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      08-09-2013, 12:58 AM   #1
Bmwkid98
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Buying my first BMW

Hi my names kobe I'm about to get my Learners permit, and I've been looking at BMWs for sale, I have loved BMWs for years and I know this is the car that I want to get. I have found a lot that I want and are in my price range . If any of you can tell me problems to look for that would be great. I really want a 3 series or 5 series but any BMW would More than please my expectation. If you have any tricks or tips or things that I need to know about owning and maintaining a BMW that would be a lot of help I do know a lot about maintaining a BMW I just want to know little stuff that only an owner will know after years of experience. Thanks for your help

Ps. my price range is 15,000 and below
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      08-09-2013, 09:15 AM   #2
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Hello kid98 and welcome to the forums. You sound enthusiastic and that's a good thing, you're among like minded people. Thing is, you've first got to figure out exactly what model you're going to pursue. Once you know what series and model and ask this same question again, you'll definitely be swarmed by folks with a keen mind on issues or benefits you can look forward too. Have you any idea what year, model, series you've got a hankering for?
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      08-09-2013, 11:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techietaichi
Hello kid98 and welcome to the forums. You sound enthusiastic and that's a good thing, you're among like minded people. Thing is, you've first got to figure out exactly what model you're going to pursue. Once you know what series and model and ask this same question again, you'll definitely be swarmed by folks with a keen mind on issues or benefits you can look forward too. Have you any idea what year, model, series you've got a hankering for?
The 3 Series I want are 325i, 328i, 330i. I Prefer a Coupe but I will be happy with a sedan. I would like The mileage to be under 110,000.
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      08-09-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
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Since it's your first car get a 325i with the lowest mileage as possible that you can afford. You can start to learn the basics of maintenance and then possible some minor repairs as it gets older.
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      08-09-2013, 01:14 PM   #5
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Provision some money for repairs (like 2k/yr) in your budget. All naturally aspirated bmw are solid and should not run you out of budget too much.
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      08-09-2013, 01:30 PM   #6
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If you buy a 325i be sure not to buy one from 2006/2007 they tend to have problems with the Vanos!


Go for a Manual Transmission!
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      08-09-2013, 02:14 PM   #7
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Can I ask why a 325i would be better than a 330i
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      08-11-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwkid98 View Post
The 3 Series I want are 325i, 328i, 330i. I Prefer a Coupe but I will be happy with a sedan. I would like The mileage to be under 110,000.
E46 or E90? I would suggest the latter.
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      08-11-2013, 08:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwkid98 View Post
Hi my names kobe I'm about to get my Learners permit, and I've been looking at BMWs for sale, I have loved BMWs for years and I know this is the car that I want to get. I have found a lot that I want and are in my price range . If any of you can tell me problems to look for that would be great. I really want a 3 series or 5 series but any BMW would More than please my expectation. If you have any tricks or tips or things that I need to know about owning and maintaining a BMW that would be a lot of help I do know a lot about maintaining a BMW I just want to know little stuff that only an owner will know after years of experience. Thanks for your help

Ps. my price range is 15,000 and below
Just be aware these cars especially the older ones require high maintenance and the dealer is not inexpensive. Recommend finding a private BMW mechanic
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      08-12-2013, 09:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ti335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwkid98 View Post
The 3 Series I want are 325i, 328i, 330i. I Prefer a Coupe but I will be happy with a sedan. I would like The mileage to be under 110,000.
E46 or E90? I would suggest the latter.
E90 is what I'm looking for but a E46 will do too.
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      08-13-2013, 01:15 PM   #11
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FWIW, a good thing to remember is, "If you can't afford it new, are you sure you can afford it used?" What you read here about maintenance and labor is very true... if you don't know a non-BMW mech. who can work on it for you, expect to pay around $150/hr. just on labor alone... maybe a Bimmer should be your second car?
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      08-13-2013, 03:16 PM   #12
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I was in the same boat as you about a year ago. I'm not going to tell the whole story, but in the end, I bought an E46 M3. I think it would be a safe car for a younger person if they are mature enough.

My dad would tell me the 5 and 6 series would be too big for me, and I agree. I would stick with the 3 series.
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      08-13-2013, 03:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kong Sheng Han
I was in the same boat as you about a year ago. I'm not going to tell the whole story, but in the end, I bought an E46 M3. I think it would be a safe car for a younger person if they are mature enough.

My dad would tell me the 5 and 6 series would be too big for me, and I agree. I would stick with the 3 series.
Ok thanks. How do your like your E46 M3 ?
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      08-13-2013, 03:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwkid98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kong Sheng Han
I was in the same boat as you about a year ago. I'm not going to tell the whole story, but in the end, I bought an E46 M3. I think it would be a safe car for a younger person if they are mature enough.

