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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 01-27-2015, 02:12 AM
rfcpatrick09 rfcpatrick09 is offline
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Probably asked million times but I will have to ask again. E83 high mileage

Hi,

I have recently been offered a good amount for my reliable G35 coupe with 133k miles on it.

I am looking at a 04 X3 6MT with almost 150k miles on it. I have not even gone to see the car as it kinda worries me even before seeing the car (if you even know what it means!)

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/ctd/4864326264.html

This is the car and I think it's priced very well for some reasons. I mean you can't even find a X3 with more miles with that price. It's sold by a dealer so I was going to ask any extended warranties that can be added on top for little costs.

I mean it is a stick shift so I guess gearbox failure is a bit out of question at this mileage, though clutch would be expensive I guess.

I am not exactly new to the high mileage cars though. Just few Germans I had would be a 2000 MBZ ML320 with 125k miles. Was my first car back in high school, drove it about 17k miles throughout my senior year and traded in for a Lexus when I went off to college, it had 142k when I traded in. Then when I was living in England for half a decade, I had a 89 BMW 325i coupe with 5MT that had 275k miles on its ORIGINAL MOTOR! Was really surprised and I traded it in when it hit 300k for a 03 325ci with 140k miles on it. 325ci lasted me about 20k miles with no major issues. My father drives a 2011 BMW X6 40d (I don't think it's available in the States though) with 77k miles which still drives like a new car.

It's just when I was young and naive, I thought all cars are supposed to run forever with oil changes and with occasional quirks. I mean I have replaced brake pads and serpentine belt in my first car, then had alternator and battery done in my 325ci. I probably had no idea what kind of underlying problems it might have had as I was nowhere near mechanically inclined or knew how the car works so as long as it drives good, no lights on the dash, no oils dropping and doesn't make any funny noises, I considered it to be in a good condition and would drive it to anywhere without the fear of it breaking down.

Now, it's been almost 10 years since I started driving and going through many Japanese, German and Italian cars (not Lamborghini/Ferrari/Maserati! Just 2 2005 Alfa Romeo GT diesel/petrol of each!), I realised that not every car is same and German cars are thought to be more delicate in a good way. Though, I have always read it is more temperamental and always will be more expensive than keeping it on the road compared to Japanese cars.

Sorry for the long intro.
I am just wondering, this 2004 X3 with 6MT with 148k miles, how long would it last? I mean in common sense, like, are these cars capable of lasting near 200k miles? I just need a car that can last about 4 years/60k miles. Then I will be receiving my doctorates degree, then onto jobs that will get me something newer before I eventually place myself in the driver seat of my lifetime dream car of an Aston Martin Vantage V12.

It's just money is not good and just can't cope with Japanese cars any longer. Studying full time and the funding does not cover entire tuition and fees so I still work. It's just a bit hard to go for more expensive and newer BMWs even though it'd be great. I would have some money left like a grand if I buy this one. Also can probably spend grand and a half every year to maintain the car. Just need it to be without major repairs for the next 4 years and 60k miles. Will probably have to replace the clutch along the way I guess but wouldn't want to find out like a month after I buy the car that the engine needs a replacement.

Well, sorry for the rant and whatnot, didn't mean to do so!

Long story short, http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/ctd/4864326264.html this is the car I am looking at and for the price/mileage, would it be a good candidate for lasting 4 years and another 60k miles on top of the mileage that is already high?

Thanks in advance!_a__a2_
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2015, 10:33 AM
grimma grimma is offline
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Go with japanese car, E83 can be really expensive with many miles.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2015, 10:40 AM
timgray timgray is offline
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It depends. do you fix your own cars? If you rely on a dealership for all repairs then you had better set aside $300 a month for a repair fund. Do you have a full maintenance history on the X3 available to look at? if it was carefully maintained at sane intervals (not BMW intervals) then it can be very reliable.

