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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there
Just wondered if anyone has any experience of the 1series 130i. In particular against the FN2.
Im hoping to get hold of a facelift FN2 in the near future after my 1.8 Type S as im after something a bit more involving to drive.

Both FN2 and 130i seem to both be nat aspirated with manual gear boxes and sound like an interesting drive. Ive had a go in an FN2 and im fairly set on it but keep talking myself out of it.
i know both have similar running costs but think BMW parts are more expensive but being non turbo have less to go wrong.
Either way would be keen to hear from anyone whos owned an 130 or even the slightly less powerful 125 coupe/convertible that is quite similar.
Main attraction of the BMW is that the ride I assume would be smoother and just more comfortable to sit in with a nicer (albeit slightly boring) interior.
 

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i-Vtec
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Only thing i'll say to you is research the BMW engine your looking at. N Series engines leak more oil than the Exxon Valdez, and I mean from everywhere, if there's a gasket, it leakes. Some BMW engines have the timing chain at the BACK!, yes the Back of the engine. Timing chain guide failures abound after 80k. I was looking at a BMW 330i before the civic, then I found out BMW used Aluminium bolts throughout the engine, including......wait for it........... yup holding down the Cylinder Head Gasket. No surprise to find that they break the head off the studs.
 

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I find the styling of the mk1 1 series quite boring, the Fn2 is a more stylish car inside and out, the engine is very reliable sounds great with a good gearbox although I had the clutch sqeaking problem on mine for me though its a no brainer.
But to be fair the 130i is fast and the engine also sounds pretty good, my mate has a 57 reg 325i coupe and has done over 40k trouble free miles in it since he brought it, it's now done around 145k miles he averages around 33 mpg in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I find the styling of the mk1 1 series quite boring, the Fn2 is a more stylish car inside and out, the engine is very reliable sounds great with a good gearbox although I had the clutch sqeaking problem on mine for me though its a no brainer.
But to be fair the 130i is fast and the engine also sounds pretty good, my mate has a 57 reg 325i coupe and has done over 40k trouble free miles in it since he brought it, it's now done around 145k miles he averages around 33 mpg in it.
Yes think i do agree with the looks. Sounds like a great do everything car though. I had a mk5 Gti before and think it would have been a good step up from that but a Type R would feel more special.
 

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Das that's that's a shocking assessment bro, funnily enough had a mate who was considering a BMW 130i.

Makes you realise how good these honda engines are.

I had a 1.4 civic back in the day that I had for 3years. Soon as I got it full service and pads. From that point that car was run ragged, for the amount of abuse I threw at the engine given it was at 150k miles. No leaks, no knocks no problems.

It wasn't serviced in year 2 or year 3. I tried to kill it but it wouldn't die.

What finished that car off was rust

I treat my FN2 with kid gloves, I imagine the K20 block would be 10x better engineered than 1.4. it's not called the immortal k20 for nothing

I love the aftermarket support on FN2s aswell
You'll never be short of parts

OP a good set of eibach springs make a huge difference to comfort transforms the car in my opinion, but don't expect the refinement of a golf but then golf doesn't handle as well.
I've had both.

Ads is your current car the 1.8?
Is it the steering/grip issue you had that was promoting you consider going to another make of car ?
 

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Have you considered the 2.0 VW Sirocco? as it looks nice handles well and the ride is not so harsh as the FN2, there is also a lot of tuning potential for the TFSI engine
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@JayR35 Im afraid not but im noticing it slowly getting more choppy so do think it is the shocks on their way out. Once im in a position to though i do hope to get something more interesting. The 1.8 has been good but im just after something thats more enjoyable to drive next and the K20 does have a lot of appeal after experiencing it myself.
Interesting assessment of 1 series. It would be the one with a N52 engine but the reason i asked was because I couldn’t really find much information on large faults- everyone comments on how bulletproof the engine is. Something that im not so keen on with the Scirocco...with that im guessing thats the later tfsi engine that had the chain tensioner problems?
 

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The BM N series diesel engines had the cam chain at the back of the engine and the adjusters had a habit of failing.
I think the straight 6 3.0l engine in the 130 has the chain at the front like the 4 pot.
Parts are not cheap and BM labour rates are probably higher than Honda's
If you get the M sport version you will find the ride firm, don't forget most BMs are on runflat tyres so harder and more expensive than FN2.
See this for a review: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/bmw/1-series-e81e87-2004/specs
 

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I had a 2.0 TSi Scirocco before i bought my Type S, lovely car, looked great, loads of power where you want it (turbo), interior was "functional" (ie, boring), but......

In the 12 months i owned it, it was in the garage about 7 times with various faults, fuel injectors (£200 each, plus fitting) and when 1 fails they all need replacing (i didn't know this, and had to have 2 trips to the mechanics to replace them), throttle body needed replacing, throttle pedal sensor, then all that needed reprogramming but an authorised mechanic, and still it kept going into limp mode

Eventually i got rid of it through webuyanyoldcrap.com

I spent over £2 in repairs within a year, and lost about £1.5k when i sold it...............

