Lifelifequ00blosersfrogpeperedpillayalolahwalkawayblexitschumershutdown

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 12:00 AM

Is there a BMW aficionado here?

I'm trying to buy a car for my kid... the first one will be driving soon, so I've been looking around.
I figure on only spending about 5K or so.
One type of car keeps popping up in numbers in this price range, and that is mid-2000's 325i and xi cars. they range from around 100k to 175k miles.
I've never been a BMW type, so I'm curious if anyone has real experience in the reliability of them up to 200k miles and beyond.
Are they a maint problem at this point?
I'm really not in the mood to buy something I have to work on all the time. I dont mind regular maint stuff, but I'm interested in known issues with the models... you know, trending problems if any.
anyway, if anyone has any valid input, I'd be quite interested in hearing

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Response to MumblyPeg (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 12:30 AM

1. Whatever the model consider that all kids will have their first "wreck" so the bigger the better.

My first kid and a '73 Chevy Caprice (tank) and yes, 4 months in rear ended a lady in front of Kmart while fucking with the 8-track. She was OK and he was OK.

Second kid had a '75 Chevy Suburban that she plowed into a tree on icy roads. She was fine and so was the Suburban.

No way would I put a new driver kid/grandkid of mine in a Kia class auto...

Your worse nights will be waiting for your driving kid to get home after the high school game. This I know.

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Response to MumblyPeg (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 12:57 AM

2. BMWs are "shop whores" - stay away

If you buy a BMW with more than 40 or 50K then you might as well "save money" by buying a boat.

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Response to foia (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 01:13 AM

3. how so?

Can I ask what experience you are drawing from on this? I assume you are telling me straight and based on some experience.
I mean, maybe you sell or work on them and see it every day? Or have you owned several of them and got stung?
What are the problems with them more specifically?

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Response to MumblyPeg (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 07:44 AM

4. Brother and friends who have owned them

When stuff goes wrong the parts are insanely expensive and you need BMW "special tools" to fix them so any shop worth it's salt working on BMWs is going to have an above average labor rate.

Last year I almost bought a SUV. I looked seriously at getting a BMW X5 - for about ten minutes. I started Googling and it refreshed my memory about the cost of BMW ownership.

They're nice cars and all. Just expensive to own.

And I have nothing against the brand per se. My main hobby is riding and fiddling with the nine 80s/90s BMW motorcycles that I own. (I do all of the maintenance myself and have lots of spare parts so they are affordable to own.)

BMW:
"Bring More Wampum"
"Break My Wallet"
"Bitch, Moan & Whine"

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Response to MumblyPeg (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 08:09 AM

5. I really helps if you're mechanically inclined.

I had a '96 328i as a daily driver for 6 years until last August. A lot of fun to drive and very reliable. Basic maintenance is pretty easy, you do have to get some odd sized tools, but they're easy to find and not that expensive. It's when you have to get into the guts or replace electronics that it gets pricey with the German cars. The 325 series uses the same inline 6 engine block as mine, which is considered one of the best engines in world. To get an idea on what it takes for the basic stuff there's a lot of YouTube videos out there showing you how to do it. The online BMW community is also a good one. Keep in mind that the timing belts on the inline 6 need to be replaced at every 90k miles, so if you're looking at one close to that check and see if it's been done. Also Carfax is your friend!

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Response to cologeek (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 08:52 AM

7. Well, I've had a couple Audi's and VW so I have some of the basics, but I don't have

any BMW specific tools.
Quite frankly, I'm not in the mood to work on cars as much anymore. It used to be fun. Hell, I even have a lift now. But I'm just not in the mood. I'd rather be fishing or shooting or something.

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Response to MumblyPeg (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 08:12 AM

6. If you want a reliable high mileage car then I'd go with a Toyota

JM .02

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Response to MumblyPeg (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 09:53 AM

8. I had an 87 325 that I drove for years

Some parts are cheap, others are ridiculous. One of the more difficult things I encountered was an exhaust repair. There really wasn't anything wrong with the muffler, other than the fact I had cracked the straight pipe. I decided to have it welded instead of replacing it. It turns out it was made of stainless and finding someone who could weld stainless was a real PITA.

The only other issue I can point out was earlier 325's are notoriously light in the ass. Mine would spin and slide on just wet pavement. I kept 200 pounds of sand in the trunk just to weigh the rear end down a bit.

Overall the 325 straight 6 is a bulletproof engine. One thing I would do on any high mileage one would be to immediately replace the timing belt. They have an interference valve train so a snapped belt WILL destroy the motor.

Lastly be aware BMW's leak oil. They all do. Not a lot, but they do have a tendency to seep from a lot of places so always keep an eye on the level on the dipstick.

That being said they are a blast to drive. I drive a BMW owned Supercharged Mini Cooper right now. It's some of the most fun you can have on 4 wheels.

Mine looked just like this:


Here's what the current Mini looks like:

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 10:07 AM

9. I've heard that the 2.5 x 6 was pretty much bulletproof.

From what I'm reading, their AWD systems are weak in the transfer case though... so something to avoid apparently.

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Response to MumblyPeg (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 10:09 AM

10. They are expensive to fix. Previous boss had one

I think parts cost a lot too.


I'd get a Honda. They last forever and don't really cost too much to fix. At least, mine hasn't. Plus, depending on the year, insurance is cheaper.

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