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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 06-07-2011, 01:20 PM   #1
EuropeEndless
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
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Making my first BMW purchase.

Hello all,

First time member here, and first time prospective BMW owner, as well. My friend and current roommate is a Bimmer nut, and has been for some time. He owns an e30 325IX (the "beater") and an e46 M3 (the DD). I was never as interested in the make as he, but BMWs have always caught my eye - something about the classic Teutonic styling; the "driver's car" aspect of the 3-series; the build quality; etc. I presently drive a 2001 Miata 6-speed, which is respectable in its own right, but I've decided it's time to move on. After some research and opinion-seeking, I've decided that an e46 might be the best choice, in terms of value, performance, comfort, etc.

So, I will be doing even more research - specific to the e46 chassis - and working on selling my car in the coming weeks. Hoping to lock in on a purchase within the next 1-2 months. While I'm here, in the general forum, I am hoping to get any advice, referrals, important tips, guides, and whatever other information this community can offer in regard to the e46. I know there is a universal disdain for people who ask questions that have been asked multiple times, so start me off in the right direction, please.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:34 PM   #2
MercForHire
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Buy manual. Make sure no subframe cracks. Buy newest year possible.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:48 PM   #3
falcon1209
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Welcome,

First, like MFH said, subframe cracks are huge. Ask if the car has been recalled.

Another big issue to look for specific to E46 are the window regulators. Roll em up and down and listen for clicking or hesitation.

Go manual, and get a color combination you enjoy. My Hellrot on Beige isnt as stunning as I'd like

Be prepared to become fanatical with your car. I did... and it was even a lemon for the first few months of ownership.

Lastly, dont overpay. It's a BMW but its not a rare car by any means.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:05 PM   #4
EuropeEndless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falcon1209 View Post
Welcome,

First, like MFH said, subframe cracks are huge. Ask if the car has been recalled.

Another big issue to look for specific to E46 are the window regulators. Roll em up and down and listen for clicking or hesitation.

Go manual, and get a color combination you enjoy. My Hellrot on Beige isnt as stunning as I'd like

Be prepared to become fanatical with your car. I did... and it was even a lemon for the first few months of ownership.

Lastly, dont overpay. It's a BMW but its not a rare car by any means.
Is there a good list of catastrophic problem areas with the e46?
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:13 PM   #5
jiggz
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Do your research and decide on what you want - these cars come a million different ways between package/options, colors, etc. I would highest suggest finding one with at least Sport Package and xenons.

And there's plenty for sale if your patient - don't settle. Otherwise you'll buy something and start cruising these forums and see something you didn't know about or consider, and kick yourself for not holding out and waiting for the right car.

You'll find a lot of info here as well - http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php?title=BMW_E46
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:21 PM   #6
Chris C
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Be sure to look for a car where the owner has a maintenance history that's up to date. If the owner doesn't have the history, I'd pass. Also have some money in reserve for maintenance items.
If you do some searching on the web, there's a good buyer's check list for the 8 series. I remember that quite a few of the items are applicable for cars in general. Good luck.
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:25 PM   #7
MercForHire
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If owner don't have history, don't pass, Just offer less. You can pretty much change everything on the car and you probably will sometime in future. There is a right price for every car.
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:31 PM   #8
new//M3fan
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If I ever decide to sell my car. I will let the owner know exactly what needs attention in addition to what I've done to it maintenance wise for peace of mind.
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<-- Mango *F-BOMBS IN SIGS*
Bilstein HD's | E30 M3 FCAB's | H&R OE Sports | F+R strut bars | Self tuned 027 93 octane chip | KoseiK1's on R888's | + crazy OCD maintenance

Last edited by new//M3fan; 06-07-2011 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:30 PM   #9
Rolfyto
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I regret not waiting and doing more research. I hopped in the car and pulled the trigger. Wish I had gotten the 330xi Instead of the 325. Still loving the car, but I didn't even know the difference.

Good luck friend! They are beautiful vehicles!
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:38 PM   #10
new//M3fan
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the difference in power is definitely noticeable from what i hear ^^
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<-- Mango *F-BOMBS IN SIGS*
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