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  #21  
Old 03.09.2020, 22:44
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Re: used BMWcars

Thing is with a car like that the question you should be asking yourself is if you are feeling lucky.
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  #22  
Old 04.09.2020, 09:20
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Re: used BMWcars

There is no doubt that mechcanically most BMW, Merc ect will travel 3/400km but the problems are not going to be mechanical, they will be electrical. Case in point, we bought a Merc ML400CDI 2003 for 42k (125k new!) in 2006 apart from services and brakes we replaced an alternator (Chf2500). We sold it in 2015 for Chf4000 as everthing electrical was (slowly) failing, it needed a few engine sensors as these were intermittant faults but made it nearly undrivable but it was not worth spending Chf4000 (parts only as I am a mechanic) on it. So pick a model based on good reports on electrical problems, you will also not be able to drive it in parts of Europe if it is diesel and pay a premium price for insurance and registration because of emmisions.
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Old 04.09.2020, 09:39
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Re: used BMWcars

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There is no doubt that mechcanically most BMW, Merc ect will travel 3/400km but the problems are not going to be mechanical, they will be electrical. Case in point, we bought a Merc ML400CDI 2003 for 42k (125k new!) in 2006 apart from services and brakes we replaced an alternator (Chf2500). We sold it in 2015 for Chf4000 as everthing electrical was (slowly) failing, it needed a few engine sensors as these were intermittant faults but made it nearly undrivable but it was not worth spending Chf4000 (parts only as I am a mechanic) on it. So pick a model based on good reports on electrical problems, you will also not be able to drive it in parts of Europe if it is diesel and pay a premium price for insurance and registration because of emmisions.
Outside of the drivetrain components, how are things on the suspension/steering side of things? These parts can't be cheap and some require either a larger effort or a lift to replace.

I don't think it's the big ticket items that kill a car of that age, but all the smaller wear and tear bits.
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Old 04.09.2020, 09:42
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Re: used BMWcars

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There is no doubt that mechcanically most BMW, Merc ect will travel 3/400km but the problems are not going to be mechanical, they will be electrical. Case in point, we bought a Merc ML400CDI 2003 for 42k (125k new!) in 2006 apart from services and brakes we replaced an alternator (Chf2500). We sold it in 2015 for Chf4000 as everthing electrical was (slowly) failing, it needed a few engine sensors as these were intermittant faults but made it nearly undrivable but it was not worth spending Chf4000 (parts only as I am a mechanic) on it. So pick a model based on good reports on electrical problems, you will also not be able to drive it in parts of Europe if it is diesel and pay a premium price for insurance and registration because of emmisions.
Getting an OBD scanner that can reset warning lights keeps costs down, they usually stay off for months so can be ignored unless they don't immediately come back on.
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Old 04.09.2020, 12:55
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Re: used BMWcars

I have 2004 330d (model E46), for good 9.5 years... what a great buy it was. Rust is bullshit - chassis is coated with zinc under the paint, so it rusts extremely little compared to most others (apart from alumimium ones like Audis obviously). Which means no rust issues at all. I've driven some 140k km on it, altogether it has 240k km, runs extremely smoothly. Consumptions is very low (+-5.5l/100km overall average, which is amazing considering its V6 with 204HP and tons of torque). Very low cost to maintain, but I use the mechanic back home who is cheap and knows car inside&out. Mountains almost every weekend, no problem there (without 4x4, just good tires and some common sense).

Every time I sit in any other car I want to cry, how crappy, wobbly and unengaging the driving experience is. Then I come back and feel like wielding laser scalpel. And every time it puts a big smile on my face, even though I always drive within limits.

Obviously I can't guarantee every single piece out there is same. Bear in mind that 2005 marks new generation of BMW 3 series, subjectively uglier, those I can't comment on. But generally last of old generation are better for maintenance compared to first in new generation.
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