In this entry – about one operation of finding and inspecting a car by customer order. I have never advertised this service. Even more – I have agreed to find a BMW only in the closest circles. I treat this process responsibly enough, and the spent time is not adequate to the possible monetary valuation. Besides:
a. the car park offered in the local market mostly is in a pitiful technical and visual condition;
b. for a potential buyer, I’m a “bad” person because, for 90+% of vehicles, I tell “horrid things”;
c. unfortunately, the “business” of the car looking locally is in “diapers”. People (many of them) have a feeling that even the pre-purchase check-up even of expensive and complicated cars is a question of 20 .. 30 EUR. Including driving to check the car on-site. Say, for what to pay – the man with a computer and several other tools will make circles around the car and “meditate”. Besides, the customer’s typical reaction – say, if the car turns out a complete disaster, I still have to pay for the bad news. Instead, if the car is fine – why do I need that person with a computer at all. I can deal without it!
I will not concentrate on current cars in this entry, but I will mention information, which can be useful for a maximum wide range of readers. I will try to keep certain confidentiality because, to publish “defamatory” information, I would have to give precise and conclusive evidence (printouts of tests and measurements, etc.). This entry’s task is a bit different, besides – when you will read this article, most probably, described cars will already be sold to some “lucky” person.
Delivering the car from Germany
Before starting the inspection of the local “masterpieces”, I called one of the largest local car centers, which on the Internet advertises car delivery from Germany. Let’s call it a car center BPC.
They claim that they are the “official” partner of This is complete rubbish.
The manager admitted that due to Covid, the car inspections on-site are not possible. But he announced that it is straightforward to “diagnose” the car remotely. What, please? ”Everything could be seen in the pictures very clearly”! Diagnose the BMW, using only pictures? Impressive.
I asked about the conditions for their services. Costs are about EUR 600 for delivery and 5% of the car’s price for their “service”. I tried to find out what is included in this “service”. They show several images of the cars from, the customer by himself chooses the car, which should be delivered (and, accordingly, takes responsibility). And that’s it? Well, there are “risks” during delivery. Well, those are lies – services of the official trailer are insured.
I asked about the customer’s protection if any defects, which are not mentioned in the contract, appear. In the developed countries – when the car is purchased from the legal person, the buyer – a physical person -typically has two months, during which he can return the car to the seller. Yes, the manager confirmed that it is true, but if you buy the car with the BPC company’s help, this protection is not active. The reason is simple – the company BPC should offer identical return conditions, but this “official partner” does not offer anything.
You will pay 5% for exactly nothing, and in bonus, you lose the possibility to return the car, if it has some defects. An impressive business! Additionally, the intermediary “puts in his pocket” also some discount, which the seller typically offers. Accordingly, the intermediary does not even offer the cars whose sellers don’t offer the discounts. As a result, you will actually pay 8 .. 10% more than the car’s price, additionally losing the customer protection tools. Unfortunately, such a business exists for years, but I haven’t heard any indignation.
I would like to oppose the skeptics, who are ready to say, “well, if the car can pass TI, everything is perfect”. TI actually has almost no connection with the technical condition of the car! In the case of BMW, the difference between a car, which can pass TI, and the car, which is in technical order, could be 5000 .. 10’000 EUR (or even more). Not even talking about the fact that the car can miss the SRS system, the car can be a “Frankenstein” – put together from several other cars, the car can be “well beaten, but poorly repaired”.
What could be so expensive for a used BMW? For example:
Set of the injectors: till EUR 2000;
Exhaust: till 5000 EUR;
Headlights/backlights: several thousand EUR, etc.
As all surveyed car delivery services admitted that they would not perform even symbolic diagnostics and on-site inspections, this service was abandoned.
The car inspection “on-site”
We are looking for: E6x; E9x, only petrol engine, highly desirable – manual gearbox.
For several reasons, diesel engines are not considered, and I also suggest that others not consider them.
Most recommendable from petrol engines: “the good old” M54; also N52 would do, in the worst-case – N42/N46. If something good appears, even N54/55. After careful selection, N43/N53 will do, but here we have to understand: these engines are much more expensive when the time for repair works comes.
The budget – without a strict limitation. All possibilities were checked, identifying repair costs for the car to be brought in good order. The car was not searched by the principal “the newer the year, the better chances to sell it later”. The available exemplars are in the range of 4000 .. 8000 EUR.
Checking the available advertisements, the ones with incorrect VIN numbers were discarded. I have no problem playing a detective, but I can not accept fraudulent treatment. Not showing the VIN number and not taking pictures of driver’s seat and typically more worn-out interior parts, not taking images of other defects – I consider it a deplorable practice. I don’t want to waste time-on-site finding numerous versions of “to the Moon and back”.
In several car lots, I talked to the sellers. Nothing has changed lately. People are still buying the cheapest from the cheaper. Worn out from the worn out. Diesel engines with damaged DPF filters, all – with damaged CO catalytic converters, leaking injectors. Smoky, stinky. The cars, which can not pass TI in the developed countries. I asked if it is possible to deliver any “normal” car; all of them looked at me like a madman and told – are you crazy? Such a car in Germany will cost at least 30% more! Plus delivery. Who will pay for it?
Their words were confirmed by the things seen in the car lots. The view is pitiful.
