2004 325I Sport
What do you guys think of this car?
It has 148,000kms. Is the kms on it high? Is it reasonable for me to drive it for another 100,000kms without too much problems if I keep up with maintenance?
I emailed the guy and here are is what he said. Apparently he bought it from a friend who worked at a BMW dealership. He is the second owner.
"The car has been in my possession for about a year now.
The water pump has been changed along with the thermostat and serpentine belts about two years ago, but not the timing "chain" BMWs come with a metal chain for timing that does not have to be replaced. It was all replaced was because the car started losing heat in the winter time.
As far as other maintenance items;
Fuel filter has been changed
Vanos seals have been replaced with Biesan Seals - http://www.beisansystems.com/
Valve cover gasket has been replaced
Of course I have receipts to prove it all, and all OEM BMW parts."
What are the differences between a Sports and Premium package? I've looked around and it seems like the Sports package has a stiff suspension and bolster seats. Is there a page I can find the specification?
These cars will cost you 1500-2500 dollars a year to keep them in good shape . Some people may argue with this but those are the ones who dont care about their cars and neglect them.
If you're prepared to spend this kind of money I can help you further.But this aint a joke, an E46 will cost you $1500-$2500/year to maintain properly
I just picked up a 2004 325i, non sport this season and I would have loved to find one with the sport package. Based on what I see in the ad, this would be a great deal and you may have some room to negotiate with the seller.
Before you buy - take it to a trustworthy BMW mechanic and have them look over the entire car and if it needs any minor repairs, have the seller work those into the deal before you buy it. I can recommend a great mechanic for this model of car depending on where your located in the city. Apparently the E46 engine is extremely reliable and easy for BMW indy mechanics to work on.
I haven't owned mine for a full year so I can't vouch for 1500-2500 in repairs, I would imagine that between oil changes and regular maintenance most cars that are 8 years old could be in that range..and if you cannot afford to do the regular maintenance on a car then IMO you are not ready to own any car.
Anyways - if you're interested, take it to a mechanic and have them look everything over and if all is good then I say buy it! I love my 325i and regularly get compliments on it from friends and family :D
I think if the car is in fairly good condition to begin with, and assuming maintenance has been done prior, 1000 to 1500 is fair in terms of annual maintenance cost.
If you do your oil changes as often as you should, likely 400 bucks is around where I spend on oil changes every year alone. I change my plugs, air filter, cabin filter, once a year as well, and this about 100 to 200 depending on what brand/quality parts you are buying. There will be other common wear items here and there (shocks, breaks, tires) may not need replacing every year, but do have weight.
You can save money by doing most of this work yourself. You can also save some by cheaping out on parts, but I wouldnt recommend it. You are considering a premium car, make sure you put premium parts in it.
In all honesty, this is stuff you should be doing for any car, only the part prices for the e46 will be a bit higher.
I can bet that almost everything on the car is original and at 150-160 k it'll need A LOT of work . Some people just dont care about their cars and they claim they can run these at a minimum like $500-700 a year but when you look at their cars all you want to do is throw up.
At 150-160 k kms you'll need to replace these, prices are just for parts
-All 4 rotors if they werent replaced $100 each (400)
-all 4 shocks are toast by now and shock mounts $750-850
-control arms 400
-rear trailing arm bushings 80
-diff bushings 150
-expansion tank and hoses 150
-both pulleys and belts 100
-if the window regulators didnt fail then they'll fail next week 120 each
-motor and tranny mounts are toast so are the shifter bushings 300 for all
and much much more
He says he has maintenance records, check them and see what he did change and go from there .
Dont be scared , these cars can be run at a minimum cost but thats just not how I personally keep my BMWs. But if you wish to keep that car in great shape then your first year you'll spend close to 3000 and every other year will be around 1500 including tires
Belts and pulleys will probably be changed only once depending how long I own it. Everything just seems like regular maintenance.
I was just worried about the major problems. I read somewhere the cooling system will probably need work. Haven't done any work on that before and not sure how much that will cost me.
Motor and tranny mounts needs replacing? That didn't even cross my mind. Thanks for bringing that up. Seems like a big job so I'm not sure if I can handle that. What's good is I have tons of tools I've bought over the years so I feel I can tackle most jobs.
Barnsdale: which shop would you recommend? I've heard of RMP and Bimmersport. I'll probably take it to them for jobs I cant do.
I've heard great things about RMP, I haven't used them since they are a bit far for me.
Darren at Alphawerx has done the work on my E46 - he's in Thornhill (right off the 404), I've recommended clients and coworkers to him and we've all had great experiences dealing with him.