90% of a car's reliability is based on the maintaince it gets in it's life and who owned it.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2015, 10:46 AM
smaglik smaglik is online now
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Welcome to the forum! I am local to Portland this year (I am an academic on sabbatical). Timgray raises the most salient point here, and that is regarding the maintenance history. This being at a dealer, odds are not good that one will be available, but it doesn't hurt to ask. If you are interested, I would take it to one of the local BMW shops for an inspection prior to any serious negotiations (I'd recommend Pete and Pacific Motorsports). If you want to just go kick the tires, I'd be happy to go along. Best of luck!
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2015, 10:51 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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Try and find out what's been done; at 150k miles, I'd guess that it has probably been well-maintained to get to that point. Common fluids and gasket failures have probably been done, but the only way you'll know is to check it out. It would probably be worth having a pre-purchase inspection done by a third party familiar with these cars. M54 is a great engine and 6MT is an added bonus. Replace EVERY fluid in the car immediately, however, as drivetrain fluids need to be changed just like engine oil (but not as frequently). Though if money is tight, a high-mileage used BMW would not be on my list, as it has the potential for costing more in repairs than the purchase price.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2015, 11:06 AM
rfcpatrick09 rfcpatrick09 is offline
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Wow I have never had this many replies at once before. Bimmerfest truly speaks for itself, the best BMW forum as I've heard all your replies kind of got me thinking about it twice too. Are there something specific that I have to look out for at this mileage?
Thanks
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2015, 11:08 AM
rfcpatrick09 rfcpatrick09 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smaglik View Post
Welcome to the forum! I am local to Portland this year (I am an academic on sabbatical). Timgray raises the most salient point here, and that is regarding the maintenance history. This being at a dealer, odds are not good that one will be available, but it doesn't hurt to ask. If you are interested, I would take it to one of the local BMW shops for an inspection prior to any serious negotiations (I'd recommend Pete and Pacific Motorsports). If you want to just go kick the tires, I'd be happy to go along. Best of luck!
Oh hello there! I guess you are a bit surprised to see there is a place where weather can be this crappy, like today haha. I live in Beaverton but commute to Portland every day. If I ever get to see this car or decide on it, it'd be great if you can come too whenever you are available. Appreciate for your help!!
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2015, 11:54 AM
smaglik smaglik is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfcpatrick09 View Post
Oh hello there! I guess you are a bit surprised to see there is a place where weather can be this crappy, like today haha. I live in Beaverton but commute to Portland every day. If I ever get to see this car or decide on it, it'd be great if you can come too whenever you are available. Appreciate for your help!!
Np. I'm actually working out of Phoenix this week, was in Tucson last week. Weather is a bit nicer.
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2015, 02:11 PM
jlex jlex is offline
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I'd take a good, long look at its maintenance history. Do more reading in this forum to find out what the "problem" areas associated with the X3 have been. Check the maintenance history to see if those things have been dealt with. If they haven't, you're potentially inheriting some deferred maintenance which, unless you have the tools, can be expensive to deal with. Nice looking car, BTW.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2015, 04:47 PM
softtop323 softtop323 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grimma View Post
Go with japanese car, E83 can be really expensive with many miles.
X2 run do not walk away from this car!!!
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2015, 05:33 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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thats what my wife drives.. we have done...... eh... 30k or so.. were at 136k i think? but its not bad.. good news is they just released the bently service manual for the truck so If ou can wrench on your own stuff you should be golden..

The truck is a ltitle bit more exspensive compaired to the e36,e39,e46, but Its not that bad of a "SUV" if you can even call it that..

its nothing more then a jacked up 3series
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2015, 07:37 AM
abscate abscate is online now
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Once you understand the used car business you learn why you don't buy from a used car dealer.

Without a detailed history of usage, pass.

A 2500 a year budget to run a German luxury brand is a fair estimate.
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  #13  
Old 01-28-2015, 07:46 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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They must have paid about $3.5K at auction to be offering it now at that price.

Did no other used car dealers bid on it to drive the price up just because it's a MT or because they knew something bad about it?

If there was nothing wrong with it, it should have a value more like $8K in the NW at that mileage.
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  #14  
Old 01-29-2015, 07:57 PM
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sayemthree sayemthree is offline
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you never know about the history, I got a gem of a deal I believe on a MT X3 from a third rate used car dealer. they claimed they had no maint logs. CARFAX showed no service the first three years. low and behold I find all the records and window sticker in the glove box. it has been a euro delivery and had all the first three years of service records in German, from a munich dealer. the guy has been in the military

