I gather that the cooling system is especially important because it can tend to go spontaneously and the resultant overheating can actually kill your engine.
The other car killing problem: subframe damage. It's more of a problem on earlier cars, but make sure the mechanic looks for it.
If he knows BMWs he will.
Search Mango's preventative maintenance suggestions, including the one about stashing a fuel pump in your trunk.
That said, this sounds like a great deal. It's not preposterous for the previous owners to have followed an old-school maintenance schedule,
using intervals from conventional oil on an E46 that uses synthetic. But not a big deal either way as long as they changed the oil four or five times.
(that's the BMW interval and lots of cars use it, sad to say.)
But carfax or not, get a pre purchase inspection (PPI) from a BMW-savvy independent mechanic.
Last edited by avincent52; 02-12-2013 at 07:32 AM.