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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking about buying a 2004 325i. I have never owned a BMW before; so I thought I would ask here about the known issues and maintenance costs of this type of vehicle. I read the sticky for the 10 most common repairs. I am very mechanically inclined and have lots of tools. I drive older cars and keep them in good shape with regular maintenance.

Here are the details of the car:

  • 2004 BMW 325i
  • VIN # WBAET37444NJxxxxx (if this helps)
  • 135,000 miles
  • Reported to run great
  • Tires in decent shape
  • Driver’s side power window broken
  • Severe leak in the rack and pinion.
  • Slight wear on the driver’s seat
  • Decent silver paint but not perfect
  • I think I can buy it for $1750.

Is the 2004 325i a dependable car? Is it a money pit? What are your opinions of this purchase? Thank you for your time and expertise in helping me with this decision.
 

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2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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4,588 Posts
It will cost a few grand to fix the stuff you don't know yet, and the rack will have to be replaced, but if you like to be under the car, you can manage it.

I'd still look for a 330 and spend a little more - the cost of maintenance will be much higher than $1,750, so spending a bit more up front would be worth it.

Also, aside from a blown engine/warped head, everything is replaceable, but interior and paint are really expensive, so I would be biased towards something cleaner with a stick and spend time/money on refreshing suspension and all the rubber stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It will cost a few grand to fix the stuff you don't know yet, and the rack will have to be replaced, but if you like to be under the car, you can manage it.

I'd still look for a 330 and spend a little more - the cost of maintenance will be much higher than $1,750, so spending a bit more up front would be worth it.

Also, aside from a blown engine/warped head, everything is replaceable, but interior and paint are really expensive, so I would be biased towards something cleaner with a stick and spend time/money on refreshing suspension and all the rubber stuff.
Thank you. I have learned quite a bit from reading the Buyers Guide for the E46 on this site. This is a great straight forward answer -- the kind I was looking for.
 

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2003 BMW 325CI convertible, Oct '02 prod. date
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if you live in the rust belt like I do, I found convertibles were the best bet. Often only driven in the summer....so lower miles and no rust.
 
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