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View Full Version : Time for a new car. Advice appreciated



Simonhla
11-29-2009, 10:12 PM
I have cherished and loved my Celica for 17 years now and she is still in beautiful condition. In fact a put new struts, strut mounts and springs on her less than 5K miles ago as well as an engine rebuild in the last 10K. However the time has come for us to part ways. I'll always love my Celi but it's time to move up the ladder.

What I need is advice. I am pretty set on getting a used BMW, probably a 3 series coupe, but I live in Chicago and I worried about the issue of having rwd in the winter months. I see tons of then around the city and I can't imagine they all, if any, have awd, so what's the skinny? Will a rwd rwd 3 series be rendered a death trap or undriveable in the deep of winter or am I frantic over nothing?

I'd also love suggestions on cars if anyone has any. As well as tips on buying used cars. What to look for etc. I found a couple of dealer sold 3 series out of state in places like Texas and i am pretty interested.

Here is one for example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2002-BMW-325I-SPORT-PKG-SUNROOF-XENON-WOOD-TRIM-61K-MI_W0QQitemZ350283634640QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Cars _Trucks?hash=item518e8817d0

Here is maybe a more sensible awd option. Yet I don't like the 4 door.

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/cto/1486867184.html

Help please! This will be the biggest purchase of my life so far!
I will also be selling my beloved Celi and will put a posting up in the for sale section.

Murgatroy
11-29-2009, 10:15 PM
RWD is fine in the snow. Just be sensible.

Ryan
11-29-2009, 10:20 PM
If you get a rwd vehicle, the key is, make sure it has traction control, good snow tires, and sand bags or some weight in the trunk/hatch. If you do this, you will be fine, even if you just get snow tires and weight it will be alright.

I drove a Infiniti q45, which is a rwd sedan that has a v8 in it for a whole winter a couple years ago. It had bald tires, and no traction control, and I had to drive 30 miles one way to work every morning. It sucked, but you get used to it and can compensate when you start losing traction.

Ghosty
11-29-2009, 10:35 PM
RWD doesn't mean inevitable death in the snow. If that were true, nobody would drive them in the winter.

Did you know it's actually common to see RWD rally cars? They do exist - and there used to be more of them than AWD. And we're talking about extreme conditions with that. The GA70 Supra was once the Toyota works' rally entry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY99hfJBAF4

Like most cars, it's how you use them. You can get into trouble with an AWD car, just like you can with a FWD car or a RWD car. FWD and AWD have a little margin of safety when it comes to what the car actually does when it looses grip - that is, typically, understeer, straight forward. For untrained drivers, understeer is easier to compensate for than oversteer (which would cause the rear end of the car to whip forward, typically followed by driver over correction, and an uncontrolled spin).

I see AWD as more of a luxury item on cars. They're nice, but you should still be able to use the car in most snowy/icy conditions without.

Simonhla
11-29-2009, 10:38 PM
Thanks for all of the really quick replies. I feel a lot more comfortable now. Any thoughts on the ebay car I am looking at? Very nervous to make this purchase.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2002-BMW-325I-SPORT-PKG-SUNROOF-XENON-WOOD-TRIM-61K-MI_W0QQitemZ350283634640QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Cars _Trucks?hash=item518e8817d0

and

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2002-BMW-330Ci-330-Ci-AUTO-TIPTRONIC-ROOF-XENON-17-RIMS_W0QQitemZ360210954072QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Ca rs_Trucks?hash=item53de3ef758

More miles, better model, Tiptronic gear box. Probably get it for cheaper.

Any thoughts?
Am I crazy to buy it out of state? I figured a Texas car would have absolutely no rust compared to a Chicago car.

Ghosty
11-29-2009, 10:57 PM
Thanks for all of the really quick replies. I feel a lot more comfortable now. Any thoughts on the ebay car I am looking at? Very nervous to make this purchase.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2002-BMW-325I-SPORT-PKG-SUNROOF-XENON-WOOD-TRIM-61K-MI_W0QQitemZ350283634640QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Cars _Trucks?hash=item518e8817d0

and

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2002-BMW-330Ci-330-Ci-AUTO-TIPTRONIC-ROOF-XENON-17-RIMS_W0QQitemZ360210954072QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Ca rs_Trucks?hash=item53de3ef758

More miles, better model, Tiptronic gear box. Probably get it for cheaper.

Any thoughts?
Am I crazy to buy it out of state? I figured a Texas car would have absolutely no rust compared to a Chicago car.

A Texas car would not be exposed to road salt, so that is a plus. But if the car spent most of its operational life near the salty air of the Gulf coast, I'd be cautious and look for rust anyway.

