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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 05-14-2014, 07:51 PM
mangofreshh mangofreshh is offline
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Bmw 3 series ownership costs

Plan on buying a E46 325i obviously used. I really like the look of this car and the price is affordable for me. I'm trying to find out the future ownership costs and the best I've found was this website which isn't a huge help for "future" costs.

http://www.edmunds.com/car-maintenan...nspection%20II

I want to compare the future ownership costs of a 325 vs couple other used cars I'm looking at. And the mileage range I want to purchase one is below 75,000 mileage. Anyone know any website that might have future ownership costs of a used car from a specific mileage/year? Thanks!_a_
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2014, 09:02 PM
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This has been discussed here (and elsewhere) a bazillion times....learn how to use the SEARCH function, and read the E46 Wiki !
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:15 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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If you want to know about every cent I have spent on my car, I have that data since there were 5 miles on the odometer in Munich Euro delivery center.on September 3rd,2002. iI you're looking for future, I'm sorry, but I forgot where I last put my crystal ball.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:32 PM
mangofreshh mangofreshh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredoinSF View Post
If you want to know about every cent I have spent on my car, I have that data since there were 5 miles on the odometer in Munich Euro delivery center.on September 3rd,2002. iI you're looking for future, I'm sorry, but I forgot where I last put my crystal ball.
Well if you want to get smart...Future costs can be shown but I don't know if an actual website has one. Example: There has been PLENTY of bmw e46's past 100,000 miles. I was wondering if there were websites etc that had information of owner costs anything after 50-60k miles because that is the current mileage range I'm looking to start at. I don't think you need a crystal ball to estimate future cost of an E46 starting from 50-70k mileage to past 100k. 100k+ mileage E46 is NOT unheard of.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:37 PM
chet31 chet31 is offline
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$1,500/yr is a rough estimate.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:47 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Originally Posted by chet31 View Post
$1,500/yr is a rough estimate.
+1 generally speaking

But if you get a good one such as you search for, costs can be lower.
This predicated on doing your own DIY PM and repairs.
Dealer costs are criminal.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by chet31 View Post
$1,500/yr is a rough estimate.
I must have been very, very lucky in my BMW ownership... 10 cars in and I dont think I've ever approached anything near that.

My most pricey car (excluding the water damaged M5) was probably the 540i. Doing a lot of the basic work myself (oil, brakes, filters etc..) and I think the most I spent was $700. That included suspension bits as well..

My e36s and e30s have been naught but reliable, and I would have no real reason to believe the e46 would be any different assuming it's been taking care of.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:59 PM
mangofreshh mangofreshh is offline
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Originally Posted by chet31 View Post
$1,500/yr is a rough estimate.
How many miles are you at with your E46? And you are saying $1,500/yr average after 50,000 mileage because thats after the maintenance coverage.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:04 PM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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I haven't been an E46 owner very long, but $1500 is about what I'm averaging so far as well. That includes routine oil changes, filter changes, new tires, and so on, as well as the only real repair job I had between the time I bought the car with 73,400 miles, and now (102,500): a new fuel pump. It's a few hundred dollars more per year than my old VW Jetta used to cost, but the extra cost is well worth it. That $1500 figure seems to be fairly standard, though of course there are always a few lemons out there that may cost more. By the way, that figure was what I paid my indy mechanic; soon I hope to save money by doing some of this myself.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:07 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangofreshh View Post
Well if you want to get smart...Future costs can be shown but I don't know if an actual website has one. Example: There has been PLENTY of bmw e46's past 100,000 miles. I was wondering if there were websites etc that had information of owner costs anything after 50-60k miles because that is the current mileage range I'm looking to start at. I don't think you need a crystal ball to estimate future cost of an E46 starting from 50-70k mileage to past 100k. 100k+ mileage E46 is NOT unheard of.
Thanks for the response as well as the PM referring to me as a troll asking to read the details of the post.

The troll you are referring to has almost 20 years driving BMWs at 30-40k miles a year. I started with well used examples that went to and over a quarter million miles to special ordered factory new cars. Of the twelve BMWs I have owned, some never broke, others were always needing something. I maintain the cars the old fashioned way so my new to 50k costs are higher than the typical new BMW lessor, but I also use the tools in my garage so my labor costs on aging cars are less than for those who can't be bothered to turn a wrench.

