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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 07-27-2012, 01:54 AM   #21
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 2,747
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330ci
I am lucky enough to be a 3rd owner. The first was a corporate car, driven for 2 years and turned in, and the second was a guy in his 80's who was still doing manual labor, and he drove it to play golf, and out to dinner on Sat night, for about 9 years. Then I was lucky enough to get it. It is amazing the amount of original parts still on the car. I just changed the original fuel filter at 120k miles. It sounds crazy, but there is nothing in BMW's records about changing the brake pads or rotors. The old guy says he never did. They definitely need done now, but I am wondering if it is even possible they are original.
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:58 AM   #22
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Denmark
Posts: 129
My Ride: 320d
I was "lucky". Since our cars cost the tripple of a US car, owners keep them in good shape here :-)

Ok, when I bought the car, shortly after I had to replace all the brakes and tires was in a poor condition.
Dealer had to replace the exhaust filter (diesel) within the 3 month warranty.

OK the car hasnt been without faults. But after 130.000 miles things just start to brake down.

Because of the car prices here, my e46 had close to nothing installed. Manual control for A/C unit, no
arm rest, no leather seats, H7 headlights, no fog lights, No CD radio (damn).
So I have upgraded my e46 which is slowly getting done now. This has been a huge job to find all
parts from ebay and local BMW expert.

What surprices me is, my e46 have no dents, scratches or corrosion after 8 years. Not bad.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:15 AM   #23
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Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,065
My Ride: 2003 325i
original owner here
my car is approaching 10 yrs old and my hood paint is fcked up even though it's only 5 years old (sister wrecked the hood and the body shop didn't do that good of a job)
I've got a m-tech II waiting to be painted and a binder full of paper work if I ever do sell it
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:46 AM   #24
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Location: San Gabriel
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My Ride: 95 M3, 13 X3
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Yeah...my e46 has totally gone to **** since my family took it to daily drive...
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:25 AM   #25
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Location: Amsterdamned, Dutchland ;)
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My Ride: 320i - 2.2 L - 170hp
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I'm the 3rd owner of my car, the first owner was a fanatic and maintained it well (got all records) the 2nd owner how ever kept the inside of the car very very clean and fresh but totally trashed the outside of the car. Looking at all the nail scratches at the door handles and the parking damage in the doors and fenders it was a daily driver of a woman but looking at all the paint damage from rocks and stuff it was abused by a man racing it through the woods or something. When I'm done with my last 2 maintenance jobs I was planning on getting the dents and scratches done.

Oh, and some idiot in my neighborhood wrote 'HOME' on my hood with a sharp object it's not scratched deep but I have no clue if it can be fixed without having to paint the whole hood

Van BMW 320i E46
320i Executive Sedan | E46_AV11 | ZF5HP19 S-t | M54B22 | 170hp 210Nm | 09/2000 | 171k | 32.9 MPG
Re-surfaced CH | VC+VCG | CAM/VANOS timing | IMG | NGK-i | BAT+ALT | O2's | GM5 | WP WPP | PSP | DISA | TB ICV MAF | CCV | CAI | OFHG | FP | FF | A/C | FSU | AUC | WSS | BL BD BP | Mango | JFOJ | SB TP IP | springs | Shocks | tires | ASC+ | alignment | E.Flush | Castrol SAF-XJ 75W140 | ZF LGF5 ATF Flush | FCA+FCAB | Struts
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:31 AM   #26
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Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Awesome, NJ
Posts: 4,646
My Ride: 325it
The guy that owned my 325it beat on my car like it was a red headed stepchild. Autocrosses, driving schools, trailer hauling, dogs, lumber, overloaded roof baskets, and high speed runs up and down the east coast took their toll. I have had to deal with all sorts of blowback from years of this abuse.

What kind of a jackass would do that? Oh yeah, that would be me.
Mod the driver. Participate in your local BMWCCA autocross or driving school. Have you joined BMWCCA yet?

