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Old 05-27-2008, 10:47 PM   #1
Suprano
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E46 vs. E36?

Hey Guys,

So I'm moving to LA in July and I'm looking at e46 bimmers as a serious possibility; maybe even a vert. However, I've heard that e46's have a number of problems and aren't as reliable as e36 BMWs. The price on many of these cars has dropped significantly, especially in the LA area. To the point where I would consider one over an e36, so long as they're reliable cars.

If any of the e46 guys on here want to chime in with their opinions/experiences with these cars. Also, what are some of the common issues to look for when buying an e46 and are there certain models to stay away from like a 323, etc???

So what should it be, a 325/330ci or an e36 328/M3???

Cheers,

Robert
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:09 AM   #2
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Ive had my e46 325ci for 3 years and put 50,000 kms on it since i bought it....only thing ive done in terms of repairs are control arm/ball joints and the thermostat
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:15 AM   #3
ZHP_Bimmer05
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hey bro whats the link for your car sale again? You should of came with me and ur bro on sunday!!
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:55 PM   #4
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I would have, but I took the car off insurance since I haven't really used it and it's for sale. I'll send you a link on thursday because that's when it will appear in the trader for $9950. I'll probably post on Max as well.

In any case, I saw the pics you guys did...........very very nice! I wish I could've come out. It would have made for a nice for sale pic!

Rob
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:07 PM   #5
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for sure man, but you had a link on max before, in the for sale section, but i lost it
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:20 PM   #6
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Here's the trader link:

http://www.trader.ca/Search/Details....ADS=7000164%7C

It'll be on there for 2 weeks.

Rob
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:36 AM   #7
arsevader
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I think you'll find the e46 a more reliable car than the e36.

The e36 while a nice car has a lot of teething pains due to it being the first or one of the first CAD designed models. It's under engineered compared to the tank that was the e30. The interior of the e36 was flaky at best, the e46 seems more robust.

The M54(2) is like most BMW engines pretty dam reliable if maintained properly. Any issues with this engine family also crosses over to the e36 as well. Cooling system failure seems to be the most common problem with these engines and preventative replacement is the key.

Some of the more common e46 issues are:

Window regulator failure
Rear spring breakage
Door seal issues

Most of these were fixed in the later years too.

A less common problem is the rear floor failure that also affects the e36 but contrary to what you'd believe from reading the boards, it's still a reletively uncommon occurance and even then it really seems to affect the earlier pre-facelift cars more (323i more often) though that may just be because of age. Turner sells a reenforcement kit to protect against it. I think RMP would install that for you.

I have owned an e30, e36 and currently a e46 and I can say that although the e30 was my favourite 'drivers' car, the e46 is a very nice ride.

Good luck
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:05 PM   #8
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E46's are pretty solid cars and having owned 2 of them as well as an E36, there is not really much difference in maintainence will all three for me. With my new one, I replaced the coolant expansion tank, thermostat and water pump, most for preventative reasons. You can get tonnes of info on e46fanatics.com and E46Toronto.ca, which is where I looked for all the information before I bought mine.
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