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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 08-30-2012, 05:39 PM   #1
sdm56@gmx.com
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: L.A.
Posts: 3
My Ride: 4Runner
Need help choosing 330i / 328

I am looking for 330CI / 328 automatic Black or Blue. 2003-2006. I love the lines of this Car.
Please let me know if any or all of the info I have heard so far is correct.
I have been told by a BMW mech. (Jack F. at Pro BMW Van Nuys, CA) to stay away from Auto-manual, paddle shifters "They can be problematic". SMS I believe they are called. And that "the automatics (made in France?) need rebuilding every 80-90k miles". I live in L.A. traffic (AKA Hell.A. traffic) I've done the shifting thing... and it bites.
My questions are...
Are there any years (E46, 1999-2006) to stay away from?
Or... Are certain years better than others?
Yes I know I said 2003 min. However older is less $ and I will find a way if they are better.
Also, worth noting, I have some friends saying I'm nuts and "go buy a practical car". Already done that... I'm too old for that. And my $ are limited. And REALLY would like this (My First BWM) to be a good experience. So any help or input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance... Soon to be BMW Owner. SDM
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:50 PM   #2
E46_330i_Stud
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 1,888
My Ride: 2004 330ci ZHP 6MT
Your post made my brain hurt. I know this isn't what you wanted to hear but, "I'm trying to spend as little money as possible" is key word, "I can't afford a BMW". Sorry to burst your bubble. After buying an E46, plan on spending $2k right off the bat to address any problems it has as well as get it up to date on maintenance. These cars will leave you high and dry quickly if you have a limited budget.

To answer one of your questions, stay away from 99-00's if you can. Subframe issue as well as a reverse issue in the autos seems to be more prominent in those years.
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1995 325i 5mt ArcticGrey/Dove - SOLD
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2001 330i M-Sport 5MT StaulGrau/Grey - SOLD
1992 Accord LX Sedan 275k miles all original - DAILY
2002 Chevy Suburban LT Autoride - TOY HAULER
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:39 PM   #3
sdm56@gmx.com
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: L.A.
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My Ride: 4Runner
Thanks for your response. I suppose I'm spoiled from driving vehicles that do not require much Maintenace. Seems performance has its price.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:25 PM   #4
E46_330i_Stud
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Location: Wake Forest, NC
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My Ride: 2004 330ci ZHP 6MT
Think of it this way. Can you afford $60-70 oil changes if you do it yourself? Or $600+ for a coolant system, $500 for the bushings that need to be replaced, etc. It adds up quick. I'd advise going for an Acura or something where you get a little of both worlds.
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1995 325i 5mt ArcticGrey/Dove - SOLD
2004 330ci ZHP 6MT SilberGrau/Black - SOLD
2001 330i M-Sport 5MT StaulGrau/Grey - SOLD
1992 Accord LX Sedan 275k miles all original - DAILY
2002 Chevy Suburban LT Autoride - TOY HAULER
2005 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT - RACE TRUCK!
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