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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 03-09-2013, 12:45 PM   #41
caleb6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46@46 View Post
I am the third owner. Currently at 164K miles.
First owner had extended warranty so the cost of maintenance was $0 for the first 5-6 years----- Average $0 per year
Second owner purchased at 94K miles and drove it 52K miles in 2.5 years and spent $6732 (excluding tires) at an indy shop- Average $2693/ year, $225 a month.
I am the third owner, bought at 146K miles and drove it 18K miles in 1 year and spent $2677 mostly DIY (excluding tires and tinted windows)- Average $2615/ year or $218 a month. I did a lot of big ticket PM items in my first year so hoping to bring the average closer to $100 this coming year. My to do list includes O2 sensors and new headlights because one is messed up. Running better now than when I bought it. Here is the list, Top section is my work.... nice thing is I have all receipts since mile 1.

2003 BMW 325 XIT
date Mileage Cost Service performed

2/2/13 162k $66.21 DIY- Front Brake Calipers- reman
12/29/12 160K $90.00 DIY- Oil and Filter Change- Air Filter change
12/1/12 158.5K $509.47 DIY- Power Steering pump- New LF30 (had to buy at dealer, ugh!!)
11/10/12 158K $330.00 DIY- replace DISA, Upper & Lower intake boot, F connector and FPR vacuum line, Clean ICV
10/11/12 157K $865.00 winter tires
10/16/12 157K $270.00 Tinted Windows
10/5/12 156.5K $420.00 DIY- Replace radiator and Water Pump- New Hoses upper and Lower
8/6/12 153k $98.65 DIY- Change Power steering fluid and filter
6/1/12 152K $90.00 DIY- Oil and Filter Change
4/20/12 148.5K $455.53 Indy Shop - cv boot and axle replaced due to torn boot- Drivers side
3/12/12 148k $168.00 DIY- Fuel Pump and Gasket
3/9/12 147K $264.51 DIY- Front Brake Pads and Rotors
3/2/12 147K $75.00 DIY- Valve Cover Gasket
2/25/12 147K $48.00 DIY- Replaced Cabin Air and Engine Air Filter
SOLD CAR to Mark

12/1/11 144k $230.00 New battery
11/1/11 143k $85.00 Oil and filter service
11/1/11 143k $0.00 Tires rotated
10/1/11 141k $230.00 New windshield
8/1/11 140k $987.00 cooling system expansion tank and thermostat replaced. Full system flush
2/1/11 135k $718.00 replaced gasket to oil filter housing. Very Common leak area. Replaced Ac belt tensioner pulley
1/1/11 133k $474.00 cv boot and axle replaced due to torn boot- Passenger side
9/1/10 126k $675.00 new Yokohama 520 tires
8/1/10 125k $1,550.00 level II service. All fluids changed incl. coolant system, brake fluid, spark plugs, transmission flush
all filters changed. Including Fuel filter
8/1/10 125k $700.00 Control arm bushings replaced, sway bar links
6/1/10 122k $608.00 front brakes - new rotors and pads
5/1/10 120k $562.00 rear brakes- new rotors and pads
12/1/09 109k $588.00 New belt and replaced thermostat. Very common to have the thermostat go bad
Jul-09 94k Chris Purchased car. Local. All service records obtained.

Total $11,219.06 Total For Both Chris and Mark

Original Owner
1/9/09 90,203 $0.00 thermostate replaced, computer/module checked, Secondary Air Pump and valve replaced
10/24/08 87,455 $0.00 Oil Change
10/10/07 74,745 $0.00 Oil Change, coolant flush, brake fluid change
11/27/06 63,024 $0.00 Oil Change
10/5/05 45,155 $0.00 Ignition Coils changed at 39K miles
10/29/04 29,544 $0.00 Oil Change
3/15/04 14,084 $0.00 Oil Change
No ****, where are these prices from? You say you DIY'd this...but almost $1,000 for an ET and thermostat with fluid flush - WTH? That's like $150 job man.

OK, I see that it was Chris that had this work done, and I mean done. Must have been at a BMW dealership. either way, these skew the numbers and make your averages WAAAAYYYYY high. Those are some ridiculous prices you have listed there.

