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Old 02-09-2008, 05:21 AM   #1
lvan
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Late model vs early E46

I would like to pick up 01-02 330ci by May or Apri this year. Here is the debate that I am having. Would it be better to strech my self and get 2005 330CI or even 325ci? Some of the late models have some CPO coverage left over. Like if you get a preowned late model , the dealers offer warranty and what not. Is it worth paying for late model E46 coupe. I would like to purchase the car in full amount that would get me 01/2002 330ci. I dont like to make monthly payments. What are the issues with early models? Should I get a 02-03 and not worry too much? Give me your 0.02 cents.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:57 AM   #2
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02 or newer is better. It's the better years for the e46.

Plus, it's the facelifted sedans, which looks more current. The newer ones come with Bi-Xenon lights (big plus). With the newer models, you won't have to worry about rear subframe issues either.


Watch for known issues.

- Front Control Arms
- Vanos. I can't believe BMW is still having these issues.
- Window Regulators
- Master Cylinder
- Some 330's consume a lot of oil, even at lower mileage
- Stay away from Automatics
- Check the manual transmission. Make sure 2nd and 3rd gears are easy to get into.
- Alternators
- 02 Censors go pretty frequent, so make sure the car is Drive Clean recently. I wouldn't except anything less than 2-4 weeks from bill of sale.

All of the issues above actually occur when the car has lower mileage.

Overall, the 02+ E46 is more reliable than other BMW's.
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Old 02-09-2008, 02:32 PM   #3
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He's talking about the coupes. Facelifted coupes came out in late 2003- beginning of 2004. I would get the 2005 330ci zhp, I think they were the best 330s that BMW had produced.They are pretty reliable and since they are new, you will still have warranty. Warranty is very important, my friend, it will save you lots of money.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:57 PM   #4
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I've read some reliability issues with ZHP coupes on e46 fanatics, more issues with the ZHP's than the regular ones? I could be mistaken but I am pretty sure. You should search e46fanatics.com for more information on the differences in the e46's.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimajer View Post
He's talking about the coupes. Facelifted coupes came out in late 2003- beginning of 2004. I would get the 2005 330ci zhp, I think they were the best 330s that BMW had produced.They are pretty reliable and since they are new, you will still have warranty. Warranty is very important, my friend, it will save you lots of money.
I have to agree with you. Let me give you a scenerio. Lets say I get 330 coupe for 25k cash. It wont cost me a lot more to get late model one.....But if anything goes wrong, I am sure dealers repairs would add up fast. Dont get me wrong but , you can't take e46s 2002 + to any place for lousy service.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:24 AM   #6
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Well, if you find a good 330, then jump on it. Most of the shops can take care of a 2002+ since it's not the newest car around lol. A bmw is just a car. There are 2 shops which I will take my car to, bimmersports or RMP, they specialize in BMWs and are sponsors of this forum, highly recommended.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtthiaga View Post
02 or newer is better. It's the better years for the e46.

Plus, it's the facelifted sedans, which looks more current. The newer ones come with Bi-Xenon lights (big plus). With the newer models, you won't have to worry about rear subframe issues either.


Watch for known issues.

- Front Control Arms
- Vanos. I can't believe BMW is still having these issues.
- Window Regulators
- Master Cylinder
- Some 330's consume a lot of oil, even at lower mileage
- Stay away from Automatics
- Check the manual transmission. Make sure 2nd and 3rd gears are easy to get into.
- Alternators
- 02 Censors go pretty frequent, so make sure the car is Drive Clean recently. I wouldn't except anything less than 2-4 weeks from bill of sale.

All of the issues above actually occur when the car has lower mileage.

Overall, the 02+ E46 is more reliable than other BMW's.


oh cmon your just saying that because you drive a facelift bmw...............get a none facelift
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:54 AM   #8
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E46s without the facelift are hottest E46s evarrrr!
that all i know about e46sorry
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:59 PM   #9
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get what you can afford, both pre-facelift and face-lifted coupes look beautiful.
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Old 02-17-2008, 12:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bimmerjoe View Post
oh cmon your just saying that because you drive a facelift bmw...............get a none facelift
No way!!! Get the facelifted cars. It's newer, and you get more standard features with them. Stuff like Bi-Xenon lights, Auto Headlights etc. You also don't have to worry about the rear subframe issues.
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtthiaga View Post
No way!!! Get the facelifted cars. It's newer, and you get more standard features with them. Stuff like Bi-Xenon lights, Auto Headlights etc. You also don't have to worry about the rear subframe issues.
facelifts still have the rear subframe issues
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:44 PM   #12
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And they have bi-xenons

Plus, they do look newer... I sometimes mistake pre-facelift e46 sedans in the rearview as e36's.
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:06 PM   #13
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what is the subframe issue? rips out?
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:39 PM   #14
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Only the very early e46s had subframe issues.

I would get late model... the facelift coupe is sooo hot. prefacelift is looking a bit dated... thats my opinion.
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:05 PM   #15
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I'm also taking a look at these.... either coupe or sedan. I much prefer the pre-facelifted sedan, the coupe can go either way for me. It's the upturned headlights that drive me nuts, not a fan.

The biggest thing I'm worried about is budget. I want to get into something for less than 25k, maybe less than 20k if it's not garbage. I've noticed that 2001 models range 14-19k on auto trader. My current 525i is awesome, but it's 14 years old now, and repairs come fast. I'm getting sick of having to pay for repairs, but sadly a warranty is out of the question for a 2001 model...

Damn, I need a better job.
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