I'd also be cautious of any BMW. I've heard they're not cheap to fix. That's not a problem for people who can afford the repair bill, but it's not something I'd do to myself.

Blackcloud
11-30-2009, 12:14 AM
buy a duramax... ill sell you mine for $34k


and rwd does fine in the snow.

85gtsblackman
11-30-2009, 01:10 AM
my buddy has a 325i vert as a beater, i like it cept for some electrical grimlins and parts cost 3 times as much as toyota parts

joe's gt
11-30-2009, 01:52 AM
05-09 legacy gt

85gtsblackman
11-30-2009, 02:50 AM
eventually im going to get another 05-09 legacy, that would be my 2nd choice, 1st would be a lexus IS

joe's gt
11-30-2009, 04:24 AM
eventually im going to get another 05-09 legacy, that would be my 2nd choice, 1st would be a lexus IS

haha. I recommend that to everyone after u first turned me on to it. I started researching and talking to buddies and with awd, incredible handling, a reliable turbo motor, plenty of room for 4, and a 2700 lb towing capacity it is like the perfect all-around daily and also a little classier than a wrx imo.

Simonhla
11-30-2009, 04:50 AM
In my price range though, the older legacy's are somewhat ugly to be honest. In order to drive a car I also have to love how it looks. The legacy isn't winning many points with me.

I'm currently looking at a 325XI with 87K mi. Think I can get it for about $9K providing I get a Pre Purchase Inspection and clean carfax report. It has AWD and a cold weather package. It's also gorgeous looking:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300370499935&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT

Dealer is local so I am going to go and check it out. Been on the Bimmerforums.com and compiled a list of things to look for and expect maintenance wise so I am going to check to see if any of those have already been dealt with. Any thoughts?

I'll check out the Lexus IS

Grot
11-30-2009, 04:57 AM
The is250 is generally plain. look at 300 or 350

klapa
12-06-2009, 06:32 PM
I would go along with many here as far as a Legacy is concerned - I bought a 1992 for my wife to use as a first car about seven years ago - paid $1500 for it and it runs to this very day - all the power things (windows, mirrors, cruise control) still work fine - only had to get the CV joints replaced in all that time. If I hadn't let my son drive it - it would still be a good looking car as well. With the AWD - its great in the snow - we had 2 feet of snow here about a month after I got this car, and I really enjoyed tooling around watching all the 2WD Explorers trying to get out of the supermarket parking lot.

Aside from that - I've no experience with BMW cars, but much experience with their motorcycles, having owned four of them over the years. I found as many here have noted that the parts costs are quite steep. Same goes for Honda and Acura. Which is why I'm a "Toyota person" - the parts are readily available and not so costly. As my wife now drives the "nice car" - I always drive an inexpensive used car - and in my experience it's really hard to beat Toyota for longevity and maintenance costs.

Simonhla
12-07-2009, 11:16 PM
So I finally bit the bullet and bought a new car. 2002 Black BMW 330ci, 73K mi. Absolutely beautiful, fantastic condition. Love it. And it's really, really quick. 225hp, 214lbs torque. Might give it a little tune ;)

Thanks for all the advice. Time to sell up the Celica.

Futant3
12-08-2009, 03:04 AM
While its true that BMW parts are not cheap, they can run forever and have good engineering. They are all about preventative maintenance to avoid the big dollar parts.

Pics?

Simonhla
12-08-2009, 03:47 AM
While its true that BMW parts are not cheap, they can run forever and have good engineering. They are all about preventative maintenance to avoid the big dollar parts.

Pics?

Yes I'll be putting up pics soon. Maybe this weekend if the weather is nice.

I am discovering the world of BMW is very similiar to the world of Celica. Why? First mod......Clear Corners, reflectors and sidemarkers!

Nitro_Alltrac
12-08-2009, 06:01 PM
They are all about preventative maintenance to avoid the big dollar parts.

Pics?

This is really true about all cars. Do the maintenance and take care of them and you're good to go!

geebes
12-09-2009, 06:31 AM
I agree with the Subie guys.

Hipster Lawrence
12-09-2009, 06:05 PM
i like it cept for some electrical grimlins and parts cost 3 times as much as toyota parts

You say this about everything.

I've never heard about ANY BMW repeat wiring problems. Now the cooling systems are a different story.

They are expensive to own no doubt but if you are good to them they will be good to you.

