High mileage second hand cars

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sunshine

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Looking at replacing my wife's car and saw a 4 year old BMW X3 at a great price with excellent spec, but it's done 96,000 miles. Initially this was a big no, but now I'm starting to talk myself around:

2 litre Diesel engine that will easily do 200k+ miles
Ex company car so fully serviced
It's a BMW so well built and isn't going to fall apart (but expensive parts)
An equivalent model with average mileage is about £8k more expensive. Even if I had to spend £3-4K at the garage over the next 3-4 years I'd still be happy.
Interior is mint, I'm guessing the owner looked after it and didn't have kids!
Track record- I bought a 4 year old Audi A4 with 70k on the clock (also 2L diesel) and it has run beautifully for years so I know this approach can work.

There seem to be some knowledgeable car people on here so thought it worth getting some opinions.

When does high become too high?
 

PhilTheFragger

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Depends on your predicted mileage
If it’s under 10k pa then it’s a poss

Also worth looking if the cam belt needs changing

I’ve got a 3L diesel Jag XF , 9 years old, mint (The Frag Jag)
Bought it 7 months ago with 44k on the clock for £7500
It’ll last me years
 

Lord Tyrion

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You have answered it yourself really. Plenty of life left in that car.

To answer your question, I would not start with a car over 140k, but that is down to a lack of nerve as much as anything. You seem to be comfortable with this approach and this car seems a good one.
 

GreiginFife

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So, if my memory serves that is the N47 variant 4 pot diesel and IMO is way too underpowered for a heavy chassis like the X3 F25 variant.
The N47 also had timing chain issues (really bad and uneven wear) that could prove costly.
The X3 really needs a torquier powerplant to shift it's bulk.

It was an ok engine in the saloon 3er where it wasn't moving a semi-tank. Not a world beater but decent enough.

Other than that, seems like a good deal 😂.

All IMO of course (except the well known timing chain issues)
 

ADB

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I bought a '07 Audi A6 Avant 2.0d with 92k and drove it for 8 years until i reached 250k - regular servicing, couple of cam belts and the normal wear and tear but it was still going strong.....miss it still!
 

Bunkermagnet

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So, if my memory serves that is the N47 variant 4 pot diesel and IMO is way too underpowered for a heavy chassis like the X3 F25 variant.
The N47 also had timing chain issues (really bad and uneven wear) that could prove costly.
The X3 really needs a torquier powerplant to shift it's bulk.

It was an ok engine in the saloon 3er where it wasn't moving a semi-tank. Not a world beater but decent enough.

Other than that, seems like a good deal 😂.

All IMO of course (except the well known timing chain issues)
You also forgot the EGR cooler issues in nearly all recent BMW diesels that have cost BMW lots and plenty of their customers eye watering sums too.
A service history on a BMW is a spartan thing as the mileage between services is way too long (IMO that is:) )
 

GreiginFife

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You also forgot the EGR cooler issues in nearly all recent BMW diesels that have cost BMW lots and plenty of their customers eye watering sums too.
A service history on a BMW is a spartan thing as the mileage between services is way too long (IMO that is:) )
I don't think the EGR issue affected the N47 as it used a flap port style EGR valve IIRC.
With that block my maim concern would 100% be the timing chain.

If the OP is lucky though, the X3 he is looking at might have gotten the update B47 block, but I am sure that only went in F30 face lift saloons. Could be wrong of course. The B47 had a much better load balancing flywheel so less stress on the chain.
 

IanM

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My 4 year old E Class has done 72000. I thinking of changing it as I fancy another 4x4 as doing more rural miles than motorway now.

Speaking to a dealer today getting offered such poor deals i might just keep it. Especially as in the last 6 months my mileage has gone from LOTS to very little
 

Bunkermagnet

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I don't think the EGR issue affected the N47 as it used a flap port style EGR valve IIRC.
With that block my maim concern would 100% be the timing chain.

If the OP is lucky though, the X3 he is looking at might have gotten the update B47 block, but I am sure that only went in F30 face lift saloons. Could be wrong of course. The B47 had a much better load balancing flywheel so less stress on the chain.
I have no idea on the types or such, all I know is that both my eldest daughter and her bubbly have had 5 2ltr BMs between them since 2013 and each has had EGR cooler issues, and the youngests fiancée needed a new engine in his 3l 63 plate as a result of his EGR cooler. Obviously all are Diesel engines.
 

