So earlier today I was excited about potentially buying a ZHP today. It seemed like it was priced a bit high but within the ballpark to reach a deal. Seller was happy to oblige to a PPI and I was awaiting results from the test this morning.

Well, I heard back from the mechanic. His words – “stay away from this car, or don’t pay a dime over $2k for it”.

Here’s a list of issues that were identified.

- Rattle from engine is NOT VANOS – could be a timing chain issue or something else internal/more serious

- Engine mounts are cracked

- Oil pan gasket is leaking

- Oil level is low (dude, who doesn’t check oil levels before sending a car you’re trying to sell for an inspection???)

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- Power steering pressure hose is leaking

- Both air filters are “filthy”, should be replaced

- Rear differential bushings are cracked

- Front passenger side shock looks new (on side where fender was replaced from a “parking lot accident”) while others appear original and in need of replacement

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- Tire damage on same side, with a bulge from where it probably had some kind of impact

- Front sway bar mount is bent, likely from when car was hit

- PCV hoses are all soft and ready to break, should be replaced

- Thermostat, coolant hoses, expansion tank, water pump etc. all appear original and should be replaced shortly

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- Brake fluid has moisture, should be replaced

- Rear brakes have ~25% life left

Some of them are wear items that could be done over time, some things I could do myself…but in general, indicative of a car that hasn’t been maintained and used with a “well it didn’t seem broken, so I didn’t fix it” attitude, which is a pretty bad way to maintain an aging BMW.

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Lesson learnt, $150 well spent! The search continues…