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Old 07-27-2012, 06:55 AM   #27
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Location: Ocean State
Posts: 3,171
My Ride: ///M3 & 330i ZHP
OP, I can relate... I have "rescued" two...my ///M and ZHP which I currently own. Both have been somewhat taken care of but not by fanatics if you know what I mean. When I got them they both needed work....in this case, the ZHP requiring much more TLC...

I've managed to sort out my ///M and it's in tip top shape other than the road rash cars get after being 8 years old with constant highway driving... The ZHP is still work in progress but from the past two owners, it has made steady progress...

The challenge is taking an awesome car that has potential and fixing it up to where you are completely satisfied with it...Having the before and after pics will speak volumes to the amount of work you put into your cars...
2004 TiAg ///M - 171,000 miles.......................2003 Imola ZHP - 180,254 miles
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:31 AM   #28
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Just wreck it and take it to BMW for repairs and they will give you a full respray & get you brand new headlights
Not saying I did that
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:51 AM   #29
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Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 9
My Ride: 2005 330i ZHP
Right there with you. Road rash all over the front end (was this guy trying to draft behind big rigs?) Cracked nav unit, not a cheap part (PM me if you know of one for sale), had a hole in the mass air flow boot, and toasted control arm bushings. I didn't notice the rock chips and road rash when I first bought the car b/c the thing as a whole is such a beauty. Now I'm looking at it more critically and want it to be flawless. Damn you Beamer love...
Life is better with Cheddar.

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Old 07-27-2012, 08:54 AM   #30
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My Ride: 2005 ZHP
You got what you paid for. The only reason to hold a grudge against the previous owners is if the lied to you about the cars condition.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:58 AM   #31
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My Ride: 2005 E46
I'm the second owner and mine was well taken care of. Few chips or scratches from 5 years of driving, but nothing major. Clean inside and out.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:07 AM   #32
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Location: This is LONDON??
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My Ride: 330CI
OP with you on this one.... i looked at the car after a rainy day so couldnt tell exactly of the scratches...
After i washed it good my dad asks me... what about that dent on driver door?...
I said "whaaaaa??"

just my luck the lower part of driver door has a minimal dent all along the length and light scratches... must have hit a snow bank or something

Basically the one thing that was wrong with the car on the outside

Sent from my SGH-I727R using Bimmer App
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:57 AM   #33
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Location: New York\City
Posts: 3,150
My Ride: '00 328i & '06 R6S
i bought my car with very low mileage (29k?) as only the 2nd owner, and i take care of it well, even though it seems to hate me...

things i've replaced, off the top of my head;

clutch fan (twice)
expansion tank
water pump
drive belt(not a big deal, maintenance)
water heater valve
vanos seals replacement
camshaft sensor
splash shield\engine guard on the bottom of the car
both front left and right fender liners
both pre-cat o2 sensors
thermostat(maintenance too, since bmw makes another crucial cooling system part out of plastic)
valve cover gasket(maintenance)
forgot some others i'm sure
hood and moldings need to be repainted still

and this is all with less than 80,000 miles...
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:52 AM   #34
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Location: Wash. DC
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My Ride: 2006 E90 325i
Got my 2001 325i with 100,941 miles. I am the third owner, the previous other two I dont think ever cleaned the wheel, leather or the carpets. AC doesnt work and a dent in the rear passenger door and quarter panel. But I can fix it all. Talked them down to $5K from $7K, so I dont think too bad of deal. Runs and rides great!

