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View Full Version : Prospective BMW owner with questions - looking for help


herbyd
02-06-2011, 06:22 AM
Off the bat, i apologize if my questions have been posted on this forum in the past.

I'm currently looking at purchasing a pre-owned 2000 323i (2.5L I6 EFI). The mileage is currently 33,000. The car is in great condition.

A few questions for the forum:
1) the current color of the car (white) is not my first choice (grey or black), and I'm wondering what the consequences are of painting the car. What I realize is that a) the trade-in value will be diminished if I don't spend 5-10k to have the car repainted. My budget for repainting is in 1-2k range. b) I'm not as concerned about the trade-in value as I am about the reliability of a paint job in this price range. I know of a few high end body shops (at car dealers) that can perform this work. Since the car only has 30k miles on it I figure I still have atleast 7 years of enjoyment left on this car. I just want to 'maximize my happiness' during those 7 years and not have to worry about constantly touching up the paint job.

2) is 12k an appropriate price for this year/model car? all things being equal, the car is in great shape - it's been checked out by my mechanic - and runs beautifully (autocheck score of 95). only one small abrasion on the rear bumper, but nothing of substance. there have been two previous owners. the first drove it until 25k, the second until 33k.


any feedback on this is greatly appreciated. thank you so much in advance for your help and advice.:)

Black 328xi
02-06-2011, 07:55 AM
Here are my .02 cents:

A 1-2K paint job going from white to black or gray will not provide you with the results you may be hoping for. Its a lot of work to properly change the color of the car. You never realize how much of the car is painted until you try to change the color and you notice all of those little ares that need to be done that are not easily reached. Unless your painter is a friend of yours, your price range may only cover the cars exterior which would mean every time you would open the door/truck/hood of your nicely painted black car you would see this gaudy white trim.

If you plan on keeping the car for 7 years, the paint job will probably not decrease the value of the car by much since the car will continue to depreciate on its own.

As for the deal, it sounds like this is a great find with the low miles, however I think the price may be a touch high. I'm assuming it has average amount of options.

If you are dead set on buying this year/model, my personal opinion would be to continue to shop around until you find one that is the color you want.

***CCCP***
02-07-2011, 04:49 AM
Off the bat, i apologize if my questions have been posted on this forum in the past.

I'm currently looking at purchasing a pre-owned 2000 323i (2.5L I6 EFI). The mileage is currently 33,000. The car is in great condition.

A few questions for the forum:
1) the current color of the car (white) is not my first choice (grey or black), and I'm wondering what the consequences are of painting the car. What I realize is that a) the trade-in value will be diminished if I don't spend 5-10k to have the car repainted. My budget for repainting is in 1-2k range. b) I'm not as concerned about the trade-in value as I am about the reliability of a paint job in this price range. I know of a few high end body shops (at car dealers) that can perform this work. Since the car only has 30k miles on it I figure I still have atleast 7 years of enjoyment left on this car. I just want to 'maximize my happiness' during those 7 years and not have to worry about constantly touching up the paint job.

2) is 12k an appropriate price for this year/model car? all things being equal, the car is in great shape - it's been checked out by my mechanic - and runs beautifully (autocheck score of 95). only one small abrasion on the rear bumper, but nothing of substance. there have been two previous owners. the first drove it until 25k, the second until 33k.


any feedback on this is greatly appreciated. thank you so much in advance for your help and advice.:)

1-2k for a pint job??? Not a good idea my friend. On my 7 just to repaint 2 rear doors and the rear bumper they want almost 2k and it has only couple dents from other ppl's doors. It's way easier to find the right color u like then repainting white. Btw white is nice I really wish my 7 was white I couldn't find one when I was buying the car. But I guys it's different for everybody. I don't recommend repainting. I'm sure u can find something as nice in a color u love. Keep looking. I was looking for my car 3 months till I got the right one. And 2 owners and only 30+ miles? Why the second owner sold it so fast? Make sure it's not a lemon car. Find all the service records for this car. B4 u buy it.

