View Full Version : Question for you guys....

01-16-2005, 06:34 PM

I'm looking into purchasing that particular BMW, but I have a few BMW specific questions before I consider it more. And try not to be TOO biased, as it's not like I'm buying from you right?

Is a BMW with over 200k really worth buying? Espcially an old one such as this? Are they likely to break down or have other things go wrong with them in general. Anybody with an old beamer and some actual proof would be great here.

How much is it for like regular maintenance (such as oil changes) on a Beamer? Specific prices or specific places would really help out here as well.

Thanks in advance guys.

01-16-2005, 08:03 PM
A friend of mine has an 85 325ES and it has over 300,000km on it... still runs fine.

He hasn't had any major problems since he's owned it other than the clutch throw-out bearing siezing.

If they're properly maintained they're great. Typically with BMW's suspension components are the most likely to wear(and also the most noticiable because you tend to drive a BMW harder than a Ford Taurus...)

01-16-2005, 08:08 PM
It depends on your budget -

The car itself is fairly cheap, but do you have money to fix the car if and when problems pop up - that could end up costing more then you paid for the car. Misc. things can add up too.

It's hard to say whether it's worth it or not without knowing the current mechanical condition of the car, and if the owner has some sort of maint/service history.

Those gen. of 3 series are quite nice - I'd pick one up in a heartbeat if I could find one in the right condition, and was an early 90's model

01-16-2005, 08:10 PM
I have owned several old BMWs over the years and to be quite frank it could be hit or miss. 2 out of the 3 83' and older cars were over 200k and ran like they had 1/2 the mileage and the other one was a lemon. (A full service history is key!)If you plan on having it reliable as in taking it on road trips then I would have the car throughly mechanically inspected by a reputable independant shop. All parts for these cars are expensive, but if you decide to do some of the maintenece work yourself, a car like his could be quite viable. As for the e30 325e, this model was introduced as a fuel economy car and not nessasarily performance but is known as a relaible car and 300k properly maintained is not out of the question.

01-17-2005, 02:30 AM
IMO I would be a bit hesitant with such an older BMW. The price is good but if anything goes wrong or needs fixing the cost will be a bit higher than if you had say a honda, for example. Also, you don't tend to see as many older BMW out on the roads as compared to other makes but that is just an observation.

01-17-2005, 05:51 AM
From looking at your signature, I'm guessing that this will be your first car? If that is the case, I'd say good choice... but be careful, it will have more headaches to deal with than say... a Toyota Tercel or a Honda Civic.
Parts and labor will be more expensive for the Bimmer (oil changes shouldn't be). I know a BMW would look really cool to your friends (been there) but, there WILL be problems with the car and unless you have reasonable mechanical skills or access to cheap labor, stick with the Asian cars. That said, if you are still set on the Bimmer, I can guarantee it will be way more fun to drive and has tons more character than the others.
Just be sure to get it checked out by a mechanic!!!
I know it's hard to justify spending $100+ to get it inspected when the car only costs $1700 and you don't even own it yet, but it is worth every-single-penny! This is the only way to minimize your long-term repair costs. Even if the car passes the inspection (in your eyes, 'cause at $1700 there will be things wrong with it)you can count on putting double that amount into it if you keep it for 2-3 years.
Hope it works out...


01-19-2005, 12:02 PM
wow, thanks so much for the help guys. I'll look into getting it inspected, and if there is even a little bit wrong with it, I'll just continue looking for something else that would be a little bit easier on the wallet in the long run. As much as I would love to have this car, I can't afford to put in 2-3 times as much as I paid for it just to keep it running. Once again guys, thanks a million for all the help.

01-19-2005, 12:19 PM
I've had 2 bmw 82 320i and it's hit or miss. The one with less kms (170k kms) ended up with bad rings and loss of compression. My other one with 250k kms still runs strong, minor work has gone into it. Starts in -28, plenty of heat, and still has all the lines of the defrost working.

I'd say it's hit or miss. They can last a long time, but they can also have plenty of little gremlins that can take alot of time to figure out.

01-20-2005, 05:57 AM
Don't let little things like broken trim and faded paint put you off of the car, concentrate on the big stuff like; engine (doesn't burn oil, good compression), trany (clutch doesn't slip... don't buy an auto), front-end (drives straight with no play or rattles). If the car is reasonably mechanically sound, it's probably worth $1700. Any car that is that old, in that price range, is going to have things wrong with it. The trick is finding one with the least problems, or problems that are easy/cheap to fix. You will also still likely have to fix things on a $1700 Japanese car in the first 2-3 years of ownership (brakes, exhaust, ball joints, etc.). All I was saying is that an Asian car will cost a little less for parts and probably last a little longer than a Bimmer.
Basically, if you are NOT committed to owning a BMW (i.e. prepared to put in some extra work and money), buy a Japanese car and save some hassle. I'm not saying don't buy a Bimmer, just be realistic about what you can afford and how much time you are willing to spend on your new wheels.