Last edited by caleb6; 03-09-2013 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:23 PM   #42
E46@46
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Originally Posted by caleb6 View Post
No ****, where are these prices from? You say you DIY'd this...but almost $1,000 for an ET and thermostat with fluid flush - WTH? That's like $150 job man.

OK, I see that it was Chris that had this work done, and I mean done. Must have been at a BMW dealership. either way, these skew the numbers and make your averages WAAAAYYYYY high. Those are some ridiculous prices you have listed there.
Right, that lower portion was done at an indy BMW shop by the previous owner. I can only imagine all the work I did in the past year would have cost at an Indy or even a dealership- no thanks..
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:10 PM   #43
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$100 a month for maintenance on a quality used car that you enjoy owning is probably still less expensive than $400 to $500 a month car payment for a boring new car that you trade every 4-5 years.

My 04 vert looks new, has newer tires and brakes, new cooling system, new disa and lower intake boots and F connector, transmission flush and filter, oil change and filter, as well as recent air and cabin filters. 62,xxx on the clock. All this and I have less than $18,000 in the car. I'm not saying its the best bargain in cars but it probably is close if one wants something pleasing to the eye and a wonderful driving experience.

If you want a bargain buy a new Toyota or Honda grocery getter for about $20000 to $25000 or less, only put 60,000 miles on it in 8 to 10 years like many of the used E46s out there, do the minimum factory service every 30,000 miles, oil changes every 5000 miles or so and keep it clean. This will be a premium priced used car and could sell for about 8-10K.

Unfortunately, one buys a new bimmer for about $50,000, drives it 60,000 miles in 8 to 10 years and then its on the used market for less than $15000.

Wife and I have each have older Toyotas with high mileage for work and daily drivers but they are beaters with over 125,000 miles but still running fine and not worth replacing. We want to drive something nice, out comes the E46.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:01 PM   #44
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Bought my ZHP last month, had the following done:

Alignment
Oil Change
Brake Fluid Change
Hood Mat Change
Steering Coupling replaced
New set of Michelin Tires $1100

Total $1700

I don't plan on anything else this year, perhaps an Oil change should I drive the car 7500 + miles this year. In fact in most cases once you fix what is warn out or needs replacing like Oil + Filter just keep an eye on the rest and change as needed. Usually around $150 per year excluding large purchases like a set of tires.

The average for people owning a car is ~2 years. Unless you plan on Restoring the car just follow BMW's recommended maintenance program and you can't go wrong.

Last edited by redadair; 03-11-2013 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:39 PM   #45
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What prompted you to change the hood mat?
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:37 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by wildirish317 View Post
What prompted you to change the hood mat?
For some strange reason it was hanging down at both sides. Very dry and had shrunk. It was rather expensive, but when I look under the hood now it looks like a new engine compartment.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:20 PM   #47
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So lets say lexus is300 maintenance vs b,w e46 maintenance... Would it be night and day or somewhat similar?
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:45 PM   #48
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I agree that $1000 a year on average is pretty accurate, I spend more on mods than maintenance honestly it's not a lot of money for it being one of the best used cars you can buy.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:22 PM   #49
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I guess now I just have to figure out if the seller that owns the car I am interested in, is selling his car at the right price. I mean if its common knowledge that bmws require a level of maintenance then the price should reflect that.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:55 PM   #50
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Yes the price should reflect that but as you look at previously owned cars, it does not typically talk about things like cooling systems, CABs, brakes, fluid changes, fuel filters or pumps, and other maintenance items that will be required soon after purchasing the car. These are items you want to know the status of because it can make of difference of $2000 to $3000 dollars unless you DIY.

But, as I said earlier, these cars can still be a bargain because of what they are and the joy we get from driving them. Many folks on this forum have pristine examples of this car that are close to, or more than 10 years old and can still demand a decent price. Besides, what is the 'right' price? I would define that as the price of the car at time of sale and the value you will receive from owning it once you have brought it up to a well-maintained condition.

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Old 03-10-2013, 10:13 PM   #51
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Be careful of price comparisons and keep in mind how the car was maintained and what you will need to do to get it up to current. Mango's car is a good example. If someone just looks at the year, model, miles, and if it has been in a wreck, the price would be in line with the others fitting the same description but, we all know his car is like new but many of us are so fixated on prices, we don't look at the details.

