If 4K is your life savings then I would go for a newer vehicle.
I own a 94 325I with 240K miles. The only major problems I've had were
AC broke at about 80K miles (fixed by dealer under extended warrenty)
and suspension replaced at 200K miles.
Other problems on that E36 are the water pump (use a plastic impeller)
and plastic radiator. The plastic tab on the radiator that holds the
hoses eventually fails. I had to replace both around the 150K miles.
The key to a car like this is to know a good BMW mechanic. But even
so, service will cost and if you can't afford the service then I would
pass on the car. I found my mechanic thru the BMW car club. Find a
good mechanic first - ask him to check out the car prior to purchase.
You can also find out from him how much the regular service will be and
decide if you can afford it.
Hi. I'm a college student looking at a 1993 325i w/ 112K for $4,000.
Any advice on what to look out for on this model before I spend my life
savings is GREATLY appreciated.
Depending on how mechanically inclined you are might be a decision point.
I've seen folks spend a max dollar amount on a car thinking they'd be buying
a "drive it til it breaks". Right off the bat, something goes out. They shot
their wad on the car and now have no money for repairs. If you want a BMW,
buy a pre-93 , and have some money for extra fixins. You may find it's
easier to work on and could be more reliable, depending on the care it
received. Just my 2 cents.
Bill in Omaha
I agree with everything said in the newsgroup.
Two years ago I spent $8000 for a 94 325i convertible with 120K.
Finding a trustworthy independent mechanic is really important. I've
had no complaints with dealer service, but it's VERY expensive (in New
York City, anyway) -- $112/hour! Definitely check out www.bimrs.org.
Originally I was looking for a newer car, too, but realized that at the
same "price point" I could get an older BMW or Lexus. And it's
absolutely not about style or prestige, just build quality. A BMW is a
"driver's car", in a way that a Honda Civic, for example (or any other
front-wheel-drive car), can never be.
I haven't regretted my decision even though I've had some financial
reversals. I really love my car, and, having just turned 50, expect it
to last for the rest of my life -- including some cross-country trips.
It's been reliable, the engines are described as "bulletproof", and it's
a total blast to drive. I don't even "need" a car in NYC, but keep
thinking that I might relocate at some point ... so it's imperative that
I keep this car.
I hope the one you're looking at has a manual transmission. I guess
it's just a personal quirk of mine, but I have no use for automatics at
all. There's no fun in driving for me if I don't have gears to shift.
And no "tiptronics" or the like for me -- using a clutch is the whole point!
Which is not to say that there's anything bad about BMW auto
transmissions per se, so don't let that be the deciding factor unless
you share my opinion. I call them slushboxes on ANY car, no matter the
make or model.
Best regards, and best wishes if you go through with your purchase.
Steven in NYC
Keyser Soze wrote:
Thanks to everyone.
I had it checked out by a reputable garage.
The nearest "authorized" was a bit too far to get to.
anyway, I bought the car for 4k and the ownwer thru in a set of 17" mags
I'm sure to be a lurer/poster to the group now!
I am a BMW fan as well, but it is not entirely FWD - RWD thing. If you
get a chance, take a SAAB 9-3 sport sedan (2003 or later) for a drive
(preferably and arc or aero). They are the best handling FWD cars I've
ever driven, even in stock form. The other atractive thing about SAABs
for used car buyers is their rapid depreciation.
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