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M-Series (M1, M3, M5, M6) General M-Series Discussion - If it does not fit into a more specific M Category above, please place it in here. In addition, previously archived M-Series discussion is located in this section.

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Old 01-22-2005, 04:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guys and gals. I am looking at buying a 1995 M3 A/T with 129K on it. I am wondering if any of you know of any signs that I can look for to tell if the car has been beat on, or if the dealer is hiding an oil leak, or if the suspension is shot, etc. I have read a lot of posts on here saying that BMWs will stand the test of time if they are maintained properly. I am just wondering if any of you have seen some of the tattle tail signs of wear and tear that I can look for. Thanks MadBMW
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Old 01-22-2005, 09:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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make sure you take it for a test drive, and when you do, be sure to drive it hard and take note of any vibrating.

take a look under the hood, if you notice any dried coolant on the radiator, or anything in bad condition. check the wheels, see if there are scuffs or dings. odds are if you find a car thats in excellent body condition and it drives nice then the previous owner took great care of it.
theres really 2 types of bmw owners: the ones who baby their cars and take care of them meticulously, and then the ones that beat the crap out of them

usually youll be able to tell. see if they offer some type of warranty on that car
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Old 01-22-2005, 10:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by TMac325is@Jan 22 2005, 09:52 AM
make sure you take it for a test drive, and when you do, be sure to drive it hard and take note of any vibrating.

take a look under the hood, if you notice any dried coolant on the radiator, or anything in bad condition. check the wheels, see if there are scuffs or dings. odds are if you find a car thats in excellent body condition and it drives nice then the previous owner took great care of it.
theres really 2 types of bmw owners: the ones who baby their cars and take care of them meticulously, and then the ones that beat the crap out of them

usually youll be able to tell. see if they offer some type of warranty on that car
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Thanks for the advice. I am wondering if there is more wrong with the car then meets the eye; seeing as they are only asking $8000.00 for a M3. Would you know if 240hp motor has any know issues of bad rear main seals or value tics? When I test drive the car, how does the manual/auto triptronic trans work? Do you just shift it from 1st to 3rd manual or is there a switch. Thanks
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Old 01-22-2005, 12:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When considering any used Bimmer, the first thing I look for are the maintenance records. It would take one hell of a set of circumstances for me to buy an //M3 without a full record of the car's maintenance history.

And while the ///M cars are the best BMW has to offer, they are still subject to the same shortcomings almost all BMW's exhibit. The most common problem areas of these cars are the coolant systems. automatic transmissions, and the need for significant periodic maintenance. Again, I would want proof, that all of these areas have been properly maintained for the life of the car.

These cars will indeed stand the test of time, but only if maintained properly. A few things to look at beyond maintenance records would just be a good visual insepction once the car's been put on a lift. You can tell a lot about a car once you get underneath it. Look for leaks, road rash, and any bent suspension components. You can also check the condition of the exhaust, tranny (possible leaks or previous leakage), and any other abnormal wear. You may also wish to perform a compression/leak down test, to identify the shape of the engines internals. Follow all of this up with a lengthy test drive, and you should have a good idea of what it's worth.
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If your buying it from a dealership, then it has to go through a points inspection. It has to pass the inspection, or they legally cannot sell the car on there lot (bmw dealers). If the car has to many problems, they usually don't fix it, and wholesale the car off to a wholesaler. So why don't you ask what kind of inspection its gone through, and if they will give you a 30-90 day warranty.
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