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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)

E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 01-09-2015, 11:13 PM
MexxiKing MexxiKing is offline
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1991 318is rolled back odometer

I am in the process of purchasing a 1991 318is. The asking price is 4k and it was listed with 137k miles but after I ran the car fax it shows the odometer had been rolled back several times and that the car might actually have 250k miles.

The previous owner before the person selling it said the the engine was replaced with one with lower mileage. The car runs good and the body and interior are good too.

My question is: is it common for this vehicles to have this issues with the odometer? And should I proceed with the purchase?

Since this will be my first BMW I am looking for input on how to go about this.
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2015, 02:27 AM
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sixpot_simon sixpot_simon is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 530i
A legitimate reason is that the cluster died and the replacement from a junkyard happened to have lower mileage. Of course, dodgy owners is another strong possibility.

Rolled back "several times" is very suspicious though. And an engine swap isn't an excuse to reduce the mileage; there's plenty of stuff aside from the engine that gets worn. On the other hand, mileage isn't that important for a 24 year old car. By now, how it's been looked after is much more important than how far it has driven. *end of rant!*

If you're keen on it despite the history, just keep in mind that the car will be worth less than other 318is's if you go to sell it someday. The purchase price should be lower to account for this.

Last edited by sixpot_simon; 01-10-2015 at 02:05 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2015, 11:51 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
The 1991 318is is actually a much-sought-after model in the U.S.(wish I had one!), which generally goes for as much as a '91 325i in similar condition.
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2015, 01:10 PM
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cmac2012 cmac2012 is offline
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If it's appealing in various ways I'd mention the issue to the seller, assuring him that you, of course cough-cough, realize that it was done by previous owners and NOT the seller but nonetheless, in view of this, a lower offer will be acceptable, no?
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  #5  
Old 01-10-2015, 01:14 PM
markseven markseven is offline
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^ all of the above. Get a pre-purchase inspection performed at a reputable independent BMW shop. This will reveal much about the car.
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2015, 01:36 PM
MexxiKing MexxiKing is offline
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Besides that issue with the odometer the car has a clean title and the interior and exterior are good.

I've been looking all over craiglist and autotrader and there are some that are around the same price range, older and with salvage title.

So I think I might just move forward with this one. It's white and I haven't seen that many of them in that color for sale.

I'll put up some pics once I buy it.
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2015, 03:24 PM
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cmac2012 cmac2012 is offline
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Mein Auto: Two 1987 325i, 418K, 211K
I would sort of like to have a 318i for my stable so I can understand you wanting to go for it. An inspection might be a good idea though, could reveal some major issue that you should know about and could perhaps use to talk the seller down a little bit.
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2015, 05:01 PM
MexxiKing MexxiKing is offline
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I just like the car!! the interior is near perfect and I feel confident that on the future if I decide to sell it I won't lose that much on it.

I been reading thru a bunch of threads and it seems like it's a very common occurrence for the odometer to die and swapping engines.

I appreciate your guys input. I will try to get a mechanic to look at the car.
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2015, 11:53 PM
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cmac2012 cmac2012 is offline
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Mein Auto: Two 1987 325i, 418K, 211K
A near perfect interior is a big draw. And if the body is clean, it runs strong, and an inspection uncovers no giant issues, $4K is not unreasonable. I just bought an '87 325i sedan at an auction for $1200, broken odo at 211k. The interior also near perfect, body with one small blemish, near new Michelins, and ran pretty strong. I think the main reason I got it cheap was the unknown issues, the problems. The rack made major noise, or at least it did a few days after I bought it, and numerous other maintenance items were wanting.

Still a good deal, but there was some sweat equity involved.
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2015, 04:44 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
Value is always in the body and model. +1 on the iS model attracting $$. Body straight and rust free - the rest is nuts and bolts. You can't fix bends and big rust.
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2015, 06:18 AM
ol' grouch ol' grouch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWFatherFigure View Post
You can't fix bends and big rust.


Well, you can, but it's usually easier to get a solid body to begin with. The Camaro I traded for the Beemer was solid as a rock. The one that went in a pile of parts came from up north but had pretty well dissolved from road salt and the windows being left open a lot. Had back trouble not made getting in and out of it so hard, I probably would have kept it. (Yes, a 325 is low but not as cramped as a Camaro)
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2015, 08:03 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
I must admit I can't weld so rust is a no-no. I have also seen it come back after big $ restorations (especially in 'salt' areas). Bends are usually write-off if they are far enough in. Again huge $ to repair correctly. Nuts and bolts is nuts and bolts. A rebuilt engine is not going to wear out because it used to be worn out. Rust will hide and sneak back.
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Good - Fast - Cheap: Pick any two.
Current:
E23 735i; E32 735iL (X 2 - 1 Alpine White and 1 Glacier Blue); E34 535i; E38 735iL; R50 Cooper; R55 Cooper Clubman.
Previous:
E21 318i; E30 318i; E32 735iL; E34 535i; E38 730iL; E53 4.4i
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  #13  
Old 01-11-2015, 04:29 PM
MexxiKing MexxiKing is offline
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