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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 11-26-2012, 10:20 AM   #1
PeeweeCSHL
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Posts: 28
My Ride: 2004 330i Manual
Need an opinion

Howdy y'all!

I'm looking at getting a 2002 330xi manual but I need some outside opinions.

Here's the listing: http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...34307592&Log=0

Found more pictures on their website with a better link: http://www.rontonkinhonda.com/index....D35&startrow=1

Carfax: http://www.carfax.com/VehicleHistory...&partner=ATD_W

The dealership has no maintenance records other than the carfax.

I've searched and searched through these forums so I know the typical things that break, cooling system, CV joints and boots, axles, VANOS, etc. I plan on getting a PPI later this week. My questions is, is there anything a good PPI wouldn't find/can't be checked and anything to look for specific to the 2002?

The shop taking it to was recommend by BMW enthusiasts http://www.arautoservices.com/ and they only charge $100 which sounds like a great deal and they're not trying to ream me, $375 at the BMW dealership.

In the end I'm nervous about pulling the trigger. The car is a 3 1/2 hour drive from me and I want to make sure I'm not wasting my time/money.

Last edited by PeeweeCSHL; 11-26-2012 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Added pictures
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:21 AM   #2
SamDoe1
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Minnesnowta
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There shouldn't be anything specific to the 2002. Anything the PPI doesn't find are things that are more mechanical wear and tear, for example the remaining life in the clutch or other mechanical parts. The PPI will tell you if it's broken or worn, but not if it's close to either. Know what I mean?

Overall, the E46 is a reliable car if it is well maintained. If you get one that just needs some minor TLC, you could get a heck of a deal but just be aware of what needs to happen. You should budget ~$500-750 for any immediate work that needs to be done on the car. Also, I hope you DIY your maintenance otherwise start saving your pennies. If you don't already, go buy a tool set and start learning. It's not hard at all.

Based on the link that you sent, I would take a good hard look at the interior of that car due to their lack of showing it online. I also wouldn't pay anywhere close to the asking price for it.

If you have any more specific questions, feel free to post up.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:54 AM   #3
E46er75
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New England
Posts: 298
My Ride: 323i Vert, 330xi
Looks like the price is a little on the high side. I noticed the "reduced" price I can't image how much higher this was before? IMO it seems as if the dealer is of by $2000-$3000. I read it has navigation but there is no pictures on the interior. Either way please see below:

Look at the NADA value without navigation:

http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2002/...0xi-AWD/Values

NADA with navigation:

http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2002/...0xi-AWD/Values

Last edited by E46er75; 11-26-2012 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:07 PM   #4
EDWAGON
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Location: NY
Posts: 292
My Ride: 2004 325xiT
Wow , I bought my car from them in 09. Had under 40k miles . Was dealing with someone at their Ferrrai dealership. Had it shipped to NY no issues whatsoever . Wasnt really able to negotiate a better price. I tried my best several times but got them off only about 500 bucks. Good luck looks nice.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:45 PM   #5
GSherbs
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My Ride: 2002 330 xi
I wonder how they got the wheels so clean? They look brand new!
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:04 PM   #6
PeeweeCSHL
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Location: Port Orchard, WA
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My Ride: 2004 330i Manual
Wow. I love this community. Quick responses and everything. Thanks for the info.

I edited the original post with a link to more pictures, including the interior: http://www.rontonkinhonda.com/index....D35&startrow=1

All in all the interior looks pretty clean. Some black marks on the plastic part of the drivers side seat. Otherwise I don't see anything.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
e46alfonso
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The car looks great but dont let the pictures fool you. Its a 10 year old car, it has been through 10 winters.
Convince the seller that the suspension is trashed which probably is ,and use that as an exscuse to get a lower price.
15k can get you an 05 xi with a 6 speed and about the same miles, just saying.
There is plenty of fish in the sea, don't dive in yet.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:16 PM   #8
Kubica
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You should be able to get an '05 with similar miles for that price.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:24 PM   #9
tomoyer
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I didn't look at the links to view the car, but I will say this, a 330xi does have a higher value than a 325xi as a used vehicle (and it had a higher price when new). Besides checking the NADA pricing, and Carfax records, you can also check Kelly Blue Book for that car with that equipment and mileage in your area, it will give a fair value of the car and something more to go on. If you are definitely interested in the car, take it to an independent bmw tech to have him look it over and tell you what all will need attention, immediate attention and items that will need attention 6 months down the round and 12 months down the road. After being armed with all that info, go from there.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:16 PM   #10
PeeweeCSHL
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Location: Port Orchard, WA
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My Ride: 2004 330i Manual
I know the dealer pricing is ridiculous. I'd be a fool to not try and get it as low as I can, that's just part of the game to play when buying a car. I'm hoping to get it down in the 11k range, KBB and NADA is 10.5-11.5k. I'll have to see what the third party inspection says. I just wanted to know if anything stuck out to experienced 330xi owners.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:36 PM   #11
E46er75
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Location: New England
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My Ride: 323i Vert, 330xi
It's hard to really tell with just pictures. Some cars can catch your eye and then steal your wallet later. I also suggest the same thing, bring it to a reputable shop, one who specializes in german cars and BMW. Have them give it the once over, becuase they're going to know more then you and us (based off photos) as far as what to look for and considering your climate you might see different problems then someone from down south.

I would have them check the following:

CV/Axle boots (Leaking grease)
Struts
Expansion Tank (See if was replaced, if not you will be doing it shortly after buying it)
Springs (Very common likely to have a broken rear spring)
Wheel Bearings (grinding or howling noise that increases with speed)
Valve Cover Gasket (Very common to leak onto manifold and smell burnt oil in cabin)
Thermostat (Mine was stuck open when I bought it the dealer just kept erasing the codes )
Bushings
Engine/Transmission Mounts

Basically anything that moves!

The most important thing is NEVER trust the dealer EVER! The suck and are there to just take you money and get you and the car out of there. Take your time and make a smart decision and do your due diligence because in the end it's your money.

Hope this helps

Last edited by E46er75; 11-26-2012 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:20 PM   #12
PeeweeCSHL
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Location: Port Orchard, WA
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My Ride: 2004 330i Manual
Well I got the inspection by a great indy shop, that guy really knew his stuff, and (surprise surprise) you guys called it...

The suspension is shot. Recommended parts to replace: Struts, shocks, trailing arm bushings, front control arms, front control arm bushings, and inner/outer tie rod assemblies. So basically, everything.

Right front axle is leaking, no surprise there.

What I didn't expect:
- The power steering pump pressure line is leaking.
- Front break rotors are worn moderately.
- The two front turn signals don't match. (Too cheap to replace both at once?)
- Both the right and left front doors have evidence of damage and repaint
- Hood and doors don't line up perfectly.
- RR tail light has larger gap than LR tail light. Evidence of removal and possible body work.

The shop said it would be around 2-3k to fix it everything. The suspension and stuff was expected and they couldn't tell about the cooling system or valve cover gasket or any other leaks because the dealer steam cleaned everything right before he took it over. The attempt to cover things up and the evidence of body work bothers me, gives it a lemon-esque characteristic. I don't think this is the right one for me...

Thanks for everybody's opinions! Very helpful. I'll keep all of this in mind when I find the next one.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:10 PM   #13
SamDoe1
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Good call, move on.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:26 PM   #14
E46er75
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New England
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My Ride: 323i Vert, 330xi
You just saved yourself a lot of money and headaches. The asking price still blows my mind... Hope you find another! Good Luck
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