Buyers interested in finding a used BMW 335i won't have any trouble finding one for sale. The popular model was rolled off production lines in a good supply. While it's not a rare car, it is a prestigious model. Some used versions of the car have retained their value quite well, depending on the condition and the age of course. If you're in the market for a used BMW 335i, we've prepared a buyer's guide to help you know what to look for, and how to get the best deal on a quality vehicle.
The history of the BMW 335i
Unless you're already an expert on the BMW 335i, it's wise to bone up on your knowledge of the car. It will be more difficult for a slick salesperson or private owner to snow you about the car they're trying to sell you if you know a bit about the history of the BMW 335i. The 335i is a fifth-generation BMW that made its debut in 2006. The last model of the 335i was made in 2015. It was the first inline 6-cylinder, Twin Power Turbo engine in the world. The engine was rated at 306 horsepower with 300 lb-ft of torque. The car was fast. It screamed down the road achieving a speed of 60 mph from a standstill in a flat 5 seconds according to BMW UX. In 2011, the 335 was available in a 6-cylinder Twin Power Turbo engine. The 328i came out with a 4-cylinder version of the engine.
Transition to the next generation
BMW decided to retire the 335i in 2016. The Series 3 335i became the 340i as a part of the 2016 model refresh. The name was retired and the new model was loaded with new technology features and upgrades according to Critz, The fifth generation of the BMW 3 Series went out with a bang. BMW held to the tradition of progressive forward movement in its replacement of the 335i with the newly upgraded 340i.
Prepare before you talk to a seller
When you meet with a seller, it's best to have a strong working knowledge of the car before you begin to talk or negotiate. Your knowledge of the basics should include the history, the highlights of the vehicle, known problems with the 335i, and how to assess its overall condition and value. This involved awareness of the pros and cons of the car, which parts tend to wear out or malfunction, and so forth. Learn how to assess the overall condition to determine if the seller is asking a fair price or not. Your knowledge of the vehicle and its fair market value will give you more confidence in negotiating for a fair deal. It will also let the seller know that you cannot be tricked into an unfair selling price.
How to assess the condition of a BMW 335i
As with any vehicle, start with a visual inspection of the exterior. Look for any signs that the car has been in an accident such as scrapes, dents, broken molding, etc. Check the doors to make sure that they open and close properly. Look for broken or cracked glass. Inspect the interior to assess the condition of the cabin. Ideally, the trim will all be present and in good shape, the upholstery will be intact without wear or tear. Check the seats for signs of breakdown. Look at the dash, console, and other components of the interior to assess whether the car is in excellent, good, fair, or poor condition because this factor will impact its overall value.
The test drive
If the car meets your requirements upon visual inspection, you should always take it for a test drive to further assess its overall running condition. Check to make sure that the brake and signal lights are in good working order. When you turn the engine over it should start up right away with no hesitation. You can tell if the battery is weak by the amount of power that is sent to the ignition. If it's weak or doesn't turn over immediately it could be a sign of ignition issues or a weak battery. Listen to the engine run to make sure it's running smoothly and look for signs of blue or black smoke coming from the exhaust system. When driving, pay attention to the sound of the engine, and listen for any irregularities. The car should accelerate smoothly. Make sure that the gears transition smoothly as it shifts. Clunking sounds or jerking can indicate transmission problems.
Ask about the history of the car
You should ask the seller about the history of the car. A few good questions to ask include, how many owners there have been if known, how the car has been stored, or if it has been in any accidents, or if there have been any major repairs, and how frequently the oil has been changed along with any service records. Consider how well the car handles when you're test driving it. Is it responsive when you accelerate and do the brakes operate smoothly and effectively? Also, you must make sure that the air conditioning, electronics, seats, horn, and other electronic features are all in working order.
How to assess the value of a BMW 335i
After you inspect and test drive the car you'll have a better idea of the overall condition. Before you even go to take a look at a used BMW 335i, it's a good idea to consult with Kelly Blue Book (https://www.kbb.com). This is an online tool for assessing the value of a vehicle based on the brand, model, year, and condition. This gives you a good starting place when you're negotiating on a used vehicle. If there are obvious signs of damage or if any repairs need to be made, you should subtract the estimated cost from the Blue Book value of the car to determine a fair selling price. Don't be afraid to negotiate the price. When you know what you're talking about, it's much easier to achieve a reasonable compromise to get a fair deal on a used car. If the seller is too high on the price and refuses to budge, it might be a deal that is not worth taking.
