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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 03-27-2014, 12:52 PM   #61
Agent83
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Thanks for the response, I'm actually on the road headed there now. I'll be sure to take plenty of pics and get the VIN as well.

If this all works out I'll be trading in my 2011 335 xdrive towards it. Which I don't mind since I've wanted this car since forever. I'll def have to get a winter car though!


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Old 03-27-2014, 11:08 PM   #62
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Thanks for the response, I'm actually on the road headed there now. I'll be sure to take plenty of pics and get the VIN as well.

If this all works out I'll be trading in my 2011 335 xdrive towards it. Which I don't mind since I've wanted this car since forever. I'll def have to get a winter car though!


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Let us know the outcome.
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:29 AM   #63
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A Buyers Guide for the E46

So I went to see the car yesterday and utilizing the checklist provided I was able to look over most everything. I was even able to have them put it on the lift before and after driving. The only thing I didn't have was access to a laptop to do the inside stuff. So far no subframe issues or leaks to speak of. The only issue preset was a pad sensor light, which I was assured would be sorted out when I negotiated for a new set of pads and rotors. I'm already budgeting for a cooling system refresh as well as major maintenance items for a car with this mileage. It's got nav and the cold weather package as I can see the heated seats and ski pass through. Any additional info is welcomed and appreciated!

Mileage: 80,517
Engine: 6 Cyl. 3.2L
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Body: Coupe
Color: Silver Gray Metallic




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Last edited by Agent83; 04-30-2014 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:44 AM   #64
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love all of this information. saved a copy for when i go get mine..
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:39 AM   #65
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Do 330ci that don't have the sports package come with the sports suspension?
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:05 PM   #66
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Man I am glad I was referred to this post! Lots to consider on making a leap into the world of BMW cars. I have a Beemer motorcycle that has been great, but now it's time for four wheels and a top.

Have my eye on a couple convertibles and so far at least, neither one has that SULEV engine. Going to print out the check list and grab a flashlight to go look at them.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:16 PM   #67
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Man I am glad I was referred to this post! Lots to consider on making a leap into the world of BMW cars. I have a Beemer motorcycle that has been great, but now it's time for four wheels and a top.

Have my eye on a couple convertibles and so far at least, neither one has that SULEV engine. Going to print out the check list and grab a flashlight to go look at them.
Let us know what you come up with. If you post any questions about the car before you purchase, lots here would be ready to help out.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:07 PM   #68
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With any luck I'm going tomorrow to see the car I've had my eye on.

Regarding the cooling replacement recommendation: Am I to understand that "complete" means the radiator also? The car I'm looking at is a 2006 and has 77k on it. The carfax shows three owners and regular maintenance records but nothing major having been done.

Thanks again for the great info.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:57 PM   #69
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With any luck I'm going tomorrow to see the car I've had my eye on.

Regarding the cooling replacement recommendation: Am I to understand that "complete" means the radiator also? The car I'm looking at is a 2006 and has 77k on it. The carfax shows three owners and regular maintenance records but nothing major having been done.

Thanks again for the great info.
The Radiator should be replaced as well as all the other cooling system components.
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:32 PM   #70
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OK....thanks to this thread a potential bad deal was avoided. Have my eye on another. I checked it's Carfax which is clean, but I have another newbie question. This one failed smog testing in LA three times in five days before passing on the fourth try a week later. Sounds like a problem the dealer tried to fix after each fail, only to succeed after a week of tweeking something. What should I look for with this in mind in addition to the other check items?
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:36 AM   #71
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OK....thanks to this thread a potential bad deal was avoided. Have my eye on another. I checked it's Carfax which is clean, but I have another newbie question. This one failed smog testing in LA three times in five days before passing on the fourth try a week later. Sounds like a problem the dealer tried to fix after each fail, only to succeed after a week of tweeking something. What should I look for with this in mind in addition to the other check items?
That would make me a little suspicious. If the car failed smog tests I would definitely watch out for oil burn.

I'm not familiar with California smog test, could it be because it's not the SULEV engine?

Radiators on E46s are more robust than the rest of the cooling system. At 77k it shouldn't need replacing.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:48 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaktusJaque View Post
[CENTER]A Buyers Guide for the E46 BMW

Engines
The most common engines for the E46 (North America) include
  • M52B25 aka M54, 6 Cylinder 2.5L ULEV engine (323)
  • M54B25 aka M54, 6 Cylinder 2.5L ULEV engine (325)
  • M56B25 aka M56, 6 Cylinder 2.5L SULEV engine (325)
  • M52B28 aka M54, 6 Cylinder 2.8L ULEV engine (328)
  • M54B30 aka M54, 6 Cylinder 3.0L ULEV engine (330)
  • S54B32 aka S54, 6 Cylinder 3.0L ULEV engine (Motorsports-330)
Good write-up.

