Outdoor winter ware?


I’m looking at purchasing a 2008 BMW 328i convertible. It is new (300 miles), and I’d be buying from the dealer.

The price seems good, but my concern is that it may have some damage having sat outdoors on a lot in Maine for so long.

Should I be concerned about rust, damage?

Rust would come from driving on salted roads, not sitting on the lot. But it is old for not having been driven. I would ask what they did to keep the gas fresh.

I will ask. What sort of problems might arise if it spent three years on the lot with virtually no use?


The gas in the tank + all conduits from tank to engine, + anything that comes in contact with gasoline (including the piece-de-resistance aka 6 injectors), turns to varnish. Unless they maintained the gas inside the tank with Sta-Bil, you might have problems.
Ask them to let you drive it for another tankful of gas (300 miles or so) so that you’ll see how it behaves, and then go ahead and buy it from them. Or put in writing when you buy it, that if it develops ANY engine troubles/issues in the next 3 days or 400 miles, the sale contract is null and void.

Believe it or not, cars, even BMWs, are designed to sit outdoors. Even in winter. Even in Maine.

As others have suggested, the fuel system is the only real concern. I hope you’re getting a really good price on this “new” car that’s three years old.

Mcparadise wrote:

I hope you’re getting a really good price on this “new” car
that’s three years old.

Take mcparadise’s advice seriously. While the dealer will want you to pay a lot for the car (because it only has 300 miles), if you total it in an accident, the insurance company will pay you a lot less, because it is a three year old vehicle.

For your sake, it should be a really good price.

The convertible top itself got the majority of wear including sun & winter which degrades them.

The rest of vehicle I would not be concerned with.

Make sure price is appropriate.

And if you plan on using in the winter they work wonderfully with a set of decent winter tires (check tirerack.com for pricing rims/tires but remember more choices appear in the fall/late summer).

I would be more suspicious of the dealer than the car. Most dealers find ways to move a car. They will often trade the car to another dealer. This dealer might trade the BMW convertible to a dealer in the sun belt for a sedan. I was looking at a new, but left-over 1987 Pontiac 6000 back in the fall of 1988. Some of the 1989 models had been introduced. I thought I should get a substantial discount. I told the saleswoman that I was buying a car that week and I wanted the best price. She came back and offered to take $100 off the sticker price. I said that the price was unacceptable and started to walk away. She then said, “That isn’t our best price”. I replied that I wasn’t wasting any more time and left. In your case, I think I would take a pass on this car.

One more thing: you are buying a car that is almost 3 years old. The tires are 3 years old, the battery is three years old and even the wiper blades are three years old. If you buy the car today and it is totaled tomorrow, the insurance settlement will be for a 3 year old BMW.

I would be somewhat suspicious of both the car and the dealership.

As Tridag stated or implied, a well-run dealership should have had no problem “unloading” this car on another dealership. So, that leaves the question of whether the dealership is just very badly-run or if there really is something about the car that prevented other potential buyers from purchasing it in '08, or '09.

If the OP is intent on buying this car, I would suggest an extended test drive to attempt to uncover problems that may have turned off other potential buyers. And, ultimately if the OP does buy it, I believe that this car is worth just a scant amount more than a comparable '08 model with…let’s say…30k miles on the odometer.

While the engine and transmission are unlikely to have been damaged by the extended outdoor storage, the “soft” parts–tires, hoses, belts, and the convertible top–have aged just as much as they would have if the car had been driven. And, the battery is likely to have limited life left in it.

This car would have to be an exceptionally good deal in order for me to be interested in it.

One thing I would worry about is the warranty, which would be more than 1/2 over based on the age of the car! If you decide to buy it, make sure it has a written new car warrnaty starting with the day to take posession.

If a brand new car the warranty starts from first owner registration not age of vehicle. Also it starts at 300 miles in this case and goes to 50,300 miles for example.

The fuel is a likely mute point. New cars typically never have full tanks until delivery.

As VDC and previous posters mentioned, all the rubber parts in this car are -depending on the manufacture date- at least 3 years old, and most likely 4 years old, if the car was manufactured in the fall of 2007 as a 2008 Model Year.

However, the convertible top is not an issue here, as this car has a hard (not canvas) retractable top-see linky


Personally, I would not pay the $43,889 they are asking for it. For all intents and purposes this is a USED car with only 263 miles on it, and that’s what an insurance company will consider it to be, if it is involved in an accident.

For me, an acceptable purchase price would be something very close to the $34,450 trade-in value, as listed by KBB-see linky below.


Just a word of warning. A friend bought a 328i hard-top convertible, owned it two months, then got rear-ended by a little old lady in a parking lot, 5 mph tops. The BMW was totalled because the bump pushed in the trunk/top cover into the top, throwing everything out of alignment. Too much $$ to fix it.

that KBB value doesn’t seem to include things like navigation, winter package, etc… the dealer bases the price of a KBB value of just over 42,000. Is that way off in your opinion?

The car gets good ratings. Are you sure that this is a frequent concern?

Won’t insurance cover that?

As somebody mentioned on down the line, it has a hard top. It also has a cam chain, not belt (so I’ve been told).

Re tires, hoses, belts: since it’s under warranty for 4 years, is this a big concern?

It’s only a concern regarding accidents, and yes, insurance covers it. Just saying, it’s a complicated mechanism (as all hard top convertibles are).

According to Edmunds, the base car is worth about $32,600. Typical options add $4100, the mileage adjustment is $1200, the condition adjustment for “outstanding” is $1400, making the value a bit over $42,000 as you said.


Click on add/remove under “typical options” to add or remove options to make the evaluation about your car.

I would recommend that you price a 2010 BMW 328i convertible at one or two other dealers before you decide.