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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 07-31-2013, 08:44 AM
nwoods06 nwoods06 is offline
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Need advice and i need it fast !!!

All,

I REALLY want to get a BMW! I am looking at a 2005 325i for $12,000 with 100,520 miles. I need to know is this is a good deal or not. My current car now is a 2011 Chrysler 200 and it has about 48,000 miles. It has been a long time goal of mine to own a BMW and I have the opportunity to get this BMW and it would take my car payment to about $100.00. But, due to what I have heard about maintenance and how pricey repairs are, I am very scared that if I were to trade for this older car I would hit one of those needed repairs and I would be up poo-creek without a paddle. I would like to add that the car has had 2 owners who drove on average 12k miles a year. The carmax report looks clean, no accidents and regular maintenance. So, what do you all think? Trade in the newer car for a car I have always wanted and smaller car payment or stick to the newer car and wait to afford basically a brand new one?

Thank you in advance for help you can provide.
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2013, 08:55 AM
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OfTheLost OfTheLost is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwoods06 View Post
All,

I REALLY want to get a BMW! I am looking at a 2005 325i for $12,000 with 100,520 miles. I need to know is this is a good deal or not. My current car now is a 2011 Chrysler 200 and it has about 48,000 miles. It has been a long time goal of mine to own a BMW and I have the opportunity to get this BMW and it would take my car payment to about $100.00. But, due to what I have heard about maintenance and how pricey repairs are, I am very scared that if I were to trade for this older car I would hit one of those needed repairs and I would be up poo-creek without a paddle. I would like to add that the car has had 2 owners who drove on average 12k miles a year. The carmax report looks clean, no accidents and regular maintenance. So, what do you all think? Trade in the newer car for a car I have always wanted and smaller car payment or stick to the newer car and wait to afford basically a brand new one?

Thank you in advance for help you can provide.
Given that you know nothing about the car other than what the CarFax report tells you, I would advise that you hold off on the BMW (at least for now). The price seems way too high regardless. You are going to need to set aside about 1-2,000 a year on maintenance for these cars, and that is if you are willing to do most repairs yourself. I would say pass on the car, do some research, read the wiki (posted at the top of the page), even watch some youtube videos on common preventative maintenance and decide whether this is the right choice for you. If you are not willing to put the time in, I would say that this is not the car for you.

Good luck
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2013, 09:06 AM
nwoods06 nwoods06 is offline
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Also, with this, if I were to do this deal, I would be cutting my car debt in half and I would be saving $100.00 on my car payment which I figure I could set that aside just for maintenance on the car. But, I dont know if that would be enough.
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2013, 09:15 AM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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1) It's probably $2000-$3000 too high (UNLESS it's really cherry and all 100K maintenance has been done.)
2) 100K maintenance (see wiki: cooling system & suspension) can easily run $2000 or more.
3) They're very sweet cars, but take a big breath and asses the car.
4) Have an Pre-Purchase Inspection by a BMW dealership/mechanic done (PPI). About $100.
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2013, 09:20 AM
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Are you mechanically inclined ? Do you have the ability and desire to work on your own car ? If not, then owning an E46 might not be such a good idea for you. BMWs are like having a high-maintainance girlfriend....they are demanding, and require constant upkeep & TLC, which gets real expensive real fast when you`re paying somebody else to do every little thing.

You better give this some serious thought before signing on the dotted line....
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  #6  
Old 07-31-2013, 09:25 AM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Your title says it all. You rush in to buy a car because it's such a good deal, you usually get stung.
It is worth it to get one of these superb cars. If you do it the right way.
Read the entire wiki for e46's
Then take your time to look for a good example with the options that might be good for you. I recommend a manual.
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2013, 09:42 AM
nwoods06 nwoods06 is offline
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First off, thank you everyone for your input.

Secondly, I don't like assumptions being made about myself or my business. I simply want advice on if this car is a good deal or not. Nowhere in the post does it say I need advice fast because I'm jumping on a car this very second and i have given no thought to it. I could require quick advice for a multitude of reasons. If I can get out of debt have the car of my dreams then why wouldn't I be interested in looking into making this deal? And for those of you that have actually provided advice and not condescending remarks and judgements, for that I give thanks and appreciation.

