Buying My First M3 (e36) - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-13-2005, 10:18 AM
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Hi folks. New member, first post. I've been reading these forums a lot the past few weeks I've been looking truly seriously at M3s.

(Sob story: last car, an Integra GSR, was stolen right out of my driveway! Walked out that morning with my briefcase... dude, where's my car? )

I have a deposit down on a 1999 coupe, silver, grey interior. The catch with this car is that it has 130,000 miles on it.

I know mileage alone is not enough to kill one of these, if it's been well maintained. So, part two: it has been a multi-owner lease car. (ouch!)

So - walk away, right? Well - I'm getting it for $18,000, which is a steal, unless something blows up. I've seen its entire maintenance history, always and regularly serviced at the BMW dealer in its town, its last Inspection II 12,000 miles ago. Accident-free history.

I drove it, it's tight, in fact feels tighter than one I drove a week ago, also 1999, with only 75,000 miles.

Very noticeable was how well both doors, hood and trunk close - very nice, very straight, and maybe a good sign. The interior is very, very good, and the exterior just needs some TLC (several tiny dents to get out of it). There's also rust at one of the rear spoiler mounts, so probably that should be removed and the whole lid re-done.

Finalizing this purchase is contingent on my approving a pre-sales inspection I'm going to have done at the BMW dealership on Tuesday. Anything on the report they give me I don't like, I'll get my deposit back (my option - in writing). I'm going to have them check safety items (even though the place I'm buying the car is actually "doing" my safety), and I'd also like them to do a compression test... do you BMW experts know of a certain test or inspection "type" or specific name I should use with the BMW dealer when I arrange this tomorrow?

Lastly - I saw a CARFAX report for this car at the dealership, but as I'm still a bit wary of the whole thing here, just to be safe - I noticed some of you good folks run CARFAXes for members here. If someone would be so kind, I'd greatly appreciate it.

The VIN is WBSBG9338XEY81020.

Thanks all, and I look forward to being a regular contributor around here.


Rad.
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-13-2005, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Radagast@Feb 13 2005, 10:18 AM
Hi folks. New member, first post. I've been reading these forums a lot the past few weeks I've been looking truly seriously at M3s.

I have a deposit down on a 1999 coupe, silver, grey interior. The catch with this car is that it has 130,000 miles on it.

I know mileage alone is not enough to kill one of these, if it's been well maintained. So, part two: it has been a multi-owner lease car. (ouch!)

So - walk away, right? Well - I'm getting it for $18,000, which is a steal, unless something blows up. I've seen its entire maintenance history, always and regularly serviced at the BMW dealer in its town, its last Inspection II 12,000 miles ago. Accident-free history.

I drove it, it's tight, in fact feels tighter than one I drove a week ago, also 1999, with only 75,000 miles.

Very noticeable was how well both doors, hood and trunk close - very nice, very straight, and maybe a good sign. The interior is very, very good, and the exterior just needs some TLC (several tiny dents to get out of it). There's also rust at one of the rear spoiler mounts, so probably that should be removed and the whole lid re-done.

[snapback]290946[/snapback]
Well, I have to say I am not sure that you are getting the best price for that M3. My basis for this is that i purchased my 98 M3 3.2L Sedan from BMW here in Austin with only 57K on it. no dents, no rust, a few light scratches that disapear with wax job and runs tight as a drum. I purchased my M3 for 18K. With that in mind i am not sure if yours with 130K on it is a good buy. Just my two cents.

Good Luck

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#3 (permalink) Old 02-13-2005, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chant@Feb 13 2005, 11:47 AM

Well, I have to say I am not sure that you are getting the best price for that M3. My basis for this is that i purchased my 98 M3 3.2L Sedan from BMW here in Austin with only 57K on it. no dents, no rust, a few light scratches that disapear with wax job and runs tight as a drum. I purchased my M3 for 18K. With that in mind i am not sure if yours with 130K on it is a good buy. Just my two cents.

Thanks for the reply. Based on the current market around here, I think this price is probably still appropriate/good for this car. In this area (Toronto), these were the E36 M3s available these past few weeks:

1999 coupe 130k miles - $18,000
1997 coupe 113k miles - $22,500
1998 coupe 109k miles - $23,000
1997 coupe 106k miles - $24,000
1999 coupe 75k miles - $26,000
1998 sedan 75k miles - $16,000

The one for $26,000 I test-drove. Something about it gave me a bad feeling.

I'm still thinking the price may be okay as long as the BMW inspection doesn't find anything alarming. I'm hoping I can feel confident with that inspection if it's a healthy report, and not be wondering if I'm sitting on a time bomb.


