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Old 03-26-2009, 02:33 PM   #1
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Buying used car, what should I look for?

I'm in the market to buy a used car sometime within the next three months.
What are some key things I should be looking for?
I'm planning to bring a friend or two who work with cars as a living to take a look at it but I don't want to bother them without doing a bit of speculating myself first.

Also, I came across this BMW for sale in my neighbourhood. Now, normally I would never consider purchasing a BMW but since this sounds like an okay deal and it is being sold by one of my neighbours, I'm wondering if it's a good buy.

It's a 1992 BMW 325i 4 door going for $5000 in pretty decent condition cosmetically.
The only claim so far was a smashed side mirror and scratches on the door from being stolen when it was ten months old.
134000kms
However, it's not a local car, it was driven here from the next province I believe.
Is there anything I should be worried about since it was not purchased in BC?
The owner has all the receipts from maintenance jobs done by BMW.

Any input will help! Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:10 PM   #2
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bump.
anyone?
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:32 PM   #3
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Doesnt sound like a bad deal kms nice and low. Just get an inspection or one of you're buddies to take a look.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:41 PM   #4
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you should use the search feature before asking this - there are a lot of threads asking about what to look for when buying used.

Take it in and have it inspected by a mechanic.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:57 PM   #5
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Are you still in HS? What is your budget?

Don't forget to account for gas, insurance and maintenance. Maintenance on a Bimmer may be expensive. If $5k is your "budget" you might find it financially tricky to keep the car on the road.
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:00 PM   #6
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that was going to be my next question.
yes I'm still in high school, I have a pretty high paying job for an hs student though so I think insurance and gas should be okay
I heard that maintenance on bimmers can be really bad, which is why I never really considered a bimmer till now..
but just how much different is it from your regular eco car?
do you really need to be rich to drive a bimmer?
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:13 PM   #7
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I'll be the old fart that I am and say this:

either get a drivable, decent POS or don't get a car at all. Save that money for something like college or university or trade school.

Insurance WILL be expensive - walk into an autoplan insurance broker and ask for a quote. It won't take 20 minutes. I can't help for specifics on maintenance costs of a Bimmer though. Honestly I know about as much as you do. I think no matter what though, you will have to set aside some money for maintenance, be it a bimmer or an econobox.
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:19 PM   #8
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yeah that was the original plan, buying a really crappy car
maintenance is what worries me the most, some people have told me that bimmers are often 5x as much to maintain compared to other cars

hopefully someone who has owned both bimmers and cheaper cars can clear this up for me?

but that is a good idea, I think I will walk up the street to the insurance broker to find out what I'm looking at for insurance

thanks for the advice blinky!
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:29 PM   #9
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Re: maintenance, you'll find common econoboxes (e.g. corollas, civics) have cheaper parts because there are just more competitors making the parts, and more refurbished parts. Japanese parts are generally cheaper than german parts as well.

Insurance...is going to hurt. You're going to have almost no discount. Even though, at that price range ($5K and less), you might want to just insure it for basic and not buy comprehensive or collision. If you don't crash (or get it stolen) in 2 years, it should pay for itself.

I would buy something more mainstream and reliable. Look at consumer reports, lemon-aid guides, and do a search.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:07 AM   #10
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yo.. i have a 01 civic coup.. 3600... 10%
bmw 92 in HS.. so i guess onl 5%.. ur looking at about the same.. and yea.. these cars are pretty pricy when u start fixing them up.. pretty finicky
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:51 AM   #11
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if i were you, i wouldn't buy it. bmw's are pretty expensive to maintain with parts and all. i got a quote from autoplan for the insurance for a '93 240SX and i would be paying $230 monthly with only 10% discount but that's a 240. Just trying to give you an idea
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:11 AM   #12
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Nothing wrong with that car. Get it inspected at Nixon or CG and you'll be fine if they say the car is in good condition.

Parts are not expensive at all. You can get brakes (all 4 pads, rotors and sensors) for 215 US....how is that expensive? There are some high price items on the car...but with 134K you won't be replacing those until at least 230K. Also, if you are going to be driving more than 20K a year...get a civic as nobody will but a high mileage bmw later on. But people don't seem to mind the mileage on a civic....My 2 cents.

BTW i had a 1992 325i 4dr black...best car i ever owned maintenance wise...spent the least money on it from all my cars. I would just do regular maintenance.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:47 AM   #13
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^^^

Parts may not be expensive, but if you're not doing your own labor, expect to pay a lot for that.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:56 AM   #14
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^^^

Parts may not be expensive, but if you're not doing your own labor, expect to pay a lot for that.
I thought parts for euro cars are generally more expensive than japanese cars?
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:14 AM   #15
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buying a used car
-make sure lien is paid off
-ask about accidents? (rebuilt or not?)
-examine how each part fits up (are the doors in line with the quarter panel?)
-look for fresh paint if its an older car or any unusual differences?
-open hood, look at the bolts connecting the fender, if they've been stripped ask the owner if there have been any accidents to the front end? if he says no, ask him why was it removed
-if car has analog odometer (not lcd) check the screws connecting the gauge cluster if they have been stripped (do this if really paranoid about fake mileage)
-OR^ ask for VIN and go to aircare website, check when was the last time car was aircared and what the mileage was

hope some of this helps
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:56 AM   #16
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if it's from other provinces, check for corrosion as well.

Yea, bmw r not really worth it tbh unless u really drive it on a track or something.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:10 PM   #17
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thanks guys
it helped a lot
turns out there was some rust under the wheel wells
but someone else bought it before I had a chance to take a second look at it so now I'm looking for another car

what are some choices for a car around or under 5000 for a first car?
I'm trying to stay away from civics because of the whole 'ricer' vibe but I guess it's one of the better choices

what about a new car? so far I've looked at the mazda 3, civic, maybe even impreza..
if it's a new car I'd have to share it with my brother but our budget is about 20 - 25k after taxes
how are vws?
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:24 PM   #18
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mazda 3 is a great little car. I'd take it over a civic. But u can always opt for a corolla if u want a boring car.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:27 PM   #19
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I can't believe no one told you to look for a dead hooker in the trunk.

That's usually the shine of a real gem, fuck receipts.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:22 PM   #20
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I think if you were able to push your budget a little bit. You could easily get a used Lexus IS250 for a mere $20 000. I don't know if it helps but I think it's the best car for under 25k
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:40 PM   #21
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when buying a new car, check to see if vtec is inside
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:59 PM   #22
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I think if you were able to push your budget a little bit. You could easily get a used Lexus IS250 for a mere $20 000. I don't know if it helps but I think it's the best car for under 25k
his budget is 5k lol. not 25k.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:02 PM   #23
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I think if you were able to push your budget a little bit. You could easily get a used Lexus IS250 for a mere $20 000. I don't know if it helps but I think it's the best car for under 25k
not that I'd be 100% interested, but I did a search out of curiosity and found no results under 30k..
where would one go about finding one for 20k?
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his budget is 5k lol. not 25k.
my budget is 5k but I also have the option of sharing with my brother and getting a new car for 25k
but I'd much rather have my personal car since we both have jobs and school in different directions lol
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:01 PM   #24
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damn boi.. eg6!! LOL and just use the extra 2 fix er up =D
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