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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 06-06-2014, 06:37 PM   #1
AndreBXP
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My Ride: 2001 BMW 330ci
Question Is 2003 BMW 330ci 5 Speed First Car?

Alright guys, i'm 16 and looking for my first car and leaning towards a '03 330ci. I'm a pretty handy guy so any repairs that have to be done that don't require and fancy dealer tool/computer I can DIY in my driveway. I don't have to drive any far distances so the mileage would be low and i'm planning to spend $7k (Of my hard earned cash) on one with 100k Miles. I build PCs for profit so i'll have a little bit more than most to spend on parts, but nothing crazy. It will be insured under my Dad's policy to save money as well. Do you guys think this is a good first car? If not could you list some safe alternatives(No tin cans please..I want to stay alive)? I know that this as been asked countless times again; so sorry if i'm being redundant. If you think this is a good choice can you tell me what to look out for when buying a used one? Thanks a ton!
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:48 PM   #2
ReIntegration
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Oh Boy....

Word of advice...16 year old with a 330Ci and under Dad's insurance is a VERY VERY bad idea....
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Originally Posted by Mordecai
Ready to get destroyed?

Last edited by ReIntegration; 06-06-2014 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:59 PM   #3
Solo118
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If I was 16 I would want to do that, but it would probably be a bad idea.

Good luck with your decision
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:19 PM   #4
mxchris727
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Terrible first car if you have no mechanical/automotive experience.
If you do, E46s are still terrible cars in general.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:22 PM   #5
choxor
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This car will cost your dad more money than he wants to spend.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:24 PM   #6
alejandroxpgs
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Don't listen to all these people shitting on you. Like any other car, it takes great care and observation. If you treat your car well and not destroy the engine like a douche or drive it like a ****-boy. You should only run into very minor problems. Just letting you know you're looking at $120 oil changes but that only occurs usually once a year. Everyone starts somewhere and if this is where you want to start, then do so.


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Old 06-06-2014, 07:25 PM   #7
alejandroxpgs
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Also look at the car fax thoroughly before you buy anything. Also check all electronical and transmission.


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Old 06-06-2014, 07:27 PM   #8
JasonLI25t
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Originally Posted by alejandroxpgs View Post
Don't listen to all these people shitting on you. Like any other car, it takes great care and observation. If you treat your car well and not destroy the engine like a douche or drive it like a ****-boy. You should only run into very minor problems. Just letting you know you're looking at $120 oil changes but that only occurs usually once a year. Everyone starts somewhere and if this is where you want to start, then do so.


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oil changes are $45-$60 for the real men on this forum.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:29 PM   #9
choxor
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Originally Posted by alejandroxpgs View Post
Don't listen to all these people shitting on you. Like any other car, it takes great care and observation. If you treat your car well and not destroy the engine like a douche or drive it like a ****-boy. You should only run into very minor problems. Just letting you know you're looking at $120 oil changes but that only occurs usually once a year. Everyone starts somewhere and if this is where you want to start, then do so.


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Originally Posted by alejandroxpgs View Post
Hey people.

Just bought my first beamer, 2005 325i.

Looking to put some money into some cosmetic changes.

One thing i wanted to do was change the led color inside the car. Anybody know any good sites with high quality led's?

Yeah, guy who just bought your E46. You're in a real good position to give advice on ownership.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:30 PM   #10
AndreBXP
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I want to clarify that I will be doing the repairs/maintenance myself.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:31 PM   #11
Swater330i
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Is 2003 BMW 330ci 5 Speed First Car?

Buy it. Might be a good car, might be a lemon and empty your bank account. Might as well make that mistake when you have no responsibilities

LOL @ electronical
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Originally Posted by phenom323ci View Post
I am going to install M3 fender grill on my 323ci.
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Originally Posted by futureSubie View Post
IMO, the euro clear corners looks too aftermarket/ricey.
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Originally Posted by Davconelectric View Post
This 323 would most likely handle and drive better than a stock e46 m3.

