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Opportunity

1041 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  jvr826
Whats up everyone, I dont currently own a bimmer but I have the opportunity to purchase a 2000 328i with 144k for next to dirt cheap. I plan on using it as my winter car so I can rock the tahoe in the summer w out removing the wheels. Anyways, I wanted to lay it down for everyone and hopefully get some responses on wheather or not I should invest in this car.

Whats been replaced:
2 o2 sensors
thermostat
rotors (replaced w drilled and slotted)
calipers
Rubber hose that connects intake manifold with air filter
alternator
battery
headlights

Body condition:
small dime size rust under paint on rear passenger fender
small scratch in paint on front drivers fender
No rust to suspension
subframe not cracked, at least what I can see from inspection
front strut tower not mushroomed

Interior:
two front seats pretty much destroyed
steering wheel cover in shambles
tint peeled off rear passsenger window

Wheels/tires:
Car sat for too long and tires are new but look dry rotted
Wheels are 17" aftermarket chrome but were never removed resulting in bubbling of chrome

I am going to drive it today after work. Asking 3000, going to offer 2500. If he wont take 2500 should I still do this for 3000? What should I listen, feel for while driving the car?

Thank you!
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Risky, but it's up to you. Few thoughts I'd have.

First, do you really want a RWD car for your winter car?
Second, tough to see a subframe crack just by crawling under the car -- was it inspected by the dealer under the class action settlement?
Third, auto or manual? Manuals are generally regarded as more reliable.
Fourth, what's the history as far as fluid changes? You'd like to see oil changes every 7500 mi, brake fluid and coolant changed every 2 years, and all other fluids (tranny, diff, etc.) changed by 90,000 miles.
Fifth, plan on replacing the entire cooling system and tires before driving it anywhere. After that, budget $1k-$1,500 a year for odds and ends -- maybe a DISA, a CCV, some Vanos seals, a fuel pump, LCA bushings, etc., etc., etc. You really want to stay on top of maintenance.
Sixth, if it's just a winter beater, I wouldn't worry about the cosmetic stuff (you can get seat covers, etc.), but I would be worried about what that stuff tells you about how the prior owner took care of it. The number of miles is less important than how it was taken care of over the course of those miles.

I'm sure there are other opinions, but these are just some of my thoughts off the top of my head.
Whats up everyone, I dont currently own a bimmer but I have the opportunity to purchase a 2000 328i with 144k for next to dirt cheap. I plan on using it as my winter car so I can rock the tahoe in the summer w out removing the wheels. Anyways, I wanted to lay it down for everyone and hopefully get some responses on wheather or not I should invest in this car.

Whats been replaced:
2 o2 sensors
thermostat
rotors (replaced w drilled and slotted)
calipers
Rubber hose that connects intake manifold with air filter
alternator
battery
headlights

Body condition:
small dime size rust under paint on rear passenger fender
small scratch in paint on front drivers fender
No rust to suspension
subframe not cracked, at least what I can see from inspection
front strut tower not mushroomed

Interior:
two front seats pretty much destroyed
steering wheel cover in shambles
tint peeled off rear passsenger window

Wheels/tires:
Car sat for too long and tires are new but look dry rotted
Wheels are 17" aftermarket chrome but were never removed resulting in bubbling of chrome

I am going to drive it today after work. Asking 3000, going to offer 2500. If he wont take 2500 should I still do this for 3000? What should I listen, feel for while driving the car?

Thank you!
Yah, I know the previous owner well. The outside of the car is in excellent condition. He was the origional owner and only drove it in the summer. However he left it parked in his driveway in the winter and hasn't driven it in 7 mo. Fluids all changed religiously. Intake gasket and fuel filter were recently replaced. Rear wheel drive in the winter will be even more fun than the 1996 honda accord dx that is my curent winter car.
Based on the money you will have to put into it......rims, tires, seats repaired or replaced....steering wheel addressed......cooling system refresh.....etc.......I personally would not go over $2,000, but that is just my $.02.
Ok. So is it the year, the mileage or the general condition that is tipping the cap in favor of not buying this car? I mean if my overall goal was to get 3 years out of the car driving it only 6 mo out of the year. Would I have to do a cooling system refresh? Seats are about 400$ for the set used I found so thats not too bad. Wheels and tires are of course expensive but I will get 3 years easy out of good wheels and tires. I stopped putting work into my honda about 3 years ago because I figured I would just find another car when it was time. Right now i'm looking at 1500 + to replace the complete front suspension, brakes and a new exhaust on that car and its not even worth 1000$ at 16 years old. I mean I looked at a 04 lincoln LS and they wanted 6000$! Its just been sitting in a car lot for like 3 years and not even inspected. Im looking for a rust free, suspension intact, vehicle to ride until the wheels fall off. Do you think this will make it 3 years?
I'm not digging the beat up seats and steering wheel. I have 92xxx myself and both look new.
Go for it if 2500; walk away if you get too close to $3000.
Yup, so I went to drive the thing and when he turned it on with the hood popped so I could hear the engine a hose broke and dumped cooling fluid all over. Then he tried to play me and say that he had someone else who was going to buy it for 3500. So I said go ahead and sell it to him and walked away. LOL Thanks for your help; without these replies I probably would have bought this and been screwed.
i'm pretty sure that part helped the most :rofl:
a hose broke and dumped cooling fluid all over.
Thanks for your help; without these replies I probably would have bought this and been screwed.
The year and mileage don't concern me because a well maintained BMW will last......I have an '02 with 153,000 and I love it. Cooling systems are a known weak point on the E46 and if there is a major failure you can be left inconvenienced and stranded, not to mention the possible damage to the engine if you do not shut down quickly enough. OEMbimmerparts sells a cooling refresh kit for around $300 and that is cheap insurance in my opinion. Based on the information you provided I would say you could easily get 3 years out of it, but I am the type who will cut my offer when I know how much $$ I have to put into it from the outset right after purchase. Ultimately it comes down to what you are comfortable with and how much you feel like putting into it. I would still not go over $2K, but I also don't think you are getting completely fleeced at $3K.


EDIT.....just saw your post that hit while I must have been typing my response above.......glad you got to see first hand how important a cooling system refresh is.....and that you decided not to buy it!
After all the reading and researching I think I'm still going to look for a BMW, its either that or an audi, maybe I can find something in the 6-7K range that will be a nice second car. Thanks for everything and if I do get the bimmer I'm sure I'll be back.

Peace
External and interior appearance should give some clues as to how the car was cared for. If it's a train wreck, as this one was, then I'd tend to think all the "religious" maintenance (unless documented) is pure marketing BS.

At the very least, you're buying a complex, highly engineered machine. If it looks like crap, and smells like crap, it's probably crap. Now, there are these people out there who can polish a turd (Myth Busters proved it possible BTW) and can make any craptastick vehicle look good, so it's in your best interest to spend a couple hundy on a PPI. This way you know what you're up against and can make an informed decision.

If you're handy and accept you'll need to put in a couple thousand in parts, then you can be a little less diligent. But, be warned... failure to maintain the cooling system can result in bad things and this would concern me if I opened the hood and it looked like a landfill. I have opportunities to look under many BMW hoods every year and when I see one full of leaves, dirt, and spider webs, I'm inclined to think the owner doesn't open it very often. I'm sure the day will come that BMW will eschew the hood release lever like the oil dipstick, but until then, we can still open our hoods.

If you've read any of the wiki, you already know fluid maintenance alone does not equate to a properly maintained BMW. In fact, if one follows the service indicator schedule, most of us feel the car is only getting half the fluid maintenance it requires.
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