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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 03-06-2012, 06:11 PM   #61
omni01_k
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Its like a wife to me now.
Well, my girl calls it my mistress. But she is the one who cleans it and wants to have another mistress: 335i coupe. I love both my girls.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:17 PM   #62
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After yesterdays DIY thermostat job gone to hell, I took a step back, and ordered the new parts today. Then this afternoon I took everything back apart in order to get ready to finish the job yesterday. I'm feeling a lot better now after having the chance to take everything one step at a time. My upper radiator hose is also getting replaced which knocks out one part of the coolant system job. Slowly but surely, I'll make this car perfect for me.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:02 AM   #63
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you guys just depressed me, especially after doing the cooling system maintenance and fixing the oil leak(s) I got. FML, now all I do is worry about the car heating up even though I did an overhaul on the cooling system. Sometimes I think they're bait too fragile for my taste and can only take abuse if you got the money to fix it afterwards. But then again, the upside is, well, nothing drives like a Bimmer. Not even the new ones with all that technology isolating you from the driving experience. Again, that's just my opinion and I respect all your opinions as well.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:09 AM   #64
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Nope. My car is in top shape and runs perfectly fine. Love the handling, look, etc. Just need a few more mods and I'm done.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:18 AM   #65
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Nope. My car is in top shape and runs perfectly fine. Love the handling, look, etc. Just need a few more mods and I'm done.
What are you planning on doing jake ?
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:19 AM   #66
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:20 PM   #67
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What are you planning on doing jake ?
Light tint, wrap headliner with black suede, full paint detail and new bumper since mine is beat up.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:45 PM   #68
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There are times when I feel like I just around the car with the tool box. It annoys me when other people with cars are all modding with new exhaust and rims, and all I get for the same price is new cooling system and rear brakes. I kinda prefer that though! The owners before me never really worried about maintenance...It must be a real treat to buy a car that's reasonably modified and is all up to date for maintenance. But Yet again I'm 19 years old and paying for all this. 80% kids my age dont have cars like that and their parents pay everything. So hey, that makes me happier. I love doing things years ahead of my age curve, and my resumé just keeps getting bigger. I love it! But their sre times when I just straight worry all day until the parts come in haha

You are in a bit of a tough spot. It sucks that the PO did not keep up with the maintenance. But, I would bet that getting a huge estimate for maintenance from the dealer is the number one reason why people sell these cars. In fact, I have had people tell me this when I was looking at their cars. But the flip side of this is that they have managed to drive it for such a long time without maintaining it very well. So, once you get done fixing all of these nagging problems, you should be OK for a long time.
As far as having money for mods, there are plenty people on here who just dump money into mods, and end up on here crying because their water pump failed, etc. That is also why a lot of the cars you see riding around on 19in wheels are driving on bald a$$, Nanking tires. Don't assume all of the modded cars you see on here or on the streets is running perfectly. You are doing the right thing by fixing the basics first, even though it hurts.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:49 PM   #69
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:57 PM   #70
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Yes, to buy my friend's e39 once I figure out how to convince him to sell it to me.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:20 PM   #71
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they are great cars.. just watch the numbers. there is a point where it doesnt make sense to be putting in thousands into the upkeep of a car with 150k miles
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:39 PM   #72
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If I had some spare cash right now I would just order every possible piece that is known as a common problem to these cars, replace all of it up front and hope to avoid a breakdown.
Biggest problem with that approach is that they'd all come due together at the same time and you'd need another wad o' cash to fix it all over again.

OP, I haven't ever had the thoughts you're having; but I can definitely understand why you'd feel that way at times.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:35 PM   #73
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Nope!! I love this car!!
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:57 PM   #74
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they are great cars.. just watch the numbers. there is a point where it doesnt make sense to be putting in thousands into the upkeep of a car with 150k miles
Golf, it is virtually always cheaper to upkeep an older car than buy a similar new car, even if you have to put in thousands worth of maintenance in one month. So if you spend $400 putting in a new cooling system, it will likely last 5 years. That turns out to be $7/month.

I have put in almost $10k in maintenance and repairs in my car and the total amortized expense works out to be less than $300/month. That is maintenance and repair plus depreciation. A new 328 will be in the $500-600 expense/month area. There is a difference between monthly expense and car payments/cash outlay.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:02 PM   #75
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Biggest problem with that approach is that they'd all come due together at the same time and you'd need another wad o' cash to fix it all over again.