Thing is, you dont even have to replace half of what I listed and you'd be fine for an A to B car, but I always try to push people towards going one step above. A good of example is some people drive for over 200k kms on their original shocks,control arms, some people never changed any bushes apart from control arm bushes and some people dont even know hot to open the hood. Its all true and all those cars still drive A to B but they're crap and the only thing thats left in them from the Ultimate driving machine is the faded badge. Makes me sick when I see those cars
To me personally maintaining a car means keeping it in New or near new condition regardless of its age. Replacing interior pieces as they wear out or scratch,new headlight lenses every year, this year I'll need to repaint the front bumper, I even replaced my steering wheel because it was worn . But to others maintaining a car means keep it running without stalling .
I can tell you for sure that if I go look at the car you listed, it'll need at least 3000 in parts in the first week to get it up to date for my standards
If you have to take it to the shop the RMP is the place to go
I'll definitely getting new shocks and springs. I want to lower it bit. I've been reading about the cooling system and I'll probably do a over haul of that if I get it. Another thing I'm worried about is the rear sub-frame I've read so much about. I'll try to get it checked out from RMP or a local shop before I make the purchase though.
I don't mind spending money to maintain the car but if the car is known for major problems then I'd rather avoid it.
I was checking if there was anything in particular I should know about the E46.
The only two thing so far I've found are the rear-subframe tears, the cooling system, and the Vanos seals. The Vanos seals have been replaced already so that's a good sign.
if the w/p and thermostat was replaced with the belts the pulleys(?) then all you need left is the expansion tank and hoses... not a big deal at all and easy DIY.
the engine/trany mounts do NOT need to be changed unless they are damaged or ckracked... don't do unnecessary work if you don't need to. what is the point in replacing something like a bushing that will NOT damage your car untill its ready to be replaced. My old e46 had original mounts at 200k and only one of the rear subframe bushings was ckracked... everything else was still in decent shape.
Be prepaired to replace the front CABs if they are original... the CAs might last till about 180-200k depending on the driving conditions... again my old e46began showing CAs wear in the 200k range... untill then it was nice and tight after replacing the bushings.
As for suspension.... Yes, technically the OE shocks last only about 150k just like every other car. But after I replaced my old shocks at 200k, the rear shocks still had a great rebound and didn't leak, therefore its not necessarly a must at 150k.
Remember this is NOT a NEW car and it will never be a new car. Yes... I agree you can make it feel like new by replacing everything that is possible, but is it worth it? If your keeping your car for a 100k then go and replace all these parts, this way youll enjoy the car for what it is. If your planning on keeping it for 50k, Id say do what is necessary.
Spending cash on a car is not an investment. Keep it healthy and safe... do what must be done and if the car is well kept you won't need to spend more then $1500 a year on parts.
Remember, his is not a $30,000+ as some people like it to believe it is... its worth less then 10k and in couple of years it will be worth less then 7k and in 5 years less then 3K... don't burn your money unless you need to. Have enough for rainy days where something goes wrong.
A healthy well maintained e46 is much more sexier then an e46 under construction for years...
If you can, Order parts from US and pick them up form the border. This will save your $$$ if your making large orders. I hate to say this as I like to support local stores, but prices are retarded in Canada compaired to US ($60 for VCG in CAN and $20 in US)
There are some decent guys here who make little on the parts just to help out... BimmerBoys.ca ~ PJ, honest guy and great prices
And do as much work Yourself as possible... Most of the things on this car are easy to do as long as you put some time and effort into it, research before hand and just do it.
Cooling system might be an issue depending on the car.. some people have the ET explode on them around 150K and some drive for 250K on original parts... so its a hit and miss, but easier to replace before the towing costs add up ;)
as for the Venos... You don't need to do it if its done. Its not one of those things that people know about because its not a big issue to many. The fanatics know because word gets around and people begin to notice the little rattle at higher milage.
I own this car & take good care of it. Rest assured, it is my DD.
Subframe is fine - this usually tears with older E46's
Front LCA's have been replaced
2004+ Winterized CCV
Brakes have plenty of life left
Shocks are not blown and show no signs of leaks
Cooling system is original, seems to be holding up fine - I have two cars so I don't feel the need to fix something that isn't broken.
Serpentine belts have been changed
You won't need to put any money into my car if you choose to buy it other than regular maintenance.
You have my contact information in your email.
I can give you a Maxbimmer discount as well.
New engine and trans mounts will bring the life back into your car with crisp shifting. Everyone forgets to replace these until the mounts have sagged so much that your shifter literally moves side to side when you let off the gas or in some occasions the clutch fan will be touching the upper rad hose because engine had sagged.
You said your old car had a rear subframe mount cracked. Shame on you for not keeping it in shape . Sure you can wait till everything breaks and cracks and falls apart before you replace it, but thats called repair and NOT maintenance.
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