3-Series (E46, E90)Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.
I am going to try to go look at a 2000 328i today with 61,400 miles on it. It is a five speed, supposedly in "excellent" condition, but we will see... Asking price is $15,950, but I would try to bring it down to around $15,000 flat. Any thoughts on price or typical problems to try and find?
I am probably going to try and test drive it today. Can anyone run a VIN for me? WBAAM5339YEJ40538
How did the test drive go? I was going to test drive a 1999 328i 5-speed, but ended up not going this morning. My major concern is to be able to feel a slow-down going into an e46 from the lighter e36 328i.
Getting it for about $15k sounds good. I am looking at a 2000 328i with 92k miles for an asking price of $14,995. I am not sure what to recommend you look at. Check that the seals around the windows and moonroof are waterproof, and look under the car to see if nothing looks lose. If possible, have a mechanic take a quick look at it. Maybe the seller can provide you with maintenance records. Take a look at those to see if there is anything suspicious, and to see how well taken care of teh car has been.
Well, I test drove the car today. Luckily, this dealership is small so the only guy working was slammed and I got to check out the car pretty thoroughly in and out. He then let me take the keys and go for a spin for about an hour without him, which let me put it through its paces. As far as I can see or feel, car is in superb condition. No evidence if wreck or excessive wear. The official in-service date was in late 1999, so it just came off six year warranty, and I would bet that is why it was sold by owner. Anyway, braking was in a straight line without nose diving from 70-0, acceleration was as smooth as I could shift. Interior was clean, as was under the hood, but it could have been cleaned up before I got there. Clutch lets out quickly and feels tight, car doesn't pull in any direction at speed, all electronics appear to be operational. Tight turns in either direction produce no noise that would indicate CV problems.
I was the first person to look at this car, and I think he will have a tough time selling it given that it is in a not so ritzy section of town and it is a manual.
A few concerns:
1. Shifting into reverse seemed a little tricky. Not sure if it is just me with an unfamiliar gear pattern, or if something was wrong.
2. Shifting even if slightly moving produces a light thud from the rear of the car. All manual trannys make some noise even if you are sitting still with it turned off, but wasn't sure if it was excessive or normal.
3. I noticed a high-pitch whine on acceleration. I've read a few posts on this forum that say its normal. I wouldn't have noticed it had I been listening to the radio, but seeing as how I was trying to get a feel for the car, I had it off.
4. Gas pedal back pressure. I have driven BMWs before and it seems that everyone I drive has tight gas pedals. This made it a little difficult for me to launch this car at first since it was all or nothing on the gas. Is this normal and can it be adjusted?
5. Cannot figure out if this car has sport/winter package. I'm not really sure what to look for. The rims do not appear to be stock for that year.
Finally, I think I'm going to have it inspected at BMW, and point out the things above in particular. I think I'm going to offer the guy $15k out the door with tax title and see how he responds.
Any and all advice is appreciated. If carfax and inspection come clean, I am 99% sure I will buy it. This car is sweet, check pics below...
Well you seem to know what you are doing. I think you should buy it. The stuff you described seemed normal. Except the gas pedal. But these simple things are always 'adjustable'. I'm not sure about the wheels, but the tires are not factory. I can't read the tire size - what is it? The AR looks low and tire may be an incorrect size. Not sure tho.
Anyway, the tires are Nankang 225/40 R18 32H M+S Ultra Sports. I have no clue if those are good or not, but they drove fine. I'm going to sound like an idiot, but what do you mean by "AR" is too low? I am assuming you mean overall ride is too close to ground or perhaps not enough clear between wheel well and tire???
I have not seen rims like these before, but I am no expert. Perhaps someone got rims and put BMW logos in the center? That's why I wondered if the car was considered a "sport" model.
As for the gas pedal, it seemed normal within the context of it being a BMW. I have a toyota avalon now, so I would expect more pedal resistance when driving a sports sedan like a BMW. I just noticed it more since I was trying to get the feel of the where the clutch let out without lurching, but without stalling.
I meant you seem to know what you are doing bacause ya pay much attention to how the car feels when testing it. Kudos!
AR=aspect ratio=ratio of tire sidewall/tread width it is the "40" in your tire size, and would mean the sidewall is 225*40(%) or 90mm
the lower the AR, the more the tire looks like a rubber band
That is the correct size of tire, but 18in would be an upgrade package or customer upgraded wheels. a Carfax should tell you if it has factory upgrades. Also look near the driver's door latch for the ID sticker.
Good luck - hope you get the car man!
Thanks, Spooldup. The only other possible upgrade I noticed other than the tires was the exhaust, which appeared to be chrome and not typical for BMW of this year.
If the car does have upgrades that are NOT factory, should I be more cautious, or just happy? Hahaha...
DRZ, thanks for the steering wheel tip, it was in fact a three spoke.
One random question, I noticed a tray missing from what I believe is where the ashtray goes in the front console right above the shifter. It looked as though someone had some sort of electrical device plugged in through there, which makes me a little nervous. Think I can pick up a replacement ashtray somewhere for cheap? I don't smoke, but just like the car to have all its pieces.
The tray missing is for the cell phone (which would get its signal through the antenna on the roof). That was an option for e46s. Don't worry, that is all original equipment. I don't know if there is a way to just cover it up and replace it with an ashtray, but either whatever part is missing or the ashtray would be easy to find.
i'd say it is a prett good buy if the car is in superb condition. The BMW prices will vary greatly based on milage .. since it only has 60k, it's pretty much a good bargain.
Does it come with warranty? WARRANTY IS! a fGREAT plus since all repairs will cost you a lot of money. Also, In about 10-15k miles you will have to repolace few parts which your wallet won't like
as far as the noise when accelerating - how are the tires looking? if they're bold or getting there, or they are cheap tires, you will hear the high pitched noise when accelerating and the ride can be noisy. Tires do make a lot of differene in ride quality and noise reduction
just my 2 cents
but if i had that money, and really wanted the 3-series (i'm a fan of 5-ers), i'd definitely get it - no questions asked
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keep it clean
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I paid $89 for a "used car inspection" at the local dealership. About a mechanic, PM Torque. I think he lives in Louisville, and as far as I remember his dad is a mechanic. Even if he does not his own shop, Torque will very likely be able to give you a recommendation.
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