2006 E90 325i w/Premium + Sports Packages, Barrique Red
2001 E46 325i w/Sport package, Oxford Green - sold!

Last edited by Navy_LDO; 07-27-2012 at 10:54 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:57 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Navy_LDO View Post
Got my 2001 325i with 100,941 miles. I am the third owner, the previous other two I dont think ever cleaned the wheel, leather or the carpets. AC doesnt work and a dent in the rear passenger door and quarter panel. But I can fix it all. Talked them down to $5K from $7K, so I dont think too bad of deal. Runs and rides great!
2004 TiAg ///M - 171,000 miles.......................2003 Imola ZHP - 180,254 miles
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:49 AM   #36
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Location: Seattle
Posts: 526
My Ride: M3
Third owner and I have to say the previous ones did an overall good job in taking care of the car. No dents, no tears, and minimal wear on the inside. That being said...had to fix a small scratch on the fender, and will have to eventually get rid of the road rash on the rims. Everything else that I have repaired or replaced seem to be normal wear and tear (i.e. bushings, water pump, thermostat, seals, brakes, & shocks). Can't really blame the previous owners given the number of miles on the car. Stuff was due to be replaced anyway.
2004 Silver M3 / SMG / Koni Yellow shocks and struts / Vogtlands lowering springs / Eibach front and rear sway bars / Proflex bushings / Predator Orion V2 Multi-Color LED Angel Eyes / Laser Interceptors / Clear Bumper Reflectors / Mishimoto Aluminum Radiator / AKG Motor mounts / Rogue Engineering Transmission Mount / AKG differential bushings / Euro mirrors / B&B Exhaust / CSL SMG tune /DME CSL tune

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Old 07-27-2012, 11:50 AM   #37
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Location: Chesapeake Virginia
Posts: 324
My Ride: 2003 325xi Touring
And why are you complaining op, you crashed your car into a curb right
Yeah, well that was my friend driving my car. I have contributed to the wear and tear in that aspect. I fixed it like it never even happend though

Shes not your average grocery getter. This 2.5L of fury doesnt mess around.


5TFUUU, If one more person tells me to sell my car and buy an ///M Im going to light their family on fire and make them watch.
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:31 PM   #38
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Location: Seattle
Posts: 975
My Ride: 2002 BMW 325i
I got my car after it was owned by one individual. Since I got it from a dealer, I wasn't to sure of it's history. Has run great since I got it though, so the engine wasn't abused by any means, plus it passed Carmax standards. Few chips and scratches on the hood and roof, but given it's 10 years old not bad at all. Interior was in immaculate condition. Still in the process of refreshing things just in case they weren't to be safe.(Cooling system, fuel filter, pump.)

Gotta say, I'm pretty happy with the condition I recieved it in.
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:32 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by GotVANOS? View Post
My E46 has had a rough life. 250,000 miles and 5 owners have taken its toll. It seems like the previous owners just beat the sh1t out of the car. All the rock chips on the bumper, and hood and fenders, the scratches in the seats, the dents, drive me crazy. Itís a 5 speed 325xi touring!!!! You canít treat it like that!!!! HA, when I first got the car, some genius decided to fix the cloudy headlights by painting them with clear coat. SERIOUSLY I donít want to admit it but I guess I have a junker e46. I still love my car and Iím slowly undoing all the damage. It will never be like it was from the factory though.

Considering that most E46s are almost 10 years old, Iím willing to bet that most members here on fanatics aren't original owners and have had to deal with problems caused by previous abuse.
Am I the only one who, if given the opportunity, would slap the previous owners in the face?
Am I the only one who's E46 was beat to **** by previous owners?
And why did you buy this car at all then?
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:43 PM   #40
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Location: MA
Posts: 517
My Ride: BMW 323i
99' 323i, picked up 2 years ago with 104k on the clock. Runs like a top... Have had to replace nothing in 2 years that I didn't personally decide to. Car has been up and down the East coast twice, drive the tail of the dragon twice, delivers pizza, and still manages to impress me all the time with problem free spirited driving. Currently at 128k

@ 250k miles man, I'd be pumped if my car still ran. All the road rash and rock chips... you have to think about this, you're car has driven the equivalent of California to Boston 83 times.
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damaged, dent, e46, original

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