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      09-25-2016, 07:40 PM   #1
cozmicf
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How often do 135is pop up for sale? Looking to buy

So I've got a VW Golf at the moment but looking to upgrade to something with a bit more grunt. Enter the 135i

I've been looking on carsales for the last two weeks, and have found a few suitable candidates, but none are quite close enough. Mind you, I still have to sell my current car before I can fund the new one, so it will take me a few weeks before I can pull the trigger, unless I buy it from a dealership and trade in (and likely get screwed on the trade-in value).

My question is, how often do 135is actually pop up in the market (and where exactly, I've been using carsales mainly), and should I keep waiting for the right one to appear?

I live in Melbourne, and am not averse to importing from NSW since there seems to be more range there, but it'll be hard to check from here what the car is actually like and to get it inspected by a mechanic. Anyone have experience on this process?

My ideal car is as follows:
-E82 (definitely not the convertible)
-Manual (maaybbe DCT)
-White/Blue/Black/Silver (in that order) Exterior
-$25-30k
-<90,000km, full service history
-M-Sport (I read somewhere they all are M-Sport in Australia, is this true?)
-Bluetooth (do they all come with bluetooth?)
-Tan/Black/Cream interior
-IDrive if possible but not a dealbreaker of course - how good is IDrive anyway?

I haven't even test driven a 135i, but am pretty sure I still want one. It's proving hard to find someone who'll let me test drive one!

Last edited by cozmicf; Yesterday at 07:46 AM.
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      09-25-2016, 10:04 PM   #2
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Quite a few seem to. Price has dropped about 5k in the last 12months and expect to keep falling. I got mine from Melbourne as they seem to have a few nicer examples. I would personally try and get a car with more highway km (these cars take a long time to warm up and the short stints aren't great for it). Also a lot of rubber components go bad if they sit around. Most important would be to get a car owned by an enthusiast who has gone beyond the suboptimal bmw service recommendations.

Try look for one with a replaced hfpf, injectors, waterpump as they are the most common high ticket items that go wrong.

I have usually recommended my friends to not get these if they aren't prepared for all the possible maintenance issues that arise.

I have the original ccc Idrive, and honestly it's a quick simple system, usb for music and gps is ok. I have a magnet mount for my phone for anythin else.
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      Yesterday, 01:04 AM   #3
cozmicf
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Thanks for the info!

Do you know if the HFPF, injectors, and waterpump are things that go wrong with the newer N55 engine 135is?

It's good to know that the IDrive isn't a dealbreaker then, considering I'll be using my phone for GPS anyway. All I really need is bluetooth.
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      Yesterday, 01:40 AM   #4
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A timely thread for me.

I've been looking for a White Auto 135i for the wife.

From keeping an eye on the market over the last few months a lot of them seem to be listed for quite some time. Some are way over priced as well and they are clearly not motivated to sell.

We were originally looking at 125i's but thought it was silly not to spend the extra couple of grand for a 135i.
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      Yesterday, 01:46 AM   #5
cozmicf
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It's hard to gauge exactly what price they should be. Having said that though I feel like 25-30k is the right ballpark for the manual 135i with less than 90,000kms that I'm looking for. Just gotta wait for the right colour really. Also, manuals seem to be outnumbered by a fair factor, though I would be open to trying the DCT.
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      Yesterday, 05:32 AM   #6
thezone135i
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Don't discount the steptronic. Its quicker off the mark than both the manual and DCT as you can take off hard in 2nd gear and dont need to change till 80km/h+ and with an Alpina flash has lightning quick gear changes.

Prior to getting a 135i I was a manual gti man and I wanted a manual but I ended up with a steptronic as you can get a good one with decent kays for a lot cheaper than the other two.

Everyone has their own personal taste but I would recommend you drive all 3, I have driven a manual and whilst they are certainly nice to drive I still prefer the step (actually I would have both in the garage if the mrs would let me!).