Cavanagh
12-09-2009, 06:11 PM
1st would be a lexus IS
:wiggle: :bigthumbu

85gtsblackman
12-09-2009, 08:50 PM
no larry i say that about german cars

volkswagon is the worst, after 5 years get a new car, repeat

bmw, after 10-15 years, get a new electical system

i like bmws i just wouldnt have a older one every person i know with a bmw thats 8 + years older has had some electrical issue, and new ones are expensive, id go with a subaru legacy or a lexus at that point

and parts are expensive, but then toyota parts are expensive but last a hell of a lot longer, especailly when u got a r series engine

im torn between rwd and awd, i love rwd for the fun factor and the feel, i love awd for the forgivingness, and wet traction

ChrisD
12-09-2009, 09:00 PM
My parents have two 3 series BMW's. One is RWD, one is AWD.

I can say that the AWD version handles amazing in the winter. That said, with winter tires, the RWD is just fine in the ice and snow. And we can get it pretty bad here. (hey look, it's snowing right now) Winter tires are key (for any vehicle IMHO) when driving in poor snow/ice conditions.

They DD both of the cars, never had any issues. For the most part, they are great cars.

Simonhla
12-10-2009, 06:06 AM
Well I've only had it 3 days and I can say that so far I absolutely LOVE IT! This car handles ridiculously well and is very quick. Couldn't be happier. Did my homework before the purchase so am going to do a preventative overhaul of the cooling system to prevent any issues in the future. These cars last forever if you take care of them.

I'm not going to lie, a big part of why I wanted this car is the way it looks. A used legacy or Lexus from the same period '02-04 just can't hold a candle to a 3 series coupe. Mine is jet black with black tint. It's gorgeous. Style is very under rated. It's the main reason I fell in love with the Celica and the reason it carries it's age so well. IMO the Legacy is pretty ugly. The new ones are ok but the older ones, not so much... The IS300 and 350 are pretty nice and they are rockin' inside but they are still not as sexy as the 3 series.

I had to get an Automatic (for the wifey) but this comes with a steptronic transmission so I can drive it like a manual whenever i want. I am one happy camper let me tell you. I'll post pics sometime soon.

I am currently riding all seasons on the RWD in Chicago. It's been snowing for 2 days. Nothing brutal and i haven't had any real problems. I only really do freeway and city driving so the roads are all well salted. I am tempted to try and make it right through the winter on these tires before I buy a sweet set of rims for the summer. Am I mad and am I going to need winter tires for sure? if so I may as well get them now.

Simonhla
12-15-2009, 10:34 PM
So here are some long overdue pics of the new ride. This is Pre-Mods. Sometime in the next two weeks I will be putting clear corners, reflectors and side markers on it, black plates frames, wheel spacers, projector headlights and LED Tails. All already ordered. Come the summer I'll be shelling out for a really nice set of wheels and wider tires. Sad to see Celi go but happy to see Bimmer arrive.

http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/4453/frontfkb.jpg

http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/6594/rearelevatede.jpg

http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/5605/frontsideelevated.jpg

joe's gt
12-16-2009, 06:07 AM
Sexay!

Simonhla
12-17-2009, 03:57 AM
Sexay!

Thanks! Today I put Xenon headlights, LED tails and rear wheel spacers on her. Now looks even sexier. I'll have the clear corners next week and after that all that is left are the wheels!

Simonhla
03-15-2010, 02:51 AM
Well I don't have a Celi anymore which sux but I want to keep posting on here so I guess you are all just going to have to put up with me posting infrequent updates on my new car. Here she is now that I have added the clear corners and xenon headlights. I also spaced out the wheels a bit so that they sit more flush with the fenders. (sorry for the sh**ty iPhone pic.

http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/6462/img0129gj.jpg

This week it is going ot start to get really interesting though. Here's a quick list of what is going on:

New control arms, ball joints, front control arm busings, rear trailing arm bushings, tierods, upgraded (M3) front sway bar, new endlinks, upgraded rear sway, new rear sway brackets, reinforced rear shock mounts, Koni FSD shocks, Eibach Pro kit springs.

So pretty much a complete suspension overhaul. It's very inbvolved work so I ended up taking it to an indy shop instead of DIYing. Whole thing including parts is going to set me back $2500 including the alignments. But my god I bet this thing will be unreal when it is all done.

Then...(yes there is more)...I will have new 18" rims going on (currently has 17's, most people seem to go to 19's but i don't want the extra weight, plus Chicago roads really suck)...current tire size is 205/50/17 all round. Will be upgrading to 225/40/18 up front and 255/35/18 in the rear. Rims are 18x8.5 up front and 18x9.5 in rear. I will be posting pics up when this is done. The rims are just gorgeous.

Finally....(yes I can't believe I have any money left either)...I have an M3 steering wheel going in (No M3 emblem...I've learned my lesson with out of place badges) and M3 front seats with the inflatable side bolsters......drool. All in black leather to match my existing interior.

