Thinking of getting a 2000-01 BMW 3-series. Are theses cars any good? and is it expensive to maintain the car even though its a 10+ years old bmw?
I'd recommend 2001 and up. 2000 and below had some rust issues in the rear. They are great cars if you have a history that they were well maintained. They can get pricey to repair, but since they are older there are a lot of resources online that you can perform plenty of DIY repairs to keeo cost down, and even better if you have an good independent BMW garage in your area.
Short answer, if maintained, absolutely! Model year 2001 is a better choice in the engine department. The double Vanos system is a vast improvement in engine control and efficiency. Additionally, the cosmetics improved with black body trim giving way to painted matching trim. There is also the aspect of lighting. HID's became way more the norm. As for maintenance, steering joints are one of the biggest ongoing issues. They can be remedied with aftermarket urethane bushings and related components.
As said before preventive maintenance is key, they do have automatic transmission issues with the reverse gear. So you may want to lean toward a manual. Otherwise they are fantastic, and yes can be expensive to maintain if your not handy with the wrenches.
These cars are very reliable if they were taken care of properly. The body style your interested in is called E46 made from 99-05. Some of the issues with these cars are oil seperators, valve cover gaskets, oil filter housing gaskets, rear springs, automatic transmissions shifting issues. Also check to make sure the central locking system is working normally, If they dont work it is most likely a module called the GM (general module) this is a expensive repair that can only be done at the dealer. The early 99-03 ones had an issue with the rear subframes cracking apart and falling out. There was a settlement action on there for 1 year and every vehicle you look at should be inspected for any cracks happened mostly in manual but will in automatics as well. Also make sure the vehicle has had the tail lamp wiring recall completed. Of course with any used vehicle I highly recommend getting the vehicle checked out by a BMW specialist. Hope this helps.
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