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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am saddened to have started this topic but unfortunately I've run out of options. I have a 2001 BMW 325xi Touring with 282,000 miles and a 5 spd manual transmission. I've owned it for about 3 years and only put 16,000 miles on it. Unfortunately it has had a battery drain on it that I haven't been able to diagnose myself. I decided I didn't want to put any more money into it and will be getting rid of it. Ideally I would have tried selling it but I didn't have enough time before heading off to school and didn't want to deal with the hastle for the low amount of money it is worth. That pretty much leaves donating it for a tax deduction or scrapping it. I really hate to scrap it because without the battery drain, it still runs fine and I know it's worth more than the $300 I would likely get. However, I'd prefer the cash from scrapping it over the tax deduction. The tires only have 16,000 miles on them and I have a massive spreadsheet of service history. It has a lot of rust unfortunately. The interior is in fairly good condition but it doesn't have cruise control and the horn doesn't work. I also have some brand new parts that haven't been installed yet. It's had less than 300 miles since the most recent oil change and filter changes. With my current predicament, what would you all recommend? I've attached pictures of the car. I live in northern Minnesota.
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'03 325iT Mystic Blau
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You never did show us the finished and deployed rooftop tent, did you?

I might consider parting it before scrapping the shell. You won't get that much less in scrap value but the parts you let go will be more than worth the effort, if you're into that sort of thing.
 

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Post it in Tourings For Sale thread for $800 and see what happens. Sounds like it may be a decent beater if the rust isn't too bad.

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'04 330Cic | '03 325iT
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How long can you hold onto it? I'd drive up and tow back or fly up and drive the thing home if it really does drive fine. I'd have cash.
 

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'04 330ci 6MT
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Also, I want my next car to come with a service history spreadsheet like that. I have one for mine but I so rarely find anyone else who makes the effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for the quick responses. I definitely have a lot to consider. The rooftop tent is still a work in progress and I will be keeping it for my new car. I will add pictures once I am done.

I'm moving out to Michigan for school tomorrow so it will be staying at my parents house until I can get rid of it. The car is in their name but they don't drive manual. I'm replacing the fan control unit this afternoon as a last ditch effort at fixing the battery drain issue. I can give you more details and information if you're interested. It hasn't been started for about a month because I got a new car but it ran fine for me with the exception of the battery drain. I'll be starting it up in a couple hours after I replace the FCU so I can give you an update. The suspension probably needs a good refresh but it has gotten the job done for me. I did a full cooling system refresh with the exception of the hardlines a little over a year ago. Where about are you located doofenshmirtz?
 

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2000 323Ci coupe manual
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If the drain is the only current issue then I think it's at least a 1K car. People love tourings and there aren't that many. Red is a cool color also.
 

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'04 330Cic | '03 325iT
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Thank you all for the quick responses. I definitely have a lot to consider. The rooftop tent is still a work in progress and I will be keeping it for my new car. I will add pictures once I am done.

I'm moving out to Michigan for school tomorrow so it will be staying at my parents house until I can get rid of it. The car is in their name but they don't drive manual. I'm replacing the fan control unit this afternoon as a last ditch effort at fixing the battery drain issue. I can give you more details and information if you're interested. It hasn't been started for about a month because I got a new car but it ran fine for me with the exception of the battery drain. I'll be starting it up in a couple hours after I replace the FCu so I can give you an update. The suspension probably needs a good refresh but it has gotten the job done for me. I did a full cooling system refresh with the exception of the hardlines a little over a year ago. Where about are you located?
I'm pretty far, but flights aren't bad and roadtrips are fun. For reference, it's a 1200 mile for me drive to Bemidji,MN about 20 hours.

I've got another wagon that may get it's suspension refreshed and I could mend together the best total package on this wagon. It'd be nice to have a vehicle I didn't have to be nervous about scratching again.

Worst case, it turns into donor for a franken46 for something with bad mechanicals but a rust free chassis.
 

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Ironman
01 330iT 6MT, 98 M Roadster
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I agree about the black sport interior (assuming the seats are in serviceable condition).

Someone with a slushbox xi may be interested in the parts to do a manual conversion.

You could do OK for yourself right there. Throw in a couple hundred bucks for the wheels.

Yeah, I think part-out is a good plan if you can do it. Otherwise it's a bit tougher.
 

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Since it would be impossible for your folks to show the car and negotiate for you. I'd suggest you hold on to it until you can come and visit your folks again for Holiday. Thanksgiving for example. Line up buyers during that time... and Plan B would be donating it if no buyers.

You should be able to get more than $500. Tax deduction is so-so... nothing like cold hard cash.

If you really don't have time, I suppose a tax write-off is fine. Kars for Kids always advertises here in NJ.

Part-out can take some time to complete... and you will have a shell withering away at your folks place. One and done, I say. Look for a buyer on the forums... you already had a few bites from members.
 

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'03 325iT Mystic Blau
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I donated a car once.
I ended up not being able to do itemized deductions on that year's taxes so basically gave it away. That was before the 2016 tax law that made it even more difficult to itemize.
Unless you've got a charity that you're just really keen on supporting I'd rule out donating it.
 

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2003 325iT M54B30
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What kind of rust of we talking about? Red seems pretty desireable to me, but I don't know how rare they are.
 

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Reach out to Ovalbore on Youtube..He's in Minn...Minneapolis area I think. If he doesn't want it, He might now someone who does.
 

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2002 325xiT
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I will second (third) the black sport touring interior being worth something on its own. I may know someone who wants that right there! It’s me. The someone is me 😂
 

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'03 325iT Mystic Blau
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Black sports touring interiors can get good money as they were rare-ish here in the US.
Same here, although they're less rare they still have value. I bought used black leather sports interiors for both my touring and my coupe. The front seats are just lovely (especially heated).

But I'd buy the entire car if it were in the UK. Manual 6-pot Tourings are rare, with the sunroof is super rare, and we never had the awd E46s.

Although it's none of my business, I'd love to see it go to a forum member who fixes the battery drain and generally fettles it back into condition. I bet that red would come up lovely with a good MOP.
 

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That's funny that the sunroof is rare in Europe when here in the US the slicktop is the sought-after Unicorn.

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