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View Full Version : Purchasing a 3-series. Questions


KrisYYC
07-22-2008, 04:37 AM
Hey all,

I'm in the process of shopping for a 3 series. I don't yet know exactly which model yet as I don't know how much of a car loan I'll qualify for. I've never financed a car before and I've never had an income this high before. But I should be able to get enough for an E36 in good shape or an early 2000's E46. If E36 I'd like to find a 328i, if E46 obviously a 330i. Or possibly a 2004 or so 325i. I'm airing on the side of caution as I don't want to get my hopes up only to be denied the credit.

My question is: Is there anything in particular with these models I should watch out for beyond the normal checks when buying a used car? I like the activity of this forum and the fact there's lot's of Canadians. Is this site Toronto based by chance?

Thanks!

Kris in Calgary

maroli
07-22-2008, 10:11 AM
most people here are in Ontario. As far as E36 goes, failure points include (from what I've read and experienced)
rear trailing arm bushings
front control arm bushings
rear shock mounts
water pump
engine fan
check the springs, they can break after a certain amount of time (happened to me)
there's more...just can't remember

Bartacus
07-22-2008, 10:32 AM
I would also add that if you go the E46 route, avoid models from 2001-back. From 2002-onward, you don't hear as many horror stories regarding subframe tearing and transmission failure, so I'd wouldn't buy earlier than a 2002 model.

Bart

Fel
07-22-2008, 10:38 AM
Welcome to the site! Woo Calgary!!!!! *th-up*

I could make up some advice to give you, but it's better if you just listen to the others who know what they're talking about... haha.

DANIMAL
07-22-2008, 10:43 AM
most people here are in Ontario. As far as E36 goes, failure points include (from what I've read and experienced)
rear trailing arm bushings
front control arm bushings
rear shock mounts
water pump
engine fan
check the springs, they can break after a certain amount of time (happened to me)
there's more...just can't remember

Radiator leaking/ brittle Neck
OBC/inst Cluster Pixels out
Rear shock mounts
Rust in Rockers/.25 panels/jack points
Subframe mounts
swaybar mounts
Aux Fan
AC system(condenser, heater core, etc)
Ignition coils
Valve cover gasket
water pump housing

And i'm sure I am still missing some.

maroli
07-22-2008, 01:08 PM
scared yet? lol

davericher20
07-22-2008, 01:42 PM
Just get a Honda

KrisYYC
07-22-2008, 02:23 PM
Thanks for the replies guys! I might be visiting some dealerships this afternoon. Even if just to see how much I qualify for. Not knowing is driving me nuts lol


Just get a Honda

They are reliable, but they have the personality of a wet rag *sleep*

Bartacus
07-22-2008, 02:34 PM
Thanks for the replies guys! I might be visiting some dealerships this afternoon. Even if just to see how much I qualify for. Not knowing is driving me nuts lol

They are reliable, but they have the personality of a wet rag *sleep*

No, that's Toyota. :D Seriously though, once you drive a bimmer it's hard to go back. My next vehicle may very well be a Toyota, and it's going to turn me from loving driving to "point A to point B".

Bart

KrisYYC
07-22-2008, 02:36 PM
No, that's Toyota. :D Seriously though, once you drive a bimmer it's hard to go back. My next vehicle may very well be a Toyota, and it's going to turn me from loving driving to "point A to point B".

Bart

Oh Toyota is even worse.

I'm in the opposite mode you are in. I'm in a car that is cheap to run and gets me from A to B. And it's driving me mental. I'm a single guy in my 20's. I need something fun to drive *rockout*

Bartacus
07-22-2008, 02:47 PM
Oh Toyota is even worse.

I'm in the opposite mode you are in. I'm in a car that is cheap to run and gets me from A to B. And it's driving me mental. I'm a single guy in my 20's. I need something fun to drive *rockout*

Awesome!! Your making the right choice with a bimmer. I love my E46 to death, but it just costs too much for me to consider owning 2 of em. Plus, its not a good winter car. On the E46s, the traction control is just too damned invasive for my liking, and turning it off is too risky (no middle ground there at all). Even with good snow tires on my bimmer, I'd take a FWD Toyota in the snow over an E46 ANY day. But hell, I got through this winter with it, so I shouldn't complain *too* much considering the snow we had.

Your gonna love it no matter what car you choose. Just be mentally prepared for EXPENSIVE maintenance and repairs (unless you do your own).

