Last post on Mar 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
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BMW 3 Series, Sedan
Apr 05, 2009 (7:50 am)
Hey, about to lovingly dive into the world of BMW ownership, totally committed to doing research, keeping up on maintenance, and getting the most out of the car, but could use a little advise on the two cars I think I've narrowed it down to:
Option A: 2000 328i, in the last year he's replaced the water pump, power steering pump, serpentine & acc. belt, intake elbow hose, fuel filter, gas cap, outside temp sensor, final stage resistor, brake rotors and pads, and oil change (about four months ago). Also comes with two sets of wheels: 16" BMW OEM wheels with Winterforce studded snow tires. And 18x8.5" Ronal wheels (made in Germany) with Potenza S03 Pole position summer tires. It's automatic (have to get an auto so the wifey can drive it) 98k miles and asking $7000
Option B: 2001 330xi, 126k miles, talked to him on the phone so can't be to detailed on the specidifics but he also has replaced both pumps, radiator, and a few other minor repairs. Planning on calling him back to get specifics but much like Option A seems to have kept the car maintained. Also an auto and wants $8850, can probably get him down to $8300.
Also have seen some 2002 325xi in the similar price range. So my questions to someone out there willing to be helpful for a newbie like me:
#1 I live in Salt Lake hence my looking at the AWD. But that said it I've been driving rear wheel my whole life in Utah and don't necessarily want to pass up a potential good deal (option A) as I think I'd be fine. (Plus on super snow/ice days, I have a land rover that would get me to work just fine) In my limited couple of weeks of research my gut tells me that first car has really been taken care of (seeing it today) and that the lower price tag is of course appealing letting me sock some away for maintenance that might/will occur.
#2 I could spend more like $11k on a car and get something a bit more recent (03-04) with perhaps around 75k miles, but then from what I can gather I'd be facing a lot of these repairs that the above cars have already taken care of. I'm not sure there's a lot of value for me to spend $3-$4k more and have to face things these have taken care of. Would love some input keeping in mind I don't put a lot of miles on cars (mighty 6 mile commute - usually only put on 6-7k a year) and just looking for a fun car to drive for the next few years, with the understanding coming into it that I need to be very proactive on the maintenance (have already been recommended a great indie mechanic by other BMW owners in the area).
Thank you so much in advance for taking a moment to post you comments. I really appreciate it!
#30127 of 30250 Re: 2004 325 automatuic transmission issue [lucky1man]
Apr 05, 2009 (12:23 pm)
My 325 is a convertible and I noticed that the automatic top has the same delay effect. If I try to put the top down right after starting the car (particularly after it has been sitting overnight), there is about a 5 or 10 second delay before the mechanism for lowering the top kicks in. Seems likely that there is a common cause for these delays.
#30128 of 30250 Re: Newbie! [jtueller]
Apr 05, 2009 (6:55 pm)
I'd be tempted to go with the 2000 328i assuming that you can have a pre-purchase inspection performed by a good BMW tech-and it sounds like you already have one. The only problem is the automatic; it may go 200K with no problems and it might go tomorrow. The only decent repair is with a BMW remanufactured unit, and they aren't cheap. I wouldn't pay extra for AWD- just get a set of winter tires and wheels from Tire Rack and you'll get around just fine. That's what I do, and like you I have a serious 4X4 when things get really treacherous.
#30129 of 30250 Re: Newbie! [roadburner]
Apr 05, 2009 (8:22 pm)
Appreciate the feedback, I'm thinking the same. Guess I'm just rolling the dice on the automatic, but at the price I'm getting it even a $3000 repair is putting me in the same range of most similar year models I'm looking at. Perhaps I'll start socking away a few hundred a month just in case! The current owner was saying something about some of the transmissions on this year being built by one manufacturer, and the rest by an other. Does this ring a bell for anyone. And if so does one tend to fail more than the other. Figure I could dig into it and find out which I had by the VIN. Always better to see a major repair coming at you when possible!
#30130 of 30250 Re: Newbie! [jtueller]
Apr 06, 2009 (6:52 am)
The transmission should be the GM A5S 360R, and a BMW Remanufactured unit will run $3600-$4000 plus installation. I changed the fluid in my wife's 528i at 100K and the tranny is still going strong with its third owner. Some techs say leave the ATF alone if the ATF has over 65K on it, but I guess I dodged the bullet. In any event, I change the ATF every 50K in my wife's X3, and I'd suggest that you follow that regimen if you do wind up having to replace your autobox.
#30131 of 30250 Re: Newbie! [roadburner]
Apr 06, 2009 (7:02 am)
Interesting, so since it's at 90k don't mess with the ATF fluid, but if I have to change it out then make sure every 50 I change. Got it! Here's hoping the transmission isn't a problem (crossing fingers, knocking on wood, and many other cliches)
#30132 of 30250 Re: Newbie! [jtueller]
Apr 06, 2009 (7:39 am)
Interesting, so since it's at 90k don't mess with the ATF fluid, but if I have to change it out then make sure every 50 I change. Got it!
Like I said, I changed it at 100K in my wife's car with no ill effects. I forgot to mention that BMW also recommends a 100K change. Confused yet? Anyway, I strongly advise joining the BMW Car Club of America. Among other things, you get a great monthly magazine and many dealers and shops offer significant discounts on parts and/or labor.
Apr 26, 2009 (8:01 pm)
I recommend you stay away from Option A, the 2000 328i sedan. Consumer Reports says it is one of the worst cars to own, and I have to agree, having had one for six years. I replaced all kinds of major parts and didn't see an end. I finally traded it in for a 2005 330i.
Some times Consumer Reports actually does get it right. I am not convinced they know their new cars, being a major fan of the Ultimate Driving Machine, but they like my 2005, and I love it.
Happy twisties. And don't forget about your local chapter of the BMW CCA.
#30134 of 30250 Re: Newbie! [jtueller]
Apr 28, 2009 (8:53 pm)
I would try to find out whats the transmission manufacturer/model is . Make sure transmission is NOT 5HP19 by ZF. This transmission has a design flaw; the drum breaks as early as 35k miles with no sign of failure in advance. Hundreds of people have complains about it (including myself), there is a suit going on against bmw. There is even a website (noreverse.org) dedicated for it...! Hope its not too late for you.
#30135 of 30250 Re: Newbie! [fezgin]
Apr 28, 2009 (9:48 pm)
Thanks: Good Info; I will research see if I can find out what tranny I have.
(anyone have suggestions how to do this?)
My car is at the dealer now and will have info on what they diagnose Wed nite.
Will post my info Wed nite:
Thanks again for your helpful input..