Rad.
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2005, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Radagast+Feb 13 2005, 12:29 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Radagast @ Feb 13 2005, 12:29 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-Chant@Feb 13 2005, 11:47 AM

Well, I have to say I am not sure that you are getting the best price for that M3. My basis for this is that i purchased my 98 M3 3.2L Sedan from BMW here in Austin with only 57K on it. no dents, no rust, a few light scratches that disapear with wax job and runs tight as a drum. I purchased my M3 for 18K. With that in mind i am not sure if yours with 130K on it is a good buy. Just my two cents.

Thanks for the reply. Based on the current market around here, I think this price is probably still appropriate/good for this car. In this area (Toronto), these were the E36 M3s available these past few weeks:

1999 coupe 130k miles - $18,000
1997 coupe 113k miles - $22,500
1998 coupe 109k miles - $23,000
1997 coupe 106k miles - $24,000
1999 coupe 75k miles - $26,000
1998 sedan 75k miles - $16,000

The one for $26,000 I test-drove. Something about it gave me a bad feeling.

I'm still thinking the price may be okay as long as the BMW inspection doesn't find anything alarming. I'm hoping I can feel confident with that inspection if it's a healthy report, and not be wondering if I'm sitting on a time bomb.


Rad.
[snapback]291010[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]

If those are your choices and the inspection is good then i say go for it. if you keep it up well then i'm sure you got at least another 70K on it. I luv mine and won't go back to anything else LOL. good luck and let us know the results of the inspection .

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#5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 12:56 PM
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Thumbs up

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? Not so much on the price, but on that inspection I want to do at the BMW dealer - is there maybe a "canned test" with a particular name I should ask for / want for evaluating a used car?

I'd really appreciate any suggestions, as I will probably be making the appointment for this late today or tomorrow morning.


Thanks!

Rad.
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#6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 02:24 PM
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Angry

with M3's you just have to remember all of the parts are going to cost triple whatever you paid on your honda.

You need to check the simple things like sills, brake pads, tires, exhaust rust, wheel arch rust, suspension, shocks, etc.

If you can get a mechanic to have a look over it, give it a full 101 point inspection, every little fault should be noted.

$18,000 is about 9000 which is very cheap for an M3 with 75k miles (or at least it is in the UK)

Also, my brother is a mechanic and he told me that one of the major components in an M3 engine is made by rolls royce. Now if that breaks, you're probably looking at about $8,000 to replace it. Make sure you ask in the dealership about this, i really cant remember what it's called! (oops)
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#7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 04:16 PM
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DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!

Even if those are Canadian dollars (Are they?), You are talking about buying a 5-6 year old car, with 130,000 miles on it. And it's a multi-lease. Think about this: Have you ever rented a car? Did you drive the living crap out of whatever you were rented because you knew that you weren't going to have the car long enough to worry about whatever problems came about later? That's what rentals are for, going all the way back to the Hertz Rent-A-Racer Shelby Mustang in the sixties. Now take that thought, and apply it to the M3, which has basically had two long-term "renters", and has very high miles for a car that is only 6-ish years old. Is it an automatic or manual? Is the interior in excellent condition? Does it handle tightly and not make any grinding, squeaking, or clicking sounds? Even if all this stuff is great, you are looking at a high mileage car, that will be needing some work pretty soon. The 150k-200k mileage range can be where a lot of things go bad, and if it's an auto tranny, the best thing you can hope for is that it may fail or start slipping soon. If it's manual, the worst thing could be that someone's experienced the wonderful overrev/mis-shift. Bottom line: Even with all the documentation on this car, if it has EVERYTHING for every time it was brought to the dealership, this is still not a good buy. I would look on autotrader and see what kinds of deals you can find here in the states. I don't know how hard it is for you to import a car in to Canada, but you can find several fine M3s in the states for what you are looking to spend.
...but that's just my thoughts on the subject.
-Tim

PS: My mechanic just told me to tell you: Not only no, but HELL NO.
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#8 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 04:45 PM
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I agree with the above...stay away from ex-leased cars!!....ESPECIALLY on an M3 when the parts so expensive!

<a href='http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/1118083' target='_blank'>Check out my ride!!!</a>

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE</div><div class='quotemain'>(From Family Guy) Brian to peter: Well peter you've only got a couple hours left. If your gonna pull a party outta your ass you might wanna stand up!</div>
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#9 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 06:53 PM
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UPDATE:

Well, the BMW dealer looked it over, they think it's in great shape. (Remember they have no vested interest here - they are not who I am buying it from.)

