BMW 318d - Buying used BMW 318d a bad idea (Timing belt issue - zipe

I am looking to buy a BMW 318d privatly, this is from 2007 but a quick google of that car suggests BMW had a LOT of problems with breaking timing chains which were costly to repair.

I know very little about cars and I don't understand how much of a risk this would be, but I also am in need of something and that's local and the price fits the bill.

The car has done 90k miles - is it very risky to buy? I understand there is no way for me to inspect the chain...

BMW 318d - Buying used BMW 318d a bad idea (Timing belt issue - SLO76
Don't touch it! The M47 Diesel engine is notorious for timing chain issues, turbo failure, EGR problems, DMF failure, particulate filter problems, swirl flaps breaking and being ingested by the engine which will normally kill it and the N47 which replaced it in 2008 is even worse in many ways. Don't touch a cheap BMW diesel, it's almost guaranteed to be a total money pit.

If you're on a tight budget stick to mainstream manufacturers, preferably Japanese and buy petrol only. Modern diesels rapidly become a costly nightmare as they get past 7yrs.

Forget premium badge cars until you can really afford one.
BMW 318d - Buying used BMW 318d a bad idea (Timing belt issue - phil_z70

The majority of failures seem to be on the N47 2.0ltr 177 bhp diesel engine but I think technically the 1.8 is the same engine just mapped to a lower power 143 bhp, petrol engines were also affected around the same time

The popular belief is that the BMW longlife oil changes have a large part to play in the failures

Check the service history for the intervals of oil changes, ideally the oil & filter will have been changed every 12 months or 10 to 12'000 miles whichever comes first , but this is very unlikely to have happened though

Also what is the price / spec of the car, does the mileage you do justify running a diesel with a DPF, there are a lot of very expensive things that could need replacing on a 10 year old diesel and the repair bills on a car that initially cost the best part of 30K are always pro rata

A new clutch/flywheel, turbo, DPF & EGR could all rear their heads in the next few years and cost more to replace than the car cost

BMW 318d - Buying used BMW 318d a bad idea (Timing belt issue - zipe

Thanks very much - not kowing anything about cars or having much money to spend on one makes the process a stressful experience.

The car is £3k which is a few hundred under the book valuation (if they are to be believed) - previous owners have only had it since Oct which gives me some concern, though they say they need a bigger one due to new baby.

I have an Audi A3 which of the same age (2007) which I have had for about 5 years with no trouble - so maybe I am better of buying from a garage and PXing? I was planning on selling my A3 privatley to part fund the BMW.

we do very low mialege in the "family car" about 5k a year maximum.

BMW 318d - Buying used BMW 318d a bad idea (Timing belt issue - RobJP

Bear in mind that the 3 series is definitely not the greatest when it comes to rear seat legroom, especially if it's going to be a 'family car'. That RWD transmission tunnel takes up a surprising amount of space.

Now, I own and drive a 2013 3 series estate, and like them, and have never had any problems with them (I've been running BMWs for over a decade now), but I have to agree - buying a 'premium' brand means 'premium' money to maintain. Buying one of these on a tight budget is a recipe for disaster.

Far better to stick with something like a Mondeo, or even drop a size to something like a Honda Civic - which is still probably bigger in the back than a 3 series.

BMW 318d - Buying used BMW 318d a bad idea (Timing belt issue - Railroad.

Don't buy a car at all. Consider lease hiring one. You'll have fixed monthly costs and maintenance won't be your problem. And you'll have a new car every three years.

BMW 318d - Buying used BMW 318d a bad idea (Timing belt issue - SLO76

Thanks very much - not kowing anything about cars or having much money to spend on one makes the process a stressful experience.

The car is £3k which is a few hundred under the book valuation (if they are to be believed) - previous owners have only had it since Oct which gives me some concern, though they say they need a bigger one due to new baby.

I have an Audi A3 which of the same age (2007) which I have had for about 5 years with no trouble - so maybe I am better of buying from a garage and PXing? I was planning on selling my A3 privatley to part fund the BMW.

we do very low mialege in the "family car" about 5k a year maximum.

Don't touch a £3k BMW, never mind a diesel! Book value is meaningless on cars at this age, there's too much variation in condition and history to put a realistic book value on it. If they've had it less than 2yrs then it's not been a good car, less than 1yr and it's been a nightmare. If the A3 has been no trouble then why change it? If you can't afford to upgrade then stick with what you know is reliable, don't swap it for another old car you don't know.

Edited by SLO76 on 23/06/2017 at 11:17

BMW 318d - Buying used BMW 318d a bad idea (Timing belt issue - zipe

Thanks very much - not kowing anything about cars or having much money to spend on one makes the process a stressful experience.

The car is £3k which is a few hundred under the book valuation (if they are to be believed) - previous owners have only had it since Oct which gives me some concern, though they say they need a bigger one due to new baby.

I have an Audi A3 which of the same age (2007) which I have had for about 5 years with no trouble - so maybe I am better of buying from a garage and PXing? I was planning on selling my A3 privatley to part fund the BMW.

we do very low mialege in the "family car" about 5k a year maximum.

