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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, 09:05 AM   #21
choxor
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You've already answered your own question.

You want something reliable and you don't have much money. Pretty obvious you should go back to Honda.

EP2? Do you mean EP3?
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:13 AM   #22
BeBeQ
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I had 328i '00 sold it, and get 325i '04, and just sold in 2012 dec and get the f30 until today. all of them I bought it brand new. I also have an accord cm5 2007 from brand new. If I compare the 2 e46s that I had with accord, to be honest, my e46s were less less and less reliable compared to my accord. That is why I sold them and keep the accord until today. The accord is still running strong, the most expensive repair was just the vtec valve seal, and it was very cheap. On the other hand, I am sure that e46 has a joyful of driving. But for the exclusiveness, I think it is not, since it is already 2 gen behind, outdated.
In my point of view, if you dont have time to do the DIY and wont spend much for the maintenance on your e46, then don't hesitate to get the accord. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:13 AM   #23
partyvi
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I'll assume you work 39 hours (just under full-time) so that's $370.50 a week - after taxes I'll guess it's closer to $303.40. I don't know what your budget looks like or if you have any bills, live at home, etc. If you live at home and don't pay rent, good for you! Learn to work on your car and you'll save a ton of money. If you rent or have bills I'll assume half of your pay is going to rent (I'm in PG County and know what to expect for rent in other areas). It may be easier in the long-run to sell the 325i and go back to Honda, especially if you're still in or considering going to school - parts and maintenance will be cheaper, and your insurance will most likely cost less as well. Unless you can find a Type S DC5 I'd go with a EP2 - just my personal preference and both are perfectly respectable cars

Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:24 AM   #24
esberelias
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You should sell the bimmer and get a honda....

because it sounds to me down the road you're going to neglect the bimmer (if you keep it) and it's gonna go to ****... so sell it now and maybe someone that doesn't mind keeping up with maintenance will give her the TLC it needs
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:34 AM   #25
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Honda or BMW?

If you really have to think about such a dumb question of whether to get a Honda or stick with the Ultimate Driving Machine.... Ugh! You disgust me....


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Old 06-11-2013, 09:41 AM   #26
328isawesome
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Honda or BMW?

Sell the BMW, and get a Honda until you're financially able to own a BMW. Use it as your motivation to do better, get a promotion, be an entrepreneur. You got a taste of the BMW, liked it but your pocket wasn't feeling it so fix that problem and you're golden. BMW's cost more in ownership than purchase price, that's why less people have them and the ones that can't handle ownership are selling them cheaper. Best wishes.


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Old 06-11-2013, 10:05 AM   #27
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Get an S2000 and a BMW...that way when one breaks you can jump in the other car
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:14 AM   #28
seigi009
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Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
A couple thoughts -

If a $1k bill scares you, going back to Honda may be the way to go....
Funny enough, I had a $1,250 bill for my '03 Civic EX when the head gasket blew. My '03 325i however only had a $250 bill, and that was for some new front brakes.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:09 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by seigi009 View Post
Funny enough, I had a $1,250 bill for my '03 Civic EX when the head gasket blew. My '03 325i however only had a $250 bill, and that was for some new front brakes.


$250 to change your brakes?

IF you DIY its about $60 and MAYBE an hour of your time if your not sure what your doing... little more if your changing the sensors too. Thats the difference in "normal" people owning a bmw and rich people... can you afford sending it to a shop every time it needs work? or are you willing to pop the hood and save yourself hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars by doing your own work. That is what makes a BMW affordable to some people in their eyes. The ability to do their own work. If i had to send my BMW to a shop every time i needed work I probably wouldn't be driving a BMW...

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Old 06-11-2013, 12:32 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by safi24 View Post
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.

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

Safi
That's all I needed to hear. You will NOT be happy with your BMW as it gets older. Sell it and get a Honda. It's a much better option for you. Now is not the time to be throwing money at a car when you don't even top $20,000 per year. You won't be able to put enough into the BMW to be happy with it. You definitely cannot even think about modding it either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seigi009 View Post
Funny enough, I had a $1,250 bill for my '03 Civic EX when the head gasket blew. My '03 325i however only had a $250 bill, and that was for some new front brakes.
Blow a head gasket on the M54 and it'll cost you 2-3 times that. Get your brakes done at a european shop, and it'll be $500 per axle. Do it yourself and front brakes are still $150 in parts.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:43 PM   #31
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Short version:
You say that you "can afford gas and small maintenance". If you can't afford major maintenance for the next two years, you don't need to investigate any further. You can't afford to drive an e46. Figure an average of $100/mo...likely to be higher in the first months. This is maintenance and wear & tear items, not repairs due to failure.

The Background:
The BMW is a more refined vehicle than similarly-priced Hondas. This may be the only point where everyone will agree. That does not make it any "better" or "worse" as you've described cars.

That said, you don't seem to have an expert knowledge of cars. Unless you have a genuine lemon, "fixing" a car problem by replacing it is generally an expensive option. You are unlikely to get a "cream puff" and the next car will come with its own issues that need to be addressed.