Other mods I have done to the car since I bought it, Angel eyes (will post pics...I went with oem style rather than hyper white aftermkaret), xenon headlights, clear corners, LED M3 tails (which I love) and Dice iPod integration kit. This converted my ashtray into an ipod dock which looks like it came from the factory. The ipod displaty comes through the head unit and is controllable from the steering wheel. Bets mod ever. Only $300 for the whole thing.

FYI this car is a 2001. Looks much newer.

So unless anyone objects I will be posting lots of pics in the next few weeks.

Grot
03-15-2010, 03:13 AM
Must see more.

Simonhla
03-15-2010, 04:49 AM
Must see more.

Don't worry mate. There are going to be tons of epic pics in the next few weeks. Starting on Wednesday when it goes to the shop.

The final version should be pant wettingly gorgeous.

Da MuNMaN
03-18-2010, 05:34 PM
Are you gonna lower the BMW?

Simonhla
03-19-2010, 04:11 AM
Are you gonna lower the BMW?

Yes...in fact, I have already done so. I did it all yesterday. I pretty much overhauled the entire suspension. Had a little hiccup when I found that the company had sent me one of the front shocks wrongly, so I am still running stock shocks on the front. The new ones should go on very soon. However, I do have the lowering springs on already as well as a ton of other stuff (new rear shocks, thicker sways, all new bushings, control arms, ball joints etc).

Drove it today to work and it was unreal. Just frickin unreal. Can't wait to put the front shocks in. Will be about 2 weeks. I took a ton of photos of the install and will be posting them up soon. I have new wheels coming in on Monday so I should get those on by wednesday. At that point I'll defo put some pics up.

VikingJZ
03-20-2010, 02:45 PM
That's a very nice car man. I think black turn signals would have looked better.That thing will be sick with a lot of black accessories.

goretro77
03-20-2010, 02:53 PM
a friend always has his wife's BMW tires swapped for snows at the beginning of winter. Dedicated snow tires, small sandbag in the trunk and sensible driving style during winter you through winter.

Simonhla
03-27-2010, 04:04 AM
SO here are the latest pics with the drop and the new wheels. God damn I love this car. Sorry for the low quality pics.

http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/8668/photo56657.jpg

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/5751/photo4s.jpg

http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/4111/photo2c.jpg

http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/2743/photo1kr.jpg

VikingJZ
03-27-2010, 04:35 AM
SEX.

Needs black corner lenses though.

bzdweezy
03-27-2010, 04:36 AM
very clean bimmer

do you look back at it everytime you park just to check it out one last time and smile??

Simonhla
03-27-2010, 09:58 PM
very clean bimmer

do you look back at it everytime you park just to check it out one last time and smile??

Absolutely. Sometimes more than once. It's a running joke with my coworkers.

Every day when I come out of work I see finger prints all over the car from people checking it out. Annoying but flattering.


SEX.

Needs black corner lenses though.

I'm toying with the idea. I think the clears looks more OEM which is more my style but they are only $20 approx so I may just pic up a pair and see how they look. The tails are clears too but with LED's. Awesome. Not changing those for smoked ones for sure.

Nitro_Alltrac
03-29-2010, 10:34 PM
Looking really good!

Simonhla
10-24-2010, 06:29 AM
Hey guys. It's been ages since I have been on here but thought I'd just swing by and say hi. Here's a quick update on the Bimmer situation. Been working hard on her. It's proving to be an expensive hobby. Although I have learned how to DIY properly. Hope all is well in Celica World.

Before:

http://img183.imageshack.us/img183/5605/frontsideelevated.jpg

After:

http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/386/cleanedupjpeg.jpg

bzdweezy
10-25-2010, 06:13 PM
Looks great man, are your wheels staggered?

Simonhla
10-26-2010, 08:12 PM
Looks great man, are your wheels staggered?

Yes. With 225 tires on an 18x8.5 rim up front and 255 on an 18x9.5 rim in the rear. I could have gone with 19's but that's too much 'show' and not enough 'go' for my tastes. Stock on the 330 is 17.

Simonhla
02-27-2013, 04:46 AM
Oops. Happened over the summer. Was hard to take because I put so much time, effort, love and above cash into modding the hell out of the car. On the plus side, the insurance company gave me 3K more than I paid for it, even though it was two years older and had 30K extra miles on it. Didn't come close to the fortune I put into it though. Valuable lesson learned.

http://img507.imageshack.us/img507/9073/photo4iv.jpg

bzdweezy
03-04-2013, 08:04 AM
Bummer, sorry to see that. i hope you're ok physically. What are your plans now?

klapa
03-05-2013, 02:35 AM
YEA -Glad to think you and yours are OK.

The old GT lives a life again after the BHG - and is much loved to this day.

Regards,

klapa