High mileage second hand cars

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Aug 16, 2020
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I think one of the main things when buying a vehicle that has high mileage is to check it’s been regularly serviced and to make yourself aware of regular issues that blight that particular vehicle. Check if those issues have been addressed already and what sort of maintenance has already been done on the vehicle.

@GreiginFife I’m unsure if it’s the same engine but I looked at a 120D before buying my current car, in relation to the timing chain aren’t they located in a peculiar place on this particular engine which in turn makes it very expensive just to change it? Or have I got this wrapped around my head?

I know I read a hell of a lot of horror stories online about the engine itself in this guise which buy me off buying even a lower mileage model.
 

GreiginFife

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I think one of the main things when buying a vehicle that has high mileage is to check it’s been regularly serviced and to make yourself aware of regular issues that blight that particular vehicle. Check if those issues have been addressed already and what sort of maintenance has already been done on the vehicle.

@GreiginFife I’m unsure if it’s the same engine but I looked at a 120D before buying my current car, in relation to the timing chain aren’t they located in a peculiar place on this particular engine which in turn makes it very expensive just to change it? Or have I got this wrapped around my head?

I know I read a hell of a lot of horror stories online about the engine itself in this guise which buy me off buying even a lower mileage model.
As with many Longitudinal engines, the positioning of the cam wheels is usually at the "back" (towards the cabin) which makes any maintenance more difficult. I would estimate (and please note it's an opinion based estimate) that an independent garage would charge around £350-400 in labour costs alone for this and a dealer or network garage would maybe be £550-600 labour.

I think the thing to remember, like many things, is that these engines are produced in such volumes that there will invariably be issues with some. There will likely be far more people with even the N47 that DIDN'T have a timing chain problem than there will be those with the problem.

I currently have the B58 engine (3.0 turbo petrol) and it's, to my mind, a fantastic engine. But a quick search online throws up people complaining about them already.
 
Thread starter #23

sunshine

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As with many Longitudinal engines, the positioning of the cam wheels is usually at the "back" (towards the cabin) which makes any maintenance more difficult. I would estimate (and please note it's an opinion based estimate) that an independent garage would charge around £350-400 in labour costs alone for this and a dealer or network garage would maybe be £550-600 labour.
This sounds about right. Had this done on my Audis, used the main network garage as they offered MOT for life for changing the timing chain. This has been well worth it for me but obvs not if you're going to sell it in a couple of years.
 

Bunkermagnet

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The biggest thing for me not to buy any BMW is that they don’t have a dipstick you can check the oil with, it’s all electronic.
if you’re leasing the car then you could argue who cares, but if you’re going to own it then it would bother me
 

PNWokingham

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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?
I think high mileage 3-4yr old diesels are the best buys going and as you say, should be good for 250k+ if well looked after - i have been in several E class and 5 series taxis that have been 350-400k+ and going strong

The vbest car buy i did was a 3yr old 325d (3l) 2008 in Manual with cloth tim - deeply undesirable spec but suited me. A remap and it was 292bhp and 400+ lbs of torque - you will easily get 40bhp+ on the 2ltr. I paid 8k at 92,000 miles and just over 3 years old. Traded it 3 years later and 20k more for 6.5k and it never missed a beat. I have had a few BMW diesels - and they all need mapping and i never worry about it despite some people having concerns - it transforms the way they drive and improves economy. Now got a 3litre petrol turbo 240 - and just deciding at 4yrs old if i want to keep - and thus remap it for an extra 80 or so bhp (and it does not really need it unlike the diesels) or sell and buy something cheaper and boring!! :(
 
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