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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

View Poll Results: Is it worth the purchase?
You can find something better. 9 36.00%
It's too expensive for the price. 9 36.00%
Yes! Go for it. 10 40.00%
It's good but too many miles. 1 4.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-18-2011, 10:06 AM   #1
jrdnlc
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Cool Buying a used 03" BMW 330i Sedan

Hey guys,

My name is Jordan and i live in Burbank, CA. Ive been searching and reading the forums for quite sometime now but i finally registered

I sold my 08" civic si about a month ago and now want to jump on the bmw side. I found a local ad with the car I like but i wanted to get some opinions from more knowledgeable people first.

This will be my first BMW. Any help will be gradly appreciated

The link for the car is below:

http://www.stminaautosales.com/newan...W-3Series.aspx

Last edited by jrdnlc; 12-18-2011 at 10:09 AM. Reason: Corrected spelling.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
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Honestly, I've been considering an 8th gen Civic Si. It's a decent car, I wouldn't want a non-M E46 instead.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:22 AM   #3
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The car overall is sought after. It is a ZHP. I'd investigate the gap abetween the hood and passenger front fender. Looks like it has been repaied. Wheels look to be off of a M3 Vert. The steering wheel has been changed/rewrapped to the new leather style. Nice alacantara interior. Relatively low on miles. Looks like there may have been a coolant leak at some point(being very critical here) due to the white residue on the plastic fan covering. The pictures indicate that the dealership took the cheaper way out on their cars. Lots of glossy protectant applied everywhere to give it that cheap clean look. The battery covery hasnt been positioned properly. The website is very cheap and skimpy looking, that format is used across the nation for smaller cheap dealerships due to the low cost of maintenance and scripting.


I'd check it out, if everything looks good then take her for a drive. See how she rides. If you decide you want it then ask to take the car for a PPI.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:23 AM   #4
jrdnlc
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Originally Posted by ac_2007 View Post
Honestly, I've been considering an 8th gen Civic Si. It's a decent car, I wouldn't want a non-M E46 instead.
I got tired of it so it had to go. Plus, i have a little girl on the way so i need a sedan. I was going to get a 08" M3 sedan but i decided to wait. I don't need much power for now. Specially here in CA u cant even put it to use unless u go to a track.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:31 AM   #5
jrdnlc
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Originally Posted by wertyu78 View Post
The car overall is sought after. It is a ZHP. I'd investigate the gap abetween the hood and passenger front fender. Looks like it has been repaied. Wheels look to be off of a M3 Vert. The steering wheel has been changed/rewrapped to the new leather style. Nice alacantara interior. Relatively low on miles. Looks like there may have been a coolant leak at some point(being very critical here) due to the white residue on the plastic fan covering. The pictures indicate that the dealership took the cheaper way out on their cars. Lots of glossy protectant applied everywhere to give it that cheap clean look. The battery covery hasnt been positioned properly. The website is very cheap and skimpy looking, that format is used across the nation for smaller cheap dealerships due to the low cost of maintenance and scripting.


I'd check it out, if everything looks good then take her for a drive. See how she rides. If you decide you want it then ask to take the car for a PPI.
Thanks for the heads-up. I didnt even notice the gap between the hood and passenger front fender. I might have to take my uncle with me to check it out (he owns a body shop). If it has been rapaired/painted it should show up on the Carfax shoudn't it?

What do you mean by PPI?
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:43 AM   #6
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I was going to get a 08" M3 sedan but i decided to wait.
If you can pull the trigger on an E90 M3, I would go for it. Its a car you can drive relatively normally around town and then have tons of fun getting on the highway. Besides, it doesn't really make much sense going from a '08 back to an '03. You're going to end up spending a lot of time/money replacing parts that are beginning to wear out after 9-10 years of normal use. Newer is better in that regard.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wertyu78 View Post
The car overall is sought after. It is a ZHP. I'd investigate the gap abetween the hood and passenger front fender. Looks like it has been repaied. Wheels look to be off of a M3 Vert. The steering wheel has been changed/rewrapped to the new leather style. Nice alacantara interior. Relatively low on miles. Looks like there may have been a coolant leak at some point(being very critical here) due to the white residue on the plastic fan covering. The pictures indicate that the dealership took the cheaper way out on their cars. Lots of glossy protectant applied everywhere to give it that cheap clean look. The battery covery hasnt been positioned properly. The website is very cheap and skimpy looking, that format is used across the nation for smaller cheap dealerships due to the low cost of maintenance and scripting.