My dad would tell me the 5 and 6 series would be too big for me, and I agree. I would stick with the 3 series.
Ok thanks. How do your like your E46 M3 ?
Love it. It's so much better (overall) than an E9X 328i and probably better than a 335i too. The reason I'm driving this M3 right now is because I wanted a 6MT. It was hard to find a MT 335i, which was my second choice. If you have the funds for repairs and maintenance, then I would go for the M3.

Edit: Do you plan on buying a MT or auto. The SMG and MT are both good in their own ways on the E46 M3. If you go for the SMG, have about $2500 put aside just in case the SMG pump fails.

The first M3 I was about to buy had an SMG, and it failed the day I was supposed to pick it up. I bought another M3 (6MT) with the same color combo two days later.
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      08-13-2013, 04:31 PM   #15
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Hey, my 325i was also my first car, so I think I can help you out a little. What I will tell you is based on my personal experiences as well as what I have read through the years on forums.

My suggestions/tips/facts of BMW ownership:
-Wait until after you get your license to get a car.
-If you only have $15,000 dollars in your bank account then you should be looking for a 10k-12k car.
-First year maintenance can be rough. Expect at least a grand if you go to the dealership.
-Don't go to the dealership unless there MAJOR problem.
-Get a low mileage 325i or 325ci (E46). Don't bother with the E90. They are more complicated and you can get an E46 in better condition.
-If you feel you can handle a manual while learning to drive then get one. This is mainly a cost thing as the E46 automatic tranny is not exactly known for being reliable.
-Avoid the AWD cars. They require more maintenance as well as having a kinda crappy suspension.
-Do not buy a car with any mechanical problems what so ever. At your budget you can get a very good condition car.
-Don't become emotionally attached to a car (before you buy it that is). If the deal is bad you need to be able to walk away.
-DO NOT BUY AN ///M3. I know that E36 M3 will be tempting, but you do not want that headache when you are learning to drive. As far as an E46 M3 goes, pretend they don't even exist. Not only could you probably not even buy a semi-decent one for 15k, but you would go bankrupt the first time something went wrong.


If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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      08-13-2013, 04:39 PM   #16
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And how much did you spend on that M3?
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      08-13-2013, 04:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerjph
And how much did you spend on that M3?
I'm looking for a 330i, would that be a bad idea. Why a E46 over a E90.
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      08-13-2013, 05:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwkid98
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerjph
And how much did you spend on that M3?
I'm looking for a 330i, would that be a bad idea. Why a E46 over a E90.
Sorry, I meant to qoute Kong Sheng Hong with that message.

A 330i isn't necessarily a bad idea. Let me put this way. You can get a better condition 325i for the same price. Insurance will be a lot more with a 330i. They are also slightly less reliable than a 325i. Real world fuel economy is a wash between a 330i and 325i.

Why go E46 over an E90? Well the E90 is a lot more complexed and computer based (therefore harder to work on yourself). Also as I said earlier you can get a much nicer one E46 than you could an E90 with your budget. Furthermore E46 parts are cheaper than E90 parts. The E46 IMO also has a larger online community, which means more DIY's and help with problems.

And here are some subjective reasons:
I prefer the M54 engine over the N52 (admittedly I am a bit biased, but I have ample experience with the N52 engine). I like the way it (M54) sounds and the way the power is delivered more than with the N52.
-I think the E46 has a sportier suspension set up which is a plus for me. This is especially true when comparing cars without the sports package.
- I like the E46 has a better design.



I'm not saying that the E90 is a bad car. What I am saying is that the E46 is the better car at your price point.
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      08-14-2013, 08:53 PM   #19
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As a youngster myself, I think it's best for you not to buy a BMW if you can't afford a newer model. You said that you wanted a BMW with less than 110k miles, so 100k would be okay with you right?
That's just crazy.. The car's maintenance will make you go bananas, unless you have a lot of $, which I don't think you have, otherwise you would consider newer models.
Get a cheaper luxury car, say Acura or Lexus, with a better year and mileage. Keep it for a couple of years (while saving money). Next couple of years, check your back account and see if you already have enough Benjamins for a real BMW.
Driving an old basic BMW is not cool. Driving a slightly old fully loaded Acura or Lexus is much cooler - trust me.
I'm 20 yo and I got my first car when I was 16. So I know what I'm talking about. I just went though what you're about to.
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      08-16-2013, 01:18 AM   #20
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I would also ask the OP if he has any knowledge of any form of car maintenance. Going to a garage and saying "I have a problem and I don't know what it is", you might, in some cases be the equivalent of giving them your ATM card and the pin code.

I have a problem with a crank sensor on an E46 and I did a LOT of checking around myself and then got car diagnostic software which has confirmed this problem. However, while checking around trying to identify the issue in the first place, it was horrific the parts that some people had replaced in order to fix strange issues, and had shelled out a lot of cash in the process.

So, like jester said earlier, "If you can't afford it new, are you sure you can afford it used?"

If you're confident with spanners etc, then best of luck.

BTW, E46 M3's are great fun
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