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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!

View Poll Results: Should I:
Fix it 37 75.51%
Trade it 3 6.12%
Sell it 9 18.37%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-13-2009, 09:00 PM   #21
tj330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew@FCP View Post
I have to agree. The Mazda 3 is a good car for the daily commute but if you want to have any fun at all with it, you will be very disappointed. Unless you are getting a MazdaSpeed3, then do not even thing about selling/trading in your 330Ci.
Meh, I've never been a big fan of turbos. Maybe with AWD, in a WRX. But the Mazdaspeed 3 just isn't my thing. I'd rather get a Mustang GT or something for the V8 burble, or even a Civic Si. It ain't how fast it goes, it's how fast it feels and how fun it is. I guess part of the reason I'm even considering getting rid of the 330Ci is that most of my driving is now 40 MPH and under, in traffic. The car is wasted. When I lived further west of Philly, there were miles and miles of twisty open roads, and I could spend a whole afternoon driving around aimlessly just for the fun. Up to 40MPH, its hard to beat a Mustang in the cost vs. fun category. Sure it's a plasticky turd inside, but the torque and sound are the real deal. The 330Ci seems to have a 50-90MPH twisty road sweet spot that I just don't see much here in the city.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:03 PM   #22
loayo
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why that mazda3 in particular??? if you have seen that many cars, there are plenty of other cars for you. Why not get another BMW that is newer with less miles. It seems as though you are not far from it with your budget.

I also have heard that with proper maintenance you can go a long way. My neighbor has 300k on his 2000 328i!

You may miss the RWD. The Speed is nice but it is a turbo engine and I do not know what the maintenance is for that.

That being said, mazdas are fun to drive. I drove an RX8 and it was very enjoyable to drive. It had 225s all around and the rear loses traction controllably and was fun. A redline 1-2 shift caused the rear to slide a little to the side. I did not expect it but it was not dramatic by any means.

All the best, I am sure you will make the right decision for you at the end of the day !

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Old 10-13-2009, 09:16 PM   #23
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The poll speaks the truth.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:23 PM   #24
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Come on man for real?

At the end of the day those 600 bucks in fuel cost you save and the money you would have to spend on repairs would be in your wallet right. So lets shoot real high and lets say the bimmer would cost you 5 gran to fix. If you put that 5 gran into the mazada its still gunna feel like a mazada with 5 gran of extra parts.

Hell no, of course keep that sucker. You know where its been and its the last BMW that looked REALLY REALLY good. e9X's look pretty good but theres no question that the e46 is way better looking. Mazadas are girls cars, bimmers are everyones cars.

Please dont trade it for a mazada.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:31 PM   #25
tj330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loayo View Post
why that mazda3 in particular???
It's clean, low miles, priced right, and being sold by my former co-worker where I don't have to deal with all the BS to get a fair deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loayo View Post
Why not get another BMW that is newer with less miles. It seems as though you are not far from it with your budget.
Good question, but the way luxury brands depreciate, I should just fix mine up at this point. The Mazda won't depreciate as much as a lower mile BMW, making it a better candidate for the 2 to 3 year window I'm considering. That, and going to a newer 330Ci won't do anything for my maintenance (tires, control arms, brake rotors etc) or fuel costs. That's gonna wear out at about the same rate no matter how many miles are on an E46. The Mazda has some intrinsic differences (cargo space, fuel economy) that might make it worth the switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loayo View Post
That being said, mazdas are fun to drive.
To have this make any sense at all, I need the Mazda to have fuel economy, cargo and basic maintenance advantages. I'm not a FWD+turbo fan, and the Speed3 will cost a lot up front and probably not be too much better maintenance-wise. This type of car deserves Potenzas or PS2s. RX-8 is nice but less practical than a 330Ci.

