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ive been looking for a manual e46 to buy for several months now. I have found a very clean e46 with only 70k miles. The thing that worries me is that since it was barely driven it took 3-4 years to hit 15k miles on the car. Resulting, the carfax only shows that the oil was changed twice at the dealer in 7 years. I know the car has a light that says change the oil every 15k miles, but does it also correspond to time? The fact that the oil was changed every 3-4 years (unless the carfax does not show other records) is a huge red flag for me. I need some other opinions on this.
 

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ive been looking for a manual e46 to buy for several months now. I have found a very clean e46 with only 70k miles. The thing that worries me is that since it was barely driven it took 3-4 years to hit 15k miles on the car. Resulting, the carfax only shows that the oil was changed twice at the dealer in 7 years. I know the car has a light that says change the oil every 15k miles, but does it also correspond to time? The fact that the oil was changed every 3-4 years (unless the carfax does not show other records) is a huge red flag for me. I need some other opinions on this.
Get a pre-purchase inspection, and ask to see under the valve cover before buying it. No matter what.

70k miles with that amount of time between oil changes could mean VERY short trips, and a motor that looks worse inside than a car that did a 2 hour commute each day but didn't have its oil changed for 30k miles.

Always be concerned about a car with unreasonably low miles. Especially when you have proof that the oil wasn't changed yearly. The manual says to have the oil changed at least every two years if you drive less than 6k miles per year.

It could be a great car. But you're right about it being a huge red flag.
 

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I plan to call the dealer tomorrow to see if they have any other service records. it might be possible that the owner just did his free changes at the dealer but also did some in between. I will try to get a pre purchase inspection and will definitely ask to see under the valve cover if they let me. the interior does have very minimal wear which would make me believe the car was not driven every day for 5 miles but rather used as a weekend car. But honestly, if the dealer doesn't have other records of maintenance i wont even make the trip to go see it.
 

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that's true. turn the car on and hear it, drive the car, inspect it. I don't think that could be an issue. 70K miles is not bad. give it a try.
 

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E46 F10 W204 W212
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I plan to call the dealer tomorrow to see if they have any other service records. it might be possible that the owner just did his free changes at the dealer but also did some in between. I will try to get a pre purchase inspection and will definitely ask to see under the valve cover if they let me. the interior does have very minimal wear which would make me believe the car was not driven every day for 5 miles but rather used as a weekend car. But honestly, if the dealer doesn't have other records of maintenance i wont even make the trip to go see it.
A dealer won't let you do that, lol. With a car that old you'll be replacing the VCG, grommets and maybe the cover itself if it cracks on removal. That plus labor - realistically not going to happen.

Go see the car. As pointed out if the rest of it checks out I would buy it. Unless they're using Dino oil you'll be fine.

My 11-yr old car (at the time), 48k-mile convertible had only 2 dealer oil changes before I got it. Internals were fine.

When I cracked it open :
<img src="https://c8.staticflickr.com/6/5112/14246128511_7ae84bbe39_z.jpg" width="480" height="640" alt="image">

All it had was this light tint :
<img src="https://c5.staticflickr.com/4/3854/14502261020_99d1d6ea90_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="image">

On reassembly, use Goof-Off or similar to get it to shine if that's your thing :
<img src="https://c3.staticflickr.com/6/5581/14672020954_eb7ccda660_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="image">
 

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ive been looking for a manual e46 to buy for several months now. I have found a very clean e46 with only 70k miles. The thing that worries me is that since it was barely driven it took 3-4 years to hit 15k miles on the car. Resulting, the carfax only shows that the oil was changed twice at the dealer in 7 years. I know the car has a light that says change the oil every 15k miles, but does it also correspond to time? The fact that the oil was changed every 3-4 years (unless the carfax does not show other records) is a huge red flag for me. I need some other opinions on this.
That means it would have been flashing negative numbers for half the ownership on the dash countdown. Sounds like indy oil changes in between which is what I have done. They wont show on a carfax.
 

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:lmao::lmao::lmao::rofl:
That's funny I'll keep it in mind wen I'm in the market for a car. Never knew they would open up a rocker cover, instead of checking the filler cap.
New York State law , regarding dealers preowned sales
( 30 day warrenty on certain parts ) .
Replace the oil with true synthetic , if it starts to leak take that shhh back because it's probably a no name dealer.

I had my Bimmer for three years with four oil changes with in 15 thousand miles.
The first oil change triggered a oil filter housing.
Yup fourteen thousand worth of work and financed for fifteen . The ultimate driving machine !
 
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