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Thanks to all that contributed to this buyers guide! I am about to pick up a 2000 328ci and this thread was helpful to sort through a couple of common issues.
 

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I'm in the market for an e46 and have read this post. I was wondering if you recommend that someone new to working on cars pick one up? I'm willing to put in the work on the car and I have a few friends who are willing to help.
 

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I'm in the market for an e46 and have read this post. I was wondering if you recommend that someone new to working on cars pick one up? I'm willing to put in the work on the car and I have a few friends who are willing to help.
Yes, absolutely. Bought mine 5 years ago having never really done anything but change the oil and I've been able to fix/repair/replace a LOT of things on it since then with the help of this site and just the internet in general. Youtube has hours of walk-throughs and tips videos for you to watch and follow along. And the platform itself is pretty straight forward and easy to access most things.

My suggestion if you're going to buy an E46 would be to have it thoroughly inspected before you purchase by an indie mechanic who works on BMWs. They will go through and let you know if anything is wrong and what might need attention down the road. Then you can look into how much those things cost to get fixed at a mechanic and also how easy they are to fix on your own and make a decision based on that information.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #208
I'm in the market for an e46 and have read this post. I was wondering if you recommend that someone new to working on cars pick one up? I'm willing to put in the work on the car and I have a few friends who are willing to help.
The E46 is a easy car to work on. There are plenty of Youtube videos out there on what and how to do things, plus this forum too. If you do your own work, the parts are for the most part inexpensive too. If you have the tools and the technical skill, you can't go wrong with one of these cars. BUT be sure to get a pre purchase inspection as MJC12 mentioned. You don't want to be purchasing a huge headache.
 

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2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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Does the M3 have a stiffer chassis compared to the non-M coupe? Are there any other notable differences between the M and non-M chassis?
yes the M3 has the highest torsional rigidity of the E46s. besides extra panel reinforcement welds/gussets it also has a couple more braces.
 
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