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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 11-09-2012, 02:15 PM   #1
ecwx215
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Seeking advice on an 03 purchase.

Hey everyone. Long time lurker and since I'm on the fringe of purchasing an M I'm looking for advice if I should pull the trigger on the deal.

It's a 2003 M3 6 Speed w/ Cold weather Package & sunroof . 19" Alloys. Titanium Silver. 79k Miles.

Buying Price is at $16,000.

Background: Friend is the 2nd owner of the car that was purchased through a BMW certified pre-owned dealership in 2005. Original point of purchase the car had 32,000 miles on it. Now it has 79k miles. He's selling the vehicle because a baby is on the way and is looking for an SUV.

Some of the things that I have noted after lurking so long:

Inspection I was done already and Inspection II was done at 60,000 miles.

Water pump was replaced at 50k miles due to failure.

All other recalls were fixed.

Some things that needs fixing:
Interior rear roof cloth is loose (can I glue it in place)
Rear driver taillight doesn't work (connector is loose I believe)
SES light is on (he says this may be due to an O2 Sensor near the cat converter)
Leather is wearing out
Very small barely noticeable dings on the bumper

I test drove the car several times and it seems perfect. Engine and transmission were very smooth and the power is definitely noticeable.

I know I will get flamed for not providing pictures but I am 200 miles away from the car right now. Will post pictures once I get the chance.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
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Whats not to like. Nice price too. Do it for sure, and enjoy! I know we do ;D
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:26 PM   #3
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As far as the problems go....Easy fixes. Read codes before buying though!
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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Ppi?
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:52 PM   #5
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even if he is your friend, or rather...because he is your friend, it's important to get a proper PPI done before negotiating so there's no issue down the road that causes friction.

otherwise it sounds like a solid deal assuming it's an 03.5. just be prepared for valve adjustment, suspension overhaul, Vanos maintenance, and wheels/tires as upcoming costs of ownership in the near term.
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Last edited by webster; 11-09-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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Jump on it - for 16K its a good deal!
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:03 PM   #7
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just do a PPI, the fact that both inspections were done are a BIG PLUS! but for what needs to be fixed the price seems right! DO IT!
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:55 PM   #8
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Get a PPI done even if you are buying the car from your mother or brother - it will save you big headaches down the road if they catch something and it will give you piece of mind. They should scan the car for the code(s) and be able to tell you exactly why the SES light is on. Mileage, year and price all seem to be legit but make sure you get a PPI
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:46 AM   #9
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Screw the PPI. Get the car; it's a steal. Spend the extra $$ on maintenance if it's needed.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:01 AM   #10
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I'd really get a PPI. At least get the codes read. Seems like a good deal. Offer him 15k. Maybe he will take it
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by illestminimike View Post
I'd really get a PPI. At least get the codes read. Seems like a good deal. Offer him 15k. Maybe he will take it
+1 cant go wrong for 15k it would be a steal
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:39 PM   #12
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2003... It's a personal rule of mine, but I never buy a car unless I can see each and every spark plug. There is good reason for this. If the square shoulders on the center electrode is not just a BIT rounded off (from expected use and replacement interval) but is rounded-off like a half moon, that points to a lack of maintenance. If you know how to read a spark plug, the color of the electrode and the insulator will reveal much, and if the thing is oil fouled, walk, no, run like hell from this car.

As for recall notices, the three I seem to remember are: 1) ignition coil replacement, 2) inspection of rear unibody chassis cracks and tears in the sheetmetal where the subframe meets up with the chassis, and 3) in 2008, there was a ECU software update relating to "turning down" the post cat O2 sensors' sensitivity, but the notice won't read like that; it'll describe something like ECU/Software Emissions Update or some related wording. If this matches up with your own research, that's good.

The rear tires, are they feathered on this inside? Get bright flashlight and take a good look at the RTAB; are there cracks in it the rubber, and is the rubber sound around the metal sleeve? When you hit the accelerator hard from a moderate street speed, does the car self steer to one side just the slightest bit? If yes, RTAB replacement is necessary. The useful life of this bushing is now ended.

Open the hood and AT LEAST look at the coolant in the reservoir. Is it nice and clear or is there a milky/sticky paste around the filler neck? If there is, run from this sled. While you have the hood up, with a bright flashlight look at the frame where it eventually leads to the bumper; is the sheetmetal stampings perfect or is there some defect to it? If there is some defect, that's likely accident damage. Go to the other end of the car and pop the trunk, lift off ALL trunk floor carpets and carefully inspect all the sheetmetal around and between the strut towers including the any seams; what you are looking for are metal cracks or tears.

Is the underside of the car nice and clean, meaning there isn't a big gash going across the chassis underside which indicates a shunt or foray over a not so nice curb or other road furniture? If you can't at least answer any of these questions, and you are about to plunk down $16,000.00, in my personal opinion, that would be questionable judgement, but like anything on this forum, it's just an opinion. I hope some or all of this resonates with you so a more careful approach will be taken. Good luck.

Last edited by lucky_doggg7; 11-14-2012 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:45 AM   #13
scca_ziptie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky_doggg7 View Post
2003... It's a personal rule of mine, but I never buy a car unless I can see each and every spark plug. There is good reason for this. If the square shoulders on the center electrode is not just a BIT rounded off (from expected use and replacement interval) but is rounded-off like a half moon, that points to a lack of maintenance. If you know how to read a spark plug, the color of the electrode and the insulator will reveal much, and if the thing is oil fouled, walk, no, run like hell from this car.

As for recall notices, the three I seem to remember are: 1) ignition coil replacement, 2) inspection of rear unibody chassis cracks and tears in the sheetmetal where the subframe meets up with the chassis, and 3) in 2008, there was a ECU software update relating to "turning down" the post cat O2 sensors' sensitivity, but the notice won't read like that; it'll describe something like ECU/Software Emissions Update or some related wording. If this matches up with your own research, that's good.

The rear tires, are they feathered on this inside? Get bright flashlight and take a good look at the RTAB; are there cracks in it the rubber, and is the rubber sound around the metal sleeve? When you hit the accelerator hard from a moderate street speed, does the car self steer to one side just the slightest bit? If yes, RTAB replacement is necessary. The useful life of this bushing is now ended.

Open the hood and AT LEAST look at the coolant in the reservoir. Is it nice and clear or is there a milky/sticky paste around the filler neck? If there is, run from this sled. While you have the hood up, with a bright flashlight look at the frame where it eventually leads to the bumper; is the sheetmetal stampings perfect or is there some defect to it? If there is some defect, that's likely accident damage. Go to the other end of the car and pop the trunk, lift off ALL trunk floor carpets and carefully inspect all the sheetmetal around and between the strut towers including the any seams; what you are looking for are metal cracks or tears.

Is the underside of the car nice and clean, meaning there isn't a big gash going across the chassis underside which indicates a shunt or foray over a not so nice curb or other road furniture? If you can't at least answer any of these questions, and you are about to plunk down $16,000.00, in my personal opinion, that would be questionable judgement, but like anything on this forum, it's just an opinion. I hope some or all of this resonates with you so a more careful approach will be taken. Good luck.
+1
Well said, OP this is probably the best response to your question yet.
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