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Looking at buying an X3. Can't decide on engine should go for a 2.o diesel but have seen both 3.0 and 2.5 log converted cars for little money, i'm only wanting to spend £3K. I 

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Spotted a 2008 2.0 at just above my budget, but I bought a later model car a few years ago and it was too complicated to self repair and I always wished I'd bought an older one is this the case with these?

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Hi Ian 

Welcome to the Forum

All Manufacturers all like to put up a Myth that their cars are only serviceable by themselves and that only spares from their stores are going to fit and work !! Don't forget they brought those parts from someone?

The X3 mechanically is quite simple the clever part is in the electronics. However it doesn't make them difficult to work on they just require a good diagnostic tool and a little more thought when fixing issues. There is a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill available through the Forum and other sources.

Diagnostics: I use BMW 1.4.0 which is loaded onto an old laptop along with other diagnostic software which I keep in the garage just for the cars (current stable are Subaru Outback, Toyota Avensis and my BMW X5) other folks use Carly for BMW, INPA,Autologic and others we pay our maoney and make our choice. It is important to have a BMW diagnostic as it can interrogate each control module for an issue rather than just getting a general code. BMW 1.4.0 explains the issue in English and the program is available for a few pounds so not a wallet buster I also use a BMW parts web site and BMW technical site both free which provides the same information as the Dealers use.

The X3 mechanically has a front diff a centre transfer case at the back of the gearbox and a rear diff as long as the engine gearbox and the rest of the drive train are serviced regularly they are pretty tough. Suspension is conventional with rubber bushes needing service/replacing as and when. Tyres on 4x4 cars are critical as the rolling radius across axels and front to rear have to be within tolerance to avoid destroying the transfer case.there are to many 4x4 of all makes which are sold on with damaged transfer cases through having mismatched tyres fitted.

The early small N43 diesels have some well documented issues but later N47 engines are much better, the six cylinder petrol and diesels are pretty much bomb proof.

So bit long winded but don't be scared off thinking they are complicated they actually self diagnose a lot of issues, remember computers are binary and work in a logical fashion, if we also use simple logic they are not much different to a series 1 or 2 Land Rover just a hell of a lot more refined and fun to drive.

Dave

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