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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 02-01-2010, 09:41 AM
bluto bluto is offline
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325xi Wagon

Hello all. I am hoping to get some information here before I make any purchase on a newer BMW.

I am thinking about getting a 2002 325xi Wagon with roughly 140,000 miles. Is there anything I should look out for? I need a wagon because I make a living playing drums and wagons work out well for traveling/hauling.

Can anyone shed some light on the model? Any thing I need to watch out for as far as known issues? My current daily driver is a 73 2002 so my mechanical knowledge stops there.

TIA
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2010, 09:51 AM
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We have this handy little thing called a "WIKI"....it will answer *many* of your questions....
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2010, 09:56 AM
bluto bluto is offline
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Ok thanks. I thought someone might have had a personal experience with one. I will check there.

Thank you
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2010, 10:04 AM
mnzhp mnzhp is offline
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I just bought a 2003 325xiT with 55,000 miles I do know from evaluating other E46's including xi's that you should check out the front CV boots and joints on xi's - they wear out like any other car.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2010, 10:54 AM
bluto bluto is offline
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Cool. I'll check into that. Thanks for the tip.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2010, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluto View Post
Ok thanks. I thought someone might have had a personal experience with one. I will check there.

Thank you
Dude....an E46 is an E46 is an E46....doesn`t matter what the body style is, they all share the same mechanicals, have the same problems, etc. It`s not like there are "wagon-specific" issues....
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:46 AM
bluto bluto is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Dude....an E46 is an E46 is an E46....doesn`t matter what the body style is, they all share the same mechanicals, have the same problems, etc. It`s not like there are "wagon-specific" issues....
unicorns

Last edited by bluto; 02-01-2010 at 01:06 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2010, 12:22 PM
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I'm new to the site. New to anything BMW past a 73. And I'm not your "dude", prick.
No need to jump ugly, noob....just trying to put things into perspective....
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2010, 12:52 PM
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Whoa. Rule #1: Don't be dissin' Fast Bob.

"Dude" is not an insult. Hell, I get called dude and I'm not even a dude.

Chill!
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2010, 01:14 PM
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1972ford 1972ford is offline
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My comment for you coming from a 1973 vehicle is there are probably more wires in the driver's door of my 2001 325xi wagon than in the whole of my 1972 ford truck. Including spark plug wires. So you will have a lot more electrical things to deal with, but the same is true with lots of modern cars. And sensors are nice when they can tell you what's up with the car, i.e. engine sensors, etc, but there are times I wish I could just have a regular mechanical door handle on my tailgate, for example, and no DSC.

On the "wagon-specific" things, the only difference being the rear tailgate - the rear wipers can get corroded, stiff, and burn out the motor ($300 something, I think). Mine almost failed (was very hard to rotate, and the motor struggled) but I was able to replace the $75 wiper arm first. The window opens separately from the door, which is nice - most wagons don't do that, i.e. subaru, audi, at least that I've seen. But mine isn't working right now (electrical gremlin). The wires going into the tailgate I've read to be suspect, i.e. they can get worn out from flexing back and forth, and cause issues in the tailgate electrical. However, these are relatively small things, and as Bob said, most of your potential issues are common to all e46 family cars.

Service history is helpful, and a through PPI from a trusted indy mechanic is essential.

That's my 2 cents, good luck in your search!

Oh and get a 5 speed.
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2010, 03:58 PM
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unicorns
No sweat, man....it`s all in good fun :-)

You should stick around awhile, this is a good place to hang....
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2010, 08:30 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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I'll reply to this later
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2010, 08:41 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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As for maintenance to do on a newly bought car:
oil change
oil filter
spark plugs
might as well do valve cover gasket since its going to fail soon
check ignition coils for traces of oil
if oil is present, replace valve cover gasket
fuel filter (the one with pressure regulating valve built-in)
steering pump fluid replacement using turkey bastor
differential fluid
transmission fluid
brake fluid
coolant change
inspect cooling system for leaks, mainly water pump and expnsion tank (and radiator too for a car with that many miles). replace the entire system if it looks to be original so you can avoid a catastrophic failure.
to check for coolant leaks, look for white residue
inspect intake pipes for cracks, replace if necessary. these are prone to ripping and tearing and causing misfires
inspect subframe for cracks... this is a big one, fix as needed
check and replace brake pads + rotors as needed
tire dept and pressure
check if oil separator aka pcv aka ccv is working correctly. There are a couple ways to check. One way is to open the oil fill cap while the engine is idling. If the idle drops or changes, and/or you hear chewbacca crying or beluga whale mating call or a dying hippo, then your oil separator needs replacement.
Many ppl will tell you to replace the entire cooling system: water pump, upper hose, lower hose, radiator, expansion tank +cap, thermostat, temperature sensor...
Inspect control arm bushings and differential bushings. Replace as needed.
check to see if coil spring in the suspension is not cracked.
That's all I can think of. Hope it helps, and good luck.
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