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Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2
What to look for when buying used i35i?

Hi all,

What do you suggest I look for - and look out for - in buying a 6-7yo 135i convertible with 45K on it? Do the turbos or control boards cause repair issues? Is the drive train pretty dependable?

The 2-series owners I've chatted up say it's a fun runabout but not so comfy for long highway drives. Does that fit the 1's as well? I'm looking for a fun top-down drive that isn't a beast, won't complain if we just drive it gently, and won't be uncontrollable if we punch it for the occasional quick merge.

After a bad experience buying/selling-back a 2013 328i last Summer, my wife and I are looking at a friend-of-a-friend 135i today. It's 2012 or 2013, "loaded", auto, 1-2 owners and all local dealer service. The 328i was a rough runner, just 30K SoCal miles but no history and bad "lot rot", rain seals baked out etc. It was jumpy, had tramlining trouble even with new tires & alignment, was hard to control. Diags showed trouble with several onboard computers including ignition, eco, etc. They did take firmware upgrades ok but did not seem to improve car's running. I sold it back to dealer when I realized we were never going to love that car. Here's hoping the 135i is the car "that should have been".

Bob Davis

current 1989 BMW 325i vert
Old 01-25-2019, 07:21 AM
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Dmitry at Pelican Parts's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,300
Hi Bob - I currently own a 08' 135i. There are 2 versions, one with the N54 motor, until 2010 and one with the N55 motor, starting 2011. They are excellent, really fun drivers but can develop issues once you're around 65k-70k miles. I've dealt with plugs, coils, injectors, valve gasket leak, - those are all known issues with the 135i. I've read about some people having to replace the turbos too; which is rare. Although I had this work done, the car was and still is amazing to drive and a true enthusiasts car. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
Old 01-25-2019, 02:09 PM
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Rtz Rtz is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 53
Hi Bob, Iíve got a 2011 135 (N55 engine & DCT) with roughly 65k on it. Itís been rock solid and a blast to drive. The only upgrades Iíve done is swapping out the standard brakes for ECS 2 piece rotors and red stuff pads, and lightweight wheels with Michelin super sport tires. It literally needs nothing and is such a capable everything car right out of the box (except for the stock all season run flat tires which are horrible IMHO). When I say everything I mean itís my daily driver, track weekend warrior, occasionally used by my wife when we swap, take kids to school - the works! For reliability, I recommend the n55 but the earlier n54 is cheaper to modify. The dual clutch is lightening fast but Iím sure the regular auto would still be lots of fun. Good luck!
Old 03-09-2019, 08:31 PM
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