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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 06-11-2013, 12:50 AM   #1
safi24
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Honda or BMW?

Sup everyone,

Ive come to a point where i need help making this decision.

A couple months ago, i sold my ej8 (97 honda civic) since it had some major problems and purchased a used 2002 BMW 325i sedan. I sold the ej8 cause there were some major problems associated and everyone suggested selling it. I bought the BMW because I was getting a good deal on it and when I test drove it, it ran perfect.

Basically, the seller screwed me over and I ended up spending close to $1000 on the car trying to get one thing fixed. I have confidence that the problems are gone now and it runs smooth.

My concern is, things might go wrong with the car after a while (knowing its a BMW) and I will have to spend more and more money again on maintenance. I am also trying to mod this car, but im patient with it and can save up. I have saved up for mods, but it can go towards maintenance when needed or suggested.

But im scared of the problems that may happen, its got about 136k on it, ive replaced water pump, radiator, air filter, oil and oil filter, spark plugs, and one ignition coil that was causing a misfire. The BMW broke down on me about 3 weeks after I got it cause the water pump seized out of nowhere.

Im thinking about going back to Honda to avoid the headache and huge spendings, but wanna stay BMW for the looks, quality, luxury, and exclusiveness. This car could be worth it, or could be some serious problem later on.

I work part time making $9.50 an hour, i can afford gas and small maintenance on the car, but i have to wait longer for the mods. As with Honda; gas, parts, and mods are cheaper and I wont have to worry as much about something going wrong. The BMW is running very smooth and has no flaws.

As for going back to Honda, im looking at getting a dc5, em1, or ep2.

I just want anybody that has experience with this subject to chime in and help me out with my decision, all criticism/ideas/questions/concerns are welcome.

Should i keep the BMW? Or should i sell it and get a Honda?

Thanks,

Safi
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:52 AM   #2
lovemy330ci
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you came to a bmw forum asking if you should get a honda.. ?
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:55 AM   #3
safi24
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Originally Posted by lovemy330ci View Post
you came to a bmw forum asking if you should get a honda.. ?
Anything wrong with that? Sorry to offend you? The reason i posted here was to attract someone with experience with the same situation im going through to guide me towards the right direction. Thought this was a good place to post since my situation involves my car which is a BMW.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:01 AM   #4
Importjunkie
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Well, if $9.50 an hour part time is your only source of income, it would be practical to go back to honda. However, if you are dedicated enough towards BMW ownership, it is entirely possible to DIY most of your repairs and save hundreds if not thousands on maintenance. I would suggest taking some time to do research on this site and find out more about the common problems and DIY maintenance for your car, then you can decide for yourself. Since most E46 cars are over 10 years old at this point, it's too expensive for most to have the dealer or a shop do all the repairs.

Last edited by Importjunkie; 06-11-2013 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:13 AM   #5
safi24
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Originally Posted by Importjunkie View Post
Well, if $9.50 an hour part time is your only source of income, it would be practical to go back to honda. However, if you are dedicated enough towards BMW ownership, it is entirely possible to DIY most of your repairs and save hundreds if not thousands on maintenance. I would suggest taking some time to do research on this site and find out more about the common problems and DIY maintenance for your car, then you can decide for yourself. Since most E46 cars are over 10 years old at this point, it's too expensive for most to have the dealer or a shop do all the repairs.
This is very true, but during school i will be busy to not have the time to diy. Are there any parts that need attention or replacement other than the ones ive already replaced at this mileage? Im at 136k miles and replaced water pump, radiator, ignition coil which caused misfire, copper spark plugs, and serpentine belt. Thanks for input.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:17 AM   #6
cvx5832
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A couple thoughts -

If a $1k bill scares you, going back to Honda may be the way to go. While it's seldom you spend 1k on any one system, at that mileage multiple systems will need to be addressed sooner rather than later. It does and will add up assuming you want your car at 100%.

Another option is to keep the BMW but go easy on the "mods". A BMW is nice as-is, and few modifications will actually net a positive gain, aesthetic or otherwise.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:24 AM   #7
terdwrassler
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Dude no offense but with your budget mods should be the last thing on your mind. Do the routine E46 preventative maintenance and enjoy your car. Even if you get another used car it could still have issues that need solving. Are you going to keep replacing cars when problems arise?
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:57 AM   #8
eneka
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I'd say stick with the BMW and save up for maintenance, mods can wait. The bimmer will be just nicer in general. I'd say the e46's are quite reliable.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:59 AM   #9
trive2
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Originally Posted by lovemy330ci View Post
you came to a bmw forum asking if you should get a honda.. ?



I know it's a valid question, but on face value it just looks so wrong.



