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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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 11-10-2013, 06:40 PM
jtprettyman jtprettyman is offline
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Hey guys. I'm new here, but fairly active on VW Vortex as I'm a current Audi owner. I have loved the E46 3-series for some time, and am going to look at this one tomorrow:

http://www.reddellhonda.com/used-Nas...ET37403NJ41114

What are your opinions on this particular example? I am new to the 3 Series, what are some of the weak points / high cost lurkers that I should look for? This would be a daily driver for me, 100 miles round trip daily. I will say thank you in advance, I really appreciate the input of the true experts on the user boards.
Looking forward to joining you in ownership....._a_
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2013, 07:13 PM
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If you`re serious about this car, take it to a BMW dealer for a thorough PPI. Any E46 with that mileage should have had a cooling system rebuild in the recent past. Trans fluid could stand to be changed also.

Good Luck !
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2013, 08:08 PM
Y2K_Bimmer Y2K_Bimmer is offline
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100 miles round trip I would buy a Prius or some other serious commuter vehicle. I'm sure a lot of that is highway but you'll average 25mpg. 2,000 miles per month = 80 gallons vs 50 gallons is roughly $100 a month in gas. Sorry, you didn't ask for that but I'm working on my budget.
Also add in $2000 a year for maintenance. Average is about $1000 or so but that's a lot of miles.
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2013, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Y2K_Bimmer View Post
100 miles round trip I would buy a Prius or some other serious commuter vehicle. I'm sure a lot of that is highway but you'll average 25mpg. 2,000 miles per month = 80 gallons vs 50 gallons is roughly $100 a month in gas. Sorry, you didn't ask for that but I'm working on my budget.
Also add in $2000 a year for maintenance. Average is about $1000 or so but that's a lot of miles.
In the real world, there`s usually not THAT much difference in mpg between an E46 and a Prius at highway cruise speeds. I would gladly spend an extra 4 or 5 bucks a day to drive a REAL car, and not some glorified golf cart....
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2013, 08:49 PM
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HakenTT HakenTT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtprettyman View Post

What are your opinions on this particular example? I am new to the 3 Series, what are some of the weak points / high cost lurkers that I should look for? This would be a daily driver for me, 100 miles round trip daily. I will say thank you in advance, I really appreciate the input of the true experts on the user boards.
Looking forward to joining you in ownership....._a_
I would avoid buying one from dealer because with tax and process fee it will come out to $9000+.

I would buy one from private seller and you can probably fine nice one for cheaper. Watch for oil leaks and detecting the age of the cooling system can be easy with telescopic mirror. Each part has a date stamp when it was made, if the parts are older than year 10 then avoid.
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  #6  
Old 11-10-2013, 09:10 PM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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Although most people on this forum prefer the 330i over the 325i, I have been very happy with my '01 325i's power and gas mileage. I definitely encourage you to take the car to BMW of Nashville or Nashville AutoHaus (IMO, best indy garage in Nashville for BMWs.)

I hope this deal works out for you. The car looks great and is in excellent cosmetic condition.
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  #7  
Old 11-11-2013, 04:17 AM
davidmaria1 davidmaria1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HakenTT View Post
I would avoid buying one from dealer because with tax and process fee it will come out to $9000+.

I would buy one from private seller and you can probably fine nice one for cheaper. Watch for oil leaks and detecting the age of the cooling system can be easy with telescopic mirror. Each part has a date stamp when it was made, if the parts are older than year 10 then avoid.
I'm not a big fan of dealerships, but if something goes drastically wrong shortly after purchase, he would have a better chance of getting help from a dealer over a private sale.
I ran a quick carfax on that vin, the selling dealer did a tire, pinstripe and "floor mat protection?". Eurofix in Murfreesboro did an unspecified service at 81k.
Bell Buckle did a valve cover gasket and front brakes at 91k. Tried to copy/paste the report but it didn't work. Sometimes you can google the vin and get a free report.
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  #8  
Old 11-11-2013, 05:08 AM
radek radek is offline
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Y2K_Bimmer View Post
100 miles round trip I would buy a Prius or some other serious commuter vehicle. I'm sure a lot of that is highway but you'll average 25mpg. 2,000 miles per month = 80 gallons vs 50 gallons is roughly $100 a month in gas. Sorry, you didn't ask for that but I'm working on my budget.
Also add in $2000 a year for maintenance. Average is about $1000 or so but that's a lot of miles.
I am also considering a 3 series.

