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General BMW
Use this forum to talk about general BMW news/stories and to chat with fellow enthusiasts about the direction that BMW is going in for their cars and/or motorcycles!

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  #1  
Old 07-15-2012, 06:38 PM
Nisic Nisic is offline
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First Car (HELP)

Lol. Hey guys, I'm new to the BMW Forums and just need some help. As the title says I'm looking to buy a new car by the best best machine in the world hehe :P. As any 18 year old my first option was a e46 m3 however after reading some threads on it I realized it would be a bad idea having a powerful car and high priced maintance car for my first. Now I'm looking at maybe Z4 2004ish as its sporty and has the BMW luxury..or maybe an e39 540i but I'm just wondering what you guys suggest. My budget is around 10,000-14,000 been working part time weekdays and full time weekend since 15 so saved up some money. Thanks guys
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2012, 08:37 PM
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DEATH2000 DEATH2000 is offline
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Let me state this. When i was 18, having a Coupe (Z4) would have been terrible. What happens if you wanna go somewhere with your friends? You cant. At 18 you should really invest in a sedan. Nothing sucks more then having to get out of the car to let your friends out and them having to cram into the back seat. Get a sedan. Your friends will thank you.

Seconding that. An E46 is a good first car and within your budget. They are quite DIY friendly so repairs are easy. The coolant system is notorious for failing due to plastic components which get brittle with time. Leave about $500 to replace that if you havent already. The E39's are great cars, but the V8's arent as reliable as the I6's. They make decent power, but have a few known issues. Some E39's came with a self levelling suspension. As great as it is, if it breaks it can be fairly costly.

Not trying to scare you off from them. Just trying to make sure you know to put some money aside just in case. If you find the right one it will probably be the best car you have ever owned.
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  #3  
Old 07-16-2012, 10:18 AM
Turbo_525 Turbo_525 is offline
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Good job on working and saving! Keep that up - and look to get though college in a good major first. I'd encourage you to consider using some of that money to finance education first, then look at a nice car later on. Cars come and go, education is something you'll use (and need) the rest of your life.

With regard to prior post - +1 on sedan - and try to find a 5-speed. Learn to drive manual now - you'll really enjoy it!
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  • N/A 525i, 5-speed, 138+K
  • BMW's are not like other cars, they have issues and cost you real $$$ to sort.
  • Affording to Buy a BMW is not the same thing as affording to OWN a BMW.
  • Pre-Purchase Inspections by a qualifed BMW tech should be considered required PRIOR to purchase.
  • Service Records matter - a whole lot!
  • Plan to spend $2-3000+ in maintance & repairs the first year of ownership.
  • Plan on something unexpected to happen, more often than you are used to.
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  #4  
Old 07-16-2012, 11:41 AM
OBS3SSION OBS3SSION is offline
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18? First car? I have to agree with the above. When I was 16.5 and able to get my license and first car, I bought my parent's '84 VW Jetta diesel (54 HP!) off them for $2000. This was 25 years ago. It was a great first car, as it was inexpensive to run (diesel was ~$0.60 per gallon) and I could go 2-4 weeks between fill-ups. It was a sedan and I was ALWAYS toting around my friends (I loved driving, and hated being a passenger in other people's cars.) Plus my insurance didn't kill me to death because I had a rather mundane car.

I'm glad to hear you saved up since you were young. Not to sound jealous of all the kids who have mom and dad buy them a first car, but I think kids who buy their own first cars learn a much larger life lesson and appreciate their vehicle so much more.

M3's, Z4's, and all those other sports cars are nice to dream about and maybe you can even afford to purchase one. But think about the long-term costs. They burn more gas, use up tires more quickly, cost more to maintain, usually have (much) higher insurance premiums, especially for an 18yo guy! Even if cost isn't a concern, there are practicality issues like stated by the others.

In the end, buy what you want. There are twice as many different opinions as there are people to give them! The best advice I can give is a recounting of my experiences and the warning to think in the long-term, not just the here and now.
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Last edited by OBS3SSION; 07-16-2012 at 11:44 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-16-2012, 08:48 PM
Nisic Nisic is offline
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Probably gonna get a sedan. What are your guys opinions on the e90 545i 04-05. Cousin had, e loved it.
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  #6  
Old 07-16-2012, 08:49 PM
Nisic Nisic is offline
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^ typo on iPhone lol e60
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  #7  
Old 07-17-2012, 10:28 AM
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thumper_330 thumper_330 is offline
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The E60 545i is a great car... but search the E60 forum for "valley pipe"... then take a deep breath when they mention the cost of replacement and look instead for a 530i or a 330i (that would be my preference for you if you're determined to go Bimmer).

