Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-05-2012, 10:10 AM
Clutch450 Clutch450 is offline
FNG
Location: Lanc, PA
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 99 GSX, BMW??
New to the BMW world, Looking at buying an E46 325ci

I've been looking into buying a good daily driver recently. I've always liked the look and style of the E46's
I've come across a couple sales I'm going to look at tomorrow and would like your guys advice before buying one.

This isn't my first car buying, I do know the general car related problems to look for before buying.
But what are specific BMW or E46 things I should be aware of and looking for?

The main car I'm looking at getting:
http://lancaster.craigslist.org/cto/3302232673.html

What would be your guys highest offer, being that it has an R title?
I was thinking around 4k

Thanks guys!!
__________________
99 GSX- E85 Monster
Soon to add BMW of some sort
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 10-05-2012, 10:45 AM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34,068
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Welcome aboard !

The E46 Wiki (link at the top of every page) will provide you with lots of good info on these cars.
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Wounded Warrior Project*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-05-2012, 10:58 AM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Baltimore, MD, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,167
Mein Auto: 03 BMW 330ci
This is a high millage car. I would ask for maintenance records, and I would take it to the dealer for a pre-purchase inspection. At this millage, you don't know what you might need to get done on the car. Roll the windows up and down and check for clicking/noise. Check the weather stripping. When you drive it, listen for any whistling noise. On a car like that, I would budget extra $1000 (if you are handy with the wrench) after purchase, or 2k if you'll have it done somewhere.

Here is what to look for and how much the parts are:

Must do:
- fluids and filters ($200)
- coolant system refresh ($150)
- check sub-frame - it's a 2001 car

Likely:
- DISA ($200)
- window regulators (?)
- intake boot ($50)
- PVC ($200)

Other:
- brakes ($300 - all 4)
- tires (? maybe $600)
- suspension (CABs, springs/shocks)

Last edited by ventsyv; 10-05-2012 at 11:10 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:03 AM
Clutch450 Clutch450 is offline
FNG
Location: Lanc, PA
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 99 GSX, BMW??
I'm pretty handy with the wrench, so I'm sure I could fix any problems it might have.

Should I be worried with any motor or trans problems with 150k+ miles?
__________________
99 GSX- E85 Monster
Soon to add BMW of some sort
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:16 AM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Baltimore, MD, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,167
Mein Auto: 03 BMW 330ci
BMW motors are solid - there are not too many motor problems reported here, but it depends how it was driven. Oil changes in particular - BMW recommends 15K oil intervals, which is way too much. Try asking the guy how often to change the oil and see what he says.

This car is a manual, so there won't be any tranny problems, but you might need a new clutch (again depends).
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:37 AM
Clutch450 Clutch450 is offline
FNG
Location: Lanc, PA
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 99 GSX, BMW??
The owner said the clutch was recently replaced, so I'm going to see if he has receipts for the work.
Tires are new I know that.

And just to clarify, should I steer clear of the car if there is a subframe tear? Or just use it to my advatage and bring the price down a good bit?
__________________
99 GSX- E85 Monster
Soon to add BMW of some sort
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-05-2012, 12:03 PM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Baltimore, MD, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,167
Mein Auto: 03 BMW 330ci
Some people here did get their sub-frames fixed but you won't be able to do it yourself, it would take at least 3 - 4 days and will cost in the $1500 - $2000 range. The effort is not worth it in my opinion.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-05-2012, 12:23 PM
Chris90's Avatar
Chris90 Chris90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Massachusetts
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 13,796
Mein Auto: '04 330i
Did 2001 325's get the light girly-man steering like the 330's?
__________________
"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice." - Cherokee Expression
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-05-2012, 12:35 PM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Baltimore, MD, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,167
Mein Auto: 03 BMW 330ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Did 2001 325's get the light girly-man steering like the 330's?
The steering of my 2003 330 is anything but light... I don't think the 2001 cars are any different.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-05-2012, 12:39 PM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34,068
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
Some people here did get their sub-frames fixed but you won't be able to do it yourself, it would take at least 3 - 4 days and will cost in the $1500 - $2000 range. The effort is not worth it in my opinion.
This^^^^^^^^is actually a *very* low estimate.....subframe repairs can sometimes exceed the value of the car, which is what makes the purchase of a questionable car such a sketchy deal...."Caveat Emptor" applies here....
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Wounded Warrior Project*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-05-2012, 12:42 PM
new_kid new_kid is offline
Quietly Learning E46
Location: Wisconsin
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 257
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 323i
Welcome Clutch450...