I don't think I would ever touch another dual clutch gear box, twitchy, hesitant things. I hate 'em.

Oh and I have never had any issues with my HFPF, injectors or waterpump and I'm on 110k now.
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      Yesterday, 05:33 AM   #7
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at your price point, it might be tough to get an n55 DCT model. They came out circa 2011.
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      Yesterday, 07:19 AM   #8
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There are almost 100 listed for sale. A new one seems to pop into the market every few days. They aren't exactly scarce. There are also a few on Gumtree that aren't listed on Carsales.

Your price point is pretty much bang-on for a pre-update manual with around 100,000 km. You will have a hard time finding an update model with DCT for that price. They are still fetching above $35,000 (mainly because they are much newer and haven't had a chance to accumulate much mileage).

I would also advise against restricting your search strictly to < 90,000 km. If you can find a well-cared for example that has up to 120,000, I wouldn't hesitate. It will save you from having to pay for the 100,000 km service as it should already have been done. I bought mine with 111,000 on it. It's an '08 Sapphire Black on Coral Red manual that I bought about 6 months ago for $24,000.

To answer some of your questions;
Yes, all 135is delivered to Australia come standard with the sport package.
All pre-update cars come with bluetooth (phone calls only. It doesn't stream music. That MAY be different for cars with iDrive). They have aux and USB inputs for music, however.
The older version of iDrive is terrible. It was updated in '09 and apparently the interface was significantly more user-friendly. For that reason, I would recommend you search for a '09 model if you're intent on having iDrive. The easy way to tell whether or not is has the updated iDrive is to look at the screen. If it is a fold down/flip up screen, it's the old one. If it has a fixed screen, it's the new version.

Also, don't be afraid of looking interstate. 3 out of my 4 previous cars have been bought form Melbourne/Sydney. It's bit more arduous but it is worth it for the right car. Air fares are cheap, this forum is a great resource for finding people who can help you out or recommend shops for the inspection etc, and you could easily drive one from Adelaide or Sydney back to Melbourne in the same day. Also, transport isn't as expensive as you might imagine. I once got a quote for $1100 to ship a car from Brisbane to Adelaide. So if you find the right car for a good price interstate, don't let that put you off.
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      Yesterday, 07:45 AM   #9
cozmicf
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Thanks for your detailed response!

I might consider the steptronic, could surely get them much cheaper.

Yeah there are quite a few on carsales, just waiting on one that's just right.

I'm wary of high Ks as I've read these cars aren't as reliable as they could be, especially the one with the N54. That said, could it be assumed that if a car has survived at least 100,000km that its parts have either survived the whole time (HPFP, injectors, waterpump, etc) and are not faulty (though might go in the future just due to wear and tear), or instead that they have been replaced already? Would this make getting a car with over 100ks a safer bet than one with 70ks or whenever the HPFP tends to fail? Increasing my tolerance above 90,000km will save me a lot now, so it is very tempting!

What is the ball park figure for each of those major repairs? If I could get a 135i for $24k, I could use the remaining $6k as a safety net for repairs, would that cover it? How much is the 100,000 service btw?

I have been searching NSW, ACT, and SA as well, and it seems NSW has some pretty good candidates and good prices. The only problem is all the effort of ensuring it's good to go from here. What if I fly there and there's a huge problem I just couldn't have picked up on from here? How do you guys deal with this?
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      Yesterday, 07:46 AM   #10
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I'm in a very similar position to you - upgrading from a Golf GTI and looking at the 135i. As others have said, there's no shortage of these on the market - just very few in the spec I'm looking for (N55 with 6MT). There was a really nice silver N54 with 6MT that went for $25k from a dealer just a week or so back, so they're definitely around if you keep an eye on carsales.

