Are fears justified buying 10yr old bmw 6 cyl turbocharged 3 series?

mbsl500

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E36 M3 is another solid buy. The USA engine isn’t as exotic as the rest of the world and there are still MANY examples still running well north of 200k. I really really want a manual 4 door techno violet. Mmmmmmm, technoviolet...with the M rain alcantara interior.
The problem with the older cars is you need to bring cash or get loan from Hagerty or lightstream.
I know a guy who bought an 2003.5 M3 with lightstream and the rate was good
I looked for a long time. I wanted an Estoral Blue Convertable with Dove Grey seats. I finally found one at a Lincoln dealer and it was sitting inside the showroom next to the brand new cars. I paid him in cash.
It gets far more 2nd looks than my 500Sl or any of the Corvetts that I have owned.
And yes, the Techno Violet is beautiful...and hard to find.
 
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Saussie

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My E36 M3.
Not a crack, scuff, lose part, zero flaws or bad rubber. It looks like it just came off the showroom floor....and it handles better than any sports car I have ever owed. And I've owned some really nice sports cars.
No idea why the pictures rotated...sorry.
That's mint mate. Nice one!
 

Choose Life

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@Choose Life what’s the goal with the 3 series? Daily driver? Driver’s events and high performance driving schools?

Lots of good advice regarding 10+ year old BMWs. At 10 years, you will likely need to address many of the rubber bits along the driveline and suspension, wheel bearings, etc...all of which is an easy DIY.
Yea I need a new daily since the Lexus block was destroyed by cement blocks in a turning lane in the dark
300hp base luxury is what I'm looking for under 100k miles and less than 15k w a sport package
It usually takes 30-90 days to find the right car total pain but worth it to save the $
 

meismyname

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If you can manage to find a manual car with xDrive, I think they're absolutely awesome daily drivers. With good tires and their AWD, there's plenty of grip and I can give it plenty of gas early coming out of corners. I'm much more of a fan of having fun going around a corner or through a twisty road than flying down a highway, though it does that well too.
 

DBMW30

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I don’t own a turbo version of the BMW. But wanted to pass on a quick observation note. I have been to 3 separately owned BMW dealerships here in Colorado to buy various parts for my non turbo N52 2007 5 series. In small talk during all three visits I’ve initially disclosed that my car is a one owner vehicle to the representative with over 130k miles. In every instance I’ve immediately received comments to the effect of “your lucky you didn’t buy an earlier/former used leased turbo model” followed by something like “a high amount of those former leased turbo cars; the owners just beat on the engines while doing very minimal maintenance and they can have a lot of mechanical issues”. Their referring to the early versions of the N54 turboed engines. Each advisor hinted to the fact that independent maintenance shop parts reps come in often for expensive parts related to the turbo engine. I didn’t ask for details on it. But take that with a grain of salt what they said.

You might get lucky and get one we’re the owner took full care of it until they sold it or you might get a former beat in leased vehicle.

BMWs are very fun cars. I’ve driven BMWs since the early to mid 1990’s and do most of my own simple mechanical work. Take care of the maintenance and you can drive one fir a long time without issues.


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Holla

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I have a 2008 335ix since new and i have not done a damn thing to it but oil changes, runs like a raped ape and I have the JB4 kit installed on it---its a rocket ship!!
 

Choose Life

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I have been driving BMW since 1991 and I am involved in the BMWCCA. There is so much in a BMW to go expensively wrong. I would not touch it with a fork!
How much can a moderately experienced home mechanic take on ?
I dont have a lift I'm on Jack and stands
Have full wrenches sockets and extensions breaker bars
ThinGPS that can be bought at auto stores are returned on alot more friendly grounds than dealerships
Alot can go expensively wrong it just depends the expert level , # of hours to fix and if the part can be bought at other places than the dealership
 

meismyname

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How much can a moderately experienced home mechanic take on ?
I dont have a lift I'm on Jack and stands
Have full wrenches sockets and extensions breaker bars
ThinGPS that can be bought at auto stores are returned on alot more friendly grounds than dealerships
Alot can go expensively wrong it just depends the expert level , # of hours to fix and if the part can be bought at other places than the dealership
Pretty much anything. I know someone around here that works on N54s doing maintenance and performance mods out of his condo's 1 car garage. Anything from walnut blasting, to gaskets, and turbo upgrades. You'll want to pick up a set of E-Torx sockets, as BMWs seem to use those in a number of places. The torque values are usually pretty low for those, so the cheap Harbor Freight set is fine. Torque wrenches are important as well. I have yet to encounter something on my car that I couldn't fix myself, although my car is an N52, which has less issues, but also less power.

