Going to be buying my first e46...maybe - Page 2 - E46Fanatics E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 01-10-2014, 04:27 PM   #21
dardarwin01
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: San Franscio
Posts: 123
My Ride: 330ci
Find a decent e46 with a stick test drive it. If your impression isn't good enough with a stick. than get a Honda with an auto. No but, really find a decent e46 in your price range. Look into maintenance records and check most important things off like subframe and Cooling system and vanos if it's in high millage. Also consider that these cars are becoming high in age. So more of the abnormal maintenance like suspension etc... We'll be a great plus if it's been refreshed. Go and check out that 325ci and comeback with information about the car automatics have bigger problems by the way. So watch out.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
dardarwin01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 04:32 PM   #22
VishTheFish
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Winterpeg,Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 846
My Ride: Ex M54B30 ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowspoo View Post
Do you mean the coolant, water pump and thermostat cost you $100?

When did spark plugs become $30 each?
earlier this year I went to the dealer in my city for an estimate on fuel filter and spark plugs. they wanted $32/plug and over $200 for the filter.

Sad thing is people pay those prices unknowingly.
__________________
VishTheFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 04:37 PM   #23
Devakya
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 9
My Ride: Ford explorer
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post
You'll lose most of the reason for bothering with a bmw if you don't go manual.
Ahhhh, see I was under a different impression. I always found the idea of a manual BMW strange. Like it takes away from the luxurious aspect of the car.
But I guess I'm sorely mistaken. I guess it adds to the spirit of a BMW.
Devakya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 04:37 PM   #24
Bird-Dog
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 233
My Ride: 2004 330Cic ZHP
I haven't had the amount of problems with my e46's that some here have, but I do believe there are certain things you should be prepared to address. Cooling system is one, control arms another, etc... but your DIY abilities will make those things much more reasonable to deal with.

I had an '01 325Cic for 8-years. Sold it about 4-months ago and bought an '04 330Cic ZHP. There is quite a notable difference... i.e. the 330's "fun factor" is many times greater.

Since there seems to be a constant flow of threads from new 325/323 owners, mostly younger, wanting to immediately pour money into making their cars faster (not to mention blinging them out) and your mention of being an enthusiast driver, I'll throw this out there for you... If you can swing it, get a 330, preferably a post-facelift model (2003-06 for the coupe). The additional power over a 325 makes it a lot more enjoyable to drive. And, if you get a later model it will have some upgrades, like LED tails, that guys with earlier models commonly lust for!
.
.

Last edited by Bird-Dog; 01-10-2014 at 04:43 PM.
Bird-Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 04:39 PM   #25
Bird-Dog
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 233
My Ride: 2004 330Cic ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devakya View Post
Ahhhh, see I was under a different impression. I always found the idea of a manual BMW strange. Like it takes away from the luxurious aspect of the car.
But I guess I'm sorely mistaken. I guess it adds to the spirit of a BMW.
e46's aren't luxury cars. They are driver's cars. That's why you want one. Remember?
Bird-Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 05:10 PM   #26
325CiBrett
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 222
My Ride: 2004 325Ci
$5000 max? Would that include sales tax and registration fees? If so, then you should be looking for something around $4500. Then you're going to need about about $500 more for PM. So you're realistically looking to spend around $5500 minimum.

I just bought a 2004 325ci with 118,000 miles two months ago. The only problems I've encountered so far would be a leaky coolant temp sensor, which cost almost nothing to fix yourself, and a possible failing starter, which only acts up in extremely cold temps. Still starts on the first try (knocks on wood), but will need replaced soon.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
325CiBrett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 05:12 PM   #27
TSF
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 31
My Ride: 2000 E46 328CI
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devakya View Post
Little background...22 years old, new to forum, huge driving enthusiast, never owned a BMW, looking to buy a 325Ci. Simple.
I currently own a Ford explorer and I hate it, it's a lemon but I've done a few repairs to make it manageable, but by no means is it a pleasure to drive. (For a driving enthusiast anyway). It was bought for me by my parents for my first car when I was 16. I am planning on giving this jeep to my brother for his fist car, and getting a different car for myself. I want something that I love driving, and I've always loved the BMW 325ci.
My request, is for you current owners to explain the difference in owning the 325ci (in terms of reliability, cost of ownership, etc) to other more traditional options like an Accord, or Toyota Camry of the same year range (2000-2003). My family seems to think you have to be an attorney or doctor to own an e46. The idea of owning a "BMW" freaks them out. They think they're unreliable, expensive, pieces of junk that rich people enjoy wasting money on. Which is funny because they both drive cars that are constantly having problems, but they still insist are reliable brands. Their thought process is "If my old Nissan Altima is having this many problems, I can't imagine how many problems BMWs have! Whoo, glad I didn't waste my money on one of those!"