So, who wants to part with their N55 6MT? :P
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      Yesterday, 10:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cozmicf View Post
I'm wary of high Ks as I've read these cars aren't as reliable as they could be, especially the one with the N54. That said, could it be assumed that if a car has survived at least 100,000km that its parts have either survived the whole time (HPFP, injectors, waterpump, etc) and are not faulty (though might go in the future just due to wear and tear), or instead that they have been replaced already? Would this make getting a car with over 100ks a safer bet than one with 70ks or whenever the HPFP tends to fail? Increasing my tolerance above 90,000km will save me a lot now, so it is very tempting!

What is the ball park figure for each of those major repairs? If I could get a 135i for $24k, I could use the remaining $6k as a safety net for repairs, would that cover it? How much is the 100,000 service btw?

I have been searching NSW, ACT, and SA as well, and it seems NSW has some pretty good candidates and good prices. The only problem is all the effort of ensuring it's good to go from here. What if I fly there and there's a huge problem I just couldn't have picked up on from here? How do you guys deal with this?
At the 100,000 km mark, the HPFP has either been replaced or it isn't faulty. It is certainly arguable that, in this respect, it is almost better to buy a higher-mileage car. With any luck, the seller will have receipts for all maintenance that has been performed and will be able to show you when (if) it was done.

A new one will set you back anywhere from $500 to $1000. That is really the only major concern. Budget for a new water pump just to be safe (only a few hundred dollars). Other than that, the injectors are the main thing to worry about. If you buy something in the $24,000 range, the rest of your budget will be more than enough to cover the cost of any needed maintenance.

I'm not sure exactly what the 100,000 km service entails but from memory it might be an Inspection II. So things like diff fluid, brake fluid, serpentine belts and air filters might need attention and it will be more costly than a regular service. My car also had both front and rear brakes replaced at 96,000 km so that might be something else to think about and check if it has been done. This forum is a plethora of information, so do some searching about costs associated with certain repairs. You can almost halve the maintenance costs of these things if you source your own parts and can do some of the more basic repairs yourself. There are plenty of DIYs in the DIY section of the forum.

As for buying a car interstate, do the following;
Call the seller and just talk about the car. You can generally get a good feel for how a car has been looked after by how the owner speaks about it.
Ask them to send you photos of the service booklets. If it doesn't have a service history, walk away as fast as you can unless you are getting it for an absolute steal of a price. Even then, be wary.
Ask the seller if they would be happy for you to have a pre-purchase inspection done at a shop of your choice at your expense. In my experience, sellers have always agreed to this. If they don't, it may be a good indication that they are not confident in what they're selling.
Ask them to send you photos of every scratch and ding they can find.
If the car has been on the market for a while, you can use the fact that you need to travel and transport the car as leverage for negotiating the price. If it is at a dealer, most will be willing to include freight into the price and help you organise it.

Doing the above will generally give you a pretty good idea about the car. If everything sounds like it checks out, then organise a plane ticket and go check it out. See if the seller is willing to perhaps pick you up from the airport. That way you can test drive it straight away and can save on paying for a cab to the seller's house. Spend $30 online to buy an OBD scanner and take it with you. Plug it in and scan for codes. Drive it to the shop that you've arranged with the seller to have the inspection done. That will tell you everything you need to know about the car.

Just be prepared to walk away if you test drive it and find it has major issues, or if the inspection uncovers any nasty surprises. Do your research to know what sort of thing can cause what issues and have a general idea of repair costs for those issues. For example, some people might be scared out of a purchase if the car has a slight steering shake, but that slight shake could be something as simple and cheap to fix as a suspension bush. At worst, you get there and discover the car is a massive piece of shit. You'll be out of pocket maybe a few hundred dollars for air fares and maybe one night in a hotel. On the plus side, you get a nice little night away from the wife. It's just a risk you need to take sometimes in order to find the right car.

If I'm flying interstate to see a car, I'll usually try and line up at least 2 or 3 that I'm interested in to look at at the same time. That way, you can prioritise them and you have options if any of them don't live up to expectations. You can also use it as leverage to play them off against each other to negotiate the price.

