BimmerFest BMW Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,634 Posts
Cars are like axes, they'll last as long as you want them to. An ax will last forever, as long as you periodically replace the head and the handle.

BMW's pretty good about keeping replacement trim parts available for around 20 years.

I kept my first BMW twelve years. The problem was that the dealer stopped stocking a lot of the parts. That would delay the repair by a day, more if the part had to come from Germany. I also didn't trust the car for a schedule-critical road trip. BMW maintenance is also very expensive. But, for the first 100k miles or so it's way cheaper than BMW depreciation. You're past that. Your deprecation is almost nothing. So, your car will "last" until it's cheaper to buy another one rather than maintaining the one you have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,878 Posts
Agree with above 100%.

Back in the day when I was buying well used BMW's, they would make it well towards the 300k miles zone. Those cars were mainly from the late 80s when BMW would tell you you couldn't change the oil often enough, which basically translated to oil changes every 5k miles, and diff / trans at 15k miles IIRC. The engine and transmissions went the distance, but they were not trouble free. Several of my old cars were actually killed by road salt, as that was the days when I lived in MI and drove those cars around 35k miles a year in all sorts of weather.

The E46 did not benefit from the same maintenance schedule but if you maintain it sensibly, take care of leaks, stay on top of the cooling system, it should get to 300k miles. It won't be trouble free, but it seems achievable. Not sure if rust is a concern where you live, but that will be a factor in longevity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
Like has been already said, as long as you want. I live in California so I see some really nice old Bimmers on the road. Rust doesn't kill'em here, young kids do.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,603 Posts
I can't recall where the "oldest E46" threads are, but there's more than one out there, and some of these cars have upwards of 400,000 or (in a very few cases) 500,000 miles. For whatever it's worth, I've never had a problem finding replacement parts, either from BMW, an after market maker, or a parts yard, with only one exception: there seems not to be any after market manufacturers who make good quality parts for the E46 automatic transmission, so rebuilding one may not last as long as you'd like. There's plenty of used automatic transmissions out there, but not many much below 100,000 miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I can't recall where the "oldest E46" threads are, but there's more than one out there, and some of these cars have upwards of 400,000 or (in a very few cases) 500,000 miles. For whatever it's worth, I've never had a problem finding replacement parts, either from BMW, an after market maker, or a parts yard, with only one exception: there seems not to be any after market manufacturers who make good quality parts for the E46 automatic transmission, so rebuilding one may not last as long as you'd like. There's plenty of used automatic transmissions out there, but not many much below 100,000 miles.
Awesome. Thank you for the feed back. My bmw is a manual. Do you believe I should get it replaced. It feels like the transmission clunks sometimes when put into gears. Any ideas

Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,603 Posts
Awesome. Thank you for the feed back. My bmw is a manual. Do you believe I should get it replaced. It feels like the transmission clunks sometimes when put into gears. Any ideas

Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
I'll defer to more knowledgeable bimmerfesters about what the clunking means--I have no idea--but I'm glad you have a manual. With that, you should be in good shape for a long time.

Since you seem to be interested in preventive and routine maintenance with an eye to making this car last, I can send you a copy of my maintenance schedule if that would help. I'm into longevity myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'll defer to more knowledgeable bimmerfesters about what the clunking means--I have no idea--but I'm glad you have a manual. With that, you should be in good shape for a long time.

Since you seem to be interested in preventive and routine maintenance with an eye to making this car last, I can send you a copy of my maintenance schedule if that would help. I'm into longevity myself.
That would be fantastic. Thank you so much.

Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also to be noted there is a little rust on the hood. A little near the truck. And rear passenger tire. Nothing bad at all yet but starting to damage the paint. Any ideas on how to help prevent the rust from spreading quickly. I’m located in Virginia but I’m not sure how rust is around here.


Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,372 Posts
My 2000 323i has over 400,000 on it and runs like new. So they do last.
 

·
Keeping it surreal
Joined
·
43,333 Posts
Awesome. Thank you for the feed back. My bmw is a manual. Do you believe I should get it replaced. It feels like the transmission clunks sometimes when put into gears. Any ideas

Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
Manual transmissions are rarely a problem in these cars (barring a careless/abusive former owner, of course). First thing to do (also the least expensive) would be to change the trans fluid. Mixing a quart of Redline ATF with a quart of Redline MTL will usually give good results, and might smooth things out a bit for you. Good luck ! :thumbup:
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top