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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 07-17-2013, 09:09 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Buying a 03' 325xi


I am thinking of buying this 03' 325xi with 150K miles on the car. The 325xi looks and drives good. This is an used car that is for sale at a small used car lot, so no 27 or 127 points inspection like the bigger stealers advertised.

Currently, I own a 92' 325i e36 and a 99' 323i e46 - so, I sort of know what to look for, but I never owned an xi model. So, I am opne for suggestions and recommendations on what I should look out for. I have always wanted an AWD model due to where I live.

Please help.

Thank you in advance.

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Old 07-17-2013, 09:17 AM   #2
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For Xi specific items it's front axle boot and CV joint failure.

You will need to take the car in for a PPI, make sure it's a good one or else you're going to be in for a lot of fun (read: hell).
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:22 AM   #3
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Yeah, I know what you mean "a lot of fun"... I learned a lot from my recent purchased of the 323i... Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:05 PM   #4
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My Ride: 02 325xi 5sp 120k
Yeah, the front cvs are the only real xi specific concern and they are cheap anyway.

The front suspension parts and tie rods wear just like on the i models, but on xis you have to replace the whole control arms to replace the outer ball joints. If it wanders on hitting road grooves and/or under braking all of that stuff is probably needed so factor into the price.

Subframe failures are fortunately rare on xi's, but easy to check for anyway.

Aside from that same considerations as the non-xi. Definitely worth the PPI cost unless you can get it on a lift and know all the things to test.

Last edited by dgknight; 07-17-2013 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:28 PM   #5
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My Ride: 2002 325xi-sport pkg
I recommend you drive it for a while and take it on some highway and moderate road cruising. Suspension (struts, sway bar bushings, control arm bushings, etc) and driveline (cv's, torque converter, axle shafts, etc) all manifest themselves as vibration and clunks.

The engine itself is bullet proof. If all the controls work, the transmission shifts OK and the car is clean there isn't much to say... you're always rolling the dice a little with a 150K auto xmission.

Also make sure they don't do to you what they did to me... they cleared the codes and after I bought the car and drove it 200-ish miles it started throwing cold start and thermostat codes. I figure it couldn't be random so I assume somewhere along the line the previous owner or car dealer cleared the codes. You can run an OBD2 check looking for resets, make sure the car has been driven enough and is OBD2 testable and not throwing any codes.

The biggest issue is vibration, if you get any vibration or clunking a PPI by a BMW mechanic makes a lot of sense. Also review any history or inspect for new parts to see what the maintenance looks like. A simple look under the car tells you about CV damage.

Also, use the AC and make sure that works and isn't "whistling" as that's another common issue.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:10 PM   #6
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Thank you very much guys!!
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:37 AM   #7
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Personally... Unless you are getting a steal of a price... I'd buy from an enthusiast over a car lot.

Just sayin'...
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:43 AM   #8
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Make sure the transfer case and bushing aren't on their way out. A new one is like 2k and from what I hear the bushing is a doable job but a pita.

Last edited by GuiltySpark; 07-18-2013 at 03:55 PM.
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