First time buyer, need advice please - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 06:56 AM
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First time buyer, need advice please

Hello, I'm a small time business owner that is currently driving a tired, beat up 1999 explorer xlt, with door locks that dont work, and seats that are uncomfortable.

I was searching for a new used car for under 6000 today ,and came across a 2002 BMW 325i Sport. It has 136000 miles and is automatic. The person said it was purchased at 56k as a Certified Pre Owned from a BMW dealership.

I need a car that is a reliable daily driver. I can do normal maintenace, and some swap suspensions, and do minor engine repairs.. sensors, evap units, tb's... just not clutch/trans or internal motor work.

MY question is are BMW's reliable with higher mileage? Reliability is huge for me. Are there any other makes/models I should look for, and are there any common problems with these cars?

Thanks for the help in advance.
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 12:25 PM
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Welcome to Bimmerwerkz!

A BMW is as reliable as any ther car really as long as all the maintenance is done properly. I have 262,000 km on my 1998 328i. And if I hadn't switched it to my summer car I would have close to 300,000 on it. You said you can do all most all the maintenance the car will need so you should be fine.

The cooling system on the E36samd early E46 was notorious for failure. The reason was BMW used plastic parts which became brittle and cracked. Most people recommend inspecting the cooling system and if the thermostat housing and water pump are still original to replace them. It's not very difficult to do ad it will save headaches later. When the water pump on the E36 failed, it failed with spectacular fashion destroying the fan ad sending broken bits throughout the engine bay. The Rear Trailing Arm Bushings (RTAB) and Rear Shock Mounts (RSM) are wearable parts and do need replacement over time.

Once you drive the car you will probably fall in love with it. Most people have.


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#3 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 06:34 AM
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so water pump and rear trailing bushings are the only things that ever go wrong with these? WOW! That gets me stoked.

I guess I should ask about the auto transmission. How well do they hold up with higher miles? I know with a manual you usually can swap out the clutch and the only way to kill a manual trans is if you grind / slam gears, so i worry about the auto. Ive been finding mainly all auto trans for the 325i
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 01:10 PM
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Well their not the ONLY things that go wrong. They however are usually the most common. The whole cooling system usually needs replacement after the first 100,000 miles. but the aftermarket ones out their are pretty good

Mine is an auto and I have 262,000 Kms on mine. I would have over 300,000 if it wasn't in storage for the winter. I have no issues with my transmission and I recommend every 100,000 km's changing the Tranny fluid. BMW states its a lifetime fluid but what they mean is the lifetime of the trannsmission. As log as you take car of the car it will work fine.

If you have any more questions let us know


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#5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 05:02 AM
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Welcome to the Werkz.

As with any car there are any number of variables to take into account, service hsitory, driver history, and then the unknowns. Check the car over as you would with any vehicle, if your not 100% confident, it might be worth paying an experienced shop to look over the car your considering, that small amount up front may be well spent in the long run if it stops you from buying the wrong car.


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