Andrew*Debbie
02-07-2011, 05:44 AM
Off the bat, i apologize if my questions have been posted on this forum in the past.

I'm currently looking at purchasing a pre-owned 2000 323i (2.5L I6 EFI). The mileage is currently 33,000. The car is in great condition.



any feedback on this is greatly appreciated. thank you so much in advance for your help and advice.:)


If the car is an automatic you should read up on the no-reverse issue. I don't remember exactly which years of the 323 have the problem. It is only on cars that have the ZF 5HP19
transmission. Its not all of them either. There is a sticky thread in the e46 forum.


11 year old car with 33,000 miles? Possible but unusual.

tim330i
02-07-2011, 06:53 AM
There are plenty of good condition E46s (the chassis code for the car you're looking at) out there, I'd keep looking for the right color. If you added the 1-2K paint budget to your purchase budget you can get a much newer 330 and in the color you want if you're willing to wait. The low miles are nice but I wouldn't pay that much of a premium for it, especially on an 11 year old 323.

Tim

Elias
02-07-2011, 07:08 AM
I have the 323i its been a great car but there are better and newer E46's out there with the right color combo your looking for. I would definitely keep looking,especially if your going to keep it long term.

JimD1
02-07-2011, 08:09 AM
I had a cheap paint job on a car once. Never again. It looked good for a few months and then started coming off around the edges. I also had a much better paint job after a wreck in my previous SUV that went bad after a few years. In that case, it was the clear coat that started coming off. During the new car manufacturing process is a much better time to paint a car than afterward. If you don't give them enough money to properly prep a car, you shouldn't be surprised at what happens. The paint is also not at all cheap and can't be sprayed without health risks outside of a proper paint booth. The cost is for the preparation, really good paint, and for an outfit to do the work that has the proper equipment including a spray booth. Nothing about doing it right is inexpensive. I spray water based finishes on my wood working projects and I have a nice spray rig for that. I could spray the paint onto a car but no way would I want my paint job. I wouldn't want to spray the right kind of paint for health reasons and I don't have the patience or equipment to do it right. Even masking a car off takes things most of us do not have if you want to do it right.

Jim

west76
02-07-2011, 10:22 AM
this is a bad, bad idea. there are plenty of e46's out there in the color you want. and honestly, i don't always think it is good for a car to sit around alot. this car was only driven on average 3k a year. probably ok ... but i personally would rather have something newer, like an 04-06, with double the milage on it.

TRS550
02-07-2011, 04:33 PM
You should also know that the 323 was the most underpowered car in BMW's lineup since the demise of the 1.8l 4 pot.

Honestly, its acceleration flat out sucks.

herbyd
02-10-2011, 11:54 AM
This is great feedback, and exactly the reason why these forums are helpful. I've continued on my search. It's definitely been tough finding a car with the low mileage in the same price range, but taking all things into account I want a car that I don't have to put work into (including paint) when I drive it off the lot.

For takers, I'm currently eyeballing a black '04 328i with 90k miles. The price is around 10k. Is there a general rule of thumb as far as mileage goes on the 3series, or on BMW's in general?

Andrew*Debbie
02-10-2011, 02:03 PM
For takers, I'm currently eyeballing a black '04 328i with 90k miles. The price is around 10k. Is there a general rule of thumb as far as mileage goes on the 3series, or on BMW's in general?

With BMWs its more about maintenance and years than miles. You should be looking for a car that was well looked after. BMWs that are 6 or 7 years old usually need to have all the plastic parts in the cooling system replaced. At some point in the next few years it might need suspension work too, possibly the rubber disk in the drive shaft.
It won't be cheap but these will be one time repairs.

The cars are good for at least 200,000 miles.

My 1990 535i had 250,000 miles on it when I sold it. Still had the original engine, transmission starter and alternator.