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      03-28-2017, 01:08 PM   #1
mgonza2
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How many miles is too many?

We all know what the averages say for miles-per-year for average cars. But, I'd suggest the M3 isn't an average car. Some people drive them as commuters, some on the weekends. For a 2011 (or other years), how many miles is too many before you would be concerned about the engine and other major services?
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      03-28-2017, 01:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgonza2 View Post
We all know what the averages say for miles-per-year for average cars. But, I'd suggest the M3 isn't an average car. Some people drive them as commuters, some on the weekends. For a 2011 (or other years), how many miles is too many before you would be concerned about the engine and other major services?
Personally, I wouldn't look at anything past 30,000 to 35,000 miles on a 2011. Anything beyond that you'll be looking at quite a bit of cosmetic damage, like nicks n scratches, etc. , especially if the car was driven daily. The other thing is that these cars are way past Warranty and Service, so unless the owner was meticulous and took it to a Dealer for maintenance and service, you'll never know who maintained the vehicle. CarFax might show good history, but they don't show repairs that the owner payed cash for. Also, one owner cars are highly preferred.

Just a bit of food for thought.
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      03-28-2017, 01:39 PM   #3
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A car that has actually been driven is likely to be a better bet than a garage queen. Many of the car's wear items will wear whether or not the car was driven, and gaskets and seals tend to dry out and leak in cars that simply sit in a garage. Moreover, a car that sits in a garage may be sitting there because the owner doesn't want to pay for needed repairs, whereas a car that has been used regularly will be one whose owner is likely to want to fix or replace things as they wear our or break. Highway miles are much kinder to the engine than are short trips, and I would rather buy a car that has been driven 10 miles a day, every day, on the highway than a car that has been fired up once or twice a week to make a 2 to 3 mile drive to the mall. An annual mileage of 8,000 to 10,000 would indicate a car that has been used routinely as a daily driver, which would put a 2011 at 50,000 to 60,000 miles.
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      03-28-2017, 02:01 PM   #4
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It is mostly a myth on modern cars that gaskets "dry out" from sitting. There were certainly issues with old gasket formulations such as cork and paper. However, most modern gaskets and seals decay/harden with age and number of heat cycles, and this is not worsened by sitting in a garage. The exotic cars that leak do so whether they sit or not, just a symptom of low-volume production facilities not ironing out all the design defects. In my experience, more miles means more wear on nearly every moving part, and also the accumulation of chips from bits thrown up off the road goes up with every mile. Cars with some sort of Clear Guard do better in regard to paint chips, obviously.
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      03-28-2017, 02:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSilk View Post
A car that has actually been driven is likely to be a better bet than a garage queen. Many of the car's wear items will wear whether or not the car was driven, and gaskets and seals tend to dry out and leak in cars that simply sit in a garage. Moreover, a car that sits in a garage may be sitting there because the owner doesn't want to pay for needed repairs, whereas a car that has been used regularly will be one whose owner is likely to want to fix or replace things as they wear our or break. Highway miles are much kinder to the engine than are short trips, and I would rather buy a car that has been driven 10 miles a day, every day, on the highway than a car that has been fired up once or twice a week to make a 2 to 3 mile drive to the mall. An annual mileage of 8,000 to 10,000 would indicate a car that has been used routinely as a daily driver, which would put a 2011 at 50,000 to 60,000 miles.
I don't know, I looked at 2013s with these kind of miles, the cars looked worn, inside n out, off course their price reflected that. I'm sure that there are some gems out there with that high mileage. I always took it as a deficit to start with the car that has over 35,000 miles on it. Past those miles the car is starting to show fatigue. Before you know it you own a car that now has 80,000 miles on it and the maintenance cost goes a lot higher. If it's going to be a keaper, then by all means, go for it, they're definitely more affordable to purchase at that mileage.
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      03-28-2017, 02:28 PM   #6
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Don't worry about the mileage as much as the maintenance.

Saying that 30-35k is too much for a 2011, isn't sensible.

