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Old 02-12-2013, 08:07 PM   #1
lvan
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Considering buying a E46

I am looking to get a 2002+ 325CI/330ci whatever I find in better shape. This is what I want to know,

-How hard is it to add sportpackage in case if I find low mileage non sport car?

-Should I stay away from the automatics? Looks like clutch jobs seem to be inexpensive to do, so I think I am taking too much risk with auto tranny...

-Cooling system can last up to 100K? That to be looked after as well as the real subframe

-How do I know if the window regulators are on the way out or they just snap out of no where?

I think that's about it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:12 PM   #2
TF3N
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I just bought an E46 in the summer (4 door) so I feel my insight is pretty relevant here.

My criteria:
Face Lift
Low KM
1 Owner
5 Speed
Power Everything
Folding Rear Seats
HK Sound

I bought the lowest KM, best riding car I could find within my budget. I ended up in a 2002 325i(non-sport) 5speed with under 120k for $9700(taxes in).

If I had to do it again? I'd probably pay a little more and get one with the sports package.

It costs a MINIMUM of $700-$1000 to find sport seats in *great shape*, and about $500 for a sport steering wheel with airbag(again, in good shape). That's a minimum of $1300 plus you have to factor in travel and install time.... The $1500-$2000 premium for a well kept car with the sport package is definitely worth it IMO. Also, the sports package is much tighter than the base model. Although this goes out the window if you plan on installing a set of coilovers or upgraded suspension.

I've talked to a few E46 owners with over 175,000KM who have never replaced the cooling system and they've been fine - I've also read stories of them going bad under 100,000km so this one's really a gamble. I'm replacing my whole system this spring for peace of mind - I would definitely recommend any new owner do the same.

As far as regulators go, they have been known to fail without warning. I've also heard that they start to get weak or slow a few weeks before they give up. My opinion? Just assume they will go and have $300 set aside for when they do.

The 330 is quite a bit faster than the 325, so it may be a good idea to hold out for one if you're into speed. Although the 325 is a fun car to drive, it is definitely not fast. I personally didn't care, but I feel it's worth noting.

You'll love the E46 - it's the best balance of style, performance/ride, comfort, and cost of ownership under $20,000 IMO.

Anyways, that's my $0.02. Feel free to ask if you have any other questions.

Good Luck

Last edited by TF3N; 02-13-2013 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:52 AM   #3
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Buy my car

Under 95k original KM
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:00 AM   #4
blakneto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TF3N View Post
I just bought an E46 in the summer (4 door) so I feel my insight is pretty relevant here.

My criteria:
Face Lift
Low KM
1 Owner
5 Speed
Power Everything
Folding Rear Seats
HK Sound

I bought the lowest KM, best riding car I could find within my budget. I ended up in a 2002 325i(non-sport) 5speed with under 120k for $9700(taxes in).

If I had to do it again? I'd probably pay a little more and get one with the sports package.

It costs a MINIMUM of $700-$1000 to find sport seats in *great shape*, and about $500 for a sport steering wheel with airbag(again, in good shape). That's a minimum of $1300 plus you have to factor in travel and install time.... The $1500-$2000 premium for a well kept car with the sport package is definitely worth it IMO. Also, the sports package is much tighter than the base model. Although this goes out the window if you plan on installing a set of coilovers or upgraded suspension.

I've talked to a few E46 owners with over 175,000KM who have never replaced the cooling system and they've been fine - I've also read stories of them going bad under 100,000km so this one's really a gamble. I'm replacing my whole system this spring for peace of mind - I would definitely recommend any new owner do the same.

As far as regulators go, they have been known to fail without warning. I've also heard that they start to get weak or slow a few weeks before they give up. My opinion? Just assume they will go and have $300 set aside for when they do.

The 330 is quite a bit faster than the 325, so it may be a good idea to hold out for one if you're into speed. Although the 325 is a fun car to drive, it is definitely not fast. I personally didn't care, but I feel it's worth noting.

You'll love the E46 - it's the best balance of style, performance/ride, comfort, and cost of ownership under $20,000 IMO.

Anyways, that's my $0.02. Feel free to ask if you have any other questions.

Good Luck
I would change cooling at 100k... You can tell its about to go if you see something like steam or smoke coming from under the hood. (dont ask... Trust me)

I would skip sport seats... Use that money to upgrade your suspension.
After the first year then go for sport seats if you really must have it.

Sept 2002 to 2005 is the range you want... I THINK fold down started in 2004...

Get the 330... Anyone who gets a 325 usually wishes they got a 330...

If you can get one that was maintained at one of the dealerships or even better if you can buy from there you are in good shape. Just dont do any maintenance or repairs at the dealership aka stealership.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:01 AM   #5
pearl_iroc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ac_2007 View Post
Buy my car

Under 95k original KM
Whats your asking price, do you have any documentation to prove original 95km?

Maintenance records?
My bro has been looking for a clean e46 although I don't know if he'd wan a preface lift.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:00 AM   #6
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Go big or go home .... M3
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pearl_iroc View Post
Whats your asking price, do you have any documentation to prove original 95km?

Maintenance records?
My bro has been looking for a clean e46 although I don't know if he'd wan a preface lift.
The condition of the car speaks for itself, but yes the mileage is verifiable.
Never winter driven, and its also a 5-speed.

I have a thick binder on every car that I've owned, the E46's is the most documented.


Price depends if you want the coilover suspension and 18" wheels. PM me for details or to view it. Its currently being stored in my garage for winter.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:57 PM   #8
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Go big or go home .... M3
Shopping for an M3 in the right configuration (Coupe, 6-speed) is almost impossible, or the owners throw out ridiculous asking prices.

22k is around the lowest price for a moderate mileage M3 in decent condition this time of year. Used car market for this vehicle is horrendous right now.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:23 PM   #9
TF3N
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Originally Posted by ac_2007 View Post
Buy my car

Under 95k original KM
I thought you were supercharging it??
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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I thought you were supercharging it??
The AA supercharger kit is sitting in my basement.

Seller tried to rip me off and the blower arrived seized, among other misrepresentations.
I'm currently waiting for my PayPal claim to complete. I'll be out at least $200 to ship it back to Cali
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:31 PM   #11
TF3N
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Originally Posted by blakneto View Post
I would change cooling at 100k... You can tell its about to go if you see something like steam or smoke coming from under the hood. (dont ask... Trust me)

I would skip sport seats... Use that money to upgrade your suspension.
After the first year then go for sport seats if you really must have it.

Sept 2002 to 2005 is the range you want... I THINK fold down started in 2004...

Get the 330... Anyone who gets a 325 usually wishes they got a 330...

If you can get one that was maintained at one of the dealerships or even better if you can buy from there you are in good shape. Just dont do any maintenance or repairs at the dealership aka stealership.
Thanks?
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:31 PM   #12
TF3N
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The AA supercharger kit is sitting in my basement.

Seller tried to rip me off and the blower arrived seized, among other misrepresentations.
I'm currently waiting for my PayPal claim to complete. I'll be out at least $200 to ship it back to Cali
Aw man that's too bad...

What's next?
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:48 PM   #13
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FYI the window regulators on the coupe are FAR more reliable than the sedan! It's rare for one to go. BUT they do have problems with the switch!
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:02 PM   #14
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Btw AC2007, I am looking for a coupe with sportpack.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:35 PM   #15
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Sedan looks better











My advice, if you're getting an automatic - you'll want the 330 for sure.
Anyways, good luck with your search
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