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Old 06-12-2011, 12:05 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 20
My Ride: 1988 e3o cabrio
Thinking about an E46


Currently looking for a "new" (to me) BMW. I'm not selling my E30 cabrio, but needing a daily driver I can trust - and with better air conditioning. The e46 looks like what I want, cos the newer ones have more gizmos than I want (not all that sure I don't want an e36, to be honest). Any advice?

My questions - what to look for - what goes wrong, leaks, blows, fritzes,etc? (I have intimate familiarity with control arm bushings from my e30)

Just about everything available around here has an auto trans, so I gather that low miles is a priority, but not any guarantee. Are there material differences from year to year?

Anybody feel strongly about the 325 vs 330? How about packages, wheel sizes, etc?

I know that's a lot of very general questions, but I have been out of the market for a long time - just got out of an e34 sedan with 300k miles.

Thanks for any and all input.

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Old 06-12-2011, 12:31 PM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Jalisco Mexico
Posts: 290
My Ride: E46 320 M sport
Id say the most important thing to look out for is the automatic transmission, they generally fail. Ive had three e46s and all of them have had transmission problems. Drive the car before buying it, check the transmission shifts smoothly, check that reverse engages, lift the car so you can see that it hasnt been hit underneath.

Other than that the electric windows sometimes fail, check the suspension also, most e46 wont last more than 50,000 miles with good suspension.

As for packages id say look into the facelifted version (02 +) the 99-01 seems to start to look old in my opinion.
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:40 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Houston
Posts: 48
My Ride: 03 bmw 330
get an 03-05 330i ZHP package 4door or 2 however you like and of course low miles
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 1,464
My Ride: 2002 Infiniti Q45

2002 BMW 530i

Black Leather/5 Speed/Sport Package
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