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      01-22-2017, 10:26 PM   #1
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used 335i purchase advice

Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum and hopefully new to the world of bmw. Im looking Into buying a used E90 335i for a commuter/toy. On paper it's perfect, 300hp 6 speed twin turbo with those amazing body lines. I never thought I would b able to afford a BMW but I'm amazed how the resale has dropped which almost has me worried if there is a reason. I would b looking Into the early 335i because I'm searching around the 10k price range. I know turbo cars are less reliable but how are these for longevity? Obviously it will b out of warranty, probabily close to the 100k mile mark and pretty much every search brings up hpfp issues and various sensors crapping out. First thing I would get would b a bmw specific scan tool because I refuse to pay dealership/shop for repairs. What do u guys think, is it a reasonable purchase or am I walking Into a nightmare? I'm from the honda and subaru world where not to much goes wrong and the parts aren't that expensive. Thanks for your time and advice. Bob
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      01-22-2017, 10:59 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. I was in your shoes about a year ago. After doing some reading, I was initially scared off the N54 platform. After doing more in-depth reading, I realized that with some DIY, these cars don't have to be that scary to own if you find a clean car, have a PPI, and go in with your eyes (and wallet) open to the inevitable maintenance issues that are well documented.

The good news is that the engine internals and transmissions seem pretty rock solid. The bad news is that a lot of the stuff bolted to the engine is fragile and/or requires relatively frequent maintenance schedules - HPFP, water pump, leaky gaskets, coils, plugs, valve deposits, etc. That is the reason resale is low. But that also means the car can be a reasonably good buy for someone who is willing and able to DIY a lot of these issues. It sounds like you might fall into this category. I decided I was too and pulled the trigger three months ago. I opted to pay more up front for a later, low-miles car but if/when I have issues I plan to DIY much of the work, as I have done on our other cars. Granted the parts are quite a bit higher than the Honda/Toyota/VW parts I'm used to, but the car also performs on a completely different level so in that sense it feels somewhat justified.

The resale is likely also affected by the fact that you can lease a new 3 series for a few grand per year. When annual maintenance on older ones starts to approach that amount, they start to make less sense from a purely financial point of view. If you are the type that has your vehicles serviced by dealers, it would be easy to get there with even a couple of issues per year.
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      01-23-2017, 01:35 AM   #3
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Jarrod outlined it very nicely. I'll be straightforward - from my perspective as someone who is looking to purchase 335 soon, I think key factor in your case is $10k - it's a bit on the lower side for a well maintained 335 with service history (preferably hpfp and turbos servised via warranty by this time - 100K miles) with 1-2 owner max and in very good condition. So you need to be prepared for repairs in your case. Not much choice if you really like the car and want 335 - it would be lie if we pat you on the back and say that everything will be ok. Higher chances that you'll face one or two significant issue (my guess is you'll get leaking gasket and turbo issues if they are original at the moment of purchase). You'll also need to change pretty much every fluid and filter and spark plugs/coils, check injectors, do a walnut blasting etc. - which also adds up.
So eventually it comes to a point when you need to decide yourself if driving fun that 335 undoubtedly brings is worth the time and money for repairs/maintenance.
I can only speak for myself and I decided that it's worth it and I'm going with open eyes and a clear understanding that I may be forced to invest several grands even if I do most of DIY. Majority of normal people will consider this a very bad buy, but then again they consider driving a 3 year old Honda as a best smart decision. Don't we live only once - who has time to drive boring Honda?
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      01-23-2017, 03:51 AM   #4
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Bob, if you want reliability and you're on a very tight budget, this isn't the car for you. But if you really want some fun, you are aware of what you're getting yourself into and you're open to learning some DIYs, then ok.
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      01-23-2017, 04:46 AM   #5
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Yes, you are walking into an absolute nightmare.
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      01-23-2017, 05:17 AM   #6
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I would say it's a complete hit or miss and also depending on how well you can wrench. Parts are expensive yes but not Porsche expensive. The labor is what kills people. The issue is the big name items that can possibly be bad when buying an 07-08 n54. Turbos, injectors, hpfp, water pump, even cam ledges.

If it were me, and I had a tight budget, I would steer clear of any BMW period. Turbo or not. That's just me. I just hit a pothole and it's gonna cost me $3000 to repair so....
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      01-23-2017, 05:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by EZgo View Post
Yes, you are walking into an absolute nightmare.


