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Hello,
First post.

Looking to buy a used 02 or 03 325i, automatic.

What are the common car problems I should be aware of before purchasing a used one that may not be CPO.

From what I've read on this forum, looks like common items are brake pads/rotors and tires...

I don't want to buy one and then a month later, discover that I have a list of common problems that I could've kept an eye on or asked the seller about..

Thanks
 

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Why don't you buy a manual? Auto trans can go out at 80,000 miles and rob a little accelleration from the 325.
The 325 is relatively lightweight so the tires last a relatively long time.
Brakes and spark plugs are like any other car.
The radiator expansion tank will leak at 70,000 miles, and costs $100 to buy, but is a diy in your driveway. If the 2003 is plus 50,000 miles and you want to look at this, you need to remove the air cleaner (3 clips on top of the radiator and 2 bolts on your right-hand side by the filter box) to examine the tray under the engine for signs of leakage.
Power steering hoses will leak a little at 70,000 but are easy to replace.
You need to replace the fuel filter under the car every 30,000 miles for best response and gas mileage but I believe many dealers and owners don't do this.
The air cleaner and cabin filter are serviced every 15,000 miles. You can examine the cabin filter very easily to determine a lot about service history. Rotate the 3 clips at the base (back) of the hood, pull the black tray-top forward, and remove the cabin filter. If the filter is grey or black, no one has serviced the car for 30,000 plus miles. Cabin filters are so easy to replace and cost only $25, so this is a good indicator of service.
Great cars! Fun and conservative looking, at the same time.
 

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Control arm bushings are number one in my book. My car seems to eat them for lunch.

Then Misc electrical issues, nothing major. Sunroof shade, window regulators are frequent.

Squeaks and rattles can be fixed.

I have a step, and actually like it. I'd prefer a manual, but for an auto, it's pretty darn good

Steve
 
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