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

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  #1  
Old 05-11-2012, 08:45 PM
TheFanFavorite TheFanFavorite is offline
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Exclamation 2004 X3 with +150K.. Concern?

Hey everyone,

Obviously I'm new here.. I'm in the process of finishing up my Spring semester of my sophomore year. I don't feel that I still obtain the right to drive the car that was purchased by my father who allowed me to drive it (as he would state it quite often). So it was time to start looking. Did a couple online searches at local dealerships, vehix, craigslist, etc., and stumbled upon what seemed to be a good looking manual '04 X3 2.5. I've been researching it for the past 3 days so I know what to look for when I take a look at her. The only thing that worries me is that it has over 150K on it. Should this be a concern? With two prior owners I'm skeptical that proper care/maintenance was taken during the past 8 years. I'm going to look at it tomorrow, here's my checklist:

X3 Checklist:
Has the valve cover gasket been changed?
Predrilled holes in trunk? (Audio)
Check canvas on dash
Check seats thoroughly for scratches and cuts in the leather
Check CD player, heat, AC, seats, windows
Check power roof thoroughly
Pre-start car - check engine lights
Run car - smell engine (oil)
Where does the car sit on the lot?
Any water leaking problems?

Add-ons/misc:
Cold Air Intake
Rims/Tires
Catalytic Converters?
Cooling fans?
Lift kit?
RCA cable output from stock head unit?

Any advice or additions to the checklist would be deeply appreciated.

Couldn't find any posting rules so I'm hoping this is in the right section and abiding by guidelines.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2012, 07:23 AM
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X3emist X3emist is offline
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Rethink this

Not throwing cold water on your idea but now might not be the time to buy a high mileage BMW. An 04 is getting long in the tooth and at high mileage you are facing maintenance items, and potentially pretty big ones. Being a student I would presume there isn't a pile of money lying around to fix the thing.

I would bet that if you bought the car and added the cost and repairs over the next 3 years you could have taken the same amount of money and bought a newer one or another brand and not incurred the same expense.

Just my 2 cents worth. Just to give you an idea of typical maintenance items that may have or may not have cropped up already are shocks, CCV system, Oil canister housing/gasket, cooling system overhaul (radiator, thermostat and water pump), the sunroof plastic parts are probably shot by now and common items like brakes. Not to mention potential transfer case issues and/or transmission issues. Just to risky to me.
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:02 AM
elevatorguy925 elevatorguy925 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3emist View Post
Not throwing cold water on your idea but now might not be the time to buy a high mileage BMW. An 04 is getting long in the tooth and at high mileage you are facing maintenance items, and potentially pretty big ones. Being a student I would presume there isn't a pile of money lying around to fix the thing.

I would bet that if you bought the car and added the cost and repairs over the next 3 years you could have taken the same amount of money and bought a newer one or another brand and not incurred the same expense.

Just my 2 cents worth. Just to give you an idea of typical maintenance items that may have or may not have cropped up already are shocks, CCV system, Oil canister housing/gasket, cooling system overhaul (radiator, thermostat and water pump), the sunroof plastic parts are probably shot by now and common items like brakes. Not to mention potential transfer case issues and/or transmission issues. Just to risky to me.
+1 on X3emist's comment.
I think you would be better off with something with less miles, unless you have a repair fund and the price of the 04 is very low.
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  #4  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:05 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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+1! Too risky, too old, too many miles, and not a good "starter car". You can get a brand new Hyundai/Kia for almost the same money with a full warranty (10 years - 100K miles) that will do you just fine for the last three years (or more) of college and be cheaper to insure! Then after you get the degree, join the Navy, finish flight training and get your wings at Pensacola buy a Corvette or 911!

Last edited by UncleJ; 05-12-2012 at 08:06 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:53 AM
x3brian x3brian is online now
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The only time I would recommend a high milage BMW to a college student was if I was your Dad and was giving you my old one that I bought brand new and took care of while commuting.

Use your money on a late model Kia, Hyundai or ford focus/fiesta.
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  #6  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:58 AM
TheFanFavorite TheFanFavorite is offline
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Money really isn't the issue, I've been lucky enough to land an internship this past summer that was financially beneficial to me. I used to work at a garage back in my high school days occasionally (when I was out of season for sports); fixing up cars is a hobby of mine and I think buying a used BMW will give me a chance to get back into it. I just wanted to hear from a crowd who has been around the brand more than I have been if I was getting in over my head or not. I still plan on taking a look at the car but I won't purchase unless the price is outrageously in my favor. However, even if I don't end up purchasing this particular model, I'd like to stay with the BMW make. Not too many folks brought in Beamers during my days at the shop so I'd really like to play around with one - what better than your own?

