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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 01-27-2013, 01:12 PM   #1
Spence
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: North Carolina
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My Ride: 2001 325i
Should I stay or should I go....

Ok, first off hello all! Glad to see a place that's active and full of bimmer nuts like myself!

Here is my dilemma, I need a kick in the head or a push out the door on this one. I just sold my 2007 325i and I'm seeking a replacement to drive to work because my 2005 Silverado is slowly murdering me on fuel.

I came across a 2001 325i but it's got issues... lot's of issues.

Ok the bad, the rear passenger regulator is out, the coolant light comes on sporadically, the check engine light is on (she went as far to tell me the valve cover is leaking and making the light come on - funny) but then goes off sporadically, washer fluid light is on, all four pillar covers have the fabric coming off, driver's seat is torn (other interior parts are good), someone pried the drivers door at the top corner and the top corner of the door doesn't seal well, roof at the drivers door has oxidation (other paint is good), was hit on right front corner but repaired, it's got 194000 miles.

The good, Engine is solid - great power and no odd ticks, knocks, misses etc. Tranny is good, shifts smooth, smooth acceleration. Everything works electrically, still a descent looking car despite the issues above.

We started at $3000 and so far I've got her down to $2200 but I'm trying to get it for $2000. Oh yeah, it has a salvage title (which I don't mind but that just means I may never get my $$$ out of it in the future).

What do you guys think? It's just going to be my work car and work is only 8 miles away.

Here's some pics:





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Old 01-27-2013, 01:18 PM   #2
helalo
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find another one. get an e36 if you dont wanna pass 3k$
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:22 PM   #3
zhenkaaaM3
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Ehhh its not a bad list. valve cover makes the check engine light go on. Coolant light might just meet its a little low on coolant or may have air trapped inside the cooling system. Sounds like its worth $2000 and not a penny more.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:26 PM   #4
MercForHire
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A trip to the junkyard should cover all these body, interior parts.
It's a good buy. A week or two of DIY and it'll be in perfect road condition
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
MercForHire
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I see it's a automatic.
Screw it
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:47 PM   #6
sgoetz628
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8 x 2 x 5 x 48 = 3,840 commute miles per year. If the bimmer gets 20 mpg locally and your truck gets 12, that's a saving of 128 gallons per year. At $4/gal, that's a saving of $512/yr for gas. But once you add in purchase price, maintenance, and insurance, there's no saving at all. So, based on the objective in your post, it makes no sense to buy anything other than maybe a bike or scooter for the summer.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:50 PM   #7
Grande D
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Originally Posted by sgoetz628 View Post
8 x 2 x 5 x 48 = 3,840 commute miles per year. If the bimmer gets 20 mpg locally and your truck gets 12, that's a saving of 128 gallons per year. At $4/gal, that's a saving of $512/yr for gas. But once you add in purchase price, maintenance, and insurance, there's no saving at all. So, based on the objective in your post, it makes no sense to buy anything other than maybe a bike or scooter for the summer.
I don't think your math is anywhere close to rock solid.
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dont listen to these fuQ faces... just go to a junk yard and get a used complete left rear end. i cracked my left rear control arm on the highway because i was driving w/o shocks... lol! ***Was too busy caking on these bitches instead of taking care my car!***
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:01 PM   #8
RayPooley
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Originally Posted by sgoetz628 View Post
8 x 2 x 5 x 48 = 3,840 commute miles per year. If the bimmer gets 20 mpg locally and your truck gets 12, that's a saving of 128 gallons per year. At $4/gal, that's a saving of $512/yr for gas. But once you add in purchase price, maintenance, and insurance, there's no saving at all. So, based on the objective in your post, it makes no sense to buy anything other than maybe a bike or scooter for the summer.
How do you get that figure? Its 194/11 = 17,636 miles a year. That's about 1.7 times good condition miles in my book. That's hammered. My E36 only had 190K on it at 21 years old. I would expect bearings and suspension to be on their way out if not already shot. I would let it go.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:13 PM   #9
sgoetz628
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How do you get that figure? Its 194/11 = 17,636 miles a year. That's about 1.7 times good condition miles in my book. That's hammered. My E36 only had 190K on it at 21 years old. I would expect bearings and suspension to be on their way out if not already shot. I would let it go.
He says he wants to buy the car to replace his truck commuting miles, which are 16 miles r/t per day. Even if he drove to work every single day, with no days off ever, that's still only 16 x 365 = 5,840. But the average person works 5 days per week, about 48 weeks per year.

How did you get your figure?
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:18 PM   #10
Spence
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Thanks for the replies...

He did mention that the bushings, and such has been replaced about 5k ago. I must admit the ride is excellent for the mileage.

So the valve cover gasket leak CAN make the light come on? To hear her tell it the engine light comes on one minute and goes off the next.

The him her reference is the car is owned by a young lady and her dad does the work to it. He has 4 bimmers in the drive way and owns a body shop.

The car can average around 25mpg if driven correctly. I figure:

Truck = 12mpg @ $4 and I fill up once a week @ $70 - 52x70 = $3640 yearly
Car = 25mpg @ $4 - doubles mileage therefore $3640 becomes $1820 yearly

The car could potentially pay for itself in 1.5 years ~ barring any costly mechanical issues.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:47 PM   #11
sgoetz628
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Originally Posted by Spence View Post
Thanks for the replies...

He did mention that the bushings, and such has been replaced about 5k ago. I must admit the ride is excellent for the mileage.

So the valve cover gasket leak CAN make the light come on? To hear her tell it the engine light comes on one minute and goes off the next.

