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Old 06-11-2011, 02:13 AM   #1
fisico
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First car; e46 questions!

Fellow e46 owners, I am in the market for a 325 or 330 ci M sport. Everyone I tell this to discourages this and it's always the same "It's gonna cost way too much to maintain" or "Gas is gonna kill you" or "BMW is just too expensive of a car to drive, when something goes you'll be paying the big bucks" etc..

I honestly can't think of anything else but an e46 coupe M sport at this moment... I feel as if nothing compares, I really do want one. This however will be my first car. Obviously I don't want to be living paycheque-to-paycheque affording my BMW, but I mean, are they really this expensive as everyone says in the long run? Is it a smart/foolish decision for a first car?

Yes, gas prices are expensive, and no car is fun repairing, but how much are we talking on average for an e46?

Input please!!

Should I pursue this goal of owning an e46? Or play somewhat safer in perhaps a TSX, or Genesis Coupe? I feel like I'm literally all over the place trying to make my first car, I just don't want to **** myself over.
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Old 06-11-2011, 02:29 AM   #2
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I can say gas consumption is a myth...My 330ci does a bit worst then my 318 4cyl... i get 9.28L/100 (25mpg) and not taking it easy! The 318 did 8.5 at best!

As far as things going wrong, it all depends on what car you get. The more you spend, the better it will be (newer, lower milage)...If you just take the time to check into shops and part sources, it will cost you just as much as any other import OR domestic! If you love the car, go and get it, i doubt you will regret it! (unless you pick the wrong one!)
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:09 AM   #3
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You get some general info from this link....

http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142593
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Old 06-11-2011, 12:35 PM   #4
Renboy
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I drive a lot of highway and get under 8L/100kms on regular gas. Maintenance on these cars is no more than any other car, and I wouldn't say it's more unreliable either. I'm very meticulous when it comes to maintenance and have never had a problem with either e46 I owned. The only failures that do occur that can't be prevented are falling door seals on the coupes (which are incidentally effin expensive) and window regulators on sedans which I think are pretty cheap.
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:21 PM   #5
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Where people get into trouble with BMWs and other Euro cars out of warranty is relying on the dealer for repairs. People's perceptions of the cost of operating these cars come from the fact that dealer prices for even minor things will eat through your wallet in no time and leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth.

Either use a reputable mechanic (Like RMP etc) or learn to do stuff yourself.

The parts are really no more expensive than most domestic cars if you order from one of the many parts stores online. We have a lot more selection now in Canada for canadian online distributors.

When I had my first E30 you really had no choice but to order from the states which while cheaper than the dealer was still bloody expensive due to exchange and duties.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:07 PM   #6
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E46 are great cars, I've enjoyed owning a few, especially my current E46 M3 coupe.

It's good that you're weary about "living pay check-to-pay check" to get into a BMW, time to make an informed decision.

If I were you I'd work out the cost of driving that an E46 over the other cars you're looking at. How much are you going to be spending a month in gas/insurance to drive the BMW over others. Having the money to drop on the actual car is one thing, but driving costs potentially being hundreds more dollars a month is a serious consideration.

Good luck finding your ride!
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:41 PM   #7
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Not sure how buying a TSX or a Genesis is gonna be cheaper for you? There is a HUGE online support community for the e46 vehicles... do your research in what problems may arise from Model year to model year.

You could buy an e46 and never have a problem.
You could buy a TSX and have to go to the shop every 2 weeks.
Just depends if you do your homework first.

Most things you can fix or change on your own. (oil, air filter, cabin filter, even belts)

No car is perfect.
If its you daily driver, then MAINTAIN IT.
If its just your pleasure ride, then $$$ shouldn't really matter.
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:03 PM   #8
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im not a maintence nazi, just the basics, coolant flush/ oil changes and parts as they need replacing


my 2000 323i hs 293 000 Kilometers on it and its still running strong. I'm 100% happy with my purchase.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:14 PM   #9
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http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php?title=BMW_E46#

PLEASE read that article. To this point I dont get why it isnt stickied.

E46s are awesome, I'm on my 2nd one. These cars do need more maintenance then others, true. But its not anything that anyone should be worried about.

Key things to look for:

Dont buy auto
Buy a '03+
Check maintenance records !!!!!!!!! I can tell you stories for days on end where people bought a car for a "good deal" only to realize that the car wasnt ever serviced in its life.

Read the article and see whats in there.

If you have any questions , go ahead and ask I'll be glad to answer any regarding service periods and ALL common problems.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:17 PM   #10
fisico
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Thanks a lot. I appreciate the help and I will definitely ask questions!
How's gas treating you currently? Is there much difference in fuel economy from a 330 and 325i?
Quote:
Originally Posted by new member View Post
http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php?title=BMW_E46#

PLEASE read that article. To this point I dont get why it isnt stickied.

E46s are awesome, I'm on my 2nd one. These cars do need more maintenance then others, true. But its not anything that anyone should be worried about.

Key things to look for:

Dont buy auto
Buy a '03+
Check maintenance records !!!!!!!!! I can tell you stories for days on end where people bought a car for a "good deal" only to realize that the car wasnt ever serviced in its life.

Read the article and see whats in there.

If you have any questions , go ahead and ask I'll be glad to answer any regarding service periods and ALL common problems.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:32 PM   #11
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The data hasnt shown any real difference in fuel mileage between 325 and 330.

I currently get 10.2l/100kms, thats what the computer says, but I do city driving ONLY and I have a very heavy foot(my car shouldnt even be an example of fuel economy due to the mods and my personal disregard of gas prices).

If any the 330 is more fuel efficient then 325 as it has more torque thus heaving to work less to push the same car. Plus if you get a '03+ 330 you will have a 6 speed(6 speed became a standard feature on ALL 03+ 330s ) which will be another benefit in fuel economy.

If you get a 330 I can guarantee that you'll get 500kms in teh city to a tank and 700kms on the highway to a tank.

You have a price range in mind?

Last edited by new member; 06-12-2011 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:27 PM   #12
Renboy
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My 330Ci is virtually identical with regards to fuel consumption as my 325Ci was. The 330 has a 6 speed, which undoubtedly helps, but also has a taller final drive. Having owned both cars, I would only look at 330's now.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:49 AM   #13
fisico
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I'm looking to spend 14,000$! Every nice, low k, coupe I've seen for sale are all selling at M3 prices!

Quote:
Originally Posted by new member View Post
The data hasnt shown any real difference in fuel mileage between 325 and 330.

I currently get 10.2l/100kms, thats what the computer says, but I do city driving ONLY and I have a very heavy foot(my car shouldnt even be an example of fuel economy due to the mods and my personal disregard of gas prices).

If any the 330 is more fuel efficient then 325 as it has more torque thus heaving to work less to push the same car. Plus if you get a '03+ 330 you will have a 6 speed(6 speed became a standard feature on ALL 03+ 330s ) which will be another benefit in fuel economy.

If you get a 330 I can guarantee that you'll get 500kms in teh city to a tank and 700kms on the highway to a tank.

You have a price range in mind?
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:31 AM   #14
Renboy
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That's because the m3's are probably really high mileage. Keep looking, it took me almost 3 months to find mine last year, and even at that I had to fly to Philly to pick it up and drive it back.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisico View Post
I'm looking to spend 14,000$! Every nice, low k, coupe I've seen for sale are all selling at M3 prices!
Unless you are VERY picky about colours and options, you should not have much problems finding one...Remember that recors and proper maintenance is better then low KM.
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