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Nik99
05-04-2008, 08:35 PM
Hey all. I just joined your community because I have a dilemma. I'm going to be graduating college in a couple of weeks and I have a pretty decent job lined up. I've been driving Camryís since I was 16 and Iím itching to get something a little more fun. Right now I have narrowed my choices down to either an e36 or e46 m3. The thing is I will be making in the neighborhood of 50K and I don't really have to worry about living costs because for the time being Iím moving back home. The prices around me for an e36 are roughly 11-14K and 21-26k for an e46. So, the issue if I go for the e46 will I actually be able to maintain the car? The reason I ask is that I think just buying one of the machines and not being able to handle the upkeep is a crime. I know a couple people that have bought nice cars and the just run them into the ground, I refuse to be one of those. How much is regular maintenance on an e46 m3 with about 80k miles on it? If I can't afford the e46, do you think the e36 is a good option or should I just stay away from the high end cars until I start making significantly more? Any input would be much appreciated. Thank you.

ianiac
05-04-2008, 10:01 PM
If I were you I would wait a year or so before I went out and purchased an e46 M3.

sprky296
05-04-2008, 10:27 PM
I was in your shoes about 3 years ago (when I graduated college and had a "nice" job lined up). I've been driving crappy cars all my life (an '85 Chrysler LeBaron that literally blew up on me, my mom's '93 Previa [the bumble bee looking minivan], and most recenlty, a '93 Mercury Cougar [that I have since given/sold to my younger brother). Here are my $0.02.

Wait until you pay off your student loans (if you have any), and then look at your local market for e36 or e46 M3's. Don't blow all your income on the car, however, since you can never predict what will happen down the road. I totally agree with you that buying a great machine of a car and not being able to afford the upkeep is a crime, so I went with the e36 M3. It's not too terribly expensive to maintain, and if you can find a good one (read: low mileage and good maintenance records), take the plunge. You won't regret it!

From what I've heard, the e46's are significantly more to keep running (from tires, to brakes, to regular service). I could be wrong though...

GE36
05-05-2008, 04:33 AM
Go E36 my friend. You can handle the up keep if you are living at home. You deserve it after the hard work. Try to find one that has had some of the typical weaknesses already replaced. Cooling system is the biggie, as this can leave you stranded on the side of the road. The other nuances you can get to as you go. If you are going to do the work on your own on a weekend...even better.

Nik99
05-05-2008, 09:39 AM
Thank you for the replies. So as i had guessed i will focus my attention on an e36. I will start looking around my area now, so it'll probably take a few months to find a nice one. In terms of waiting a year or so... i dunno if i can hold out that long....? I was also thinking of keeping my camry as a beater for the winter and such. I'm wondering how the e36 is in the snow, obviously i would put a good set of winter tires on it, but how much does that really change things? I test drove a 1995 with dinan chip and exhaust on a rainy day in november and the back end started to come out at the top of second gear under hard throttle. It concerned me a little bit because i figure it'd be even worse in the winter. thanx again.

AliNaqvi
05-05-2008, 11:44 AM
I tend to disagree with those that say it's wiser to save your money your first year into the 'real world' (I graduated not too long ago and started work in December), pay off loans, credit cards, be financially stable, etc; although I was instructed to do the same, I bought my E46 M3 three months after I started working (much to the horror and dismay of the parentals).

My take on it is this: you'll be 'paying off' something your whole life (more debt, education, bills, family etc.) - so why not enjoy the ride there (no pun intended!)?Sure, I don't save much, but hey, we're on this board for a reason - we're car fanatics - and I sure as hell I enjoy my commute to work a lot more than my neighbour in his Tercel. It makes working okay - it makes me enjoy waking up on a gloomy Monday because I know I'll be blasting down Jamboree road in something I'm working hard for.

