BMW 325d – 2009 – 581,212 km – Around the clock

Through a ring

Really and truly? Has it already done so many kilometers? You wouldn’t think so and that is largely due to the care the owner takes. It is about the 325d of Marco de Leeuw, the star of this Klokje Rond show.


When it comes to a car that appeals to many people and is also reasonably accessible, the BMW 3-series is often mentioned. That model has an incredibly strong appeal to almost everyone who has something to do with cars. Even more than a smooth Golf and often even more than the brand with the star.

Marco de Leeuw from Susteren has been the happy owner of a 2009 325d for ten years now, which has now passed the half million mark. To say Marco is a petrolhead would be an understatement. He is really very fond of the car phenomenon. “Besides my work, cars are my big hobby. I just didn’t make it my profession, but maybe I should have,” laughs the Limburger, who is employed by a world-renowned tech company.

Meat in the tub

Today we have a real BMW 325d on the bridge. It was first put into use in 2009 and is therefore now fifteen years old. In January 2013, the BMW was imported and registered with the Netherlands, with Marco as the first and so far only Dutch owner. Marco bought it from a starting car entrepreneur who brought it from Luxembourg, where the car had been ‘on lease’ during its first years of life.

The car had almost a ton and a half on the clock at the time and Marco has driven it towards half a million in recent years. The new asking price was more than sixty grand. The motorization is actually just right: six-in-line, 197 hp/400 Nm on the rear wheels and a nice six-speed gearbox within reach for driver Marco. In contrast to the six-cylinder petrol, the torque is available quickly, from 1,300 rpm. And the consumption? “If I drive properly, I get to 1 in 18,” says Marco. A neat figure, of course.

Where does this fascination for cars come from and where does this adoration for the 3 Series come from? “The 3 is a car as a car should be: four doors and a trunk. Furthermore, the rear wheels provide the drive and the front wheels provide steering. BMW has perfected that, so that the car is also fun to drive. For me the picture is complete,” Marco explains. Driving a car is as natural to Marco as eating, drinking and sleeping. His interest in four-wheelers is very broad. Because the brand runs in the family, Mazda also has an above-average interest. “A beautiful brand that dares to be idiosyncratic, but has also always built cars of very good quality,” says Marco. The 58-year-old enthusiast has three gems from that brand in the garage. “A red Mazda 1000 C from 1973 like we had at home at the time, a classic Mazda 323 from 1977 in a rare five-door version and my favorite, a Mazda RX-7 from 1979. Yes, with a rotary engine.” It is clear that Marco, in addition to a passion for driving, also has a heart for special technology. He also plays a role on the board of the Hadi-Mazda club.


Back to the BMW. That fifteen-year-old 325d is simply hard to beat. Even judge Joep, who is known for his critical eye, thinks so. For this German brand, the bar is even raised a little higher at Carrec, because they receive a lot of them in the workshop for maintenance, repairs or adjustments to the chassis or tires. As a result, they know the 3 Series inside and out. Joep is positive after the test drive. “I notice that this car is doing well, attention and time have been spent on it,” he says and that is even more common today. That also has something to do with that inline-six in the front.

Unfortunately we encounter some oil leakage on the bridge at Carrec. That is a setback, also for Marco, who carefully watches the entire inspection. “Not to an extent to worry about immediately, but you have to do something with it,” Joep explains. There are some fresh traces of oil near the vacuum pump and fuel filter. And although the 325d drives wonderfully, the inspector on duty has something to complain about: there are vibrations and noises along the way. “That’s because of an engine mount and the front wishbone rubbers, which are worn out.” Something must be done to approach perfection again. Furthermore, the list on the infamous yellow note sheet remains limited. For a car of this age with more than half a million on the clock, this is a beautiful 3-series, that’s clear.

Subdued happy

Owner Marco is modestly happy. Modest? Yes, because anyone who looks into the maintenance history will see that it is meticulously precise. And in fact, every comment is one too many. But bottom line he is also proud, because Joep is not that generous with compliments.

So just keep driving, right? “I’m going to work on Joep’s list. On the one hand, this is a hobby car, but one that I use a lot and often, because I have it to enjoy driving. If you want that, then it has to be absolutely right,” says Marco. There is no way to get in between that.

Owner BMW 325d

Name: Marco de Leeuw
Year of construction: 1965
Place of residence: Susteren
Occupation: Financial man at a tech company
First car: Toyota Corolla 30
Previous car: Volvo S60 2.4 D Edition II
What would you like to change about your car?: “Install seat heating.”
What is your longest trip with this car? “To Italy.”

Maintenance history

This is just a small selection from the long list of maintenance work:

  • 140,236 4 new tires
  • 155.175 Detachable Tow Bar
  • 202.865 6 Replace glow plugs
  • 211.305 Mounting disc and blocks at the rear left
  • 218.270 Replace deflection roller on alternator
  • 276.794 Coupling complete
  • 277.206 Emptying the particulate filter
  • 322,987 Seat repair
  • 342,357 4 New Vredesteins – 54621 km with the old one
  • 359,982 Bumper repair
  • 418.588 Windscreen replacement
  • 430,700 Replaced discs and blocks all around
  • 432.219 Replace rear shock absorbers
  • 440.427 Front shock absorbers replaced
  • 481.578 Replacing alternator, multi-belt, belt tensioner
  • 494,414 two new xenon lamps
  • 495.904 Frame above windshield
  • 500.996 Hardy discs and intermediate shaft bearing
  • 512.845 Clutch and flywheel complete
  • 517.101 Air conditioning failure
  • 528,000 MULF2 repaired
  • 557.616 Bumper and bumper grille replaced including painting
  • 559.611 Base plate
  • 577.926 Driver’s mat

What’s wrong with it?

  • There is some play on the gear lever
  • There are a lot of engine vibrations, a set of new (original) engine mounts could help
  • The car jerks when braking suddenly because the front control arm rubbers are worn out
  • The left windshield wiper does not move far enough to the left
  • The vacuum pump sweats some oil
  • An intercooler hose connection is sweating
  • The rear differential rubber is torn
  • There is play on the right rear upper wishbone
  • Diesel is leaking from the fuel filter

The opinion of Carrec Technocenter

‘You can see in everything that attention and love has gone into this BMW 3-series. It has been punctually maintained and impeccable inside and out. Of course we like to see it that way. You will enjoy this for years to come. Nice car. Hats off to the car and its owner.’

– Thanks for information from

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