T Nation

Buying Used Car


#1

I have read and been told that buying a used benz, audi, bmw with around 100k miles is not a good idea.

Would it be worth it if I only need the car to last me another 60-70k miles? I live in a LA so, there a lot of them for sale especially BMW 325 anywhere from 2001-2006 with 85-110k miles selling for about $5-7k.

I only need it for at the most 70k miles so, if it can last me the necessary mileage I am good. No need to get a used corolla to last me another 200k miles.


#2

I am curious to see what responses you get.

Why do you need/want a luxury car? Would you consider a fully loaded non-luxury brand car?

I would let your desire fuel heavy research on the good and bad generations, certain years have more problems than others. My coworkers mom has a new X5, he said theyve spent $10k in repairs, albeit, all under warranty.

I would like to buy a bmw or audi after my mazda makes it to 200k (currently at 145k, i bought it with 103k), and my thought is to hang onto a solid $3k or so when i buy a bmw etc for repairs. I wouldnt leave myself with little money right when i buy it, cause repairs truly are expensive.

I wonder if certain years, or just plain older ones (bmws audis etc) are cheaper to repair.

Would you be looking exclusively for a manual? I believe they are generally less prone to issues and cheaper to repair.


#3

Just buy a Honda Civic/Accord or some kind of Acura and call it a day.


#4

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:
I have read and been told that buying a used benz, audi, bmw with around 100k miles is not a good idea.

Would it be worth it if I only need the car to last me another 60-70k miles? I live in a LA so, there a lot of them for sale especially BMW 325 anywhere from 2001-2006 with 85-110k miles selling for about $5-7k.

I only need it for at the most 70k miles so, if it can last me the necessary mileage I am good. No need to get a used corolla to last me another 200k miles.[/quote]

You don’t get a break on parts and labor just because the car isn’t worth as much as when it was new. Labor at the Audi dealer by me is 1.5x more than labor at the Ford dealer. Parts can be ridiculously expensive ($600 per shock on the MB CLS for instance) and there may be more electronics to go wrong (BMW’s iDrive).

Additionally, you’re buying a car at a point in it’s useful life when expensive things start going wrong and many sellers have been deferring expensive maintenance knowing they’ll be getting rid of the car soon.

I owned a 10 year old MB and I spent on average $1,000 year on repair items; more in some years and less in others.


#5

BMW = Break My Wallet. Nice cars and all, but parts are expensive. If you can find a car with good service records, have it checked by a mechanic before you buy.

Also if you can find a good repair shop with good rates who know the BMW, you can save on repairs.


#6

[quote]beachguy498 wrote:
If you can find a car with good service records, have it checked by a mechanic before you buy.

Also if you can find a good repair shop with good rates who know the BMW, you can save on repairs.[/quote]

These are the two most critical points for buying an older luxury car. You’ve GOT to find a local independent repair shop that specializes in whatever brand you’re going to buy. Dealer repair costs for these types of vehicles are crazy expensive.

There are forums that cater to BMW, MB, Rover etc… where you can find info on repair shops in different areas and also find out what the typical issues are for whatever model you’re looking at. Figure out which brand you want to buy, locate a repair shop near you and ask them if they’d do an inspection when you find a car you want to buy. They should also be able to tell you which cars to flat out stay away from.


#7

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:
I have read and been told that buying a used benz, audi, bmw with around 100k miles is not a good idea.

Would it be worth it if I only need the car to last me another 60-70k miles? I live in a LA so, there a lot of them for sale especially BMW 325 anywhere from 2001-2006 with 85-110k miles selling for about $5-7k.

I only need it for at the most 70k miles so, if it can last me the necessary mileage I am good. No need to get a used corolla to last me another 200k miles.[/quote]

You don’t get a break on parts and labor just because the car isn’t worth as much as when it was new. Labor at the Audi dealer by me is 1.5x more than labor at the Ford dealer. Parts can be ridiculously expensive ($600 per shock on the MB CLS for instance) and there may be more electronics to go wrong (BMW’s iDrive).

Additionally, you’re buying a car at a point in it’s useful life when expensive things start going wrong and many sellers have been deferring expensive maintenance knowing they’ll be getting rid of the car soon.

I owned a 10 year old MB and I spent on average $1,000 year on repair items; more in some years and less in others. [/quote]

Only a grand a year? You got off easy. :slight_smile:

Seriously, if I were on a budget and looking for an older luxury car that I needed for a daily, it would be a Lexus or Acura. Not as sexy, but German cars kill you once they hit 80k miles.