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Old 03-10-2013, 10:21 PM   #52
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so most of the items that need to be replaced, I can do. Its just the things like the DSC that runs so much money for the part alone that I fear having to replace. BTW how do I find out more about Mango???
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:32 PM   #53
willmkent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 325seeeye View Post
Well lets see....

2001 0
2002 0
2003 200 - brake and coolant flush
2004 1600 - thermostat, tires and oil change
2005 300 - oil changes and brake pads
2006 600 - fluid flush, oil changes, and belt tensioner
2007 1100 - an oil change and tires
2008 500 - water pump, expansion tank and oil change
2009 700 - fluid flushes, brake pads/rotors and oil change
2010 1100 - oil change and tires
2011 400 - oil change, a and c pillar replacement
2012 1200 - oil change, shocks and springs and fluid flush
2013 2500 so far - dsc control unit and VCG replacement

And I currently need new control arms, all bushings and bearings, brake pads/rotors and tires again. Most of the above was DIY, but some wasn't.
I noticed that you listed 1100 for 2007 and 2010. With oil changes being between 100 - 120, that means you spent around 1080 on tires.... that seems crazy high to me. What kind of tires did you get?
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:38 PM   #54
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Search threads with E46Mango. His commentary and advise are on many threads and his car was picked for a spot in a BMW promotional ad recently. He is very pro preventive maintenance and his car reflects this. Since you are new, search the threads for hours and, as DMAX will say, read the preventive maintenance and DIY threads til you puke. Good luck and welcome to the forum. Beware, some of the comments or replies can be be somewhat snarky but the overall experience is entertaining and educational.

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Old 03-11-2013, 08:04 AM   #55
willmkent
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From what I have learned so far, it seems that most of the maintenance that is needed is relatively easy to do except for a select few, I am seeing on here some prices that users have posted that are significantly higher than quoted even through my local bmw stealership
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:18 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by willmkent View Post
From what I have learned so far, it seems that most of the maintenance that is needed is relatively easy to do except for a select few, I am seeing on here some prices that users have posted that are significantly higher than quoted even through my local bmw stealership
You're not, you just think you are.

Dude, you want a BMW and you're trying to convince yourself that the maintenance isn't as bad as people say. It is. It's not bad, it's not a negotiating point, its how these cars are; you either like it and keep them or don't and sell it to someone who does.

If you're worried about $1000 a year in upkeep then these, non-Japanese cars are not for you; and it's not a bad thing, I make a good living, my E46 is my second BMW and I'm getting sick of the little things it needs, the one day it runs perfect and the next day it doesn't idle smooth then the next day it does bs. And in 26 years of driving I've never had a single check engine light in any vehicle but I've had 4 or 5 now in 10 months of BMW ownership. This stuff bugs me but its what I signed up for, $4000 in 6 month for maintenance even after a fairly clean PPI to fix things the PO's didn't keep up with along with the maintenance items like cooling system, DISA, VCG and OFHG.

It's the nature of the beast; love it, hate it, believe it or don't. Most people that don't think BMW's need a lot of upkeep are lifelong owners of Audi, VW's and BMW's and just expect upkeep.

We're trying to be honest and you're trying to tell us all were wrong. We own them, you don't. And you're asking a dealer who's trying to get you to buy a car that they service. What do you think they'll say?

Last edited by miweber929; 03-11-2013 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:12 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by willmkent View Post
From what I have learned so far, it seems that most of the maintenance that is needed is relatively easy to do except for a select few, I am seeing on here some prices that users have posted that are significantly higher than quoted even through my local bmw stealership
I have to say I agree with what you are saying. What you should do with any used car, BMW or not is pay for a Pre-Purchase Inspection at a trusted shop. Your BMW dealer can obviously do this as well as any Fully Trusted BMW Indi shop. Then you can negotiate the price with the Owner before purchasing the car. If the car has serious issues, walk away from it period.

Once you find a BMW in Good mechanical shape it's really no more expensive to maintain than any other premium brand car. Don't get scared into this $1000 per year maintenance costs. What are these guys spending ~$100 per month on?

Download from BMW and read through the Maintenance Schedule for the model BMW you are looking for. Follow this schedule on a Good already well maintained BMW and you will be fine and it Will cost you less then $1000 per year to do it.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:24 PM   #58
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You're not, you just think you are.

