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Buying a high mileage BMW 330d - what to look out for?

Discussion in 'Motors' started by NickXX, 2 Feb 2006.

  1. NickXX

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 7,031

    Hi all,

    I'm going to look at E46 330d Saloons on Saturday and would just like to know if there are any common issues at high miles. It will likely be at 70k up to a maximum of 100k miles. I'm looking to spend about £12,000.

    Does anyone have any tips on what to look/look out for?

    Many thanks in advance,

    Nick
     
  2. Dangerous

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 21,479

    Location: Nordschleife

    High mileage? pfft thats just opened up! Can't be any worse than my Vauxhall Zafira with 135k and the only thing that went wrong with that was a oil light switch

    52 plate 2003 reg.
     
  3. NickXX

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 7,031

    Yeah, but the issue is: BMW + Problem = Pricey. I'm a bit worried due to scare stories about broken fuel injectors/duff Turbos at the 120k mark.
     
  4. Dangerous

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 21,479

    Location: Nordschleife

  5. DanTheMan

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Oct 2005

    Posts: 4,103

    Location: Manchester, UK

    A uni student smoking a pipe, wearing tartan slippers and a hoody trying to outbid you? Also a mondeo parked somewhere near by most likely.
     
  6. NickXX

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 7,031

    :D
     
  7. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 155,904

    First thing to do is look very carefully at the car - if it doesn't have angel eye headlights something could be wrong.

    If it doesn't, walk around the back and check the badge, if it doesn't say 530d, walk away ;)

    In all seriousness, I'd like to know what people think here as well - I've heard reports of both injector and turbocharger failiure at higher mileage.
     
  8. Matt82

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Mar 2004

    Posts: 16,569

    70to100k is not high.

    i had a 105k 3 year old 530d about 2-3 years ago. it was faultless, cant really advise you on what to look for actually. just see how well its been looked after really
     
  9. Scania

    Capodecina

    Joined: 25 Nov 2004

    Posts: 24,329

    Location: On the road....

    Mileage is (almost) pointless, service history and general condition of the car are far more telling.

    70k is sod all for a petrol BMW, never mind a diesel. ;)
     
  10. The Running Man

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 33,951

    Location: block 16, cell 12

    tell that to those who have had to fork out over 1k to get the turbo issue sorted!
     
  11. blueboy2001

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,881

    When I was looking at x30d's, the following seemed to be issues with them, especially higher mileage versions:

    Injectors - Common Rail injectors have to work extremely hard and can fail randomly or wear out as the mileage gets up. A full set of six will set you back over a grand. If it doesn't run silky smooth, or sounds a bit "tappety" under the throttle from a standing start beware.

    Turbos - Seemed to be a lot of tales of turbo failures. Obvious check is for blue smoke under hard acceleration but its not always obvious. The only real preventative measure you can take is change the oil between services. A new turbo fitted at a dealer will probably be four figures again.

    MAF sensors - Common fault that causes poor running and fuel consumption. Hundreds rather than thousands to fix.

    Differentials - Can start rumbling as the miles get up. Good check is to accelerate from low speed in a high gear to put the drivetrain under a bit of strain, much like checking a clutch. If it rumbles, walk away.

    The main thing that put me off them was that owners almost universally reccomended continuing the BMW warranty at something like £800 a year because its excellent value for money - many were cooing that their £800 warranty had covered £3k worth of repairs. I decided to wait until I can afford a nearly new one.
     
  12. Scania

    Capodecina

    Joined: 25 Nov 2004

    Posts: 24,329

    Location: On the road....

    Which is why I say service history is more important, 70K is nothing to a turbo diesel thats been looked after correctly.

    Iirc, BMW have no problem honouring claims for failed whatever, as long as the service history is impecible.

    Granted, if it isn't, your in trouble.
     
