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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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#1 (permalink) Old 08-07-2005, 05:23 PM
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I've just seen a BMW 3 series for sale at a Ford dealership. The car looks really, really nice (2001 325i, tinted glass, manual, beautiful looks). It is priced about $3,500 below its dealer retail market value and $2,000 below its private party value.

However, the car apparently hasn't been through a traditional "Dealer inspection"... it was a trade in the dealer was just planning to send to an auction (it's going to an auction this monday).

There are 3 problems with it.

1) The battery is dead. We jumpstarted it, and the car was ok. I drove it for a few minutes.

2) The right rearview mirror is completely destroyed. Supposedly the wife didn't back up properly out of the garage ( )

The ABS and BRAKE signs are ON (Computer check). The mechanic told me that's because the electrical circuit is interrupted because of this mirror damage.

Does it sound like a plausible explanation?!

He said it would cost about $500 to get the mirror replaced.

3) The driver's power seat moves up, down, and other directions, but not forward and backwards...

The mechanic told me that he tried to fix it but could not. He said I should bring it to the bmw dealership. I know you can't tell me without taking a look at the car, many different things could be wrong... but how much does it typically cost to repair a power seat? What's the worst case scenario? $1,000 or up?

Apart from these problems, the car is

Do you think it might be a good idea / bad idea to take the chance and buy this car? Basically, i need to evaluate if the repairs might cost more than $2,000(the car is $2,000 below its private party's value). If it might, then I should probably not buy this car.

Thanks for any help, i need to take this big $$ decision before monday!!

2001, 325Ci, 66,000 miles, $16,000 (Edmunds' private party price estimate is $17,900).
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-07-2005, 06:09 PM
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From what you've said, it sounds like a good car. However the response that the lights are on because of the mirror is crap. The ABS system is controlled by its own system and is not in any way attached to the mirror's electrical system. This may be something to be checked out by a dealer...most likely its not a big deal. For 16K, i'd say buy it.
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-07-2005, 10:30 PM
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Thank you Matt.

$600 to fix ABS, $500 for the right rearview mirror, probably about $600-$800 for the power seat (???), $80 for the battery, and perhaps break works... it adds up pretty quickly.

Probably about $2,000 worth of work if you're right.

I was hoping the mechanic was right when he said the rearview mirror's failure was the cause for the ABS and brake light coming ON. But if that's not the case, I don't think the car is worth $16,000...

Damn, i love these coupe bimmers with tinted glass though...
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-07-2005, 10:57 PM
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Hey...

Although I think the car is amazingly priced, I had a similar problem with the ABS, Brake and DSC lights light up on my 2000 323i. The BMW of Austin Dealership told me that it was:

1 - Either a faulty Wheel Speed Sensor, which is not too expensive a fix ($250 i think), OR
2 - A faulty ABS Control Module (some kind of somputer) = a $2-$3K fix.

It may not be too expensive to diagnose the problem if you take the car to a BMW dealership, but I would highly advise you to do so before buying it, because if it IS problem #2 then the car will go from being a good to a BAAAD deal for you.

The car I purchased was from the Momentum BMW of Katy (TX) dealership, and the problem was pre-existing - they KNEW about it and screwed me on it, so my $.02 is that I don't see why the Ford dealership may not be trying to hide a major problem.

I know that its like biting the hand that feeds you, but if I was you I'd try to find out WHY this car is being sold at a relatively throw-away price!!!

Also, my advice above may be totally irrelevant b/c your car may not have this problem. However, if you have a cautious personality I would advise looking into it.

I hope either way, you get the best deal possible on the BMW u want!!
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2005, 10:59 PM
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Also, look at the car manual....it will specifically tell you what the DSC, BRAKE and ABS light being on together mean, versus only the BRAKE and ABS light. There is a difference between each occurence signifying a different kind of fault. MY above post was for when all THREE lights are on = really bad news.

It COULD be the wheel speed sensor (the CHEAP problem to fix), but it rarely is!!!!
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-08-2005, 01:04 AM
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You should make sure that the 60k service was done. If not it's gonna set you back $1k.
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