First example. E91 with an N52 series engine. The oil was as if changed 100km ago. The HVAs make so much noise that they can be heard on the other side of the city. When the Valvetronic starts to work, the engine switches to 4,5 cylinders. Of course, the seller says: “only 300 EUR should be spent, only HVAs should be replaced”. These are lies because “only” the HVA set can cost 3 times more. In addition to this problem – the CO catalytic converters are demolished, its replacement will cost around EUR 1500. And finally – if the oil was not changed in time, it means – the piston group of the engine is demolished. The engine should be replaced; there is nothing to repair anymore. Additionally – the rear right corner was strongly crashed, “I wonder why” the varnish is peeling off from it and also from the roof. I assume the car was totalized. It is not even to waste time reading the error messages, checking the SRS system, not other signs. But the selling price does not indicate that the crap yard candidate is on sale.
Second example. E91 with N43 engine. Almost no error messages in the electronic blocks. A perfect car? After starting the car, the engine shivers, smells on fuel – obviously, (at least) one injector is leaking. I check the History error messages (they have not managed to delete them): endless error messages regarding oil pressure; CO catalytic converters; NOx catalytic converters; NOx sensor. Data of at least two injectors – unsatisfying. Here, the repair costs of the engine and the exhaust will cost at least 3000 EUR. Additionally: strongly crashed (also) the right side, 3 doors replaced, also all removable parts on the front, both front and rear geometry has been damaged. The car lot’s seller with interest observed for 15 minutes; what am I telling to the potential buyer – one horror story after another. But in the pictures and also in the description the car looks so good… ”In a perfect technical and visual condition, no investments are needed”. And even not of the cheapest ones.
Third example. E60 with an N52 series engine. The interior – on 200’000 mileage it looks, that a 180kg heavy hippopotamus has been sitting in the driver’s seat. The legend tells that the driver was a lady. All outside corners of the doors are beaten; there is no color on them. It will rust during the first winter. The rear part of the car was decorated with a hologram “chip tuning by XXXX.” The classic of the genre – noisy HVAs; the Start/Stop button, and other pressable parts – is completely worn out. The price of this “perfect” car was even higher than for previous examples; unfortunately, it did not make any sense to continue the inspection.
Unfortunately, the other examples in the car lots were only variations regarding previous examples.
Such, worn out till the end, craps can be bought for EUR 4000 till EUR 7500. Without any illusions – all these cars were found on the way to the junkyard. Bought them for EUR 1000 .. 2000.
Finally, a car, which was privately brought from Germany two weeks ago, appeared on the horizon. E60, M54 series engine. Extras: Pro navigation, sunroof, cruise control, electrical seats with memory, black leather (I don’t like leather, but – at least it’s not a white interior with a 3kg of filler), adaptive xenon headlights.
Yes, the replaceable parts (engine hood, side wings) on the front have been changed. But the geometry has not been damaged. The right side rear ark has been slightly damaged, but the frame is not damaged. Something has been done to the right rear corner, but the repair was done a long time ago and in excellent quality.
But from the different I should mention:
a. although the mileage is 200’000km, the interior looks adequate. The doors are not hit. All gaps of the body – correct. Wear of the steering wheel, pannel – correct (could not be compared with ones, seen in the car lots);
b. in no place the filling of the body parts has been done; levers on the running gear – original (nothing has been replaced: additional confirmation, that there have been no strong hits on suspension/geometry). When the car was put on a car lift, a view as of 3x younger car. It is clear that the car was driving long distances on good highways, haven’t seen any countryside roads and salt. All rubber parts of the running gear – “alive” (both the large bushings, “swimming” bushings and small bushings also), no free movement of any lever;
c. switching of the gearbox – as for a completely new gearbox! The engine runs quietly, with no noise from the HVAs. All live data are correct. CO catalytic converters in working order – live data clearly indicate that they are burning the oxygen;
d. as if a small thing, but actually not – the car has nice alloy wheels and almost new Continental winter tires. Without any illusions – if the car got to the car lot, these tires would be sold separately or mounted on a “buddy” car.
Yes, the LM (light management) block has been replaced, but it is not even encoded accordingly – there is an error message regarding the headlights’ functionality. Yes, there are typical CCC multimedia defects, which will be repaired.
The seller has replaced the damaged wing on the driver’s side, rubber for the driver’s doors, engine valve cover gasket. Before TI, the brake pipes on the bottom part were replaced – the seller noticed that there are small cracks. At this moment, I will let me say – of course, the car passed TI without any remarks. I have to admit – the attitude of the seller was a pleasant surprise to me.
About what is this long story? It’s about the fact that cars in the same price category can be in incomparable technical condition. It’s about that that most part of cars is pitifully worn out. It’s about that, that I don’t know, how the service, to which such rubbish is brought, should act.
Finally – I will go back once again to the car, which is equipped with an N43 series engine. As I already mentioned, the error messages were freshly deleted; the seller was sure that no one would notice anything. And on a large scale, he was right. Even the dealer would not notice anything! Additionally, all critical error messages (for example, CO catalytic converters, injectors, NOx system) will repeatedly appear only after several hundreds of km, additionally – when the car will drive evenly, on the highway. Imagine the situation – the buyer performs such a check-up at the specialized service (or at the dealer center). Nothing bad has been noticed. After 500km turns out that the exhaust, injectors, expensive sensors are damaged. Repair: at least 5000 .. 6000 EUR! Not even considering that due to not-in-time changed oil (and problems with its pressure), most probably, the engine is “done”.
You will say – it can’t be true! Here, the most expensive parts:
3 injectors: 1000 EUR
CO catalytic converters: 1500 EUR
NOx catalytic converters: 2000 EUR
NOx sensor: 500 EUR
So much can cost twelve years old, for “only” EUR 6500 bought BMW. And this is only beginning because the problems with the body and the geometry are not canceled! And, possibly, that in the “blacklists” would get both”the service, who noticed these defects, and the service, who didn’t notice them!