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Looking for 2000-2001 E36, probable buying out of my area. What should I expect to pay for a pre-purchase inspection if I go to an BMW dealership, or an independant shop? E-bay Motors recommends arranging inspections through SGS Automotive, cost $99.50. Does anyone have opinions on SGS Automotive? Below is copy and paste from E-bay's SGS Automotive inspection section.

SGS Vehicle Inspections offer:

Nationwide staff of trained inspectors
Inspections performed wherever you are–home, office, or any convenient location
Thorough but rapid inspections
Reports available online within 24 hours of your inspection
150-point condition report
Interior and exterior photography
Only $99.50 for most vehicles

The SGS inspection does not use computer or other mechanical diagnostic equipment and is not a substitute for an examination by a qualified mechanic at a properly equipped repair facility.
 

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check the ball joints and front control arm bushings as these tend to go bad depending on the road conditions and such at a seemingly young age. if there is any rippling of the fron tires at the outer edges of the tires, the car prolly has this condition. get the vin# and call a bmw dealer to get its service history to find out what services have been performed. what kind of miles does the car have? that could also determine what else, servicewise , that it is ready for. and by the way, if it is a 2000 or 01 it is a e46, not e36. if you use a shop you want to go to someone that specializes in bmw's and the like. alot of domestic mechanics are scared to death to touch a bmw. i dont know why, they just are. you can see the brakes pretty well with a dental mirror and flashlight to check the brake linings. the parts for the brakes are quite reasonable but again, doing it yourself saves an enourmous amount of money as the shops like to charge alot for brake jobs due to the flat rate. i enjoy working on the car and find it to be very fulfilling knowing i saved 400 dollars and did it myself. if none of the body panels have been replaced on the front end, then there should be little stickers on the fenders and hood with the vin# stamped on them. if you cant find them then it has prolly been in a front end collision. hope this helps, i was a used car manager for 10 years and became very intimate with asessing vehicles. cya
 
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