you can usually tell if a car has been loved. that one looks pretty clean. you can also check carfax records and see how many owners its had.
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  #15  
Old 01-29-2015, 08:56 PM
joylove joylove is online now
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At the same time, an hour with a machine polisher in the hands of a skilled detailer can make a car look mint.
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  #16  
Old 01-29-2015, 10:56 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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lol, lovejoy, once looked at a car, and when i pulled out the led flashlight out of my pocket and slid under the car, The man who was selling.. Well lets just say his attitude changed real fast
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2015, 10:43 AM
klb426 klb426 is offline
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just chiming in here. I got what I thought was a steal: an 04 X3 auto at 88k miles. it now sits at 112k miles and i have replaced valve cover gaskets, oil filter housing gaskets, water pump twice, thermostat twice. one pump hose one bleeder screw, two expansion tanks.. on top of regularly changing oil. changing transfer case fluid and to top it off, the gas mileage for a 6 cylinder is pretty crappy.

I got into this car because I needed an awd to replace a mercedez c class RWD. preventive maintenance alone with fuel cost easily tops 2 grand a year.

***but I just ordered the bentley service manual, so I got that going for me. which is nice.

I do want to add that parts will have to be found online (dealers should be avoided at all costs, unless you are ok paying 1200 for a >1hr job like a thermostat and water pump replacement) , and things like coolant are a pain since its not recommended for red or green.. and if red or green confuses you or you are wrenchophobic, then I'd say pass... BMW is more of a status thing if you aren't a car guy (or gal)

*edit: vehicle was from a used car dealership where it was previously driven by the owner's daughter. he even gave me her Adele cd! it was freshly detailed and asking $8800 for it. and I jumped because the KBB was 14,600..

Last edited by klb426; 01-30-2015 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:06 PM
airboss1998 airboss1998 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klb426 View Post
just chiming in here. I got what I thought was a steal: an 04 X3 auto at 88k miles. it now sits at 112k miles and i have replaced valve cover gaskets, oil filter housing gaskets, water pump twice, thermostat twice. one pump hose one bleeder screw, two expansion tanks.. on top of regularly changing oil. changing transfer case fluid and to top it off, the gas mileage for a 6 cylinder is pretty crappy.

.
Ouch. I have a 2006 that I bought with 10k miles. I had the electric fan replaced just after the warranty expired (they did cover it), I've replaced brakes all the way around, had to replace a drive-shaft last year.... oil changes, tires, that's it. Am I living on borrowed time?

PS. I'm at 99k miles.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:27 PM
timgray timgray is offline
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If that is all you have done to it? Yes you are because of lack of maintenance.

Get all the fluids changed including the transfer case, brake fluids, and rear end fluids. Water pump typically is replaced at 100,000 miles and is recommended to also replace the thermostat at the same time as a preventative.
You should also get all the spark plugs replaced as well as the belt. A lot of guys will have the coil packs replaced as well as preventative as they are dirt cheap.

Honestly you should have had the transmission fluid changed at least twice by now as well.

Note: get a good new water pump and not a refurb. It's not worth it to save $100 so you have to have it done again in another 20,000 miles

Last edited by timgray; 01-30-2015 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:34 PM
klb426 klb426 is offline
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Originally Posted by airboss1998 View Post
Ouch. I have a 2006 that I bought with 10k miles. I had the electric fan replaced just after the warranty expired (they did cover it), I've replaced brakes all the way around, had to replace a drive-shaft last year.... oil changes, tires, that's it. Am I living on borrowed time?

PS. I'm at 99k miles.
YES lol not to alarm you but maintenance is a must with these cars err SAVs. the engines are very robust but with any moving part they need it. I wasn't buying the lifetime crap so when the service manuals finally came I ordered one (not to bad since Im no longer making payments)

looking forward to my last two fluid changes (transmission and rear diff) then I can do it all again at 150k Miles
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:26 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klb426 View Post
just chiming in here. I got what I thought was a steal: an 04 X3 auto at 88k miles. it now sits at 112k miles and i have replaced valve cover gaskets, oil filter housing gaskets, water pump twice, thermostat twice. one pump hose one bleeder screw, two expansion tanks.. on top of regularly changing oil. changing transfer case fluid and to top it off, the gas mileage for a 6 cylinder is pretty crappy.
The gaskets are part and parcel for every car made, T-stats usually fail around 100k no matter what the vehicle, but water pumps on BMWs seem to have an average lifespan of 100k. The second pump and t-stat, however, are due to crappy parts, and don't reflect on the quality of the vehicle. The hose bleeder screws often break from over-tightening (the same heating/cooling cycles that cause the expansion tanks to fail are also acting on the bleeder screw)... but a brass direct replacement is only $5, so no complaints there.

