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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 09-17-2013, 09:30 PM   #1
gcool7
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A little iffy on this vert.

So I have decided to but a vert, I stumbled on this deal however my only concern is that the vehicle has only one service vehicle from 2004. Also only 2 only seemed to drive it 2k miles from 2011 to 2013 I'm going to go test drive it on friday and I'm having a third party look at it. What is everyone's expert bmw advise on this one should I pass it up? link below

http://www.fiestamotors.us/inventory...ble+Phoenix+AZ_a_
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:16 AM   #2
taylor192
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Expert advice: Get a PPI.

Anything else is just guessing.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:23 PM   #3
FryGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
Expert advice: Get a PPI.

Anything else is just guessing.
+100
www.bimmershops.com
inspection should be 2 hours and $150-$200
if the car needs more than $3500-$4000 of stuff (thats pushing it) then I would consider walking away, unless you can haggle the price down with it and/or you plan on doing a lot of maintenance on your own then definitely take that into account.

Last edited by FryGuy; 09-18-2013 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:32 PM   #4
hagsdg7
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Get it looked at definitely- I have same year, color, bought at exactly same mileage for very close to same price. Put about 1500 into it immediately in repairs I knew I had to make, and another 1000 since. Had it for a year and a half, still love it. But be aware, 80k is close to a magic number for parts to start wearing out/failing. Also, the 325 is a bit slow, IMO. If I could do it again I would've held out for a 330/zhp.
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:10 PM   #5
PapiOcho
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Re: A little iffy on this vert.

80k or 130k miles your still going to want to start refreshing vital systems.

Just to give you an idea: valve cover gasket replacement at my dealer was almost a $500 job.

I bought the same parts from the dealer for $130 and did it myself. I couldn't wait to get the same parts from the internet for around $70 plus shipping.

And everything else goes up from there. I think the only 2 things cheaper at the dealer are the inspections and alignments.

I would hold out for a 330 or better maybe with higher miles from a private seller and way cheaper....



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Old 09-21-2013, 06:35 PM   #6
M3_CABRIO
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Did you pull the the BMW service history on the car? The Auction History should give you a BIG indicator to stay away from this car. It was bought and sold back to Auction a couple of times. This doesn't speak well for the car. Most cars if in good shape usually can sell on a lot even for a few hundred dollars profit. Why sell it back to auction at a loss if the car is a good car? I know some say that dealers want to release their funds to get another car but this car has been passed on to the Auction too often and too quickly.

I would personally stay away from this car. I wouldn't spend the money on a PPI. There are many better examples of these cars from one or two owner private sales. Just wait and it will reward you better than this car would.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:10 PM   #7
Fritzo2162
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1- Open and close the top, listen for any grinding or squealing sounds (a few clunks are normal). Ideally you can drive the car when raining or through a quick carwash to check for seal issues.
2- Open, close the windows and listen for a "scraping" sound. Also look for scratches on the windows from opening/closing. This can indicate seals/window alignment issues.
3- Minor snags on the outside of the roof are normal. There's multiple layers of fabric you have to poke through.
4- On the roof, near the rear windows, there are plastic "rods" inside the roof fabric that tend to snag and break through over time. These don't seem to interfere with the operation of the roof much, but do note they can cause interior holes and tears.

Other than that, just watch for the normal e46 used hotspots:

1- If you hear/feel a "clunk" when you start moving or going over bumps, or if you feel vibration in the wheel when moving, your front ball joints probably need replaced (they last 60-80K miles). This is a $350 DIY or a $900 garage repair.
2- The first or second coil on the rear springs tends to bread due to poor paint from the factory. This isn't a huge deal and may not affect the handling much, but watch for the car slumping on one side or the other. Springs are a fairly easy DIY requiring 2 jacks and the OEM wheel jack (2 jacks total) and runs around $150. (I just changed both of mine last week in under an hour).
3- If you hear a "clunk" sound from the rear, check to make sure the latch on subwoofer door (on some models) in the trunk isn't broken. On older e46 models, everyone kept saying "That sound is your subframe!", and that scared the hell out of me. It turns out the door was just opening and closing every time a turned a corner.
4- The water pumps on the M54 engines seems to last exactly 100K miles. Plan to replace it around that milage. This is another DIY that's easier than it looks on the Youtube videos
5- While you're changing the water pump, also change your valve cover gasket and your VANOS seals.
6- Check the air conditioning. If it doesn't seem to work right, there's a relay behind the glovebox that tends to go out. It's a simple (but hard to reach) repair.
7- The heated rear window tends to stop working. This is usually a relay in the trunk under the carpeting. It's a little difficult to get to in the convertible e46s, but once you reach it it's a simple snap out-snap in fix.
8- There is always wear on the sides of the seats because of people's belt loops rubbing on the fabric when entering the vehicle (especially those with leather interior). Those leather repair kits DO NOT work well on this situation. It's either something you live with, get professionally fixed, or get seat covers (which is tacky IMO). I just live with mine.
9- The lower speaker covers on the doors get cracked all the time from people kicking them when exiting the vehicle. I keep a few spare for repairs as their a little difficult to locate. Sometimes the whole speaker gets kicked it. Listen for fuzziness from the lower door speakers.