I know very well that a Mazda3s with the 2.3L engine is not going to be as sporty as the 330Ci. I sort of put it in that mental category of "at least it's not a Camry". The question is whether the maintenance and repair costs of a high mileage 330Ci, which is less practical than a 5-door Mazda3, outweigh the fun-to-drive factors and niceties of the BMW, especially when most of my driving is now in traffic.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:33 PM   #26
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Parting out!!!
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:44 PM   #27
JK1150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tj330 View Post
It's not a question of affording it, I'm not going bankrupt. It's a question of value. I have other things to spend my money on. A mid-to-high mileage Mazda3 will probably cost something like $1500 less per year over the next few years when fuel and maintenance costs are factored in. The question is whether the BMW is $125 per month better than the Mazda.
A Mazda3 is going to be a worse car than a 330ci if you repair it. This consideration should be almost 100% financial. The repairs on your 330 are probably going to be expensive, but if you are expecting ~6,000 for your trade in to buy a $11,000 car, I would just spend the money and repair your 330. That's $5,000. $5,000 will keep your 3 running for a good while longer.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:04 PM   #28
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have bmw clear the codes and the next time the light turns on take it in so they can tell you the problem, and if u r lucky its that 1 problem that is triggering the rest of the codes
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:56 AM   #29
tj330
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SES not on anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaosticbry View Post
have bmw clear the codes and the next time the light turns on take it in so they can tell you the problem, and if u r lucky its that 1 problem that is triggering the rest of the codes
Oh, I have a scan tool. I clear the codes and they all come right back. Usually the P0313 first.

In other news, so much for the 70 deg F threshold theory, the SES light was out again when I drove to work this morning.



I think the car knows I'm thinking of trading it.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:30 AM   #30
mattcarle21
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Keep it. Mine has 135k and I have replaced the cooling system, all fluids, diff change (3.38), brakes, tires,etc. I still have yet to do Vanos, headers, HR touring kit, and ccv if need be. Vanos and headers will be done this month and touring kit maybe Xmas. After that I'm basically scott free until ~220k. I plan on keeping this past 300k and I'm trying to get it where I love it so much I won't want to sell it. I won't get a new car until I finish medical residency (I haven't even started med school yet) so it will be awhile. Even though when I do get something new I plan to keep the e46 and make it into a track only car. Just remember how much fun these cars are before you buy something cookie cutter with no soul. Also do these mazdas have timing belts?? That is one item we are all so lucky to not have to deal with every 60k! Don't trade it.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:33 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tj330 View Post
Meh, I've never been a big fan of turbos. Maybe with AWD, in a WRX. But the Mazdaspeed 3 just isn't my thing. I'd rather get a Mustang GT or something for the V8 burble, or even a Civic Si. It ain't how fast it goes, it's how fast it feels and how fun it is. I guess part of the reason I'm even considering getting rid of the 330Ci is that most of my driving is now 40 MPH and under, in traffic. The car is wasted. When I lived further west of Philly, there were miles and miles of twisty open roads, and I could spend a whole afternoon driving around aimlessly just for the fun. Up to 40MPH, its hard to beat a Mustang in the cost vs. fun category. Sure it's a plasticky turd inside, but the torque and sound are the real deal. The 330Ci seems to have a 50-90MPH twisty road sweet spot that I just don't see much here in the city.
I guess that is a good point. It sounds like to me that you have already made up your mind.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:40 AM   #32
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:04 PM   #33
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Just fix the BMW, its a much better car than a Mazda 3.

I looked up all of your codes which are lots of misfires, ignition coil short, running lean, and cam position sensor. The first thing I would check is the valve cover gasket because when they leak the oil goes into the spark plug wells and can cause the coils to short and misfire, and that can cause all kinds of codes.

So my opinion is, put ~$200 into the BMW not ~$5,000 into a much worse car that you wont enjoy at all.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:11 PM   #34
JSanders
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I drove my friends mazda 3 2 days ago in the rain, it was horrible. It was near impossible to hold center steady in a lane and it kept sliding everywhere. I'm guessing it needed tires and an alignment, but it was terrible.
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:01 AM   #35
Diazz
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130k miles is just nothing. Fix it up! (My old volvo did 220k without issues, you want BMW to fall behind? )
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:06 AM   #36
Redryan98
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Hopefully the OP made a decision by now, since this thread is 8 months old
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:07 PM   #37
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As a previous Mazda owner (Mazdaspeed6) the cars are a lot less refined and fairly anonymous. Mazda3's are very good cars for their class, but they don't compare well to a 330i.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:23 PM   #38
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If you want new car, this is the time to do it, if you do not want a new one fix it.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:34 PM   #39
-.328.-
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Ugh, I'm thiiiiiiiis close to trading my baby in on a used Mazda3. Crazy, I know. But here is the breakdown:

