Pre-deal Inspection Doesn't Sound Good-- HELP! - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
#1 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 04:20 PM
1st Gear Member
 
clubin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Miami, FL, USA
Posts: 114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
clubin is an unknown quantity at this point
(Thread Starter)
Unhappy

I'm rushedly consulting every other knowledge source I have (other Bimmer owners and general car know-it-alls), but I'd appreciate some help from you guys; I'll /try/ to keep it short and simple this time.

As you might have known from a couple of my initial posts here, I'm in the market for a used 3-series ('95-97 325/8is). This time around, it's a '96 328is w/ 105k miles on it. Just got the inspection faxed over (long-distance purchase) and, while the mechanic notes that things found were minor, issues were found. Here's the report, as best as could be read from the fax by my mom (don't have a fax machine that can receive at home):

- Power steering fluid leak
- Transmission cooler lines leaking
- Some damage to O2 sensor
- Some oil leaks at rear of engine
- 40% front brakes
- 50% rear brakes
- Hood - drivers _____ (door?) and front end have been repaired
(this last line is the only one that had trouble being read)

From the forums, the power-steering leak would appear to be that mentioned in the FAQ's with an easy repair offered up by Furious (is the repair cheap, though? how much does the clamp cost?).

Transmission cooler lines? Dunno about that, and by default I'm not very happy about it. Oil leaks at rear of the engine? Now that's really scaring me as it makes me think of actual issues with the engine.

02 sensor damage? I do believe I recall reading about that with regards to rough idling? Is it an easy and/or cheap fix?

Brakes... I suppose the numbers refer to percentage wear on the brake pads/discs? Are these numbers low? high? time for replacement?

Finally, the mysterious last line... Unless there is somethign called a hood-driver I don't know about, he was probably stating that the hood, drivers-side door and front end of the car appear to have undergone repair work? The car hasn't been in any accidents as far as I know, but after I speak to the mechanic and clear this up I should kno whether or not to doubt that.

So, regarding everything above, what I really want to know is not just how expensive or serious it is, but whether it IMPLIES more serious issues to think about and what those issues might be. Are they issues that could be factored into the buying price or more the type that would have me not wanting the car for fear of further issues? Also are they to be expected when shopping in this range? I like the car in every other way, but am totally prepared to drop it like a bag of sh** if it will cause me too many worries. Thanks for any and all help and I appreciate it already that you took the time to read this. I'm just trying to get the knowledge and questions flowing before I speak to the mechanic.

P.S.: The owner urges me to speak the mechanic (and believe me, I will) as he says that while the flaws "may sound a bit ominous," they're minor and experienced by any car at 100k mi.

- Corey

DISCLAIMER: I don't yet actually drive a BMW. Currently, I proudly drive a '93 Volvo 940, the inspiration for my love of RWD cars.
clubin is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 04:23 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Houston.
Posts: 187
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ghettozn is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via AIM to ghettozn
All i know is that a estimate on power steering fixed will be around 700-800 dollars. And no its not easy unless you have the tools and the knowledge.
ghettozn is offline  
#3 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 06:30 PM
You Can Has A Custom Title!!
 
CiscoKid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Jersey, USA
Posts: 2,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
CiscoKid is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via AIM to CiscoKid
brakes around $70 (DIY)
O2 Sensor $100

the other crap sounds expensive

CiscoKid is offline  
#4 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 07:17 PM
Threadkiller
 
bitcore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: High Point, NC
Posts: 2,907
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
bitcore will become famous soon enough bitcore will become famous soon enough
Power steering fluid leak <- cheep fix, I think mine's leaking too.
Transmission cooler lines leaking <-- semi - easy fix, can do it yourself if you have a jack and jackstands. Great DIY article on how to replace the lines.
Some damage to O2 sensor <- Easy fix, sensor's expensive but it unscrews from exhaust, and screws back in. (bad O2 sensor can cuase rough idling)
brakes <- well, these are suppose to be replaced

Some oil leaks at rear of engine <-- Not good, mechanic\a dealership should check this one out. Focus on this and the "damage" with the mechanic.


bitcore is offline  
#5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 07:21 PM
5th Gear Member
 
Silver4evr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,800
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Silver4evr is an unknown quantity at this point
Quote:
Originally posted by clubin@Jun 16 2004, 05:00 PM
P.S.: The owner urges me to speak the mechanic (and believe me, I will) as he says that while the flaws "may sound a bit ominous," they're minor and experienced by any car at 100k mi.
If the car had been maintained properly (and regularly) e.g., timely inspections as per the manual, the owner would have already known about these items.