If you notice any of these issues, you could use them to negotiate a lower price for the car.

Other than these issues, the post 2002 e46 is a pretty solid car. I've got 90K miles on mine and it's still one of the best driving cars I've ever owned. If you do go for it, some recommended care/upgrades:

1- Apply this stuff to the top once or twice a year. It protects it and makes it look brand new: http://www.amazon.com/RAGGTOPP-Conve...xgy_auto_img_z
I've tried other products but Raggtop seems to work the best.
2- Spacers on the wheels are inexpensive and make the car look a lot more aggressive. I've always thought the wheels were too far sunken into the body on the e46. The car will take 15mm spacers comfortably all around with no mods. It makes a big difference in handling as well. I put 12mm front and 15mm back on mine (I have the sport package with the fat rear wheels, so I wanted them to stick out a little more than the front). I used this company and they make fantastic products: http://www.fastwheelaccessories.com/bmw/
3) You'll notice the car seems to have more power at lower RPM's when it's cold. A stage 1 cold air intact is very easy to install and ups the performance a bit to make it always run like that I had mine installed in under an hour.
4) The BMW Business radio has easy upgrades for AUX/iPod/Bluetooth modules, though they're a bit pricy ($200+). Also forum sponsor Dynavin has the famous stereo/nav upgrade available that retains the OEM look of the car: http://www.dynavin.com/products/product_dnv_e46.php

I still smile every time I get behind the wheel of my 330CiC. Hopefully you will too. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:12 PM   #8
Fritzo2162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3_CABRIO View Post
Did you pull the the BMW service history on the car? The Auction History should give you a BIG indicator to stay away from this car. It was bought and sold back to Auction a couple of times. This doesn't speak well for the car. Most cars if in good shape usually can sell on a lot even for a few hundred dollars profit. Why sell it back to auction at a loss if the car is a good car? I know some say that dealers want to release their funds to get another car but this car has been passed on to the Auction too often and too quickly.

I would personally stay away from this car. I wouldn't spend the money on a PPI. There are many better examples of these cars from one or two owner private sales. Just wait and it will reward you better than this car would.
Being bought and sold at auction multiple times may not be a big deal, especially if it was within a few months of each other. Some groups buy lots of cars, sell them to other groups, and then dealers buy them, leading to the multiple sales records.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hagsdg7 View Post
Also, the 325 is a bit slow, IMO. If I could do it again I would've held out for a 330/zhp.
That's what I have

Last edited by Fritzo2162; 09-23-2013 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:30 PM   #9
polishfc
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I got a 2000 323Ci i know a bit older but I had problems with the secondary air system which turned out to be like a $450 air pump luckily the car was still under warranty, def. check the top any problems with that could be costly esp. electrical problems, check the transmission as well being an auto, thats not just for bimmers but all cars, I've also been told a good way to check engine health is to look at the oil cap on the engine if has gunk then i would def. be more cautious (esp like u said only what 1 service) Other then then def check the cooling system, pretty weak component on these car and things you'd check in any car (various oil levels, shocks/strut health, noises,etc.) Good Luck with buy
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:16 AM   #10
saxual328ci
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WOW $13k is pretty high. I've seen them here for atleast $9-10k And with heated seats. I guess that wouldn't help you if you are in Arizona.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:44 PM   #11
PapiOcho
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Re: A little iffy on this vert.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saxual328ci View Post
WOW $13k is pretty high. I've seen them here for atleast $9-10k And with heated seats. I guess that wouldn't help you if you are in Arizona.
It snow's in the northern parts of the state. Seen it with my own eyes!

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Old 10-03-2013, 10:36 PM   #12
fmzip
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Better solution....

Buy mine, nothing needed and M3+ power
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