Beyond engine oil, EVERY fluid (especially drivetrain fluids!!!!) in EVERY car needs to be replaced at regular intervals not to exceed 50k miles, so don't think that T-case fluid changes are out of the ordinary.

I get 25-28 mpg with my N52 at 75 mph, not sure if you consider that crappy; for a 4000lb SUV with AWD, I consider that good mpg. The M54 in my E46 would do 30mpg all day long.
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  #22  
Old 01-31-2015, 07:28 AM
timgray timgray is offline
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Originally Posted by dukedkt442 View Post
I get 25-28 mpg with my N52 at 75 mph, not sure if you consider that crappy; for a 4000lb SUV with AWD, I consider that good mpg. The M54 in my E46 would do 30mpg all day long.
My observed Fuel mileage (Calculated from odometer readings and fuel added to vehicle) is right in line with what you are seeing. It get's better gas mileage than any other Mini SUV with AWD and a 6cyl, only the Honda CRV stick shift models with "lean burn" get better gas mileage.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:50 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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This is a potential money pit no matter how well it has been maintained (or not). Things have a way of getting old and cracking (expensive emissions junk), leaking, fuel pump wearing out, and in the case of the AWD transfer case actuators and gears, with assorted bearings, wearing out. The engine surprisingly (at least in my case) is remarkably robust and mine still does not burn any (or little) oil at 114K miles! Don't think because you have an MT you are home free. Clutches are expensive and you will almost certainly have to change the dual mass flywheel as well! Yes, it will be cheaper than a new slush box - but still expensive. OTOH if you can wrench it yourself, using the new Bentley and making use of your friendly neighborhood BMW wrecking yard for those big expensive large parts, it can be a nice ride! If you don't want a project car then run fast away from this -- and save your coin to get a later, lower mileage X3 if you absolutely have to have one. Good luck!

Last edited by UncleJ; 01-31-2015 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 01-31-2015, 11:15 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
This is a potential money pit no matter how well it has been maintained (or not). Things have a way of getting old and cracking (expensive emissions junk), leaking, fuel pump wearing out, and in the case of the AWD transfer case actuators and gears, with assorted bearings, wearing out. The engine surprisingly (at least in my case) is remarkably robust and mine still does not burn any (or little) oil at 114K miles! Don't think because you have an MT you are home free. Clutches are expensive and you will almost certainly have to change the dual mass flywheel as well! Yes, it will be cheaper than a new slush box - but still expensive. OTOH if you can wrench it yourself, using the new Bentley and making use of your friendly neighborhood BMW wrecking yard for those big expensive large parts, it can be a nice ride! If you don't want a project car then run fast away from this -- and save your coin to get a later, lower mileage X3 if you absolutely have to have one. Good luck!
"Money pit" can be said for any vehicle, though; vehicles are not investments. Don't mean to sound like I'm blowing BMW, but age and use affects every mechanical component. AWD/4x4 doubles the drivetrain and required maintenance, and all systems have their issues. We have actuators issues, Chevy silverados have actual case issues that require either new X-fer cases, or swapping of the guts into a new case. I'm all for pointing out poor engineering, and our actuators' plastic gear is such an instance, but my point is there is no such thing as "trouble free" with anything. BMW enthusiasts are more anal than the typical Honda owner, who won't notice or care about the usual issues that arise with age such as gasket leaks, or suspension creaks.

As for clutches and transmissions, with proper maintenance a transmission should go at least 200k miles, and same for a clutch; a clutch is something that should never have to be replaced, just like an engine. We've gone over 300k on original clutches; my 200k Jetta had the original clutch and transmission, with that transmission having gone 70k with a chipped idler gear and reverse sounding like a baseball card in the spokes of a bicycle. Both worked fine otherwise when I sold it.
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Old 01-31-2015, 05:18 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Agree with all above - the problem here is buying someone else's clutch. You have no idea how it was abused, or not abused during that lifetime. You can spin a clutch in one day if you really work at it! But then you can wreck most anything if you do that too. My comment was only to highlight the possible. Any car with that many miles is a crap shoot.
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