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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 02-08-2010, 01:23 PM   #1
samroberto
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Looking at buying a 330i w/ 136k miles- any advice or warnings??

Hey everyone,
I've been looking for a used e46 330i, and I finally found one with all the conditions met- Nav, heated & leather, *6spd manual*, Xenons, sport package, and a few others. It has taken a long time to find this rare assortment all in ONE car.

But it has around 136,000 miles .... It's a 2004, and looks to be in pretty good condition- no significant blemishes at all.

Obviously there's no warranty, and rather than getting a third-party warranty, should I just set a few thousand $$$ aside for a "maintenance fund"? - What do you guys recommend??
-> I HAVE researched the common failures with these cars- Window regulators, Coolant, HVAC, possibly the VANOS, etc. - and am wandering how often these fail (especially in the case of 136,000 miles), and how cost effective it would be to fix.

A few background things- I've never owned a BMW before, but I AM IN LOVE with the e46 platform.. I am not as crazy about the new ones. Plus- I am coming FROM 2 mini coopers, my current one is a red 2007 S with JCW and 36k miles.. So I've sort of 'spoiled' myself when it comes to warranty- I just take it in to the dealer and they give it back to me fixed, checked, or changed at no cost.. - But since I'm getting into a used car, and this is definitely a USED car (136k miles), what should I keep in mind?

Thanks!!!
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:34 PM   #2
AdamBath
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No mention of price, I'm guessing that's for a reason? 136k on a 2004 is pretty high, I'd look elsewhere, unless it's under 10k.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:38 PM   #3
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My car was bought with 114k miles, and it runs fine. I'd have it looked over very closely by a pro then make your decision.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:40 PM   #4
samroberto
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Thanks for the replies everyone! It's listed for just over $11k but I am gonna try and work with him to hit around 10k or just over... Would a BMW dealership be a thorough-enough inspection? Or are you talking third-party independent bmw mechanic... I've seen a few around here ("Foreign Car Service").
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:07 PM   #5
Zeekster64
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10 k for a 2004 330i!!!?!?! Even with the mileage I think that is a great deal. I paid a ridicilous amount for my 2004 325i. Sometimes I hate Canada
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:15 PM   #6
mattcarle21
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I paid 10k two years ago for a 100k 2002 330ci. I say it should be around 9k.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:21 PM   #7
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price is too high..u'd be better off getting an older one with fewer miles
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by brandonpburns View Post
price is too high..u'd be better off getting an older one with fewer miles
+1
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:27 PM   #9
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any maintenance records??
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:00 PM   #10
deadpass
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It depends on what has been done maintenance wise. Still priced too high, but it's hard to say based purely on miles.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:06 PM   #11
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don't do it

why not save up more for a lower mileage e46?

you will be paying more in the long run IMO
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:16 PM   #12
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tough decision. All the percs of a newer e46 (6 speed, Navi, facelift) cost just enough extra to where its a really hard to decide if its worth it or not just to get an older, simpler e46. The six speed is the only thing i remain envious of, i looked at a 330i just like that but i spent the same money on a 2000 328i with 70somthing K. really depends if insurance and things are an issue or not i guess
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:26 PM   #13
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Price is too high for the mileage. $8,500 - $9,000 max for that car.
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:35 AM   #14
zugellos
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Is the current owner of the car the 1st, 2nd or 3rd...owner?
I'd be concerned if the car has changed hands 2 or more times.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:14 AM   #15
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My question is why get rid of a 2007 Mini with hardly any miles which is 1) less likely to have problems 2) newer 3) under warranty.....??

Well, I shouldn't ask that. I got rid of my 2009 GTI for my E46 because my GTI was "too expensive" although my E46 has already overlapped the GTI's cost in repairs.

Yes, the E46 beats both of the aforementioned cars in awesome-ness. Still not a wise financial choice IMO. Don't make my mistake.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:29 AM   #16
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that's a lot of miles. Just be prepared to do a lot of maintenance on it. I've spent over 1k in parts in the past year. That's without labor costs. My car just hit the 100k mark and there's a lot of stuff that needs work.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:54 AM   #17
samroberto
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Thanks each of you for your reply! Hopefully a few of my thoughts can help us evaluate this better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Born Again View Post
don't do it
why not save up more for a lower mileage e46?
you will be paying more in the long run IMO
I've looked and looked for an e46 with the conditions I'm looking for- 330i, nav, *manual 6spd*, heated & leather, xenons... And I'd be preaching to the choir to say that's RARE. :/ This one finally happens to have all those in one car. The link is here:

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...ype=b&make=BMW

Quote:
Originally Posted by zugellos View Post
Is the current owner of the car the 1st, 2nd or 3rd...owner?
I'd be concerned if the car has changed hands 2 or more times.
It's being sold through his local dealer, listed as a one owner car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plydon89 View Post
My question is why get rid of a 2007 Mini with hardly any miles which is 1) less likely to have problems 2) newer 3) under warranty.....??

Well, I shouldn't ask that. I got rid of my 2009 GTI for my E46 because my GTI was "too expensive" although my E46 has already overlapped the GTI's cost in repairs.

Yes, the E46 beats both of the aforementioned cars in awesome-ness. Still not a wise financial choice IMO. Don't make my mistake.
.... Well, there's probably no logical answer to that question.. It's an e46, and they're amazing!
Here's a semi-legitimate reason though: I installed the Alta PSRS bushings, and they MAJORLY improve the steering, I mean, it feels nearly as solid and straight-shooter as my dad's bmw M3. But man, the already *rough* suspension is like, driving with bricks for shock absorbers.. Every bump throws me into the air almost, and all it takes is a few minutes before I start getting a headache.
My Mini S w/ JCW is extreme fun, mostly, don't get me wrong. But it has such a short wheel base and rough suspension (made worse comfort-wise by the PSRS) that it gets real exhausting to drive.
(add to the fact that I haul music equipment for my university's touring team multiple times a week, and some extra space would be helpful... That's why I'm searching for a 330i so I can benefit from the extra doors access).

You don't need me to tell you the 3 series is SUCH an amazing chassis! My dad's owned over 10 3 series and M3's in the past 15 years, and I've driven all of the ones since I've had my license. To me, the suspension is very well damped- sporty and not sluggish, but I don't feel the same bumps and POTHOLES that literally send shockwaves through my mini... The interior is much nicer and better quality that I've come to love driving my dad's cars. Let's face it, the Mini interior is very fun, but it IS an economy car... :/

ANyways, the other factor I've been working with is using the $$$ from my Mini, --either by private selling or trade-- to cover getting into the e46. I'm finishing up college this semester (in psychology) and preparing to enter medical school... I'd rather not mess with putting any money towards a car that I don't have. So if I can sell the Mini, get into a used e46, and then invest the extra money / set aside a maintenance fund..

p.s. my Mini listing is here: http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...standard=false

Last edited by samroberto; 02-09-2010 at 08:58 AM. Reason: included above Q's
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:03 AM   #18
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To be honest i just picked up a 2004 325xi 114k miles for $8800 3 days ago. /shrugs
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:10 AM   #19
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:58 AM   #20
jinthekoreankid
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too much can go wrong @ 136k BUT since it is a one owner, it may have been well taken cared of.

mine is just at 100k but I've done all the maintenance where I am confident to drive this car across the country.

maintenance history is the biggest factor when buying high mileaged cars
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