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Thinking about buying a 1998 M3 sedan

Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1995-1999)' started by shyammichael, Jul 23, 2013.

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    shyammichael

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    I'm thinking about purchasing a 98 M3 sedan. Anything to look out for or ask the seller? It's silver on black and an auto, has 155k miles and supposedly has 10k worth of Dinan upgrades (intake, throttle body, strut brace, software, not sure what else). Car looks clean and interior in good shape but only $6500? Is it worth getting serious about it. What should I look for and be careful about seems like a deal. Any guidance would be appreciated. Check out the pic. image.jpg
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    charlson89

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    E36 are great cars they really don't have to many dreaded issues. Of course look at the history of the vehicle for accidents or service records. If it was in any accident I would walk away M cars do not re sell well with accidents on the report. As for mechanical the transmission did have some issues in the automatics so make sure it shift good nothing harsh or holding gears for long time. Make sure the head gasket is not leaking (pretty common on these S52) Other smaller things are power steering lines leaking, water pumps, valve cover gaskets, vanos units in the higher mileage ones, DME getting water on it. Dinan is a nice up though good quality parts and some one else paid the outrageous price on them. Of course you will need to have the vehicle checked over by some one who knows BMW's to make sure there are no surprises.
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    MGarrison

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    Get a carfax and review that for any info or damage reports. More importantly, find someplace that really knows BMW's and have them thoroughly check over the car, including getting it on a lift and up in the air. Ideally, somebody who's familiar enough with body work repairs to spot them. The pre-purchase inspection might explain the low selling price, it might mean a salvage title or other past damage (heaven forbid a flooded car), or that the owner has a pretty good idea it's in need of $5k worth of work, or a transmission replacement, or something else major. The internet is loaded with info on what to do when buying a used car. You need to drive it, and you need to check that _everything_ works, which means you should have a list, because it's not easy to remember _everything_ in the moment. One particular worth asking, have they used the sunroof regularly; if not, maybe not test that. Not so sure on E36's, but if aged, fragile plastic sunroof clips give-out, you're in for a nuisance repair that's potentially expensive if the sunroof plastic "cassette" breaks - would kinda suck to have the owner of the car right by you as you hit the sunroof button and "crunch... crack..." Ask about trans maintenance - how often drained and filled, etc. I always wonder about the long-term prospects for any auto transmission at the mileage you're mentioning.
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    shyammichael

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    Thanks for all the help and tips guys. I'm getting the vin so I can run the carfax and have a friend check the bmw service database. If it checks out will go look at it this weekend. Seller says was just serviced and has 3 green service bars. But said car hasn't really been driven in 2 years and not currently inspected or registered so seems questionable. All the Dinan work has been done at Devon Hill BMW but haven't had any experience with that dealer. Will keep you posted. Just looking for a second or daily driver that's fun and won't be too expensive to maintain.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    155,000 miles on an autobox with a "lifetime" fill... eeek. If you're lucky, the car was owned by a fanatic who changed the transmission fluid.

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