Last edited by Swater330i; 06-06-2014 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:33 PM   #12
JasonLI25t
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if your heart is set...find a $5k E46 and set $2k aside for what it will need over time. That will go a long way if you truly do all of the maintenance and repairs yourself. have a PPI done...there are a lot of beat E46s on the island. I eventually got fed up and went on ebay, ended up buying one from an infiniti dealer in PA. get a good one.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:36 PM   #13
choxor
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Bottom line, young man:

If your dad is paying for it and the repairs then go to town. If you think you can somehow afford it on your own then you need to look elsewhere.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:45 PM   #14
GDubois
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My first car was/is my E46, got it several years ago. Started under my dad's insurance and it wasn't much more than a comparable economy car. Granted, it's an automatic 2.5. It also takes dedication ($$$) to keep these cars pristine. The only thing that's actually broken in my several years of ownership was the thermostat, but I've replaced so many obscure parts you wouldn't even think of just to make the car feel new again, ie. door brakes, gaskets, pillars, trim pieces, speakers, etc.


That being said don't do it unless you have the financial means of maintaining to showroom standards using OEM parts. Also don't buy one if you have a horrible taste in mods. If you put on M badges, ebay xenons, and plastidip your style 43's, you'll look like a f4g.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:03 PM   #15
AndreBXP
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Alright...so what I got from this Thread is that: "I can't afford to keep it on the road." I have money set aside to keep it on the road in advance (~$1000); is the maintenance cost so high on these cars that $1k won't be enough(DIY Service)? There seems to be a bad perception of teens that drive BMWs and I don't plan to be a part of that crowd. I keep my grades high and I don't really want to veer from OEM BMW parts. I'm proficient in basic electronics and soldering and can follow a DIY guide to the letter. The question i'm asking is it safe and how long will it last. Thanks for those that were helpful though
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:06 PM   #16
choxor
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The car will need way more than $1k worth of work after you get it if you want to keep it reliable. That leaves you with negative money. Negative money is not what you want.


Take your hard earned piggy bank and put it aside. Buy girls in college beer with it.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:15 PM   #17
Swater330i
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Originally Posted by choxor View Post
The car will need way more than $1k worth of work after you get it if you want to keep it reliable. That leaves you with negative money. Negative money is not what you want.


Take your hard earned piggy bank and put it aside. Buy girls in college beer with it.
College girls + Beer = Obesity
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phenom323ci View Post
I am going to install M3 fender grill on my 323ci.
Quote:
Originally Posted by futureSubie View Post
IMO, the euro clear corners looks too aftermarket/ricey.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davconelectric View Post
This 323 would most likely handle and drive better than a stock e46 m3.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:26 PM   #18
mjpgolf1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alejandroxpgs View Post
Don't listen to all these people shitting on you. Like any other car, it takes great care and observation. If you treat your car well and not destroy the engine like a douche or drive it like a ****-boy. You should only run into very minor problems. Just letting you know you're looking at $120 oil changes but that only occurs usually once a year. Everyone starts somewhere and if this is where you want to start, then do so.


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Go find something to do with your time other than give advice on BMW ownership. You obviously have no clue what you are talking about.


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Old 06-06-2014, 08:29 PM   #19
choxor
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College girls + Beer = Obesity
Got to smash before they gain their freshman 15.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:37 PM   #20
mjpgolf1
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Originally Posted by AndreBXP View Post
Alright...so what I got from this Thread is that: "I can't afford to keep it on the road." I have money set aside to keep it on the road in advance (~$1000); is the maintenance cost so high on these cars that $1k won't be enough(DIY Service)? There seems to be a bad perception of teens that drive BMWs and I don't plan to be a part of that crowd. I keep my grades high and I don't really want to veer from OEM BMW parts. I'm proficient in basic electronics and soldering and can follow a DIY guide to the letter. The question i'm asking is it safe and how long will it last. Thanks for those that were helpful though

I'm sorry young man but $1000 is not going to be enough to keep a high mileage German car on the road and in reliable condition. I usually have a long explanation as to why it makes no sense for someone in your position to buy a car like this but to be honest I'm just getting worn out with the amount of people in your shoes that come here asking this same question. In a nutshell it would be stupid to spend your hard earned money on a car like this, even if you did have enough to make it work which you don't. You, like many others, don't have the means to make the car into what it once was to get the full enjoyment out of it anyway so you may as well just find something that will not require the level of attention as a high mileage German luxury car.


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