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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 04-16-2009, 12:56 AM   #1
smaples
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: sol cal
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My Ride: 03 imola red m3
Help buying a car

Hey guys,
so i've been doing searches and haven't found threads that answer enough of my questions, so here i am. i am looking at some e46 3 series (mainly face-lifted 330's) i just have a few questions of what to look for when buying

1) subframe is often an issue, what cars usually had this problem (was their a specific model, aka 323, or a specific year(s) like 00-01)
2.) Water pump and everything often an issue, anyway warning signs to look for?
3) Anything else i should look for/ where do i look when im doing a visual inspection

Im also trying to decide between 4 door and 2 door, so feel free to make this a debate of which is better, because i cant decide and would love input.
thanks guys
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:15 AM   #2
Acarder
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You can't really say you searched if you couldn't find that.

1) Subframe is an issue for all cars before 02/2001 production date. Most prominent in the 323Ci manual and 328Ci, but that could just be because there are more people that own coupes on this forum.

2) Any car over 60k miles will have signs, anything over 100k 99% of the time will have had it blow. Make sure you get a compression test on any car over that.

3) Not really, usual things. Just make sure its not a facelifted coupe
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:51 AM   #3
smaples
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i found most of that info. but for like the water pump are there any signs? i have heard from everyone to just change it around 100k to avoid an issue, but is there a way to tell if it needs it or will need it soon, so i dont buy the car and have to instantly put money into it.

and why no on a facelifted coupe?
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:16 AM   #4
Acarder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smaples View Post
i found most of that info. but for like the water pump are there any signs? i have heard from everyone to just change it around 100k to avoid an issue, but is there a way to tell if it needs it or will need it soon, so i dont buy the car and have to instantly put money into it.

and why no on a facelifted coupe?
You'll need to know the basic workings of the water pump, and its location. If you check the shaft and theres a sign of coolant/a leak then its going/gone, water pump bearings are going (take the water pump belt off and turn them. If they don't spin freely and don't wobble its fine but if they do its going soon.
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