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Author Topic: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i  (Read 783 times)

Blltrdr

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Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« on: April 06, 2014, 04:47:47 PM »
My wife's Corolla is on it's last leg so I have been looking to replace it soon. I have a customer that I have been doing work for for about 3 years now who has just purchased a new Lexus and is going to sell her 2000 BMW 323i once her car arrives from Japan. This Beemer is in great condition since she barely drove it because she worked in Beijing most of the time since 2004. The car has 57k on it and the Carfax report shows nothing major, just standard maintenance, all done at the local BMW dealership. She did add some options like, sunroof, cd changer, nav. She is asking $6k for the car which seems reasonable considering the mileage and also what other owners are asking for much higher mileage vehicle on CL. She has also agreed to let me drive the car to an independent shop for a pre-purchase inspection this coming week.

Has anybody out there owned this model or has experience with the BMW brand? My father in law loves BMW's and has owned many and thinks it would be a great car. Never owned a German car before so just putting out some feelers. I have some time to chew on it cause she doesn't get her new car till June. The one thing I know I don't want is for my wife to get another Corolla or similar model. Holy crap if I have to drive another loud, gutless gas miser another mile I will just have to throw myself out the door into oncoming traffic just so I can end the misery.



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Guzzohm

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 05:37:36 PM »
The 323i sounds like a winner.  For $6k you can not go wrong.  The 3-series Bimmers are very fun to drive.

Plus, you can have fun with the initials.
BMW - Bring My Wrench
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Blltrdr

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 08:31:23 PM »
The 323i sounds like a winner.  For $6k you can not go wrong.  The 3-series Bimmers are very fun to drive.

Plus, you can have fun with the initials.
BMW - Bring My Wrench
BMW - Bring Me (to the) Workstation
BMW - Booms Mich Wieder (screw me again, sort of...)

So what you are saying is they are fun to drive when they are not in the shop.

Don't really want a car that is not reliable and is always in need of expensive repairs. I see many BMW 3 series cars for sales with high mileage. They must be somewhat reliable.
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ace.cafe

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2014, 08:46:25 PM »
They can be good cars.
If anything needs repair, it will be extremely expensive. Even if you can do the work yourself, the prices of parts is ludicrous.
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Blltrdr

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2014, 09:10:22 PM »
The only thing I have seen on the car that I didn't like was the heavy amounts of brake dust on the wheels. I'm not sure if this is a BMW thing or maybe the owner rides her brakes all the time. The Carfax report shows a new set of tires installed but no brake work. So maybe new brakes all the way around. I did see some oil drips on her garage floor that were minimal and just dots not a big stain. I was thinking it may be residual oil drippage from some half ass oil changes where they pour and go. Hey your not going to have your ASE certified mechanics changing oil all day when you can hire an army of minimum wage high school students to handle that brainless work. At least that is what I'm counting on the oil spots being. 
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Mr.Mazza

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2014, 09:27:50 PM »
The only thing I have seen on the car that I didn't like was the heavy amounts of brake dust on the wheels. I'm not sure if this is a BMW thing or maybe the owner rides her brakes all the time. The Carfax report shows a new set of tires installed but no brake work. So maybe new brakes all the way around. I did see some oil drips on her garage floor that were minimal and just dots not a big stain. I was thinking it may be residual oil drippage from some half ass oil changes where they pour and go. Hey your not going to have your ASE certified mechanics changing oil all day when you can hire an army of minimum wage high school students to handle that brainless work. At least that is what I'm counting on the oil spots being.

The brake dust is common on Euro cars, there pads are spec very soft and so very dust. Degreaser and a high pressure hose makes the rims look new ;)
As for the Beamer, great cars. Super expensive to fix and with that milage dont be surprised if most of the cooling system fails part by part.
Oil leaks around rocker cover, heat exchanger and sump are that common it's expected when one comes into my work.
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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2014, 10:53:47 PM »
According to an old Consumer Reports book, that year/model of BMW had engine cooling system problems.
Everything else looks either "average" or better.
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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2014, 11:43:10 PM »
So what you are saying is they are fun to drive when they are not in the shop.

