BMW E46 Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, i am currently 15 years old and can get my learners in 8 months, i have always dreamed of owning a E46 before i was 16. Now before people tell me they are high maintenance i do understand but i also have a lot of experience with them as i have done multiple repairs on my parents 325i and 325ti. Now the real question is what do i get? What do i look out for? and how much should i budget for the first year of ownership?

Thanks
 

·
Shifting
Joined
·
32,049 Posts
If you have done work on your parents E46's then you are definitely ahead of the game. As you know, the cooling and suspension systems as well as the fuel pump do need to be replaced every 60-80k but other than that just go with the flow as things break or if you see something getting worn out badly. The maintenance costs do add up and is around $1,000 USD per year from what I've seen and experienced.

Definitely get a pre-purchase inspection at a shop that deals with BMW's. They will point out the things that will need replacement and you can use that to your advantage to get the price down a bit. Make sure to let us know where what cars you are looking at with as much detail as possible and we will try out best to guide you to buying the right one.

Welcome to the forum :thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, have replaced 2 cooling systems so far (expansion tank, water pump, thermostat, hoses) and will do it regardless on my new one. was looking at a 318i as they are about $3200NZD here with 120,000kms but have been doing some research and have found that they are lacking in power which may be an issue in tricky situations
 

·
Registered
'01 320Ci manual
Joined
·
527 Posts
I actually was at the same situation as you, I bought the car even before I had my license, to own an e46 coupe was a dream for me. To the practicals now.. I literally eat a meal per day so I can keep up with maintenance and I DIY everything. So.. choose your mistakes wisely and you may have a chance to enjoy them.. An e46 is a good start

Sent from my [device_name] using E46Fanatics mobile app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
Rationally, you should choose a newer and possibly more Japanese make and model.
But then again, so should have I when I bought my E46 brand new, (before you were born).

Good hunting.


podman
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
I don't see why not. It seems like perfectly good first car and maintenance costs are high, yes, but you will learn to fix them or learn to hitch rides. At least its pretty safe and slow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
769 Posts
I've driven an e36 318 and there's plenty of power.. it isn't like you put your foot down and nothing happens. Even 4 cylinder bmws have impressive low end performance.

If you find ANY BMW with maintenance records that contains recipes of necessary work being done at the correct intervals, it's a good find. Those who buy e46s too quickly think they've found a "good deal" but end up paying the price later because their vehicle hasn't been serviced appropriately. It took me months of constantly watching Craigslist to find a decent buy because as soon as one of these diamonds in the rough go up, they rarely last a week, at least around here..

Buy carefully or you will be one of the sad e46 owners


Sent from my iPhone using E46Fanatics
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Def ask for all maintenance records and check the CarFax. My roommate bought one that had an ODOMETER ROLLBACK which he found out after the fact because he was too cheap to pull a CarFax! I'd get a pre-purchase inspection at a seasoned BMW Master Tech's shop. They'll find things that you'll never find. It sounds like you already know your way around the car so maintaining the car should be a breeze.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Hi all, i am currently 15 years old and can get my learners in 8 months, i have always dreamed of owning a E46 before i was 16. Now before people tell me they are high maintenance i do understand but i also have a lot of experience with them as i have done multiple repairs on my parents 325i and 325ti. Now the real question is what do i get? What do i look out for? and how much should i budget for the first year of ownership?

Thanks
I was in almost the same situation as you with the only difference being that an e46 was not my first choice. for the car to get I would say a 325 or a 330. for me, the matinence has been reasonable with only one failure in my 2 years of ownership (Idler pulley). Still be cautious because the oldest of these cars are almost 20 years old and at the newest, they are 11 years old, but hey at least you have worked on them before.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top