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What is it with selling certain cars? (BMW. Wheels. WTF?)


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In the spirit of bangernomics, I went absolutely nuts for an E39 528i Touring Keith had last year, pestered him to flog it to me, flogged my A-class diesel common-sense small car and told myself the 528 was my 'small' car because I think it's 2" shorter than the 300C or something. Anyway, it felt smaller and I cared less about people denting it in carparks. Or driving headlong into it. Or carrying dead bodies/animals/tech in it.

 

And it gave 6,000 miles of awesome, carphone-using driving before the windscreen got twatted by an aggro-gate truck shedding rocks and then cracked dramatically across, right before the MOT ran out, just as I was going to fix the ABS sensor and airbag bodge.

 

Now, I like that my SLK costs £167/year to insure. Whilst windscreens are a £75 excess you do have to declare, and I bet it wouldn't be that cheap anymore. With that and the MOT jobs known and unknown, I figured "bye bye BMW".

 

Except what should be a normal sale has been the usual faff of "mates" "buddys" and no actual deal, except one very tempting one which I'll get around to in a moment.

 

The fuss appears to be about the wheels. It's got splitrim multi-spoke BBS "Style something" ones that seem to get BMW people foaming. It also has just 105K on an M52 that has clean oil and went like stink (still does except it's not very legal to drive on the road and the driveway is a bit bumpy). So if all these people are so excited about the wheels and the engine and parts, why is it still here?

 

Which leads to the dilemma. Nice, friendly chap offered a Skoda pickup for it, but got Life on the weekend he wanted to do the deal. Despite my being crabby about a wasted day and the BMW being crabby in the LCM department, he's interested still, but to wait for the weekend he can make it involves putting off a couple of other "buddy"enquiries.

So what would you do? I don't actually need a Skoda pickup, even a bright yellow one, though I definitely have a use for it. It's trading a non-MOTd car that needs work for an MOTd one that seems capable of driving decent distances without catching fire or killing the occupants - I'd actually feel better if I were trading a working car on that basis alone. The main priority was to get cash to put towards something that will let me give up on keeping the 300C - which has done just 12,000 miles in 2 1/2 years.

 

The carnutter in me REALLY wants the Skoda and is worried it'll either be really rough and I'll be sad, or really good and I'll be unable to accept it's a fair trade but have nothing else to put in. The sensible part of me just wants the BMW gone and to get the SLK back on the road THEN worry about other cars! Plus there's a W124 300CE here I should do something other than sit in making Brrrm noises.

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Surely you'll want to see pics and a good description of said Skoda, before you commit.

 

Have seen your f/s thread, the beemer looks a nice car. I reckon you'd get away with that crack. Why not ask a friendly 'screen fitter to come round and offer advice.

 

You know, my MOT guy said "bring it over", but it's the full width of the screen, I can't see it passing? Maybe I'll take it down there to show him, the SLK needs MOTing.

 

I've seen many pics - not detail, but all around - of the Skoda, it looks fine and the welding was done by one of the RetroRides legends (in a good way) - HairyMel, who before losing his stuff and car in a fire was doing an epic rebuild on a Talbot whatsit that had been made into something like a grasstrack or autotest car.

 

I don't want to use the 300C - I got it on finance, made less use of it than I thought partly because I like it too much, and partly because it doesn't fit supermarket carparks or small towns very happily so I worry about it getting bashed. When I got the BMW I was thinking about handing it back - had the BMW remained in constant use I suspect the LCM issues I'm currently experiencing wouldn't have surfaced.

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I've had windows replaced with no increase in premiums so I wouldn't worry about that. Even if your insurance goes up £20 it's not the end of the world.

 

Sounds a good car so fuck off all the other people and fix it for the mot and use it, flog it with 6 months ticket and get a shed loads more cash for it.

 

Hmm, interesting about the premium - who were you with?

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I haven't ever had an increase in premium after a glass claim, whether it was a truck throwing bricks at me or DIY gone wrong.  What LCM faults do you have on the beemer?  Is it a single headlight on or another weird fault?  All of them seem to be painlessly curable by BBA Reman or ebay specialists for not too much money and abs sensors and seat occupancy pads/get arounds are cheap too.  The airbag light will probably be a bad connection below the drivers seat.

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I haven't ever had an increase in premium after a glass claim, whether it was a truck throwing bricks at me or DIY gone wrong.  What LCM faults do you have on the beemer?  Is it a single headlight on or another weird fault?  All of them seem to be painlessly curable by BBA Reman or ebay specialists for not too much money and abs sensors and seat occupancy pads/get arounds are cheap too.  The airbag light will probably be a bad connection below the drivers seat.

 

Variety of faults - primarily communication error (as in on INPA it didn't show, when it was being really stroppy) - but mostly "lights on, no response to controls", sometimes erratic light movements (that's the most common one it throws) - light height varying with dimmer, dash brightness varying with angle adjuster. I'd taken the dash out to replace the LCD panel and then decided not to bother given how much effort it is to get into it - when reinstalled the dash clearly didn't want to talk to the LCM.

 

Right now I've cleaned all the contacts, have taken the battery out of the car to spend a few days on the conditioner (I think the battery has been too low voltage), will once again tackle the LCD on the dashboard and for bonus timewasting, will remove both headlights and run the 3M restorer kit over them.

 

The windscreen crack is within the sweep of both wipers, hence why I'm convinced it's a fail.

 

As long as I get the value of the wheels, engine. gearbox - which seems to be about £500 - then I really don't care about fixing it, but the ABS is the nearside front sensor which has a frayed wire (a tenner to £13 on eBay, it seems - new!) and the airbag is the passenger seat pad needing the resistor bypass mod. I can reset it and it goes on when someone sits in the passenger side. Even the self-levelling suspension still works - before it went off the road it was a bloody good car to drive, with a really good blast over the A7 making me realise just how good that straight six is.

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What's so unusual?

 

If I want to buy a car, it's a unique opportunity, scarce, with all sought after options and accessories, wonderful patina, guaranteed to appreciate rapidly.

If I want to sell the very same car the next day, it's a worthless piece of shit nobody wants to be seen dead in.

 

There hasn't been a single exception to this rule in the past 30 years.

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Someone wants to swap a Skoda for a BMW.  My gut reaction is they see megabucks in the BMW and want shut of the Skoda and you'll lose.  BMWs have a perceived value which far outstrips their actual value, it's like they're all owned by Dugong or something.

 

Fix the stuff it needs for the MoT and put it up for sale with a reserve of £parts+£500+eBay fees if you use that site. Be prepared for a lot of idiots offering astoundingly daft prices and items for it and try not to pull all your hair out.

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I don't do auctions on eBay - classifieds with best offer, always. But I've had my share of idiots on RR - I think for any cheap car there's just an 'idiot factor' that has to be considered. The chap with the Skoda is a windscreen fitter so I can see why he'd be interested in the BMW - and the Skoda has MOT until next year; do I think they see value in the BMW and suspect there's a reason they want shot of the Skoda? Sure - but they're prepared to drive the Skoda to Peterborough and back regularly, so it can't be that bad!

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I once got confused in Nottingham due to rain obliterating all visibility, and nearly drove down a tram track. I probably would prefer Hull if it were where Nottingham is, and hate Nottingham more if it were where Hull is.

Hartlepool isn't a real place. I've never seen it and don't believe it exists.

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