But...... would i buy anbother one............. possibly, it was lovely to drive when it worked, and there is nothing quite like it for looks

And yeah, i guess i bought a dud, but it was a flippin' expensive dud
 

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Example of one of the great myths - "German cars are reliable".
Yep, it certainly changed my mind on "zee German reliability", and since the underpinnings are in Audi's, Skoda's and Seat's, it has put me off quite a few brands, hence why i went from that to the Civic, which by contrast in 3 years (with regular servicing) has only cost me an ABS sensor and an air con condenser so far
 

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i-Vtec
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one with a N52 engine but the reason i asked was because I couldn’t really find much information on large faults- everyone comments on how bulletproof the engine is.
Well here's a run down of what Bullet proof from the BMW community consists of.

Oil filter housing Gasket(Oil and Coolant).
Oil Cooler Gasket.
Vanos solenoid seals.
Camshaft sensor seals.
Crankcase sensor seals.
Valve Cover Gasket.
Loss of oil through crankcase Ventilation failure.
Sump Gasket.
Drinks Oil.

And the quote of quotes.

"Do not be scared to buy an N52 engine, there always gonna leak oil"

LoL. A list of issues like that would have me looking for something else.

 

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i-Vtec
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If you watch that video he explains they fail due to the engine running very hot all the time. He explains its the reason they DONT fit a temp gauge so as not to freak people out, lol.
 

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Only thing i'll say to you is research the BMW engine your looking at. N Series engines leak more oil than the Exxon Valdez, and I mean from everywhere, if there's a gasket, it leakes. Some BMW engines have the timing chain at the BACK!, yes the Back of the engine. Timing chain guide failures abound after 80k. I was looking at a BMW 330i before the civic, then I found out BMW used Aluminium bolts throughout the engine, including......wait for it........... yup holding down the Cylinder Head Gasket. No surprise to find that they break the head off the studs.
Having read that I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole
 

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Sometimes it's pot luck one person can have loads of issues another with the same model can have virtually trouble free motoring.
Its important in buying any car to have a full service history preferably a motor that's spent more time on the motorway than short trips round town.
There is no doubt Honda and Japanese cars in general are tops for engine reliability.

My mate had an 06 320d that caught fire (electrical fault ) but brought another bmw a 325i and loves it with 45k trouble free miles he figured less to go wrong on a n/a engine
 

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German vs Jap reliability is a mixed bag. The Civic has been the least reliable car me and the Mrs have ever had, by quite some margin. We've had a Polo, Passat and two Golfs and only ever had one issue and that was an injector failing in the Passat, which didn't cost us anything as the car was booked in under a recall to have all 4 injectors replaced anyway. The Civic has had so many faults I've lost count.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I had a 2.0 TSi Scirocco before i bought my Type S, lovely car, looked great, loads of power where you want it (turbo), interior was "functional" (ie, boring), but......

In the 12 months i owned it, it was in the garage about 7 times with various faults, fuel injectors (£200 each, plus fitting) and when 1 fails they all need replacing (i didn't know this, and had to have 2 trips to the mechanics to replace them), throttle body needed replacing, throttle pedal sensor, then all that needed reprogramming but an authorised mechanic, and still it kept going into limp mode

Eventually i got rid of it through webuyanyoldcrap.com

I spent over £2 in repairs within a year, and lost about £1.5k when i sold it...............

But...... would i buy anbother one............. possibly, it was lovely to drive when it worked, and there is nothing quite like it for looks

And yeah, i guess i bought a dud, but it was a flippin' expensive dud
Thats shocking! But all too familiar. I had similar problems with my old Gti. Also a dud.
My fuel pump cam follower had worn - unbeknownst to me. No symptoms and didnt realise it had gone until i had it checked. All too late as it had scored the cams and the whole top end required replacement along with chain, tensioner belt and waterpump. Gutted as the car was great and very competent...but completely put me off VW (especially after hearing about failing chain tensioners on later TFSI engines!) Knocked my confidence in the car a lot after. Partly my fault as i researched the model before buying but only found out about cam followers after i acquired it- someone told me not long after VW are great at building experimental engines like the TFSI but made it overly complicated . Car had very good service history so was amazed it wasn’t replaced. Nonetheless it made me very wary of German cars..hence why i wanted to do some delving on the 130i.

Was this experienced that pushed me towards Honda as I know for a fact they build solid engines that are very reliable.

Hearing about the 1 series quirks gives me the same impression unfortunately. Maybe bulletproof means different things to some but id rather not have the worry, my view is in my experience is that if its likely to cause problems then it will for me!
 
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