Now, with that out of the way. Yes, I know my way around a garage, but there are some repairs or updates you just cant do in your own garage, and for those repairs are where my money factor plays into this. Would anyone be able to tell me what the chances are that this particular car I am looking at will have a major problem anytime soon. If I were to acquire the car, I would only drive it every other day due to carpooling to work. In a year I would probably put about 7k-10k miles on the car, and it would be all highway. And also, is it true that these cars only need the oil changed every 12k-13k miles? There are several guys at my work that drive BMW's and they love their cars, and they suggest that if the car is taken care of then annually you should only expect to pay about @200.00 in maintenance, best case scenario. Your thoughts on this?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2013, 09:46 AM
nwoods06 nwoods06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Your title says it all. You rush in to buy a car because it's such a good deal, you usually get stung.
It is worth it to get one of these superb cars. If you do it the right way.
Read the entire wiki for e46's
Then take your time to look for a good example with the options that might be good for you. I recommend a manual.
I would like to point out, I have never been "stung" as you put it, I have had multiple cars so far in my lifetime, each one I am right side up in and have never had a problem.
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  #9  
Old 07-31-2013, 10:20 AM
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OfTheLost OfTheLost is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwoods06 View Post
I don't like assumptions being made about myself or my business. I simply want advice on if this car is a good deal or not. Nowhere in the post does it say I need advice fast because I'm jumping on a car this very second and i have given no thought to it. I could require quick advice for a multitude of reasons. If I can get out of debt have the car of my dreams then why wouldn't I be interested in looking into making this deal? And for those of you that have actually provided advice and not condescending remarks and judgements, for that I give thanks and appreciation.
I did not see any indication of condescending remarks from anyone, just a group of experienced guys who may have even been in your shoes at one point. You should not ask for advice if you only want to hear the answer you're looking for. We could all tell you that it's a great buy and to pounce on it, but a quick blue book check shows that car is worth $9,043 in Excellent condition (which applies to only 3% of all used cars). That alone should be enough for you to walk away. As far as assumptions being made, when you say you need FAST advice because you are wanting to purchase a car, that gives the assumption that you are needing to make a quick deal. So dont get upset about people trying to guide you in the right direction, this forum is full of great information with people who want to help.
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  #10  
Old 07-31-2013, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwoods06 View Post
First off, thank you everyone for your input.

. Would anyone be able to tell me what the chances are that this particular car I am looking at will have a major problem anytime soon. If I were to acquire the car, I would only drive it every other day due to carpooling to work. In a year I would probably put about 7k-10k miles on the car, and it would be all highway. And also, is it true that these cars only need the oil changed every 12k-13k miles? There are several guys at my work that drive BMW's and they love their cars, and they suggest that if the car is taken care of then annually you should only expect to pay about @200.00 in maintenance, best case scenario. Your thoughts on this?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Rule Number One:

<<<Bimmerfest's E46 Wiki>>> Read this before posting questions!

Your chances are around 100% that your car will need major work, probably on an annual basis. $1500 to $3000 a year is not unusual. These cars need the entire cooling system rebuilt every 70K miles or so, CABs fail in as little as 25,000 miles, brakes usually every 35,000, window regulators, DISA valves, CVVs, VANOS seals, ad nauseum....the list goes on....

The oil should be changed every 7500 miles, and your friends who think their maintainance will "only be $200 a year" are in for a rude awakening....
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  #11  
Old 07-31-2013, 10:28 AM
nwoods06 nwoods06 is offline
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Thank you for that information. Would this car be a good deal if it were bought for around $9,000.00 before trade-in?
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  #12  
Old 07-31-2013, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by nwoods06 View Post
Thank you for that information. Would this car be a good deal if it were bought for around $9,000.00 before trade-in?
An "out the door" price of around $9000 (or even a little more for "the right car") sounds about right. A thorough PPI will cost you an hour`s labor at a BMW dealer (a PPI is the only thing we would use a dealer for), but can save you a lot more in the long run. Whatever they reveal can be used as leverage to negotiate a better price.

Good luck !
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  #13  
Old 07-31-2013, 12:22 PM
RainyRider RainyRider is offline
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Try and negotiate the price a little and get your *ss in the saddle. You will be glad you did.
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  #14  
Old 07-31-2013, 05:36 PM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is offline
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I know it's out of your budget but consider getting a Certified BMW from a dealer with warranty. Pay a little more but have assurance. You can probably pick up an E90 for $25,000.
Stretch your budget a little, and save the headache afterwards.

Last edited by BMW318i_E36; 07-31-2013 at 05:42 PM.
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  #15  
Old 07-31-2013, 09:16 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwoods06 View Post
Secondly, I don't like assumptions being made about myself or my business.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
So sorry we didn't take the time to do an experience/personality analysis of you before we commented.
Write like a noob, get noob advice.