Don't touch a £3k BMW, never mind a diesel! Book value is meaningless on cars at this age, there's too much variation in condition and history to put a realistic book value on it. If they've had it less than 2yrs then it's not been a good car, less than 1yr and it's been a nightmare. If the A3 has been no trouble then why change it? If you can't afford to upgrade then stick with what you know is reliable, don't swap it for another old car you don't know.

The only reason is room - I have 2 kids in car seats and the A3 is small, with only 2 doors, it's tough getting them in and out.

As fara s the car goes, I like driving it. It's 2.0 and plenty good enough for my needs aisde from size.

BMW 318d - Buying used BMW 318d a bad idea (Timing belt issue - SLO76
"The only reason is room - I have 2 kids in car seats and the A3 is small, with only 2 doors, it's tough getting them in and out.

As far as the car goes, I like driving it. It's 2.0 and plenty good enough for my needs aisde from size."

Buy a decent Ford Focus 1.8 (Mazda petrol engine), a Mazda 3 1.6 or 2.0 petrol or a Honda Civic 1.8 petrol. It's possible to find good examples of these for £3-£3.5k and there's far less risk of problems than with an old BMW.

I can't stress this enough. Do not buy an old diesel of any sort at this money, especially one with a premium badge such as BMW. It will go wrong, it will let you down and it'll cripple you to fix it.

Live within your means and either make do with what you've got (though if it's a diesel you're better getting shot of it l) or buy a normal Japanese engined petrol family hatch.

If you're on a tight budget reliability comes before prestige or performance and even a basic 1.6 Focus can sit all day at 100mph if you need.

BMW 318d - Buying used BMW 318d a bad idea (Timing belt issue - zipe
"The only reason is room - I have 2 kids in car seats and the A3 is small, with only 2 doors, it's tough getting them in and out. As far as the car goes, I like driving it. It's 2.0 and plenty good enough for my needs aisde from size." Buy a decent Ford Focus 1.8 (Mazda petrol engine), a Mazda 3 1.6 or 2.0 petrol or a Honda Civic 1.8 petrol. It's possible to find good examples of these for £3-£3.5k and there's far less risk of problems than with an old BMW. I can't stress this enough. Do not buy an old diesel of any sort at this money, especially one with a premium badge such as BMW. It will go wrong, it will let you down and it'll cripple you to fix it. Live within your means and either make do with what you've got (though if it's a diesel you're better getting shot of it l) or buy a normal Japanese engined petrol family hatch. If you're on a tight budget reliability comes before prestige or performance and even a basic 1.6 Focus can sit all day at 100mph if you need.
"The only reason is room - I have 2 kids in car seats and the A3 is small, with only 2 doors, it's tough getting them in and out. As far as the car goes, I like driving it. It's 2.0 and plenty good enough for my needs aisde from size." Buy a decent Ford Focus 1.8 (Mazda petrol engine), a Mazda 3 1.6 or 2.0 petrol or a Honda Civic 1.8 petrol. It's possible to find good examples of these for £3-£3.5k and there's far less risk of problems than with an old BMW. I can't stress this enough. Do not buy an old diesel of any sort at this money, especially one with a premium badge such as BMW. It will go wrong, it will let you down and it'll cripple you to fix it. Live within your means and either make do with what you've got (though if it's a diesel you're better getting shot of it l) or buy a normal Japanese engined petrol family hatch. If you're on a tight budget reliability comes before prestige or performance and even a basic 1.6 Focus can sit all day at 100mph if you need.

Thank you so much for the tips. My car before was a RAV4 Diesel and we had a lot of trouble with the flywheel etc...

Would a Petrol Honda CRV be suitable? I've seen one locally at 150k miles for £1.5k or a private one on 80k miles for £2k...

Edited by zipe on 23/06/2017 at 12:48

BMW 318d - Buying used BMW 318d a bad idea (Timing belt issue - SLO76
"Would a Petrol Honda CRV be suitable? I've seen one locally at 150k miles for £1.5k or a private one on 80k miles for £2k..."

They're pretty robust in petrol form assuming it's been looked after but it'll be greedy (25-28mpg) and a bit woolly to drive compared to an A3. But as far as cheap SUV's are concerned it's about the best.

I'd spend the most you can upfront to buy the best you can afford rather than spending money on it later. They're tough but some parts prices are horrific so buy only with a full service history even at this age.

I actually own a newer one of these and it's been an excellent big family wagon. Just don't expect it to handle like a hot hatch. They're tall, they roll in corners, the ride is a bit bouncy and there's little grip but there's loads of room, it's well made and visibility is excellent with such a high seating position. I'm not sure when isofix seat mounts became standard though and I wouldn't buy anything without them if my children still need to be in a child seat. The Mk II Focus, Mazda 3 and Civic do have them.
BMW 318d - Buying used BMW 318d a bad idea (Timing belt issue - zipe

Thanks so much, I certainly do not want to be without ISO fix!

 

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