Honest John's Tips for Buying a Used BMW E90 3 Series [Video]
Honest John's favorite seems to be the post 2010 320d ED because of its impressive fuel economy (in the real world, not the advertised numbers) and the low CO2 emission levels that will help with the cost of your taxes.
So, what do we look for when buying a used E90 3 Series BMW? First of all you really should check to see if the car you are interested in buying has a complete service history. That is most important as it will tell you how the car was cared for and what was done to it.
Oil changes are very important. Skipping one of those could lead to major malfunctions, especially for diesels. Also check to see if the overall look of the car is clean, without parking damage or stone chips, misaligned bumpers and panels.
Also, take a look at the interior of the car and the boot, since not even professional cleaning will be able to hide the tear and wear of the interior. Furthermore, check the allow wheels to see if they are scratched of hit in any way. Also, the BMW E90 3 Series could be fitted with run-flat tires and if that is the case check their condition as they can set you back quite a lot if they need replacing.
Another thing you should check are the door handles and the electric windows. The handles tend to stick whilst the electric windows can malfunction in case water gets into their switches. The power steering pumps can leak so you should check under the car to see if there are any leaks. Also, the ABS pumps may fail on cars that are over 3 to 5 years old and repairing one of those will set you back quite a lot.
Buying a used car, of any make, is a gamble. Some defects might be known by the seller at the time of the sale but some others might be new and you'll just have to deal with them. However, the same can happen with a new car. Unexpected troubles might cost a lot of time and sometimes even money, even though the car is still covered by warranty.