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      11-20-2019, 04:27 PM   #1
Ursan
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Question My VERY first post. (go me)

I'm currently in the market for an E82 and I've run into something of a dilemma.

The first is a 2012 128i w/ 114k. Has what appears to be a nice set of options, but halogen headlamps. $7000.

The second is a 2009 128i that has more or less the same options, but 104k and has Xenon and adaptive lamps. $8000.

I admit freely that I'm a BMW neophyte and while I've always loved the brand (since the 1972 2002tii) I don't know anything specific about them. But I am a fanboi in the making.

I want xenon, but I don't relish the thought of retrofitting them. I've done it before on older Volvos. But I'm not looking forward to it. And I'm concerned that with the modern electronics, the BMW may require some ECU re-education.

So it's between a 2012 for $7k and halogens or a 2009 with Xenons and adaptive lamps.

What say you?
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      11-20-2019, 05:35 PM   #2
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Get the Xenon version
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      11-20-2019, 05:48 PM   #3
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Get the Xenon version
even with the age difference?
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      11-20-2019, 07:17 PM   #4
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Just 128i or open to 135i? Stick or Auto?

I waited... 6 - 9 months to find my car, and ultimately got it from the board here. You might have to be really patient. I'd say don't settle, wait to find the right car and when you do pounce on it.

There's like 30 128i's on the BMW USA used site, certainly one of them has to have the right combo? I haven't looked but would have to imagine...
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      11-20-2019, 07:25 PM   #5
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Just 128i or open to 135i? Stick or Auto?
Auto. I'd LOVE to drive a stick again, but I have a knee issue.

Quote:
I waited... 6 - 9 months to find my car, and ultimately got it from the board here. You might have to be really patient. I'd say don't settle, wait to find the right car and when you do pounce on it.
I may do that. But the loan I started requires that I purchase within 90 days.

But "don't settle" is something I'd tell someone.

Quote:
There's like 30 128i's on the BMW USA used site, certainly one of them has to have the right combo? I haven't looked but would have to imagine...
I looked there, but everything's just outside my price range.
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      11-20-2019, 08:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursan View Post
I looked there, but everything's just outside my price range.
There's a half dozen or so in the $8k's, more below $10k. If this is a struggle, first I hear you, second you might reconsider things because if you have a needed repair anytime soon it might sink you.

Generally speaking a well maintained car is best, followed closely (or perhaps in the reverse order even) by low miles. I wouldn't worry much about the age if the older car wins the above categories. (104 and 114 k miles is sorta equivalent though).

I wouldn't worry much about the headlights either. Xenon is nice but I'd say things like the M-Sport package or other things might be more important. For me at least. You are you and will have to decide what your needs are.

One thing too, and I could be wrong, but I'd expect that the 1-Series being sold by BMW dealers are probably trade-ins for newer models, and have probably spent their life being serviced by that dealer. That would do a lot for me. It won't always be the case of course, but I would expect it to be more often than not. Also, a car not through the dealer isn't necessarily bad either, far from it (i.e. mine's rarely seen a dealer but is in basically perfect condition and completely maintained). But I'd have some comfort buying a car from a dealer especially when having to consider cross-country travel for it.
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      11-20-2019, 09:14 PM   #7
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It's not a BMW of it doesn't have the iconic angel eyes.
But would I spend $1000 for the privilege? Probably not.

Get whichever car has the better service history and do the mods later if necessary.

It's been said before, but anyone can afford to buy a BMW but not everyone can afford to maintain one.
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      11-21-2019, 05:34 AM   #8
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My 2011 came with Halogens. But it also came with the M-Sport suspension, Sport seats, and optioned very sparsely which I wanted. I would have even opted for no sunroof...but it's harder to find that way. I think it had around 65K miles, was a 6-speed, and personally I gave less than $10K ($9,700) for it as I had the luxury of waiting.

$350 pair of Depos V2 off of the auction site and about 1.5 hours of work taking my time, and I have Angel Eyes. And they have held up great.

Now they are not as bright as xenons, but I didn't let that be a deal breaker.

Biggest things was that the car had history. Frequent oil changes, OPG and OFHG already done with records...and when I tore into it a few weeks back for the VC gasket and some mods, the engine was as clean as could be.

