Buy advice? Low mileage BMW but infrequent oil changes

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6,335
Location
KY
It's fairly simple to turn it into a manual.

At the time the car was priced near the top of my fun car acquisition budget- unfortunately...
 
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6,335
Location
KY
Some people don't care for Fords...others don't like Chevys...yet others Dodge, etc. etc. Myself? That list includes any and all luxury vehicles. Repairs? Yes, all vehicles need repairs, otherwise there'd be no repair shops, and they're all expensive, but luxury vehicles have always cost more to purchase and maintain.
Congratulations! Your knowledge of BMW maintenance, repairs, and running costs is essentially zero- thus you qualify for the heralded title of BITOG BMW Expert!
You will retain that title in perpetuity as long as you never even sit in a BMW; you must further pledge to take no steps whatsoever to actually learn anything about them.
Well done!!!
 
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8
Congratulations! Your knowledge of BMW maintenance, repairs, and running costs is essentially zero- thus you qualify for the heralded title of BITOG BMW Expert!
You will retain that title in perpetuity as long as you never even sit in a BMW; you must further pledge to take no steps whatsoever to actually learn anything about them.
Well done!!!
I guess I'm not entitled to my opinions...thank you! :)
 
Messages
1,288
Location
Vancouver
The good news is the car being an E46 M3, it is never going to be worth less than the price today, so if you need to put a bit of money into it, it's no big deal.

Myself I would buy the car (as long as the color is good and it's not a convertible), change all fluids, hoses, belts etc and enjoy it.
 
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6,335
Location
KY
Excellent point. A UOA right off the bat will tell when/if rod bearings are in the car’s future.
Most importantly, don’t romp on it until the oil temperature warms up.
 
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1,921
Location
New England, USA
Many BMW's in my past, present and Wifey has a new one in her future (M340i xDrive).

It is a 20 y/o European car and you are here asking questions...you know what you are dealing with. As others have said, get a good PPI by someone who knows the cars, get an oil analysis and look at the filter pleats of you can and, if all is OK, buy it and enjoy the heck out of the car.

Life is short.....drive fun cars.

Good luck!
 
Messages
5,612
Location
Atlanta,GA
Hi, l'm considering buying a 20 year old BMW with roughly 40000 miles. The mileage is great, but after speaking with the owner he told me that he has followed BMW oil change intervals which are years between oil changes. Over the life of the vehicle he's told me there have been roughly 1/2 dozen oil changes all with synthetic. Should I be concerned? I'm used to changing oil every 5000 or annually. Anything I can do to alleviate concerns? I was thinking of having a blackstone inspection done.

Thanks!
Would this M3 happen to be silver and in Atlanta?
 
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4,917
Location
Southeast
I’d be more concerned with what it was NOT doing, which was running. Cars don’t age well when they sit, unless they are properly prepared. Was there time for rust to form in the cylinders, scraping just a touch clear when started? Mind you, im not talking about seizing - engines sit for years and start just fine. But how many cycles did it endure that? A compression test will answer the question easily.

really, the post I’ll echo is the on that said the oil changes are probably the least concerning. 20 year old rubber may want attention. I help a friend maintain an e36 M - the vehicle is a solid as a brick s house, but the plastics and rubber is tired.

the good news is, what you see is what you get. If you like the car, are ok with the maintenance for a 20yo German, and the price is right, I’d do it.
 
Messages
2,056
Location
Jupiter, Fl
That M3, particularly if it is a manual transmission - potentially living in a garage, is a pretty desirable car. We've had BMWs that fit the typical bill - we've had some leases that had mechanical or electrical issues that were not resolved during the term of the lease. That being said, one of our most reliable cars was an LCI E60 w/ the NA I6. In the first 100K miles it required nothing aside from valve cover gaskets, fluid changes and brakes/tires. It always handled like a dream for a largish car. What eventually pushed us to sell it was the biodegradable wiring under the hood that the insulation would fall off of if you touched it and the clearcoat was starting to disintegrate. Both of those are probably related to the climate in which we live.

If I could find an M3 like that to have as a weekend car, I'd be all over it. I'd prefer an E90 w/ the V8, but in either case, you need to be mechanically sympathetic and let it warm up before you abuse it. I think that generation of M3 had indicators on the tach to show how high you could rev it based on temperature.

Those cars are not inexpensive to maintain, but they are generally worth it as long as you don't expect to be able to maintain it like a Corolla.
 
Messages
146
Location
WI
OP, don't leave us hanging! It's not like one of us is going to beat you to the punch ;)

Seriously though, having driving many BMWs in my time and currently risking my life in a ticking time-bomb known as the X3 DIESEL (Egads!), quit wasting your time asking questions of interwebz and GO GET THAT CAR.

Afterwards, wash it and post some pics! Most of us are rooting for you.
 
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