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  #1  
Old 02-12-2015, 07:35 PM
Balian Balian is offline
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Looking for advice - trading in my 2007 Dodge Ram and going for a BMW

Hello BMW Enthusiasts,

Years ago my father owned a 2002 325i. I was able to drive it a few times and absolutely loved it. I am thinking of trading in my 2007 Dodge Ram Big Horn and going for a BMW but many people are telling me its a mistake. Their reasons go back to costs of parts, labor, etc.. I feel like they seem to leave out that they rarely have issues (German Engineering) but when I bring this argument up they tell me I'm full of it.

I live in a small Town in central US so many people here are not fond of BMW's. What I am looking for is advice on which BMW to go for. I am really into the 3-series due to the size and I really enjoy the look and ability to rival corners and parking spots.

I figured I would come to the experts.. A community of drivers who deal with BMW issues on a daily basis. I would greatly appreciate any feedback regarding, models you would recommend and problems I can expect or things I should look for before purchasing.

Personally I like the 2 door look but I was told they depreciate in value faster. The 4 door looks good as well and it is what my father had; until a pack of rats chewed through some wires in the engine compartment. Anyway, thanks to anyone who takes the time to read and respond!

P.S. My price range is limited to around 15-16k.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2015, 07:43 AM
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tim330i tim330i is offline
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Welcome to Bimmerfest! I've moved your thread to our general BMW forum, you will get more feedback in here.

Tim
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  #3  
Old 02-14-2015, 11:51 AM
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Rob325_in_AZ Rob325_in_AZ is online now
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I've owned a 2003 325i for 12 years, now at 104k miles, and have had very little trouble with it.

I just plan that every couple years it's going to need $1000 or so for some type of repair and/or maintenance. Mostly that's hoses/belts/seals getting old and dried out (especially in the climate I live in), and also stuff you'd expect like brakes and tires.

Honestly the only issue that stands out in this car as unusually 'needy' in my experience are the darned window regulators, but then again, it's been a few years since I've had to have one of those replaced.

All in all, a pretty low maintenance car in my experience, and a very enjoyable and practical vehicle to drive daily.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:06 PM
Balian Balian is offline
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Thanks Rob! That's actually great feedback; I really like the idea of planning out a $1000 maintenance cost every couple years. Have you drove a 330i? I've been leaning that way for the extra power but wasn't sure if it really made a difference.
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  #5  
Old 02-14-2015, 02:33 PM
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I vote you keep the dodge and pick up the 330i. I may have issues though with how many vehicles one person needs to own. Also if the locals around you have a prob with foreign vehicles buy a X5 or Z4 as both were assembled in North Carolina.
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  #6  
Old 02-14-2015, 02:47 PM
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Rob325_in_AZ Rob325_in_AZ is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balian View Post
Thanks Rob! That's actually great feedback; I really like the idea of planning out a $1000 maintenance cost every couple years. Have you drove a 330i? I've been leaning that way for the extra power but wasn't sure if it really made a difference.
No, I've not driven an e46 330i. I think I may have once driven an e90 (or was it F10?) 335 dealer loaner, but that's a whole different car.

I think it largely depends on if you're looking at a stick or an automatic. With the stick, the 325i should be fine. Automatic, then I'd get the 330i. Of course you could always do a 330i with stick .

The stats for my year of e46 325i were 0-60 in 7.1 manual, and maybe 7.8 or 7.9 for the automatic. The e46 330i I don't recall exactly, but I want to say it was like 6.4 in the manual, and around 7 flat for automatic.

So basically for that generation, it made a big difference if you got the stick vs the automatic. I understand newer cars have significantly improved automatics, but back then it mattered more.

Fuel efficiencies were listed as very similar for the e46 325i vs 330i, but I'm not sure if that was true in the real world - extra power usually comes with extra cost. I can tell you I've averaged about 26mpg per tank for the life of the car - mostly suburban type driving.

The $1000 was a guestimate off the top of my head, but I could have the wife see if our accounting software program could provide a more accurate number. Still I'd say it's ballpark. The way I look at it, the car is long-since paid off, and if you think of it as money spent for maintenance vs the cost of a monthly car note on a new one, you're way ahead. Plus new cars also need things like brakes and tires. It's just the engine/warranty items that are covered for the first few years.

Good luck to you!
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Last edited by Rob325_in_AZ; 02-14-2015 at 02:48 PM.
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  #7  
Old 02-15-2015, 10:04 AM
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GJR GJR is offline
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Looking for advice - trading in my 2007 Dodge Ram and going for a BMW

My 530i with 85,000 miles has cost me around $2,000 for each of the last two years (cooling system replacement, alternator, battery, brake pads and rotors all around, various sensors including mass airflow and camshaft, oil filter housing leak, tensioners, valve cover gaskets, belts, hoses, etc). Keep in mind I've only driven the car for 20,000 miles.

I guess it will level out sometime, but there are things on the horizon that will need work... a suspension refresh including shocks and bushings being the foremost items, and I'm sure I'll need a clutch job soon.

These cars are not cheap to run, so don't be fooled. Just a word of caution.
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  #8  
Old 02-15-2015, 11:51 AM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Interesting. I am considering liquidating my 2002 530i and getting a new Ram crew cab.

It's your money. Do what you want. Just understand you will need to set aside some cash for maintenance, especially if you get into a higher mileage model.
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  #9  
Old 02-15-2015, 12:19 PM
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Find yourself a nice, cared for, E46 with reasonable mileage. Don't freak out if owner wants a bit more for fanatically maintained car - saving $2,000 at the moment of purchase can cost you triple later trying to keep "loosely" maintained car on the road.

Whatever you do, you do not want N54 or N55-engined anything35i. Trust me on that one.