I have already put over 10K miles of very hard driving on it.....and it keeps coming back for more.
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      11-21-2019, 12:42 PM   #9
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Having owned a 135i with Xenons and AHL and then recently coming back to a 128i with Halogens, the performance of the lights are truly night and day. That being said, I donít think itís worth the money to retrofit or buy aftermarket units. The Halogens are fine but the Xenons are really top notch headlights.
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      11-21-2019, 04:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b1aze View Post
Having owned a 135i with Xenons and AHL and then recently coming back to a 128i with Halogens, the performance of the lights are truly night and day. That being said, I don't think it's worth the money to retrofit or buy aftermarket units. The Halogens are fine but the Xenons are really top notch headlights.
I agree 100% with this. My 2013 has the xenon's and there is no way I'd buy one with halogens. There is no comparison. My 09 e90 has the halogens and they are attrocious. I've looked at retrofitting but that's way too expensive and involved.

Also, I have the IS and I hated the suspension that it came with. I believe it was the M sport, but it was garbage IMO. It's still in my basement if you want it.
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      11-21-2019, 10:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracer bullet View Post
There's a half dozen or so in the $8k's, more below $10k. If this is a struggle, first I hear you, second you might reconsider things because if you have a needed repair anytime soon it might sink you.
The problem for some of the cars I'm finding is the distance. I'm okay up to a couple of hundred miles, but beyond that takes stratigery.

And to your second point, I"m basing 8-10k on the higher end of what's available. I'll go more for exceptional samples.

Quote:
Generally speaking a well-maintained car is best, followed closely (or perhaps in the reverse order even) by low miles. I wouldn't worry much about the age if the older car wins the above categories. (104 and 114 k miles is sorta equivalent though).
True. My biggest concern is maintenance. I know I can be somewhat fastidious with my cars. (my current DD is 26 years old and knocking on 300k) I take the time each spring to make sure everything is mechanically sound. Appearance is another issue as 26-year-old paint is rough in New England winters. But everything works. Even the sunroof (which I never use) The only thing that doesn't work well is the passenger side mirror which lost it's in-out gear. Only has up-down.

Quote:
I wouldn't worry much about the headlights either. Xenon is nice but I'd say things like the M-Sport package or other things might be more important. For me at least. You are you and will have to decide what your needs are.
It's a preference thing, I know. If I find one with M-Sport then I'll go for that. But I've yet to see one (at any price) available near me. Thing is, I got used to xenon lamps since I retrofit them to my current DD and I really don't want to look back. But that's not to say I'll refuse a car that doesn't have it. The only absolute requirement I have is an automatic transmission.

Quote:
One thing too, and I could be wrong, but I'd expect that the 1-Series being sold by BMW dealers are probably trade-ins for newer models, and have probably spent their life being serviced by that dealer. That would do a lot for me. It won't always be the case of course, but I would expect it to be more often than not. Also, a car not through the dealer isn't necessarily bad either, far from it (i.e. mine's rarely seen a dealer but is in basically perfect condition and completely maintained). But I'd have some comfort buying a car from a dealer especially when having to consider cross-country travel for it.
You're probably 100% spot on. However, I've checked local BMW dealers and the oldest cars they have are 2015 and much more than I have allocated.
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      11-21-2019, 10:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmtt View Post
My 2011 came with Halogens. But it also came with the M-Sport suspension, Sport seats, and optioned very sparsely which I wanted. I would have even opted for no sunroof...but it's harder to find that way. I think it had around 65K miles, was a 6-speed, and personally I gave less than $10K ($9,700) for it as I had the luxury of waiting.
You're singing my tune! For me in a car, less is more. If I could find one with manual windows, locks, seats, no sunroof, It'd be bliss. TBH I'd only really want A/C and cruise.

Quote:
$350 pair of Depos V2 off of the auction site and about 1.5 hours of work taking my time, and I have Angel Eyes. And they have held up great.
For me it's strictly not about the angel eyes. I know they are iconic, but it's more about the HID output. I'm addicted to lumens and if I can get them to the road without blinding oncoming traffic, then all the better.


Quote:
Biggest things was that the car had history. Frequent oil changes, OPG and OFHG already done with records...and when I tore into it a few weeks back for the VC gasket and some mods, the engine was as clean as could be.

I have already put over 10K miles of very hard driving on it.....and it keeps coming back for more.
Forgive me, OPG? OFHG? And kudos about history. I change oil in my current car every 8k or so. LiquiMoly each time. My other car with the rebuilt B230FT is about every 5k or once a year (whichever first) I really like that the N52 has the oil filter housing right on top.

