do my best to get it as close to 5k as possible. What you should do is have them take it to the dealer and get an estimate to fix all reasonable cosmetic damage. Don't tell them you can get the parts cheaper and do it yourself. Then say because of damage and price X, Y, and Z to get the car into the condition that you stated that it was in, plus make it worth my time of being out of a car until all parts are ordered and all work done on it, it is only resonable and fair for 5k. Then settle for 5,250. Then get the parts and a six pack, block off a weekend for quality time with your wrench and you have a good condition 328i for a great price. Hope it works out.
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Old 12-04-2004, 10:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies,

I'll try my best, but I think the best I will be able to do is around $5700 minus the body shop estimate that he's going to give me on monday...

Because kbb value shows $6400 on 'fair' condition, this means that there are visual blemishes and its included in the price, the only reasonable cosmetic damage thats not included is body damage, which is the nose panel.
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Old 12-04-2004, 11:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I still don't know, from what you've told us so far, there is no indication that this car was treated and maintained properly........ thats gonna go a long way to determining whats gonna break, and how long this car is gonna go hold together.

IMHO..... if you want a Bimmer you should do it right... save some more money and give it a go later.
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Performance: Zimmerman Cross Drilled Rotors-- PBR Deluxes-- Cosmos CAI---- Turner Pulley Kit--- Fan Delete mod---
Beauty: 18 polished M-Parallel replicas, Inpro Euros w/ Enchanced Angel eye kit, 20% tint
Clear corners/sidemarkers ---- Eurospec (Depos)

To do list:
Suspension--- researching
UUC System U TDM- 3/05
M50 manifold converstion 3/05
off to the tuning shop for custom software 4/05
Cams/lightened flywheel, throttlebody........ well lets see what happens
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Old 12-05-2004, 12:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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thats a lot of miles.... do u plan on keeping it for a while?? its prolly gunna die soon... prolly, if luckey, get another 50k miles outts it... thats if u baby it...

also, that seems like a lot of money!! just remember, BMW parts are exspensive, from what u are saying it looks like your gunna pay more money then the car is worth to get it in tip top shape.. but thats up to u!!
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Old 12-05-2004, 12:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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actually, BMW engines are known to be bulletproof, lasting up to 300k miles when properly maintained.

My friends '91 nissan 300zx had 240k on the clock when he bought it last month, for $3900, but it was in great condition for its miles..

yes I will listen to your guys' advice, if the final price isn't around $5k, deals off.

I don't see any good deals though, miles for a BMW doesn't really matter 150k is nothing, its just the cosmetic condition! so bad...

ghead

He's going to come down to my place next week, hopefully we can work out a deal by then, if not, I'll just snap a few pics, post it on here and go from there, see if its really worth it or not....
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Old 12-05-2004, 01:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Dont go for it... think of the impending electrical problems, especially on a car with that kind of milage. My 328 only had 52k when i bought it this summer, and began to show the check engine lights within a week....

Then the instrument panel lights faded out....

And the key fob stopped working...

And the computer came up with the e36 "brakelight circuit" error...

And the interior started squeaking...

And the A/C stopped working (which can be brutal in 90+ degree Texas weather)

And the drive motors in the drivers seat gave out, keeping it locked in an upright position...

Keep in mind this was a certified car from a dealership specializing in BMWs (Classic BMW in Dallas/Irving)

But follow these peoples advice, theyre smarter than me.
Even though its too late, i would talk em down to $3500.
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Old 12-05-2004, 03:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally posted by typ507@Dec 5 2004, 01:50 AM
Dont go for it... think of the impending electrical problems, especially on a car with that kind of milage. My 328 only had 52k when i bought it this summer, and began to show the check engine lights within a week....

Then the instrument panel lights faded out....

And the key fob stopped working...

And the computer came up with the e36 "brakelight circuit" error...

And the interior started squeaking...

And the A/C stopped working (which can be brutal in 90+ degree Texas weather)

And the drive motors in the drivers seat gave out, keeping it locked in an upright position...

Keep in mind this was a certified car from a dealership specializing in BMWs (Classic BMW in Dallas/Irving)

But follow these peoples advice, theyre smarter than me.
Even though its too late, i would talk em down to $3500.
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$3500? Yeah right. Keep dreaming.
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Old 12-05-2004, 05:28 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The problem with this situation is the seller wasn't really honest in the description when he was trying to sell it to you over the phone - if he's being a bit inaccurate with certain problems - you can bet he's hiding other things. For instance - does he have a receipt for the visit to the dealership to check out the engine noise? If not, can he give you the number to the dealership so you can check it out yourself?

Little things like how the car seems to have a lot of little problems kind of makes me think the current owner isn't really putting much effort in maintaining it. Even though theoretically the engine may have a lot more life it in if it's been well-maintained, a lot of damage can build up over 150k miles. Also - it's not necessarily the engine that's gonna kill you in repairs as the car ages - stuff like suspension, misc electronics, transmission. I usually budget about $1000 on top of the final price of a used car for stuff like that.

Sounds like you made a good decision walking away from that 328 though. I got my 325is from a really nice lady in Portland who babied it and kept every receipt that she ever got from service and parts. It's a 93 but the seats look great because they were conditioned regularly.

Just wait for something that doesn't smell as fishy.
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Old 12-05-2004, 08:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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well I reread the description the seller gave me, I guess I overexaggerated a bit...here it is

"Exterior is in good condition for a 9 year old car. There has not been
> > any body damage. It has the usual small rock chips on the front of the
> > car, but you have to be close up to see them. There are small door dings
> > on the doors that can be easily removed with a door ding remover (or you
> > can pay someone). The paint is in very good shape as you can see by the
> > pictures. The rear speakers in the car have a small short so they come on
> > and off. The clock fuse needs to be replaced but all other computer
> > electronics operate. The car has been well taken care of and the miles
> > are all reverse commute miles (meaning very little stop and go). The
> > driver seat and the arm rest have wear, but no holes. The rest of the
> > interior is in great shape (the car was always driven by one person).
> > Dash is in great shape, no cracks or holes.
> >
> > Here is what needs to be done:
> > Oil change and air filter change ($80)
> > Replace front lower ball joints (Approx $600)
> >
> > The blue book on the car with the miles is $7,300K. I have allowed $1300
> > to do repairs which you can call and get estimates of your own (which I
> > have already done and they are less than the $1300). I used to live in
> > San Jose and I took the car to a place called A&E Performance (they only
> > work on BMW'S) in Campbell. They are much better than the dealer. You can
> > let them know my name and ask for an estimate. They might give you a good
> > rate because I took the car there for repairs."

I checked the maitenence records, there were no discrepencies, he took them to the indepdent BMW shop and to the dealer for all service repairs...just seemed to neglect the cosmetics.
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