I have an appointment at 3:00 today to take a look at the X3, I'll post the pictures I take along with some general info/flaws if it ends up looking like a solid piece. Is there a better model that suits what I've explained up top? I'd love to hear any suggestions you guys have.


Add: Think of it like this - I don't plan on doing anything outrageously stupid, but I'm alright with taking a little risk on a model I like.
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Last edited by TheFanFavorite; 05-12-2012 at 10:01 AM.
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  #7  
Old 05-12-2012, 04:45 PM
x3brian x3brian is online now
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Just remember parts are pricey. You can't walk into your local napa and find what you need...online and a bmwcca card at the dealer is your friend.

Plan on at least $3000 in repairs over the next 18 months...without labor expense. Even more if you have a transfer case fail...

If you have the means and desire to DIY this is a good move, but why not consider a well sorted out e46? Larger pool of resources and parts available to you for DIY including a Haynes manual.
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  #8  
Old 05-12-2012, 07:10 PM
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If your in to old BMWs

Get a 2002 tii
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  #9  
Old 05-12-2012, 07:38 PM
TheFanFavorite TheFanFavorite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3brian View Post
If you have the means and desire to DIY this is a good move, but why not consider a well sorted out e46? Larger pool of resources and parts available to you for DIY including a Haynes manual.
Another model I was really interested in. I was actually planning on purchasing an 02' 323i before fall semester started, but I ran into the same problem of high mileage and passed up the chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by X3emist View Post
Get a 2002 tii
It's funny you say that, I was looking into them quite a bit before I decided I really wanted a SUV/SAV model. Down the road I can definitely see myself trying to restore one of them.


X3 - The vehicle was in surprisingly great shape. I played with the sun roof for about 5 minutes making sure it was intact, which it was. I know car salesmen will tell you what you want to hear, which he did, telling me that the 2nd of 2 previous owners was great with the maintenance of the vehicle. I actually had a chance to speak with the guy (owner) - never planned on selling the vehicle at all and was planning on keeping it for another 50-75K miles. 3 days before he sold it he changed the coils in the suspension, new tires, and under the hood was absolutely spotless (popped the air intake to check the filter which was brand new; traded in for an M3 I believe he said). Didn't take any pictures besides a picture of the engine, but I'm test driving it mid next week so I will take the rest that I was planning on taking and upload them. It looked like it had no more than 80K on it, interior was in great shape, only one small dent (from what I could tell with a very brief inspection) above one of the rear wheel wells. The idea is still being entertained as long as long as they are willing to work with me on the price. Will update later in the week. Still looking for other model suggestions though, keep em coming! Thanks for all your help thus far. Really happy I joined the forum, getting a lot of great feedback in here.

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  #10  
Old 05-13-2012, 06:47 AM
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Have you seen the maintenance records and oil change intervals and the tranny fluid change intervals etc etc etc
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2012, 07:26 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFanFavorite View Post
Another model I was really interested in. I was actually planning on purchasing an 02' 323i before fall semester started, but I ran into the same problem of high mileage and passed up the chance.



It's funny you say that, I was looking into them quite a bit before I decided I really wanted a SUV/SAV model. Down the road I can definitely see myself trying to restore one of them.


X3 - The vehicle was in surprisingly great shape. I played with the sun roof for about 5 minutes making sure it was intact, which it was. I know car salesmen will tell you what you want to hear, which he did, telling me that the 2nd of 2 previous owners was great with the maintenance of the vehicle. I actually had a chance to speak with the guy (owner) - never planned on selling the vehicle at all and was planning on keeping it for another 50-75K miles. 3 days before he sold it he changed the coils in the suspension, new tires, and under the hood was absolutely spotless (popped the air intake to check the filter which was brand new; traded in for an M3 I believe he said). Didn't take any pictures besides a picture of the engine, but I'm test driving it mid next week so I will take the rest that I was planning on taking and upload them. It looked like it had no more than 80K on it, interior was in great shape, only one small dent (from what I could tell with a very brief inspection) above one of the rear wheel wells. The idea is still being entertained as long as long as they are willing to work with me on the price. Will update later in the week. Still looking for other model suggestions though, keep em coming! Thanks for all your help thus far. Really happy I joined the forum, getting a lot of great feedback in here.

