I am in the process of looking for a second hand bmw 318i/320i.
This week I found a really good one, 318i from 2008, 71 000 km N43 engine.
I took it to a bmw dealer here in Bucharest, Romania, for a full diagnostic. They found some minor leaks of oil and that the brake discs are worn, nothing major, exept for one fault.
They say that there could be a problem with the catalytic converter. Fault number 2A26 "DME: catalytic converter, conversion in stratified-discharged mode". The seller told me about this, it seems that this is an old problem and it is somehow related to the second oxygen sensor.
It seems that from time to time the check engine light comes on (car performance and economy are not affected). The seller took it to another bmw garage and they said that an error related to the second oxygen sensor appeared, they also said that this is due to low quality fuel, even though he says he only buys 100 octane fuel... (It is said that gasoline in Romania contains more sulfur that in the west, I don't know if it is true, it's just some sort of urban legend).
I then took the car to an emissions test to see if it really is the cat to blame, and I got the following results:
CO corr: 0.12%
-increased idle seed:
CO corr: 0.07%
Now autodata says
that this values are ok, exept for O2 at idle which should be 0.1%-0.5%.
He wants 12 000 euro for it.
I really like this car, and it shows no symptoms, it is well maintained and I am 100% certain of the km (kinda rare here in Romania, especially for BMW), fuel economy is normal (9.8 l/100km mixed, more bucharest heavy traffic) and the emmisions are ok, but I am hesitant because of that error.
What do you guys think?