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e90 and e30 BMWs

Ok, a bit of old and newer, but we're starting to look for a vehicle that my son will drive (shock - he finally wants to learn). And as a bonus, he said he's interested in learning manual.

We don't presently have a car with a stick in the household. His mom is pushing for "safe/safe/safe", ideally something from this list:

IIHS releases list of safest used vehicles for teens

She is talking about giving him her Acura RL to use. That is a fairly big/heavy car, and personally I think something smaller is easier to navigate around LA traffic. Originally I was going to find a Honda Civic and call it good, but if I look at that list the only thing that pops out is the 2006 3-series (325i isn't too powerful). There are a couple cars around with stick (almost all here are auto), they seem priced on the high side ($10K), but at least it would be more entertaining for me to occasionally drive.

A bit worried about maintenance costs on the e90 though. Evidently HPFP failures were/are common.

OR - I could find a reasonably clean e30 for me to have as a second car (and he could learn stick), but instead find him something more appliance like with an auto to learn/drive. Volvo comes to mind...
Old 08-14-2014, 05:21 PM
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Max Sluiter
 
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E30 plus beater! Fun and practicality for everyone. But I am a bit biased because I had an E21 for my first car (drove 40 miles a day for high school and then made trips to SLO and back often during college).
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:09 PM
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That HPFP failure is on the NA BMW's as well? I see you can totally lose the engine if one seizes up (EDIT- Diesel BMW ONLY, gas just dies)- Hell no on that. Get him a pickup truck- like a stick shift toyota.

Prevents him from taking too many friends with him everywhere, and you have junk hauler.
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Last edited by RANDY P; 08-14-2014 at 06:40 PM..
Old 08-14-2014, 06:34 PM
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The guy with the e30 said he took a deposit but if I want to beat the $7500 offer he'll sell it to me. Don't like that kind of seller (or price though it is clean).

Don't really need a toy though. Just getting sick of driving the rental car...
Old 08-14-2014, 06:35 PM
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Actually my bad - no hpfp on the na engine.
Old 08-14-2014, 06:50 PM
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Nice guy eddie
 
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Wtf E30 is worth $7500?? Are you freaking kidding me?

Was the guy selling it wearing a mask?

Last edited by speeder; 08-14-2014 at 06:53 PM..
Old 08-14-2014, 06:50 PM
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E36. Then the kid can learn how to do interior repair too
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:59 PM
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Better have been an E30m for that price!!!


And lol randy, I didn't find our M any worse than any other car of that era.
Old 08-14-2014, 07:05 PM
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Run FAR away from the E90. I work on them more than any other car these days.

E30's in good shape are getting pricey and clean ones are hard to find. They are also old now.

Volvo or Honda.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeder View Post
Wtf E30 is worth $7500?? Are you freaking kidding me?

Was the guy selling it wearing a mask?
I sold my super clean, low mile E30 325is for $6800. There arent a lot of good ones left. Most were bought cheap and driven into the ground. I also saw one E30 M3 go for $25K recently.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:25 PM
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A friend's previous e30 M3 just sold for $58K
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostril Cheese View Post
I sold my super clean, low mile E30 325is for $6800. There arent a lot of good ones left. Most were bought cheap and driven into the ground.
This is what I'm finding. I think that those of you that are thinking of decent $3K e30s haven't looked in a long time. That gets you a POS these days. The only two that looked nice were one for $8500 and another for $12K. Those are not Ms.
Old 08-14-2014, 10:27 PM
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M3s are a completely different ballgame. If people are getting $7500 for clean E30s these days, you'd have to be a fool to buy one. Nothing has changed in the intrinsic value or fun factor of the cars since they were $2500-3k. And they sold a gazillion of them.

I've owned the nicest E30 imaginable back when it was a like-new car. They are *alright*. With all of the hundreds of used car choices out there that are either undervalued or at least "fair valued", you never buy something that is grossly overvalued. And old E30s for those prices are grossly overvalued, IMO.

I've seen clean ones in the junk yard for years, maybe the supply really is drying-up. Very ordinary cars, though.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:04 PM
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I have an '07 328i, plain jane model.

It's a pretty simple car by modern standards. I've put 50K miles on it, no real problems.

In some ways, it's easier to work on than older cars. The OBDII system helps with diagnostics quite a bit. A $50 code reader, plug it in, and most of the time it tells you what's wrong.

Or, you can stop by at your local Pep Boys if you have an issue, and they'll read it for free.

I had a slight running issue this week, and the CEL light came on. Reader showed it was one of the O2 sensors. It told exactly which one of the four O2 sensors it was, ordered a new one for $100, replaced it, reset the light, problem solved.

I've also found the parts for the car are generally pretty affordable. They range wildly in price from vendor to vendor, though.

My only complaint with the car is some of the "soft touch" plastics in the interior start to wear out.

But IMO it's a good car. The E30, which I like a lot and have owned 3 or 4 since the 80s, I also like, but they are getting to be old cars now.

I've done all the work on the E90 since it's been out of warranty. It's an easy car to work on. Another plus is there were a lot of them made, lots of enthusiasts own them, so there's a pretty good internet database for the common repairs and problems. I've haven't even bought a service manual yet, since everything I've need to fix on it I've been able to Google.

Last edited by McLovin; 08-14-2014 at 11:18 PM..
Old 08-14-2014, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RANDY P View Post
Get him a pickup truck- like a stick shift toyota.

Prevents him from taking too many friends with him everywhere, and you have junk hauler.
^^^ This. Win-win.

Other than that, ask Denis if he's still got that sweet little black 914.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:19 PM
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I got $7000 when I sold this one. It was worth every penny and I'd like to have it back.
Old 08-15-2014, 05:40 AM
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Nice car. But still, with a $7k budget I can have my choice of amazing E30s every day of the year. They sold many a boat load of them.
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:50 AM
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I just picked up a 1991 318is about a month ago and have really been happy with it. Great car both around town and on the highway. Easy to maintain and parts are relatively cheap. Only thing needed fixing on it was the glove box latch and I picked one up new off of Amazon!
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:52 AM
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Why not an E46, if you're set on a BMW? You should be able to get one for a song in SoCal.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:06 AM
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I agree with Denis, I think the E30 is starting to sell for far more than it's worth. I would only consider an out of warranty BMW (E36, 46, 90) if the boy wants to wrench. Because it will need attention.
Old 08-15-2014, 06:38 AM
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