Known problems with the BMW 335i
You should be aware of the most common problems that have been reported with the BMW 335i. Just because some of these cars have had issues does not mean that all of them do. When you're examining the car to assess its value, these are a few things to keep your eye out for.
- Check Engine Light/lack of power - There have been several reports of the check engine light coming on in the 335i. Some drivers noted that their vehicles experienced a lack of power a well. Upon receipt of the complaints, BMW checked into the nature of the problem. They discovered that the failure of the high-pressure fuel pump was the culprit. The recommendation from the manufacturer is to replace the faulty fuel pump. The model years affected by this issue include from 2007 through 2012. The problems are presented at or around 71,000 miles. The cost of replacement of the fuel pump ranges between $1,419 to $2,835.
- Check Engine Light with P30FF Code and Engine Rattle - This issue of a check engine light with this code and a rattling sound in the engine is caused by wastegate problems. Once this issue starts it continues to get worse as you drive the car. It happens when there is a great deal of movement between the wastegate and the gate seat. It gets progressively worse. You can diagnose this as a problem when there is a rating sound at a cold start. The sound continues when you decelerate the car. You'll notice that the check engine light comes on and there is a marked loss of power. The engine performs poorly and the fuel efficiency is negatively impacted. In some cases, an adjustment of the wastegate actuator solves the problem, but it will come back in time. The best resolution is a rebuild of the wastegate with new bushings. In some cases, the turbocharger will need to be replaced. A total of 9 model years have been reported to have this issue. Most drivers notice it around the 40,000-mile mark. The average cost of diagnostics and testing for the problem is between $143 to $180.
- Droning noise and vibration - Some drivers experienced vibration and droning noise when the air conditioning system runs. The issue happens when the AC system runs low on refrigerant. When this happens, it's important to take the vehicle in for a diagnosis to find the leak. The AC system will need to be repaired after the leak is identified, then recharged. This problem is most common in the 2007 through 2011 model years. According to statistics, it occurs most between 20,000 and 90,000 miles.
- Engine control module software update - The check engine light may come on with misfire codes that are stored in the powertrain control module. There may be no symptoms other than the light. It's to let you know that there is a need for upgrading the software for the DME. The problem has been reported in the model years 2007 and 2008. The cost of diagnosis and testing ranges between $143-$180.
Where can I find a used BMW 335i?
If you're ready to start shopping for a used BMW 335i, you can check with your local BMW dealership. Some of the larger dealers have access to a database of available vehicles, even if they don't have one on the lot. Another option is to go with a private party advertising this vehicle for sale. Here are a few online advertisement sites to help you get started.
- Auto List - Auto List is an online marketplace for used vehicles. You can enter a filtered search to find a specific model year, to narrow the list of results brought back. We found 50 available on this site. A photo of the car is provided along with a description of the price, the mileage, and the current location.
- CarFax - CarFax is another online resource for finding a used BMW 35i. What we like the most about this site is that it provides a photo of the vehicle, a description, the price, the dealership that is in charge of the sale, and comprehensive vehicle history. Some ads feature up to 24 photos to give you a myriad of views of the vehicle. It's convenient to see the interior shots as well as the exterior.The history of the vehicles is fairly detailed with the original sale date, the number of owners, what the car was used for, where it has been and a record of the service history.
- Auto Trader - Auto Trader is an online advertising site that provides photos of the cars advertised along with basic information about the mileage and the asking price. It also provides contact information to get in touch with the seller. You may also bring up the CARFAX information on the vehicle if you click on the CarFax icon in the advertisement.
- iSee Cars - iSee Cars is an online marketplace for used cars. Our search brought up a total of 48 BMW 335i cars listed for sale. Some are offered through dealerships and others by private sellers. The site provides photos, basic information about the car, the asking price, and information about the seller.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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