Buying advice 130i

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Manufactured from 2004 to 2011

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Tibbs
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Buying advice 130i

Post by Tibbs » Thu May 17, 2018 3:31 pm

Hi all - short time lurker here :)

I've been in love with 1 series cars since I had a test drive in one when they first came out. The lease on my current car (Yaris Hybrid - don't judge, I drove through the congestion zone a lot when I got it :lol: ) is coming to an end and now I'm looking for a replacement. I've set my heart on a 130i, since I've been in my friend's 135i and 140i but I don't have the budget for that - I'm looking to spend around £8k, which seems to be enough to get me a really good example. I'd really like the Limited Edition, but they don't seem to come up very often. It's going to be my weekend car so I'm only going to be doing about 5k miles a year. One of the reasons I'm looking at the 130i is that I live in a fairly high crime area and I think it'd make a great Q car with the badges off! I want a 3 door as well, which I think makes things a touch more difficult, as they seem to be much rarer.

Given the cars I'm looking at are going to be around 10 years old are there specific things I should be looking out for when I go to look at them, or spec items that are particularly worthwhile seeking out? I won't be looking until after the summer I think but I'm getting excited having made the decision to get one!

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Toed64
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by Toed64 » Thu May 17, 2018 5:30 pm

Hello and welcome

Great choice - and very different to your city car. The 130i is a very rewarding car to own. For me, it has a nice mix of anonymity and performance. It has a marvellous 6 cylinder engine with one of the best soundtracks of any daily driver I've owned, it's rear wheel drive and it's not depreciating like a stone. I really like mine, even after more than 5 years of fantastic 135i ownership, my 130i is rapidly becoming my favourite car ever.

Full leather is nice because the half fabric/half faux-leather is notorious for cracking. I like the heated seats in mine. I also like the electric folding mirrors and cruise control.

If you find one that has had proper tyres fitted, rather than runflats, that might be a bonus. There are a few suspension upgrades that are a huge improvement - if you buy a car from an enthusiast, they might already have been done.

The Professional spec radio is a lot better than the Business version. Bluetooth is pretty much essential for me.

Don't dismiss a car with independent service history because it's likely to have been better looked after than a car that's just visited the main dealer. Look for water pump/thermostat replacement in the service history - they are expensive and will go at some point.

Lots of fellow members of this forum consider Xenon headlights and iDrive essential - I have neither and I don't care. High power headlight bulbs are a good upgrade for the halogen lights and I use my phone for navigation anyway - you don't get Waze/Google maps on the standard nav!

Good luck.
2008 E81 130i
2010 E82 135i - now sold

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fmn716
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by fmn716 » Thu May 17, 2018 6:21 pm

I can vouch for xenons. Had them on my e90. They are amazing


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CrystalKen
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by CrystalKen » Thu May 17, 2018 6:37 pm

You'll probably find ones with more 'goodies' if you go non-LE. £8k should get you a very good one, shop around and go for the right one.
2008 E87 130i auto (LCI)
2007 E87 130i manual (non-LCI)

Tibbs
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by Tibbs » Fri May 18, 2018 10:03 am

Thank you for the comments, these are really helpful!

I love the look of the look of the LE, was that colour leather (or at least a light/non-white) available in the regular car? What spec items do you think might be missing from one?

Living in the middle of a city, folding mirrors would be a good call that I didn't think about. I definitely have time to look and pick the right one, and a competent BMW savvy friend who will be more than happy to help me check out the mechanicals.

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0l0dom0l0
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by 0l0dom0l0 » Fri May 18, 2018 10:20 am

Tibbs wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 10:03 am
Thank you for the comments, these are really helpful!

I love the look of the look of the LE, was that colour leather (or at least a light/non-white) available in the regular car? What spec items do you think might be missing from one?

Living in the middle of a city, folding mirrors would be a good call that I didn't think about. I definitely have time to look and pick the right one, and a competent BMW savvy friend who will be more than happy to help me check out the mechanicals.
The LE is a good choice. Colour combo and the upgrades as standard are a great starting point. Cruise control/ heated seats/ electric folding mirrors are all plug and play extras.

I've had mine for 3 and a half years and it's a great car. I think with your budget you should be able to get a really good example with some nice extras.
2007 130i LE - BMWP Exhaust, Strut Brace, Air Filter, Short Shift kit and Handbrake.
B12 KIT with M3 LCA and TS.
Plus Cruise Control, Digital Speedo, CDV Delete, Camber Pin Mod, OEM LED Numberplate Lights, Brighter Non-dimming OEM Angel Eyes.

paddyboy
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by paddyboy » Fri May 18, 2018 5:31 pm

Look back thru the 130i Hunters thread - loads of valuable advice in there about what technical / maintenance things to look out for when buying a 130i

There'll be some good ones out there but you'll also find some lemons when they've been abused + not looked after
'09' 130i M Sport Auto - Le Mans Blue / Boston Beige Leather

CrystalKen
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by CrystalKen » Fri May 18, 2018 5:45 pm

Tibbs wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 10:03 am
Thank you for the comments, these are really helpful!

I love the look of the look of the LE, was that colour leather (or at least a light/non-white) available in the regular car? What spec items do you think might be missing from one?

