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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #26  
Old 10-26-2011, 10:24 PM
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Killjoy Killjoy is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 M3, 2002 tii
You sound like a good kid, and I know where you are coming from because I have been in the same exact position as you several times. But reading through this thread I just have to throw my .02 cents in.

1.) You want to be a mechanical engineer. That is great! But that also requires secondary education, college or a technical school. Use most of your cash for that, save now while you still can. Trust me- I had $30,000 saved up by the time I was out of high school (I worked quite a bit and invested my money wisely.) Now, I am graduating from college pretty much broke.

2.) One of your first cars should be something economical, stylish a great handler, but not overly powerful. My suggestion? Either a 90-91 e30 318is or 325is (these can be had for <5,000 grand in great shape) or an 96-99 328is. Why? Because driving a slow car fast is a lot more fun than driving a fast car slow. Sure you will see the occasional M on the street and pine for it, but that's why you are getting advanced education-to afford the finer things once you graduate.

3.) With the aformentioned cars that I recommended, you can become learn how to become a great driver by auto-xing, BMW car club events while still affording the next thing that will break on the car (because something is always wrong with a BMW, trust me.)

4.) Sorry to break it, but 500-600 per month is nothing. But it is something if you get a simpler, older car that does not require crazy OE replacement prices.

5.) Leaving the car outside always, you are going to trash a car like the M3. Might as well trash something that will not be hit so hard come time for resale.

6.) Resale- e46 M3's are still dropping in value, while e30's and e36's have hit a certain bottom. You will take less of a hit come time for selling it.

7.) By buying a cheaper car, you can mod it to your hearts content (remember, suspension and cooling system first-cosmetics later) and still afford it.

Tying up that much cash in a car at 17 is just a huge waste. Trust me, I have been there, done that.
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  #27  
Old 10-26-2011, 11:16 PM
Wop52 Wop52 is offline
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Wow kid.... You sound a lot like me! I get a car in my head and it consumes me!!! Let me give you some personal experience of mine to do with what you want! Lol. 7 months ago I had around $17,000 to blow on a car. I too wanted an e46 m3. Long story short I ended up buying a 98 (e36) M3 sedan in great shape! Had 130,000 miles, lots of maintainance records, some tasteful mods and a 5 speed (that is a must). I got a good deal and paid $6,500 ($7,200 with taxes and crap) for it which was less than half what I was thinking about spending. I immediately spent $200-300 bucks on some maintainance things like front brake pads, guibo and csb. In the 7 months I've owned the car I've put 14,000 miles on it. I like driving and I bought the car to enjoy it. So far I've had no problems other than a broken diff mount bolt which was due to my stupidity. I still love the e46 m3's but never get sad when I pass one. I love my car! That being said a 325 or 328 would be a great choice. But if u really want an M I would consider the e36!!! I have many times put myself in a bad financial situation for a car and end up having to get rid of them and that sucks. As of now money has become very tight as work is hard to find. If I had bought the e46 when I had the money I would have had to get rid of by now as a lot has changed financially in 7 months! I still cringe when I think I hear a new squeak or rattle because an expensive repair would break me right now and I am very much a DIY guy. Sometimes even the right decision can be wrong too when u never know what the future holds!! Nobody can make the decision but you but I say spend less than half what you have and enjoy the hell out of it!!!

Best of luck
Ryan
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  #28  
Old 10-27-2011, 11:26 AM
Fryed Fryed is offline
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OP, as you can see most people are advising that you hold onto that cash. As Killjoy said, put that money towards an education. It'll be a better investment long term.
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I happen to have $80 laying around and I'm wondering what can I buy to make the 540 perform better or look better with only $80.
full tank of 94 octane
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  #29  
Old 10-27-2011, 02:57 PM
speedlover1994 speedlover1994 is offline
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Fryed: I really want to avoid going into debt, so I am only going to buy a car I can afford right now, even if that means getting one in slightly worse shape.

Killjoy: great advice. I am extremely fortunate to have a college fund that my grandparents set up for me before I was even born. I would never jeopardize my education though, I'm not that crazy . I really appreciate the advice and support. General consensus seems to be for a 330 or something similar. Do you think $500 a month would be sufficient? If not, I guess I'm going to have to start working harder.

Wop52: Good to know that people think like me haha. I know exactly what you mean. Ever since I first saw an M3 I've been obsessed with that car. The twin two-shooters in the back and the vents over the front wheels just kill me.

I'm feeling pretty optimistic. As long as I have a Bimmer badge on my car I'll be happy, and that's looking more than possible right now. Now it's time to scour autotrader for an 04 (six speed) and up 330. The hunt is on.

Last edited by speedlover1994; 10-27-2011 at 02:59 PM.
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  #30  
Old 10-27-2011, 03:14 PM
Matt P. Matt P. is offline
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I just got home from the dealership (BMW West Island). The total for the bill...: $916.02

That's just for an oil change (5 pints), sparkplugs, gas filter and labor.