Compression 170 across the board.

Computer - no faults or overrevs recorded.

I did drive it, it "felt" fine, suspension fine, brakes fine, shifts nice, no odd noises, doors seal nice... I don't expect a miracle at 130k miles, but I think it may just be a solid car.

Any other thoughts before I write my big cheque? lol

Thanks again to everyone who has replied.


Rad.
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#10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2005, 01:48 PM
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Sorry to hear your car got stolen. Good luck, hope you get a m3!!!!
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#11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2005, 01:54 AM
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Well I just bought a 96 M3 with 62,000 miles on it. Great car all around, inside & out. I paid $16,000 for it, it's manual & shifts great. I live in the bronx, NY.
Also, don't jump on a car with high miles, I've done that before & paid for it.
I bought a 94 530i with 152,000 miles, the car is in good condition all around, but the first day I got it, the clutch went on me, $1,700 in repairs.
I was looking at another 96 M3 & it had 116,000 miles on it, I was going to jump on it, but I thought about the high miles & backed off. I then found my 96...
So, just make sure your not just jumping on this deal.... Maybe waiting to fine something with low miles is your best bet......
Good luck!!!!
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#12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2005, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rugged530i@Feb 17 2005, 01:54 AM
Well I just bought a 96 M3 with 62,000 miles on it. Great car all around, inside & out. I paid $16,000 for it, it's manual & shifts great. I live in the bronx, NY.
Also, don't jump on a car with high miles, I've done that before & paid for it.
I bought a 94 530i with 152,000 miles, the car is in good condition all around, but the first day I got it, the clutch went on me, $1,700 in repairs.
I was looking at another 96 M3 & it had 116,000 miles on it, I was going to jump on it, but I thought about the high miles & backed off. I then found my 96...
So, just make sure your not just jumping on this deal.... Maybe waiting to fine something with low miles is your best bet......
Good luck!!!!
[snapback]293535[/snapback]
Great buy!! you did well. i know what you mean about jumping on a car with high miles. I did that with my 325i and then a week or so later my water pump went out and cost me $650. that's when i got my M, 98 with 57K on it for 18K. i definitely say wait for the lower milage vehicles LOL unless you know the guy you are buying it from REAL well LOL. :lol:


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#13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2005, 12:32 PM
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Well this is very intresting people are bringing this subject of whats good on an m3?

First of all. Last week Feb 12 2005 i bought my first m3. A 1997 cosmos black M with vaders, sports package, hi fy sound system , spoiler anddd everything in wonderful shape.

Mileage? 64,500 MILES!!!!!
price....wow a almost 8 year old car....with only 64,500 miles...hmmm Im guessing he paid...$18.500.00 to $20.000.00?


NOPEEEE

I bought my car for 16,500 bucksss. Best buy of my life... So im driving home after buying the car..."wow this is sooooo awsome , I finally have my dream car the M3!!! and its not even the 95 like i had been asuming i was gonna be purchasing for 4-5 years while saving , but a 97!


Great buy end of story.
So anyways driving home and what happends? bick bang boom......smoke....

Son of a bitch...

End of a long story $1,507

New
Radiator
Fan
Fan clutch
Flex disk<<<I new that had to be replaced.

these cars are awsome and god Im loving mine after not being able tod drive it for 5 out of 7 days from purchasing it.

My point is i had my car inspected from one of the best bmw mechanics I new of.
No problems with that part of the car at all, but shit happends.

So ya I love my car but I new 16,500 wasnt gonna be my last price for the car.

Keep in mind low mileage great condition....There bmw's. M stands for MONEY


You will drop huge amounts of money into your car

I didnt really realize this when i bought the car. For I owned a 1996 328is and owned that for a year only problem was the thermostat and tranny mounts.

Before that i drove and still drive my 1985 528e with 433,000 miles.

Wait on a perfect car with low mileage and awsome everything. Dont let some1 bitch you out your money.

My bad on long post.

If you got any qustions just ask.

-Mtilltheend

<span style='color:blue'>

My 1997 cosmos black m3
<a href='http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/789780' target='_blank'>http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/789780</a>
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#14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 08:40 PM
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I bought my 1990 E36 M3 EVO SMG with 99k for 9,000. It was in better condition than some lower mileaged examples that I viewed. What swung me was that it had been correctly maintained and that it had warranty. I owned it for a week now, so far I'm happy. I also think buying any car is a 50-50% chance of a good example, so I recommend to buy with warranty or pay that extra from BMW just for that peace of mind.
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