They insist on me spending the same amount of money to buy a nissan or a ford. Which would be fine of I could find a 240sx or a mustang GT in good condition for the same price as a 325ci. I do almost all maintenance myself btw. I think the misconception of "you have to be rich to own a BMW" comes from people that have very little knowledge about working on cars or simply don't want to do the work themselves, so they have to take their car to the shop for everything. Duhhh of course a BMW cost more when it's taken to a shop, everything's more expensive in a shop. Sorry for the rant, but like I said, please explain to me in detail, the difference in owning an e46 and a name brand like ford.
Considering I just bought my e46 328ci for $400. I doubt being rich has anything to do ith it
TSF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 05:42 PM   #28
tonycajjo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central CT
Posts: 98
My Ride: 2006 330Ci
he's in FL, no sales tax on autos.

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
tonycajjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 05:48 PM   #29
325CiBrett
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 222
My Ride: 2004 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonycajjo View Post
he's in FL, no sales tax on autos.

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
Must be nice not having to come up with the extra money on top of the purchase.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
325CiBrett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 05:59 PM   #30
mjpgolf1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Cleveland Oh
Posts: 2,490
My Ride: 00 328i,05 745,03 X5
No, no, no. Here we go again with another person with $5000 to spend wanting to drive a BMW. OP if you have $5000 budgeted for a car you absolutely should not buy a BMW. You need at least $10000 to put together a reliable and great performing E46. I'm figuring $7000 for the car and another $3000 for suspension, cooling system, tires, brakes, CCV, Vanos, power steering lines, etc, etc. Go buy a reliable piece of transportation and drive it for a few years while you get yourself in a situation where you can afford to do it right. Otherwise you are going to have headaches. There is nothing more expensive than a cheap German car. A few years will go by fast and you will be glad you waited.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
mjpgolf1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 06:08 PM   #31
wildirish317
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 3,285
My Ride: 2004 325Ci vert
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devakya View Post
My family seems to think... they're unreliable, expensive, pieces of junk that rich people enjoy wasting money on.
Listen to your family. They are correct on this point. You won't find many posts on here where people point out how much money they don't have to spend on their car.
__________________
“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Miller
I just don't know what I'd do with 560 hp that doesn't involve getting arrested.
wildirish317 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 06:11 PM   #32
dmax
Registered User
 
dmax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 23,729
My Ride: '99 328i 300K miles
Quote:
Originally Posted by 325CiBrett View Post
$5000 max? Would that include sales tax and registration fees? If so, then you should be looking for something around $4500. Then you're going to need about about $500 more for PM. So you're realistically looking to spend around $5500 minimum.

I just bought a 2004 325ci with 118,000 miles two months ago. The only problems I've encountered so far would be a leaky coolant temp sensor, which cost almost nothing to fix yourself, and a possible failing starter, which only acts up in extremely cold temps. Still starts on the first try (knocks on wood), but will need replaced soon.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
Two months ago?

OP...hate to say that golf above makes a great point. I tried to give you the same sort of idea...it'll be thousands in some combination of needed repairs and maintenance. Maybe you'll get lucky and have a car that runs and handles great, but if you do what I said and start reading fanatics, you'll know the odds are incredibly high that your car will need a lot...and the less you spend on it, the odds go up that I'll be right.

Honda and Toyotas both make very reliable cars...Nissan is probably a little sportier on average. Read fanatics more. It takes money and work to have a decent $40,000 car that's over 10 years old.
__________________
Laugh with me! Don't be lame! Broadway Comedy Club, NYC, July 14, 8 p.m. See Facebook for other shows and PM me if you can make one.


Please view this vid so it looks like I'm popular. Please! https://youtu.be/995gLmVEVZk

