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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 06-18-2015, 08:00 PM
puckhound95 puckhound95 is offline
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Smile Purchasing a used e46 and PPI Near Marlboro, NJ

Hey guys/girls!

I am new to the forum and plan on purchasing my 2nd BMW! My first was a 1997 BMW 318i, but I sold that over a year ago. I am not looking to purchase an e46 and have one particular car in mind. Here is the ad:

http://cnj.craigslist.org/cto/5055565146.html

Looks like it has some of the important preventative maintenance done already. Only thing I am concerned about is that the seller said the oil filter housing gasket has a small leak and that some of the parts were from Advanced Auto and not BMW specific parts. I know the cooling system will need to be serviced soon as well. Other than that, it seems to be taken care of. Let me know what you guys think!

Also, I am going to check out the car this Saturday 6/20 and would like to get a PPI done before purchasing. Is there anyone on the forum that lives near Marlboro or Freehold, NJ that can be recommended to take a look? How about a BMW specialist near the area? Any input is appreciated.

Thanks!_a__a2_
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2015, 11:25 PM
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Craigslist is ALWAYS a crapshoot....this seller actually knows very little about these cars (BEWARE of BMWs with chrome wheels on them, the owners are usually real dweebs ). There is no "M-Package" on this car (it doesn`t exist, anyway). The upside is, it appears the car has recently had a number of new parts installed. If YOU like it, take it for a PPI and see what they say. You can always haggle a bit on price....

There used to be a guy named Don something-or-other, "Mr. M Car" was the name of his shop. He had a real good reputation among some of the CCA members I used to know....
He`s in Monmouth County, not far from you....
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  #3  
Old 06-19-2015, 09:32 AM
puckhound95 puckhound95 is offline
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If I am able to haggle down to say $5,000, assuming it is in good condition and needs minor stuff, would it be worth it? The car comes with the original set of wheels so I can always sell the M3 wheels as I know they go for a premium. The guy has all the paperwork and service records, so it looks like its in decent shape. Is it worth going to look at?
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  #4  
Old 06-19-2015, 09:51 AM
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Well-l-l, about those "M3" wheels -- they aren't.

Those are chrome replicas, probably cheap and not very strong. The genuine article has a combination painted/machined finish IIRC--definitely not chromed. There is of course the remote possibility that they are genuine M3 wheels that someone had chromed--which would pretty much destroy any premium value they might otherwise have.

It's worth taking a look but unless you are a brilliant mechanic yourself, never consider a purchase without a PPI. From my own experience, I can't even tell you how many expensive surprises can lurk in a car that appears to be in "good shape."

+1 to Don Fields at Mr. M Car (http://www.mrmcar.com/). The shop recently moved to Farmingdale which is not far from the Freehold/Marlboro area.
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  #5  
Old 06-19-2015, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Craigslist is ALWAYS a crapshoot....this seller actually knows very little about these cars (BEWARE of BMWs with chrome wheels on them, the owners are usually real dweebs ). There is no "M-Package" on this car (it doesn`t exist, anyway). The upside is, it appears the car has recently had a number of new parts installed. If YOU like it, take it for a PPI and see what they say. You can always haggle a bit on price....

There used to be a guy named Don something-or-other, "Mr. M Car" was the name of his shop. He had a real good reputation among some of the CCA members I used to know....
He`s in Monmouth County, not far from you....
I use to have chrome on my wheels
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  #6  
Old 06-19-2015, 10:51 AM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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Not to sound paranoid, but it's odd that he bought it a year ago, put $3000 into it, and now wants to sell it. There's probably a legitimate reason for this, but it might be worth asking him why he's unloading it just after getting it into shape.
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  #7  
Old 06-19-2015, 11:03 AM
puckhound95 puckhound95 is offline
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According to the seller, he recently got a new job that is higher paying so he decided to buy a new car. Sounds pretty legitimate
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  #8  
Old 06-19-2015, 11:04 AM
puckhound95 puckhound95 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Craigslist is ALWAYS a crapshoot....this seller actually knows very little about these cars (BEWARE of BMWs with chrome wheels on them, the owners are usually real dweebs ). There is no "M-Package" on this car (it doesn`t exist, anyway). The upside is, it appears the car has recently had a number of new parts installed. If YOU like it, take it for a PPI and see what they say. You can always haggle a bit on price....

There used to be a guy named Don something-or-other, "Mr. M Car" was the name of his shop. He had a real good reputation among some of the CCA members I used to know....
He`s in Monmouth County, not far from you....
The seller did indeed put the M3 package bumper, trunk, and suspension on to match the later M3 package. He has the paperwork to prove it. It is actually the 325i with sports package.
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  #9  
Old 06-19-2015, 11:06 AM
puckhound95 puckhound95 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
Well-l-l, about those "M3" wheels -- they aren't.

Those are chrome replicas, probably cheap and not very strong. The genuine article has a combination painted/machined finish IIRC--definitely not chromed. There is of course the remote possibility that they are genuine M3 wheels that someone had chromed--which would pretty much destroy any premium value they might otherwise have.

It's worth taking a look but unless you are a brilliant mechanic yourself, never consider a purchase without a PPI. From my own experience, I can't even tell you how many expensive surprises can lurk in a car that appears to be in "good shape."