Don't really want a car that is not reliable and is always in need of expensive repairs. I see many BMW 3 series cars for sales with high mileage. They must be somewhat reliable.

That's pretty much what I was going to say.  They are amazing cars while under warranty, but CAN be expensive nightmares if you are paying out of pocket.  I personally wouldn't buy it if you are looking to replace the Corolla with a reliable daily driver.  THOUGH, that's not to say you can't buy the car on the cheap and sell it on CL to flip it for a quick couple grand.  ;)  If you're into that kind of thing anyways.

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REpozer

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2014, 01:01:19 AM »
YouTube , Scotty Kilmer..."Why not to buy a Merciedies."
He goes on about newer German cars too.

Sorry my copy and paste sklls are no good.
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Barnone

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2014, 02:22:25 AM »
" Holy crap if I have to drive another loud, gutless gas miser another mile I will just have to throw myself out the door into oncoming traffic just so I can end the misery."
You saying this on a RE forum?

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Blltrdr

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2014, 03:57:09 AM »
" Holy crap if I have to drive another loud, gutless gas miser another mile I will just have to throw myself out the door into oncoming traffic just so I can end the misery."
You saying this on a RE forum?

Yeah that does sound kind of funny if my Bullet had a door. Still sounds funny though.
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GreenMachine

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2014, 01:36:56 PM »
My son has one. He likes it but complains when he has to pony up the bread to fix something on it...He only puts  BMW oil in it.  I  find it rides like it's on a rail  and the steering is fantastic .. A bit spartan looking inside but its German after all...Good luck with your purchase..
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Blltrdr

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2014, 02:21:02 PM »
My son has one. He likes it but complains when he has to pony up the bread to fix something on it...He only puts  BMW oil in it.  I  find it rides like it's on a rail  and the steering is fantastic .. A bit spartan looking inside but its German after all...Good luck with your purchase..

Spartan looking on the inside is describing my wife's Corolla. Some nazi must have designed this thing for the Japanese.

I think one of the problems with these cars are that most people that buy them don't work on them and take them to the shop for every little problem. Well at a $100 an hour this gets silly quick. I have been checking part prices and it doesn't seem out of line.

The car has a 2.5 inline six that looks like you can actually get in there and work on it unlike the transverse mounted six that you see in so many cars which is a real pita just to look at. If everything checks out I can buy the car, drive it for a while and if it does seems like the checkbook is getting a workout then I'm sure I can sell it for a couple grand more than I purchased it for. I will see in the next couple days when I have the pre-buy inspection done.
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barenekd

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2014, 08:44:31 PM »
All I have to say to someone thinking of buying a German car, or motorcycle, for that matter is, I'm sorry.
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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2014, 04:13:30 PM »
Have to agree with cooling system issues. If you need a hose replace it all, including the coolant tank, please trust me on this. The German car companies cannot produce anything made of rubber or plastic that lives as long as the rest of the car. I know it seems like a terrible generalization but it's true.
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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2014, 12:19:06 AM »
Have to agree with cooling system issues. If you need a hose replace it all, including the coolant tank, please trust me on this. The German car companies cannot produce anything made of rubber or plastic that lives as long as the rest of the car. I know it seems like a terrible generalization but it's true.
Roverman.

If someone made replacement fittings of alloy they would be pretty great engines.
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cyrusb

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2014, 12:55:34 AM »
I have found over time, that giving advise about which car to buy is very similar to telling someone who to marry. It's a heart thing. But I know a story about a guy who inherited a BMW, and a year later he realized he had paid too much for it.

Blltrdr

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2014, 02:06:26 AM »
Had the car checked out today. Pretty minimal list of things to fix. Valve cover & oil filler pipe gasket replacement, washer fluid motor replace, differential, trans and engine fluid/filter change, fuel filter and a new set of tires in the next 10k miles.

