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Update on car that I saw...(long) (archive)

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Posted by Joe A on April 29, 2001 at 01:11:54:

Everyone,

First, I'd like to thank everyone for your valuable input. I went to look at a white 88 M3 with 85K miles that was listed for 16K. I thought I was going to find a garage queen for that price/year. Here is what I found:

1. There are no maintenance records (1 green LED left on diagnostics- Inspection 2 next). The owner said he did all of the maintenance.
2. All the leather has scuff marks on it.
3. There is a chip (about 1/2 of an M&M in size) in the windshield.
4. There seems to be a stress crack in the a pillar near the roof (about 3 mm long) that has very little rust.
5. The joint under the left rear tail-lamp assembly that joins the quarter panel and the trim panel was cracked and had some rust. The right side was intact.
6. The rear bumper was not straight from side-to-side.
7. There were some scratches on the sides of the front bumper.
8. The engine compartment looked like it had NEVER been cleaned (warning flag?).

The car did drive very well. The tires need balancing, but the suspension seemed firm and the car took some clover leaf exits with ease. The transmission shifted into 2nd with ease and the drivetrain seemed solid (no funny noises from the motor mounts). I didn't really push it. You really do have to wind up the motor to get power, but that exhaust note is sweet.

So, what do you all think? I was a little disappointed in what looks like a car that needs some TLC. I'm going to have the car looked at by a mechanic. Can anyone recommend a mechanic in Central Florida (Brevard county)? I'm a little off base with the price. I'm thinking of offering him 11K for the car. Is that reasonable?

Joe



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