  13. tb2000

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Jul 2003

    Posts: 1,636

    Location: West Country, England

    A customer of ours at work has an X reg 530d that recently had the turbo go on him. I don't know how many miles it's done though. I'm pretty sure it's not much over the 100,000 though.
    On the other hand, as already said here 100,000 miles is nothing for most cars these days let alone BMW's! :)
     
  14. NickXX

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 7,031

    Thanks guys, I've picked up some great points. I'm just worried that my £12k isn't going to buy me years of trouble free motoring...
     
  15. Oracle

    Banned

    Joined: 17 Jan 2006

    Posts: 1,971

    Location: Haskins

    I've dealt with quite a few 3d lumps. 70k, really all should be fine, 100k, you do need to be a tad bit more careful.

    DEFINATE THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:-

    Rough idle, and VAG diesel sound on startup

    This could be the vibration damper control unit. A woodruff key on the bottom pulley comes loose and the pulley shakes causing rough idle and a noticeable rattle sound even when warm. DONT walk away, knock money off, but its quite easy to fix.

    This could also be an injector on the way out. Whilst the part itself is only about £40, the labour can run in 20 times that figure, so you may as well get the lot replaced in one hit. IT IS POSSIBLE TO DO THIS YOURSELF IF YOU ARE CONFIDENT. However, there is a Haynes manual for the E46 3 series BUT IT DOES NOT COVER THE DIESEL ENGINE

    I have seen this idling rough from injectors cured by a low tank flush through with some injector cleaner, you will also notice very poor fuel economy with this problem. Its your call whether you walk away from it or not. Also, IT COULD HAPPEN soon after you buy the car, unfortunately there is no way of knowing, it just happens. If this is the case a flush through will and should sort it.

    Suspenion

    The rear arms are prone to snapping (something to do with Porsche 911 beating torque), check that they have been replaced AS EARLY AS 70K. If not, make sure the car is sitting level and check for hairline fractures in the rear arms. Touring Springs have been known to snap as well, but your not buying a Touring.

    Lastly, check all the electrics work, apart from that there are no other major faults.

    If you take it our for a drive, the left stalk has a button on the end, flick through the options until you get to mpg, press and hold the button, it will reset, and you will get an idea of mpg. Range your driving style, but if you get less that 30mpg on a hard thrash, think twice.

    Check to see how many mile are due to next service. It goes as follows for E46. Insp 1 (reasonably cheap), Oil, Insp 2 (expensive), Oil, Insp 1, etc, etc

    Make sure the oil is changed. You should have NO smoke out of the back IMO, if you do, it will either need an oil change or air filter replacing. The airfilter can take an hour to change as all the engine accoustics need to be removed.

    Lastly, and most annoyingly, urine smell from the AC/CC, change the carbon filter, but unfortunately this smell sometimes can not be helped. Leave the AC on to get rid of it.

    HTH
     
  16. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 155,904

    It is for the reasons in this thread that I have decided that despite being a huge diesel fan and despite having the 530d as one of my all time favourite cars, I just cannot risk a high mileage one.

    Now, the 3 litre diesels have great residuals and unfortunately the petrol ones dont compare. So, you often need to spend £2k more to get the diesel - but you wont spend £2k more in fuel.

    So, get a 330i or a 530i instead - ok its not going to be quite as quick but the 3 litre petrol engine is very solid indeed. It's what I've decided to do.
     
  17. The_Dark_Side

    Capodecina

    Joined: 21 Oct 2003

    Posts: 13,603

    Location: Back with a Vengeance.

    don't forget though,when you decide to sell it,it'll sell quicker and for more money than the petrol version...coupled with the fuel savings you've made during your time of ownership it makes the diesel the cheaper option.
     
  18. 233

    Capodecina

    Joined: 21 Nov 2004

    Posts: 13,051

    Location: Glasgow

    buy an audi A3 V6 TDi ;)


    better value more car for your money and just as good if not better reliability
     
  19. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 155,904

    Not really bothered about residual value - plus a new turbo or set of injectors could wipe that out + more.
     
  20. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 155,904

    Errr the TDI in the A3 is a 4 cylinder is it not? Biggest one is the 2.0 TDI?