Living in the middle of a city, folding mirrors would be a good call that I didn't think about. I definitely have time to look and pick the right one, and a competent BMW savvy friend who will be more than happy to help me check out the mechanicals.
I've never seen a non-LE with the lemon leather...but then I've never seen an LE with the same spec as mine. Depends on what's more important to you.
2008 E87 130i auto (LCI)
2007 E87 130i manual (non-LCI)

obee72
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by obee72 » Fri May 18, 2018 9:10 pm

I thought same but there’s a non-LE with Lemon leather on eBay, in Stockport iirc. Seriously considering it ....

CrystalKen
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by CrystalKen » Sat May 19, 2018 2:19 pm

I know, just as I posted I saw it, typical :P
2008 E87 130i auto (LCI)
2007 E87 130i manual (non-LCI)

130iwanted
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by 130iwanted » Mon May 21, 2018 10:34 pm

I'm 5 months in to 130i ownership. I bought a 2006 M Sport, Japan Red, 6 speed, 5 door with 94k and a FSH (half BMW half Indy). Hopefully my experience will help you when buying one.

Spec wise I was lucky enough to get everything I wanted - electric heated leather with adjustable air bolsters, xenons, cruise, folding mirrors, pro sound and puddle light pack. I recommend all of these, but heated, cruise and xenons are things I highly recommend (not sure they did heated on the LE though).

I've had a few (well known) items fail in the 3k I've put on the clock. Here is what failed and what I would advise looking out for, I've included what it cost and how long it took me to replace (on driveway with basic tools).
  • Battery - it was still on the original and over winter the start became laboured so I replaced it - £84 and 15 mins fitting time
  • Water pump (replaced thermostat and obviously coolant at the same time). A well known item to fail from 70k onwards according to others on this forum. Google how to check pump is working (ignition 2, heater on hot and low then accelerator down for 10 seconds). I did this test and mine worked fine when I bought it but failed about 1k later. Just before it failed the radiator fan started blowing full from start up which I later found out is a sign it's failing - £550 and 5 hours
  • Angel eye bulb - worth a mention as they come as a unit (not just a bulb). Some people break them apart but I just bought a new unit - £25 and 30 mins (easy but access issues)
  • Oil Cooler Gasket - another well known issue on the N52. You start to see oil pool near the oil filter housing. A simple job to do (make sure you drain coolant first) - £25 and 1 hour
  • Brake Caliper - I had brake judder since purchase and put this down to slightly wrapped discs, but recently the caliber seized and since replacing the judder has gone (so don't think any brake judder is just pad or disc related). I needed one in a hurry which meant overnight from BMW at a high cost. Like any brake caliper it is a simple enough job. I've read once one fails the rest follow quite soon after, I'm hoping this isn't the case - £274 and 45 mins
The only other cost was new tyres. Run flats are awful, so I put Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres on. Square set up, 225/40/18 all round. It rides much better but didn't reduce the road noise by as much as I'd hoped.

With the new tyres and an MOT/Service I'm about £1,400 in so far! Not what I wanted but I'm still enjoying the car and hopefully I have some trouble free motoring ahead of me.

rm1
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by rm1 » Mon May 21, 2018 10:40 pm

You cant run a 3.0 BMW on a pittance expect regular bills but really is there much else that drives like this for the overall cost ?

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Toed64
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by Toed64 » Tue May 22, 2018 10:34 pm

rm1 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 10:40 pm
You cant run a 3.0 BMW on a pittance expect regular bills but really is there much else that drives like this for the overall cost ?
The 130i is still one of the cheapest BMWs to own/run overall - not depreciating much and probably one of the most reliable BMWs made in recent years.
2008 E81 130i
2010 E82 135i - now sold

rm1
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by rm1 » Wed May 23, 2018 8:37 am

Toed64 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:34 pm
rm1 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 10:40 pm
You cant run a 3.0 BMW on a pittance expect regular bills but really is there much else that drives like this for the overall cost ?
The 130i is still one of the cheapest BMWs to own/run overall - not depreciating much and probably one of the most reliable BMWs made in recent years.
Yes but 3.0 BMW's over ten years old cost to run I know I have had e28 535's, 330 and 130.
It is not in any body's interest to play these costs down as other wise people end up buying the cars and not being able to maintain them them which means annoyed owners and cars that will be even more expensive for the next owners.

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Toed64
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Re: Buying advice 130i

Post by Toed64 » Wed May 23, 2018 10:31 am

rm1 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:37 am
Toed64 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:34 pm
rm1 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 10:40 pm
You cant run a 3.0 BMW on a pittance expect regular bills but really is there much else that drives like this for the overall cost ?
The 130i is still one of the cheapest BMWs to own/run overall - not depreciating much and probably one of the most reliable BMWs made in recent years.
Yes but 3.0 BMW's over ten years old cost to run I know I have had e28 535's, 330 and 130.
It is not in any body's interest to play these costs down as other wise people end up buying the cars and not being able to maintain them them which means annoyed owners and cars that will be even more expensive for the next owners.
I can't 100% concur with what you are saying. My 130i is my 10th, petrol, 6 cylinder, BMW. All bought used, (most 10+ years old) all bought carefully with insight and maintained thoroughly. None has suffered a catastrophic failure and the most expensive repair was the electric water pump on my 135i, which was the newest BMW I have ever bought.

I tend to choose vehicles that I know will be likely to serve OK, consequently I bought an N55 135i, rather than an N54 and I just can't understand why people buy 10 year old N47s...or 5 year old N47s!

Overall, my BMWs have been more reliable and cheaper to maintain than the French, Italian and British cars my family's owned and more expensive to own and maintain than the Japanese cars.
2008 E81 130i
2010 E82 135i - now sold

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