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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 03-12-2012, 06:14 PM   #1
Mmulzoff9
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What to look for?

hey guys,

I'm looking to pick up a 325xi or a 330xi, I'm fairly new to the Bimmer world and I'm not sure what i should look at in detail if you guys could give me some help here id love it.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:06 PM   #2
MercForHire
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Try to look for a 330i or 325i that's manual.
Stay away from the Xi.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:14 PM   #3
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This I'm interested. What's wrong with the Xi?
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:26 PM   #4
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The "X" part!

Extra weight, extra understeer, extra maintenance costs (front axles seem to fail a lot), and if not in a place with a lot of snow, not really needed imho.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:11 PM   #5
Mmulzoff9
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i was looking at the I , however where i will be going to school and living is all snow and mountains so i would like to have the xi
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
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How much snow and what kind of roads. I live in Vermont (ski country) and do just fine with rwd
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:34 PM   #7
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I agree with CaptainOversteer I live in Upstate NY about 60 miles from Vermont. I have a 323i and have no problems in the winter. I also agree with dmax added weight and maintenance.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:57 PM   #8
Mmulzoff9
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I'm going to school in cortland, it's nice to hear that there rwd works fine.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:59 PM   #9
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just get some good snow tires and use common sense. You'll be fine
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:37 AM   #10
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Since common sense is a rare coinage here, I'll also suggest adding about an extra 100 lbs. in the trunk. I'll put two 5-gallon buckets filled with sand in my trunk when I have to drive in snow on my all-seasons. Not the best, but haven't been stuck once. Then again, they plow around me very well...and salt the hell out of the roads!
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:27 AM   #11
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I got away without weight in the trunk, but I had some bad**** winter rubbers
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:36 AM   #12
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Mmulzoff: Take a read through the E46 wiki, it'll answer most or all of your questions and offer insight into what to look for, under the section "3. Buying an E46" here: http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php/BMW_E46

...and yeah, RWD + Snows + 50/50 weight distribution + DSC = Capable winter machine.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:04 AM   #13
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I have an XI. And I feel there has only been twice when I feel I needed it. Granted I'm a rather inexperienced driver compared to you guys but I was glad I had the awd. But I feel that rwd with a good set of snows would be just as capable in the snow. Plus the slower acceleration, poor gas mileage, and the larger turning radius of the XI aren't that great. But I still love my car.

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Old 03-13-2012, 09:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mmulzoff9 View Post
I'm going to school in cortland, it's nice to hear that there rwd works fine.
Hey I go to school in cortland! Stay away from the xi, I have a 323ci and it does just fine up here with good snow tires.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:50 AM   #15
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I have an XI. And I feel there has only been twice when I feel I needed it. Granted I'm a rather inexperienced driver compared to you guys but I was glad I had the awd. But I feel that rwd with a good set of snows would be just as capable in the snow.
RWD+snows is nowhere near as capable in an area with hills or deep unplowed snow.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:58 AM   #16
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Whatever you find. Replace entire cooling system first thing you do. Next do fluids, filters, general tune up. The skys the limit after that.

I agree. Avoid XI. Avoid 325.

The opportunity for things to go wrong are that much higher with an X-car. Leaks, vibrations, overall complexities. That and certain basic parts are harder to find and/or more expensive. It's just not geared towards performance.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:02 AM   #17
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Hey I go to school in cortland! Stay away from the xi, I have a 323ci and it does just fine up here with good snow tires.
hey man thats awesome to hear, yea I'm going to be a transfer student at suny cortland, super excited to get up there. ill take all your advice and just invest in a nice pair of snow shoes


and thanks for that wiki thread it helped a lot
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:39 AM   #18
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hey man thats awesome to hear, yea I'm going to be a transfer student at suny cortland, super excited to get up there. ill take all your advice and just invest in a nice pair of snow shoes


and thanks for that wiki thread it helped a lot
That's awesome, I will be a senior at suny cortland next semester, if you pickup an e46 you and me will be part of the very few with them here.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:50 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mmulzoff9 View Post
hey guys,

I'm looking to pick up a 325xi or a 330xi, I'm fairly new to the Bimmer world and I'm not sure what i should look at in detail if you guys could give me some help here id love it.
I would recommend a 330i over the 325i (I've had both). More power, bigger brakes...after that they're essentially the same car other than aethetics - trim pieces, window moldings, bumpers, wheels, etc.

I would highly recommend finding a car with at least the sport package and OEM xenon headlights. The other options/packages are nice, but a car w/o these two options is an immediate deal killer for me.
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