GreiginFife

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I have no idea on the types or such, all I know is that both my eldest daughter and her bubbly have had 5 2ltr BMs between them since 2013 and each has had EGR cooler issues, and the youngests fiancée needed a new engine in his 3l 63 plate as a result of his EGR cooler. Obviously all are Diesel engines.
It's all dependant on the model for the engine variant that was used. As I said, I don't recall that the N47 had EGR coolant issues as the type of EGR valve used was an older type that used a different method of cooling the exhaust gas. The main issue that faced N47 engine users was the timing chain wear issue. I have had the 3L diesel in the past (2018 plate) and the wife has an X4 (also 2018) that uses the 3L diesel lump with no issues at all, so it could be the B47 variant that's the issue.

Cam belt should have been done at 70.000 mls as fagger says it’s worth checking it’s been done.
Timing chain lifespan should be somewhere around the 100k miles mark rather than the 70k for a belt. Although in this case, if the engine is the one I quote above, I'd be getting it checked every 40-50k miles.
 

Robster59

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Not a BMW but my Skoda Superb, which I am just in the process of replacing is 4 years old, has not been driven hard and has been regulalry serviced. Still going strong and will be a great second-hand car for someone. I'm not selling it as it's going back to the lease company but modern cars are, generally, much better built. A friend has the previous model Superb he uses for taxi driving which has 250K+ miles on the clock.
 
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sunshine

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Interesting question by the OP. I recently changed my car, spoke to a main dealer and told him my budget. I asked if I should go for the newest possible car in my budget or an older higher spec car. His response was go for the newest car you can afford even if it has high mileage.
Thanks - this is a big factor in the dilemma. Did the dealer say why go for the newer car?
 

drive4show

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Thanks - this is a big factor in the dilemma. Did the dealer say why go for the newer car?
Yeah....latest features, improved technology (read more reliable?) etc. He did also say that a newish high mileage vehicle is likely to have spent it's life cruising up and down motorways which is generally low stress on most of the components.
 
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sunshine

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So, if my memory serves that is the N47 variant 4 pot diesel and IMO is way too underpowered for a heavy chassis like the X3 F25 variant.
The N47 also had timing chain issues (really bad and uneven wear) that could prove costly.
The X3 really needs a torquier powerplant to shift it's bulk.

It was an ok engine in the saloon 3er where it wasn't moving a semi-tank. Not a world beater but decent enough.

Other than that, seems like a good deal 😂.

All IMO of course (except the well known timing chain issues)
Thanks.

One of my concerns is that the car is a big tank and a 2L diesel would have been put under a lot of strain. But it has 190BHP which seems adequate, though not exactly punchy on performance.

Good tip on timing chain. I would have expected this to have been replaced already but I will have to check this out.
 
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sunshine

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I bought a '07 Audi A6 Avant 2.0d with 92k and drove it for 8 years until i reached 250k - regular servicing, couple of cam belts and the normal wear and tear but it was still going strong.....miss it still!
I want to get an A6 or 5 series estate, much prefer the shape / driving position / handling. But the wife wants a tractor!
 

Lump

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I’d personally be extremely wary. I have 2011 E91 335d with only 85k on the clock, in 3 years of ownership it’s thrown some big bills. Last tally up was a shade over 5k in maintenance.
The engine is rock solid, it’s all the things that are bolted to body that fail.
 
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sunshine

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I don't think the EGR issue affected the N47 as it used a flap port style EGR valve IIRC.
With that block my maim concern would 100% be the timing chain.

If the OP is lucky though, the X3 he is looking at might have gotten the update B47 block, but I am sure that only went in F30 face lift saloons. Could be wrong of course. The B47 had a much better load balancing flywheel so less stress on the chain.
I think the X3's have the B47 from 2015 onwards.
 

GreiginFife

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I think the X3's have the B47 from 2015 onwards.
My understanding was that some do with the full changeover in 2017 at the facelift.

Thanks.

One of my concerns is that the car is a big tank and a 2L diesel would have been put under a lot of strain. But it has 190BHP which seems adequate, though not exactly punchy on performance.

Good tip on timing chain. I would have expected this to have been replaced already but I will have to check this out.
It is a big heavy beast at almost 1800Kg, as discussed in a previous thread power is only part of the equation of moving the mass, torque is as (if not more) important. The engine in this guise I think is 380Nm, which sounds a lot but for that weight is only around 215Nm/t.
That's a big stress on the engine, and in turn, the timing chain.

I'm in no way saying it's a bad car or a bad buy, just some factors to consider when dealing with high mileage, especially high mileage over a short(ish) time. 96000 over 4 years, what were those c.24000 miles a year like?
 
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