Bart

dawgeatdawg
07-23-2008, 11:54 PM
go for a e36 m3 if you can afford it! wow, i haven't logged in here in 2.5 years! and I don't have a e30 anymore!

davericher20
07-24-2008, 12:13 AM
Just get a mercedes

bimmer_art
07-24-2008, 05:24 AM
I think its hard to find E36 ( 10 years old car is hard to maintain and you never know who was previous owner) in good condition in Toronto or in Canada in general so I would go with E46 and you need more reliable car, because it will be your everyday car. You don't want to buy a car and go to mechanic next day

BMW325BMW
07-24-2008, 09:20 AM
Radiator leaking/ brittle Neck
OBC/inst Cluster Pixels out
Rear shock mounts
Rust in Rockers/.25 panels/jack points
Subframe mounts
swaybar mounts
Aux Fan
AC system(condenser, heater core, etc)
Ignition coils
Valve cover gasket
water pump housing

And i'm sure I am still missing some.


The above is what to expect buying a car where the newest model is nearly 10 years old.

If you want a reliable BMW and you can't afford brand new, get a Certified Pre-Owned from a BMW dealership. You will pay a small premium but it is almost like buying a brand new car. And I believe the offer a balloon finance option as well which is basically like a lease except you are paying to own.

Personally I think that would be your best root and you will also see that you can afford much more than you think.

King Luis
07-24-2008, 10:30 AM
I would also add that if you go the E46 route, avoid models from 2001-back. From 2002-onward, you don't hear as many horror stories regarding subframe tearing and transmission failure, so I'd wouldn't buy earlier than a 2002 model.

Bart

subframe isn't year or model specific. but the more power and the hard you run the car, the issue is more likely to happen.

there was something else regarding the first 2 years of the e46. something to stay away from them. other wise replace the rear trailing arm bushings every so often and keep up with maintenance and you should be fine.

nX07
07-24-2008, 04:59 PM
Yea it's not really model specific with the subframe ordeal; if you drive your car hard you're probably to encounter it. Mind you BMW Canada has paid for many peoples' repairs, try not to drive your car hard.. but you're aiming for a 330, so that means you wanna giver'hard.

You see, I have a 325i, and I drive like a grandma after getting a few $300+ speeding tickets.., heck, I even drive into my driveway as slow as anything.

I'm not saying you'll need to drive like a grandma, but expect more maint./repairs if you take your car like an unofficial track car.

Also, think of this:
You're on the internet.. what do the majority of people do? Look for answers to their issues. Hardly ever to you come across a forum full of "omg I love this kthx bye" simply because people don't do that too often.

As long as you drive calmly with your car, and don't abuse it, you'll be fine.

KrisYYC
07-26-2008, 03:02 PM
Yea it's not really model specific with the subframe ordeal; if you drive your car hard you're probably to encounter it. Mind you BMW Canada has paid for many peoples' repairs, try not to drive your car hard.. but you're aiming for a 330, so that means you wanna giver'hard.

You see, I have a 325i, and I drive like a grandma after getting a few $300+ speeding tickets.., heck, I even drive into my driveway as slow as anything.

I'm not saying you'll need to drive like a grandma, but expect more maint./repairs if you take your car like an unofficial track car.

Also, think of this:
You're on the internet.. what do the majority of people do? Look for answers to their issues. Hardly ever to you come across a forum full of "omg I love this kthx bye" simply because people don't do that too often.

As long as you drive calmly with your car, and don't abuse it, you'll be fine.


Hi Nx07,

How is the performance of the 325i? I'm not looking to drive like a maniac, just want a car that's fun to drive (obviously the Germans are king in this department), isn't a slouch and in the odd instance dust some idiot in a pick-up truck who thinks he's fast *smoke*

In all seriousness, I'm willing to consider any 3 series model. I just haven't driven all of them yet, only the 330i. However I can get a considerably newer 325i for the same price as a 330i.

Thanks again,

Kris

lvan
07-26-2008, 06:00 PM
I have driven 325i and 330i from some people at my work. I think you will notice the difference from the 330i. I just did not have a chance to push the car. I guess if i was to push it off the ramp on the dvp, it would be a nice test. However for daily, 325i stick can be just enough to toy around.

propr'one
07-26-2008, 07:14 PM
e46 325 is very close to e36 328
e46 330 is very close to e46 330