If the owner already knew about these items and chose not to fix them, why would that be?

Money, of course.

The owner's explanation of "it's normal for a 100k to have these problems" is bogus. It only normal for a poorly maintained car to have these problems.

If the owner didn't know about these problems, it's obviously due to negligence in maintenance.

On the front end repairs, how do you know the car wasn't in an accident and the owner fixed the damage without going through his insurance company.

Pass on the car and wish the owner good luck. You'll find something much better.

Good luck.

2004 E60 530is, Delivered 12/12/03, TiSilver/LGrey, PP, SP,PS, PDC, ACC, FRS, Step, Xenons, clear bra, body colored rear inserts. (Retired, 1983 henna red 320is)

2004 Corvette Z06 Commemorative Edition
Silver4evr is offline  
#6 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 07:45 PM
Threadkiller
 
bitcore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: High Point, NC
Posts: 2,907
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
bitcore will become famous soon enough bitcore will become famous soon enough
yes, the car was in an accident if there were repairs done on a bunch of bodywork, but the O2 sensor, power steering leak (at bottom of bottle return), and brakes are normal wear parts (& a common problem with E36's [power steering])
Transmission lines are in a vaulnerable place, the person could have bottomed out on a speed bump and scraped\torqued one of the lines or they could have been damaged in an accident. The oil leak is due to a mechanical failure due to either an impact (an accident) or just coinicidence.

I'm not saying go out and buy it, this car was probably in a wreck. If you can, go test drive it and if it was in a wreck, ask for a lower price. If you can't test drive it and it was in a wreck, I say move on and look for another one.

Look at the E36 common problems list in the FAQ section of this site.


bitcore is offline  
#7 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 08:14 PM
1st Gear Member
 
clubin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Miami, FL, USA
Posts: 114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
clubin is an unknown quantity at this point
(Thread Starter)
Well, I spoke to the mechanic (before most of you responded) and luckily he was pretty candid and seemed to be on my side. Anyway, he didn't have too much to say about the leaks since scope of the inspection didn't give him enough information (i.e.: he would have had to clean everything up and really hunt down the sources of the leaks). Of course I expressed my concern over the oil leaks around the engine and, while he didn't disagree, he couldn't say much either.

Now, coming into the conversation, I had already developed the idea that car had been in some sort of collision thanks to mention of repair work done in the front, driver-side quarter and the O2 sensors (how'd they get "damaged" in the first place?). Apparently, what he was mentioning in the report was that the hood, front end, and drivers door was repainted, and not too well either, by his word. He judged it a bad job since you could still see the scratches-- they just painted right over 'em without smoothing them over, so the new paint filled in the channels of the scratches and he could see it.

Regarding the O2 sensor, the WIRE (not the sensor, itself-- I mistyped in original post) apparently had some of its sleeve/encapsulation/whatever absent, but it is still functioning. He explained that it gets routed through the underside of the car and, given the suspension of the car, could've gotten that way taking a bump.

Most of the helpful info I got was after I answered that I was a potential buyer, rather than the owner. Apparently, from what he knows, another ex-buyer turned it down after discovering on her own that there's a lien on the vehicle! My first time hearing this was on the phone with the mechanic! Not a great sign, with regards to the seller's character at the very least. As even the mechanic pointed out, that should have been one of the first things told to me; I could pay him money for the car, think I own it, and then find that I owe another 5k to his lienholder.

The whole collision theory was a big deal for me as one of my advisors has a personal policy against cars with body damage. In his mind, a car's never the same after an accident and can affect the tracking (the car can pull to one side or the other) and lead to uneven wear on the tires and whatnot. On the other hand, though, when I mentioned such concerns, the mechanic stated that he didn't find any actual structural damage/repair; the bumper was original and if it had been in any accidents, they were minor. Also, he always takes inspected cars for a test drive and there was none of the pulling I was guessing at, nor any shaking when braking; the ride was normal.

I'm certainly going to inquire as to the status of his ownership (any liens), but it looks like I'm walking out. It /might/ be a diff. story if the car was here in Miami and I could check it out myself, but this is too shady for a long-distance purchase (especially considering how the seller started pushing/rushing the deal right after mentioning the "ominous" inspection report). He knows he has something to hide and I don't know if I've found it all yet. Sucks that that means I havent found my car yet, but I'm in no rush and if I could find someone to sell a car for the same price ($7600) here, it'd be even better as I wouldn't be paying $950 shipping (more than likely, though, I won't find a car for that price here).