OP, I haven't ever had the thoughts you're having; but I can definitely understand why you'd feel that way at times.
I can't remember if it was the Bentley Publisher's guide to the E46 or my parts supplier but I heard that it was preferable to replace all the hoses at once than fix each one when they break. Something about preventative maintenance rather than fixing it only after it's broken.

I plan on getting all the hoses, O-rings, etc. in the common E46 leaks thread and replacing them all in one job. The parts for those don't seem excessively heavy on the wallet-the only concern is the labor since a lot of the junk under the hood will need to be removed then put back.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:08 PM   #76
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:12 PM   #77
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Golf, it is virtually always cheaper to upkeep an older car than buy a similar new car, even if you have to put in thousands worth of maintenance in one month. So if you spend $400 putting in a new cooling system, it will likely last 5 years. That turns out to be $7/month.

I have put in almost $10k in maintenance and repairs in my car and the total amortized expense works out to be less than $300/month. That is maintenance and repair plus depreciation. A new 328 will be in the $500-600 expense/month area. There is a difference between monthly expense and car payments/cash outlay.
True, albeit i would say in certain circumstances it could be more marginal than you would think. I am paying $420/mo for the 135i, but it is under warranty, including maintenance. projected out over the year this will be less than the previous year of owning the my e46 in just maintenance, and i had another year for the e46 of upcoming things that would outdo it again. granted at that point the e46 would be trouble free for a while. but i would never see that money again, guaranteed. With my trade in, i have the equity of my e46 essentially "built in" to my new car, so if i decide to sell it's still there. i.e. i am nowhere near being upside down. i basically traded maintenance (and time) in for a car payment and insurance in the form of warranty and a newer car (still a bmw!) (built on almost the same block as the e46 330 aluminum with cast iron cylinder liners). if something goes wrong with the 1 i am in a bmw loaner and on my way fairly effortlessly, and am in a car with a lot of life left in it. again, just depends how you want to break it down. also, with car payments, if you have low interest on a slightly used car (as mine was (30k single owner who clear bra'd, tinted, detailed, etc)) it's not like you are throwing your money away completely; the rapid depreciation has curved out a bit , esp on a car like an M or 35 so arguably, my money is being better spent. The maintenance i was putting into the e46 there was NO chance of ever seeing again. whereas, with this, i am contributing toward a new asset. still a losing proposition on a depreciating asset, but again, arguably may be better . if i spent 3k on maintenance on my e46, no chance of seeing it back. if i make a 3k car payment now, and were to sell soon, i would see it back minus interest and depreciation. (may be a big hit, but definitely less that the guaranteed 95-99% loss on maintenance on the old car)

Idk. i mean it is a losing proposition any way you break it down, just depends how you want to play it. It definitely was surprising to have a near brand new car and being like wow, this is a lot less stressful and not even that much more expensive to own. I had a 325i though , so it was nothing special. If i had a 6sp zhp or m3 e46, i would be more inclined to call the maintenance worthwhile. (as it would cost about the same). also the 1 series is really one of the last in the bmw lineup that still catches my eye. super fun car. i will say i did find the economics of it to be interesting. another major reason is that i wanted to take out a loan before going through with a mortgage; hopefully this will pay for itself when i am looking at interest rates on a home.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:29 PM   #78
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...works out to be less than $300/month. That is maintenance and repair plus depreciation. A new 328 will be in the $500-600 expense/month area. There is a difference between monthly expense and car payments/cash outlay.
328 xdrive leases are $328/month. Even when you factor in the down payment, then subtract incentives+MF reduction with MSD's it's certainly possible to hit mid-$300's/mo with a new 3 series.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:00 PM   #79
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Well there are some good deals out there. The one you mentioned is probably only for 10k miles a year and probably doesn't include tax. But in any case, my point was that it is usually cheaper just to keep maintaining your old car and drive it into the ground. Of course, that isn't the best or most desirable option for everyone like golf was saying.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:04 AM   #80
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...The maintenance question in Australia makes much more sense.

A brand new 135i costs about 80k over here, but my parts for the E46 cost the same as yours, plus postage.

E46 in Australia FTW!!!
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