You really wont be cross shopping between a used Honda and BMW.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:31 AM   #10
Carfidant
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Being a diehard BMW enthusiast, I would honestly suggest a Honda over a BMW to anyone who puts reliability first, actually Toyota/Lexus - dare I say sell the 3 Series and get an IS300
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:04 AM   #11
e4603
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BMWs are expensive to maintain and repair.
Maybe you got a good deal because the car needed some repair and/or due for maintenance?
The question is where do you want to spend that $9.50?
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:15 AM   #12
dznuts007
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You WILL run into issues sooner or later. That's with every car. I think the majority of people don't understand there is wear and tear involved with any car. It's what you do when these problems that occur that matters. If you decide to bring it into the shop or the dealers, you will end up spending $$$ since you're having someone else do the work. If you do it yourself, you can potentially save alot of money.

Just like others have mentioned, tone down on the mods or forget about them altogether. The mods probably won't keep the car running. The maintenance probably will. There's a wealth of information on this forum and on the internet on how to do a bunch of maintenance yourself. Some things I would think about looking into (assuming that you haven't done them or the previous owner has not done them):

Replace fuel filter
Replace spark plugs
Clean MAF specifically with a MAF cleaner (CRC brand or anything that says MAF cleaner...do not use throttle body cleaner)
Remove intake boots and inspect them for cracks and replace them
Clean out your ICV and throttle body
Think about replacing your cooling system (search for a user named Mango for his cooling system maintenance link). Your water pump and radiator was replaced, but that plastic expansion tank is gonna crack on you sooner or later and this can possibly lead to really really expensive repairs if you overheat your engine
Check for leaks around your valve cover and change valve cover gasket (VCG) if necessary)
Check for oil in the honeycomb area around the driver's side of the engine. Usually indicates Oil Filter Housing Gasket (OFHG) has gone bad. Cheap replacement too
Inspect your steering fluid levels and replace your steering fluid (your steering system uses ATF)
Brake fluids "break down" over time. Think about replacing your brake fluid too
Think about doing a VANOS oring replacement. It's a little bigger job than the previous ones mentioned but after you're comfortable doing some of these DIY's, you should be able to handle it
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:20 AM   #13
trive2
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Originally Posted by Carfidant View Post
Being a diehard BMW enthusiast, I would honestly suggest a Honda over a BMW to anyone who puts reliability first, actually Toyota/Lexus - dare I say sell the 3 Series and get an IS300
Carfidant is spot on. If European isn't your only choice, go elsewhere. The maintenance on the BMW will drive you spare.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:41 AM   #14
Megalocnus
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Is your car automatic or manual?
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:51 AM   #15
saace7
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If you do your own work you can save ass loads. On my last 325i. I replaced the steering rack, outer tie rods, cooling over haul, fuel filter, p.s flush/ pulleys and belts/ and many other things and i never spent over a $1000 on parts all together .... and probably saved 3-5grand in labor cost. . . I remember i read on this forum once someone had a water pump, the hoses and i think the ET replaced and the shop charged him $1200!!!! This is what people do not get. If you do the work your self... BMW's ARE CHEAP TO MAINTAIN! At least e46 and later. e90 and newer is a different story.... but sending your bmw to a shop... your bill will be 5x the cost.. On my new 330.. I just bought a water pump, fuel filter, p/s res., coolant, vanos seal kit, and thermostat and only spent about $300 bucks and I will be replacing everything myself. If i sent that work to a shop... I would probably get charged $1700++++ My personal advise would be to learn how to turn some wrenches or you should probably go get a honda...

Last edited by saace7; 06-11-2013 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:22 AM   #16
Grinchxvx
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Honda or BMW?

Get a s2k, otherwise Hondas suck.


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Old 06-11-2013, 04:27 AM   #17
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Toyota's will easily go into 200k with nothing but oil changes, brakes, and maybe few small things here and there. It is really amazing the quality they make. .. I absolutely hate the way they all drive (except for the IS300), but reliability-wise if properly maintained, it is incredible.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:01 AM   #18
TArse
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Honda or BMW?

After reading your post I'd say go back to a Honda.


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Old 06-11-2013, 05:48 AM   #19
StrdCloud
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Re: Honda or BMW?

Seriously, end of the day. You're just gonna spend money to mod ur Honda To respond a bm. It doesn't make much difference in my opinion. After owning 3 BMWs and driving tons of customer cars around. Nothing quite spells BMW.

My advice to you. Stay with the car and earn more $$$$

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Old 06-11-2013, 07:59 AM   #20
Suseer
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A pimped out honda will still be a honda at the end of the day, not matter what you try and transform it into.

A BMW stock will still look better to my eye.

Keep the BMW, save your money and don't mod it and sell it for a higher model E46 (330, M3, etc) if you want more power.

This is coming from someone who used to have a "modded" EJ8 previously. The power, handling, style and characteristics of a BMW have made me jaded to the cheap feeling whiny civic nation for good. Theres just no compassionate anymore, they are two totally different leagues of vehicles. The only honda I could ever even consider owning in the future would be a S2K or a (Acura) NSX. The only way i'd goto a "family" car again is if my girlfreind somehow forced me to, and even then i'd throw myself into a STI/EVO much sooner...if it's 4 doors it's family enough
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