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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 06-23-2011, 01:43 PM   #1
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Advice on Purchase

I am new to this forum and am looking to purchase an E46. Want a 04-05 330Xi. Would only buy it in manual. I have found an 04 with about 103k. Any tips on what to look and watch out for? Any major issues start coming up around 100k? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:02 PM   #2
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That's most of what you'll need to know. If you have more questions after that, then come back and ask away. Also, a quick search of the forums will answer many, if not all, of your questions rather quickly.

Biggest hitters for an XI:
Front CV joints/axles
Harder to find/more expensive parts if they are XI specific
Hard to find a manual 330xi but they are out there

Good luck and welcome to the mad house!
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:32 PM   #3
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Get a ppi. Replace all fluids and cooling system. Learn how to use the search function, then read 100+ threads.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:42 PM   #4
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Having just purchased one (though I'm a little more proactive than most) if the following hasn't been done, it will need doing immediately or soon thereafter:

Full cooling system overhaul: Raidator, upper/lower hoses, expansion tank, coolant temp sensor, water pump, both tensioner pulleys, and belt, water pump and power steering pulleys optional, Definitely new fluid.

The usual stuff - Check the oil, etc.

VANOS seals replaced/Valve cover gasket

Check the rear springs to make sure they're not broken. They tend to on these cars

Check the rear shocks. They go much sooner than the front struts

Ball joints/tie rods - Make sure that these aren't siezed or doing an alignment will be near impossible, and they can fail on these cars

Also check to see if either strut tower is pulled away from the welds on the frame. Indicates there was a big pot hole or harsh road bit nailed...can result in minor to major castor issues.

Check the windows. Make sure they roll up and down without clicking or making noise. If they don't, you'll need new window regulators, or the zip tie fix.

Check the sunroof - Make sure it's properly lubricated and works fine. These have issues sometimes too.

Control arm/sway bar bushings - Make sure they're not worn and that rear swaybar bushings are properly lubricated, if OEM

That's about all I can think of.
"It doesn't matter if your car is the fastest on the race-track. It's a different story on the streets. Your car has to be fun, fast, and safe in any road condition." - Keiichi Tsuchiya

Last edited by GeoffS; 06-23-2011 at 02:47 PM.
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