Your PM asked me to read the details of your original post and I did - again. You are clearly asking about "future" costs. I counted the word "future" four times in as many lines. Future costs are totally impossible to predict on a car by car basis, hence my crystal ball comment which clealry got your panties in a bunch. Furure costs will depend on the previous maintenance and pure dumb luck, not to mention the labor factor - are you getting your fingernails dirty or relying on plastic??

Good luck with your car search. Please don't harass me with another PM again.

Most sincerely,

The Troll.
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Last edited by FredoinSF; 05-14-2014 at 11:13 PM. Reason: Typos, don't want to be a troll and illiterate.
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  #11  
Old 05-15-2014, 12:08 AM
wilt wilt is offline
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Routine maintenance costs can be calculated based on 100k typical service needs: oil, filter, airfilter, microfilter, tires and mounting and balancing and alignment checks, brake pads and rotors, etc. to determine 100k mile cost-per-mile. Then, based upon number of miles that YOU drive per year, you get the amortized cost of routine maintenance for a year of driving.
As some of these costs are only actually paid for after 100k miles (spark plugs), in the early years will not actually cost you that much...but if you are wise you sock the money away in a Maintenance Account because it will later be spent! I will give no estimate because labor rates vary with location, as well as dealer vs independent, or you might do most as DIY.
The point is that you CAN calculate cost-per-mile assuming 100K in total mileage and factory suggested intervals for all routine maintenance. I agree that $1500 per year, assuming 15k miles per year, is the right average FOR ME, based upon the way I go through brakes (someone else might burn those up more rapidly!) and tires.

Then there are the Repairs that come variably...broken A/C and power steering hoses, broken belts, broken belt tensioners, thermostats and water pumps and fuel pumps, cracked expansion tanks and cracked valve covers, leaking oil gaskets and valve cover gaskets, cracked cyclone separators (aka PVC valve). Things that start to show up at about 60k miles (thermostats and water pumps, for example, are 60k-100k typical 3-series expenses. All of the above (except for 'broken belts', as I replaced them proactively) occurred about 70K-135K on my E46.
In my own E46 between 95k and 135k I spend over $7K on these surprise repairs (some of which left me on the road in need of tow!) This was all dealer service, but my dealer gave me breaks on labor costs, and BMW CCA got me price breaks for parts.

Last edited by wilt; 05-15-2014 at 01:01 AM.
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2014, 12:11 AM
SamxK SamxK is offline
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I average about 1k a year with all work done myself except for only a few that requires expensive equipment. I'd say 1.5k if I paid someone to do all work. If you do plan on buying one, make sure to read the wiki here at this forum and replace the core stuff; such as the cooling system when time comes and etc. Preventative maintenance saves you more money and lets you have peace of mind. Try searching the threads for "common problems with E46" and you'll get an idea of what this car needs.
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:23 AM
mangofreshh mangofreshh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredoinSF View Post
Thanks for the response as well as the PM referring to me as a troll asking to read the details of the post.

The troll you are referring to has almost 20 years driving BMWs at 30-40k miles a year. I started with well used examples that went to and over a quarter million miles to special ordered factory new cars. Of the twelve BMWs I have owned, some never broke, others were always needing something. I maintain the cars the old fashioned way so my new to 50k costs are higher than the typical new BMW lessor, but I also use the tools in my garage so my labor costs on aging cars are less than for those who can't be bothered to turn a wrench.

Your PM asked me to read the details of your original post and I did - again. You are clearly asking about "future" costs. I counted the word "future" four times in as many lines. Future costs are totally impossible to predict on a car by car basis, hence my crystal ball comment which clealry got your panties in a bunch. Furure costs will depend on the previous maintenance and pure dumb luck, not to mention the labor factor - are you getting your fingernails dirty or relying on plastic??

Good luck with your car search. Please don't harass me with another PM again.

Most sincerely,

The Troll.
You are digging yourself a bigger hole. Let me dissect your response here to show you what you said almost has no relevance. Twenty years of bmw experience and that excludes anyone from being a troll? How so? Is there an immunity button from being a troll after have 20 years of experience? You have several bmw's and some cost more and some cost less. I asked if there was a website or some sort for E46's specifically not the maintenance cost of ALL sorts of bmw's. Up to this point, you STILL haven't read my original post correctly. So 20 years of bmw's doesn't equate to the best reading skills does it?

