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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need your help guys once again. A long time ago i was user on these forums but i guess my acc got deleted or i canceled it anywayz i am back. The thing is i am dying to get BMW and i think i found one, but i am no good with cars, BMW was always part of my dream car when i was a kid i used to be in love with M3 E36 o babi However i am thinkking to purchase one, i need your advice guys this is the one i am thinking to get into bidding http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/?cmd...1&sspagename=STRK:MESINDXX:IT#ht_36523wt_1165

Maybe i should wait get some more money and buy me something better and newer i curently have 5 thousand bucks no job no driver licence but i just do not want to pass on this opportunity. I can just buy it park it over my friends house and get driver licencse quick almost done with finals so it wont be a problem + i got permit.

Waiting for replies like crazy i need pros to help me. Or maybe advices where should i start maybe i should get different car firt.
 

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please help is it worth 5 grand and the milage and what can i expect.
Assuming the car is in excellent condition (including the tires being near brand new), the advertised price of $4,800 is quite good. From the following:

http://www.kbb.com/bmw/5-series/200...ry=sedan&condition=excellent&pricetype=retail

For the parameters, I assumed it was a 4 door model, automatic transmission, and no "extras".

It appears from the ad that the vehicle is not "Pre-certified", and thus getting some type of warranty would be difficult, at best. Also, note that there is an indicator light on (rear right hand side) on the picture of the dashboard. Probably a minor issue, but still something that needs to be fixed. I would be concerned with getting a vehicle that has 134,000 miles on it. BMWs are typically rather expensive to repair, although you can save a good amount if 1) you are handy yourself, and/or 2) you know of a good, reputable independent shop.

Others will probably have some good tips on what to look for, but here are things you could try and find out:

1. When was the battery last changed?

2. How "extensive" is the maintenance on the car? That is, has the vehicle "always" been taken in for maintenance at manufacturer requested intervals?

3. Based on my last three significant repairs (2001 BMW 525i, 87000 miles), have any and/or all of the following been changed?

A. Thermostat

B. Radiator

C. Valve Cover Gasket

D. "Various" Belts

4. When were the brakes last changed?

As I said, hopefully others will have some more helpful suggestions. Good luck!
 

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CPR ..
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564 Posts
Hey Nick,

Welcome back to the forums! One reason why you might not get 'replies like crazy' is because of your grammar use. No offense, but people won't really answer your question in your thread if it takes an effort to read through what exactly the question is.

Now that I addressed that, its time to help you answer your question. There is no 'simple' or 'clear-cut' answer which I can give you that will suffice. Rather, there are many different things for you to answer for yourself. This involves doing research or homework. From the looks of the car, you already know that it is a clean-looking 525 auto, premium package with high miles ~133k. First things first (as mentioned) you need to do your homework to ultimetely see if this car is a a good buy for you and your wallet.

1. Maintenance

This is number one because the 525 is an 'older car' . With an older car you should expect for there to be many things to change on the car not only because of the age, but because of the miles incurred through driving. There are tons of threads written all for the sake of informing fellow e39 owners (that's the body style of the car you are looking at) of the common issues and problems associated with them. Since I have an e39, I can honestly tell you to expect to pay money into maintenance. Search for threads on maintenance/ e39 common issues to see all the common problems you could expect. Among them are the following:
- Cooling system overhaul
- Vanos seals
- Cup holders ( if you really want them )
- Rear ball joints
- Control arms
- Valve cover gasket
- Various belts
- Tensioners (mechanical or hydraulic)
ECT
The severity of maintenance is contingent upon the history ( which you will understand better after reading below)

2. History

You may or may not know who the previous owner was, and how they drove the car. By knowing this vital piece of information you would be able to know how maintenance was scheduled. For example: If the previous owner was nonchalant about maintenance then expect to get the car with many parts needing to be changed either immediately or very soon thereafter. On the contrary if the previous owner (Let's call it P.O. for short) was an enthusiast or fanatic, except very little things to be changed, if anything at all. This obviously ties into maintenance for the aformentioned.

Summary

The biggest con to buying an older car like the e39 is maintenance . If the maintenance has all be completed recently before buying the car then you have no big worries. If not, expect to pay big money. Especially if the cooling overhaul was not done, or done without using the proper parts. If the latter is true, expect to do the job over again becuase the improper parts will break.
You also need to actually see and drive the car in person before deciding to buy it. It might look pretty to the eyes, but you might not like the way it looks or drives upon closer inspection. You need to check the car out in person, along with a trusted BMW mechanic. Its better to get a bmw mechanic because he/she will know specifically what to look for and you will know if the car is a good deal or a lemon.