I have bought numerous cars interstate and only once have I returned home without a car. I flew to Melbourne to check out an E39 530 for my sister. The seller described it as immaculate with perfect service history. To his credit, it did have a great service history, but it also had an incredibly loud VANOS noise that he neglected to mention. However, the body was nowhere near as good as they had described it. There were dents and scuffs everywhere when he had told me there were none. The engine under tray was missing and there were broken vents in the cabin. The other car I had lined up also didn't meet my standards so I came home empty-handed. I still got to catch up with my 2 best friends who live in Melbourne though, so it wasn't money wasted.
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      Today, 03:09 AM   #12
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I agree not to discount the steptronic. I was dead set on a manual but ended up with the auto. I'm running the Alpina transmission flash (quicker shifts, rev-matched downshifts etc) and it is a fantastic auto. I drive in manual mode 80% of the time (can use the steering wheel paddles or the shift knob like a sequential box).

I also dispute the fact that the first gen (CCC) i-Drive is rubbish. Yes the newer CIC model is better but I still find the i-Drive in my car very user friendly and handy. Bluetooth calls, navigation screen, usb music or in my case I just plug in a Tune2Air WMA1000 device to enable bluetooth music streaming directly from my phone.

Food for thought. Good luck with your hunt.
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      Today, 06:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twwen2 View Post
I'm in a very similar position to you - upgrading from a Golf GTI and looking at the 135i. As others have said, there's no shortage of these on the market - just very few in the spec I'm looking for (N55 with 6MT). There was a really nice silver N54 with 6MT that went for $25k from a dealer just a week or so back, so they're definitely around if you keep an eye on carsales.

So, who wants to part with their N55 6MT? :P
There are only eight N55 manuals currently on carsales throughout Australia.
That's not nearly as many manual Golf GTI's out there.

The secondhand market is always a compromise.
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      Today, 06:03 AM   #14
cozmicf
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@Dat Aus
Oh so the HPFP is under $1k. The way I've seen people go on about it made it seem like it was $5k! Though I remember reading somewhere that a turbo replacement would cost about that much.

I will increase my tolerance to above 100k now, should bring up a few more results.

I do have my eye on a few interstate cars, so I might give them a buzz to learn more about their cars. Hopefully if some seem to be good I can line them up for the same weekend to check them all out.

Thanks so much for the advice. It really helps.

OzJustin
Yeah I'm not discounting steptronic anymore, although how would it compare to the DSG? Is there any lag when shifting, and does it normally pick the right gear?

Thanks for letting me know about the Tune2Air thing, should definitely help if the car I get doesn't have bluetooth for music.
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      Today, 09:17 AM   #15
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Hi Mate,

I'm from Melbourne too, I recently purchased my car about 2months ago (2011 MY12 135i DCT). I was in the market for around 6months, 4 of which I considered more serious and looking in more depth. I was set on spending the 30mark for a n54 (2008-2010) manual, and only manual.

I ended up spending a little more on the n55 DCT as priorities changed - although i do miss manual lol!

Depends what you want to do with the car too obviously, general consensus is the n54 is definitely more mod friendly - but have known issues for water pump, injectors, turbos, hpfp - although the n55 isnt immune from this, SEEMS* to be less issues, at least from the forum. In return, the N55 isn't as tuner friendly and the tunes and mods for the n55 that are currently available don't provide as much gains vs n54.

I found from watching the carsales market for the 4-6months the amount of cars (at least in VIC where i was searching barely fluctuated, I knew the market and could tell when even 1 new one came up or disappeared). The car i purcahsed was for sale for over 3months, and there were plenty of cars that didnt sell from when i started to when i purchased mine. the forum seems a bit slow too, although a thread like this might have a few people message you interest (as it did for myself). .Take your time, sell your car, go test drive/view a few, get a feel for the car, even ones you think you probably wont like (to get a comparison), manual/dct, idrive non idrive, etc etc.

+1 at you going from golf to 135i , i have so many friends with golfR's and roccos
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