How do you figure $2000 a year maintenance? Does this include regular maintenance done by dealer or DIY?
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2013, 07:29 AM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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Originally Posted by radek View Post
I am also considering a 3 series.

How do you figure $2000 a year maintenance? Does this include regular maintenance done by dealer or DIY?
That is regular maintenance done by yourself or at a reasonably priced indy garage. The dealer will magically turn that $2000.00 maintenance cost into $4000.00.

For instance, at or near 100k miles, you will need to do a cooling system refresh, change fluids and probably have to address some suspension wear issues (control arm bushings, control arms if necessary, perhaps struts or a wheel bearing). At later points or maybe now, you also have to replace any number of wear items - belts/pulleys, intake items, fuel system items, DISA and CCV. I spent about $1500.00 my first year just on cooling, suspension, belts and pulleys, plus recovering the A pillars and installing fog lights. This is why a pre-purchase inspection is so vital - you need to know exactly what needs addressing before you buy. This is for your own information and perhaps can serve as a negotiating tool with the dealer.

Some of these items are preventative maintenance, but they need to be done to ensure your car performs well and the engine isn't damaged (via overheating.) This may sound daunting, but these cars are highly tuned beasts that will last a long time if you take care them.

I do not have a problem buying from dealers, except that you rarely get a great deal from one.

Last edited by vandyboy; 11-11-2013 at 07:33 AM.
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  #10  
Old 11-11-2013, 10:36 AM
Tommy D Tommy D is offline
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Vandyboy is right on the money. I've owned my 330i for one year now, bought with 90K in nice shape. I spent $1800 on DIY and one trip to the garage. Tires, front brakes, pulleys, cooling system parts, wipers, etc. I hope to be half that this coming year.
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  #11  
Old 11-11-2013, 01:36 PM
Deerell Deerell is offline
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Car looks great.... I bought the same car back in may 2012... 2003 325i BMW with 99k. 1st thing that went wrong was my upper radiator hose, then lower hose, then expansion tank, then radiator I replace all of that. Then this Friday I notice my temp gauge went up and down when I turned my heat on. So I did some reading online, fast bob, and my mechanic told me I need thermostat. So I order 1 to day online. Check cooling system. It's a great car I love it built to last along time. Get it if everything works out right
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  #12  
Old 11-13-2013, 06:43 PM
jtprettyman jtprettyman is offline
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Disappointed, the car didn't present anywhere near as well in person. Hail damage, pretty heavy on the hood and trunk. I could have lived with it, but not anywhere near this price point. Didn't bother going a whole lot further into it. Search goes on......
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  #13  
Old 11-14-2013, 07:47 PM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is online now
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I know what you mean, don't have to live it with it my friend at that price. You will find that gem.
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  #14  
Old 11-14-2013, 08:08 PM
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There are lots of E46s for sale on the current market....(one or two worth buying, even...). Patience and maybe expanding your search area will yield the results you want.
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2013, 10:20 PM
jtprettyman jtprettyman is offline
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Update

UPDATE:
I did end up picking up a 2007 E90 328i from a local, well respected dealership. Car has been great, will try to post pics this weekend.
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  #16  
Old 12-21-2013, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtprettyman View Post
UPDATE:
I did end up picking up a 2007 E90 328i from a local, well respected dealership. Car has been great, will try to post pics this weekend.
hope you have about $600 for the waterpump DIY (parts only). $1200 if you have it done by a mechanic.

E46 water pump is $60.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #17  
Old 12-21-2013, 10:27 AM
chansta chansta is offline
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i recently purchased a 325i and have spent $1200 in parts first month of owning it.
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