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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-19-2012, 03:09 PM
MechTech MechTech is offline
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New Member, and market value question

Hello, I have been coming here for a couple weeks now, researching a TON on the E46. Ive learned a lot about the potential issues of these cars thanks to this site. That WIKI is amazing.
Id like some opinions on a price of a car Im looking at. Ill give you as much detail as I can.

2005 330XI
6 Speed
Black Exterior, sand colored interior.
42,500 mi
Cold Weather Package
Premium Package
Clean Carfax

Exterior paint in great condition, no noticable scratches.
Interior leather in excellent shape.
Two sets of BMW wheels, one with All seasons with appx 40% tread, one with performance winter tires with 75% Tread.
Full tool kit in trunk.
Clear Headlights and side markers, imported from Germany. The receipt I saw for this showed a $490 price tag.
Weighted Shift Knob, from an M3 i believe.
Brand new in box stock shift knob he made BMW replace because the one that came with the car had a crack in the veneer.
Lip spoiler on the trunk, from an M car.
Not a single squeek, or rattle, or drivetrain noise noticed during test drive. The owner seems very particular and took full advantage of the warranty while he had it. The HVAC blower motor was replaced under warranty, as well as rear upper shock mounts, rear shelf, rear seat (for a small scratch).
The car has new brakes and rotors all around.
There has been no replacement of cooling system parts, vanos, bushings, or drive axles, to my knowledge. But these things should be revealed during the PPI if its an issue.
Im scheduling a pre-purchase inspection with an independent BMW shop. If the car comes back with nothing wrong, the price on the table is $15,000. Any input from the board members?

Thanks for reading!

Last edited by MechTech; 03-19-2012 at 06:39 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2012, 04:46 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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The car sounds good. A thorough PPI may reveal a few things which could be used as bargaining chips to negotiate the price down a little. Given the car`s low mileage, you probably won`t have to worry about the cooling system, CVV, and shocks for a while yet.
All the other Usual Suspects (CABs, VANOS seals, etc.), will probably need to be attended to first.

Good luck with it....keep us posted on your progress
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2012, 07:00 PM
MechTech MechTech is offline
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Thanks FastBob

I understand that ill have to keep an eye on the other systems. I work with aircraft for a trade so im not really afraid of having to fix things.

So, I just wasnt sure if the price was right. Im getting varying opinions from different people but none own a bmw.
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  #4  
Old 03-19-2012, 09:48 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Car sounds great! Love the low mileage; are you sure you don't have xenon's on there?

I just think for a seven year old e46 that price is ambitious. Even tho it sounds like a car you'd want to own, I'd try to get the price knocked down as much as I could.


Use this list as a guide for asking questions when you have the car inspected:

The E46 3-Series (1999-2005, including M) Edition

After years of working on BMW's, we have begun to see common problems and maintenance concerns that need to be addressed on nearly every middle-aged BMW. E46 3-series cars, like all BMWs, they have certain areas that need to be inspected regularly, and prospective owners should always have a pre-purchase inspection done to verify the condition of these items.

In this list, you will find items that should have been replaced or at least inspected by 75k-100k miles. Some are model specific, and will be noted as such.

If you suspect you may have some of these issues, or just want us to take a look for your peace of mind, print out your free inspection coupon (located here), and call us at 925.479.0797 to schedule an appointment!

Areas of Concern:

Broken window regulators: Leaves you stuck with your inoperative window in the down position.
Warning signs sometimes are a noisy crunchy sound a few times before you lose control of your window.
DIY's abound on various sites, and pay particular attention to your door seal when backing out of that area if you want to avoid rain soaked floors in your car.

Lower Control Arm Bushing Failure

Common symptoms for torn or cracked lower control arm bushings are undesired front toe changes during cornering, vague and rubbery feel in the steering, and vibration experienced while braking at freeway speeds. Non-M bushings are commonly replaced with M3 bushings to increase performance with little to no change in comfort.

Tie Rod Wear

Symtoms include: steering shimmy, clunking during steering input and inability to hold proper alignment. If any of the ball joint boots is cracked (you'll see grease coming out) then expect that component to need replacement. All components should also be checked for excessive play, and replaced if out of BMW spec.

Worn or Blown Shocks and Struts
Factory BMW shocks work great for about 30k. By 60k they are completely shot. Most folks who have been driving their cars since new hardly notice the deterioration as it is gradual. Symptoms includeiving under braking and acceleration, excessive lean and suspension compression during cornering. Bouncy and uncomfortable ride. Shocks and struts may visibly leak shock oil. EDGE generally recommends replacing the factory units with quality shocks from Koni whenever possible. When replacing shocks and struts, keep in mind it is a great time to install lowering springs or freshen up other areas of the suspension. You will be amazed at the difference a good set of shocks can make in both comfort and performance!

Worn or Failed Swaybar Endlinks
Worn swaybar endlinks can compromise handling. A worn swaybar can sound like a metallic clicking noise. There is no critical danger in a failed swaybar endlink, but the handling of the car is severely compromised.

