Buying a second hand, or pre-loved, car, can be just as nerve wracking. Sadly, some pre-loved cars may not be was, well, loved, as others. BMWs, like any brand, fall under that umbrella..
What to look out for, then?
One of the more common issues is power loss. Top Gear covered this on a few occasions, and found that power loss was a common factor in older vehicles. That comes from pistons and the rings wearing, plus the combustion chambers will wear and clog, meaning fuel burn won’t be as efficient.
Certain electrically powered parts such as the power windows may be another area. Parts again will be subject to wear, and potentially stress on the metal arms inside the doors. There are also the switches to consider. Dirt, dust, grime, gets built up and the tops of the switches themselves will fade and wear down from constant use. This also potentially means that sourcing replacement parts may be difficult depending on the age of the car.
Underneath a car is always a hard place to get a proper look at normally. Put a car up on a hoist and inspect with a good light, and there will be tell-tale signs of fluid leaks, perhaps scrapes from speed reduction bumps, and more. Certain environments may promote rust, and this is always something worth looking for in a BMW being scoped for a buy.
If possible, take the car for a drive. Measure the feel of the steering on a left hand corner as opposed to a right hand. Is there a different “weight”, does the steering feel as if it’s pulling to one side?
How are the brakes? Is there noise? Again, does the car pull to one side under braking? How about the pedal? Does it have pressure? Is there a sinking feeling as the pedal is pushed?
Other Key Areas
Then there are the simpler things. How do the wiper blades feel? Are they hard or soft? Do they squeak as they move across the window? Does the window washer pump actually pump? Do all indicators work? How about the headlights and tail lights?
Sure, this is a potted list but any used car with a BMW badge can be subject to issues, just like any brand. However, BMW is a premium brand and some types of spare parts may be hard to find and perhaps even costly.
SouthernBM is a specialist, independent, BMW service centre. Out technicians are trained to the high standards all BMW service staff are expected to reach. As such, we can look at servicing and maintenance, upgrades and repairs, pre-purchase inspections if you’re looking at buying or changing from one BMW to another, and more.
You can contact us by phone, email, or via our contact form on our website. We’ll discuss with you what you need to, provide advice and feedback, and will treat you and your car with the courtesy you deserve.
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Published Dec 4, 2019