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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - I don't ever post, but I figured if I had any questions about beamers, you guys would know the answer. And sorry if this is in the wrong forum (if it is, where should I be posting? Thanks!) Hopefully you guys can help, because I'm car clueless and need some answers!

-What is the typical resale experience with BMWs? Is it easy to find a buyer, or do you find it's more difficult to resell them than expected? If I bought the car listed (1995 318ti automatic with 100k miles, good condition) and wanted to resell in 6months to a year (if I move abroad), do you think I can expect to get a fair price, or do you think it will be a tough time finding a seller and getting a fair price?

-Is this model of BMW one you would recommend? I'm young and this is my first used car, but I figured that BMWs are reliable, durable, quality automobiles, and if I did end up reselling it in 6mo. to a year, it would not be that difficult and I would end up getting back much of the money I just spent on it. If I'm going to get a used car, why not get a quality car that seems like a quality investment? (Or maybe that's just my heart begging my wallet to open up...) I have read that BMWs enjoy one of the best resell markets out there.

-What do you think are any drawbacks to this car? Enough for me to pass on it and go for another reliable brand - like Honda or Nissan - (especially for my first used car), and then come back to BMWs when I can afford a more recent model?

-The car comes with Alloy wheels, a moon roof, a cd changer, tinted windows and a/c. The KBB on it says if kept in good to excellent condition, it should sell to a private party for $4k - $4,500, but she wants $6,500. Am I getting ripped off? She explained that she had done kbb and they told her it was worth $6,535 (don't know where our information differs). What is a fair price for this car?

Sorry to pour out so many questions, but it's my first used car experience, and while I'd love to have a reliable BMW, I need to be smart about this. I figured coming to enthusiasts you guys would know the answers. Thanks so much for any help, I really appreciate it!!
 

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The general consensus is that the 318ti is a good, fun and durable car that's relatively simple compared to newer BMWs (a good thing). I don't think the ti has too many issues, so you should be fine. However, buying any 100k+ car w/ an auto trans is always a gamble. Automatic transmissions (especially BMW ones) seem to have a lifespan of around 120k.

Also, Make sure that all the required maintenance has been done on the car.
 

· Happy Trails!
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318ti's are good little cars. If I was buying it, checking the book I use, the base wholesale is about $3,000 on that car. If it has all the receipts, is up to date on servicing and clean I might go $4000-$4500. I think the head gasket issue on the M42 engine were 1993 and earlier versions of the engine but I am not 100% sure. The best thing to do is get the VIN number and have your local BMW dealer run it for the services completed on the car. That way you'll have some record of what was done or not done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the Advice So Far!

Thanks for the advice guys! I really appreciate it. And now I feel a bit more prepared to look into this car. If anyone else has any ideas I'm definitely interested! Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks!

Thanks guys! She said a dealership would be asking $8k, and with the low mileage, cd player, the fact that it was garage kept, and had alloy wheels and tinted windows, plus the average price of cars in the area (SF bay area) it was a fair price. I asked if she would consider anything below $6,500 and she said no, so I will have to pass. :( I appreciate the help, it really made a difference!

Thanks again!
 

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robg said:
The general consensus is that the 318ti is a good, fun and durable car that's relatively simple compared to newer BMWs (a good thing). I don't think the ti has too many issues, so you should be fine. However, buying any 100k+ car w/ an auto trans is always a gamble. Automatic transmissions (especially BMW ones) seem to have a lifespan of around 120k.
The four-speed auto behind the M42 and M44 engines is an unstressed GM 'box that also sees service behind a 328i's engine. My friendly local mechanics once said that - assuming some TLC in service - the last thing they would worry about concerning the drivetrain of a four-pot BMW would be an automatic transmission. Older BMWs are a different kettle of fish, mind.

As others point out, the M42 engine had gasket issues early in life. By the time the 318ti came along in late '94, it had been resolved.
 

· Crazy Canadian
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SergioK said:
I forget if the 95 318ti came with the M42 or M44 engine. The M42 has a pretty bad head gasket issue so you should verify which engine it came with and if the fix has been completed on that car. I think $6500 is too much, unless it is in pristine condition.
For the record it's not the head gasket that is the issue - it's the "profile gasket" which is at the front of the block. It's an expensive repair because it requires total dissambly of the engine(accessories, head, etc.)
 
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