Personally, I would keep options open at this point. And look for one with fewer miles but can be same year so as not to move too far out of budget.

If you like the vehicle a lot and would like to have it,... maintenancerecord must be available.


Good luck Mate.
__________________

Last edited by new_kid; 10-05-2012 at 12:46 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-05-2012, 02:27 PM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34,068
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
This is a high millage car. I would ask for maintenance records, and I would take it to the dealer for a pre-purchase inspection. .
You guys are missing *the most important issue*.....this car has a SALVAGE title (!)....there are no service records, etc.

Cars like this are a total crapshoot, which is why you HAVE to get them for small money...
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Wounded Warrior Project*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-05-2012, 03:20 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Conyers, GA
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 811
Mein Auto: 2003 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
You guys are missing *the most important issue*.....this car has a SALVAGE title (!)....there are no service records, etc.

Cars like this are a total crapshoot, which is why you HAVE to get them for small money...
I would not say that salvage cars are crapshoot, I would just have the car inspected to make sure proper repairs were made. I would say about every other salvage car is junk due to poor repairs where corners were cut. I used to work in a salvage bodyshop, and the quality of repair varies with each shop.
__________________
2004 BMW 330ci Silvergray Sport Package, Cold Package, Xenon Headlamps, Premium Package, 6 Speed Manual, Build Date 9/03

Sold - 2003 325i Sedan Japanrot 5 Speed 8k Xenon Headlamps Build Date 11/02
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-05-2012, 03:33 PM
Chris90's Avatar
Chris90 Chris90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Massachusetts
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 13,796
Mein Auto: '04 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
The steering of my 2003 330 is anything but light... I don't think the 2001 cars are any different.
They changed the 2002 on models to have heavy steering. 2001s only have it if you had the retrofit.
__________________
"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice." - Cherokee Expression
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-05-2012, 04:38 PM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34,068
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmys 530i View Post
, and the quality of repair varies with each shop.
The very definition of "crapshoot", Bucko....
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Wounded Warrior Project*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10-05-2012, 07:26 PM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Baltimore, MD, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,167
Mein Auto: 03 BMW 330ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
You guys are missing *the most important issue*.....this car has a SALVAGE title (!)....there are no service records, etc.

Cars like this are a total crapshoot, which is why you HAVE to get them for small money...
The ad says the guy was rear ended which resulted in a salvage title. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the car. I guess you have to use CarFax, to confirm that story.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 10-05-2012, 07:35 PM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Nashville, TN metro area
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 297
Mein Auto: 01 325i automatikgetriebe
I considered buying a 2001 325i (black, 74K) salvage car (hail damage) and asked my insuror about what it was worth if I totalled it. They said you would receive 30-35% of current retail for a totalled salvage title car. The blue book retail on the car was $7500, so a good offer on it (for replacement value's sake) was $2500. The car lot finally came down from $7000 to $5000 before someone bought it.

A hail damaged car repaired correctly wouldn't bother me, nor would buying back my own car if it were totalled but fixable with no frame damage. But someone else's wrecked car with that many miles - I believe you can do a lot better.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 10-05-2012, 08:06 PM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34,068
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
The ad says the guy was rear ended which resulted in a salvage title. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the car. I guess you have to use CarFax, to confirm that story.
I`ve seen too many rebuilt/salvaged cars where the unibody never lined up 100%, the door and trunk seals leaked water, made crazy whistling noises at highway speeds, etc.
I would avoid this car, too many better choices out there....
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Wounded Warrior Project*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 10-05-2012, 10:35 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: New York
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,327
Mein Auto: '04 330Ci 6-speed
But guy got the salvage 8 years ago, so would have service records.
Plus any leaks, rust, misalignment would show up long ago.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 10-06-2012, 05:28 AM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Conyers, GA
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 811
Mein Auto: 2003 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
But guy got the salvage 8 years ago, so would have service records.
Plus any leaks, rust, misalignment would show up long ago.
This. Usually, poor repairs show up after about 3-4 years when the bondo begins to crack, rust penetrates, etc. My current car has a rebuilt title, and 9/10 people would not even know until they looked at the title. The only thing that gives it away is that there is some paint scraped off of the bolts.
__________________
2004 BMW 330ci Silvergray Sport Package, Cold Package, Xenon Headlamps, Premium Package, 6 Speed Manual, Build Date 9/03

Sold - 2003 325i Sedan Japanrot 5 Speed 8k Xenon Headlamps Build Date 11/02
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms