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in_d_haus
08-28-2002, 09:34 AM
Ok,
With the thread about the guys CPO nightmare I started some checking into the M3 I'm looking at. Ran a Carfax report and it came up clean.

Like the dealer told me it's a lease return from California. Additionally I found out this was leased as a fleet car to some business so an exec perk or some private businessman writing off the car.

The vehicle is in immaculate shape and is loaded with options. The interior shows very little wear and the car has, amazingly, very few rockchips. Much less than my car which only has a few more miles.

I'm going to ask to see the CPO inspection sheet on the car and see if they will comply. My dealer is great and my salesman is a wonderful guy. I've sent a lot of people to them so I doubt they will try and screw me over.

I'm going to ask about taking it to a private place for a look see, this is a shop the dealer recommends for out of warrantee cars when they get busy and I know some of the guys there.

JST
08-28-2002, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by in_d_haus
Ok,
With the thread about the guys CPO nightmare I started some checking into the M3 I'm looking at. Ran a Carfax report and it came up clean.

Like the dealer told me it's a lease return from California. Additionally I found out this was leased as a fleet car to some business so an exec perk or some private businessman writing off the car.

The vehicle is in immaculate shape and is loaded with options. The interior shows very little wear and the car has, amazingly, very few rockchips. Much less than my car which only has a few more miles.

I'm going to ask to see the CPO inspection sheet on the car and see if they will comply. My dealer is great and my salesman is a wonderful guy. I've sent a lot of people to them so I doubt they will try and screw me over.

I'm going to ask about taking it to a private place for a look see, this is a shop the dealer recommends for out of warrantee cars when they get busy and I know some of the guys there.

You can check for some obvious things, though with the low mileage on the car I'd be shocked if some of these were problems. Much of this you may already know.

-Check the brake pad wear; make sure it's consistent with mileage of the car. This should be on the CPO sheet, but you can verify with a small ruler.

-Check the subframe mounts under the car; look for obvious signs of stress. You can also check the rear shock mounts for wear, but this entails pulling the trunk liner.

-Check the radiator neck, where the coolant hose attaches, for signs of leakage. This plastic piece can fail, leading to coolant loss, but this is a problem only with higher mileage cars.

-Check the VANOS controller for sounds like marbles in a tin can; this can be a sign that the controller needs to be replaced.

-Check the body panels for DOT-R stickers, or for a comlete absence of VIN stickers. Check the hidden areas of the engine compartment and behind the front wheel for signs of overspray.

Obviously, a service history on the car is useful, if they have one.

blackdawg
08-28-2002, 09:46 AM
i've been following your purchase and i went through this, too, i feel as though we're like spiritual car brothers.

the new e46m3 would be the best bet for all around driving, plus the romping around HP power to slide out the tail; but on a fixed cost basis, who knows how wise an investment (aha! cars are usually SO NOT investments) that would be. shaky economics in the US and all.

buying a used car with more HP than one would already know what to do with is amazing. put it this way, an instructor in a 1995 M3 lightweight with "only" all of 225hp blows away other instructors in bone stock e46m3's. okay? there is no argument here. the differences on the track for most people are small, other than the e46 probably being less prone to snap oversteer.

i do not see how you could lose in this proposition. the torque is more accessible (you might miss the 6th gear on long trips....), someone else already paid for depreciation, you can still get it CPO'd, and it's still faster in a straightline or can keep up with (just about) the new 350Z car.

and i'd still put my money on an e36m3 than the Z car on laptimes. :-)

just my opinion. i went used car versus new, and i still have way more HP than i know what to do with, and i only got the 282hp version, not the all new 320hp version car.

DougDogs
08-28-2002, 09:49 AM
Glad your having it looked at privately:thumbup:

If they give you any slack about that, they might be hiding something.

I'm sure you know that the only time a used car salesman is not lying is when his mouth is closed:D

I wouldn't let the selling dealer know who is checking out the car, if you can get away with that.

When you say the dealer recommends this private place, are you talking about your regular dealer, or the selling dealer of the M3??? or are they the same???

in_d_haus
08-28-2002, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by DougDogs

When you say the dealer recommends this private place, are you talking about your regular dealer, or the selling dealer of the M3??? or are they the same???

Its the same dealer, I've been with them for years. As with most dealers they don't like to work on "old" cars so they recommend this shop among others to people. I know the shop and know many of the mechanics personally (BMW club members)

The owner of the shop told me that they can do an inspection for $65, stem to stern. He also said that the dealer is very reputable and while he always recommends a 2nd opinion on used cars he doubts they will find anything wrong with the car.

DougDogs
08-28-2002, 09:59 AM
sounds like a well spent 65 dollars..best of luck!!!

edit: I just re-read your post, sound like it is almost a toss-up...I would do it though.

AF
08-28-2002, 09:59 AM
Great advice JST :thumbup:

The vin tags are always a great giveaway of repaint or bodywork.

in da haus,

One another way to tell bodywork is to check for 'lips' in the paint. You would see these in the door jambs area, by the rear fenders inside by the trunk, etc.

Also, check the spare tire area, you will sometimes see stress in that area which could indicate an accident, another thing to look for is very simple:

Check nuts, bolts, and screws for scars . . . as you already know, when you touch a bolt,nut or screw, it will leave a scar (or scratch) on it. If you see scars, it could indicate that something was repaired or replaced.

Sometimes, one bolt will be body colored and the other will be a different finish, this is another clear indication that something has been repaired or replaced.

Good luck !!

in_d_haus
08-28-2002, 10:07 AM
The only drag is that the dealer put new rubber on the car all around, not a bad thing but they put Conti Sport Contacts on it :thumbdwn:

I'm gonna have to get S-03s soon!

TD
08-28-2002, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by in_d_haus
The only drag is that the dealer put new rubber on the car all around, not a bad thing but they put Conti Sport Contacts on it :thumbdwn:

I'm gonna have to get S-03s soon!

Too funny. My dealer did the same with my CPO'd M3. I bagged them after only ~7K miles for S-03s.

blackdawg
08-28-2002, 10:14 AM
are the first tire i've ever tried that was better than even what people have said about them.

they're flat out awesome.

don't last long, though. geez.

nate
08-28-2002, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by blackdawg
are the first tire i've ever tried that was better than even what people have said about them.

they're flat out awesome.

don't last long, though. geez.

Mine wore out in less than 8K miles...