Lastly, if that will be your daily driver, I find $1,000 every two years to be too optimistic estimate. You better plan to spend $1,000/year. Yes, if you drive 8,000-10,000 miles a year, it can happen that you spend only $300 or so this year, but then you will spend maybe $2,000 the next year when it just happens that you need new tires, for example. Do not skimp on tires, buy brand new good tires for that car - plan to spend $800-$1,000 on a set of 4 that will last at best 30,000 miles.

Good luck!
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  #10  
Old 02-15-2015, 03:32 PM
Balian Balian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob325_in_AZ View Post
The $1000 was a guestimate off the top of my head, but I could have the wife see if our accounting software program could provide a more accurate number.
Good luck to you!
Thanks for your offer but no need to have your wife look up numbers! I really appreciate your advice though.
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  #11  
Old 02-15-2015, 03:45 PM
Balian Balian is offline
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So much great advice! I really appreciate everyone taking the time to throw in their 2 cents. As far as finances go I'm in pretty good shape and I realize the car won't be a cheap adventure. The ROI just might be worth it though. The problem now is just getting a hold of a well maintained 04' or newer (decent) 330i under 60,000 miles. "I know, I know, I'm dreaming" I was looking at dealers but it appears I might have to drive pretty far to get a hold of one. I'll continue my research and adventure though. I'm sure there are plenty of threads like this one; I just wasn't able to find them easily. So thanks again to everyone who replied and to anyone else who shares!
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2015, 06:52 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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Until very recently, a 328 would be the same n52 motor as a 330i has at a slightly lower state of tune. Difference in power is about 20hp. Not trivial but not huge either. There should be more 328s. A 325 may be a 2.5l but also may be a detuned 3 liter. It varies by year. That would be a few less hp than a 328. Wikipedia has a good explanation of what year bimmer has what engine.
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  #13  
Old 02-16-2015, 01:32 PM
madwolfa madwolfa is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balian View Post
I live in a small Town in central US so many people here are not fond of BMW's.
LOL, I hear you man!
I live in KC and when I had a 325Ci and drove to see some pals in Missouri (driving those huge ass trucks, etc), they would tease every damn time and call me a yuppie.
I knew they were just jealous, though!

Last edited by madwolfa; 02-16-2015 at 01:34 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-16-2015, 01:49 PM
Balian Balian is offline
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Originally Posted by madwolfa View Post
LOL, I hear you man!
I live in KC

Haha, I went to KU and now I'm back in western KS. So I understand completely. Most people around here just afford to have both.
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  #15  
Old 02-16-2015, 01:52 PM
madwolfa madwolfa is online now
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Originally Posted by Balian View Post
Haha, I went to KU and now I'm back in western KS. So I understand completely. Most people around here just afford to have both.
Also the market for bimmers here stinks. I guess I'd have to fly out for my next car.
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  #16  
Old 02-17-2015, 10:06 AM
Kkcshipp Kkcshipp is offline
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Do it! I traded my 2013 F150 Platinum for a 135i last Friday. Aside from our snowstorm I'm loving it and not looking back.
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  #17  
Old 02-17-2015, 07:51 PM
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Rob325_in_AZ Rob325_in_AZ is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balian View Post
So much great advice! I really appreciate everyone taking the time to throw in their 2 cents. As far as finances go I'm in pretty good shape and I realize the car won't be a cheap adventure. The ROI just might be worth it though. The problem now is just getting a hold of a well maintained 04' or newer (decent) 330i under 60,000 miles. "I know, I know, I'm dreaming" I was looking at dealers but it appears I might have to drive pretty far to get a hold of one. I'll continue my research and adventure though. I'm sure there are plenty of threads like this one; I just wasn't able to find them easily. So thanks again to everyone who replied and to anyone else who shares!
It's going to take a while, but it's doable. Easier if you're OK with automatic, harder if you're going to want a manual.
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  #18  
Old 02-17-2015, 09:33 PM
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stonex1 stonex1 is online now
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You realize that you can't throw...
lumber
shrubs
garbage
beer cans
dry wall
motor bikes
sport gear
wife's antique furniture
etc. etc.

... in a BMW right?

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  #19  
Old 02-17-2015, 09:53 PM
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stonex1 stonex1 is online now
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Whatever you do, you do not want N54 or N55-engined anything35i. Trust me on that one.
Is this advice for the OP, or just in general?
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  #20  
Old 02-19-2015, 03:53 PM
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Mark K Mark K is online now
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Originally Posted by stonex1 View Post
Is this advice for the OP, or just in general?
In general. I see you have N55 powered X1 and it's been probably trouble-free. I hope it stays that way.

Last thing someone with $16,000 budget to buy a car needs is an engine where you need a video to figure out how to replace spark plugs (for example) and it takes 2 hours to do it while anybody (dealer or independent shop) even just looking at that engine will charge at least $500, whatever you ask them to do.

I said it here many times before ... if you are buying a BMW in general and N54/N55 specifically to be your daily driver car, you better set aside an account with $5,000 in it. Remember, daily driver, not toy. Daily driver needs to go NOW to take you to work which pays your bills and you don't have luxury of time to wait to find parts for cheap and figure out how to fix it through forums like this one.
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  #21  
Old 02-20-2015, 06:30 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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You can get a lot of 2003 car for $7k.
Get the nicest one you can find, and paying $1000 to ship one to you can be worth it.


Is there someone in town who can work on the car?

These cars require basic maintenance just like any other 10 year old car with 100k miles would.
Parts might be a little more costly than Ford or Honda parts, but it's not like you're buying Ferarri parts.
And labor costs the same regardless of the car.

I am glad I took the plunge.

Last edited by EconoBox; 02-21-2015 at 12:00 AM.
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