The him her reference is the car is owned by a young lady and her dad does the work to it. He has 4 bimmers in the drive way and owns a body shop.

The car can average around 25mpg if driven correctly. I figure:

Truck = 12mpg @ $4 and I fill up once a week @ $70 - 52x70 = $3640 yearly
Car = 25mpg @ $4 - doubles mileage therefore $3640 becomes $1820 yearly

The car could potentially pay for itself in 1.5 years ~ barring any costly mechanical issues.
I think 25mpg for a cold engine to/from work is optimistic. But regardless, the figures you stated seem to be for total miles. Your initial post stated, "It's just going to be my work car and work is only 8 miles away." If this is really all you want it for, then your figures are inflated. Also, you're not taking into account any additional expenses.
So I guess you'd have to ask yourself what you really want the car for before making a good decision
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:22 PM   #12
EverydayGetaway
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Originally Posted by helalo View Post
find another one. get an e36 if you dont wanna pass 3k$
This.

$3000 can get you a pretty nice E36 328 or 325, or it will get you a beat POS E46.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:39 PM   #13
RayPooley
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Originally Posted by sgoetz628 View Post
He says he wants to buy the car to replace his truck commuting miles, which are 16 miles r/t per day. Even if he drove to work every single day, with no days off ever, that's still only 16 x 365 = 5,840. But the average person works 5 days per week, about 48 weeks per year.

How did you get your figure?
Ok. Different wavelength. The car he wants to buy has 194K in 11 years.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:49 PM   #14
ac_2007
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The engine and tranny are solid, and it has no rust.

What are you waiting for? If you can get it for 2k.. BUY IT!
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:45 PM   #15
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If it runs, shifts, drives, stops and the tires are good, $2200 isn't bad. You do not need the back passenger window to roll down. The car either has a coolant leak or a bad coolant level sensor. The washer fluid either needs topping off, it needs a pump or a sensor. There are DIY options for the pillars. Go to the junkyard and get a black drivers door and a seat cover. The VCG itself costs $30.00 and can be done by yourself or a shadetree. Depending on how bad the cooling system is, you could have close to $3500 in it by the time you finish.

But to really achieve your purpose for saving money on your commute, you need a beater Toyota pickup or Corolla that gets 30MPG+ and will not require $1000.00 worth of repairs off the bat. I predict I will spend close to $2000.00 during my first year of ownership of my '01 325i (cooling system overhaul, pulleys and tensioners, VCG, stopping various leaks, fluid changes, wheel bearing - but also fog light installation, stereo upgrade and A-pillar repair) - IF nothing else goes wrong in the next 8 months.

Last edited by vandyboy; 01-27-2013 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:23 PM   #16
afstud
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if it were a manual id say 2 grand is good but its an automatic, the first week you own it the reverse gear will go out... id walk away.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:38 PM   #17
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Are there any records of the ATF being changed? If not, that tranny's on borrowed time.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:51 PM   #18
diM3tri
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Yeah dude if it was a manual you should absolutely buy it.. But since it's an auto at 194k miles that trannys about to go..
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:40 PM   #19
Spence
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Ok, I said the heck with it and picked it up for $2000. The coolant light is on, the check engine light is on, the washer fluid light is on, the airbag light is on... holy crap... what have I done?!

I ran a OBDII scanner on it and it reports: P0128 (Coolant Thermostat - Coolant temperature is below thermostat regulating temp) and a P0155 Powertrain - O2 sensor heater circuit Bank 2 Sensor 1.

I've read about the common airbag light, something to do with the drivers seat??

Coolant light has to be in relation with the thermostat - it's either stuck open or is missing completely. She did mention it had a water pump replaced a few months back.

As far as the ATF I have no idea but you can bet that's the first thing I'm doing with this thing... fluids top to bottom.

It has a funky vibration at 60-65 and pulls to the left slightly.

At idle the car actually vibrates like the engine is laying on the frame... mounts gone bad I assume?

We, as far as driving just to work... I'm a network engineer so I do occasionally travel to client sites but most are 30 miles or less away.

I had a civic for a while that got 38MPG but rode like a wagon... once you drive one of these cars it's like comparing an Ford Escort to a Cadillac... This will be my 3rd BMW and I'm quite fond of them. Easy to work on, smooth ride, great handling and descent power.

I did have an E36 which I miss, a E90 which was a dream car... but everything is for sale - a fellow asked me how much, I told him and he paid me. Now an E46 - I like tinkering with cars and something tells me I'm going to have my hands full with this one. ;-)

Last edited by Spence; 01-28-2013 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:40 AM   #20
afstud
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yea definitely going to need some work, i would start by just ordering the whole cooling system overhaul kit, WP (even though they say it was replaced do it anyway for piece of mind), ET (expansion tank), Therm, coolant Temp Sensor, upper and lower hoses, ET cap, gallon of BMW coolant and don't forget the Transmission thermostat which is located where the expansion tank and bottom radiator bracket meet, it tends to fall apart when you pull the ET off,

next i would just do a drain and fill a few times on that tranny, just because you don't want it to go in shock with new fluid, and do a drain and fill at least 2 or 3 times within 50 miles of each other just to get most of the old fluid out and new fluid in,

as far as airbag light, youd have to get it scanned to know exactly whats going on and what component is malfunctioning.

Vibration may just be a wheel off balance, have them re-balanced and go from there, that's the cheapest first step

Engine vibration at idle maybe the mounts but maybe has a small rough idle which you may just have to do a full tune up, who knows.

otherwise Good luck with your new ride.
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