I will say this, I don't cotton to oil leaks and I'll be checking for them, especially since these cars have undercarriage plates which may obfuscate oil drips.
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      11-21-2019, 10:52 PM   #13
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You may have thought about it already, but having any friends / family in big cities across the country can help a lot. I'm in MN but was able to expand my search to Atlanta, Houston and Austin, the Bay Area, and Knoxville as well as locations somewhat nearby any of those. All places had people who'd be willing to put me up for the night, and some who would even go drive a car I was serious about and check it out for me.

And again, in case it wasn't obvious, though there's distance involved the cars at dealerships are probably in pretty good shape and reasonably trustworthy. You could likely get maintenance logs. So even though they can be far away, you can feel fairly secure the only hardship is the drive home and it be unlikely you'd see the car for the first time and be disappointed and walk away. And the drive home could be kind of fun. Especially w/ holidays coming up, you'd perhaps get some time off work? If you're busy / a family man (or woman) there's always the option to ship. It does start to get risky after a while but generally you're pretty safe. You could do a combo like fly out, drive it, buy it, then fly home and ship it. Obviously you're adding a grand or more to the price, but if you're looking for that diamond it might be worth it.
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      11-21-2019, 11:10 PM   #14
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If interested..

2009 car: https://www.mdecoder.com/decode/vf48719

2012 car: https://www.mdecoder.com/decode/VL91346


And I just found out that the 2009 has not one, but three outstanding recalls.

Leverage perhaps?
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      11-22-2019, 05:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursan View Post
You're singing my tune! For me in a car, less is more. If I could find one with manual windows, locks, seats, no sunroof, It'd be bliss. TBH I'd only really want A/C and cruise.



For me it's strictly not about the angel eyes. I know they are iconic, but it's more about the HID output. I'm addicted to lumens and if I can get them to the road without blinding oncoming traffic, then all the better.




Forgive me, OPG? OFHG? And kudos about history. I change oil in my current car every 8k or so. LiquiMoly each time. My other car with the rebuilt B230FT is about every 5k or once a year (whichever first) I really like that the N52 has the oil filter housing right on top.

I will say this, I don't cotton to oil leaks and I'll be checking for them, especially since these cars have undercarriage plates which may obfuscate oil drips.
Oil Pan Gasket and Oil Filter Housing Gasket. That along with the Valve Cover Gaskets will be areas that will need to be addressed at one time or another.

I'm happy with my lights, but it's not something that is a deal breaker for me. I rarely drive at night, but when I do I can see great and have plenty of output with these units. Plus the black housings and clear corners were an added bonus. This is a daytime shot I took when loading my header tune awhile back.
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      11-22-2019, 07:31 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursan View Post
If interested..

2009 car: https://www.mdecoder.com/decode/vf48719

2012 car: https://www.mdecoder.com/decode/VL91346


And I just found out that the 2009 has not one, but three outstanding recalls.

Leverage perhaps?
Good luck with your search. Where in ma are you? I'm in Waltham. Also if you are in Boston area, I use Northshore Motorwerks for an Indy shop. James is really good. I could possibly help as well if you had a farther distance to get car.

Jon
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      11-27-2019, 03:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by B777flyboy View Post
Good luck with your search. Where in ma are you? I'm in Waltham. Also if you are in Boston area, I use Northshore Motorwerks for an Indy shop. James is really good. I could possibly help as well if you had a farther distance to get car.

Jon
I'm in Worcester. My car is being delivered soon today.
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      11-27-2019, 09:46 PM   #18
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I'm in Worcester. My car is being delivered soon today.
Nice, what did you end up with?
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      11-28-2019, 12:14 PM   #19
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I'm in Worcester. My car is being delivered soon today.
Pics or it didn't happen.
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      11-30-2019, 06:06 PM   #20
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Here we go:

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      12-01-2019, 11:50 AM   #21
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Not enough posts to put up pics, I'd imagine. Welcome to the forum. I had a 128i with the xenons, and later, one with halogens. The xenons are great, but you can upgrade the halogen bulbs and they are much better. I live in the boonies, and use high beam frequently. The Philips bulbs are a big improvement. BMW was probably concerned more about bulb life than output when they spec'd bulbs. Either that, or there's some German law about lumen limits on non self leveling headlights. Angel eyes are pretty cool, but I'm not a fan of the yellowish color of them.
You will fall in love with The steering feel of a 128i. Trust me.
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      12-06-2019, 10:09 AM   #22
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Car is in possession. So far things are good. Just mounted studded snow tires on steel rims.

Not used to the lack of turbo lag, but I'm sure I'll get over that.
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