#8

It really depends on the previous owner, and how well they cared for the car. I bought my Audi with 150k, a stack of service records, and it’s been the most reliable car i’ve ever owned. The timing belt service was costly, but i never had anything unexpected go wrong or been left stranded.

I would never buy from a kid, used lot, or someone who dint know specifics about the vehicle.

Any car with 80k+ miles is going to need to work…


#9

I’m fortunate to have a great mechanic. His whole shop is awesome, but not cheap. He works on anything under the sun and it gets fixed right the first time. He looked at my Altima before I bought it (dealer had it brought over on a flatbed…) and gave it his used car look-over for a standard 1/2 hour of his rate. He found a couple of things and I was able to better negotiate the deal.


#10

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:
I have read and been told that buying a used benz, audi, bmw with around 100k miles is not a good idea.

Would it be worth it if I only need the car to last me another 60-70k miles? I live in a LA so, there a lot of them for sale especially BMW 325 anywhere from 2001-2006 with 85-110k miles selling for about $5-7k.

I only need it for at the most 70k miles so, if it can last me the necessary mileage I am good. No need to get a used corolla to last me another 200k miles.[/quote]

The repair bills will be expensive. So will the parts. I’d advise you not to buy a high mileage, older German car if your budget is only 5-7K. It’s not the price of the car, it’s the price of the upkeep. I’d just buy a used economy car.


#11

[quote]Aggv wrote:
It really depends on the previous owner, and how well they cared for the car. I bought my Audi with 150k, a stack of service records, and it’s been the most reliable car i’ve ever owned. The timing belt service was costly, but i never had anything unexpected go wrong or been left stranded.

I would never buy from a kid, used lot, or someone who dint know specifics about the vehicle.

Any car with 80k+ miles is going to need to work… [/quote]

Except I drive cars harder than most kids. :slight_smile: If you drive an Audi like you stole it, the suspension components and breaks wear fast and get very expensive.


#12

[quote]KD0 wrote:
Just buy a Honda Civic/Accord or some kind of Acura and call it a day. [/quote]

Hard to argue with this.

No joke, my buddy still has the first car he bought (1991 Honda Civic) and it’s still going. He dropped a pre-owned engine in it that had just 15k miles and it’s still humming nicely.

Other than the typical maintenance of brakes, tires, oil changes, it’s probably the best non-headache car I have ever seen.


#13

[quote]MaximusB wrote:

[quote]KD0 wrote:
Just buy a Honda Civic/Accord or some kind of Acura and call it a day. [/quote]

Hard to argue with this.

No joke, my buddy still has the first car he bought (1991 Honda Civic) and it’s still going. He dropped a pre-owned engine in it that had just 15k miles and it’s still humming nicely.

Other than the typical maintenance of brakes, tires, oil changes, it’s probably the best non-headache car I have ever seen.

[/quote]

I have a 2001 Honda Acura, about 155-170k km (not sure), and one part of the thing that hold the engine to the car under is rusted and about to break. Can’t use anymore. Not quite sure if I should repair and what is a good price for it or if I should change. I liked the car.

I am interested in a car with I can use for a long time without reparation, that doesn’t consume alot of gas and that has a big tank.


#14

If you want to get an old luxury car why not buy an old corevette? 90’s ones can go between 5 and 10 grand. That was probably the worst decade for corvette besides the 80s.


#15

#16

Don’t do it. I did it. I’m telling you not to repeat my mistake. The repairs will kill you. Just get an Acura or Lexus (or Honda or Toyota) of a newer year and enjoy not paying a ton for maintaining an old vehicle.


#17

I always loved this car; it’s the last 7-Series I’ve liked. You can pick one up with 100k miles for around $6k for what was a $100,000 car new.

Plugs are $12 each and there are 12 of them. Ignition wire sets are $250 and you need 2 of them. Rear shocks with dampening control are around $600 each while the fronts are a bargain at $150 each.

Then there’s the big stuff. A new rebuilt transmission will run $2,500 - $5,000 depending on where you source it.

The evaporator on my MB would have cost (had I decided to replace it) around $3,600 to replace. Twenty four hours of labor and a $800 part. The way it was explained to me:

“Imagine a car factory where the evaporator is suspended by two thin strands of wire. Now, build the entire car around it.”


#18

Love the E68 7series. I’d drive one of these over a lexus/acura any day of the week. This vintage BMW is fairly simple, and straight forward to deal with as well.

toyotas are soulless appliances, and life is too short for that.


#19

Anyone familiar with the vw CC? I would consider them for a “nice german” car.


#20

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
Anyone familiar with the vw CC? I would consider them for a “nice german” car. [/quote]

Never had a vw but you can probably get them cheap now…