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      09-23-2021, 11:30 AM   #1
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Questions to Ask Before Buying Private Party?

New user, so apologies and humility if I'm asking the wrong place or question that's been beaten to death elsewhere.

Close to pulling the trigger on buying a 2017 330i xDrive Wagon private party. Have reviewed the obvious stuff - maintenance info, AutoCheck report, etc. It's all factory standard, no mods or tuning or parts. Single owner.

What other questions should I be asking the current owner? Are there common maintenance or other 330i issues that I should ask about? Ballpark 45k miles, if that helps.

Many thanks...
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      09-23-2021, 12:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mikedienhart View Post
New user, so apologies and humility if I'm asking the wrong place or question that's been beaten to death elsewhere.

Close to pulling the trigger on buying a 2017 330i xDrive Wagon private party. Have reviewed the obvious stuff - maintenance info, AutoCheck report, etc. It's all factory standard, no mods or tuning or parts. Single owner.

What other questions should I be asking the current owner? Are there common maintenance or other 330i issues that I should ask about? Ballpark 45k miles, if that helps.

Many thanks...
Best thing you can do is get an independent mechanic who really knows BMWs to do a pre-purchase inspection for you (search https://www.bimrs.org/). Well worth a few hundred bucks to get a full picture of the car. A bonus: if the seller refuses to allow you to get it inspected, run away, do not walk, as fast as you can.
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      09-23-2021, 12:52 PM   #3
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If you’re in the city Bavarian Motors of Chicago http://bmchicago.com/ is reasonable.
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      09-23-2021, 01:07 PM   #4
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If you’re in the city Bavarian Motors of Chicago http://bmchicago.com/ is reasonable.
Buying remote, out of town.

FWIW, I used Benny and the team at Bavarian Motors a bunch on a '13 135is 6MT Vert that I had the honor of owning for several years. +1 on the recommendation - they're geniuses. Two dealers couldn't figure out a weird electrical issue and wanted to just keep swapping expensive parts. Neighbor recommended Benny. His tech spent 30 minutes, said, "yeah, this one sensor on the bottom always has problems with corrosion so I removed it and taped it off - see if that fixes it?"

It did, and thus instead of doing the battery, IBS, bunch of fuses, etc. I spent < $200. Never went anywhere else, and if I buy this car it'll only go to Bavarian Motors too!
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      09-23-2021, 01:26 PM   #5
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You might ask if he’s had the brake fluid flushed. So far the B46 motor has proven pretty reliable. I can’t recall reading here about any systemic problems. The oil filter housing gasket seems to be a frequent weak spot on BMW motors. You might ask how that’s looking. Also, asking how the front transfer case and the CV boots/joints are looking would be another question to ask. If it’s a well maintained, one owner that’s a pretty big positive.

Are you going to travel to pick it up or have it shipped? I’m a big proponent of picking up in person. I’ve bought all my Bimmers by long distance and always traveled to pick them up. The one time I bought a car long distance and had it shipped was a disaster.
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      09-23-2021, 01:34 PM   #6
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All great questions - I'll add them to my list for our planned conversation tonight. Thanks a ton!

Planning to travel to pick it up. Agree that's the only way to do it. That's how I got the '13 Vert - bought it remote in Atlanta, drove it home (top down, baby!) with my teenage daughter. Was a good road trip and a great memory.

Earlier post had a link to find recommended shops, so planning on proposing that we meet at a local shop listed on the BIMRS site for a pre-purchase inspection.

Really appreciate the thoughts / suggestions.
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      09-23-2021, 03:15 PM   #7
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How confident are you with no mods? It's pretty easy to revert a car back to stock after it has been tuned and had basic bolt ons, especially if it was just something like DP, CP, etc. Aside from confirming the obvious like service history, a thorough inspection for leaks, a solid test drive, etc, the main concern would be how hard the life it lived was. You said its a wagon, so it probably wasn't tracked or something, but could have still been modded/tuned. If you live in an area with snow/salt make sure you look underneath the car as well for rust - use your phone or get a mirror to inspect if needed. If you dont do a PPI you can probably at least get a cheap OBD2 dongle and app to scan for codes. Many codes can be inactive or shadow and not throw a CEL so you won't even know they exist unless you scan.
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      09-23-2021, 03:22 PM   #8
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Great suggestions - especially on the rust question. I'm a northerner, and the car is coming from a (relatively) northern clime as well. I'm not as much of a "car guy" as my teenage son is, and I'm embarrassed to say that I'd have probably totally forgotten to get under the car to check for rust. Ditto on the codes, I know BMWs are pretty known for having a host of codes that may or may not show up on the dash, and which may or may not mean there's an issue. Lifesaving - well, walletsaving - suggestions.
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      09-23-2021, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedienhart View Post
Great suggestions - especially on the rust question. I'm a northerner, and the car is coming from a (relatively) northern clime as well. I'm not as much of a "car guy" as my teenage son is, and I'm embarrassed to say that I'd have probably totally forgotten to get under the car to check for rust. Ditto on the codes, I know BMWs are pretty known for having a host of codes that may or may not show up on the dash, and which may or may not mean there's an issue. Lifesaving - well, walletsaving - suggestions.
When you check under the hood (and other places) look for non-OEM equipment and/or any signs that things have been touched. You might see missing pieces (as simple as plastic pieces), scratches on components where clips might have been removed (i.e., charge pipe, intake, or other common mods), etc. You just want to see if the car has been "molested" or modified by the original owner.
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      09-23-2021, 04:13 PM   #10
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If you wanna post a link to the car we can take a look and let you know if we see anything.
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      10-14-2021, 03:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBikes View Post
New user, so apologies and humility if I'm asking the wrong place or question that's been beaten to death elsewhere.

Close to pulling the trigger on buying a 2017 330i xDrive Wagon private party. Have reviewed the obvious stuff - maintenance info, AutoCheck report, etc. It's all factory standard, no mods or tuning or parts. Single owner.

What other questions should I be asking the current owner? Are there common maintenance or other 330i issues that I should ask about? Ballpark 45k miles, if that helps.

Many thanks...
You can also by a V gate adapter Vgate iCar Pro Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE) OBD2 Fault Code Reader OBDII Code Scanner Car Check Engine Light for iOS/Android https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XGB4873...UTF8&psc=1


And purchase Bimmer link on the App Store for sure or play store I'm assuming. You can read any errors that the car has ever had with it.
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