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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 04-05-2010, 11:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Please help me decide

First of all I would like to apologize if i'm repeating an old threat, this is my first ever post and I really need your help. I'm on the verge of purchasing a 96 m3 with 215k miles, but with a rebuild engine around 55k as the seller said. The car drives pretty well only needs a paint job. We agreed on $2700 bucks for the car, I'm not really knowledgeable about cars let alone BMW, he was trying to sell the car for around $3800. He said the car needs a paint job and simple tlc. Something about the whole deal makes me not sure. What else should I check for in the car before buying it? something is telling me its a great deal while something else is telling me its a lemon. Please help me and give me some advise. Thank you so much.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
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Is there paper work for all the service the car has had? Without that, I think I'd leave it.
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to the Werkz.

It might be worth getting a mechanic to check it out before you decide to buy it. Check for signs of repaired body damage and or rust. Check the service history and speak with the mechanic that has been servicing the car recently to see if he knows of any hidden issues, get someone else to start and drive the car past you to see if there are external noises that you can't hear in the car. If the current owner hasn't had it for long, see if you can get hold of the previous owner.
Good luck.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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215K is a lot of miles. Even if the engine only has 55K on it there could be a lot of potential issues with the chassis of the vehicle which in this case would be my primary concern. Some of the common issues on the E36 include:

Rear subframe failure
Rear shock tower failure
Forward trailing arm mounts (tear off the vehicle)

These issues aren't common on cars that have been maintained or abused but theya re things to look at/be aware of.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I didn't ask him the paper work yet but I will definatley do that, also i noticed a noise coming from the AC unit he said its the compression of the AC. Should I be worried about a potennial head gasket issue even if the owner did a rebuild? thank you guys for this quick respond.
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