A bit OT story, but somewhat relevant. My neighbor is a 40-ish year old woman who has a good pay job (around $150-180K/yr) and she likes BMWs. She had 2009 528xi and now has 2011 328xi. Both BMW she bought CPO from dealership at around 30K miles or so. So this is how she approaches the maintenance: she knows nothing about it, but just goes do a dealer where she bought them once every year (except oil changes of course) for major overhaul maintenance. Last 2 visits cost her $2300 for rear break job (she only replaced rear rotors and pads - only rear!) and recently she had water pump with thermostat and belts/pulleys changed preventitavely! for $2500! When I kinda tried to suggest local indy shops - she said she has no problems paying premium for BMW dealership service for a piece of mind. She believes BMW dealership mechanics know best how to properly fix and maintain it. She is probably somewhat right, as both her cars are in top notch condition and everything is OEM. She never cuts corners or skips on maintenance. This is probably targeted demography who BMW was designed for in the first place. A rich (well not millionaires, but with good salary) folks who won't bother or know how to do any DIY or save cost of maintenance on cheap parts/fluids etc. Certainly I cringe on myself when I do some wrenching and when I search online for cheaper parts lol. I feel like a redneck Dodge owner that probably shouldn't be allowed anywhere near BMWs lol
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      01-23-2017, 06:46 AM   #8
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I bought my 2007 with 97k. The bonus i had was that the turbos had been replaced, injectors already had their call back and other bits of maintenence was already covered out. Had the car 18months albeit only driven 5k miles in that time and all ive had to spend on it were new spark plugs (Jb4) one coil and oil service. Everything else spent was upgrades. However - I would never and will never skimp and i have a separate wallet should anything need doing.
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      01-23-2017, 07:46 AM   #9
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My advice is to take the time to better search and learn what really goes wrong with these beasts before you hand over your hard earned money. The issues you've mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg. There's a reason for the drop in resale value. Simply put, purchasing an early 335i is a crap shoot. If you decide to buy, make sure that your DIY skills are honed and that you keep a separate bank account topped up at around 5 grand. My '07 leaks oil now (could be a rear main seal or oil pan gasket) and my indy says he can't tell until he disconnects the tranny. Also be prepared for expensive bent, dent and scratch repairs and watch out for things that peel. You will feel obliged to keep up appearances. $$$ Sorry for the doom and gloom but I really hate to see money go to waste. Please do more research.
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      01-23-2017, 01:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n55jb4 View Post


I feel like a redneck Dodge owner that probably shouldn't be allowed anywhere near BMWs lol
Lol Dodge owners have way less problems than us bimmer masochists.
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      01-23-2017, 02:40 PM   #11
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Well I actually am a dodge owner lol. I've got a 2013 Ram Sport crew cab that is my daily and gas bill is eating me up with 100 mile daily commute but at the same time I need something fun fast and good looking, I would hate life if I was behind the wheel of a hybrid. (No offense to people that drive them)

Last edited by E90dreams; 01-23-2017 at 02:45 PM.
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      01-23-2017, 02:44 PM   #12
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Thank you guys for the honest openions, I do appreciate your time and advice. I'm still on the fence as nothing else compares to these cars, looks, performance and handeling and I really do miss that turbo sound. I'm still a few months out from my purchase so I will keep researching more. Thanks again
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      01-23-2017, 03:00 PM   #13
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2013 BMW 335i  [4.50]
For sure one of the best cars out there, performance, luxury, with style and class all in one. But keep a few thousand for repairs, and make sure you can DIY, if you goto the stealership for every little thing, youll pay big bucks, if you DIY it honestly parts are not horrible, and most jobs take less than 4 hours.
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      01-23-2017, 03:26 PM   #14
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I've owned my '08 E92 335 Motorsport for almost 3 years now. It had 50,000km on it when I bought it and now has 118,000. Absolutely love this car ( My 5th BMW ). In the time I've had it, it gets driven all day, most days as I'm a Real Estate Agent. Troubles so far have been the water pump which I replaced, and two coils at various times. Apart from regular servicing thats pretty much it. I did get new front rotors but thats just wear and tear. It was reflashed soon after I bought it up to around 380hp, and I understand that means plugs need to be changed more regularly. I struggle to think what I'd replace this car with as I enjoy it so much as a daily driver. I have a Corvette for my play car and my wife has an X3. To round off, I really don't think my 335 has been any more painful than my E46 330 Motorsport in regards to maintenance, ( That had radiator header tank splitting issues more than once )so don't be scared by everything you read on here. As far as my experience go's, it's been largely trouble free and sooooooooo much fun. I never take it to a stealer ship, plenty of Indy workshops who have scanners and repair these cars. Just get it checked out before you buy.
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      01-23-2017, 05:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90dreams View Post
Thanks for your time and advice. Bob
Just remember that you're buying a $10k car, but you'll be paying maintenance and repair bills for a $50k car. Repairs are not cheap even with a six figure + salary.
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      01-23-2017, 05:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 924er View Post
I would say it's a complete hit or miss and also depending on how well you can wrench. Parts are expensive yes but not Porsche expensive. The labor is what kills people. The issue is the big name items that can possibly be bad when buying an 07-08 n54. Turbos, injectors, hpfp, water pump, even cam ledges.