This are very solid cars and if you are willing to DIY, parts are not THAT expensive. Maintenance is the key, just be prepared to replace whatever hasn't been replaced during the last 50k miles. (brakes, cooling system, fluids, etc)
Sorry to steer away from what others are saying, but you have the advantage that is an MT, and M54 engines are solid.
Take the SAV to a PPI, and if you like it go for it. How much are they asking?
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2012, 08:18 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Restoring a nice west coast or SW (rust free!) 2002 would be a good move if you have to have a BMW! Parts are readily available (OEM and retro), it is a fairly simple car, and a real head turner these days. It also has the advantage of actually "appreciating" in value while you own it! That is something you can not say about that high miler X3! Good luck.
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  #13  
Old 05-14-2012, 11:12 PM
TheFanFavorite TheFanFavorite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3emist View Post
Have you seen the maintenance records and oil change intervals and the tranny fluid change intervals etc etc etc
I've seen maintenance records but not specific fluid changes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
This are very solid cars and if you are willing to DIY, parts are not THAT expensive. Maintenance is the key, just be prepared to replace whatever hasn't been replaced during the last 50k miles. (brakes, cooling system, fluids, etc)
Sorry to steer away from what others are saying, but you have the advantage that is an MT, and M54 engines are solid.
Take the SAV to a PPI, and if you like it go for it. How much are they asking?
A little above 9K, but with with a hefty cash down payment I think I can get them to between 8K and 8.5k



Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
Restoring a nice west coast or SW (rust free!) 2002 would be a good move if you have to have a BMW! Parts are readily available (OEM and retro), it is a fairly simple car, and a real head turner these days. It also has the advantage of actually "appreciating" in value while you own it! That is something you can not say about that high miler X3! Good luck.
Something I will definitely look into!


I found a different link that had the rest of the pictures (plus my under the hood pic), here they are:
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  #14  
Old 05-15-2012, 06:28 AM
mletchworth mletchworth is offline
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FYI, that's an automatic. Your first post said it was a manual?
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:43 AM
TheFanFavorite TheFanFavorite is offline
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Yeah it said manual on vehix.com but turned out to be an auto? You'd think of all places to screw up...
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by TheFanFavorite View Post
Yeah it said manual on vehix.com but turned out to be an auto? You'd think of all places to screw up...
I hate that! They always do that. That's on you if you are willing to compromise and get an auto, just remember if you get it, you'll be driving it every day, if you really want a MT just wait for the right one.
Price is good though, if you end up getting this one, don't forget to invest about $100 and take it to a BMW shop for a PPI!
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  #17  
Old 05-15-2012, 07:31 AM
Wongway Wongway is offline
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Given the great advice I've gotten here, I have an '05 X3 with 150,000 miles that I'm pretty confident will last over 200,000 miles at this point.

Granted I've done all the maintenance, but if everything checks out, you should do great with it.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:00 AM
mletchworth mletchworth is offline
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+1 on the inspection. Whether or not the dealer selling it is reputable doesn't really matter. They're not going to do a full inspection before they sell it.

Think of it like this: if you spend $100 on a third-party inspection, you'll either
1) not buy the car because there's too much wrong with it,
2) buy the car because there's nothing wrong with it, or
3) find out something is wrong with it and have mega negotiating power. Tell the dealer, "fix it or take $$$ off the price!"

Already sounds like a great price though. I've seen very few X3s for less than $10k.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:04 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Already sounds like a great price though. I've seen very few X3s for less than $10k.
Others here will disagree with me, but I would walk away from an X3 with a tow hitch.

Doesn't necessarily mean it's had a hard life, but reduces the used value IMO.

The 2 big rips in the Sensatec of the driver's seat may mean that those 150K miles involved a lot of short trips.

Nicely detailed engine compartment and cabin, but they could have better spent $200 on replacing the seat covering.

No xenons, so the OP needs to be sure he can do without them.

Worth waiting for a good 6 spd. I'd say.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:22 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Others here will disagree with me, but I would walk away from an X3 with a tow hitch.

Doesn't necessarily mean it's had a hard life, but reduces the used value IMO.

The 2 big rips in the Sensatec of the driver's seat may mean that those 150K miles involved a lot of short trips.

Nicely detailed engine compartment and cabin, but they could have better spent $200 on replacing the seat covering.

No xenons, so the OP needs to be sure he can do without them.

Worth waiting for a good 6 spd. I'd say.
Of course you would catch all those details! Good points.

The other thing I find odd is why they would replace the springs and not the shocks/struts...
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  #21  
Old 05-16-2012, 08:05 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Good catch on the trailer hitch! I would also be concerned with a hitch on a high mile used car. Not that it would be a deal breaker -- but I would look a very closely at the car to see if any excess wear could be discerned. On the spring replacement -- some of the early X3's had a problem with broken pigtails. That would require a spring replacement, but not the shocks/struts. Unless you can get this car for about $8K I would pass.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:24 PM
miloc miloc is offline
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Hi Guys, specially FanFavorite,
Any updates about your x3 with 150k plus?
I'll test drive an x3 2005 manual transmission, sports package soon, it has 150k plus on it. What should be I aware of? If everything seems OK (clean engine, no visible leaking, smooth gear shifts). The guy has the carfax report, how may I know it is authentic? anything special to look in it? Any tips, ideas, advice would be appreciate it.
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