That would equate to roughly 5-6k miles per year. Significantly under average and very hard to find. The cars with that mileage are usually not for sale by their current owners. Most M3s fall into the 8-10k miles per year range.
(yea i know.. some more some less)

If a particular car has wear and tear that would cause you to walk away at 50k miles, it more than likely looked that way at 35k. This is a generalization, but if it's the same owner it should hold true. People who take care of their cars don't stop once they hit 35,001 miles.

Find a car with service history. There is a thread a few down from this one where a prospective owner is considering a 2011 with 106k miles and no one is telling him to run away if the car otherwise checks out.
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      03-28-2017, 02:31 PM   #7
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2013's with 30,000-35,000 are getting harder to find every day!
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      03-28-2017, 02:38 PM   #8
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major services and engine are two separate items. I would start to heavily rethink purchasing a car with 150k miles.
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      03-28-2017, 04:14 PM   #9
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I bought my 2011 on 12/22/15 with 37k miles on it. For me, the cutoff was 40k miles and not because that's alot of miles, but because I want to put those miles on my car. I did pay more due to the lowish miles because that was worth it for me. But I would not buy a car with high miles just because one with lower miles is not in my price range. I would either save up more or set my sights on something with fewer miles that is in my price range. High milage performance luxury cars can get VERY expensive to mantain. But, if you are capable of doing your own maintenance I would say go for it, but not if you are not planning on doing your own maintenance.
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      03-28-2017, 05:24 PM   #10
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I would say around 140K miles for a 2011.
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      03-28-2017, 06:32 PM   #11
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roll the dice
find a car that is well taken care of other then mileage. If you haven't noticed, most "car guys" here keep cars in immaculate condition.
I think 10k a year is fair. Bought my 11 at 19k now at 31k a year ago.
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      03-28-2017, 08:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R3dliner View Post
roll the dice
find a car that is well taken care of other then mileage. If you haven't noticed, most "car guys" here keep cars in immaculate condition.
+1.

Buy it from an enthusiast and you shouldn't have too much to worry about.

Other than something untimely or truly random, the prior owner is a bigger factor than whatever the odometer reads.
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      Yesterday, 12:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgonza2 View Post
We all know what the averages say for miles-per-year for average cars. But, I'd suggest the M3 isn't an average car. Some people drive them as commuters, some on the weekends. For a 2011 (or other years), how many miles is too many before you would be concerned about the engine and other major services?
Grabbed my 2011 with 22,000 on it and now it has 130,000. I've replaced (4)TPMS sensors, (1) car battery, rod bearings at EAS as precaution because I'm 2nd owner(@28,000 miles) and (1) front windshield molding. I've tracked it 6 times in 3 years of having it. LA is hot and has traffic! All and all it is no different then any of the 12 cars or trucks I've owned in the past.....take care of maintenance and it will run great. I do my own oil, coolant, plugs, and trans fluid to save on cost while babying the car with my service durations(shorter than BMW). I'd say just be sure of the obvious crap people mentioned in above posts. Think of the E92 M3 as a fancier, tighter and way better Mustang or Camaro that actually has handles on the road. Mileage isn't always the all showing factor in a used car.
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      Yesterday, 04:38 AM   #14
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Opinions will vary, as you can see. I like to think there are two sweet spots to purchasing an M car... anything below 40k miles, and anything above 140k miles. Anything in-between is likely to have normal wear and tear items that haven't been replaced yet. Anything above 140k miles, and you will know from the inspection if the prior owner(s) replaced those parts, and should have documentation. Ownership can last a lifetime with proper care.
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      Yesterday, 08:27 AM   #15
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A few months ago I sacrificed color on a 2011 with 34k miles on it that was very well taken care care of. Some folks have found their perfect car but finding one in almost mint condition with low miles was my priority.

50k miles can be an inflection point again depending on condition so if you can find one with acceptable options/color that suits you that's the ticket. The lower miles the better.
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      Yesterday, 01:11 PM   #16
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I would buy a 100-150k mile car if the condition was great and price was low, knowing what I know now about these cars. But I did not know as much 6 years ago when I bought so I bought a CPO car with 30k miles and paid more for a car with warranty and low miles.
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      Yesterday, 01:29 PM   #17
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It depends on the year, but if its private party then a pre-purchase inspection is well worth it.

Last edited by TMack2233; Yesterday at 01:39 PM.
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