A good quote from the mechanic in response to the mention of my original glowing aesthetic & feature-based impression of the car: "Great from afar, but far from great."

DISCLAIMER: I don't yet actually drive a BMW. Currently, I proudly drive a '93 Volvo 940, the inspiration for my love of RWD cars.
clubin is offline  
#8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 08:19 PM
Threadkiller
 
bitcore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: High Point, NC
Posts: 2,907
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
bitcore will become famous soon enough bitcore will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally posted by clubin@Jun 16 2004, 08:54 PM
In his mind, a car's never the same after an accident and can affect the tracking (the car can pull to one side or the other) and lead to uneven wear on the tires and whatnot.
This is very very true, most times this occurs when an accident happens, **ESP** when a wheel gets hit (even just tapped)
This is 100% fixed with a wheel alignment that can cost a simple 50-100$ at a tire shop. Shaking is a different matter.

Yah, I'd run away from this "deal" also.


bitcore is offline  
#9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 08:49 PM
1st Gear Member
 
clubin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Miami, FL, USA
Posts: 114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
clubin is an unknown quantity at this point
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally posted by Silver4evr+Jun 16 2004, 07:01 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Silver4evr @ Jun 16 2004, 07:01 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>On the front end repairs, how do you know the car wasn't in an accident and the owner fixed the damage without going through his insurance company.

Pass on the car and wish the owner good luck. You'll find something much better.

Good luck.[/b]

Thanks, I think I'll be taking that advice. As of right now, I'm pretty certain it has been in one. The CARFAX report has none mentioned as reported and I went back through the longs of our correspondence to find that he says himself it hasn't. However, since I ordered unlimited CARFAX checks, I decided to give my vehicle a run. 0 accidents in its database, yet I was in one September of last year-- it was both police and insurance reported, too!

In fact, this gets more and more rediculous. From our previous correspondence, it seems I asked most of the relevant questions already.

Quote:
Originally posted by me@
I assume you are the owner of the vehicle (as opposed to a dealer)? Are you the first/original owner? Do you have a service history for the car? [...] You mentioned "chips". Is the exterior paint chipping? Seems unusual. Was the car repainted an/or in any accidents?
<!--QuoteBegin-him

The "chips" I referred to are very small. I put them in the discription so as to be honest and forthright.
I'll send pics of them also. This car is really great. I am only letting it go becuase I'm buying a Harley Electra and can't afford two "toys".
Never been in any collisions or repainted. great history with no problems.
I am not original owner. I beleive I'm the third. [...] No dings at all. No discoloration at all. Really, a beautiful car.
[/quote]

Sadly, I still don't doubt it's a beautiful car though (despite its flaws).
clubin is offline  
#10 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 09:01 PM
1st Gear Member
 
clubin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Miami, FL, USA
Posts: 114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
clubin is an unknown quantity at this point
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally posted by bitcore+Jun 16 2004, 07:25 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (bitcore @ Jun 16 2004, 07:25 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Transmission lines are in a vaulnerable place, the person could have bottomed out on a speed bump and scraped\torqued one of the lines or they could have been damaged in an accident. The oil leak is due to a mechanical failure due to either an impact (an accident) or just coinicidence.[/b]


Sounds consistent with the O2 sensor wire damage.

<!--QuoteBegin-bitcore
@Jun 16 2004, 07:25 PM
If you can, go test drive it and if it was in a wreck, ask for a lower price. If you can't test drive it and it was in a wreck, I say move on and look for another one.[/quote]

My thoughts exactly. With a lowered price, assurance that the ride is nice and that it's appearance matches my standards when looking at it in person, it might have had a chance, but that's still a might and even with free/discounted air-travel perks, I'm not convinced it's worth it (one wasted trip if I don't like it).
clubin is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com > BMW Model Specific Forums > 3-Series (E36)


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
To all BMW gurus . . . is this a good deal? bdonkersgoed 5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) 10 05-29-2004 01:48 PM
Good deal on '97 318i ?? lakerkobe 3-Series (E36) 23 01-30-2004 10:08 PM
Buying a 2000 M5.. Am I getting a good deal? intense321 M-Series (M1, M3, M5, M6) 8 09-22-2003 07:39 AM
Is this a good deal? BS87 3-Series (E21, E30) 11 09-12-2003 07:35 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome