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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm new here, just now getting around to possibly buying my first BMW!

I've found a 1991 325i that I think I might buy... but the mileage is 180,000 and the current owner (of 2.5 years) doesn't know if the timing belt has been replaced (the clutch was replace just before she got it, and the brakes a year ago). Is this something I should be worried about? She's asking full blue book of $3200 (which is a little over my budget, but it is the model I've been looking for).

Any advice?

Thanks,
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The current owner has checked and found that the timing belt was replaced about 3yrs ago... so I guess that's not an issue, for a while, anyway.

However, I've since found another BMW I might be interested in... so I'd be curious about some of your opinions about which one would be better...

1. 1991 325i - 180k miles - $2750 - timing belt, clutch and brakes done within last 3yrs
2. 1990 525i - 192k miles - $3200 - timing belt, clutch and brakes done within last 6 months

Which would you go for and why?

Thanks,
Scott
 

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Scott....
Hello! Hmmm. FIRST, do any of the 2 owners have any other records for either of the cars? How is the body condition? Make sure they aren't leaking oil...that might not be fun for you to deal with. So far, with my 91' 3 series, I've spent a lot of time and money fixing things, but now that everything is fixed and running to par, it is an absolutely fabulous car, it has a bit fewer miles on it though. But, if you change the oil on time everytime, and spend a lot of time taking care of it, then you would be another proud BMW owner like the rest of us! As for which model to go with, its totally up to you. I've never had a problem with room in my coupe. But, the 525 would have even more room. Everything was repaired more recently on that one too. Its your call. Hope that my two cents helps. Good luck. :driving

Kali*

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Thanks Kali...

From what I've been told (I will be going to actually see the cars tomorrow), both are in excellent shape body-wise, and have near flawless leather interiors. I'll look for signs of oil leaks, repainting, etc.

Initially I was definitely leaning towards the 325i, but as I think about it, and in the context of what will work best for me over the next couple of years, the bigger 525i may be better for me. Not to mention the fact that a bunch of the typcial high mileage repairs have just been done.

I'll be able to check the records when I see the car tomorrow, but according to the seller, he's put in a new timing belt, water pump, ignition components (plugs, wires, rotor, cap), vacuum hoses, valve clearance adjustment, all in the last few months. I'm hoping that is an indication that the car is good to go for awhile, and not an indication that it's going to be a money pit! In any case, I'll definitely check for leaking oil, etc...

Having said all that, I've never owned a car beyond about 150k miles, so 192k seems pretty high to me (though, I suppose given the two cars I'm currently considering, 192k isn't that much more than 180k)... from what I've been reading, a well cared for BMW can still be a great ride well into the 200's...

Any other advice before I plop down what little $$ I have?

Wish me luck!

Thanks,
Scott
 
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