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General E46 Forum
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Old Yesterday, 05:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2016
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I need advice on buying used 2002 e46 148k miles

Hey whats up guys, so I was bored and saw a small local auto shop in my neighborhood and saw an 2002 E46 on the lot. I called and got more details and plan to check it out today after work. Details about the car were clean title, 4 owners, 148k miles and priced at $8700. From kelly blue book it estimates price range between 5k-8k, 8k being excellent condition. I've been wanting to own a e46 for a while and figure at this price might be worth buying. I think I can drop the price down to 6k. Do you guys think it would be worth buying? I know some common problems I've researched about the e46 like cracked subframe, smg issues, vanos issues and bushings. Is there anything I should make sure to check before I buy? Advice would greatly be appreciated. I should be checking it out in about an hour from now. From the pictures looks like motor is stock, has fake bbs rims, front splitters, carbon fiber csl trunk, titanium exhaust tips and random M trim. Seats look a bit worn and looks like body might have scratches. Thats all I can see for now til I see it physically. Well if you guys can help me out that would be awesome. Thanks in advance.
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Old Yesterday, 06:58 PM   #2
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Location: Chattanooga, TN
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My Ride: '02 Orient 330i/5
325? 330? M3? Sedan? Coupe? Vert? Touring?

$8700 is a fair price for a ZHP in excellent condition, a very well-maintained and low mileage "regular" 330, or a ratted-out M3.

Take pics and post 'em up.

Current: '02 330i/5 '06 XC90 '72 240Z
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Old Yesterday, 07:04 PM   #3
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Make a PPM, ask the maintenance history (if any), run a Carfax on the VIN, check for all original and matching stickers in the usual body parts. I usually don't buy cars from dealerships unless it's an almost brand new car with warranty. I wouldn't pay 8 grand for an '02 with 148k miles, regardless if it's ZHP or not but it's your money and your desire for the car so good luck with it!
Originally Posted by orb View Post
performance starts with maintenance

Last edited by mleindek; Yesterday at 07:04 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 08:00 PM   #4
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IMHO, The mileage is on the high side for that price. Unless it's been meticulously cared for, no car with 148k is "excellent condition". And 4 owners scares me. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it quadruples the chances that it's been abused at some point.

I found two types of owners who do that many aesthetic mods: real enthusiasts who love their cars and keep them; and knuckleheads who are too busy with window tint to check the oil.

Unless there's good service history that shows cooling system rebuild, probably valve cover gasket, osuspension rebuild, and some other items you mentioned, as well as regular maintenance with oe or better parts ... Run away. No real enthusiast owner would not have those records, no matter what the dealer tells you.

The value in a used car is low miles and good maintenance. This car does not have low miles so unless there's solid service history, it ain't worth much, no matter how many dollars worth of bling are attached to it.

Some auto shops sell great used cars; others are flipping rebuilds or cars they had seized for non-payment... Make sure you know which type this is.
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Old Yesterday, 09:10 PM   #5
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At 148k after 14-years... that's low miles.

At 12,500 miles a year you'd be at 175,000.

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Old Yesterday, 11:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TitaniumCranium View Post
At 148k after 14-years... that's low miles.

At 12,500 miles a year you'd be at 175,000.
meh, it's all relative. 10,000 miles / year is considered about average where I come from. Anyways, who cares?

148,000 is a lot of miles, no matter how old it is, which amounts to a lot of wear and tear. Pretty hard to justify a price that's almost 10% over top book value.
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Old Today, 12:14 AM   #7
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Read this first.
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Old Today, 02:26 AM   #8
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I think that is on the very high side for the mileage and if it is an M3 then I would be worried at such a low price. They have their own issues but I can't advise you on those. You would likely need a new suspension so all a ZHP would get you is a somewhat different interior and a slightly higher red line.

Suspension likely needs to be refreshed so it would handle just as well as a ZHP if you choose.

Add in more cash for routine maintenance and your purchase price is higher. But, if it has been well maintained... A PPI is a requirement. Agreed with the four owner comment. Have the subframe checked as well as all the usual suspects. Sounds like you have read about this.

On April 10, 2015 I ran my car. I do it for insurance reasons in case I have someone run into me. Can't hurt. It is a 2002 330Ci with the sport and premium packages. At that time I had 74,500 miles. I have all records since new and take care of the car. The original owner was an officer in the Navy and took it to the dealer whether it was warranty work or he paid.

NADAGuides listed the clean retail value at $8,725 after subtracting $325 because it is a manual. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I would do some tough negotiating and/or look for one with less miles. Just my two cents.
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Old Today, 08:28 AM   #9
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Just note it can't be a ZHP since its a 2002, ZHPs for sedans were from 2003-2005. With that said, the price is a bit high for a regular 330i with those miles, I'd look elsewhere.
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