dmax on Facebook

Mangofy your E46!
dmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 06:20 PM   #33
Mazor TAzor
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Idaho
Posts: 4
My Ride: 323i
I'm 20 and I currently have a 1999 323i 5 speed lots of mods. Had a 2003 325i automatic, I loved the car got it in 2011. Had it for 3 years and only had to switch out the water pump and fluid changes. So like 65$ to fix it, lasted till present once I did. But in winter I slid in to a curb twice! ( I live in Idaho) first slide was 1500 insurance covered 1000 and second was 500 for new arm and labor prices suck because if labor.But I loved it but hated the triptronic! Bored the crap out of me. But Im lovin my 323! E46 is the way to go love em.
Mazor TAzor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 07:36 PM   #34
Avetiso
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 250
My Ride: 2003 ZHP 6MT
Not sure if your budget can hold it, but I recommend getting a 330 instead of a 325.
Avetiso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 10:10 PM   #35
Devakya
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 9
My Ride: Ford explorer
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpgolf1 View Post
No, no, no. Here we go again with another person with $5000 to spend wanting to drive a BMW. OP if you have $5000 budgeted for a car you absolutely should not buy a BMW. You need at least $10000 to put together a reliable and great performing E46. I'm figuring $7000 for the car and another $3000 for suspension, cooling system, tires, brakes, CCV, Vanos, power steering lines, etc, etc. Go buy a reliable piece of transportation and drive it for a few years while you get yourself in a situation where you can afford to do it right. Otherwise you are going to have headaches. There is nothing more expensive than a cheap German car. A few years will go by fast and you will be glad you waited.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
That makes ALOT of sense. All of you guys have been great at helping me make a decision, I was afraid that when I registered on this website I would just get flamed and told to gtfo, but you guys have been nothing but helpful. I can't thank you enough. After reading all of your responses it is clear I'm i no place to comfortably own one. I'm going to do what you're all advising, and switch my priorities for now. So when that ultimate driving machine finally comes into my possession, it will be done the right way.
Devakya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 10:49 PM   #36
mjpgolf1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Cleveland Oh
Posts: 2,490
My Ride: 00 328i,05 745,03 X5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devakya View Post
That makes ALOT of sense. All of you guys have been great at helping me make a decision, I was afraid that when I registered on this website I would just get flamed and told to gtfo, but you guys have been nothing but helpful. I can't thank you enough. After reading all of your responses it is clear I'm i no place to comfortably own one. I'm going to do what you're all advising, and switch my priorities for now. So when that ultimate driving machine finally comes into my possession, it will be done the right way.

You are obviously far more responsible than most people your age. You will be glad you waited and time goes by faster than you think. Before you know it you will be in a position where you can drive a nice car and it won't consume your life and your finances. For you at this point you just need decent transportation to get from point A to point B, and there are lots of good choices out there that will get you by and not take all your money to keep up. Keep making responsible decisions and working hard and in the long run you will be in much better shape and have much nicer things than these kids that think they have to try to be something they are not. I'm a big believer in the old story of the tortoise and the hare, the slow and steady tortoise in the end made it to the finish line before the fast and rushing hare. Good luck to you, and in the meantime its a good idea to stick around both here and other car forums to educate yourself so when it comes time you will know what to expect.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
mjpgolf1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 11:03 PM   #37
6th Element
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 466
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330i
I'm sure you've heard this or you will in the near feature. BMW's are great cars if maintained properly. There are lots of E46 and E36's that are almost at the 300K miles mark and are still running good. On the other hand, you see ones with 150K miles that are completely and utterly horrible.
I would suggest you search the user "Mango" on this board and read the maintenance threads in his signature. Very eye opening and helpful if you want your car to run good and problem free.

Now if I were you, I wouldn't spend all my budget on the car itself, unless the owner has receipts to show you that proper maintenance has been done to the car. If he doesn't, I would take it to a mechanic that I trust and have them check the car inside and out to diagnose any problems. When that's done, you can either knock off the price of the car and spend it on fixing stuff or just simply run from that car and look for another.

Either way, good luck to you sir!
__________________

"Never Mind What Haters Say, Ignore 'Em Till They Fade Away"
Instagram: TonyE46
6th Element is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 11:36 PM   #38
tonycajjo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central CT
Posts: 98
My Ride: 2006 330Ci
get on with it... get a 5 speed and hit it hard.
tonycajjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 12:23 AM   #39
zheka130
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 373
My Ride: 2004 ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowspoo View Post
Do you mean the coolant, water pump and thermostat cost you $100?

When did spark plugs become $30 each?
Thermostat and water pump $100 each, coolant probably $60, i rounded it too $300

spark plugs $20 each, and had to give some money to the mechanic that allows me to use space in his shop
zheka130 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 12:39 AM   #40
jonel1225
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Framingham Ma
Posts: 180
My Ride: 02 325ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by zheka130 View Post
Thermostat and water pump $100 each, coolant probably $60, i rounded it too $300

spark plugs $20 each, and had to give some money to the mechanic that allows me to use space in his shop
Divide each number given by 2 and you'll get accurate prices. Where did you get those numbers from?


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
Untitled
jonel1225 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
325ci, 325i, buying, first time, reliability

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.