Torn Rear Trailing Arm Bushings (RTABs)
E46's are prone to the same RTAB failure as the E36. In fact, since they are heavier cars, they tend to wear faster on the E46. If the rear of the car feels strange during cornering or you have excessive rear tire wear, expect that your RTABs are shot. Typical mileage for the E46 is around 35-45k. Failure to replace could lead to torn subframe and costly repairs. EDGE recommends replacement with factory units and RTAB limiting shims. The shims prevent excessive movement and can double the life of the bushing.

Torn Rear Shock Mounts
Torn or destroyed rear shock mounts will produce a very pronounced clunk during any sort of suspension movement, and could possibly just tear right through the trunk carpeting into the passenger cabin. Sloppy and erratic handling and excessive rear suspension play are common symptoms of a RSM failure.

Torn Subframe and Subframe Bushings
Torn subframe bushings could lead to subframe failure. Common symptoms of subframe failure are erratic handling and unidentified clunks and bangs from the rear of the car. Early detection of a torn or cracked subframe bushing can prevent costly subframe repair and welding. We see subframe issues mainly appearing in tracked and autocrossed E46's, but we have swapped out cracked bushings in higher mileage E46's as well.

Torn or Cracked Transmission Mounts
Torn transmission mounts could lead to the dreaded 'money shift,' or mechanical overrev and the possible (and likely) destruction of the car's motor. Worn transmission mounts allow for an excess amount of transmission movement. Symptoms can be hard, notchy and forced shifting during cornering, excessive shifter jerk during hard acceleration and braking, and muddy shifter feel.

Ripped or Failed Guibo
A torn guibo (Flex Disc) will result in a perceivable 'drivetrain elasticity.' Acceleration will be preceded with a loud clunk as the guibo bolts bind together.

Dirty Automatic Transmission Fluid or Clogged Filter
Hesitation and/or hard shifting could be the result of dirty and old automatic transmission fluid or clogged transmission filter.

Water Pump Failure-----extremely common & tragic

Water pump failure is without a doubt the easiest way to cause extensive and expensive damage to your BMW. The main symptom will be a rapidly overheating motor. What occurs is that the bearing or impeller on the stock pump breaks, completely disabling the cooling system. If you ever see the temperature gauge on your BMW climb above the 3/4 mark,...

TURN THE CAR OFF IMMEDIATELY AND CALL A TOW TRUCK!!

We can't stress this enough. Failure to catch the overheating motor in time can result in a warped head or even more severe engine damage. We recommend changing out the water pump in these six cylinder cars every 60-80k.

Cracked Radiator Necks
BMW loves their plastic radiator tanks....Unfortunately...The plastic around the radiator necks become brittle and crack with age, often without warning (see warning above.) Radiators should be thought of as 80-100k mile wear items. Trust us, this is cheap insurance!

Fan Clutch Failure
Most fan clutches fail between 80 and 100k miles. They provide the primary cooling for your car, and are easy for us to diagnose.

Accessory Belt and Tensioner Failure
Worn tensioners and idler pullies will sound like a squealing noise from the engine bay. Belts should be inspected for cracks regularly. If a belt happens to snap, the cooling system will fail as the water pump will cease to operate. Power steering and the alternator will also fail to work. Again, pull over and shut the car off immediately should you suspect a belt failure or see the temperature gauge rise past the 3/4 mark.

Leaky valve cover gasket
Prevalent on all BMWs, a burning oil smell could indicate a leaky valve cover gasket. If the condition continues unchecked, oil can seep into the spark plug holes and damage the ignition coils, resulting in costly replacement. Replacement of this inexpensive gasket is a good idea when changing sparkplugs as the coilpacks will already be out.

Vanos seals. See www.beisansystems.com for details for explanation, symptoms and upgraded parts.

Oil Filter Housing Gasket leaks. $6 part requires removal of the housing for replacement.

DISA is pretty high up on the list of high fail rate components.

Tail light ground circuit fix (recall on this).

Sunroof - what a disaster that design is with leaks and jams and broken clips. Labor on this one is torture.

Door locks can break. If your locks unlock and windows all roll completlely down by themselves spontaneously, replace the driver's door lock mechanism.

O2 Sensor Failure
Poor mileage, poor idle and flat spots in the power curve could be caused by bad O2 sensors. Even if your car isn't throwing a check engine light, they may not be performing optimally. BMW recommends replacing the O2 sensors every 100k miles. Extended high-RPM running/racing and high-performance chips may shorten the replacement cycle.

Oil Separator
Non M cars. If you have a poor idle and periodic Check Engine lights, you may have a bad oil seperator. This valve tends to go bad and introduce a vacuum leak which produces the above symptoms and will eventually strand you somewhere. We started seeing these a year ago and we are now repairing more and more cars with this problem. Typical mileage seems to be around 80k. The good news is that the part is only around $75..the bad news is that the labor runs about 4 hours, depending on the year of the car.