If this is all it takes to get you rattled around here, better pull the covers over your head tonight. But if you're a girl, I apologize.
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  #16  
Old 08-01-2013, 03:36 PM
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Re: Need advice and i need it fast !!!

I've owned mine since new... 8 years of maintenance... 95k miles now. I have roughly $1800 in maintenance due immediately if I were to pay for it. You are buying something with unknown history and expect $200 a year? No way!

You need to be a mechanic to own one long term... or have a fat budget for repairs. Case in point... I spent 6 hours installing $100 worth of parts yesterday. At $100 per hour that is a significant tab.

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  #17  
Old 08-01-2013, 04:15 PM
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Freakusaurus Freakusaurus is offline
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I didn't read through everyone's post, but I can say I paid $12,400.. sport package, premium package, and cold weather package... for my 2005 325Ci Convertible with 59,800 miles, so I would say they are asking to much for the one you are looking at.

Also I used to own a 2005 Chrysler 300C that I bought new. It was destroyed by a drunk driver but with 78,000 miles on it before it passed away, there was NEVER a single problem with the car. not a belt, not a battery, not a thing.. It was the most reliable car I ever owned and I drove it very hard.... I know the Chrysler 200 that you currently drive may not be the prettiest thing, but you might want to hold on to it a little longer before you jump into an older BMW.

Last edited by Freakusaurus; 08-01-2013 at 04:23 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-01-2013, 05:42 PM
Cavi Mike Cavi Mike is offline
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12k for a 325i is a rip off. That's 330Ci prices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwoods06 View Post
Yes, I know my way around a garage, but there are some repairs or updates you just cant do in your own garage
And that's an oxymoron. It clearly shows you don't "know your way around a garage" because there's nothing on a car that can't be done with a set of jack stands and some elbow grease. I live where they salt the roads and regularly work on cars as old as me - I don't have air tools and I didn't even own a welder until last year. There's nothing I haven't done, nor can't do, in my garage except for machine work.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:18 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Originally Posted by Cavi Mike View Post



don't "know your way around a garage" because there's nothing on a car that can't be done with a set of jack stands and some elbow grease. .
+1
DIY's on here for doing auto-to-six-speeds!
And engine swaps.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:43 PM
wdiddy wdiddy is offline
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the price is not great but it all depends on the condition. If the body and interior are great then the price is getting better, if it runs perfect and drives great then the price is close. Not many repairs are required and its a pretty reliable car. The only thing is once you get one, and if you're the kind of person that wants to upgrade things then the price to do so is more than most cars. Would be happy to get that car for $9500 if all looks good, for more it would have to be awesome.
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  #21  
Old 08-03-2013, 04:25 PM
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av98 av98 is offline
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That is ZHP price point, keep looking.
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  #22  
Old 08-03-2013, 05:46 PM
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Re: Need advice and i need it fast !!!

Get a 330 ZHP for that price and find one in good mechanical shape.. I see 325s and 330s going for $7.5-$9K around here in pretty good shape. You better be good at DIY or have extra change coming in for maintenance.

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  #23  
Old 08-04-2013, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwoods06 View Post
Secondly, I don't like assumptions being made about myself or my business. I simply want advice on if this car is a good deal or not. Nowhere in the post does it say I need advice fast because I'm jumping on a car this very second and i have given no thought to it. I could require quick advice for a multitude of reasons. If I can get out of debt have the car of my dreams then why wouldn't I be interested in looking into making this deal? And for those of you that have actually provided advice and not condescending remarks and judgements, for that I give thanks and appreciation.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
My advice is not to try to start an argument with the thousands of regulars here. We have been posting advice to noobs for years; I'm sorry we didn't take into consideration your feelings.

I'm not trying start something, but with 5 whole posts on this site; it might not be in your best interest to pee on us. Bimmerfest is all we have
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
So sorry we didn't take the time to do an experience/personality analysis of you before we commented.
Write like a noob, get noob advice.

If this is all it takes to get you rattled around here, better pull the covers over your head tonight. But if you're a girl, I apologize.
+1

Anyway, all the BS out of the way, that is not a good deal at all unless the thing has been inside a bubble it's whole life. At $12K, you should at a minimum be getting a 330, and you would be getting very close to M3 territory for pricing. A nice clean 325 sedan should be selling sub $10K with over 100K miles. $12K would be a good deal if it had 50-60K miles.
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