ANY costs in anything is impossible to predict for "future" costs. It is generally known or assumed by the public that if I were to ask "future" costs with data, it is estimation costs which I did ask on past cars that have already hit the 50k-150k range. You can always estimate things on future costs not just on automobile but no one will ever get the EXACT. If I said exact, then please feel free to keep looking for your crystal ball....but since I didn't, you STILL have not fully comprehended the full original post. And previous maintenance before 50k SHOULD have been factory maintained so thats ASSUMED here. And for the 50k-70k range that MIGHT be unknown, then someone could pull up future maintenance costs from 50k-150k. There are called things statistics and generally estimation of future costs of ownership through other previous cars do exist. Even magazines have articles of new cars and run them couple years for their ownership for the first couple years but again these numbers are ESTIMATION not exact.

20 years of bmw and reading comprehension isn't your strong side. No one asked for exact and no one answered with exact...they all said "estimation" which is exactly I asked for. You can keep your crystal ball in the garage. It isn't needed here.
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  #14  
Old 05-15-2014, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by mangofreshh View Post
There are called things statistics and generally estimation of future costs of ownership through other previous cars do exist. Even magazines have articles of new cars and run them couple years for their ownership for the first couple years but again these numbers are ESTIMATION not exact.
You're putting in a lot of effort to criticize reading comprehension, yet your posts are filled with grammatical errors and typos like the above sentences.

Your time would be better spent ignoring the posts that you don't find helpful and searching this forum for threads on this topic, of which there are many (see Bob's post, the first response to your question).

The wiki (also suggested by Bob in the second post on this thread) has a page that specifically addresses your question and even concludes with the following sentence: "Bottom line, expect to budget about $1000 per year for repairs and maintenance (including tires, brakes, oil, etc) if you perform the maintenance yourself. If you intend to have a third party perform all work, you might realistically expect to spend 2-3x this amount."

This is consistent with what others have said, and with my own personal experience in 5 years of ownership of a car that had 120k +/- when I bought it.

Relax, and read up.
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  #15  
Old 05-15-2014, 08:32 AM
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An estimate is going to be hard to calculate. Our driving is variable at best. Some here drive them 4k/year to 40k/year. It all depends on how much YOU are going to be driving it, and if you will be doing the repairs or taking it to an indy shop.

At 50-100k you're going to need a cooling system overhaul. Will cost you about $500 - $800 depending if it is an auto or manual. Add $350 to $400 if you take it to an indy shop.

Then there are the unexpected repairs you'll be doing. Like the FSU/FSR might stop working (no A/C), your windows WILL stop working, and your sunshade can break...

So, we will need to know how much you'll be driving the car, and if you'll be doing the maintenance yourself.

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Last edited by OscarN; 05-15-2014 at 08:36 AM.
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  #16  
Old 05-15-2014, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mangofreshh View Post
And previous maintenance before 50k SHOULD have been factory maintained so thats ASSUMED here.
Just so you know, the BMW factory maintenance is a joke. 15,000 mile oil changes and "lifetime" transmission fluid are things that people on here just can't help but laugh at. I'd be more focused on good maintenance history from a knowledgeable owner rather than just low mileage.

If you want your car to run and perform like it should, then the $1000-$1500 per year is right on par. Some years may be less, others may be more... it all comes out in the wash. Like others have stated, it all depends on how much you drive as well as your driving style.

My suggestion would be to read the wiki and quit trying to hard to make enemies right off the bat. This forum and the people on here have saved me literally THOUSANDS of dollars in my 4 years of ownership, so it might come in handy if you become an owner yourself.
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  #17  
Old 05-15-2014, 10:09 PM
chet31 chet31 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
+1 generally speaking

But if you get a good one such as you search for, costs can be lower.
This predicated on doing your own DIY PM and repairs.
Dealer costs are criminal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan... View Post
I must have been very, very lucky in my BMW ownership... 10 cars in and I dont think I've ever approached anything near that.

My most pricey car (excluding the water damaged M5) was probably the 540i. Doing a lot of the basic work myself (oil, brakes, filters etc..) and I think the most I spent was $700. That included suspension bits as well..

My e36s and e30s have been naught but reliable, and I would have no real reason to believe the e46 would be any different assuming it's been taking care of.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangofreshh View Post
How many miles are you at with your E46? And you are saying $1,500/yr average after 50,000 mileage because thats after the maintenance coverage.
The OP seemed to want a number, so I gave him a number. It is based on my own post-50,000 mile experience, plus some other threads on the topic. Of course, a lot depends on how lucky (or not) the OP is, whether he has a good indy mechanic, whether he can DIY.
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