BMW 3 Series Compact - Used BMW 3 Series - Hopog

Looking into buying a 2002 BMW 3 Series compact.

I don't know much about cars only that the BMW parts tend to be expensive. Do you think it is worth the price I only aim to have it for a year and hopefuly not have to pay for any major work.

They are asking for £1200.

It has 85,000 miles and it's last MOT had these advisorys:

  • offside front Anti-roll bar linkage has slight play in a ball joint (2.4.G.2) offside front outer Suspension arm has slight play in a ball joint (2.4.G.2) offside rear inner Brake pipe slightly corroded to front (3.6.B.2c) nearside front Road wheel slightly damaged (4.2.A.1a) offside front Ball joint has slight play steering arm (2.2.B.1f)
BMW 3 Series Compact - Used BMW 3 Series - phil_z70

Is this from a private sale or from a car dealer ?

BMW 3 Series Compact - Used BMW 3 Series - Cyd

twelve hundred quid strikes me as a lot for any 14 year old car.

I'd suspect those advisories will become failures next MoT.

I sold a 15 year old Rover 800 Vitesse Sport with 187k up to an ROC member which had never had a list of advisories like that.

At that price point I'd suggest looking for something that has non or little "badge snobbery". Vectra, Saab 9-3, Focus, Mondeo, Nissans, Pugs. I think you'll get a much better car for your money and way cheaper to maintain. Have a look at the 9-3, values have fallen and there's plenty of cherished examples about.

Of course, if you are a badge snob then carry on.

Edited by Cyd on 02/06/2016 at 19:01

BMW 3 Series Compact - Used BMW 3 Series - pd

I don't think there is anything unusual or particularly bad in those advisories on a £1200 car which presumably has done some miles.

They may fail next time, they may not - may not even get an advisory next time. Advosries can tend to be down oto the tester's mood!

You can't buy a £1200 car and not expect to have to spend some money on it at some point. A couple of anti roll bar links won't break the bank though.

I'm not sure I'd agree with something like a 9-3 being cheaper to run - they might have less worn suspension but when the airbag light comes up and you need a new CIM to fix it at £500* you won't be laughing.

*can be done cheaper if you DIY.

Edited by pd on 03/06/2016 at 11:30

BMW 3 Series Compact - Used BMW 3 Series - Cyd

but when the airbag light comes up and you need a new CIM to fix it at £500* you won't be laughing.

The most common cause of this problem is places that change the clutch wind the steering wheel from "lock" to "lock" to find the central position whilst the column is disconnected from the rack. The column stops on the rotary coupler, which is NOT designed to withstand this kind of thing (none are - this is not particular to Saab/GM). The connections become strained and break down over the next few months causing high resistance and confusing the canbus system electronics. Often starts with the ICE volume playing up followed by the airbag connections going awol. If the spanner monkeys did their job properly and locked the column into centre position before disconnecting the rack this problem would almost certainly never occur.

And of course if one goes to a main dealer one has to expect to pay through the nose. Alternatively contact Brook Saab near Chester who can rebuild your CIM. I got mine done for £60. If i'd payed to have my clutch done I'd have gone after them for the money, but it was fitted under warranty and they fitted me a sports clutch plate, so hey ho.

BMW 3 Series Compact - Used BMW 3 Series - pd

And of course if one goes to a main dealer one has to expect to pay through the nose. Alternatively contact Brook Saab near Chester who can rebuild your CIM. I got mine done for £60. If i'd payed to have my clutch done I'd have gone after them for the money, but it was fitted under warranty and they fitted me a sports clutch plate, so hey ho.

A lot do seem to just fail, sadly. I had an otherwise OK 9-3 carted off to the scrappers just last week for this reason.

The 9-3's are OK when they work, and nice enough cars to drive, but I'm not sure I'd recommend them on the quality front. There are some really cheap and nasty aspects to them in places - usually the GM bits. Gearboxes (6 speeds in particular) and clutches can also be weak.

They're incredibly cheap these days though and for what you get for your money aren't a bad deal. I've always though them good looking as well.

The larger 9-5 is better quality, and more comfortable but they have their own set of common issues.

 

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