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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, everyone,

I bought a X3 2007 2.5 years ago. I feel I cannot afford the cost of repairing it anymore. I already spent 3000 on fixing the problems the car had. Now this car has several problems again probably due to the cold weather this year. I'm hoping to get some advice on what to do with the car. I want to sell it but Lithia told me it's only worth $500. It was shocking to me. I'm still a student and cannot afford this.

Problems of the car:
1. sunroof won't close. Mechanics (authorized) said it requires 1500-2800 to fix
2. 4 wheel drive is on. Mechanics said the four-wheel becomes two wheel-now. Repair costs 1000.
3. engine light is on. Mechanics said it's caused by valve cover. Replacement costs 1500.
4. tires need replaced. Costs 700.
5. break coil springs replaced. Costs 650.
6. one window regulator is not working. Costs 500 to replace.

Can someone suggest me what to do? I feel it's a disaster to buy this car. Who can I sell it to? Who wants to buy a car like this?

Thank you so much for your help!

Daphne
 

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Daphne....first, a 2007 X-3 being worth $500....if thats true somehow, there must be alot more wrong with it. If its really that bad, parting it out and selling it that way you may make you more $$. As far as the repair work you listed, doing some of that yourself will save thousands. Research it here. I got tires for about $65 each that work and have ran great.....you dont "need" $700 tires. If you are getting lights inside that indicate 4 wheel issues, there are inexpensive solutions to that too. Sunroof wont close....use the alan wrench to manually shut it and leave it shut. Valve cover...DIY, less than $150 and even for a weekend warrior mechanic, it is something that has very specific "steps" but can be done yourself. I'd be curious to know how someone told you its only worth $500 ....there are parts on these trucks that even "used" will add up quickly and are sought after.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you so much for these information! That gives me hope! It's Lithia, the dealer said it to me. They said either if I want to sell the car or trade in with them, it'll just be $500. About the sunroof, mechanics told me something is bent and said they tried but couldn't close it. I'd love to fix these myself if it is doable. I don't have a garage to do these work coz I live on campus. Do I need a lot of tools for fixing all these issues? Do you think I am able to fix them by myself just by watching instructional videos on youtube? I think I can do these mechanical things if other people can do them by themselves.
PS: I just read your signature and I'm glad that you fixed those by yourself and saved so much money. How much time do you think I need to spend in learning and fixing these?

Another thing is that I'm in Iowa, so I cannot repair anything in this weather. I have to wait till May to do it.
 

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Living proof -- no one should buy a used BMW unless they like to do their own work on them, mailorder discounted parts, etc.

Sell it, and buy a Toyota, Honda, etc.

Where is the X3 located?
 

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I'm a Cyclone. What school are you at?

Sorry, but someone with limited mechanical experience is not going to be able to change a valve cover on an N52 engine in a campus parking lot.

The only critical item is probably your tires (and maybe they aren't critical yet). If you want, snap a decent picture of one of the tires so we can see the tread and we can tell you how "critical" it is to get new tires.

Otherwise, I would drive it as is until you can sell it as is to someone like me who buys BMW's just like yours (at a discount) because I can fix all that stuff myself for WAYYYY less. Without seeing it, you can likely get at least $3,000 for it as it sits.

As our resident Jayhawk suggested above, an older BMW is not a good choice for you in your current situation. Get a Rav4, CRV, or similar and you'll likely have much less trouble overall.

AM.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for your information! We go to same school. You mean I can sell it to you for at least 3000? They told me tires are fine to drive in town.
 

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Do not confuse market value with trade in value. You could sell it for at least $3k.

These cars take $2k a year to own and operate.

Cars cost money, either buying or repairing. For me, maintenance is ALWAYS cheaper than a car payment; anything paid in cash is going to be old enough to require maintenance.

Only you know what you can afford.


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Thanks for your information! We go to same school. You mean I can sell it to you for at least 3000? They told me tires are fine to drive in town.
Yay! Go Cyclones! I went there 30ish years ago. I'm just saying there are people LIKE me out there who will buy it as is. I really doubt the other issues are critical, so you can likely keep driving it the way it is until you decide to fix or sell.

OTOH, as much snow as you guys got last week.... that AWD could be necessary!

AM.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for telling that! The makes me feel better. What you said makes sense. Maybe selling it and buying a Japanese used car is a better option for me because 2K a year is still quite high based on my financial status.
 

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Thanks for telling that! The makes me feel better. What you said makes sense. Maybe selling it and buying a Japanese used car is a better option for me because 2K a year is still quite high based on my financial status.

You’re going to spend $2k in payments a year, and that car is still going to require maintenance... Another $3k vehicle will by $5k by the end of the year...


