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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 07-03-2011, 05:07 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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newguy seeks advice

Hey all
I'll soon be in the market for another car, and am budgeting around 15-20k
obviously an e46 is very high on the wishlist, ideally, ill be getting a 2001 320ci in manual. I love the coupe and dont like the auto, however of course I will settle for the steptronic if it comes down to that or nothing.
I wonder if i could please get some advice:

I am concerned about the age of the 3 series in my price range and wanted to know what the ongoing maintenance for these cars are like at the 100-200k KM mark? are they expensive to keep going at this point? what major services or part failures occur for them in this window? Electronics still OK? Spare parts readily available?

Im thinking that, or a slightly newer SS commodore, SS for the power, commodore for the myopia and newer because that budget will score me something much newer than the BMW in the same area.
Though i know by this time the Commodore will be in need of some expensive maintenance.

I look forward to your counsel im sure it will make the decision easier.
Thanks in advance

EDIT: oops forgot to ask also, what is the general availability and price of an m-techII bodykit?

Last edited by sintax; 07-03-2011 at 05:11 AM. Reason: ask about bodykit
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:12 AM   #2
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if you search about preventative maintenance you will find answers and what needs to be replaced, usually around 100k tho
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:11 AM   #3
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Location: NJ
Posts: 23,732
My Ride: '99 328i 300K miles
Are you able or willing to diy?

If not, then take about 40% off your budget and leave it for repairs.

If you can diy, then take about 25% off for repairs.

This forum is all about things that go wrong with the e46...except for the half of the posts that are from indecisive youngsters wanting to know whether MTechII,III,IV, V, VI, or VII; or black or silver; or how to make the car sound faster; or what size tires to get. The other half of posts answer your question.

Go older and larger engine...definitely manual, not step, not smg. Don't worry about the color of the car please...go for the one whose owner can produce repair bills...and if he or she says 'nothing ever failed; the car is perfect," I think I'd have to call bs and suggest you walk.

Oh, and back up a bit on the bodykit. Buy the car, spend 2 years bringing it back to its factory state, and then, if you still worry about how it looks, I'd recommend you stop looking at it and start driving it, and profit!

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Last edited by dmax; 07-03-2011 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:06 AM   #4
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The BMW is in a completely different league to Aussie cars - I've been driving them for over 30 years. Last year I bought my first BMW - for my daughter. 11 months later, I bought another one for myself. It's like comparing cask wine to Grange - go the BMW!

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Old 07-03-2011, 07:25 AM   #5
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OP: if you don't like the automatic, don't get one. If you prefer a proper 3-pedal manual, that is what you should get. Be patient, you'll find the right car. The only time I'd bother with an automatic, would be if that was all BMW imported. For example, E34 5-series touring in the US was automatic only. In the late 90's, I was seriously considering buying a E34 touring, and converting it to a manual. When the E46 and E39 tourings came with manual transmissions, I patiently waited a few years until used ones came down in price to where I could afford, and got the 2000 323iT that I still have today.
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