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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 03-11-2013, 05:40 PM   #61
willmkent
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oh man, decisions decisions! i want to get either an IS300 or an E46. I still can't decide!
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:01 PM   #62
redadair
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Two things to remember here:

Take your time and find the right car, clean low mileage well maintained in the first place.

Don't get frightened off by some of the responses here. I have owned BMW's all my life. I have had two lemons that I sold rather than let them bleed me of money. The rest have been no different than my Subaru's, Lexus, or Infiniti to maintain and much less then a 1992 Dodge Dakota PU that ranked as the highest cost per ownership I have had.

I have also Completely Restored a 1972 BMW 2002tii, (wish I hadn't sold that one) and a 1970.5 Z28. In both cases the costs were ridiculous and if you count the hours spent I lost a lot of money on both but had a good time doing the job. The point I'm trying to make is this. It's just a car, if it's not a Rare Car worth restoring just keep up on the Routine Maintenance and have fun with the car. If you get a lemon car sell it before you go broke.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:54 PM   #63
redadair
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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

Wow! I mean WOW! New front brakes every 27000 miles? This is the most over the top repair list I think I have ever seen. I not saying someone didn't pay for all this work but this kind of fits into the old saying, "There's a Sucker born everyday" I have never seen this much money charged for some of the items listed here. I would have sold this car long ago had it been me.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:33 PM   #64
willmkent
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thanks redadair, I appreciate the response! Also with that being said, Just out of curiosity, is the cost of maintenance on an E36 similar?
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:04 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by willmkent View Post
thanks redadair, I appreciate the response! Also with that being said, Just out of curiosity, is the cost of maintenance on an E36 similar?
In general the costs are about the same. The issue is that Generally speaking the older the car, the higher the mileage the more potential issues there will be. Things wear out, rubber Oxidizes over time. There are so many variables in each case with every car. Of coarse it all starts with the condition of the car you choose.

The better the condition at purchase the more you pay for the car. However this Usually equates to less overall maintenance needs in the future. Buying an old car with the idea of fixing it usually is very costly, compared to one that is already in great shape.

Here is an example of a BMW specialty shop that sells very nice cars. But they aren't cheap. Again cost up front or repair costs to bring back to great shape????

They had an excellent E36 M3 Sedan that I almost purchased. Beautiful car.

http://www.enthusiastauto.com/

Last edited by redadair; 03-11-2013 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:53 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willmkent View Post
oh man, decisions decisions! i want to get either an IS300 or an E46. I still can't decide!
Here's my honest assessment of both:

- Cant go wrong with either. Inline 6 is a great engine configuration.
- MPG is worse on IS300 vs E46: 20.5 & 22.5 respectively.
- Handling: e46 takes the advantage. I even bought thicker sways for the IS.
- Steering goes to the E46. I've never driven a car with better steering responsiveness. It brings a smile to your face. I thought the IS had the best until I drove the E46.
- Peace of mind goes to the IS. Those d@mn o-rings that are found EVERYWHERE on the E46 are on your mind bc of possible leaks. Nothing like that on the IS.
- Sedan styling goes to the IS. Sloped look and aggressive stance sets it apart.
- Sound goes to the E46. IS is quiet in terms of engine/exhaust. E46 has soul. I believe the E46 is quieter on the highway and tracks better.

That's about it. Can't go wrong with either. I have both but I enjoy taking my 325Cic out on sunny days and the IS on others. Gas mileage annoys me on the IS. No matter HOW slow I drive I cannot get more than 22 MPGs. But this car has a lot less preventative maintenance compared to the E46. A lot! (Eg no CCV, OFHG issues, d@mn cooling hose replacement worry).

Let us know what you decide
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:53 PM   #67
willmkent
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Redadair, I think that if you are right about the maintenance being more affordable than 1000 per year, Im in! Something about these cars have compelled me to look them up all day every day so i think its a calling...
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:15 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willmkent View Post
oh man, decisions decisions! i want to get either an IS300 or an E46. I still can't decide!
Have you driven both cars already? Which one speaks to you more?
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:21 PM   #69
willmkent
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I drove a well maintained 330ci that i fell in love with. I actually havent driven an is300 yet. But my criteria was inline 6 and RWD. The BMW just calls to me for some reason. Petemo94, what O-rings are you talking about?
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:29 PM   #70
325seeeye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willmkent View Post
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?
Um......your math isn't quite right.

But I got Pilot Sport PS2. Great tire. I am not a college kid looking for $90 tires. Even at tire rack, they weren't cheap.

Other than dsc, tire mounting and thermostat, everything else was DIY.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:38 PM   #71
redadair
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willmkent View Post
Redadair, I think that if you are right about the maintenance being more affordable than 1000 per year, Im in! Something about these cars have compelled me to look them up all day every day so i think its a calling...
Great, remember to be patient when looking for your E46. Find a good one to start with, spend the ~$100 for a Pre-Purchase Inspection prior to buying.

Good luck
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:39 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willmkent View Post
I drove a well maintained 330ci that i fell in love with. I actually havent driven an is300 yet. But my criteria was inline 6 and RWD. The BMW just calls to me for some reason. Petemo94, what O-rings are you talking about?
I think the IS300 doesn't come with a stick. Anyways, they look like
expensive civics, it's not even a contest. Welcome to E46!
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:52 PM   #73
petemo94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willmkent View Post
I drove a well maintained 330ci that i fell in love with. I actually havent driven an is300 yet. But my criteria was inline 6 and RWD. The BMW just calls to me for some reason. Petemo94, what O-rings are you talking about?
First off, IS's come in both a stick and E-Shift (steering wheel shift buttons) with a separate Sport mode button.

O-rings are found at every cooling hose junction and at sensor locations. Along with transmission cooling lines. When you do a cooling system overhaul you will understand.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:54 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by lszlszx View Post
I think the IS300 doesn't come with a stick. Anyways, they look like
expensive civics, it's not even a contest. Welcome to E46!
They do come in a manual, a good friend of mine owned a manual IS300 for about 80,000 miles. He spent a ****pile of money on mods, but it wasn't quite as maintenance intensive as my stock-ish E46.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:05 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by willmkent View Post
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?
On my 330i, a full set of PS2s cost $1200. The fronts outlast the rears, but it adds up. If you want the best, you gotta pay. Well worth it IMO.

Last edited by TerraPhantm; 03-12-2013 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:42 AM   #76
willmkent
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Originally Posted by 325seeeye View Post
Um......your math isn't quite right.

But I got Pilot Sport PS2. Great tire. I am not a college kid looking for $90 tires. Even at tire rack, they weren't cheap.

Other than dsc, tire mounting and thermostat, everything else was DIY.
Thanks man, you're right I realized my math was quite off. However that's good to know because I am looking around at tires right now, I have always been a fan of Toyo proxies, which through my friend I can get for around 350 for all 4
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