BMW diagnostic software is really good to have. ISTA is pretty user friendly once you get it set up. If you buy the car, PM me and I'll help you get it set up.
 

Choose Life

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Pretty much anything. I know someone around here that works on N54s doing maintenance and performance mods out of his condo's 1 car garage. Anything from walnut blasting, to gaskets, and turbo upgrades. You'll want to pick up a set of E-Torx sockets, as BMWs seem to use those in a number of places. The torque values are usually pretty low for those, so the cheap Harbor Freight set is fine. Torque wrenches are important as well. I have yet to encounter something on my car that I couldn't fix myself, although my car is an N52, which has less issues, but also less power.

BMW diagnostic software is really good to have. ISTA is pretty user friendly once you get it set up. If you buy the car, PM me and I'll help you get it set up.
Thank you so much
I appreciate that
Blowing internal rubber plenums is what haunts my dreams along with taking out the motor or trans to fix something
The cars have lower resale values then Lexus of the same year and options and they handle better but...
I hope the right deal presents itself
 

Bullitt4571

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Another suggestion is a Lexus isf they are incredibly reliable and are on the m3 level of performance

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Bullitt4571

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E36 M3 is another solid buy. The USA engine isn’t as exotic as the rest of the world and there are still MANY examples still running well north of 200k. I really really want a manual 4 door techno violet. Mmmmmmm, technoviolet...with the M rain alcantara interior.
The problem with the older cars is you need to bring cash or get loan from Hagerty or lightstream.
I know a guy who bought an 2003.5 M3 with lightstream and the rate was good
E36 are amazing and really tough

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Choose Life

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Another suggestion is a Lexus isf they are incredibly reliable and are on the m3 level of performance

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I almost bought an 08 w 90k ISF but was turned down by half of the good aprs bc of age alone
Not a dark or silver one for sale that fits my specs for over 500 miles
I want a 2011+ w reworked suspension and Torsen diff but all are 30k+ for a near 100k mile car
-- Double Post Merged: --
E36 are amazing and really tough

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Not enough horsepower
 

omgboost

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Eh, I’ll take a N55 over an N54. I may be biased though. If you aren’t looking to make crazy amounts of hp, the N55 is good enough. Heck, it can even give the NA M3s a run for their when modded and the turbo is addicting. Haven’t had any turbo issues yet but a few gaskets are known to Leak but are cheap to buy and easy enough to do but require lots of time due to German engineering. Having a jack and jack stand is good enough for diy work.
 

Tedles

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I have seen the N54 motors go for a long time, and as previously mentioned can take a ton of abuse. I have also seen some come in for repair with cooling related issues. On some of the cars with X-Drive the transfer case can go out as well, which isn't that bad to fix if you get a used part and can do the work yourself. On the bright side they 335's are super fun.
 

acrspeed

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I don’t own a turbo version of the BMW. But wanted to pass on a quick observation note. I have been to 3 separately owned BMW dealerships here in Colorado to buy various parts for my non turbo N52 2007 5 series. In small talk during all three visits I’ve initially disclosed that my car is a one owner vehicle to the representative with over 130k miles. In every instance I’ve immediately received comments to the effect of “your lucky you didn’t buy an earlier/former used leased turbo model” followed by something like “a high amount of those former leased turbo cars; the owners just beat on the engines while doing very minimal maintenance and they can have a lot of mechanical issues”. Their referring to the early versions of the N54 turboed engines. Each advisor hinted to the fact that independent maintenance shop parts reps come in often for expensive parts related to the turbo engine. I didn’t ask for details on it. But take that with a grain of salt what they said.

You might get lucky and get one we’re the owner took full care of it until they sold it or you might get a former beat in leased vehicle.

BMWs are very fun cars. I’ve driven BMWs since the early to mid 1990’s and do most of my own simple mechanical work. Take care of the maintenance and you can drive one fir a long time without issues.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
The service advisors I've spoken to say the same thing. They all say that the N52 is the one to get. It's one of the last BMW engines without direct injection.
 

meismyname

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The service advisors I've spoken to say the same thing. They all say that the N52 is the one to get. It's one of the last BMW engines without direct injection.
I'd go N52 if you want reliability, N55 if you want power, and N54 if you want modability and are willing to deal with extra maintence.
 

EightyFiveHundred

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I'd go N52 if you want reliability, N55 if you want power, and N54 if you want modability and are willing to deal with extra maintence.
Or you can be a total masochist and keep an s85 in your stable for 8+ years.
 

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