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I am seeking advice on whether or not to buy a 07-10 335i to replace the Toyota Tacoma that I Currently daily. I love having a truck but the gas and parking situation living in Santa Monica just doesn***8217;t make much sense. The one thing is that the truck is loaded with options, and resale value will bring anywhere from 15-19k I would guess. I know you can build out really sweet 335i setups for relatively cheap. My only worry is leaving the loving embrace of Japanese reliability (I***8217;ve only ever had to change oil and brakes) for a much more notoriously unreliable car. I love working on cars and have done a lot of work on classic cars and other cars in highschool, so I***8217;m thinking I can tackle many of the upgrades/ maintenance myself. My question to the forum is am I making a mistake building out an e92? Or should I go for it and try to make something really cool? I***8217;d love any feedback.
 

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BMWs are relatively high maintenance cars. Now, “relatively high” is an indeterminate term. For someone coming from a Toyota you will likely find an E90 to be high maintenance. The 335 was BMWs first turbo charged car. First attempts are typically fraught with issues. The early 335 cars had an issue with the vacuum controlled waste gate actuators. BMW went to an electronically control actuator later. See if there are maintenance records showing that the actuator has been replaced. I don’t think there was a retrofit of the electronically control actuator, but there may have been an improved version if the vacuum controlled unit.

I bet you’re looking for a car with an automatic transmission. BMW used to tout “lifetime fluids.” It was a marketing ploy and not a maintenance philosophy. I kid that lifetime fluid means that the automatic transmission blew up at 157k miles but still had its factory fluid. The automatic transmission fluid and filter need to be changed every 60k miles, as a minimum. Btw, all 5 of my bimmers have had a manual transmission. Moral of this paragraph: check the maintenance records for automatic transmission fluid and filter changes.

When you do find a bimmer that tickles your fancy have it undergo a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) performed by a reputable indie shop that specializes in bimmers. Try www.bimrs.org to find a shop near you. You live in the LA area so expect to pay upwards of $250 for the PPI. It’ll be money well spent.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much for the detailed advice! I feel like I should add more about my situation. I***8217;m not too worried about things breaking, alrthough the goal would be to try and prevent as much as possible. I***8217;ve compiled a list of things that usually break on the e92 platform (waste gates, HPFP, etc.) and I was thinking that I was planning on upgrading all these things to new parts or performance parts. Would that combat the issue of unreliability or make it worse? Tools and parts aren***8217;t a huge worry of mine since my dad works for Harbor Freight Tools and my colleague gets wholesale bmw parts from his shop. Either way, I guess I kind of want a car I can upgrade and baby again, while still daily it and not regret leaving the Japanese.
 

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Then find the car that trips your trigger. Again, have the car undergo a PPI before you buy it. Also, make sure it can pass the CA emissions tests as fixing emissions issues gets expensive quickly. The big items are the catalytic converters. Have the shop that does the PPI write down how much $ it’ll take to fix each problem. This will give you some leverage when negotiating the price. I know the LA has a ton of shops that supposedly specialize in bimmers, so check the website of the local chapter of the BMWCCA for recommendations and shops to avoid. You’ll need to get software to properly diagnose issues. Go to bimmer forums and check the software sub-forum. These cars are rolling computers and fixing a problem without the right software is futile.
 
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