Clogged and dirty pollen filter
If the flow of air out of the air conditioning and heater system is not as strong as it used to be, it strongly suggests the pollen microfilter of your car has become dirty and clogged over time. A damp and musky smell can also indicate a dirty filter. This is a service II replacement item.
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2012, 01:56 PM
MechTech MechTech is offline
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GoForthFast

Yes, I forgot to list that it does have xenon headlights. I also forgot there is a new battery and aftermarket pedals.
That list is great, thank you for posting it. The seller informed me that a dealership has offered 14k for the car without the extra wheels or aftermarket headlights. The original price he had listed was $17,250...id be comfortable around 14,500. But im I going to wait for the PPI before I negotiate anything further. think I made the right choice with the mechanic too, because I had him tell me some of the common problems he might expect to find and I had to stop him or I think he would have read me basically that whole list. He said he sees about 10 3 series a week. Actually, I found him thanks to this site. German Performance Services, in Boston, MA.

I will say, even as a mechanic myself, reading all the POTENTIAL common problems is overwhelming. Im finding myself wondering if these cars are going to make reliable daily drivers. Im hoping so!
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2012, 02:35 PM
chasz17 chasz17 is offline
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That is a steal for a clean car like that. Have a PPI done and buy it fast!!!
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  #7  
Old 03-20-2012, 02:44 PM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MechTech View Post
The seller informed me that a dealership has offered 14k for the car without the extra wheels or aftermarket headlights.
I call BS on that. Still, the price is fine, if it's in mint condition. You sure you want an Xi, not a ZHP?

What BMW rims are they? An extra set is probably worth $800 w/ tires, depending on which rims they are.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:24 PM
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delirium330 delirium330 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MechTech View Post
that a dealership has offered 14k for the car
probably trade in value? which means they would probably offer 12k on a straight sell, or less. 15k doesn't seem horrible, KBB puts the value right around 15k. i'd research some comparables, independent of location, to see what they're going for.

a 2005 IS A VERY RELIABLE daily driver. ive had mine for 4 years now and its never been in the shop. with regular maintenance and a bit of preventative maintance, especially cheap DIY being you're a mechanic, you'll be just fine.

lastly, i'd recommend spending the extra 1-2k to get a ZHP (performance package version). not AWD.

Last edited by delirium330; 03-20-2012 at 03:26 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2012, 10:46 PM
JBimmer92 JBimmer92 is offline
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Meh Its all opinion. I love my XI especially with the upgraded suspension around corners...but to each his own. And I think thats a fair price, though as previously stated PPI and negotiate...it can always be brought down sooner or later.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:35 PM
Fishful Thinking Fishful Thinking is offline
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I'd be concerned 1st about the results of the PPI rather than quibble over $500. If it's the car you want and the PPI checks out, jump on it. I doubt you're going to find a better car than that for the money. That being said, negotiate your best price with the intention of buying, and drive away happy.
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  #11  
Old 03-21-2012, 12:56 PM
MechTech MechTech is offline
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Chris90: Yes I am sure I want the AWD. At this point, I dont even feel like putting the energy in to wait and find a different BMW. Also, I have a 1978 Trans Am, which is enough RWD fun for me. Im not sure what "style" the extra wheels were, I think they had 5 solid spokes.

Delirium330: Thanks for your maintenance input, that puts me at ease a little more. As for the ZHP, see above

JBimmer92: How have you modified your suspension?

rwall: Thanks for the advice. Im looking forward to the PPI results.
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  #12  
Old 03-21-2012, 02:46 PM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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I see you're in Maine. An Xi w/ snows would be a killer snow vehicle.

I think it's a rare find, that low miles, if it passes PPI, go for it!
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:24 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
I think it's a rare find, that low miles, if it passes PPI, go for it!
+1. If it is truly the right car, don't get wrapped up haggling over an additional $500 discount. If the owner is really meticulous with the care and maintenance of the car, that is worth a lot. Spend the extra money for a thorough PPI.

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Last edited by alpinweiss; 03-21-2012 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:56 PM
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+1
If the car checks out, buy it and enjoy.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:47 PM
JBimmer92 JBimmer92 is offline
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I have done the suspension upgrade with Bilstein parts, let me tell you, it is amazing!
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:29 PM
Fishful Thinking Fishful Thinking is offline
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My folks live in Edgecomb and love their e90 xi touring. Great car for your area. Good luck!
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  #17  
Old 03-23-2012, 06:18 PM
MechTech MechTech is offline
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Thanks for the supportive coments everyone.. The PPI is only a couple days away, I will let you all know how it goes.
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  #18  
Old 03-31-2012, 01:06 PM
MechTech MechTech is offline
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So just an update

I had the inspection done, which wasnt over all too terrible..quoted about $1k for a shop to do the work (about $500 in parts) .. but in the end decided against purchasing the car.
Thanks again for everyones input.

Cheers
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