The tech also diagnosed an issue with my rear diff. Total for that repair: $5800.

Add that to the $3000 for the steering rack, $900 for two rear tires and I'm in a world of hurt!
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  #31  
Old 10-27-2011, 04:48 PM
speedlover1994 speedlover1994 is offline
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Ouch man. No M3 for me haha. Good luck getting your car fixed up, though.
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  #32  
Old 10-28-2011, 06:45 AM
Fryed Fryed is offline
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Originally Posted by Matt P. View Post
I just got home from the dealership (BMW West Island). The total for the bill...: $916.02

That's just for an oil change (5 pints), sparkplugs, gas filter and labor.

The tech also diagnosed an issue with my rear diff. Total for that repair: $5800.

Add that to the $3000 for the steering rack, $900 for two rear tires and I'm in a world of hurt!
Well, your first problem was that you went to the dealership. Find a trustworthy indie mechanic in your area and never look back. All of the indies have Dealership experience; they get trained there, take in all the experience, then open their own shop (or work for an existing shop) and charge a much more reasonable rate.

Second problem: Oil changes should always only cost you the amount of oil you dump in and an hour of your time (at most). If you're uncomfortable doing it, there are enough friendly folks on the forum that you could probably find one in your area to meet up and walk you through one. The i6's are a bit trickier, as the oil plug is in a funky spot; I'm spoiled with my big V8.
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I happen to have $80 laying around and I'm wondering what can I buy to make the 540 perform better or look better with only $80.
full tank of 94 octane
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  #33  
Old 10-28-2011, 08:18 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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And don't forget for an M3, tires last maybe 25,000 miles (if you drive sanely). And will run $1000 - $1500 a set to replace.
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  #34  
Old 10-28-2011, 09:08 AM
Matt P. Matt P. is offline
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Originally Posted by Fryed View Post
Well, your first problem was that you went to the dealership. Find a trustworthy indie mechanic in your area and never look back. All of the indies have Dealership experience; they get trained there, take in all the experience, then open their own shop (or work for an existing shop) and charge a much more reasonable rate.

Second problem: Oil changes should always only cost you the amount of oil you dump in and an hour of your time (at most). If you're uncomfortable doing it, there are enough friendly folks on the forum that you could probably find one in your area to meet up and walk you through one. The i6's are a bit trickier, as the oil plug is in a funky spot; I'm spoiled with my big V8.
Your 100% correct and I agree with 100 mhp! Problem is, there are no shops that I trust enough in my area to play on my M. I have a friend who owns a performance tuning shop but it's 1.5hrs away and deal mostly with Subarus or rally/racecars.

I will make the trip to visit them in time but for now... out of convenience, I went to the Stealership and got slapped with that bill.
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  #35  
Old 12-22-2011, 06:14 PM
needm3yesterday needm3yesterday is offline
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right on man!

Last edited by needm3yesterday; 12-22-2011 at 06:33 PM.
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  #36  
Old 02-28-2012, 08:51 PM
RGBiMMER RGBiMMER is offline
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Oh to be young again. I envy your eagerness to have a big boy ride. The M3 is just way too much maintenance, especially over 100k miles like you can afford. If you are smart enough to know that an engineering degree is one of the best you can get, you will be able to afford a new M3 in 7 to 10 years. Do yourself a favor and get a sused Mustang GT. Its a blast to drive as a high school kid and they are fast, cheap and not too expensive to maintain. Also a great car to learn to drive on. I'm afraid if you go any BMW, you will have a sour taste in your mouth from all the maintenance and repair bills. Do not get a rice rocket subaru or mitsubishi....no!!!
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  #37  
Old 03-05-2012, 05:13 PM
0430ci 0430ci is offline
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Man, get zhp for sure. You won't be disappointed, it's fast, but not excessive enough to get you in trouble. And it will handle like an m3 as well, bmws are known for handling anyways!
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  #38  
Old 03-09-2012, 10:28 AM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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I know it's an old thread but kid if you're reading:

I graduated mechanical engineering 16 years ago, been an engineer ever since.

My 1st car was a Honda Civic Ex with a 5 spd and 8000 rpm redline. Loaner from my mom for 2 years while in school. That car was a blast.

2nd car was an Integra GSR sedan I bought myself - awesome car, much better than the Civic

3rd car was a '95 325i, loved that car, huge improvement on the Integra.

4th car is my current ZHP.

I drove an Integra GSR recently, and thought it sucked. That's cause I've been driving BMWs too long. I think you'd be crazy to get an M3, or even a 330 as your first car. What are you going to be driving when you're my age, an Aston Martin? Not on an engineer's salary.

Start at the bottom, learn to appreciate cars - you'll have just as much fun and will save a ton of money.
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