I'd check it out, if everything looks good then take her for a drive. See how she rides. If you decide you want it then ask to take the car for a PPI.
+1, that's exactly what I was thinking. Make the car sales place pay for an inspection done by a reputable bmw shop. If its really a good deal, the car sales people wouldn't mind paying for the inspection knowing you will buy it. Talk em down on the price, never pay the sticker price. 330's are dope especially zhp's
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Last edited by Kwaz; 12-18-2011 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:08 PM   #8
wertyu78
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Originally Posted by meCka View Post
Thanks for the heads-up. I didnt even notice the gap between the hood and passenger front fender. I might have to take my uncle with me to check it out (he owns a body shop). If it has been rapaired/painted it should show up on the Carfax shoudn't it?

What do you mean by PPI?
That's a great Idea. He should be able to spot anything questionable. Not necessarily. It's up to the insurance and body shop to report to carfax. If the car was never claimed through insurance, it could've been wrecked and repaired.


PPI= Pre Purchase Inspection. A dealership or indy shop will do it for you. Typically costs anywhere from $75-275. You want EVERYTHING checked out. Find a good indy shop in your area.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:22 PM   #9
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Hi Jordan,
I'm not too crazy about that car but it is a good car. Slightly pricy considering in 2 years of California driving the car will be a 10 year old car with over 100,000 miles on the clock. And the resale for you would be 50% what they are asking you for it today. For that price range you can do better unless you really want a base packaged ZHP.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:53 PM   #10
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The ZHP is a great car but like Del mentioned in the above post, a few years driving will put you with a car over 100k. If you plan to keep this car for the long haul and keep it up to date with maintenance and mod along the way, then perhaps this is the car for you. If you don't plan to keep the car for a long time then perhaps you might want to pass on this....it is a good car though
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:24 PM   #11
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Aside from the M3 wheels, the car looks pretty good. Price may be a little high, but that depends on the maintenence/repair history and whether it has had collision repair.

I wouldn't worry about resale too much. If you go to sell the car in 2 years and it's still in good shape a buyer won't be hard to find. The ZHP/6M and color combination has fairly wide appeal.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:20 PM   #12
jrdnlc
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Update: i went to check the car and wow i fell in love. The interior is so awesome all black everything even the roof lining. So sick

Either way their was little things that the car needed done. Passenger side headlights water goes in, speakers that go in the middle of the door were missing, fog lights needed new bulbs, alternator belt needed a replacement. It was making noizes while turning


He wouldnt lower the price only about $200 less. No warrranty. It cost extra.

Also when i mentioned the PPI he stated he cant do that because it was a policy for him. I felt in love with the car but that raised a red flag. I had to pass
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:25 PM   #13
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Good call. Weaseling out of a PPI = scumbag.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ac_2007 View Post
Honestly, I've been considering an 8th gen Civic Si. It's a decent car, I wouldn't want a non-M E46 instead.
Really? I mean those civics are nice in my opinion too but not over a ZHP, maybe a 330i but not over a 330i sport package, let alone the performance package. (I know its only +10hp but what a fun car and the looks of a zhp are great). I didn't even look at the add, I am talking about just the car in general but if the price is right and the car looks and runs great with the milage not being too high then pick it up.

330i Sport or ZHP package > Civic Si
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:26 PM   #15
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That's just me The fuel economy, comparable power, and high resale value have my attention.

There is no denying a ZHP, similar to Blocked Out's car, is a gorgeous and well balanced vehicle.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:40 PM   #16
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Since when does BMW offer cloth interior?
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:52 PM   #17
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Looks pretty nice, jump on it! <--- IMO
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:08 PM   #18
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That's just me The fuel economy, comparable power, and high resale value have my attention.

There is no denying a ZHP, similar to Blocked Out's car, is a gorgeous and well balanced vehicle.
Well fuel economy definitely is a winner, don't know about the Si but I know the other civics get great milage! and high resale value is definitely there so I agree on those terms
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:16 PM   #19
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Since when does BMW offer cloth interior?
That's not cloth, its Alcantara which most consider > leather.

I've seen plenty of M3's and 3 series with cloth in Europe.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:13 PM   #20
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It looks nice but you would be paying a lot for the pretty ZHP bits. I would look for lower mileage non ZHP and modify it to my taste.
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