+1 to Don Fields at Mr. M Car (http://www.mrmcar.com/). The shop recently moved to Farmingdale which is not far from the Freehold/Marlboro area.
They are indeed replica M3 wheels. According to other threads on replica wheels, most are actually fairly strong and are built very well. Even the replica M3 wheels go for decent money.
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  #10  
Old 06-19-2015, 11:23 AM
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Please post the last 7 numbers of the VIN here....
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  #11  
Old 06-19-2015, 11:28 AM
puckhound95 puckhound95 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Please post the last 7 numbers of the VIN here....
nj19790
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  #12  
Old 06-19-2015, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puckhound95 View Post
According to other threads on replica wheels, most are actually fairly strong and are built very well. Even the replica M3 wheels go for decent money.
OK, I stand corrected on that score. However...

Quote:
Originally Posted by puckhound95 View Post
The seller did indeed put the M3 package bumper, trunk, and suspension on to match the later M3 package. He has the paperwork to prove it. It is actually the 325i with sports package.
...this warrants a resounding no. First, there was no such thing as an "M3 package" option for non-M cars. Second, I don't think those are Sport Package bumper covers, front or rear (but admit I am not certain). Third, and of this I am certain, that car does not have the Sport package seats or steering wheel, ergo it does not have the Sport package. Nobody swaps out those seats and that wheel for the non-sport versions.

Edit: Confirmed by VIN lookup. No sport package.
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2003 330Ci Sport 5MT - Black Sapphire Metallic / Natural Brown / Myrtle + the important stuff

   N47 35' 30.13" E11 10' 33.36" - End of break-in...you can guess what came next. BMW CCA

Last edited by Zeichen311; 06-19-2015 at 11:45 AM.
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  #13  
Old 06-19-2015, 12:42 PM
crj1968 crj1968 is offline
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That looks like a nice car to me.

I don't know anything about BMW's (yet) just bought my first one. What I wish I had done is to test drive straight to an emissions test station and see if it passes, or at least communicates properly. This would have saved me from my present BMW headache.

This will be my rule with any used car purchase going forward. Good luck- !
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  #14  
Old 06-19-2015, 01:04 PM
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OP, I just ran the VIN....this is a base model 325i, no Sport Pkg., nothing special....

http://www.bmwarchive.org/vin/bmw-vin-decoder.html
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  #15  
Old 06-19-2015, 01:08 PM
puckhound95 puckhound95 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
OP, I just ran the VIN....this is a base model 325i, no Sport Pkg., nothing special....

http://www.bmwarchive.org/vin/bmw-vin-decoder.html
I did the same thing as well. That is unfortunate. I am most likely still going to checkout the car tomorrow. Assuming it is in decent condition and runs/drives as it should, what is a fair price to pay? I'm thinking $4,200 maximum
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  #16  
Old 06-19-2015, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puckhound95 View Post
The seller did indeed put the M3 package bumper, trunk, and suspension on to match the later M3 package. He has the paperwork to prove it. It is actually the 325i with sports package.
Your biggest risk right now is falling in love with this car, which I say because you rush to take the sellers words for granted. For example, "new trunk and rear bumper cover" screams "rear-ended" at some point. Your PPI mechanic should definitely look for rear body damage, and proper repairs.

The seller is asking for roughly dealer price for this car. Private party average price is probably under $5k. Does it matter what you pay? Yes; If you total it a week after you buy it, your insurance company will not pay you more than about $4700.

So, approach with your eyes open, get a PPI, and be ready to walk away. There are plenty more out there. I hope it works out well for you.
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Last edited by JKRIT; 06-19-2015 at 01:29 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-19-2015, 01:39 PM
puckhound95 puckhound95 is offline
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Originally Posted by JKRIT View Post
Your biggest risk right now is falling in love with this car, which I say because you rush to take the sellers words for granted. For example, "new trunk and rear bumper cover" screams "rear-ended" at some point. Your PPI mechanic should definitely look for rear body damage, and proper repairs.

The seller is asking for roughly dealer price for this car. Private party average price is probably under $5k. Does it matter what you pay? Yes; If you total it a week after you buy it, your insurance company will not pay you more than about $4700.

So, approach with your eyes open, get a PPI, and be ready to walk away. There are plenty more out there. I hope it works out well for you.
If I can get it for $4,000, I think it will be a good deal. That is where I will start with negotiating. Thank you
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  #18  
Old 06-19-2015, 04:03 PM
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OP, where in South Jersey are you? I'm in Mount Holly and can keep an eye out for any promising e46's. What are you looking for in terms of transmission and packages?
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  #19  
Old 06-19-2015, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Gryphon View Post
OP, where in South Jersey are you? I'm in Mount Holly and can keep an eye out for any promising e46's. What are you looking for in terms of transmission and packages?
He`s in Marlboro Twp., just above Freehold....
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  #20  
Old 06-19-2015, 05:28 PM
puckhound95 puckhound95 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryphon View Post
OP, where in South Jersey are you? I'm in Mount Holly and can keep an eye out for any promising e46's. What are you looking for in terms of transmission and packages?
I'm actually from South Jersey, but the car is in Marlboro. I'm driving up there to check it out.
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