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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all! I am new to the forum. I own a 97' BMW 318is with 194,000miles.

Recently my neighbor approached and let me know that he would be selling his 2003 325Ci which has 126,000 miles. My neighbor was the only owner of this car and took great care of it. I am looking for advice on if I should purchase the car or not. The only problems he has ever had with the car is the clutch which was replaced at 90k. He is a very respectable and just bought a new GTI which is why he is selling the BMW. Here is a link to the car

http://www.rutlandmotorcars.net/vehicleimageall.aspx?cmb=0|147560025|341677

We had agreed on deciding on a price between $5000-$5500.

My only concerns are maintenance. I drive my current car very lightly. I would drive this the same way making sure not to really push it constantly to avoid wearing it down. I read that very informative thread suggesting what to look for when purchasing an e46 and this particular car had the preferred engine.

Thanks for any help!:hi:_a_
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm just looking to get a sense of the reliability of the members E46's. There are a lot of negative reviews on the internet however I would assume many of those individuals weren't enthusiasts and probably didn't take care of their cars.
 

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Looks like a nice car at a decent price. If you work on your own car I say go for it. If you rely on mechanics then look for a Honda unless you have some extra cash that you don't mind throwing at it. I see you already drive a BMW so you probably know that already.


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The trunk could use some cleaning, otherwise that looks like a clean example of a cared-for E46.

And yes take care of it and it will take care of you. The E46 is a rewarding vehicle to own if you maintain it and looks like that 325Ci was/is off to a great start.
 

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I say buy it as you know the owner and know what has been done/not done to the car.
The price is very good.
You already own an e36, you know how these vehicles are in terms of maintenance.

Buy this and sell your e36. Gas mileage will be lower but its a big upgrade in terms of comfort and refinement.
 

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Thank you for all of the advice i appreciate it. Does anybody know how easy E46's are to work on in comparison to an E36?
It is almost the same. Almost all the parts like suspension, brakes are same(similar).
E46 has more gizmos, so may be a little more complex on the electrical side. Aside from that they are very much similar.

You might want to buy BMWscanner 1.4 if you are going for an e46. That $32 tool is essential if you want to work on e46/e39.
 

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It is almost the same. Almost all the parts like suspension, brakes are same(similar).
E46 has more gizmos, so may be a little more complex on the electrical side. Aside from that they are very much similar.
Same. You'll notice some nice things about the E36 went away, such as the slide-out air filter or fuses under the hood. (E46 has a more conventional filter you have to disassmble the intake to get to, and the fuses are buried above the glove box.) In other areas there was improvement. Cabin filter on E46 is a breeze and doesn't need the glovebox taken off.

And the oil filter is still up top where it should be!
 

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The advice I'd give anyone looking to buy a used car is: Get a pre-purchace inspection by a reliable mechanic, or even better, by the dealership. They'll find everything wrong with it. If they can't find anything major wrong, then buy it. Good luck.
 

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I thought the sub frame issue was resolved on all E46s built after March, 2000. Only worry if you have a 2000 built in Feb or earlier.:evil::thumbsup:
The issue is way less common on 325's and 330's than on 323's or 328's, but it's still there. It's not as worrying as with the earlier models, but it's still definitely something to keep an eye on.
 

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i'd do a 360 first to look for rust or body work. then id look for issues in this order: starting > idling > engine noise> rev to idling > clutch pickup > shifting > wandering > brakes > pulling > cruising > speed pickup > handling > go in circles wheel lock L&R > long idling while inspecting interior/accessories/creature comforts/etc > while still idling inspect engine comp/check fluids/trunk/ > drive car forward look for fluid drops. that's basically it. if im satisfied, i'd take it to an indi and when that checks out, negotiation begins.
 
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