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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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Old 07-19-2005, 09:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guys,

I've been looking at buying a 99-00 BMW, generally speaking, the 323i and 325i models are in my price range. I just want to know if my financial situation warrants buying a beemer? I should be able to save 1k-1.5k a month and a hefty sign on bonus to be used for any emergency uses. I just dont know if BMW maintenance costs would be outrageous? I've been researching, but its difficult trying to get real information.

I'm just kind of looking for what your experiences have been at buying a used beemer, and if you have one, what kind of price did you pay at what miles and options.

THANKS everyone.

P.S. how many miles will a well maintained 3 series (E46) sedan go for?
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Old 07-21-2005, 03:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Get a certified used BMW. Its slightly more than a non one but you will be better off if something major comes up (German cars tend to exp to fix).
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Old 07-21-2005, 08:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I spend about $350 per year on maintainance (I have a 2000 328ci). The VW Jetta I had cost more to maintain by almost double. I have run my previous e30's to 175K and 225K miles with little problem. My e46 has 113K on it now and I have had few problems. I would get a certified pre-owned if I had to do it again just for piece of mind. I bought mine in 2002 so what I paid is a little irrelavent but I have put the majority of those miles on the car. Good luck on finding one but be sure it is a manual.
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Old 07-22-2005, 11:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Why Manual? I'm assuming the auto's are either problematic or have a ridiculous rebuild/replacement cost? I had planned on buying a manual to lower the vehicle cost anyways, however, I have minimal manual transmission experience (although I've always had dirtbikes/fourwheelers/streetbikes, so i understand the concept of a clutch) can a used, well maintained bmw withstand a little clutch abuse until I get used to it?? Also, I dont think a CPO is an option, is there anything specific to a bmw that I should look for during a test drive and inspection, or should I just have a certified mech. look it over?

thanks.
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Old 07-23-2005, 10:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My '96 VW Jetta, though I like to drive it and do the work on it, has been a maintenance nightmare. Always something failing. Last weekend I replaced a window regulator and last night I dried out 2 window motor wiring harnesses. It just never ends. I'm hoping the reliability record is much better with the BMW, because I know the expense to fix something will be greater. The BMW is an auto, which I'm wary of, because I can change out a clutch, but I can do no more than change the fluid and filter of an auto.
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Old 07-26-2005, 04:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The manual is better for obvious reasons, and when you own a BMW you'll realize why BMWs are one of the highest rates of cars purchased in a manual form. It's just more fun to drive!

Maintainence isnt too much til you get to ridiculously high mileage.

I wouldnt recomend BMW certified for anyoen on a budget. Theya re ridiculously overpriced wen they sell cars. Hell i saw a e36 M3 at the stealership yesterday for 29 grand!

Certified apparently means plus $10 grand. Look for a private seller and be cautious!

Good Luck
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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UPDATE:

Pounded the pavement yesterday to some spots I saw online. I got the Carfax service for a month so that eliminated about 50% from what I would consider worth looking at. I did randomly come across a 2000 323i for 12,500 (120k) it was in nice shape, 5-speed but the miles scare me, and its on hold anyway.

Friday I look at a black 99 323i (e46) with 74k, asking 15,500 (i'm not giving more than 15) the carfax posts it as having an accident, should I talk him down more and use the accident as reasoning? Or should I avoid the car all-together?

Other than that I have 3 dealers on the lookout for me. If all else fails my backup car of choice is a Lincoln LS, any thoughts on this non-beemer?

Thanks as always!
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Old 07-29-2005, 09:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Be careful with an accident vehicle. Only consider one that's had only cosmetic damage. Don't consider it unless you can see the damage repair invoice. If they had to put it on a rack to straighten, don't consider it unless you can get it way below wholesale. Does it have a salvage or rebuilt title? Generally you want to run away from those but sometimes it's a recovered stolen vehicle with no damage that was recovered after the insurance company declared it a total loss. In any event a salvage title makes a car worth much less than a clean title.

I assume it's a 4 door? What options?

NADA on a 323i sedan is $12,500 trade-in (wholesale) and $15,000 retail. KBB is $14,680 retail. These are both before options.

Take your time in finding the right car for you.
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Old 07-29-2005, 06:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sigh... I fell in love with the car. 1999 323i, 74k. Got it for 14,800 so I talked them down from 15,500. Its absolutely immaculate, inspected the car with a shop tech and we both couldnt beleive its condition, top to bottom, inside and out. Black on tan leather, soooo beautiful. The only problem was tire wear, could probly use an aligment and your average wear and tear from highway miles (eg a few chips on the headlights and mirrors)

A/C was ice cold, sun roof worked like a charm, windows up and down, speakers in excellent standing, leather 100%, engine compartment looked great, no subframe or control arm damage, strong clutch, good power, no bogging, no road noises except slight tire sound (aligment)

Hope it all works out!
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Old 07-30-2005, 01:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Congrats dude, you'll soon have bimmer on the head all the time
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Old 07-30-2005, 01:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Oh and yeah mines been in 2 wrecks as a matter of fact when I bought it, but the guy was rich and replaced it with all new bmw parts
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Old 07-30-2005, 07:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Sounds nice, congrats and enjoy.

If she needs new shoes, I'd do that before the alignment. And the tire noise may not be an alignment problem, might be the tires themselves. Some tires get very noisy when they get near the end of their useful life.
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Old 08-02-2005, 11:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks Guys!
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