There are many pros to buying this car such as it's excellent class, sportiness (well maybe not in that car :)), gas mileage, DIY capablility, driveabliity, modding options among many others. However, how will you be able to enjoy all these things if your too busy spending money on it in the shop instead of driving it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you guys, you're all awesome ! I was very tired and in the hurry to write that so i could buy that car by the time auction ends, however i felt asleep and auction ended. I decided not to get a car until the end of January since i understand that i need to do some more research to get to know the best price i can get for the best BMW option. I am actually even reconsidering now if i want to get a BMW since all of those problems. I am 23 years old and maybe for my first car in USA i should go with Nissan Maxima/Altima or Honda accord idk. I really love BMW for the body i never drove one but i know i would fall in love if i drive it. I am addicted to them is all starts with E36 M3 for me, when i was a kid all i dreamed of is to get one of those E36 m3 put a skirt on her take it to rally since where i come from it is like a rally all day every day LOL. Now i moved from that place and i live in new york city and damn its different. Gota hand it that i miss nature. I head there is some kind of BMW club where people meet up and chill and help each other with their cars etc, i am dying to find one after i get my BMW. Yo this looks like obsession))) k few more lines.

I do not have a garage and i can't afford it in new york city so i will need a car that i can rely on in the city for at least 2-3 years without throwing out a lot of maintenance money, with that being said i need to look for something that will suit me and i do not know the prices for that type of thing. Thank you again for all the help. Going to start my search.
 

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CPR ..
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Its Ok Nick, I wasn't trying to "pound" you for grammar, but rather inform. Its really not even an issue , we're all allowed to break free from grammar sometimes :thumbup:

To help encourage you in this whole situation:

Im 18 years old. I first got my car at 16 from my parents after being bought new way back when. The car had about 70K when I was 16, but my mom used it as her Daily driver from NYC to NJ for a year and change and that brought the miles to 87K. Now the car has 92K. Currently I need to replace my rear upper control arms and front control arms to be perfect. My car has been exceptionally well- taken care of since it's ownership under my family.

It has always been garaged, never parked on the street, all maintenance up to date, ect. I rarely drive in the rain (exactly 3 times this entire year, of which I hand washed and waxed after each), and never driven in the snow except for a week when my mom had it. I "wipe" my car down multiple times per day. During the summer months I wash my car 2 times a day and wax after each wash. I keep the car covered down each and every night and whenever it has to sit for more than 2 hours outside with my $800 custom boat fabric. Yes, Im bragging a bit here, but thats only because I'm proud of my car. I am able to enjoy the benefits associated with owning a bmw because it spends more time with me than in the shop as other's cars do. I work 3 jobs (not because of car maintenance but because my parents have a rapidly growing business). It's nice to have money to spend on mods rather than maintenance. That is thanks in part to the previous maintenance schedule, but also to doing my homework on this forum. I was able to make a timeline as it were, of the issues that might occur during my ownership, congruent to the miles driven. For example: If I know my vanos seals need to change (most I6 e39s will need them changed), I can save alot of money, time and grief by changing the valve cover gasket, ignition coils (if needed) and spark plugs.

The e39 is also extremely DIY-able. You can do almost everything yourself with basic tools, jack stands/ramps and this forum's database.

All in all, don't be discouraged. Just do your homework and ask the right questons to the right people. Look for cars for sale on the forums here from fellow enthusiasts. Chancers are you will get a car with most maintenance items up to date. With the big items up to date, you will have little to no repairs to do in the near future, resulting in a peace of mind and increased reliability. Look over on e46fanatics under the NYC section for a better "local" nyc population. I have the same username there also, and you will find independent shops that will inspect a car throughly before you buy it.

There are bmw clubs here in ny, but they're called "meets". I put together one a little while ago with a great turnout +/- 25 bimmers. I have attended quite a few more during the course of the summer, and will be planning more next year late spring/summer when I get my car back from storage. Your free to roll around with my buddies and I. I'll show you everything about the bmw community as it is really deep in NYC. Also, anything e39 related let me know. I can have my shop (Motorcepts) talk to you to help you get a good car and do inspection. Look up Motorcepts' online site, and on e46fanatics . They're a huge success.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Just because the price of these cars have dropped this low does not make them affordable. You are looking at a ten year old, $50,000+ sport/luxury car. The cost to maintain and operate the car has not gotten any cheaper. These cars are VERY EXPENSIVE to maintain if you don't have the tools, facilities and know how to do most of your own repairs. For a young driver looking for affordable, dependable transportation a Honda, Toyota, Nissan may be a better choice.

Just because you can afford to buy a BMW, doesn't mean you can afford to drive a BMW.
 

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Just because the price of these cars have dropped this low does not make them affordable. You are looking at a ten year old, $50,000+ sport/luxury car. The cost to maintain and operate the car has not gotten any cheaper. These cars are VERY EXPENSIVE to maintain if you don't have the tools, facilities and know how to do most of your own repairs. For a young driver looking for affordable, dependable transportation a Honda, Toyota, Nissan may be a better choice.

Just because you can afford to buy a BMW, doesn't mean you can afford to drive a BMW.
+1:thumbup:
 
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