Everything I can do myself. I didn't really care for the tires while test driving as they seemed kind of loud, buying a new set is not a big deal or deal breaker. The tires are 10 years old and the car has being parked for long periods of time isn't great for them either. Car tires have improved a lot in the last 10yrs also.

I like the car, drives and handles well.
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GreenMachine

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2014, 02:31:01 PM »
From what you wrote, the repairs and tires are minimal ... If you like the car,, go ahead and buy it...You know what you want.
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Blltrdr

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2014, 03:44:23 PM »
I got online last night and priced out everything needed that was on the inspection checklist including a new set of Continental Extreme Contact DWS tires/mounting/ alignment and some special tools including a code reader that plugs into a socket in the engine bay. $1500 + about 30hrs of my labor to install parts and detail car.

Had a long conversation with my father-in-law yesterday about the car. He has owned a few 3 series over the years. He told me if he found one like this where he lives in New Orleans that he would buy it without hesitation, throw a few grand at it to dial it and sell his Honda Accord. I trust his opinions, has been at this life thing just a bit longer and isn't doing to bad at it either.

A few members have mentioned that there are problems with the cooling system. The shop manager yesterday said not to worry. There are a few versions of this car, so maybe they corrected it early on if there was a problem. The 323i started selling around 9/98 and this car was built 10/99.

Very comfortable car. Great ergonomics and control layout.
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GreenMachine

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2014, 12:36:07 PM »
There ya go..and don't forget to show us a pic or 2 after u have her nice n spiffy....
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Blltrdr

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2014, 03:00:58 PM »
Yes a couple pics for sure. I'm really more excited for my wife. She has driven her Corolla for 21 years with no complaints. She has worked hard the whole time we have been together so I think a little commuter car upgrade is in order for her.
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Blltrdr

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2014, 02:58:39 PM »
So finally have a picture to post of the car. I can't purchase the car till June when the owners new car arrives.
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GreenMachine

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2014, 03:14:04 PM »
Sweet...Now a little patience on your part...Did u give him a down payment? 
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Blltrdr

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2014, 03:38:22 PM »
Sweet...Now a little patience on your part...Did u give him a down payment?

The owner is a customer of mine. I am just finishing up one of many projects slated to be done on her house this year. She seems receptive to taking some of the labor cost from this job and putting it towards the car purchase. The deal is set between us it's just that she ordered a custom Lexus which won't arrive from Japan until June and this is her only car. I have plenty of patience but I am more worried that my wife's Corolla has less.
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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2014, 04:53:19 PM »
She ordered a Lexus(Toyota)after owning a German car.You are getting rid of a corolla (Toyota ) that has given many good years.
Can you back out of the deal? Sorry , don't want to be " that guy" I hope the Beammer gives you years of trouble free service .
I might try to purchase a BMW from the early 90s down to the 70s before the electronics got ridiculously complicated.
We all have strong opinions, that is one of mine.
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Blltrdr

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2014, 05:00:18 PM »
She ordered a Lexus(Toyota)after owning a German car.You are getting rid of a corolla (Toyota ) that has given many good years.
Can you back out of the deal? Sorry , don't want to be " that guy" I hope the Beammer gives you years of trouble free service .
I might try to purchase a BMW from the early 90s down to the 70s before the electronics got ridiculously complicated.
We all have strong opinions, that is one of mine.

Haven't read anything about electrical problems with this model or any other 3 series for that matter. Part of the problem owning one of these cars is paying to have someone do all the maintenance on them. I plan on doing all the maintenance on this vehicle.
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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2014, 05:14:09 PM »
My son was considering looking for California Beamers 90s on down( for price and relative mechanical simplicity ) to drive to Alaska . Thats when I started doing some home work on German style cars.
I was sharing my concerns as I would with a friend. The new Beamer may the best car you ever purchased and I already regret sounding negative.
Happy motoring and thanks for asking for opinions.
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Blltrdr

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a BMW 323i
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2014, 05:46:06 PM »
I have been doing plenty of research and really haven't found that many things negative. I think the biggest problem is the auto shops and dealerships that rip people of who drive these types of cars.
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