2001 BMW 330Ci 5MT
Steel Gray, red leather, sport package, xenons
130,000 miles

Has (recently fixed):
- Front Control Arms/CABs (10k miles ago)
- Complete cooling system overhaul (7k miles ago, see http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=626388)
- Final stage resistor (climate control works great)
- alternator (15k ago, reman)

Needs:
- Tires (4)
- Power Steering pump/hoses (still working, but leaky and sort of whistles)
- Voltage Regulator (alternator replaced recently, but the voltage regulator is not adequate so it needs to be swapped for a Bosch item)
- Something on the intake. I replaced the boots after finding a tear, but it has not fixed my occasional lean code, and now it is idling quite rough. I suspect it needs a new or cleaned ICV.
- Oil level sensor (has been out since I bought it, just 10 seconds or so of a yellow warning light on startup)

SES light is ON. Grr. I've been driving around and trying to diagnose this for a while. It seems that over 70 deg F, the SES light turns itself off. It's been colder recently, and here are the codes:

P0313
P0300
P1342
P1351
P1349
P1345
P1347
P0171
P0174
P0313 pending
P0300 pending

I mean in the grand scheme of things, it's probably a few hundred in parts away from being just fine, plus another $600 or whatever for tires. I'm about to put on the snow tires anyway, so till April or whatever I actually don't need the tires.

It's the unknown that's killing me. Could my SES be related to worn VANOS seals? I think I could do that fix, but it's another level of complexity. Maybe camshaft/crankshaft position sensors would need to be replaced too. Mass air flow maybe? I think the ignition coils are ok because the problem is on all cylinders.

I don't want to drop $500 or $1000 on parts and tires if something else is about to go wrong anyway.

So the Mazda3 is a 2005 5-door hatch, in crazy lava orange. 5 speed, 's' trim, with the 2.3L engine. It's clean, serviced, with new tires an 52,000 mi on the clock. Black cloth interior, sporty red trim. I can buy it at $11k. The BMW is worth about $5800 as a trade with the SES light on and the rough idle, or $6300 if everything is working.

Decision points:
  • The Mazda lacks side air bags and head-protection airbags, so the 330Ci is marginally safer.
  • The Mazda3 lacks xenons, but it seems there are decent HID kits out for cheap there to replace the halogen projector bulbs in that car (score one for the ricers).
  • The Mazda has best-in class handling, but that class happens to be front-wheel drive economy cars. Hooray RWD! Booo torque steer!
  • The BMW has 65 more peak HP, a big fat torque curve over 200 ft pounds over half its rev range, sounds better and feels smoother.
  • The BMW has digital climate control
  • The Mazda3 will save me $500 to $600 per year ($50 per month) in fuel costs.
  • Insurance costs are a wash
  • The BMW has a nice color exterior, and a ridiculous, garish interior
  • The Mazda3 has a nice color interior, and a ridiculous, garish exterior
  • The BMW angles its side mirror down to help me parallel park
  • The BMW has speed sensitive intermittent wipers
  • The BMW has power driver and passenger seats, with memory and adjustable thigh support
  • The Mazda has manually adjusted seats
  • The Mazda has 80,000 less miles
  • The Mazda is an insanely practical 5-door hatch, and I'm moving at the end of the month
  • BMW has a moonroof, and a nice big one at that
  • People give you a little more room on the road in the BMW because a) it looks expensive if they hit it and b) it's probably driven by some ******* BMW driver
  • A replacement alternator for the Mazda costs $182, for the BMW it's $250. (most parts probably are about like this).
  • People notice the BMW, and think it's really nice.
  • People would probably notice the Mazda, because it's orange. Other than that...

So, what do you folks think? Fix or trade?

Or sell? Heck, if I'm going to trade it for $6k, I might as well offer it here for, lets see, considering the sales tax credit and the extra hassle, $7300. PM me. KBB private party value is $8200 in good condition, $7300 in fair condition. It's a steal.

Hmm, but I do like the thing.
Sounds like a good time to get to know your car a little better. Don't give up man, powersteering is easy fix and a lot of times one problem will throw MULTIPLE codes so don't give up on the 330i! Give her a little more time before you trade it in for a turd mazda
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:40 PM   #40
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think of this in terms of depreciation. in 2 years, that mazda will be worth 5k. in 2 years, your 330ci will be worth 5k. it seems like a pretty easy decision (financially) to me, but I love my BMW and love working on it.
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