If the vehicles are in similar condition and have been equally-maintained (this is a big IF, of course), just about any Honda car will cost substantially less to operate, maintain, and repair than an e46 over the same period of time. Yes, there are statistical aberrations, but the numbers aren't even close overall. And while folks tell you that DIY saves money with e46s, the same is true for a Honda. Of course, you have to have knowledge, talent, tools, time, and a location to perform the work.

The BMW has known common issues. Others have listed points that are likely to require attention, and none has mentioned control arms/bushings, possible rusting springs, tired suspension components, hoses, the battery, window regulators, or tires. It may need more, depending on its overall condition.

You really have to decide how important a car is to you. Consider how much of your wages are needed to keep up with your basic expenses (the simple things like food, shelter, and clothing) as well as others like entertainment and cell phone bills. Then consider what you want for discretionary spending. This indicates the lifestyle that you want. Then, you need some kind of emergency fund (even $500 can be a nice cushion). Now, realistically, how much is left over to cover the anticipated costs of car ownership?

FWIW: We have 2 copies of the e46. We also have an ej6 and enjoy it for what it is: simple, lightweight, rock-solid reliable and very inexpensive to operate.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #32
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Honda or BMW?

It depends what kind of owner you are, I don't make much money but most of it if not all of it goes to my car. I'm just lucky I have great parents don't pay any real bills.


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Old 06-11-2013, 01:03 PM   #33
safi24
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Thanks so much everyone for all the input. I did not intend to offend anyone by asking this, I just needed help figuring out which path to take. I will sell/trade the e46 and go back to the Honda life. It was fun while it lasted.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:08 PM   #34
wildirish317
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Originally Posted by safi24 View Post
Thanks so much everyone for all the input. I did not intend to offend anyone by asking this, I just needed help figuring out which path to take. I will sell/trade the e46 and go back to the Honda life. It was fun while it lasted.
Smart move. There will always be BMWs around when you have more time and money for them. They are pretty needy little bastards.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:09 PM   #35
WDE46
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Originally Posted by safi24 View Post
Thanks so much everyone for all the input. I did not intend to offend anyone by asking this, I just needed help figuring out which path to take. I will sell/trade the e46 and go back to the Honda life. It was fun while it lasted.
Eh, nobody is really offended. It's good that we can help you make the right decision here. Honestly and E46 is going to kill you financially. If you can't afford to buy a $130 window regulator on a whim, or buy something like a $130 fuel pump without blinking, then the BMW isn't a good option. Please come back when you are more financially secure and you'll be glad you did! For now, you can have a well kept Honda that treats you right, gets you to work with no problems, and doesn't break your wallet.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:14 PM   #36
2000beamer
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I am sure that e46 has a joyful of driving. But for the exclusiveness, I think it is not, since it is already 2 gen behind, outdated.

The E46 is old, but certainly not out dated. It has a timeless body style, and I believe that the E46 is much more pleasing to the eye than any Honda I have ever seen. It comes down to personal preference. If you want a newer, more innovative car (and don't have the means for a new BMW) then I can see why you'd get the Honda. But the BMW drives better, feels better, and looks better in my opinion.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:21 PM   #37
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The meaning of the word "reliable" differs for many people. To me, I can rely on a BMW because I will most likely not die in a major accident. To some, they rely on a Honda because the parts are cheap and the car will last long without needing major maintenance. Live or die? I prefer living, so I would spend my money to live a little more.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:04 PM   #38
WDE46
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The meaning of the word "reliable" differs for many people. To me, I can rely on a BMW because I will most likely not die in a major accident. To some, they rely on a Honda because the parts are cheap and the car will last long without needing major maintenance. Live or die? I prefer living, so I would spend my money to live a little more.
Let's not pretend Honda's aren't safe. I do feel very safe in my E46 though, especially in a single-car accident.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:36 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by choxor View Post
You've already answered your own question.

You want something reliable and you don't have much money. Pretty obvious you should go back to Honda.

EP2? Do you mean EP3?
+1 Honda's run forever - just change the oil.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:43 PM   #40
ryannel2003
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I purchased my 323i last year with 137k miles and I first I thought it just needed some minor things... VCG, control arm bushings, spark plugs, etc. Once I dug into it I realized it needed much more than that. At that mileage your suspension is most likely shot; Struts/shocks will have no rebound, cooling system will need complete overhaul (water pump won't cut it. Upper/lower hoses, expansion tank, possibly radiator), and misc. other things. In total I have spent close to $3k on my car in the past year and it now drives and handles like a proper BMW. If you aren't somebody who can DIY because of school and work and can't afford to take it to a shop you might want to go ahead and sell it now. Honda's are extremely well built and reliable cars and I know many people with over 250k+ miles on theirs and haven't done much other than minor service.

Get out before you get to deep, or make time to DIY if you really enjoy the car.
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