Basically; the V8 in the 545i has a coolant pipe in the valley of the V that tends to leak over time and become extremely expensive to repair. I'd avoid it. I had one and loved it to death, but that valley pipe was a constant worry at the back of my mind when I owned it, particularly when I had a rather nasty coolant leak (which turned out to be a torn outlet pipe, thankfully). I would probably happily own another 545i even knowing this, but I would budget enough to replace the valley pipe sooner rather than later. This WILL put the E60 out of your price range.

An E46 330i or ZHP would be an awesome car... I had a 2001 330i and still miss it despite my 2012 135i. I had good reasons to sell it at the time, but I still regret it. Self maintenance on the 330i is dead easy and even the cooling system overhaul I was able to get done in my garage on a Saturday afternoon with minimal fuss and bother... but got covered in coolant in the process. Still, you could probably even do it in the parking lot of an apartment complex with no real hassle so long as you have a decent set of ramps.

Generally, the 5'ers will cost more in repairs particularly the V8's. Go with the advice earlier; BMW has been doing I6's forever and they do them right. V8's are a relatively niche thing for BMW in terms of product lines and overall sales. Hell, the I6 was a reason I just bought a 2012 K1600GT
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Last edited by thumper_330; 07-17-2012 at 10:35 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-17-2012, 03:51 PM
Nisic Nisic is offline
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Hey guys, thanks for the replies. I'm caught up in between a 2008 535xi at 1000k and a 2005 530i at 75k. Any suggestions? Problems I'd expect, anything?
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2012, 03:52 PM
Nisic Nisic is offline
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^ 100k
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2012, 08:09 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Keep at least $5000 for surprise repairs over the next 1-2 years.
Are you willing to learn to work on your car (and invest $700 in tools?)

You are getting a newer car, so some of this won't apply,
but the general idea still holds when buying a used BMW...

In fact, I will list just SOME typical E39 problems that often occur ...in the 10 year/100k-150k mile range
I will roughly estimate the cost for repairs at an indep. mechanic,
taking into account the labor AND inflated price you will be charged for parts.

If you DIY, it will cost a fraction of this...
  • MAF and intake boots $500
  • 4 rotors/pads $1,000
  • Blown Tranny $3,500
  • ABS module $500 (Dealer will charge you over $2000 for a new unit)
  • Headlight adjusters $500 (Dealer will charge you $2000 for a new pair)
  • Cooling system $1,500
  • 1 Window Regulator $400 (All 4 will be $1500)
  • Suspension $3,000 (This can be a lot more or or less. But at 165k, expect the worst. Serious drivers here redo lots of suspension before 100k)
  • New tires $600
  • Alternator $500
  • CCV job $500
  • Spark Plugs/boots/coils $500-$750 (Coils start to go bad around your mileage)
  • O2 sensors $250 (Not even talkiing post-cats)
  • Catalytic Converter $1,000 (Wild guess....in fact, you might need an entirely new exhaust...)
  • Fuel Filter $150
  • Fan clutch / Fan / pulleys $500

This is just off the top of my head, and there's a ton I haven't bothered to mention
... (vacuum leaks, DISA, SAP, HID bulbs, etc)

And I'm even ignoring high mileage issues like wheel bearings, gunked up throttle body & ICV, failing ignition, CSB/Driveshaft/Guibo, differential, head gasket...(These would add many thousands more)

Last edited by EconoBox; 07-17-2012 at 08:13 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-17-2012, 08:19 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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This is not meant to offend, but here is the advice you should be getting from your parents:
If you're a student. Drive a used Honda until you have more money and a proper adult career.

Never take a loan for a car. Ever.