Dude, you want a BMW and you're trying to convince yourself that the maintenance isn't as bad as people say. It is. It's not bad, it's not a negotiating point, its how these cars are; you either like it and keep them or don't and sell it to someone who does.

If you're worried about $1000 a year in upkeep then these, non-Japanese cars are not for you; and it's not a bad thing, I make a good living, my E46 is my second BMW and I'm getting sick of the little things it needs, the one day it runs perfect and the next day it doesn't idle smooth then the next day it does bs. And in 26 years of driving I've never had a single check engine light in any vehicle but I've had 4 or 5 now in 10 months of BMW ownership. This stuff bugs me but its what I signed up for, $4000 in 6 month for maintenance even after a fairly clean PPI to fix things the PO's didn't keep up with along with the maintenance items like cooling system, DISA, VCG and OFHG.

It's the nature of the beast; love it, hate it, believe it or don't. Most people that don't think BMW's need a lot of upkeep are lifelong owners of Audi, VW's and BMW's and just expect upkeep.

We're trying to be honest and you're trying to tell us all were wrong. We own them, you don't. And you're asking a dealer who's trying to get you to buy a car that they service. What do you think they'll say?
I really appreciate the feedback but I'm not sitting here trying to prove you wrong, you don't have the right idea of my concern... A few posts above I made mention of one user that commented to this thread stating that in one year he spent 1100 on oil changes and tires.... My mkiv supra has staggered wheels. I bought tires and had them mounted for less than 500 on 18" rims..... That's my concern. I'm not telling anyone they are wrong, but that Is a large figure for tires and a once per year oil change ... Secondly the same user notes that so far 2013 has costed him 2500 so far for VCG and dsc replacement. A VCG kit runs about 50.00 and the work takes a couple hours.. The dsc I am unfamiliar with personally but the dealership quoted me 1000 on a replacement control unit. So my question is, why should it be so much for that user, maybe he had that work done at the dealer. If you read each response in this thread, they differ, majority states that maintenance is required which I get.... It's a used car... But to spend around 8,000 on a car and another 10,000 in the possible duration of 5 years, seems like a poor decision on anyone's part, nice bmw or not. I am trying to get the most accurate representation of what it takes to have a nice e46.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:02 PM   #59
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I really appreciate the feedback but I'm not sitting here trying to prove you wrong, you don't have the right idea of my concern... A few posts above I made mention of one user that commented to this thread stating that in one year he spent 1100 on oil changes and tires.... My mkiv supra has staggered wheels. I bought tires and had them mounted for less than 500 on 18" rims..... That's my concern. I'm not telling anyone they are wrong, but that Is a large figure for tires and a once per year oil change ... Secondly the same user notes that so far 2013 has costed him 2500 so far for VCG and dsc replacement. A VCG kit runs about 50.00 and the work takes a couple hours.. The dsc I am unfamiliar with personally but the dealership quoted me 1000 on a replacement control unit. So my question is, why should it be so much for that user, maybe he had that work done at the dealer. If you read each response in this thread, they differ, majority states that maintenance is required which I get.... It's a used car... But to spend around 8,000 on a car and another 10,000 in the possible duration of 5 years, seems like a poor decision on anyone's part, nice bmw or not. I am trying to get the most accurate representation of what it takes to have a nice e46.
Well $2,000 a year for 5 years (your $10,000 figure from above) is crazy, AGREED! I don't think anyone would disagree with that.

I'm sticking to my story, on average, plan on $1,000 year in cost to keep the car running in pristine condition. That doesn't mean you will spend that much every year, it does mean you may spend more a few years. But on average, over 5 years, if you save $1,000 per year for maintenance you will be in a good position at the end of 5 years, perhaps with a little left over to have fun with, to put down on another car, for some mods, whatever you want.

Its averaging and saving for the possibilities.
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Last edited by caleb6; 03-11-2013 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:13 PM   #60
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Right on, I guess I've had a little bit of a shock seeing some of the numbers but honestly other than my supra I really haven't had a used car... Except an old 1990 Mitsubishi eclipse and I literally drove it like crazy and didnt have to put 1 dollar into it, I'm sure that a well maintained and properly maintenanced e46 will last and can't cost too much to maintain. I know it won't be as cheap to run as a Honda but it can't be Bentley expensive either ..
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