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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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Old 05-22-2019, 08:29 PM
OtakuFantasy OtakuFantasy is offline
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Location: Sacramento
Join Date: May 2019
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Mein Auto: 09 BMW 328xi Coupe
Buying a E46 328ic as my first car

Hello, everyone, I have a problem with trying to deiced to buy this 2005 BMW E46 328ic #Convertible.

I defiantly have no knowledge when It comes to building repairing and driving vehicles
I'm looking to buy my first car before I obtain my license somewhere in the middle of June.
My budget is $5,000 total I'm seriously set on a BMW and so far my options have been reaching area's like the E90 with years going from 06 to even 07 and on rare occasion's 08 but all these options have had miles lower than 120,000.

Now with this E46 328ic, it has a total of 95,000 miles on it.
the seller said quote: The maintenance has always been on time, the car runs smooth, although I'm missing the front bumper cover.

So basically I got him to go down on the price because of the missing bumper and from what I've seen is that this particular BMW is the best one I've come across minus the cosmetic

From what I heard the E36 & E46s are similar when it comes to maintenance and the $Cost difference is very small also with me being a college student and all the one with fewer issues with the reliability and that is somewhat recent takes my pick which is why I settled on picking up an E46 over an E36 and the E90s as my first car.

Now that I got all that out the way If this is a good buy what are some of the parts I can expect to fail and which part's should I buy first after getting the serviced also how do I maintain the car as in what do I do and what do I need. I want to own this car for as long as I can and maybe one day bag it or something modification why's like that but I just want to prep it before I start getting into all that but on the other hand right now I need a reliable E46 to get me from point A to B because one's reality kicks in after purchasing this vehicle if I do I want to make sure I can actually roll with the punches to my wallet Lol...
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:47 PM
archbid archbid is offline
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Location: Mill Valley, CA
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Mein Auto: 330ci Convertible
I would recommend against unless you have about $2500 in cash above the cost of the car for new parts, and access to a garage with jackstands and jack or a lift.

When people say maintenance they mean oil changes and plugs, not changing O2 sensors or refreshing vacuum lines. You will have to do significantly more. It is an awesome car if you can deal with that.

But if you are willing, get it! It looks fantastic and I have essentially the same car which I love.

Last edited by archbid; 05-23-2019 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:23 PM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is online now
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Given your circumstances, I would say that BMW would probably be entirely the wrong choice for you at this point. You need to apply "The Ten Thousand Dollar Rule", which means that realistically, that $5000 car will actually cost you $10,000, once you fix all the things that need repair. BMWs are, in general, above average in their maintenance needs, and if you don`t have the ability (skills, tools, place to work, etc.) to DIY most of those things, you will quickly go BROKE if you have to pay someone to fix all the little things that will certainly go wrong. There is absolutely NOTHING attractive about having a nice car that sits in the driveway most of the time because you can`t afford to fix it.
You may have heard the old saying "Look before you leap"....this is a classic case of that....
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