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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm new to BMWs and was looking to buy one in the near future. I currently have a mazda 6 and I think it's time to go to a convertible. So, I found a 03 330ci convertible for sale with 94k miles on it. It's an automatic and the dealer is asking $11k for it. I really like the car but I am nervous because of the miles on it. I do not know any of the previous maintenance however. If I would get this car, what would be the major service items at 100k miles and does anyone know how much it would cost at a dealer to have it done. I would be willing to try and do it on my own however I have 0 experience working on cars and trying on a BMW probably wouldn't be a smart idea :) any suggestions or opinions would be helpful
 

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is a Texan
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100K is a big maintenance area for the car since it has likely missed all those items needing done around 60-80K as well. Having work done at the dealer is going to be half the cost of the car, likely. As you know, there is now real answer we can give with no knowledge of what the history is on the car. Get a proper PPI done on it to get a better feel for condition.

Working on these cars is easier than one thinks...very simple cars. Inline 6 and RWD keeps the setup spaced out and room to work, the rest is cake.

Feel free to read up some in the Wiki if you haven't yet: http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php/BMW_E46

Also, automatic?! You need to have good reasons for wanting a slushbox around here! :p
 

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Well, first question, did you ask for the CarFax? Always ask for it, its free at most dealerships, and I would suggest you have a look at the wiki if you haven't already. Also, this has nothin to do with the mechanics, but I would try and lower the price, I'm sure they would go down atleast $1000, KBB rates it at a little under $12k for "Excellent".
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
100K is a big maintenance area for the car since it has likely missed all those items needing done around 60-80K as well. Having work done at the dealer is going to be half the cost of the car, likely. As you know, there is now real answer we can give with no knowledge of what the history is on the car. Get a proper PPI done on it to get a better feel for condition.

Working on these cars is easier than one thinks...very simple cars. Inline 6 and RWD keeps the setup spaced out and room to work, the rest is cake.

Feel free to read up some in the Wiki if you haven't yet: http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php/BMW_E46

Also, automatic?! You need to have good reasons for wanting a slushbox around here! :p
So should a normal mechanic be able to work on a BMW? Would it really be that much cheaper than the dealership? And I need an automatic because I dont know how to drive manual and even though I am willing to learn, my parents may need to drive my car and they don't know how to drive stick and they aren't willing to learn. haha
 

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is a Texan
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For simple maintenance, sure, a normal competant mechanic will be able to manage just fine. A BMW dealership has an hourly rate of about twice that of places like Honda, Toyota, etc....so yeah, MUCH cheaper can be found at a good indy shop versus the dealership.

I guess that passes as a good enough reason not to go manual ;)
 

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Living Life At The Beach
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If the car is being sold by one of those small independent dealers by the side of the road... keep looking. They are usually where all of the cars that have not been kept up go to be sold to the unsuspecting. They are experts at polishing a turd. You may get lucky, but why take the chance?
 

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If the car is being sold by one of those small independent dealers by the side of the road... keep looking. They are usually where all of the cars that have not been kept up go to be sold to the unsuspecting. They are experts at polishing a turd. You may get lucky, but why take the chance?
Big stealerships are no different with their shady tactics, but the little ones maybe a notch up or two.

Good luck OP. Read the wiki to avoid most of the pitfalls. There is a section on what to look out for.
 

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So should a normal mechanic be able to work on a BMW? Would it really be that much cheaper than the dealership? And I need an automatic because I dont know how to drive manual and even though I am willing to learn, my parents may need to drive my car and they don't know how to drive stick and they aren't willing to learn. haha
Here is my own experience. I bought my 325 CPO three years old from BMW with 30K on it. I must say that extra cost for CPO paid off big time. I can't say that car was unreliable but it constantly required an attention and repairs of some sort. I was seriously considering selling it when warranty ran out but decided to keep it. Now it has 100K on it and I spent around $3K for repairs since warranty ran out two and a half years ago. So I would say plan on spending 1.5k/year for repairs if you use indy mechanic or half of that amount if you do some stuff yourself. They generally charge $100/hour while BMW dealers charges $120+. Maybe there are some cheaper once, don't know. Of course do your PPI, if car has not been maintained it can turn into really frustrating experience.
 
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