I think there is a small error here in regards to calling the early models "M54". Probably is supposed to say "M52."
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:15 PM   #73
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Lots of good info in this thread. Been lurking this forum for over 2 weeks now. I'm ready to buy my first car and I was considering a 325i. My dad's friend is a certified BMW mechanic and he was telling me he could get me one for under $4k. I'm 22 and have a a decent paying job. Realistically, how much does it normally cost to maintain these cars?
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:59 PM   #74
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Lots of good info in this thread. Been lurking this forum for over 2 weeks now. I'm ready to buy my first car and I was considering a 325i. My dad's friend is a certified BMW mechanic and he was telling me he could get me one for under $4k. I'm 22 and have a a decent paying job. Realistically, how much does it normally cost to maintain these cars?
Start here: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=923563

Just bought your non-M E46? Bare essentials maintenance checklist (part #s included)

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Old 08-15-2014, 12:21 PM   #75
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Good write-up.

I think there is a small error here in regards to calling the early models "M54". Probably is supposed to say "M52."
unfortunately there is a time limit on posts in that after a certain amount of time passes, the author can no longer do edits. The edit feature is removed as an option. I wish it were different.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:03 AM   #76
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I am thinking of buying a 3 series coupe or convertible anything I should look out for when inspecting a vehicle?


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Old 10-05-2014, 02:02 PM   #77
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Count on doing Mangos Cooling Guide maintenance unless you are 100%certain previous owner did, Re-read this thread, view the BavAuto.com inspection video mentioned in KJs original post in this thread , get a PPI from a BMW specialist, don't use your local mechanic that services your mom's Buick or your buddies Honda.

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Old 10-06-2014, 05:54 AM   #78
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I became bmw e46 coupe owner , t

Thanks in advance for the this post it was really helpful
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:35 PM   #79
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Kaktus, amazing post. Every single person who buys a used E46 should read this thread before buying.

I cannot emphasize enough what Kak says about the maintenance the car will require. These are ultimate driving machines, and they require the service that goes with the title. I also agree with him, that some things need to be done sooner, rather than later, i.e. the cooling system.

I have been slowly bringing my 323ci back to where it should be since I bought it. I got it about two years ago from a dude who really didn't care about it. He drove much more expensive (and newer) vehicles and this was his 'drive to work' car. I bought it from him for a little of nothing, but going in, I knew, from reading from all you fine folks on this forum, and from really wanting an E46 since high school, that it would take some work. I enjoyed the fact that it would be my project, and it would be fun (but not cheap) to get everything back to where it should be. Note, I'm not one for mods, and if your car needs TLC, maintain it before you mod it. I have nothing against them, but I am a stock guy. Somebody's got to preserve them, right? (the only mod I have is a Remus exhaust that is perrrrfect.)


I thought since I've got through what some would call a 'reconditioning' of my car, I'm pulling out my maintenance folder and breaking down everything I've done to the car and about how much it cost.
I'm going to try to start with the day I got the car, until today, to show you the span of time I've spent doing everything, and also what routine maintenance will cost.
Labor is indy unless noted.
If I list the part and the labor separately, it's because I bought the part myself and took it to the shop. Some shops don't like this, as they make their money this way, but if you find a cool shop they won't mind.

Typical Maintenance Costs
Obiviously prices vary based on where you live, brand of part, etc.
  • Engine Coil: $80 (replaced three since I've had the car), did it myself
  • Battery: $80, did it myself
  • Fuel Pump and Filter $226, put it in myself
  • Bosch Oxygen Sensors Pre and Post, About 65.00 a piece online, did easy ones myself, $51 shop labor for the hard-to-get-to post sensor
  • Coolant System: Coolant Expansion Tank, Radiator and Various Hoses $432, did all the labor myself. THIS is what you should do first. A hot BMW is not a happy BMW.
  • Full brake job (includes pads, rotors and wear sensors)$302, did all the labor myself (I have an invoice from a BMW dealership from the previous owner when it was new, the same job with parts and labor was 853.89!!!)
  • Replace clutch, clutch $200 (flywheel was resurfaced), labor $454
  • Power Steering pump & reservoir, parts and labor $771
  • Replace rear shocks, replace both rear bushings and rear top mount bushing $825 parts and labor
  • Replace idler pulley and both drive belts, parts $93, $102 for labor
  • Replace passenger side mirror (ordered used from a yard) $125, put it on myself
  • Oil change cost varies greatly on where you go. Shops charge me about $80 for service with Mobil One. I've since been doing it myself. Castrol Edge and Filter is usually about $50.

I hope this helps everybody understand the cost a bit better. Let me know if you have any questions. Once again, thanks for this thread Kaktus!
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:02 PM   #80
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Kaktus, amazing post. Every single person who buys a used E46 should read this thread before buying.
Thanks taylorscarter.
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