Also, I've realised it's next to impossible to try to create a budget my first year of full-time employment (especially living here in sunny SoCal), but it's good to allocate - people spend their money on shopping, eating out, girlfriends - I shopped out of my first paycheck, buy groceries and don't have a girlfriend, so my money goes where it should: to some tire gel and sealant!

So it depends what you want out of life, I guess: impatience is one of my virtues, I love cars, and I don't care for $10K sitting in my bank - not at this point in my life. I worked hard in college, and here's my reward: pulling up to a Gallardo and finally being able to rev my engine.

Just my .02.

BDL
05-06-2008, 07:18 PM
Regarding your issue with winter driving. I have a '99 E36. I drove on a set of 4 Blizzaks this past winter in 6" of snow in New Hampshire. Obviously had to go easy, but no problem starting and stopping in the heavy snow. Did not drive on ice, however.

funa
05-07-2008, 11:42 PM
While I'm not trying to sour your thoughts, check the insurance rates on the different models out there since in the past, it's been a real world consideration for me (Check writer) and our 4 driver family.

e36m34life
05-08-2008, 07:25 AM
I tend to disagree with those that say it's wiser to save your money your first year into the 'real world' (I graduated not too long ago and started work in December), pay off loans, credit cards, be financially stable, etc; although I was instructed to do the same, I bought my E46 M3 three months after I started working (much to the horror and dismay of the parentals).

My take on it is this: you'll be 'paying off' something your whole life (more debt, education, bills, family etc.) - so why not enjoy the ride there (no pun intended!)?Sure, I don't save much, but hey, we're on this board for a reason - we're car fanatics - and I sure as hell I enjoy my commute to work a lot more than my neighbour in his Tercel. It makes working okay - it makes me enjoy waking up on a gloomy Monday because I know I'll be blasting down Jamboree road in something I'm working hard for.

Also, I've realised it's next to impossible to try to create a budget my first year of full-time employment (especially living here in sunny SoCal), but it's good to allocate - people spend their money on shopping, eating out, girlfriends - I shopped out of my first paycheck, buy groceries and don't have a girlfriend, so my money goes where it should: to some tire gel and sealant!

So it depends what you want out of life, I guess: impatience is one of my virtues, I love cars, and I don't care for $10K sitting in my bank - not at this point in my life. I worked hard in college, and here's my reward: pulling up to a Gallardo and finally being able to rev my engine.

Just my .02.

Very good points!

OP, if your 110% sure you will be making 50K a year, you can definitely afford an E46 M3, maintenance and insurance aswell. The biggest factor is that 1. You will be living at home, and that is going to save you tons of money. 2. You will have to shop for a nice one owner, 100% maintained car to get the most life, and to not have problems down the road.

Think of it this way, you will only get to live one time, enjoy your life and make the most of it. You can save up lots of money, and get in an accident 5 years from now with 100K in the bank because you didn't spend money, and you drove a beater. Or you can enjoy life, and if something like that happens, you will not have regrets because you know you had fun and did what you can.

Buy an E46 M3, you will love it. Or, personally, what I would do is buy an E36 M3 that is already turbocharged or supercharged, and then you won't have to deal with the porkiness of the E46, and you will be faster then even a bolt on E46. Also, maintenance will be cheaper and easier.

Good luck :thumbup:

AliNaqvi
05-08-2008, 11:44 AM
Couldn't agree more with the gentleman above. Nik99, for the record: I make in the neighbourhood of what you'll be making, pay $1k a month for rent, pay horrible gas prices in SoCal (around $4.25?) and ALSO have two tickets on my record so my insurance is about $250/mo. (which I considered a good deal :)) - but still drive an E46. I'll be honest to say I can't 'comfortably' afford it: a crazy weekend where I spend $300+ and I'm already thinking about credit cards - it's all about allocation. If you're making $50k+ and living at home you should easily be able to afford an E46 M3 - even an '04 or '05.

My mother used to tell me, "we'll cross the bridge when we get to it." - so like e36m34life said, enjoy life - if a problem arises, you'll deal with it when the time comes.

Good luck!