Get a beater Honda
Finish your education
Start your grown up career
Save up a 1 year emergency fund
Start your investing portfolio
Pay off your student loans
Save for a house/condo
Buy a used BMW

Deviating from this is what poor people do.
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  #12  
Old 07-18-2012, 06:33 PM
///Mariani ///Mariani is offline
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Mein Auto: 05 E60 545i, 84 E30 318i
The E60 is a great car. My first BMW. Bought it a little over a year ago for my 21st B day/ comming back from Iraq gift from me to me. Im young, so i had my mind dead set on an ///M. After test driving an E39 M5 and an E46 M3, it was gonna really be hard to find anything better. But then I came across my 545i. Honestly diddnt think id like it too much, since im in love with older bimmers, but when I test drove it, my jaw dropped. The dealer had me sold within minutes. I drove Acuras, I looked at Jeeps, but nothing came close to combination of luxury and performance that my E60 has.
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  #13  
Old 07-19-2012, 08:54 AM
Turbo_525 Turbo_525 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
This is not meant to offend, but here is the advice you should be getting from your parents:
If you're a student. Drive a used Honda until you have more money and a proper adult career.

Never take a loan for a car. Ever.

Get a beater Honda
Finish your education
Start your grown up career
Save up a 1 year emergency fund
Start your investing portfolio
Pay off your student loans
Save for a house/condo
Buy a used BMW

Deviating from this is what poor people do.
Ever wonder why this nation is in the financial crisis that it is? It's mostly due to the fact that advice like this is not heeded, nor even considered "good advice" in most camps these days. We tend to go for "instant gratification" and leave the rest in the dust these days. Maybe we should start paying attention - again.
__________________
  • N/A 525i, 5-speed, 138+K
  • BMW's are not like other cars, they have issues and cost you real $$$ to sort.
  • Affording to Buy a BMW is not the same thing as affording to OWN a BMW.
  • Pre-Purchase Inspections by a qualifed BMW tech should be considered required PRIOR to purchase.
  • Service Records matter - a whole lot!
  • Plan to spend $2-3000+ in maintance & repairs the first year of ownership.
  • Plan on something unexpected to happen, more often than you are used to.
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  #14  
Old 03-23-2013, 07:39 PM
Drewsome Drewsome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo_525 View Post
Ever wonder why this nation is in the financial crisis that it is? It's mostly due to the fact that advice like this is not heeded, nor even considered "good advice" in most camps these days. We tend to go for "instant gratification" and leave the rest in the dust these days. Maybe we should start paying attention - again.
I know this is an old thread, but darn that's some great advice. Worth reiterating.

I'm old enough to be this kids father, and am just now considering a USED BMW.

Could I have afforded a new BMW years earlier? Sure. Would it have been financially responsible. Not at all.
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  #15  
Old 03-23-2013, 11:15 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Glad you liked it. Where in NY are you?
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  #16  
Old 03-24-2013, 04:55 AM
Drewsome Drewsome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
Glad you liked it. Where in NY are you?
Long Island. You originally from NY?

Last edited by Drewsome; 03-24-2013 at 04:56 AM.
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  #17  
Old 03-24-2013, 11:14 PM
jng7000 jng7000 is offline
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Quote:
I know this is an old thread, but darn that's some great advice. Worth reiterating.
Funny, I didn't even catch on that this thread was old till I saw your post. Guess I'll chalk that up to being a newbie fester.

But couldn't agree more, such perfect advice. As I was reading this thread I also kept thinking about the cars I had as a 16-18 y/o guy which were total beaters. Although there were plenty of repairs that came up which were out of my control I also remember a whole lot of stuff I messed up by tinkering around with my early cars. It was a great trial and error education...for example don't fix what ain't broke. More specifically, don't start messing with the timing to try and make it go faster, you will never, ever get it back to where it's supposed to be

In retrospect I'm really glad I was a slacker who didn't have enough money to buy a nicer car at the time unlike the very impressively motivated OP. I can guarantee I would have been looking to buy the same type of car the OP probably already did BTW, is he still on the site? How about a follow up? What did you end up doing?

"Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement."
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  #18  
Old 03-26-2013, 05:08 PM
MrTriad MrTriad is offline
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Don't let these people discourage you. I got a 05 525i e60 when I was 17 years old and this was in 2008. Now it's the year 2013 and I have 91k miles on the Bimmer with barely any issues. Good luck

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Bimmer App

Last edited by MrTriad; 03-26-2013 at 05:09 PM.
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  #19  
Old 03-27-2013, 03:48 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i (E39) 140k
The issues start after 90k.
Every car runs almost perfectly until 100k.
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