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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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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Potential BMW owner


I am considering buying a 2005 330Ci convertible. The owner wanted $12500 but agreed to my offer of $11500. He had a CARFAX offer for $10000 of which they will turn around and sell at $14000. It appears to be well taken care of and in excellent physical condition and drives beautifully. When putting the VIN in AutoCheck the vehicle got a score of 92 and had not reported issues. However, the milage is 110,000 and a friend of mine who sells cars said that after 75,000 they call BMWs Christmas trees because the dash starts lighting up. I have never owned a BMW and am a single mom. It is beautiful and most everything I do is for my kids but I really want this one thing for me. The back seat is adequate size for my 5 and 7 year old but I drive 70 miles round trip to work 3-4 days a week and while I might just enjoy the drive for a change I will be putting a good amount of milage on it. I do need reliable though so I'm scared with the milage and know nothing about cars. I do take care of the one I own which has truly been low maintence and I've never had a problem and I'm well over 112000 now. I've been given a lot of advice...mostly don't get it...but a few have said to go for it.

Opinions? What would you say upkeep and maintenence would cost? I'm pretty sure I could (with the help of a friend who knows cars) do some of it myself. I just don't want to get it and then start having problems.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 03:29 AM
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brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice
Welcome to the Werkz

As with any car its previous maintenance history can make for important reading. Has the car been serviced regularly, have there been any persistant issues reported, or were there any warnings given in the last two or three services? How many owners before you? How long has the current owner had the car? What is their motivation for selling it?
Take it to an independent BMW mechanic and have them check the car over and give you a written report, make sure that you pay for this service because that could be the best money you spend on the car. Don't be pressured into buying the first car you see.

Good luck.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much! He says it's been serviced regularly and just got 2 new tires and a belt but I have not seen documentation of this. He is only the 2nd owner and says he's selling it because he's moving and going to graduate school. I will schedule an appointment with a BMW mechanic for Monday as soon as they have a spot open.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 01:18 AM
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I would say go for it as long as the PPI (pre-purchase inspection) goes over well. BMWs are known for certain problems as is any other car. As long as you see that it has been maintained and you will be sure to maintain it to the best of your ability you should be fine. Although I do recommend that if you do buy this car, make sure to have about 800 to 1000 dollars set aside each year...just in case and do some preventative maintenance like a cooling system over haul if it hasn't had one yet.

Best of luck,

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 04:48 AM
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The E46 had a few issues with the cooling system as several components were made of plastic. The average lifespan of the cooling system is 80,000-100,000 miles. Several components such as the water pump and thermostat housing can be upgraded to aluminum components which last much longer.

As previously mentioned the service history is the most important. Find out what has been done to the car and why. With only 75,000 miles it shouldnt have needed much work. My friend has a 2004 320i and the first major thing he had to replace (which i fixed for him) was his power steering pump. His has less milage too.

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