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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 12-01-2018, 06:11 AM
tzoh tzoh is offline
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Looking at my first BMW and need some tips.

Looking at a 2002 325xi later today the guy is saying it recently got a new cooling system 4 months ago then the front main trans seal blew. Ive been looking around on google to see how much a front main trans seal is to replace but can't find anything on it. Started to call some shops and got a price but not sure what are some things i can look for to make sure its a seal and not needing a new head gasket or a trans. He says its runs good just doesn't drive. 189k and he's asking 1100 but got he told me he would take 900.
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2018, 08:19 AM
Tommy D Tommy D is offline
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Without a full inspection by a transmission or BMW independent shop, you can only guess at this point. My guess is your looking at a new or used transmission, since it doesn't drive or move. A lot of members on this sight, will tell you, that while you can pick up these cars cheap, you will spending close to $10K on parts and maintenance the first year to get it to a decent daily driver. Unless this is your third car or a project, I would walk away, too many other E46's you can find that actual run and drive.
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Old 12-01-2018, 08:20 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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There is nothing more expensive than a cheap BMW
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Old 12-01-2018, 08:29 AM
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dce dce is offline
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Looking at my first BMW and need some tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doug huffman View Post
there is nothing more expensive than a cheap bmw
rofl!
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  #5  
Old 12-01-2018, 10:19 AM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tzoh View Post
Looking at a 2002 325xi later today the guy is saying it recently got a new cooling system 4 months ago then the front main trans seal blew. Ive been looking around on google to see how much a front main trans seal is to replace but can't find anything on it. Started to call some shops and got a price but not sure what are some things i can look for to make sure its a seal and not needing a new head gasket or a trans. He says its runs good just doesn't drive. 189k and he's asking 1100 but got he told me he would take 900.
Sounds like this car would be a big risk....keep looking
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Old 12-01-2018, 04:06 PM
tzoh tzoh is offline
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thanks for the information he ended up having something come up and wants to try for tomorrow ill probably go look at it as its only 5 minutes away from me and see what i think and ask some more questions as well as look for some running ones. Everyone in my area seems to overcharge asking 2000+ for a decent condition 01-06 and 200k+ miles and need repairs to even drive it and top of that they're 20-40 mins away.
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Old 12-01-2018, 06:57 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tzoh View Post
thanks for the information he ended up having something come up and wants to try for tomorrow ill probably go look at it as its only 5 minutes away from me and see what i think and ask some more questions as well as look for some running ones. Everyone in my area seems to overcharge asking 2000+ for a decent condition 01-06 and 200k+ miles and need repairs to even drive it and top of that they're 20-40 mins away.
You`d better do some research, and find out exactly what you might be in for BEFORE jumping in to the deep end of the pool. Be aware that BMWs are above average in their need for attention, and you can easily spend twice the purchase price in repairs in a short period of time.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:47 AM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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If anyone is telling you they’ll take $2k for a running needs nothing non salvage title E46 that’s 40 minutes away and they’re not lying, drive the 40 minutes and throw a party.
I’d think any properly running well cared for E46 would be worth $3-4K.


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Old 12-02-2018, 02:04 AM
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BimmurBrothor BimmurBrothor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredoinSF View Post
If anyone is telling you they’ll take $2k for a running needs nothing non salvage title E46 that’s 40 minutes away and they’re not lying, drive the 40 minutes and throw a party.
I’d think any properly running well cared for E46 would be worth $3-4K.


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Under the conditions you've described every response is correct here!
allow me to add: check the vin# at the following sites,,,,hold on,,,

https://www.vehiclehistory.com/

https://decoder.bvzine.com

https://www.nicb.org/how-we-help/vincheck

I could say sooo much,,,we all could say so much to give advice. Your car is 5mins away...my car was over 500 miles away

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1295169

know and understand you are rolling the dice here!
I am not an angel...but I have never screwed over anyone trusting me innocently...I have feel people are generally good (Of course there are A-holes out there) but I've never done anybody in and I don't expect to be "done in"....no guarantees but, this is the stuff that makes life living!
BTW...Do you have a BMW SCANNER?


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Last edited by BimmurBrothor; 12-02-2018 at 02:29 AM.
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2018, 11:13 AM
Dave1027 Dave1027 is offline
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That's a common failure on the ZF's. Not only does it need a new seal but also probably the torque converter and reverse drum too. Then while in there maybe a rear main seal and starter too. Just finding somebody capable/knowledgeable enough to do the job is hard enough. I could see it running between $2k-$3k. You may consider a manual swap? But why not just go find another e46 that has a working transmission in it?
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  #11  
Old 12-06-2018, 02:05 PM
Racerjoe Racerjoe is offline
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oh so true!!!!!
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  #12  
Old 12-06-2018, 02:19 PM
Racerjoe Racerjoe is offline
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It is not unusual for me to drive a state or two away to look at and hopefully buy a car or bike.... saying that I have also driven a state or two away and drove home empty handed on more than one occasion. I ask a ton of questions and ask for more detailed pics but some folks just look at cars differently than I do (and act like they "never noticed that before" until I am standing there pointing it out)

Take it from someone who asked your same question when I got on this board a year or 2 ago (still kicking myself for not getting the first one I looked at that was about a grand more than the one I bought - it was a beautiful black car with tan interior....But I love mine now too - just did not want to spend that other grand then - I have since spent it - haha).... I think I got a decent deal on my car but repairs are not that cheap... upkeep is not that cheap (price a set of seat recovering, price a set of tires, check to see what it can cost to get a new battery - especially if your car has to be reprogramed to the battery, or that dang high priced rear shelf weather strip that dealer cost is $600)... my advice is to decide what type car you want then spend some time learning about them....know what you are looking at before you throw down some money on a cheap one that is only 5 mins from the house - it could save you a small fortune....

Did I say how much fun they are to drive? I love my 646 and so does the wifey!!!
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2018, 06:24 PM
WanaM WanaM is offline
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All good advice here. Just take your time and don't rush the purchase, good luck with finding a BMW you enjoy.
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325xi, noob, repair, trans seal, transmission


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