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Old 01-10-2017, 02:44 PM   #1
Gunther325
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 37
My Ride: '04 325ci
Accidental, But Happy E46 Owner in the ATL

2004 325ci auto, 148000 miles at purchase, last month

My husband thought that he should pick up this car from his co-worker, anticipating the need for another vehicle when our youngest starts driving himself to work and school. I was surprised! This is the highest mileage vehicle that we have ever owned, but perhaps the nicest (we have a 2008 Land Rover L3 SLE).

The rationale was that my husband's co-worker is very detail-oriented, therefore the car would be a good buy . The car is in very nice shape; garage-kept from what I can tell. There are some road nicks on the hood/A-pillar and some scrapes on the driver-side rear bumper (which didn't bother me at first, but bothers me now ). The wear of the leather on the driver's side bolster and steering wheel is bothersome, but otherwise it is in really nice shape for a 12 year-old car. The wheels have curb rash, but probably not as bad as it could be. It's missing the passenger side foglight trim; no biggie.

The auto doesn't bother me as I commute in Atlanta traffic (about 22 miles round trip). I was used to a four-door, but am growing accustomed to the coupe. I am disappointed with the gas mileage: 18 around town and 21 with some highway mixed in. It handles great; I love the tires, but it does not have as much power as I would have expected from a BMW .

I've done the oil and filter; was not bad-looking although OBD said it was overdue. I did the cabin filter and topped off the air in the tires. It was low on coolant, so I topped it off. It took about 4 cups The brake fluid looks good, but a bit low. the power steering fluid doesn't look too hot. The steering seems a bit heavy, but I don't know if this is a BMW thing. I am anxious to get it to the dealer where the PO took it for maintenance. Despite his alleged attention to detail, the passenger airbag recall still has not been done That makes me worried about other maintenance issues, but I will have their record of what has been done soon enough. I am prepared to do a cooling system refresh, fuel filter/pump, air filter and spark plugs. We will know as soon as we get some maintenance/repair history.

Since I did not know beforehand that we were buying a car, I did the Carfax after the fact! We are the fourth owner (it was reposessed twice!), it has no accident history and it failed emission inspection once (it passed when we bought it in November, though).

Pros of the car so far:
handling
features
sunroof
everything seems to work except the stereo power button

Cons:
power/pep
gas mileage
lack of Bluetooth
lack of auxiliary input
quality of audio (base speakers; no HK)

After I get caught up on maintenance, I may want to add some things that I am used to: tint, recondition the leather etc. I know that if I don't do as much as I can myself, I will pay through the nose. My friend, who has worked on his Mercedes and Jag, said he will help me. I will rely heavily on this forum for the BMW expertise!

Thanks in advance and I'm glad to be here!
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:20 PM   #2
Terp1
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Dayton, OH
Posts: 265
My Ride: '01 325CI
Looks great, and congrats! Similar to my situation. I bought mine ('01 325Ci, blue, manual trans with 220k miles) from the original owner right before Christmas. I had a new clutch put in last week, and next ob the list is a driveshaft. Once that's done I'll work on regular maintenance and cleaning the leather.
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:24 PM   #3
Gunther325
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My Ride: '04 325ci
Thank you, Terp! Did the owner of yours, give you a maintenance history? Taking care of the clutch and driveshaft will buy you many miles. How is your gas mileage? I'm assuming the manuals do better than the autos, but I feel like mine is especially low for an auto.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:57 AM   #4
Solidjake
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Location: NYC
Posts: 30,929
My Ride: '02 330i 6MT
Congrats on the E46!

Please look in the General E46 section and look at the sticky threads at the top. It will tell you what preventative maintanance should be done on the car (cooling system, fuel pump/filter and battery are the most important since they can leave you stranded).

The DIY's are pretty easy on the car as well and we have a lot of ATL members that can help out.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:11 PM   #5
05SMG
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Space Coast Florida
Posts: 526
My Ride: 2005 330ci ZSP
I like your tag name. For my Motorlogbook spreadsheet I actually named my coupe GŁnther! About your mileage and pep or lack of, I'm sure with a good refresh on some items like plugs, filters and fluids it'll come alive and the mileage should improve. Lots of diy stuff here to bring the best out in it.
Welcome.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:16 PM   #6
wallaby13
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The steering is "heavy" on these cars compared to many other cars. Make sure the tire pressures are good though because low tire pressures can really increase the steering weight, and decrease the gas mileage.

Is this car for your son? or do you plan to give him something else from the stable?
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:55 PM   #7
Terp1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunther325 View Post
Thank you, Terp! Did the owner of yours, give you a maintenance history? Taking care of the clutch and driveshaft will buy you many miles. How is your gas mileage? I'm assuming the manuals do better than the autos, but I feel like mine is especially low for an auto.
Yes, she provided me with a complete service history, and all the documentation from new to include the original window sticker. According to the dash computer I'm averaging 25MPG.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:07 PM   #8
Gunther325
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My Ride: '04 325ci
Another Gunther! Yours is a very nice color btw. Air filter replacement and MAF sensor cleaning are on the schedule for this weekend, then maybe a diff fluid change. Thank you, for the welcome.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:22 PM   #9
Gunther325
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My Ride: '04 325ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by wallaby13 View Post
The steering is "heavy" on these cars compared to many other cars. Make sure the tire pressures are good though because low tire pressures can really increase the steering weight, and decrease the gas mileage.

Is this car for your son? or do you plan to give him something else from the stable?
The tire pressure is good. I'm sure I just need to get used to the feel of it. I reluctantly drove the car, at first, but now I want to drive it and am paying more attention. A thing to note is that this may be the first RWD car that I have driven regularly, ever

From the get go I thought it silly for my son to have a BMW (if he bought it himself, that would be another story). We have a 2014 Leaf which I was driving, but even that is too nice/new for him. He can borrow that on an as needed basis when he gets his license. We have five drivers in the family and everyone has had exactly one turn to drive the e46; the keys are staying with me
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:28 PM   #10
Gunther325
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Originally Posted by Terp1 View Post
Yes, she provided me with a complete service history, and all the documentation from new to include the original window sticker. According to the dash computer I'm averaging 25MPG.
That's great gas mileage! Hopefully after taking care of the deferred maintenance, I will get closer to what you are getting.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:32 PM   #11
Terp1
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Originally Posted by Gunther325 View Post
That's great gas mileage! Hopefully after taking care of the deferred maintenance, I will get closer to what you are getting.
Thanks! Mine's a stick and I always coast to every light and down every hill.
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