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Discussion Starter #12
Yay! Go Cyclones! I went there 30ish years ago. I'm just saying there are people LIKE me out there who will buy it as is. I really doubt the other issues are critical, so you can likely keep driving it the way it is until you decide to fix or sell.

OTOH, as much snow as you guys got last week.... that AWD could be necessary!

AM.
Oh I thought you were in Ames and I was going to ask you to repair my car. Yes the blizzard was
biggest one I've seen. Thank you for your advice! So do you also think these issues can't be fixed by myself?

If there are people like you in here, what is a good way to find them? Craigslist?
Thanks!
 

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Valve cover definitely not a job to try without a garage and tools. If the sunroof is "bent" , that may be something you can manage. Can you take pictures and post them here? You only need to get it shut. Problem is if its open now....in a parking lot....I assume the interior is completely shot. This may explain the $500 value given to you. Do you at least have the opening covered? After reading your following posts, parting and selling isnt a good option for you either. I have seen down here in Tampa a ton of car lots that will take as little as $500 down on a decent used car with payments that are affordable. Just be careful with whatever you do...theres alot of shysters out there that will take advantage. Ive been around this site now for a few years and the guys above commenting are good guys giving very sound advice. Again, reading your responses, I would also say not to even attempt any engine work or anything even moderately advanced as it may just make your situation worse. the sunroof thing is bugging me though....post some pictures if you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Valve cover definitely not a job to try without a garage and tools. If the sunroof is "bent" , that may be something you can manage. Can you take pictures and post them here? You only need to get it shut. Problem is if its open now....in a parking lot....I assume the interior is completely shot. This may explain the $500 value given to you. Do you at least have the opening covered? After reading your following posts, parting and selling isnt a good option for you either. I have seen down here in Tampa a ton of car lots that will take as little as $500 down on a decent used car with payments that are affordable. Just be careful with whatever you do...theres alot of shysters out there that will take advantage. Ive been around this site now for a few years and the guys above commenting are good guys giving very sound advice. Again, reading your responses, I would also say not to even attempt any engine work or anything even moderately advanced as it may just make your situation worse. the sunroof thing is bugging me though....post some pictures if you can.
I could close most of the roof, only about 10 cm front and 10 cm back left open, and yes I covered it with a big plastic with tapes. Nothing is affected inside. Thank you! I will find a warm day so that I can try to locate the bent (coz this is what mechanics told me, but I don't know where it is yet) and take a picture.

I'm willing to spend on tools if that's the only thing you concerned. Could you tell me why having a garage matters? Because if repairing it by myself is an option, I'd really want to try it. Thank you!!
 

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It's good to learn! But ... a BMW isn't the best for the first try unless you have a mentor with lots of tools. And a warm garage, this time of year. :)

A campus-cruiser is in order. A dented-up but mechanically sound Corolla or Yaris come to mind. Not AWD, but typically reliable plus good gas mileage and probably cheaper insurance.
 

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Post it up for sale as-is.

The only thing on your list I would attempt to fix on campus is the window regulator. If it’s one of the rear windows it’s probably the drive dog which usually breaks (~$50 part).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It's good to learn! But ... a BMW isn't the best for the first try unless you have a mentor with lots of tools. And a warm garage, this time of year. :)

A campus-cruiser is in order. A dented-up but mechanically sound Corolla or Yaris come to mind. Not AWD, but typically reliable plus good gas mileage and probably cheaper insurance.
Thanks for your suggestion! I'll keep that in mind!
 

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Post it up for sale as-is.

The only thing on your list I would attempt to fix on campus is the window regulator. If it’s one of the rear windows it’s probably the drive dog which usually breaks (~$50 part).
It's the driver's side window. Could you tell me why other things cannot be fixed on campus? Is it only because of weather? Thanks!
 

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It's the driver's side window. Could you tell me why other things cannot be fixed on campus? Is it only because of weather? Thanks!
Weather, the need for an actual toolbox full of metric, Torx and Etorx tools (along with other indispensibles), the need to have parts scattered around, and the fact that most colleges have rules against performing automotive work on school property.

Take this to heart: if you sell it and get a typical college beater (no student should EVER have a BMW, Benz, Audi, I.M.O.), whatever you get in your price range would IMMEDIATELY require a timing belt, which could be a grand to have a shop do. If not, expect the engine to jump time and become a boat anchor.

Sunroofs can be closed with an allen wrench if you pop the plastic upper console cover, then don't open it.

The best thing to probably get if you have to deal with snow is a 10-15 yr old compact 4x4 truck, or a 4runner. Those old S10s, Rangers, Tacomas don't die. I've seen them go over 400k miles with nothing more than oil changes and filter replacements.
 
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