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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 03-21-2005, 04:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey all great forum. I am searching for my first BMW and will be test driving a 328i tomorrow. What do i need to be carful of and look for?

1997 BMW 328i
100K
Silver/Black interior
5 Speed

Thanks for the help


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Old 03-21-2005, 04:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There's only 4 things you have to do.

- Test-drive and LOVE the car
- Check car-fax
- Have your mechanic do a pre-buy inspection
- Negotiate a good price


Unless you're a mechanic yourself don't trust yourself to find everything wrong with it. Spend the $60-$80 to have your mechanic check it. It's well worth it. It saved me from buying 2 cars needing 2k-4k worth of work.
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Old 03-21-2005, 05:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks alot I have the Car Fax report. All good there. As for a mechanic. I am driving 2 two hours to test drive it. so thats a little bit of a problem.

What are your thoughts on a good price?
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Old 03-21-2005, 05:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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make sure idle is good and solid as this is a common problem with e36s. see if the brake light circuit thing comes on.. have codes pulled in the car.
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Old 03-21-2005, 05:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Car fax is nice, but I consider it PRETTY worthless. I brought a 2000 F150 and it looked perfect and car-fax didnt show a thing. My mechanic found out that 3 out of 4 doors had been replaced. Hood replaced. Leak in transmission. I drove it STRAIGHT back to the dealership and didn't look back.

Here's my advice to you.

-Test drive the car
-Negotiate a fair price

*BEFORE SIGNING THE PAPERS!!!*

Tell the seller/dealership that you wish to have a clause put in the contract.

Upon Buyer's Mechanic Approval.


If they want to make a sale bad enough they will do this. Drive the car back home and have your mechanic do the pre-inspection.

If you want the car so bad and the seller won't let you do this, then find a local mechanic before you drive 2 hours.
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Old 03-21-2005, 06:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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also check to see if the ball lower ball joints are getting loose. usually if you go over bumps it will make a clunck noise in the front end. i'd defiantly drive it with the radio and the fan off so you can hear any and all noises. sometimes if you catch things like that and the seller/dealer didn't know about it you can get the price lowered. but yeah just take your time looking it over.
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Old 03-21-2005, 07:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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also check and see if the ac system has been touched and dont forget to check the rear shock tower mounts, sunroof, and ask if it has been brought in for any recalls like the airbag etc
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Old 03-21-2005, 08:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the advice I really appreciate it
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