If it were me, and I had a tight budget, I would steer clear of any BMW period. Turbo or not. That's just me. I just hit a pothole and it's gonna cost me $3000 to repair so....
Could not agree more on the hit or miss part. So many horror stories but I've also heard many people saying that the cars have been absolute gems. I'm inclined to believe that those who have had bad experiences are more inclined to post about it than vice versa which is why you see so much negative feedback on them.

Just to be safe, I'd be ready at any time to have to drop something like $3/4k
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      01-23-2017, 06:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 924er View Post
I would say it's a complete hit or miss and also depending on how well you can wrench. Parts are expensive yes but not Porsche expensive. The labor is what kills people. The issue is the big name items that can possibly be bad when buying an 07-08 n54. Turbos, injectors, hpfp, water pump, even cam ledges.

If it were me, and I had a tight budget, I would steer clear of any BMW period. Turbo or not. That's just me. I just hit a pothole and it's gonna cost me $3000 to repair so....
That must have been a huge pothole. What broke that's costing you $3k?
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      01-23-2017, 06:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Stopa View Post
I'm inclined to believe that those who have had bad experiences are more inclined to post about it than vice versa which is why you see so much negative feedback on them.
I agree 100%. Everyone I've bumped into that asks after my car, and says they used to own a 335, only have positive memories of them. Some people never do any servicing and/or maintenance and then wonder why things go wrong. Or they drive them like they stole them and break things...or just bought a lemon from someone who off loaded it after treating it as such.
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      01-23-2017, 09:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90dreams View Post
I'm from the honda and subaru world where not to much goes wrong and the parts aren't that expensive.
My last daily driver prior to my 335i was an Acura TL. It was fairly reliable, but after 145k miles, I had done easily $10k worth of repairs on it, including multiple power steering pumps, starter, two alternators, motor mounts, drive shaft, struts, you name it.

Parts/labor for a Bimmer over a Honda may be a bit more, but you have to understand that any used car you're going to daily drive will cost you a fair amount in maintenance dollars if you're going to do more than buy it brand new and only keep it while it's under warranty. Having a message board like this is a good sanity check for repairs that various shops recommend.

We bought my wife a 2011 328i in 2014, and in three years and 20k miles the only issue she's had so far was replacing the ignition coils (which are known to be bad) and MAF sensor.
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      01-23-2017, 09:36 PM   #20
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There's people on here that will say "proper maintenance will make these cars last forever" and they're correct. But my thinking is, you never know. The N54 is a beast but it will cost you a good amount if it decides to be a problematic one. I've known people who experience issues monthly and then I had a friend of mine who sold his at 114k without a single issue in its whole life. But I wouldn't own any BMW on a budget especially an N54. If an 07-09 is just now becoming affordable to you then id think twice.

They're great cars honestly. I have a 328 which is the NA 6 and I still love mine to death even without the extra power and torque. If you have the budget to be able to maintain it properly and have a rainy day fund go for it.

There are TONS of threads on this forum to list all the issues people had with their N54 335s. So do a simply search and see if you could afford some of the common issues.

If you're good with a wrench the cost of ownership comes down a little but that's your call. Good luck man
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      01-24-2017, 05:21 AM   #21
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I don't recommend getting it one bit unless you plan on doing the maintenance yourself. I made the same exact mistake and picked up a 83k mile, one owner 07 E92 335i. In the 9 months I owned it, I would've had to spend about $12k on maintenance if I went to BMW for all the things that were wrong with the vehicle. From various leaks costing from $330 - $1200, to the turbos rattling, each and every repair is expensive. Don't get me wrong, nothing will ever beat the drive of that 335i. It's the best car I've driven and my favourite car of all time. However, I'm in university and simply can't afford the money or even the time for DIY. Hence I sold it. Once I graduate, I plan on picking up either 335is or a E92 M3 as a daily. Anyways, for 10K, you can find some nice G35's. They're fast, fun and reliable.
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      01-24-2017, 09:52 AM   #22
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Don't worry just buy it. Just don't drive it like these dinks do, they are always WOT and they expect the car to never break....lol idiots.
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